The difference between being a white police officer pointing a gun versus being a black man pointing a gun: compare the results of former police officer David James Vitrella’s stand off with Houston SWAT with the death of Reginald Sumbler this past August.
Vitrella was not killed by the shots fired by multiple police officers when he pointed a gun at them. Reginald Sumbler was. Vitrella had broken in and held his wife hostage. Reginald Sumbler had called to report that he was suicidal and needed help.
This past March, off duty Officer Marcus Justin Kacz of Pasadena PD became so enraged at being cut off while driving that he pursued the car and shot at the driver with at least three shots being fired. On the 26th, a jury found Kacz guilty of deadly conduct. His punishment? Probation, a fine of $400, community service, and an anger management course. A lenient punishment from a police force that is under heavy scrutiny for excessive use of force.
To Whom It May Concern:
To begin with, I think your organization is wonderful and you are doing
great work. I represent the McIntosh family in their civil suit against HPD
and officer LD Smith. I am in the process of compiling evidence of police
brutality and fatal shootings in Houston to help make the family’s case
against HPD. If you have any information that you think might help me, I
would sure appreciate you passing it along. Also, if you come across any
witnesses that saw the shooting but did not come forward for fear of
retribution, I can protect their anonymity and would like to talk to them.
Thank you very much, any information would be appreciated.
Derek S. Merman, Partner
Merman & Dunk, LLP
723 Main St. Suite 1020
Tele: (713) 223-1435
Fax: (713) 223-1438