Breaking News Emails
Receive last minute alerts and special reports. News and stories that matter, delivered in the morning on weekdays.
By Phil Helsel and Associated Press
The Houston police chief said the department would end warrants for arrest following a deadly drug raid in which two suspects were killed and several policemen injured.
The January 28th raid on a house also left four people shot dead. Last week, it was revealed that an affidavit justifying the warrant would appear to contain "lies or lies" and the police chief, Art Acevedo, said that an officer would likely be charged with criminal charges.
"The warrants will disappear as leaded gasoline in this city," Acevedo said at a community meeting Monday, according to the Associated Press news agency. He added that officers will have to request a special waiver from his office to conduct a raid against any attack.
Dennis Tuttle, 59, and Rhogena Nicholas, 58, were killed after the police served a warrant, the police said.
Monday's town council meeting became controversial and sometimes involved screaming, reported KPRC, an affiliate member of NBC in Houston.
"The family was murdered," said Eileen De Los Santos, a longtime friend of the raid victims, during the meeting, according to the channel. "I would like someone to use the word" murdered "because they were murdered."
The Harris County Attorney's Office said he was investigating all aspects of the incident. District Attorney Kim Ogg said at Monday's meeting: "The charges that will be laid will be based on the evidence and the evidence is still being collected," according to KPRC.
Last week, the local police station obtained police documents claiming that the warrant was justified by the assertion that a trusted informant had purchased heroin from the house and that it had been searched. a weapon had been observed there. But the investigators were unable to find this informant.
The narcotics officer, Gerald Goines, provided the names of two confidential informants, but one of them said that they were not working with Goines on this case, and that the Another had bought heroin from another home on January 25, five miles away, according to the documents.
The investigators interviewed all the people on a list of informants who worked for Agent Goines and who all denied having bought this officer on Harding Street or bought drugs from Tuttle or Nicholas, according to the sources. documents. After the raid, police said they found several guns at home, as well as marijuana and cocaine, but no heroin.
Goines, who prepared the search warrant, has since been suspended, according to Acevedo. Goines could not be contacted immediately for comment.
"I am very confident that lawsuits will be filed against one or more officers," Acevedo said.
Acevedo has also announced a new policy for undercover agents to carry surveillance cameras of the body during raids.
Residents whose family members were killed during punching raids denounced the department for not having investigated enough before using this tactic.
"I just want to see a change, that's all," said Aurora Charles, whose 55-year-old brother was killed during a raid with his bare hands in 2013. "They have to do their homework before going with these mandates. "
No-appeal warrants have also been disputed in Little Rock, Arkansas. The city and its police department are facing legal action alleging that police officers use misleading or false information to justify illegal drug raids, mainly against black residents.