Press Release: Standing for Victims, Crime Stoppers CEO Rania Mankarious Supports Director of Victim Services Andy Kahan and the Community Amidst Concerning Commissioner’s Court Session
HOUSTON (November 10, 2020) – For more than 40 years now, Crime Stoppers of Houston has worked tirelessly to solve crime in our community and advocate for the many victims who have been impacted by crime in our area. In late 2019, Crime Stoppers’ Director of Victim Services, Andy Kahan, noticed a concerning pattern with defendants charged with murder: many of them had been released on multiple felony bonds, bond forfeiture and/or a personal bond. He began studying the issue and in mid-March of this year began tracking the issue based on data from court records.
In each case Andy tracks, the victims were killed by a Harris County suspect who:
- was a defendant who had been released on multiple felony bonds; or
- had a bond forfeiture reinstated; or
- had a motion to revoke bond denied; and/or
- was released on a PR Bond.
On Tuesday, October 27, 2020, Andy Kahan appeared before Commissioner’s Court with the intention of sharing this critical data and offering support. We thought the information would be relevant to maintaining public safety while navigating critical changes to felony bail reform. Andy was invited as a guest and in doing so, represented himself, Crime Stoppers of Houston, and the countless victims impacted by crime in Harris County.
The data presented by Andy was just that – untainted data from court records. More importantly, Andy had information regarding the over 60 victims who lost their lives (three of which were pregnant) as a direct result of county’s push to continually release defendants, including many violent defendants, under the notion that bail holds them unfairly.
Andy presented his findings on the Zoom session but was then muted leaving him with no opportunity to reply. He was labeled an “interested party” with an “axe to grind” who was only sharing data to engage in “fear mongering.”
“As the largest public safety nonprofit in our city, we were extremely disappointed with how Andy and Crime Stoppers were treated. Common sense indicates that public safety is at a higher risk when career habitual offenders are continuously released back into the community; our community members see this and they are talking about it. By muting Andy and maligning his intentions, our organization’s efforts were dismissed, the voices of the many victim families Andy was there to represent were muted, and the rising concerns stemming from the very large community we serve were disregarded.” said Crime Stoppers of Houston CEO Rania Mankarious.
Crime Stoppers CEO sent Commissioner’s Court a letter in response to the October 27th meeting. To view the letter, click here.
Crime is up, with some residents saying it has never been as bad as it now. The increasing crime rates detrimentally affect all of us. Andy and Crime Stoppers will continue to work around the clock on this public safety issue and take proactive measures to make our community safer.
Today, we are releasing Andy’s report that outlines the over 60 men, women and children who have been killed by suspects released on a variety of bonds, including felony and personal bond(s) from Harris County. View report here. This report includes victim names and photographs, as well as the location of where they were murdered by Precinct.
Crime Stoppers will continue to aggressively work with partners and citizens, law enforcement and victim families, media and colleagues, to ensure the utter most safety of everyone who calls Harris County home. We encourage the community to get involved and follow the work of Andy @akahancrimesto1 and Crime Stoppers @CrimeStopHOU.
To learn more about Crime Stoppers of Houston, including their Victim Services and Advocacy Program, visit crime-stoppers.org.
Posted byon 10 Nov 2020