HPD had over 100 squad cars cited for running red lights without sirens during the first year of installing red light cameras in various locations throughout Houston. Many of the citations handed out have been appealed and dismissed for police officers. The question not asked: how many police officers have run red lights with lights and sirens on just to turn them off and slow down after passing through intersections? We’ve all seen it done, just like we’ve all seen police cars speed, tailgate, harass homeless people with their speaker systems, and other tactics of “traffic control”. Is this what HPD is now calling “community policing”? We hope not.
Houston CopWatch will have its next meeting on October 1 at 7pm at the TEJAS office at 6733 Harrisburg Blvd. Everyone’s invited!
Pedro Gonzales Jr died of a punctured lung caused by a rib fracture. How many ribs were fractured? 11. How were they fractured? By the knees of two police officers. Between the comments from those who knew him and the medical professionals that have weighed in on the issue, it seems that the force needed to puncture a lung would never have been needed to subdue Mr. Gonzales.
If anyone has any additional information – either about police officers Jason W. Buckaloo and Christopher S. Jones or about this incident, please contact Houston CopWatch.
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.
Chief Hurtt proves to have more sense than the HPD union. He proposed a limit on when car chases would be allowed, ruling out low level offenses such as traffic stops from qualifying for a chase. In response, the HPD Union raised so many complaints (what these complaints were, we do not know) that the mayor refused to allow Hurtt’s proposal to go into effect.
Instead, there is a new proposal that a supervisor will have to be warned that a police chase is about to begin and will then have to monitor and lead the police officers through the chase. Continue reading