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County Plans to Demolish 2 Courts Buildings


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#51 mosteijn

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 09:52 PM

Or maybe not...

County close to picking jail site

By ANTHONY SPANGLER

Star-Telegram Staff Writer


Tarrant County commissioners said Tuesday that they will likely propose building a new maximum-security jail in downtown Fort Worth despite opposition from downtown business leaders, rather than expand a jail on the northern edges of the city.

A majority of commissioners, minus Judge Tom Vandergriff who remains hospitalized with flu symptoms, also agreed that it would be cost-prohibitive to move the criminal justice system -- courts, jails, attorneys and clerks -- out of downtown.

It would cost about $150 million more to build a new jail and move the county's criminal courts to a location near Interstate 35W and North Loop 820 than it would to demolish a county-owned building in the 300 block of West Belknap Street and construct a 10-story building for jail cells, a medical infirmary and administrative offices for the Sheriff's Department.

Commissioner Glen Whitley said this month that the county should consider moving the criminal justice system out of downtown to put county-owned land on the tax rolls. He said that unnamed developers would like to build on those locations.

"I wanted to say that we've looked at all of the alternatives," Whitley said Tuesday. "In the last bond election, we made decisions without anyone being in the audience to say 'boo' about what we were considering."

Local attorneys Tuesday urged commissioners to keep the criminal courts downtown for economic reasons and historical considerations.

Attorney Tim Evans, representing the Tarrant County Bar Association, said that criminal courts have existed in downtown Fort Worth for more than 120 years.

"The idea that the public's business and criminal justice system should be at some out-of-the-way warehouse district is wrong," he said. "It should be in an area where the criminal justice system is transparent to the public, where the public's business is done."

Commissioners have until February to complete the details for a proposed May bond election. The county is considering 120 transportation projects, submitted by Tarrant County cities, to share $200 million of the bond package.

Commissioners were told this month that it would cost about $122 million to build new facilities for the medical examiner, a civil courts building and to expand juvenile services.

The final piece is building additional jail space to accommodate the county's growing jail population.

Sheriff Dee Anderson urged commissioners to reconsider building a new jail in the 600 block of West Belknap, where the Mueller Building is used for court records storage and is linked underground to the Correction Center and Justice Center.

To build a new jail in the 300 block of West Belknap Street, the city of Fort Worth would have to give up about 15,000-square-feet of space behind the Wyndham Building, where the city's Police Department is headquartered on the bottom four floors.

"We are trying so very hard to hammer a square peg into a round hole," Anderson said, regarding the plans to build next to the Wyndham Building.

Construction on the Mueller site would require a building with about half as many floors as the proposed site at 300 West Belknap Street, he said.

But Commissioner J.D. Johnson said that the land would be more valuable as private development.

"Our intent was to build the next high-rise jail on that block," he said. "But things have changed."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

At least it doesn't look like the Mueller site is being considered anymore.

#52 renamerusk

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 11:42 PM

Inmate makes a brief escape - Fort Worth Star-Telegram
By TRACI SHURLEY
STAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITER
FORT WORTH -- An 18-year-old Tarrant County inmate, handcuffed in front and wearing socks, ran loose through downtown Fort Worth for about an hour Sunday morning after escaping during a transfer to the Tarrant County Jail, county officials said.
Crae Marquis Baston was being transported to the jail at 100 N. Lamar St. from the Mansfield Jail with 12 other inmates about 9 a.m. when he ran out of a door at the downtown jail as it was closing behind him, said Terry Grisham, a spokesman for the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office.
Baston ran south and apparently tried to carjack someone on Throckmorton Street, Grisham said. Details about the attempted carjacking were unavailable Sunday.
After a search for about an hour, Baston, who was in street clothes, was spotted and arrested by an officer at Pennsylvania and Summit avenues. Fort Worth officers, sheriff's deputies and supervisors flooded downtown streets looking for Baston, Grisham said.
"We mobilized everybody we had," he said.
"There is nothing more important to us than to prevent escapes and to capture someone when an escape occurs."
Baston was initially arrested by Fort Worth police on suspicion of possession of alcohol by a minor. Grisham said he was later charged with felony assault on a public servant after an altercation with a guard at the Police Department's holding facility on Belknap Street. Baston was in the Tarrant County Jail on Sunday night.


Thank you Mr. Baston for such a masterful illustration of the lunacy being offered up by those who advocate not only keeping but expanding the countyís criminal justice complex in Downtown Fort Worth. Does the construction of a new facility, letís say I-35 @ 820, appear to be even more sensible than ever in light of this fiasco?

"Keep Fort Worth Folksy and Safe"


#53 safly

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 12:16 AM

Better yet, I-35 and 20. Plenty of land, and no risk for one of those stalled vehicles on the highway that backs up traffic and then the jailbreakers escape the paddywagon. Just have a two highways to deal with, not a mix-master of sorts.


QUOTE
Baston was initially arrested by Fort Worth police on suspicion of possession of alcohol by a minor.


I don't know about ya'll but I PERSONALLY think that incarcerating a minor for SUSPICION of possession of alcohol is quite over the top here. I had one of those back in JH at a popular lake near my old stomping grounds. The cops just gave me an MIP (Minor In Possession) ticket and said that I needed to show up for court. Showed up (with Mom), no evidence against me, so they dropped it and tried to put a lil scare into me. Yah, like that ever worked. wink.gif Lil devil.gif J/K.

What gives here? Why must they feel the need to book an 18 year old for this petty misdemeanor. I'd brake camp too if I was ol Crae. Why get cuffed, fingerprinted and placed into the "system" for such a PETTY PETTY act.

**Wasn't like he drove somebodys Minivan into a pond while the owner of the vehicle was doing a photoshoot of a family. All the while Mr. LAWBREAKER irresponsibly performed this act in front of his own kiddos (would have called CPS). Wait, that sounds VERY FAMILIAR. Doesn't it? dry.gif

Wonder what happened with that INCIDENT? Probably settled out of court like most of THEM do.

THERE is definitely a MAJOR PROBLEM with either OUR OWN Criminal Justice system or OUR OWN CITY LAW ENFORCEMENT's policies here. mad.gif

Why put the public at risk and WASTE our tax dollars for cuffing up a suspected MIP? huh.gif

To me, THAT is the REAL STORY to talk about here.
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#54 DrkLts

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 12:56 AM

Saf, I too was suprised to hear about the charge they had against him. Too add to that...

QUOTE(renamerusk @ Jan 16 2006, 11:42 PM) View Post

Fort Worth officers, sheriff's deputies and supervisors flooded downtown streets looking for Baston, Grisham said.
"We mobilized everybody we had," he said.


The whole police force was needed? You would think a serial killer was on the loose!

#55 safly

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 01:09 AM

EXACTLY! Ridiculous isn't it?

You'd think they were filming for another "Tommy Lee Jones gets his man" kinda movie here.

rotflmao.gif

Wasn't like he stole some portly cops GLOCK or even a mase canister.
I mean what gives here with sending in the BLOODHOUND GANG? huh.gif

Just an absolute waste of resources, FROM THE GET GO!
I think I'm gonna HAVE TO write that reporter on this one. FWST is DYING for a good story these days

Seems like the BIG DONATION to a certain Metropolitan type of FINE ARTS orginization STORY got a bit miffed with the "Horns' BIG WIN!" front page spread.

OOPS! Bad timing I guess. wacko.gif Or was it intended?

Wonder why our very own local ARTS talent didn't get some of that "PIPELINE Fund" ? Anybody? Anybody? dry.gif
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#56 safly

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 01:25 AM

QUOTE
"There is nothing more important to us than to prevent escapes and to capture someone when an escape occurs."

Well, which one is MORE IMPORTANT ?

Ahh, waiting. huh.gif

Grisham? Hmmm.
Is this a joke? Seriously, is this a (BLEEPIN) joke?

Whawawaw WHAT!

Hoohoohoh WHO!

Howwwowwohoww HOW!

Whyyyywwhwhwyyy WHY!

IS this GUY a SPOKESMAN for our county law enforcement agency?
Who let him speak and make FW sound like it's just filled with "ignant" and "indignant" fools. With "stinkin" badges.

I still don't GET how the "ESCAPE" occured here. Was it some JEDI KNIGHT trick this KID did here? If so, then I would have aked for some FEDERAL help here CHIEF. Like CIA stuff.

It was as if the POPO's were incorporating a "catch and release" program here, with the ever so "catch again" twist to it. Post season. biggrin.gif
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#57 JBB

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 07:34 AM

QUOTE(renamerusk @ Jan 16 2006, 11:42 PM) View Post

Thank you Mr. Baston for such a masterful illustration of the lunacy being offered up by those who advocate not only keeping but expanding the countyís criminal justice complex in Downtown Fort Worth. Does the construction of a new facility, letís say I-35 @ 820, appear to be even more sensible than ever in light of this fiasco?



Um, do you realize that a prisoner escaping during transfer from a remote facility actually supports the sheriff's argument for building a new jail downtown?

#58 Joma

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 12:10 PM

QUOTE(JBB @ Jan 17 2006, 07:34 AM) View Post

QUOTE(renamerusk @ Jan 16 2006, 11:42 PM) View Post

Thank you Mr. Baston for such a masterful illustration of the lunacy being offered up by those who advocate not only keeping but expanding the countyís criminal justice complex in Downtown Fort Worth. Does the construction of a new facility, letís say I-35 @ 820, appear to be even more sensible than ever in light of this fiasco?



Um, do you realize that a prisoner escaping during transfer from a remote facility actually supports the sheriff's argument for building a new jail downtown?


JBB, you are correct here. This is a perfect example as to the dangers of transporting prisoners from one facility to another. Regardless of what the particular person was arrested for, this could have easily been someone arrested for a much more serious offense. And SAFLY, in all his wisdom may disagree, but the last time I checked, Assault on a Public Servant and attempting to carjack someone, were serious offenses. Had this person went out and seriously injured or killed someone, then people would be saying "Why didn't the police have everyone they had available out there looking for this guy?"After reading the last several posts, these are examples of people showing their ignorance of the criminal justice system and how law enforcement operates as well as being quick to judge how and why things are handled without knowing all the details.

#59 ghughes

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 08:15 PM

QUOTE
Assault on a Public Servant and attempting to carjack someone, were serious offenses.
Serious, yes. But they occurred after the intial stupid arrest for MIP. And they would not have occurred without the arrest. And when you consider that assault includes anything from a verbal threat (like, say, "get your hands off me or I'll kick your ___") on up, and we're left with more questions than answers.

But truly, transportation between facilities provides escape opportunities not available within a facility. We need it all happening in one place.


#60 safly

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 01:01 PM

HIGH 5 Ghughes!

Joma-MA got served. sad.gif
Or as they say in New Jersey, "You got SOYVED!"

Explain to me EXACTLY what IGNORANCE was displayed about this topic. I've had an MIP before and it CERTAINLY was not dealt in this fashion. I just think that the COPS were starting this kid off on the wrong foot. You don't start a kid on a record like that. Yes, he is an adult, but the law needs to be more definitive in this case. It is not a misdemeanor worth incarceration. All they had to do was ticket him or place him in back of the cruiser and drop him off at home. But NO, somebodys gotta play Dirty Harry here and now look what happened.

There was no indication of a billigerent act or hostile violence when the police were asked why he was booked, what charges. It seems that the police were overstepping their boundaries as an authoritative figure of society, which is ABSOLUTELY wrong these days.

Now, I would def. arrest the person who contributed to that minor. (DING)

Besides, if the kid can go fight our battles, he should be able to get a lil drink now and then. I wonder how KINKY feels about lowering the drinking age, AGAIN. wink.gif

HOLD ON HERE. I just realized something. HE escaped from the 100th block of Lamar St. all the way to Pennsylvania and Summit, in about an hour!

Man, this CAT was BOOKIN IT! wacko.gif

Sign em up for the Cowtown 5K. That's a record time in my book, and cuffed too. Ewwwhhweeh!
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#61 Joma

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 02:42 PM

Ok, Let me see if I have this right!? What your saying is that it is the fault of the original arresting Officer that this "poor" innocent kid was provoked into commiting THREE additional FELONY offenses????? That sounds like a typical response from someone who wants to blame everyone but that person who commits the act, in this case the agency that originally arrested him. I agree, that actually taking someone to jail for the offense of MIP seems to me to be quite extreme,(again, not knowing if that is all he was originally charged with) and I'm not arguing that. But people are jailed every day for class C offenses, ie. traffic violations etc, and you dont hear of them assaulting officers and trying to escape..but if they did, I guess thats the agencies fault too!? HAd this kid sat out his few hours in jail, set the thing for court, and acted in a manner any other normal citizen would have, he would have gotten off with a small fine, or it may have been dropped altogether and been done with it. Now hes facing felony charges that could have easily been avoided, but yet "HE" chose to do what he did. Your speculating and basing your opinions on this based on a two paragraph story in the newspaper, which we all know is usually very vague in the details. I don't know all the details either, but I do know that know matter how petty the arrest may be, It DOES NOT provide a person the right to act in the manner that this person did. When are people going to start taking responsibilty for their own actions and stop blaming everyone else?? OH yea....NEVER!


#62 safly

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 07:04 PM

QUOTE
When are people going to start taking responsibilty for their own actions and stop blaming everyone else?? OH yea....NEVER!


So the cops shouldn't take ANY responsibility for cuffing this kid (wether he was "poor" or "innocent") on a SUSPICION of MIP charge? A very high risk course of action, that could severely compund a relatively meaningless issue, be it their direct influence or not. Yes, the kid did compound the problem, and I CANNOT understand for the life of me why one would escape from a detention center, as I CANNOT understand for the life of me why police officers would arrest a kid for SUSPICION of MIP as the stated charge.

I am all for people taking responsibility for their actions. I am also for the LAWFUL search and seizure, and LAWFUL incarceration. I am sure the ACLU, Rainbow Coalition or LULAC wil look into this. I am also sure that the TC or FW Law Enforcement Agency will let us know that they have a lawful right at any point and time to arrest a suspect of any classification charge. If so, then we are at a VERY VERY SAD point in our country's existence.

Maybe my personal experiences got a bit involved with this story, but I did go through the rungs of a court proceeding and I do know that one such charge as "Evading Detention" which is so vaguely expressed in the Texas State penal/law code COULD have somebody thrown in jail. So with that being said, I see the arrest as an IRRESPONSIBLE act by the officers on the scene, all based on the newspaper report. If the kid was kicking, spitting, giving false information or showing any hostile force towards an innocent bystander or the police, then and only then shall I retract my opinion.

I don't know the race, color, creed, or sex of the inmate but I have seen INSTANCES before my very own eyes in regards to DTFW police. I know of one instance where a F-350 like pickup truck full of OBVIOUS minors (4 or more females, and 1 male) who were in possession of alcohol (because I saw it get dumped out).

What happened next? Well, I couldn't believe it was actually happening but the FWPD made a call for them to GET PICKED UP by their parents? WHAT? Next thing you know I see about 3 ladies (mothers?) showing up at the same spot off of Houston and 8th to pick up their KIDS TO TAKE HOME! The driver (1 male) got booked and sent to jail (Mansfield?) for DUI/DWI (So Obvious!). The truck was then towed.

Now how is that incident going to happen that way, but this incident here is going to happen this way?

BTW, all of the kiddos appeared to be Caucasian. Hmm. dry.gif
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#63 Joma

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 06:00 AM

Listen, we could go back and forth on the what ifs and speculations on this subject for days. The bottom line is, none of us were there when any of the events occurred. We don't know what happened out on the scene of the initial contact of this subject by the officer. The paper only states that he was initially arrested for MIP (which a citation for this is still considered an arrest, even if the person is not actually taken to jail) but it gives no other details. Now here lies the million dollar question. "What else, if anything occurred from that point on"? Was the guy intoxicated? Was he on some other drug? Was he verbally abusive? Did he refuse to sign the citation as a promise to appear? We don't know because the newspaper doesn't provide us with those details. But unlike some others, I am willing to give the officer the benefit of the doubt. It was pointed out that the newspaper makes no reference to the guy making a "billigerent act or hostile violence" prior to being arrested, which is right, it doesn't. But the paper does state that this guy became quite violent after he was arrested. Now I'm no psychiatrist, but someone who acts out in this way, IMO, does not sound like a rational, law abiding person to me and leads me to believe that in fact there was more to this that occurred out on the initial scene. Which leads me to the comment regarding that "the COPS started this kid off on the wrong foot" by arresting him for such a "petty,petty act". Again, the paper does not say one way or the other, so how do we know that he doesn't already have a lengthy criminal history and/or a violent past?? We see and hear almost daily of the violent criminal acts being committed by juveniles and young adults, so this is not out of the question. On the other hand, he may have never been in any trouble at all. But he is an 18 year old adult, who should know the difference between what is right and what is wrong. Whether he just receives a citation or is actually taken to jail, the class of the offense doesn't change. The way HE chose to deal with it is on him, not the officer. Should he have been taken to jail, even if it was just for the offense of MIP? I wouldn't think so. But I can't make that judgement without having been there or at least knowing all the details that led the officer to make the decision to take him to jail. For whatever reason, the decision was made to put him in jail, and once placed in jail, his response is to assault a public servant, and later, escape custody and attempt to take someones vehicle. So I'll ask it again, "How is this the fault of the officer"?
One of the great things about this country is we all have the right to a trial and be judged by our peers. If and when this particular case goes to trial, all of those details and circumstances can be presented to a judge or jury so that they can decide. And that is what he should've done instead of making matters worse.
Also, in reference to the jokes pertaining to the actual escape and the overblown "manhunt" that occurred as a result of it. I would hope that anytime a prisoner escapes from custody, regardless of what the person had been charged with(be it a class c or a felony), that the local law enforcement agencies are placing whatever resources they have available to locate the person. A desperate man is a dangerous man. And I would be willing to bet that the victim in the vehicle that this guy attempted to carjack, was not thinking "Why are all these COPS wasting all this time and money looking for this guy"? Remember, it could've easily been one of your relatives or loved ones to come in contact with this guy and who knows what could happen.
My apologies for the lengthy post and veering further off the original topic.

#64 ghughes

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 07:36 AM

QUOTE
we could go back and forth on the what ifs and speculations on this subject for days.
True... and it might be fun. But it probably deserves another thread if someone wants to take it there.


#65 DrkLts

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 10:36 AM

QUOTE(Joma @ Jan 17 2006, 12:10 PM) View Post

After reading the last several posts, these are examples of people showing their ignorance of the criminal justice system and how law enforcement operates as well as being quick to judge how and why things are handled without knowing all the details.


You must be referring to me, since I was one of those "last few posts" you read. Well, what I posted was an initial reation to the story. I didn't analyze or examine the case, I was just reacting to the, as you said, the vague details the paper reported. I never said the system failed, I was just suprised about the charge and the "manhunt" that took place.
As of my IGNORANCE of the criminal justice system, I am proud of that. I don't ever want to be a criminal going though and experiencing the law coming down on me.
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#66 safly

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 02:42 PM

Alright Joma. You're argument could go either way. It can be used for the suspect against the officers, or as you have put it for the officers agaisnt the suspect.

I have no problem for them using all their resources to catch this guy. Bikes, horses, segways, unicyclists and whatever. If the kid-adult was only citated for SUSPICION of MIP, then just take him home or leave the scene with a citation given. Otherwise, you are just setting up for a compounded series of events to occur. It just seems clearly that the officers REALLY couldn't pin a crime on the suspect and they just wanted a detainment. Or maybe the suspect didn't want to tell (snitch) to the officers on who contributed to a minor. Then again, that would have been another related charge which was not reported. So, if you were taken to jail on FALSE pretenses, wouldn't you want to get the HECK out of there? No tellin what happens to an 18 year old in jail these days!

So we have
1) a minor (drinking age wise)
2) a suspicion of MIP (suspicion of a Class "C" Misdemeanor charge)
3) NO P.I.
4) No DUI or DWI
5) No arrest for contributing to a minor, or failure to show ID
6) No evading arrest/detention
7) Suspect Incarceration/ Detainment
8) Suspect assaults a public servant, escapes detainment
9) Suspect attempted carjack, or suspicion of
10) Law Enforcement use resources to find fugitive of a misdemeanor
11) Suspect redetained

So that is all I have on this for now.
Looks right to you guys?

And this is a FINE EXAMPLE showing the EXACT HYPOCRISY of our system in this particular situation. ohmy.gif



CHECK it out for yourself.
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#67 Wildcard

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 12:41 AM

I can see both points of view with this issue, but in my estimation it comes down to how the "suspect" reacts and responds to the officer. There's always the possibility of a cop having a bad day or the occasional bad apple with a chip on his or her shoulder, but generally I think mosts cops are trying to resolve these situations as simply and as quickly as possible.

Back in the '80s I rode with Fort Worth officers on three separate occasions as part of my course work and I saw similar situations go both ways. It's just human nature: if you are disrespectful, abusive and uncooperative when dealing with the police then it shouldn't be a surprise when things don't go well for you! I am all for giving the officer the benefit of the doubt in how to respond to the public, because everybody knows how the human animal can be. This young man they arrested made his own bed and now he may lie in it.

#68 safly

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 01:08 AM

Would this particular situation be a prime example to examine under internal review?

I think there are a lot of questions to ask in this story, but I hope that the law officers don't just see this as an open and shut case. I have no excuse for what took place after the arrest, but WHY would someone go through such lengths to unlawfully escape from an MIP arrest? It's just baffling to hear how these events came about. I certainly hope that the FWST keeps up on this story.

Again, the hypocrisy is perty thick here.

I take an example from a point in the movie COLORS, about the gang warfare and police life in 80's Los Angeles. There is a scene where (Duvall) allows a suspect kid to go home from the scene of a petty crime, but gives him something to think about the next time he considers doing another illegal deed. (Penn) his beat partner is just furious over why (Duvall) let the kid go and not attempt to book him and start a rap sheet on him. (Duvall), the elder officer is forced to explain that it's not worth starting the kid off on that path, remorseful path, which is a human instinctive trait. In the movie (Penn) would later realize the wisdom in that action, whereas a patient cop will have a more meaningful career, a happy life, and not be an unecessary target to society. I'm sorry, but cops get disrespected all the time, for mostly nothing deserved. It comes with the territory. They are our brave ones in society. But a police society, a criminal justice system hypocrisy and abuse of power I will NEVER stand for.

And no to stay on topic, I would not want a DTFW jailcenter. biggrin.gif
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#69 renamerusk

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 01:17 AM

QUOTE(JBB @ Jan 17 2006, 09:34 AM) View Post

Um, do you realize that a prisoner escaping during transfer from a remote facility actually supports the sheriff's argument for building a new jail downtown?


But no; I actually realize something completely different.

Downtown, which is emerging as one of the city's prime residential neighborhoods, would have been spared the trauma of a prisoner escape, just as all the other residential neighborhoods were spared, had it not necessary to import the criminals into this or any other residential neighborhood.

The good news coming forth from this goof-up is that first, no one was seriously injured; and secondly, that the person in question appears to have been a rather benign individual and not a harden and dangerous person who might have inflicted much greater harm.

Besides Bail Bonding services and attorneys who ply their wares downtown in the criminal justice system, there are other businesses that do so to in downtown, but have no connection to the criminal justice system. I am quite sure, that they would rather not have to be concerned about prisoner releases and escapes 24/7 or by a more serious incident should the Sheriff's Department allow it to happen again. My guess is that these businesses could be in all likelihood adversely affected if their customers feel unsafe working, living and shopping downtown.

With ample room still available in remote areas within the county to build a modern criminal justice complex, why do you still believe it is a good idea to build one in the heart of the city and possibly risk the positive momentum which has required both hard work and great investment to revitalize downtown?

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#70 JBB

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 11:13 AM

I understand and even agree with you argument for the most part, but I believe that the county's previous investment in DT facilities make a move to an outlying area undoable (for lack of a better word). I think there are better uses of taxpayer dollars than replacing functioning facilities with new functioning facilities in another area.

#71 safly

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 12:00 PM

QUOTE
I think there are better uses of taxpayer dollars than replacing functioning facilities with new functioning facilities in another area.


Like that Acme "bedbuddies with the city" request thingy? Riiiiiight. biggrin.gif
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#72 Phil Phillips

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 06:27 PM

Back to the topic of tearing down courthouses. I practiced in the Civil Courts Bldg. from 1979 until its closing. It is truly horrible and should be torn down. The only interesting item is that on each floor, when one enters the first restroom door, there are two other doors into separate (but equal?) restrooms. The plaques on the doors have long been removed, but one could see where they were mounted. The plaques read "White" and "Colored". I believe this to be one of the very last existing examples of segregation in Ft. Worth. Anyone have any other examples?

#73 ochona

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Posted 30 March 2006 - 10:29 PM

Apropos of nothing: I always found it subtly unnerving how the criminal courts facilities and the county jail were right across Belknap from the old Ripley Arnold housing project. I'm sure it was just a coincidence...

#74 Buck

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 09:16 AM

So does anybody like the new jail plan?

I thought they were going to replace the 300 W. Belknap monstrosity, not build a whole new jail at the Muller site.


#75 Fire-Eater

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 01:40 PM

WOW! Architecturally speaking, the Criminal Courts Building is AWESOME! It looks kinda Egyptian. It reminds me of the Temple of Horus at Edfu. Monolithic, even!

How old is it???

Ultimately, I think we should go with what the law enforcement officials want. I think, based on what I've read, public safety and being good custodians of taxpayer dollars are issues 1 & 2 for them.

If Radio Shack doesn't want prisoners next door, they shouldn't have demolished the historic housing project and built their headquarters across the street from the the jail. Same goes for Tarrant County College. And the high-rolling developers who want to make money off downtown residential.

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History is but the record of the public and official acts of human beings. It is our object, therefore, to humanize our history and deal with people past and present; people who ate and possibly drank; people who were born, flourished and died; not grave tragedians, posing perpetually for their photographs. ~Bill Nye, History of the United States

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#76 cbellomy

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 07:29 PM

QUOTE(Phil Phillips @ Mar 3 2006, 07:27 PM) View Post

Back to the topic of tearing down courthouses. I practiced in the Civil Courts Bldg. from 1979 until its closing. It is truly horrible and should be torn down. The only interesting item is that on each floor, when one enters the first restroom door, there are two other doors into separate (but equal?) restrooms. The plaques on the doors have long been removed, but one could see where they were mounted. The plaques read "White" and "Colored". I believe this to be one of the very last existing examples of segregation in Ft. Worth. Anyone have any other examples?


Walk into Will Rogers Auditorium or the Ridglea Theater and notice how traffic flow differs going to the balcony as opposed to the floor seating. At the Ridglea, for instance, the big stair is on the far right and the entrance to the floor on the far left. No need for any interracial mingling back when that was the rule.

QUOTE(Fire-Eater @ Mar 18 2007, 02:40 PM) View Post

If Radio Shack doesn't want prisoners next door, they shouldn't have demolished the historic housing project and built their headquarters across the street from the the jail.


Now that's just crazy talk. ;-)


#77 hickoryflamefrog

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 10:07 PM

Probably beyond the scope of this thread, but need to make court appearance by teleconference allowable under the law. This would reduce transport issues. Move the Sherriff, Police and Jail out of downtown to another location with a completely redone criminal court model based on current and future IT capabilities. Be a pioneer in this and get national pub for Tarrant County and Fort Worth. Oh, don't forget to crank up the grant writers, this idea should be good for 200mm or so.

#78 safly

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 11:53 PM

Dt jails are not so bad. SA has one and I believe the one in Dallas is somewhat considered DT (Industrial?).


One really couldn't tell that it exists had they not known, I was one when I first moved here. That was one of my jogging points and neighbors would be amazed that I would tread near there. More stigma than anything. We just need to come to the realization that it is money well spent, and that a jail break into DTFW is not likely to occur, unless we house one of those "I'm worth a billion dollars" kind of prisoner and then a Hollywood B Movie ensues.

I too like the architecture of the jail. One of the bests I have been in, OOPS! I mean seen in TX.

Hick, what are the transport issues you speak of? The one incident last year?

An overhaul in the court appearance standards sounds interesting and definitely futurisitic, yet realistic. Does it truly need to go there? I think ACN could set that reality up in a jiffy. They were just here on an Int'l conference at the FWCC not too long ago.

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#79 youngalum

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 02:02 PM

Court appearances by video conference is not that unique. Many jurisdictions do that around the country, esp. in the initial plea and bail hearings.

#80 cbellomy

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 03:06 PM

I made a court appearance by video roughly 14 years ago after spending the night at the Tarrant County crossbar Hilton for delinquent traffic tickets. (That was a real fun 25 hours.) Not only does the technology exist, and not only is it used, but it has been used here for a long time.


#81 Brian Luenser

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 10:45 AM

I was thinking they were going to demolish this building in March or so. I will demolish it myself if they need me to. Would be very satisfying to bring it down with a sludge hammer and an ax.

Here is a pic from this morning from my balcony. I only wish the air conditioning equipment was large enough to block this whole bogus building. I would greatly prefer the ugly building it was in the 70's before the fake rock package was applied. Nothing against the artist that did the work. It was amazing work, just not appropriate in my opinion.


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#82 Fort Worthology

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 11:45 AM

The trompe l'oeil fascinates me - such a bad solution, but the work itself is quite well done - Richard Haas is an extremely talented trompe l'oeil artist.

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#83 SOONER FAN

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 12:12 PM

good conversation here!! i remember when they first painted that building. I just figured then, if they must have it there, at least it is painted to somewhat match the courthouse. At least that did hide the ugliness of it. But now, my wife and I go to town alot to see it and they already have it disconnected from the courthouse!!! YIPEE!! now that's progress in the making!!!! If you look close enough you can see the blackness on the original granite from all the years of burning coal!

#84 gdvanc

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 02:14 AM

QUOTE (monee9696 @ Jul 25 2008, 11:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I was thinking they were going to demolish this building in March or so. I will demolish it myself if they need me to. Would be very satisfying to bring it down with a sludge hammer and an ax.


If you do, please try to save the angels. They're the best part of the exterior. Maybe Birdland in Handley can put them in her garden.

#85 Birdland in Handley

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 03:20 AM

Thanks for the tip of the hat wherein I'd like those battlaxe angles in my garden, monoee (actually, I would.)
Was the building structurally unsound, so must tear down? Otherwise, I would love to have included it in the mosaic that is downtown, a late 50's buidilng with fancy louvres (oops, guess the louvres didn't work, but what a cool idea; was it's totally unaffordable to tweak the louvres?).
I see no problem with a splendidly optimistic Hedrick 50'-60's buildings being part of the fabric (crazy quilt good!) of our city, Even if it has innovative louevres or ugly angels.
Man, those are ugly angels, but check out the Ms Texasl/Ms Tx Liberty on the state capital. She's a battleaxe too , sooooooo Texasworst. But she's period.
Nothing is as bad as the styrofoam fool the eye crap--Louvres and battleaxe angles rule, styrofoam droolls. We are not Disneyland.

#86 Fort Worthology

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 06:15 AM

There is some debate about the building's existence - some say they didn't mind its original appearance, some (like me) say it should never have existed. What everybody agrees on, though, is that even if you didn't mind the building itself, it should never have been built on the courthouse block. Above everything else, that's why it needs to go away.

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#87 Dismuke

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 08:37 AM

I get mild amusement every time I see the panels - and it is one of the things that I always point out to out of town visitors. There is a certain justice in the panels beyond the obvious well-deserved slap in the face at post World War II architecture. Go to virtually any downtown, large or small, and one will find all sorts of examples where the very same types who liked and built buildings in the style of the 1950s courthouse got their hands on very ornate and beautiful buildings from the late 19th and early 20th century and either replaced or obscured their facades with flat, ugly and cheap materials. So I find it fitting and amusing to see one of their buildings being hit with the same sort of indignity.

I have a friend who has a very nice 1930s wooden floor model radio. It is a beautiful piece of furniture. I sometimes joke that what he could do is chisel off all the details that add depth and texture to all of its sides and cover them up with plastic sheets cut to size. Then he could replace the ornate dial and buttons with generic modern ones designed for build-it-yourself projects that can be picked up at Radio Shack. When he gets through, his living room will no longer be blighted by something that is so very obviously old and it will be replaced by something that looks like it is NEW! and was assembled from a box purchased at Wal-mart.

THAT'S what they did to old buildings during the 1950s - 1970s.

Getting a piece of ugly and cheapo furniture and cover it up with fake panels to make it resemble something of higher quality is cheesy - which is what the panels on the courthouse are. But, nevertheless, it at least constitutes a tribute of sorts to something better and higher. Yes, it is unconvincing and pretentious. But that is downright innocent compared to destroying something that is beautiful and a display of craftsmanship in order to make it look like it is mass produced and commonplace. Yes, doing so was trendy for a very long while. But I don't consider that to be a valid excuse for anything. Like the old saying goes, just because everybody else jumps off the cliff.....

There is one more indignity on top of the panels that can be and ought to be brought to that nasty building - demolition. That, too, is what the same crowd did to many, many buildings that were far superior and nicer than anything that they were capable of putting up.
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#88 Brian Luenser

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 06:00 PM



I don't remember this additional line on this building?



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#89 gdvanc

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 09:55 PM

QUOTE (monee9696 @ Aug 9 2008, 07:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't remember this additional line on this building?



I don't often use these, but I think one is called for here: rotflmao.gif

I'll also nominate this in the Text Category of the Best Use of Photoshop Award in the first annual Fort Worth Forum Awards Banquet to be held later this year. Get your tux ready; you are sure to win a Worthy in some category.

#90 Birdland in Handley

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 02:22 AM

QUOTE (monee9696 @ Aug 9 2008, 07:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't remember this additional line on this building?



Louvres and battleaxe angles rule, styrofoam droolls. And the reflection of the real stone in your pic is quite right.

#91 cbellomy

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 11:32 PM

For the love of all that is right and pure in the world... WHY DOES THIS ABOMINATION OF A BUILDING STILL STAND?!

Sorry about that. I just don't understand what the county is waiting on here.


#92 SOONER FAN

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 12:07 PM

My opinion may not matter much but I have to say that building looks better than it did before it was painted. I might have appreciated it better if it had originally been put somewhere else other than next to the courthouse. It's like putting costume jewelry in the case with diamonds and saphires... just brings down the look of the REAL THING. costume jewelry looks ok at a costume party but not inan elegant ballroom. I think that building would look better a little farther away from our courthouse.... say maybe in Dallas!

#93 John T Roberts

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 02:07 PM

The grant program that the Tarrant County Commissioners hoped would fund the demolition of the Civil Courts Building and the restoration of the west portico of the Courthouse itself may not be funded by the Texas Legislature. If this funding is stopped, then restoration of other Texas Courthouses may not happen. Also, our Commissioners will have to find alternative methods of funding the project here.

Below is a link to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram article:
http://www.star-tele...ry/1380881.html

#94 liquid snake

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 05:25 PM

QUOTE (John T Roberts @ May 16 2009, 03:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The grant program that the Tarrant County Commissioners hoped would fund the demolition of the Civil Courts Building and the restoration of the west portico of the Courthouse itself may not be funded by the Texas Legislature. If this funding is stopped, then restoration of other Texas Courthouses may not happen. Also, our Commissioners will have to find alternative methods of funding the project here.

Below is a link to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram article:
http://www.star-tele...ry/1380881.html


So... I drove by last week and some red letters on the glass doors tell you that the building has closed. The link to the story has expired, but has demolition stopped only because the funds for the west side of the courthouse cannot be raised?

Also, was there some walkway that linked the Civil Courts Building and the Courthouse together? I never went in the CCB. Educate a younger man here; surely someone didn't drill a hole in the courthouse in the 50's to build the CCB only for someone to have to restore it in '09 or '10?

#95 Phil Phillips

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 12:48 PM

Yes, there was a walkway that has been removed. You exited the CCB at ground level into a glass-walled area. You could either climb stairs to enter into the first floor of the old courthouse or go down a few stairs to enter the basement level. Originally, the west side stairs and doors looked just like the east side and the plans are to restore to that look.

#96 cajunmike

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 07:20 PM

Phil,

Have missed seeing your before and now photos..........
Mike

#97 Phil Phillips

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 08:49 AM

Thanks. I miss taking them but I simply ran out of old photos to use. I'll try to find another source.

#98 njjeppson

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 10:51 AM

Interesting design for the new building. Looks like they are saving the bas-relief limestone figures from the old structure?

Posted Image

http://www.wfaa.com/...-104744689.html

#99 Doohickie

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 11:29 AM

Yes they are.
My blog: Doohickie

#100 Birdland in Handley

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 01:18 AM

And why is this better than the Hedrick Fender 50's building? It's every bit as pink. Guess it must be structurally sounder. Glad the ugly period angels were saved at least. They are 50's FW history and not nearly as fugly as the TX Liberty topping the capitol in Austin--what a harpy.




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