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Announcing the Justice for Ashtian Campaign

On April 28, 2016, Ashtian Barnes drove onto the Sam Houston Tollway, in Houston, Texas. Immediately after Ashtian pulled onto the tollway, his car was flagged by the Harris County Toll Road Authority as having outstanding toll violations. Traffic enforcement officers were notified of the car’s location. A little more than two minutes after he was stopped, Ashtian Barnes, was shot twice in the chest at point-blank range by Deputy Constable Roberto Felix of Harris County Constable Precinct 5.

Today, Ashtian would have turned 30. He left behind a family, girlfriend, and endless possibilities for a thriving future. Please join us and the Barnes family in celebrating the life of Ashtian Barnes (August 17, 1991 – April 28, 2016).

ASHTIAN BARNES AT AN EVENT IN A BLUE SHIRT WITH A MATCHING BLUE STRIPED TIE.

Ashtian was 24 when he was murdered and his story is not an isolated incident. There have been over 1,100 murders by the police in 2020. Of those murders, 120 occurred during a traffic stop. The Texas Civil Rights Project along with the Barnes family envision a better future where traffic enforcement no longer carries firearms and where Black, brown, and poor Texans are no longer at risk of death during routine traffic stops. There is a better way and together we can demand Justice for Ashtian.

We are working closely with Ashtian’s family to advocate for significant policy changes in the City of Houston and the Harris County’s Constable’s Office, including:

  1. Disarming traffic police

  2. Eliminating the “odor of marijuana” and marijuana possession as lawful bases for police intervention

  3. Requiring officers to administer first-aid to anyone shot or injured

  4. Providing grief counseling, wellness services, funeral expenses and other support to families whose loved ones were killed by police and to survivors of police violence.

  5. Eliminating traffic fines, fees, and warrants for minor issues such as broken tail light, an expired driver’s license, etc.

Sign up here for updates to our Justice for Ashtian campaign.

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