Police Shootings

Shootings by HPD on the upswing

Alarmed activists call for independent review
James Pinkerto, Houston Chronicle
Updated 01:13 a.m., Monday, July 30, 2012

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Police investigate an officer-involved shooting in the 7000 block of Bissonnet near Fondren on July 9. District Attorney Pat Lykos said most shootings this year stemmed from suspects who threatened or evaded police. Photo: J. Patric Schneider / Houston Chronicle

Police investigate an officer-involved shooting in the 7000 block of Bissonnet near Fondren on July 9. District Attorney Pat Lykos said most shootings this year stemmed from suspects who threatened or evaded police.
Photo: J. Patric Schneider / Houston Chronicle

Shootings of suspects by Houston police officers have almost doubled in the first seven months of 2012 compared with the same period last year, prompting civil rights activists to renew calls for an independent police review board with subpoena powers.

But Houston police union and department officials say the rise in shootings is likely cyclical and not evidence of rogue officers on the force.

“There’s been no change in training. It’s cyclical like the crime statistics,” said Ray Hunt, president of the Houston Police Officers’ Union. “And I don’t think there’s any indication you have trigger-happy police officers. Anyone who has ever been involved in a shooting knows it’s extremely traumatic on a police officer. There’s not anybody who wakes up and says ‘I want to be involved in a shooting today.’ ”

Through July 25, Houston police have been involved in 14 shooting incidents with a suspect, and killed seven while also injuring seven. One of those killed was an unarmed Central American immigrant this month, a shooting that sparked outrage in the community.

In the first seven months last year, eight shootings resulted in five deaths and five injuries, according to HPD. Three officers were injured in the shootings this year, and two during the same time last year.

The 2012 shootings are on pace to exceed the 21 last year by Houston police in which nine persons were killed.

“It’s an alarming trend that should cause serious concern to the community,” said longtime activist Johnny Mata, of the Greater Coalition For Justice.

Unarmed man shot

Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos said most of the shootings this year stemmed from suspects who threatened or evaded police.

“I’m praying this could be cyclical, a statistical anomaly and not a harbinger of future trajectory of violence against officers,” Lykos said. “An awful lot of them were shootouts. There are people who are evading arrest. There are burglaries in progress. Another is shooting at an officer as he exits a house, and another is holding a shotgun on officers.”

Mata said his organization has requested a federal investigation of the July 9 shooting of Rufino Lara, 54, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, who was shot by an HPD officer after he reportedly ignored repeated commands to stop and show his hands. The officer said Lara had his hand in his waistband, and when he whirled to face her she shot him, believing he could have had a weapon.

A search showed Lara had a beer can concealed in his waistband, but activists are suspicious because two witnesses contend he had his hands up against a wall before he turned to face the officer.

Hunt said he believes the toxicology results will likely show Lara was intoxicated, which could explain his actions.

“The (officer) didn’t want to kill that man, but she needed him to comply so she could go home to her family,” Hunt said. “When you have a trained police officer with deadly force in their hands, it’s extremely important to obey their commands. They (police) don’t know what you’re thinking, or what you’re planning to do. They know the scrutiny they’re going to get if the person doesn’t have a gun.”

When a Houston officer is involved in a shooting, it is investigated by HPD’s homicide division as well as the internal affairs unit. Their findings are handed over to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, which presents the case to a grand jury.

No police officer in Harris County has been charged in a shooting since the prosecution of Sgt. Jeffrey Cotton, who was acquitted by a jury in May 2010 for shooting an unarmed man outside the victim’s Bellaire home.

Capt. David Gott, head of HPD’s homicide division, said police shootings are not only cyclical but are small in number compared to the thousands of encounters police have with residents. Also, he said, the numbers are down from past years.

“The thing you have to look at in officer-involved shootings is the numbers are so small,” said Gott, a 32-year HPD veteran. “Even a bump from eight to 14 is only six, and when you look at the percentage it looks big. But it’s a very small number when you look at the incredible number of encounters police have with citizens every day.”

Call for review board

Mata wonders about the effectiveness of weapons training mandated as part of a $1.5 million settlement with the city of Houston over the 2003 death of 14-year-old Eli Escobar Jr., who was unarmed when shot by a rookie HPD officer.

The training was intended to teach officers when to shoot, and also how to avoid accidental discharge of their weapon, as occurred in the Escobar shooting.

Mata and other Houston activists are once again advocating for an independent police review board with full subpoena powers.

In May, after a furor over the videotaped beating of a teenaged burglary suspect by HPD officers, Mayor Annise Parker created the Independent Police Oversight Board and appointed 21 citizens to review internal HPD investigations.

In Dallas, citizens can subpoena witnesses, take sworn complaints and sworn testimony from citizens who claim police brutality, and even hire an independent investigator. In Austin, the Office of Police Monitor takes complaints from citizens, sits in on questioning of police officers by internal affairs investigators, and posts disciplinary actions taken against Austin officers on a public website.

“The only thing we can see that will help is transparency – you can’t have the fox guarding the henhouse,” said Mata. “There’s a perception in the community that the DA’s office and the police are working hand in hand. And because of the number of cases that go to the grand jury and are no-billed, there’s a lack of trust. You’ve got to put some trust and transparency in the system.”

Lykos said she considered those comments “slanderous,” adding it was important for the public to know each shooting is investigated thoroughly.

“We have had indictments of officers for excessive force” as well as for sexual assault, Lykos noted. “All these cases are presented to the grand jury, where witnesses are presented, and the grand jury is free to call other witnesses.”

Changing justifications

Larry Karson, a criminal justice lecturer at the University of Houston-Downtown, said the justification for shooting unarmed residents seems to be changing.

“For a while, officers were claiming they were going to get run down by a vehicle as justification for shooting at people,” said Karson, a former federal agent. “Nowadays, you seem to hear the reason as being ‘Their hand was near their waist’ and ‘I thought the individual was going for a gun.’ ”

Another explanation heard is that a suspect made a “furtive move,” Karson notes.

“When an officer shoots someone, they’re going to come up with a reason and some of those reasons seem to be weak, and it may indeed be because of inadequate training,” he said.

The district attorney, herself a former Houston police officer and district judge, said violence against police cannot be tolerated.

Lykos said records show that in 19 of the 24 shootings by all police agencies in Harris County this year, the suspects were armed with either a handgun, shotgun, knives, a metal flashlight or a piece of concrete.

“You see, when you attack a police officer, you’re attacking society as a whole,” Lykos said.

james.pinkerton@chron.com’

Questions for HPD: Troubling allegations of rogue behavior by Houston police officers in two incidents

HOUSTON CHRONICLE
Published 05:30 a.m., Sunday, May 2, 2010

What gives?
 

That’s the blunt question we must ask after reviewing two recent incidents involving apparent out-of-bounds conduct by Houston Police officers.

What gives in the case of Chad Holley? He’s the Elsik High School sophomore who was beaten by HPD officers at a self-storage business in southwest Houston on the afternoon of March 24. He was 15 at the time.

You don’t have to take our word for it — or Chad’s, either. It was all captured on videotape by a surveillance camera at Uncle Bob’s Self-Storage on Cook Road near Beechnut.

How bad was it? We haven’t seen the tape, but Houston Mayor Annise Parker has. Her response: “I was extremely upset, angry and frankly disturbed by what I saw.”

What gives? This incident took place more than a month ago. An unidentified private citizen reportedly brought it to HPD’s attention and that of the office of Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos within a few days, but it only came to public light last week. And that was only because community activist Quanell X received a copy and raised hell about the treatment of the African-American teen.

What gives? Why the delay? Where was HPD’s review process? The department’s internal affairs division is only now getting around to interviewing Chad Holley and his mother. And what’s the DA’s office been doing about it?

To her credit, the mayor hasn’t let any grass grow since she found out about this case. But by that time, the FBI had decided to become involved. That’s a troubling sign that HPD isn’t tending to its business.

And what gives in the case of Yu Boren, the Chinese diplomat who was allegedly injured during an arrest by three HPD officers at the country’s consular offices on Montrose?

This incident has drawn unwelcome attention at the highest diplomatic levels.

What happened? Why was Yu injured and how extensive was the injury? Was the diplomat on property owned by the Chinese government and thus outside HPD jurisdiction?

This city prides itself on the number of consular offices here. Interaction with foreign diplomats should be routine for HPD officers.

What gives?

This city is not all that far removed from some very bad old days when bigotry and brutality characterized the HPD culture.

For many Houstonians memories are still fresh: Joe Campos Torres. Randy Webster. Ida Lee Delaney. Eli Escobar. The names alone evoke nightmares of ugly, brutish misconduct by out-of-control HPD officers.

We had assumed that culture had mostly changed. But these two apparently rogue incidents that have gone down recently call that into question.

What gives?

Read more—

Read more—Blogs Civilians Down

animated arrow right redReview sought on Houston-area police shootings

Activists seek federal probe of police shootings
JAMES PINKERTON , Houston Chronicle
Published 06:30 a.m., Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Houston and Texas

Local civil rights activists Tuesday called for the U.S. Department of Justice to review the elevated number of officer-involved shootings in the Houston area last year, and asked the City Council for public access to internal police reviews of the use of deadly force.In 2009, law enforcement officers took part in 60 shootings across Harris County and killed 27 people. Houston police were involved in 29 shootings, killing 15 people.Members of the

Read more—Review sought on Houston-area police shootings

Review finds officers seldom punished in shootings

Published 05:30 a.m., Monday, July 26, 2004
SPECIAL REPORT Police gun sanctions infrequent Since 1999, only 5 police officers have faced discipline after shooting civilians
ROMA KHANNA and LISE OLSEN, Houston Chronicle .
Editor’s Note: This is the second of a two-part series on police shootings.

The police shootings of two Hispanic teenagers four years apart are strikingly similar. Both had no criminal recordsand were killed driving their own trucks, shot by moonlighting officers who approached them with guns drawn in a manner that violated training.

For the officers, however, the consequences could not be more different. The officer who killed Jose Vargas after he cruised a movie theater parking lot Oct. 31, 2003, was eventually fired from the Houston Police Department. But the Harris County sheriff’s deputy who killed Braulio Rios outside a popular skating rink June 13, 1999, remains on the force without a mention of the shooting in his personnel file.

The officer who was fired is the exception.

Across Harris County, law-enforcement officers seldom face discipline or criminal charges in the shootings, according to a Houston Chronicle review of personnel information from 18 local agencies on 193 officers who killed or wounded citizens over the last five years. The study included the review of thousands of pages of personnel files and disciplinary records provided by the agencies, and interviews with dozens of officials.

Read more—Review finds officers seldom punished in shootings

Study: Police ties common in grand juries

Are judges taking a narrow view of justice? The grand jury selection method often seats jurors who have ties to law enforcement
SEVE McVICKER, Houston Chronicle
Published 06:30 a.m., Sunday, November 14, 2004
Houston and Texas

A 1940 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court requires that grand juries— the panels of citizens that decide whether criminal suspects will be indicted — represent “a broad cross-section” of the community.

But 64 years later, law enforcement officers and others with courthouse jobs that make them less likely to sympathize with a defendant are a strong presence on Harris County grand juries. And even though Hispanics make up a third of the county’s population, only 9 percent of grand jurors are Hispanic, and most of those jurors are nonvoting alternates.

Read more— chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Study-Police-ties-common-in-grand-juries-1665566.php

 Witnesses dispute HPD’s account of fatal shooting

 

Witnesses dispute HPD’s account of fatal shooting

Safiya Rava, Houston Chronicle Copyright 2012 Houston Chronicle.

Updated 11:19 p.m., Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A man killed by a Houston police officer had his hands in the air when he was fatally shot, witnesses said, disputing the official account of the incident.

Houston Police Department officials said Rufino Lara refused officer J. McGowan‘s commands in Spanish and English to stop when she spotted him walking away while she was investigating an assault Monday afternoon. He kept one of his hands tucked under his shirt, police said. When he turned around suddenly with his hand still under his shirt, McGowan shot him once, killing him, police said.

On Tuesday, two people disputed that account.

Florida Ruvio, a family friend, bumped into Lara on his way back from a liquor store near the 7000 block of Bissonnet near Fondren in southwest Houston. Lara told her that some men were chasing him with a knife and asked her to call police.

When two officers arrived to investigate the assault report, they approached Lara, asking him to stop and put his hands up.

“They were speaking to him in English only,” Ruvio said at a news conference.

Lara, who doesn’t speak English, did not stop the first time, Ruvio said. Eventually, he put both hands up against the wall of a vacant store, facing his back to the officers.

“He didn’t have his hands in his pocket or his shirt,” said Ruvio, who remained with Lara throughout the event.

A second witness, 14-year-old Rigoberto Rubio, who was buying water from a machine nearby, said he also saw Lara with both hands against the wall. The teenager said he didn’t know Lara personally.

Suddenly, Lara turned around to face the officers and was shot fatally by McGowan, Ruvio said, his hands still suspended in the air.

Stunned at the scene, Ruvio yelled to McGowan that she had killed an innocent person, and McGowan responded that “he had drawn out a gun.”

McGowan then proceeded to tear Lara’s shirt open and take off his shoes, said Ruvio. No weapon was found.

Ruvio brought out her phone to take a video of the scene, she said, but an officer seized it from her, telling her she was not to record anything.

On Tuesday, Houston police declined to comment about the allegations, citing the HPD internal affairs investigation into the shooting.

HPD chief Charles McClelland released a statement offering his condolences to the family.

“The Houston Police Department places the highest value on the preservation of human life. Police officers have the difficult task of making split-second decisions to keep themselves and others safe on a daily basis,” McClelland said.

He noted that a Harris County grand jury will also hear evidence in the shooting. HPD and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office are also investigating.

“The investigation will be open and transparent, and we ask that the public withhold judgment until all the facts and evidence has been gathered and the investigation is complete,” McClelland said.

Family members, witnesses and community activists attended the news conference arranged by the Greater Houston Coalition for Justice.

“He wasn’t a troublemaker,” said Lara’s nephew, Jose Lara. “This was cold-blooded murder.”

Lara’s criminal record consists of two misdemeanors – trespassing and giving false information to a police officer.

“These officers are never ever called to justice,” said Ovide Duncantell, director of the Black Heritage Society. “We need a police review board … because somebody we paid and trusted to defend us is killing us.”

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HPD shot and killed an unarmed man ——————–

NewsFix KIAH
July 10 2012, 8:35 PM CDT
HOUSTON — Okay, this we know: Monday afternoon a female HPD officer killed a man in southwest Houston.
The complete article can be viewed at: http://www.39online.com/newsfix/kiah-hpd-shot-and-killed-an-unarmed-man-20120710,0,6646770.story
Visit KIAH at http://www.39online.com

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Christine Dobbyn
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
More: Updated at 10:13 PM July 10, 2012-http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/video?id=8731535&pid=8731557

HOUSTON (KTRK) — The family of a man killed by a Houston police officer says what the officer says happened moments before isn’t completely true.

Police shootings are always investigated by homicide, internal affairs and the district attorney’s office. The incident Monday afternoon left 54-year-old Rufino Lara dead but some eyewitnesses and civil rights leaders are still questioning it.

Florida Rubio says she knew Rufino Lara, and he wasn’t a troublemaker.

“She then turned around and told the police officer you just killed an innocent person,” Rubio said through interpreter Gabriella Pardo.

Rubio claims Lara was the initial victim in a 9-1-1 assault in progress call in the 7000 block of Bissonnet Monday afternoon.

Police say when the officers got out of their cruiser, one of the men began walking away. And as Officer J. McGowan approached, investigators say she saw a bulge concealed under his shirt, which he continued to hold with his left hand. HPD says when he tried to pull the object out of his waistband and turned toward the officer, she shot him.

Rubio claims the officer only spoke English to Lara.

“She said that when he raised his hands, he turned around and when he turned around, she had already taken out a gun and shot him,” Rubio said through Pardo.

HPD says the officer gave repeatedly commands in both Spanish and English to get him to put his hands up.

“If you put an officer on the defensive and conceal your hands when you are being ordered and given commands to show your hands, you’re automatically putting that officer in fear,” HPD spokesman John Cannon said.

Police did not recover a gun but say the object Lara was concealing was a can of beer.

“The citizenry of Houston is very suspect of investigations into police shootings,” said Randall Kallinen with the Greater Houston Coalition for Justice.

It’s led some civil rights leaders to question the shooting.

“Yesterday I was driving around in the city of Houston and many people had their hands in their pockets. I’m glad that an officer didn’t come across them, shout commands and them shoot them saying, ‘Well you had your hand in a pocket and so I can shoot you,’” Kallinen said.

Police Chief Charles McClelland released a statement reading in part:

“The Houston police department places the highest value on the preservation of human life. Police officers have the difficult task of making split second decisions to keep themselves and others safe on a daily basis. Our condolences go out to the Lara family.”

A tearful eyewitness says it didn’t have to end this way.

Officer McGowan works out of the South Gessner Patrol Division. She’s been an officer since September 2010.

(Copyright ©2012 KTRK-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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| HPD officer kills suspect

Greater Houston Coalition for Justice

Immediate Release:                                                                               Contacts:
July 10, 2012

Houston,

The Greater Houston Coalition for Justice has scheduled a news conference with members of the Lara family who dispute HPD’s reports on the Houston police officer’s fatally shooting of an unarmed man.

The news conference is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. today Tuesday, July 10, 2012 At 511 Broadway Street Houston, Texas 77012

The Greater Houston Coalition for Justice is troubled by the events that been revealed in the Houston police officer’s fatally shooting of an unarmed man Monday afternoon.

This morning the coalition imitated a request to the US Department Justice of Civil Rights Division in Washington D.C., for a complete investigation on this HPD police officers fatally shooting of an unarmed man.

###

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Witness: Man killed by officer needed help

Police: Man didn’t listen to commands, moved abruptly

Published On: Jul 10 2012 05:55:47 PM CDT  Updated On: Jul 10 2012 05:59:22 PM CDT
Witness disputes HPD’s statements about officer-involved shooting

HOUSTON –

Family members and witnesses are disputing claims that a man fatally shot by a Houston police officer was a threat.

Houston police said Florida Rubio called 911 after Rafino Lara told her that he thought a man with a knife was following him on Bissonnet near Fondren at 4:20 p.m. Monday.

Police said they arrived and tried to gather everyone up, but officers said Lara would not listen to commands in English or in Spanish.

 Quick Clicks

 Police said Lara, 54, hid one arm under his shirt, then made an abrupt move at the end of the sidewalk. Detectives said Officer J. McGowan, who has been with the department for two years, said she was afraid he had a gun.

Investigators said McGowan noticed a bulge concealed underneath Lara’s shirt near his waistband that he was holding with his left hand. He was walking away and McGowan gave him commands, in English and Spanish, police said. With both hands on his left side, Lara turned toward McGowan and she fired one shot at him, police said.

Rubio said that was not what she saw. Through a translator, Rubio said Lara’s hands were in the air when the officer fired.

“She said that when he raised his hands, he turned around,” said Gabriella Pardo, who translated for Rubio. “When he turned around, she already had taken out a gun and shot him.”

Police said they did not find a gun on Lara, but they found a can of beer on him.

“If you put an officer on the defensive and conceal your hands when being ordered and giving commands to show your hands, you’re automatically putting that officer in fear,” HPD spokesman John Cannon said.

One woman who came to the scene on Monday said Lara was her brother. She said a witness told her that police quickly got out of their car and fired without giving instructions in Spanish.

Lara left El Salvador more than 30 years ago. He lived in New York state for a while and moved to Houston in 2007. His family said he had a drinking problem and sometimes lived on the street. Relatives said he was never violent.

Lara’s criminal record included two misdemeanor arrests on charges of failure to give information to a police officer and trespassing. He served days in jail on each charge in March.

  • Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Copyright 2012 by Click2Houston.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Greater Houston Coalition for Justice

Media Release Immediate Release: July 10, 2012                                                   Contacts:

Houston police officer’s fatally shooting of unarmed man Monday is unsettling and deserves to be investigated by the FBI

Houston,

The Greater Houston Coalition for Justice is troubled by a Houston police officer’s fatally shooting of unarmed man Monday afternoon. Based on the history of police officer’s fatally shooting of unarmed persons investigations by HPD and the District Attorney Office, the coalition will request an investigation by the US Justice Department Civil Rights Division.

The Greater Houston Coalition Justice for extends our sympathy to the Lara family and all the families affected by this sad tragedy.

###

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HPD: Threatened officer kills man

Mike Glen, Houston Chronicle By Mike Glenn Updated 11:10 p.m., Monday, July 9, 2012

Police investigate an officer-involved shooting Monday in the 7000 block of Bissonnet near Fondren. Authorities say the officer fired on a man after he refused the officer’s commands and placed the officer in fear for her safety. Photo: J. Patric Schneider / Houston Chronicle

Houston

A Houston police officer fatally shot a man Monday who refused commands to stop and approached her with one hand tucked under his shirt, an official said.

Officer J. McGowan shot the man, identified by relatives as Rufino Lara, about 4:30 p.m. in front of a vacant store along the 7000 block of Bissonnet near Fondren.

“I don’t believe this should be happening,” said his sister, Calixta Lara. “He never had a problem with the police.”

McGowan and her partner were investigating an assault at the center. McGowan told detectives five or six people were standing in front of the building when she and her partner pulled up.

The man later identified as Lara began walking away when McGowan’s partner started questioning the others, Houston police said.

Feared for her safety

McGowan followed him along the walkway in front of the center, telling him to stop in both English and Spanish, said John Cannon, a Houston police spokesman.

“The male is ignoring her the entire time. She continues to tell him, ‘Show your hands. Show your hands,’ ” Cannon said.

At times, Lara would raise one hand but keep the other tucked under his shirt. He suddenly turned and faced McGowan. His hand was still tucked under his shirt.

The officer told detectives she was in fear for her safety.

“She thought he might have a firearm with him,” Cannon said.

McGowan fired once and Lara, 54, died at the scene, police said.

McGowan’s partner was standing next to her when Lara turned and faced them. She did not fire but told detectives she also felt in fear for her safety.

Officers did not find a weapon on Lara during a preliminary search of the body.

Houston police don’t know why Lara kept a hand inside his shirt.

“The officer did all she could, giving commands in English and Spanish for (Lara) to hold his hands up,” Cannon said.

Calixta Lara said her brother had been drinking with friends when he got into a fight with the others in front of the shopping center.

But she said her brother wasn’t the kind of person who would cause trouble.

Disputes officer

She doesn’t believe the officer gave commands in both languages to her brother, who didn’t speak English.

“I help the police when I can, but they can’t do this,” Calixta Lara said.

McGowan has been a Houston police officer for about two years and is assigned to HPD’s South Gessner Patrol Division.

She will be on desk duties for three days – standard practice in any such incident.

Houston police homicide and internal affairs detectives along with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office are investigating.

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  • Review sought on Houston-area police shootings

    Activists seek federal probe of police shootings

    JAMES PINKERTON , Houston Chronicle
    Published 06:30 a.m., Tuesday, January 26, 2010

    Civil rights lawyer Randall Kallinen talks about the increased number of shootings by law enforcement officers during a news conference outside City Council chambers Tuesday. Photo: Julio Cortez, Chronicle / HC

Houston and Texas

Local civil rights activists Tuesday called for the U.S. Department of Justice to review the elevated number of officer-involved shootings in the Houston area last year, and asked the City Council for public access to internal police reviews of the use of deadly force.In 2009, law enforcement officers took part in 60 shootings across Harris County and killed 27 people. Houston police were involved in 29 shootings, killing 15 people.Members of the Greater Houston Coalition for Justice, including LULAC, NAACP, American GI Forum and the American Rights Association asked the council to strengthen the Citizen Review Committee by increasing independence and subpoena power.

HPD argues Taser use reduces officer injury

Houston police say there is a beneficial side effect of officers using Tasers on unruly suspects – the stun guns are saving taxpayers millions by reducing injuries to officers. more »

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Questions for HPD: Troubling allegations of rogue behavior by Houston police officers in two incidents

We had assumed that culture had mostly changed. But the incidents that have gone down recently call that into question. more »

Houston Chronicle5.2.10 5:30 AM5.2.10 5:30 AM
  • Eli Escobar Jr., 14, was shot to death by HPD officer Arthur Carbonneau in 2003 when the teen attempted to leave a friend's apartment while Carbonneau was there investigating a possible disturbance.

    Eli Escobar Jr., 14, was shot to death by HPD officer Arthur Carbonneau in 2003 when the teen attempted to leave a friend’s apartment while Carbonneau was there investigating a possible disturbance. more »

    Eric Kayne Houston Chronicle4.29.10 12:00 AM
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White officer indicted in Bellaire shooting denies race bias

Representatives for indicted Sgt. Jeff Cotton, who’s free on bail, defend his actions in the incident that raised allegations of racial profiling by the white policeman. more »

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Child’s tragic death leads to change at HPD

Under a pecan tree off Navigation sits a small metal plaque of a smiling boy. The plaque, unveiled Friday, reveals his name, the dates he was born and died, and a prayer penned by his mother (“May he rest in hope and rise in glory”). But it… more »

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Policías de Pasadena regresarían a su trabajo tras ser declarados inocentes

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Jury acquits 2 officers in Pasadena inmate beating

Jason W. Buckaloo, 33, and Christopher S. Jones, 30, accused of killing Pedro Gonzales Jr., hope to return to work, perhaps as soon as today. more »

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Killings of unarmed teens bring more changes for HPD

In just three weeks in 2003, two unarmed teenagers were fatally shot by Houston Police Department officers — both of whom said they accidentally fired. more »

LISE OLSEN and CINDY GEORGE Houston Chronicle6.2.08 5:30 AM6.2.08 5:30 AM

Sorry: The killing of 14-year-old Eli Escobar by a poorly trained police officer warrants a formal apology

Eli Eloy Escobar was 14, doing what 14-year-olds do, playing video games at a friend’s house, when two police officers showed up, looking for two boys involved in a minor disturbance. more »

Houston Chronicle6.1.08 5:30 AM6.1.08 5:30 AM

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