The Texas Tribune particulars how former police captain Mark Aguirre carried out the motion described above as a part of an much more elaborate scheme to uncover supposed election fraud in Harris County, Texas. Former officer Mark Aguirre wasn’t simply on the market pulling over vans for enjoyable; he was being paid to do it by a bunch funded by a Republican megadonor.
Aguirre was paid $266,400 by a bunch known as “Liberty Heart for God and Nation”, headed up by GOP energy dealer Steven Hotze. Hotze can be the identical man who, again in June, known as up Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott to offer him instructions on the way to deal with Black Lives Matter protests.
“I wish to guarantee that he has Nationwide Guard down right here,” Hotze instructed Abbott’s chief of workers, “they usually have the order to shoot to kill if any of those son-of-a-bitch individuals begin rioting like they’ve in Dallas, begin tearing down companies — shoot to kill the son of a bitches. That’s the one manner you restore order. Kill ’em. Thanks.”
Hotze was additionally the cash behind an effort that efficiently repealed a LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance in Houston, in addition to the originator of the Texas model of the “rest room invoice.” Hotze has repeatedly sued the state over social distancing restrictions handed to scale back the unfold of COVID-19, together with a brand new one filed simply final Friday in an effort to dam native masks mandates.
With that sort of reasoned chief on the helm, it’s not stunning that the Liberty Heart employed Aguirre to “examine voter fraud forward of the 2020 election.” And it wasn’t simply Aguirre. He subcontracted 20 personal investigators, all of whom had been out patrolling round monitoring down supposed incidents of fraud. How this specific air conditioner technician, described by the Houston police as “harmless and abnormal” got here to Aguirre’s consideration isn’t clear, however the former policeman and a group of his contracted investigators stalked the person for 4 days. Then Aguirre rear-ended the person’s van, pressured him from the street, and held him at gunpoint.
When police arrived to seek out Aguirre holding the technician at gunpoint, he defined that the person was on the heart of a “big” vote fraud scheme. Aguirre directed the police to a parking zone the place one in every of his associates had taken the van, and instructed them it contained 750,000 pretend ballots. Shockingly, it contained … air conditioner elements and instruments.
Aguirre isn’t only a former officer, he’s a former captain. He has been on “indefinite suspension” since 2002. What did Aguirre do in 2002 that earned him an 18 12 months suspension? That was when Aguirre designed and lead The Great Texas Kmart Raid. In what was speculated to be an operation to cease late evening drag racing by native teenagers, Aguirre led a big drive of officers right into a Kmart parking zone the place they arrested a complete of 450 individuals — not one in every of whom was drag racing. Folks had been arrested popping out of the shop. They had been arrested shopping for meals from a restaurant. A ten-year-old woman was arrested and brought away from her father who was not arrested. A lot of this was executed at gunpoint, with officers directing shotguns at Kmart customers as they pressured them into police vans.
The results of all this was an incredible raft of lawsuits that took years for Houston to course of. And Aguirre’s extraordinarily prolonged suspension. However after all, one thing like that didn’t cease Hotze from placing Aguirre on the head of his fraud investigation group. For Hotze, that Kmart raid was in all probability a giant plus.
Aguirre was arrested in Houston on Tuesday. The one query being … what took so lengthy?