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The QueQue

Please excuse the Queque ... we’re a little choked up. Feedback from last week’s “Paper to Pen” special supplement for incarcerated readers has been, well, a bit overwhelming. We’ve received letters from inmates who heard about it on Chris Duel’s KTSA 550 AM talk show; the San Antonian (Thesanantonian.typepad.com) blogged us and shared his own parole-packet memories; and the phones have our new receptionist Stephanie wishing for Doctor Octopus arms. The Current’s still sending copies on request to inmates — just email Dave at djmaass@sacurrent.com with your jailbird’s name and TDCJ ID number.

With that, the Queque returns to its regularly scheduled snark.

Losing the case, literally

The object of the Queque’s ire this week is three-fold, and we’ll start with the Bexar County District Clerk’s Office by way of Kenneth Foster, innocent man on death row.

Regular Questers know that on August 30 the state plans to administer the lethal injection to Foster, an inmate from San Antonio who didn’t actually murder anyone. Foster was convicted under the archaic “law of parties” for being in the same car, 80 feet away, from the guy who did shoot the son of a prominent local attorney. So far, the Austin American-Statesman has called for the governor to commute Foster’s sentence, as has local blogger Sean-Paul Kelley, who names the victim as one of his best friends. Even Le Monde, the French newspaper of record, dispatched a reporter to interview Foster, who’s still waiting for a visit from his hometown daily, the Express-News. In an interview two weeks ago, the Queque told Foster not to hold his breath; the daily, we’ve heard, has yet to replace their death-penalty reporter Maro Robbins, who departed last month to study law.

Even if they do set a last-minute newshound on the hunt, they’re going to run into the same paper-trail obstacle the Queque faced at District Clerk Margaret Montemayor’s office. The Queque filed a request to view Foster’s case file a month ago, and we’ve yet to set our paws on it, despite the 10-day maximum wait. What’s the hold-up? According to an assistant clerk in the criminal-records department, the archives department misplaced Foster’s file and is currently checking each and every storage shelf to find it.

For those interested in hearing more about his case, the Campaign to End the Death Penalty is hosting a roundtable with Foster’s family on Tuesday at the Carver Library in Austin. For more info, email
cedpaustin@gmail.com.

The Black is back

It used to be we’d receive four emails a day from James Myart, San Antonio’s renegade (black) civil-rights attorney — loud, electronic blustering attacking our mainstream whiteness. Then suddenly he disappeared and rumors circulated that warrants had been issued for his arrest. We feared the worst.

Last week his emails started again, and finally we got the man on the phone. Yes, he was indicted for aggravated perjury. No, he’s got no comment. Yes, he’s still practicing. Would you drop this fucking line of questioning already?

We’ve given Myart a hard time in the past, but this time we’re lending him parts two and three of our fury for use against SAPD Chief Bill McManus and District Attorney Susan Reed. Myart was the first to report that two officers involved in separate but equally fucked-up shootings were back on duty after being cleared by a grand jury. One had stopped a young black kid just minding his own business, then freaked out when he saw a glimmer in the kid’s pocket, and shot him in the head. The kid lived and according to Myart, won a $100,000 settlement from the city last week (City Attorney Michael Bernard says nothing’s finalized, so no comment or confirmation). The other case involves an officer who responded to a 911 hang-up call, busted into a guy’s house, and shot him dead before identifying himself as a police officer. The grand jury cleared the officer at the end of June and the DA sat on the story for a month.

“I think they have a moral obligation to tell the public, and I think the press has a moral obligation to report it,” Myart barks at us. “What more is there to say?”

Nothing. Oh, wait ...

McManus bites McManus

For council-watchers, August 2 may forever be remembered as the Night of the Cross. A dark swarm of self-professing Christians filled the chambers with leather-clad Bible thumps echoing and a wooden cross levitating over the 12th row.

The cross got kissed; McManus got reamed. As the moral rabble jeered and scolded the police chief for leading SA’s Gay Pride Parade and instituting sensitivity training among his officers, councilmembers looked only mildly bemused.

Through the string of hateful homilies even Mayor Hardberger was urged more than once to repent of unspecified sinful activity. While the action was undeniably hot, Queque’s revelry was rudely interrupted when down through the crowd strolled talk-radio nutjobber Adam McManus (no known relation to our Chief). Immediately, a cadre of 40 spit-shined and tough-loved bootcampers stood at attention behind the militant picture of a baby-snatcher-cum-queer-hatin’ Sarge.  

"Why in God's name is our top cop, Chief McManus, sitting in a sedan in the midst of fruit-flavored condoms and drag queens, waving like some Miss America in the Homosexual Pride Parade?" McManus exclaimed. "That's the very antithesis of a role model for our chidlren, much less the police themselves. We should never have pride in a behavior that God calls an abomination."

He was  followed by Debbie Locander of Choose Life Ministries, who was concerned "for every child who is subject to the rampant desires of adult homosexual men" and overlooked the gulf between homosexuality and pedophilia.

Queque swears the bootcampers stood a little straighter. Lawd knows we did.

BIG FAT QUERRECTION: In the print edition, Locander's quote was incorrectly attributed to Adam McManus. This was a terrible, terrible mistake, and we promise to pick up the tab if McManus will meet us at Bermuda Triangle for a couple of Sexes on the Beach.


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