State of the City — Week of 02/21/2023

Gauri Raje, News Editor

The San Antonio City Council voted to place all six provisions of the Justice Charter on the May 6 election ballot under a “policy-focused measure” titled Proposition A. This will allow San Antonio residents to vote on measures like the decriminalization of marijuana and abortion and other local law enforcement reforms within city limits. Council members Manny Pelaez (D8), John Courage (D9) and Clayton Perry (D10), walked out and were not present when the measure was approved to signal their opposition.

San Antonio Airport officials unveiled a model for a new terminal at the San Antonio International Airport. A rendering of the new terminal includes “up to 17 gates, lengthy passenger departure and arrival lanes, spacious waiting areas and club lounges and a lushly landscaped, open-air courtyard,” the San Antonio Report explained. The plan is part of the $2.5 billion airport strategic development plan. Pre-construction projects will begin in 2024, and a target completion date of 2028 has been set.

The Bexar County District Attorney’s Office released video footage, witness accounts and 911 calls leading up to the fatal shooting of 13-year-old Andre “AJ” Hernandez by San Antonio police on June 3. All of this evidence was part of a written review that was presented to the Bexar County grand jury. The jury chose not to indict officer Stephen Ramos, who fired the shot that killed Hernandez. According to the San Antonio Express-News, the DA’s review of the shooting states that Ramos had reason to believe that fellow officer Espinoza was outside his vehicle and threatened “with deadly force” as the red Toyota Corolla driven by Hernandez accelerated towards him. Body cam footage for Espinoza and dash cam footage from Espinoza and Ramos’ vehicles was released, but no body cam footage for Ramos was included. This footage shows that Espinoza pulled his leg back into the car before the red Toyota Corolla hit his police vehicle. 

A University of Incarnate Word (UIW) track and field athlete has been accused of “kidnapping a 3-year-old child and stabbing his mother with a screwdriver,” KENS5 reports. The incident took place on Thursday, Feb. 16, in the northeast side of the city. The athlete, MyRajah Rankin, stabbed the mother as the latter tried to get a hold of her son. Rankin then carried the child away until a nearby man grabbed the child. Following this, Rankin ran and hid inside an apartment closet, where police found her and took her into custody. Rankin is jailed on bonds worth $150,000 total. Her initial court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 28.

Several shooting incidents were reported this week in San Antonio. One of these took place in the city’s Eastside after a fight at a bar escalated, spilling into the parking lot and leaving two men injured. Another incident occurred on Saturday, Feb. 18, when a friendly gathering turned into a “verbal altercation” that culminated in a 17-year-old being shot, NEWS4SA reported.