After No-Knock Raid Goes Horribly Wrong, Police Union Boss Steps Up To Threaten PD's Critics

from the garbage-in,-garbage-out-apparently dept

Four Houston police officers were shot — allegedly by now-dead suspects — while serving a no-knock warrant on a Houston residence. The no-knock warrant was supposed to make everything safer for the officers, giving them a chance to get a jump on the suspects and prevent the destruction of evidence/officers. But as anyone other than cops seems to comprehend, startling people in their own homes with explosives and kicked-in doors tends to make everything more dangerous for everyone.

Operating on a tip that from someone claiming to have purchased heroin from the home of Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas, the Houston PD SWAT team secured a no-knock warrant and kicked in the door roughly five hours later. No heroin was found. Some guns and an apparently small amount of cocaine and marijuana were recovered. According to cops, the 59-year-old Tuttle opened fire on officers and his wife tried to take a shotgun from a downed officer, resulting in her being killed as well. The married couple are now dead, having amassed a combined 21 years of marriage and a single criminal charge — a misdemeanor bad check charge — between them before this raid ended their lives.

The cops have vouched for the reliability of their confidential informant despite there being a huge discrepancy between what the CI told them and what was actually found in the house.

According to the affidavit, the informant said he bought the powder from the middle-aged man, who called it “boy,” a street name for heroin. The informant also said that the man carried a gun, and that there was more of the brown powder at the house, “packaged in a large quantity of plastic baggies.” The author of the affidavit wrote that the informant had “proven to be credible and reliable on many prior occasions” and he asked a municipal court judge “to enter the suspected place and premises without first knocking and announcing the presence and purpose of the officers executing the warrant.”

The dead couple cannot provide a narrative, so the one we’re stuck with comes from the Houston PD.

“Once the officers breached the door and the gunfire began from the suspects, one of the suspects actually retreated momentarily to the back of the room and then that suspect came back and again engaged the officers in gunfire,” Acevedo said at a Monday evening news conference.

Maybe some footage survived the shootout…

[Chief Acevedo] said none of the officers was wearing a body camera.

It’s not that the Houston PD doesn’t have cameras. It’s just that officers wear them when they want to and activate them only when they want to. It appears no one in the department has stepped up to hold officers accountable for failing to follow policy. So, only one story survives this shooting: the PD’s account.

There might have been a second version covering some of the raid, but the PD took care of that as well.

[K]HOU, the CBS affiliate in Houston, reports that the house had no security cameras, although “a house next door to the Tuttles’ home does have surveillance video,” and “police took that footage for evidence.”

As is to be expected, this deadly raid has led to criticism of the police department and its tactics. It started with a CI tip about an illegal substance that wasn’t found during the search and ended with four cops wounded and two people with no criminal history shot dead in the home they had lived in for twenty years.

The criticism is well-earned. But the head of the city’s police union believes the police have done no wrong — not in this case and possibly not ever.

Houston Police Department Union president Joe Gamaldi went a step further, calling out people who criticize the police. “We are sick and tired of having targets on our back,” Gamaldi said at a press conference on Monday night outside of the hospital where the injured officers were being treated. (All four survived their injuries.) “We are sick and tired of having dirtbags trying to take our lives when all we’re trying to do is protect this community and protect our families. Enough is enough. If you’re the ones out there spreading the rhetoric that police officers are the enemy, well just know we’ve all got your number now. We’re going to be keeping track on all of y’all, and we’re going to make sure to hold you accountable every time you stir the pot on our police officers.

This statement says a lot about the mindset of law enforcement. Officers appear to believe that because they do a job few people want to, they shouldn’t be criticized for how they do it.

But the statement says something much more worrying about how police officers and their representation respond to criticism. Gamaldi’s statement suggests the Houston PD will be keeping tabs on its critics. He’s basically saying the government agency employing the people he represents is willing to retaliate against protected speech. That’s not something the Houston PD can do (at least not legally) and it’s something it shouldn’t do, even if some officers feel they might be able to get away with it. If the PD is willing to violate the Constitution when it’s publicly criticized, it’s probably willing to do it during its more private ventures. Ultimately, this statement says more about the PD than its critics, and what it does say is pretty ugly.

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Comments on “After No-Knock Raid Goes Horribly Wrong, Police Union Boss Steps Up To Threaten PD's Critics”

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

If you’re the ones out there spreading the rhetoric that police officers are the enemy, well just know we’ve all got your number now. We’re going to be keeping track on all of y’all, and we’re going to make sure to hold you accountable every time you stir the pot on our police officers.

Did…did he just openly admit that he would use the full power of the police department to harass critics in retaliation for their legally protected criticism? I mean, he’ll never face any actual consequences for it, being the head of a police union and all, but…what the fuck?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You’re more than 9 times more likely to be killed by the police than a Terrorist!!!

The war on drugs needs to end. No Knock needs to end. Murdering innocent people is just ridiculous. Not wearing Body Cams when they have them, really just goes to show how dirty and corrupt these pigs really are.

All-Seeing_Jedi says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

It’s also convenient that they get turned off before deploying deadly force as in the recent case involving the Memphis Police Department. Both officers chasing the suspect they ultimately shot dead had turned their cameras off prior to the shooting. Again, only the police get to tell what happened. Their victim had no such chance to tell his side of the story.

David says:

You forgot something.

Gamaldi’s statement suggests the Houston PD will be keeping tabs on its critics. He’s basically saying the government agency employing the people he represents is willing to retaliate against protected speech. That’s not something the Houston PD can do (at least not legally)

You forgot about qualified immunity. "I thought I was allowed to do that" is all it takes, and with the police union narrative, what judge can blame police for believing in their right to do whatever damn they please?

Anonymous Coward says:

Even if (in the unlikely event) nothing was done wrong by the officers, the police unions need FAR better PR. And it’s not just this union. It seems like every statement from every union leader is like this. Do they not realize how they sound? Minor substitution time:

"If you’re the ones out there spreading the rhetoric that THE GANG are the enemy, well just know we’ve all got your number now. We’re going to be keeping track on all of y’all, and we’re going to make sure to hold you accountable every time you stir the pot on THE GANG.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Drug raid officer relieved from duty

Veteran HPD officer connected to deadly drug raid relieved of duty”, by Jeremy Rogalski, KHOU 11, Feb 7, 2019

The Jan. 28 shootout injured five officers and killed two suspects inside a southeast Houston home.

A veteran Houston police narcotics detective has been temporarily relieved of duty due to ongoing questions about his role in last week’s raid that ended in a deadly shootout between two suspects and police. . . .

(Via Twitter.)

Shufflepants says:

Tuttle?

Sam Lowry: I only know you got the wrong man.

Jack Lint: Information Transit got the wrong man. I got the right man. The wrong one was delivered to me as the right man, I accepted him on good faith as the right man. Was I wrong?

Sam Lowry: You killed Buttle?

Jack Lint: It’s not my fault that Buttle’s heart condition didn’t appear on Tuttle’s file!

Bamboo Harvester (profile) says:

It used to be...

…quite difficult to get a No-Knock Warrant. A lot of paperwork, Judges hated them, and back then…

…even the cops applying for Warrants realized that 99% of the time, a "regular" Warrant, served with a polite knock on the door, put them at tremendously lower risk than kicking in doors in the dead of night.

Yes, there are times and places where a No-Knock is the safest way to go.

But such a Warrant is essentially (perhaps even literally) permission to engage in a no-quarter asked or given military-style assault.

I’m in a rural area. Even the "imported" Staties from a city realize that there’s at the very least a shotgun in every home, and bursting into a home in the wee hours is likely to get them killed.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Desperate people do desperate things

Indeed, it’s almost baffling how often modern police in the US at least seem to go straight towards escalation/intimidation tactics, which put them at greater risk, risk which is further compounded by the idea that a cop can do no wrong, up to and including killing someone, making it more likely that someone will get desperate and do something stupid, resulting in injury or death(whether them or the cop) that was completely avoidable.

Ironically the very excuse police like to use themselves to justify lethal force, ‘I feared for my life’, is the one they are handing to the public on a silver platter by their actions and the excuses for them.

Bamboo Harvester (profile) says:

Re: Re: Desperate people do desperate things

We’ve domesticated (that’s really the only word to describe it) much of the populace, especially in cities, and allowed the police to not just militarize, but to believe they’re commandos.

When I was a kid, "Special Weapons And Tactics" meant that if there was a standoff, they sent one of the officers home to get a deer rifle.

And cops weren’t intimidating. They actually tried to be friendly, and not as a form of psych warfare.

Now your average street cop looks like something out of a bad war movie. And acts the same way.

There ARE still some good cops out there. But they tend not to get promoted, so they have no effect on policy.

Wyrm (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Desperate people do desperate things

There ARE still some good cops out there. But they tend not to get promoted, so they have no effect on policy.

We even have stories where cops get fired for trying to deescalate a situation.

I remember one where a cop was fired for endangering his colleagues because he tried to talk somebody into dropping his gun (which was unloaded, but that wasn’t known at the time) whereas his two colleagues shot the guy dead as soon as they arrived on the scene.

Good cops don’t get promoted, they get filtered out of the system.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Desperate people do desperate things

Although it is weak now they have ironically started to build a /precedent/ against themselves for valid self-defense from acquittals. Still far more likely to die before you make it to court and still likely ruinous in fees but that in itself is deeply fucked up on a systemic level with escalation.

"It turns out that proper home defense involves being able to shoot through walls and body armor at silhouettes without identifying them after an explosion or loud noise – enough to see that they are threats but not enough to positively identify them."

That One Guy (profile) says:

Don't want to be treated like a mafia thug, stop acting like one

“We are sick and tired of having dirtbags trying to take our lives when all we’re trying to do is protect this community and protect our families. Enough is enough.

Congrats, you just described why people don’t like your buddies in blue. Now if you can just grow some self-awareness and realize this…

If you’re the ones out there spreading the rhetoric that police officers are the enemy, well just know we’ve all got your number now. We’re going to be keeping track on all of y’all, and we’re going to make sure to hold you accountable every time you stir the pot on our police officers.”

The context of the quote actually makes this potentially much worse than the article would imply I’d say, though whether that’s intentional is debatable. Given what he’s defending however I honestly don’t think it unreasonable to believe that he would sink low enough for the following speculation to be true.

Keep in mind that this is after a raid that resulted in two people dead, based upon nothing more than an ‘anonymous tip’ that turned out to be really wrong, bringing into question the trustworthiness of the source, with the two murders ‘justified’ on nothing more than what the on-scene police claimed happened(because why would you ever wear a camera in a situation where what exactly happened might be of vital importance?). Given that I don’t think it would be out of line to see this as a subtle-as-a-sledgehammer ‘hint’ that saying mean things about the Houstin PD can have ‘consequences’, in the same vein that not paying the nice fellas in suits who warn you about fires, businesses, and the ‘shame’ involved when the two mix can have ‘consequences’

Honestly though, whether he’s just defending two murders and insinuating that the Houston police might engage in some illegal but not lethal retaliation against their critics, or threatening something rather more permanent, this is yet another instance where a terrible situation and look somehow got even worse thanks to the attempted ‘defense’.

With story after story like this you’d almost think the primary requirement for heading a police union is having absolutely zero common sense or ability to ask yourself ‘would what I’m about to say make those with badges look even worse than they already do?’

Wyrm (profile) says:

Re: Don't want to be treated like a mafia thug, stop acting like

And it’s exactly the kind of things they say all the time.

My "favorite" (ie. most horrifying) one is when a cop did an op’ed after a cop shooting an innocent, where he said that you have to listen to anything police tells you to do because… they are armed and dangerous.

Not that they are public servants, enforcers of law and order. Not that they have legal authority for each and every demand they make. Not that they are here to help the public.

They have guns and they can use them without consequence. That was his point.

That was another case where the arguments were more appropriate in a mafia movie than a cop’s speech.

Kitsune106 says:

Sooooo

Isn;t it, if thye have nothign to hide, they would welcome the light on them? I mean, its what they say they believe in.

And too bad we can’t civil assest the guns from them to be destroyed. I mean, sure the cops did nothing wrong, but the guns sure as well killed people. We should have the meltdown penalty. And as its a gun, they don’t have rights!

Anonymous Coward says:

One bit of this story stood out to me...

…and his wife tried to take a shotgun from a downed officer.

Wait. A downed officer was holding a shotgun? Filled with what?

Why on earth would you perform a no-knock raid wielding a shotgun? Small arms I can understand, tactical rifles positioned outside I can understand, but shotguns are designed to indiscriminately kill and/or maim anyone/thing within the cone. This is so far away from a police officer’s sworn duty it’s not even something I would have considered them doing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: One bit of this story stood out to me...

Filled with what?

Discharged into the dog as soon as the door was breached, as I understand it. Shotgun was first in.

So it was filled with a spent shotgun shell casing? By the time the officer was wounded — and sat or fell down onto the couch next to the woman.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: One bit of this story stood out to me...

So was she trying to point the gun in a safer direction.

She was unarmed. But now she’s dead. We’re never going to hear her side of what actually happened in the moments when a wounded officer holding a shotgun sat or fell down onto the couch next to an unarmed woman who is now very dead by police gunfire.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: One bit of this story stood out to me...

shotguns are designed to indiscriminately kill and/or maim anyone/thing within the cone.

You’re probably imagining a cone of buckshot spreading out from the barrel at a 45 degree angle. Firing a shotgun inside a house is unlikely to hit more than one person because it just doesn’t spread that much.

https://www.swatmag.com/article/rack-rack-whos-shotgun-myths-misconceptions-truths/

Scroll down to "Room Broom".

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: One bit of this story stood out to me...

Firing a shotgun inside a house is unlikely to hit more than one person

Well, I guess that’s why it just makes sense that the instant the door gets busted open, first thing, the officer with the shotgun lunges in to locate and murder the dog.

Battering ram — door opens — shotgun blast — dog dead — why that’s even more of a psychological effect than throwing a flash-bang into the baby’s crib. Just sorta loudly announces to everyone in the house that cops on this raid gonna blow everyone away.

It’s a psycho — logical tactic.

Anonymous Coward says:

Texas is a home defense state

If this couple legally had weapons and the police broke into their home without announcing themselves, that is known as a home invasion. The reason why the cops didn’t record themselves is that it would look 100% like a home invasion. Since it is legal in Texas to kill people invading your home, this means the cops are in the wrong here. They need to turn over the seized taped from the neighbors before this becomes a federal case against Houston PD for murder.

Killercool (profile) says:

Re: Texas is a home defense state

Yeah, but who’s going to charge them? The homeowners are dead, they won’t be pressing charges.

I’m from Houston, the DA (Kim Ogg) is very friendly to the police, she won’t be charging them.

I doubt the feds would get involved.

I agree that there could be a case, but the only people with an interest in an investigation are – interestingly enough – dead, dead, dead.

Shufflepants says:

Re: Re: Texas is a home defense state

Private citizens don’t actually bring charges or indictments. It’s up to a local DA or some such to bring an indictment of the officers. "Pressing charges" is only a thing because it would be bad form to try to convict some one for a crime when the victim doesn’t want you to, and it’d be a hard case to win if the victim refuses to testify. But yes, it’s unlikely charges will be brought without a distraught survivor to shame them or bring negative press if they don’t at least bring it before a grand jury.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Texas is a home defense state

There is civil court.

It is a shame that there is no one in a position to take the high ground (DoJ failures to act and current policy to not act are implicit). The only way to change this is to get the electorate to get off the ‘tough on crime’ agenda and warm up to the ‘tough on crime, even if it’s the cops’ agenda. The two party system currently in place won’t be amenable to that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Might have been the wrong address

One Houston local report (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XmflR0MWXc) suggests that the police raid was on the wrong house. The shootings occurred at 7815 Harding, but the house doesn’t really match the description used in the early police statements in that its neither barred nor has security cameras. There is a 7815 Hardy that matches.

Of course, the police are now heavily engaged in "look over there" announcements about evil drugs, cop killers, and gun control that nicely deflect attention.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Might have been the wrong address

I would suggest taking a full container of salt with any justification from Chief Acevedo. He’s a strong believer in police rights, but a lot less so in those of mere citizens.

One of his legacies from his time in Austin are the ‘no refusal weekends’ where police set up roadblocks and demand proof that drivers haven’t been drinking. If you refuse, they have magistrates waiting with a stack of blank warrants and you’ll find yourself on the sharp end of a needle to get your blood drawn.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Might have been the wrong address

The solution to a police state is to knuckle under and OBEY.
Fuck you.

Why blame me when the residents of the aforementioned state voted in politicians that allow the less than stellar performance of it’s police force? Perhaps your anger would be better aimed at them.

Still, if the cops doesn’t find anyone to fine etc there is no incitement for doing the stops.

JoeCool (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Might have been the wrong address

No, they’d do it anyway since it’s just an excuse to stop EVERYBODY and run checks. Outstanding warrant somewhere? Going to jail. Not a legal resident? Going to jail. Outstanding tickets? Going to jail. Broken tail light? Getting a ticket. Small bag of pot? Going to jail and losing car. Out of town? Going to jail and losing car. 😉

They’ll never stop the DUI checkpoints because they’re a leading money maker.

Daydream says:

I’m not sure, but…haven’t I read ”police found a small amount of marijuana" in this kind of story before?
It seems like every time I read a story here about how someone was shot in a home invasion, or an illegal car/house search was done, police always find a ‘small’ amount of drugs. Not a big operation, not a stockpile, just (presumably) a small, easily pocketed baggie.

Mm, maybe my memory is just playing tricks on me. It’s not like the ‘police’ would carry around bags of drugs to frame innocent people with to justify their murders, right?
…Okay, it’s probably something they would do, but that doesn’t mean they actually do so on a regular basis, right?

David says:

Re: Re:

I’m not sure, but…haven’t I read ”police found a small amount of marijuana" in this kind of story before? It seems like every time I read a story here about how someone was shot in a home invasion, or an illegal car/house search was done, police always find a ‘small’ amount of drugs. Not a big operation, not a stockpile, just (presumably) a small, easily pocketed baggie.

Mm, maybe my memory is just playing tricks on me. It’s not like the ‘police’ would carry around bags of drugs to frame innocent people with to justify their murders, right?

Shame on you for even thinking the police capable of such base behavior. The only reason they declare finding only a small, easily pocketed baggie is that they are selling all the rest in order to reduce the need of civil asset forfeiture on the general populace for funding their operations. Also in order to save the descendants from the shame of realizing that they have drug traffickers in their family.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Table of Contents

1st mistake: the cops wanting a no know warrant

2nd mistake: the judge granting such a warrant

3rd mistake: the cops deciding not to wear body cams

4th mistake: the cops executing the warrant

5th mistake: the cops opening fire for ??? reason

6th mistake: the cops confiscating the neighbors video, they could have just copied it

7th mistake: Huston PD management defending their employees without fully understanding the circumstances, even worse if the did

8th mistake: Huston PD union boss trying to ameliorate the situation threatening anyone, let alone those who thing this whole shenanigan was mishandled from a professional point of view. No I am not a cop, but I am a professional, and as one professional to another, they ain’t.

9th mistake: the next action anyone on the Huston Police force (management or patrol) or the union (management or member) takes.

perplexed says:

Re: Table of Contents

Why at step 2 did the judge not require police body cameras on and functioning, for the warrant to be executed properly. It is within his power. Without oversight, how can the Judge trust the police.
Come on, How can a Judge, who must of sat on cases where the police where in the wrong just not use the law enforcement tool of body-cams.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Hummm. Interesting Info.

Standard procedure when service weapons are discharged.

Houston news sources are not reporting the officer’s suspension as “standard procedure.” Instead, they say the suspension is related to “questions” about the circumstances surrounding the raid.

Houston police officer connected to deadly raid, shootout relieved of duty” by Keri Blakinger, St. John Barned-Smith, Samantha Ketterer, and Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, Feb 8, 2019

It’s not clear what role the officer played in the Jan. 28 bust at 7815 Harding, but law enforcement sources said his suspension comes amid a probe into questions over whether the sworn affidavit used to justify the no-knock warrant may have contained false information.

The KHOU 11 story linked in an earlier comment also reports “questions”.

TKnarr (profile) says:

I think the political solution needs applied to this PD. That solution: ordinary residents starting a campaign for the next election based on the narrative of "This is the current mayor’s position: that it’s perfectly fine for the police to kill ordinary citizens while not catching any drug dealers. We need a mayor who’ll give the police chief and the police a choice: do it the other way around or I’ll replace you with someone who will. And since the current mayor won’t do that, it’s time to replace him with someone who will.". Keep the emphasis on the part the cops like to crow about but that they aren’t actually doing, which isn’t that hard considering the results they’re piling up.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

"If you’re the ones out there spreading the rhetoric that police officers are the enemy, well just know we’ve all got your number now. We’re going to be keeping track on all of y’all, and we’re going to make sure to hold you accountable every time you stir the pot on our police officers."

I know they looked to see if the dead couple had a criminal history… did anyone bother to see if they had filed complaints against an officer?
I mean they like to hide all of those reports, but citizens are dead under dubious circumstances where reality doesn’t match the narrative being spun by the officers.
And we have this asshole making hardly veiled threats about holding citizens accountable for stirring the pot on officers.

Huh… if the couple stirred the pot on officers, one way to hold them accountable would be a no knock raid to remind them who is the boss… pity while imagining drugs in the home no one checked to see if there were weapons in the home that a homeowner, in fear of their life, might use on unannounced armed invaders. Of course there is no QI for citizens who react in fear of their lives & shoot at people…

This rabbit hole feels like it goes deeper and the police union boss just managed to give some awesome clips to defense attorneys showing that the cops will carry a grudge & go after people who hurt cops feels… if you thought they had credibility issues before, he just cut their Achilles tendon.

Rog S. says:

~If you’re the ones out there spreading the rhetoric that police officers are the enemy

….enemy ? Are we in a war zone?

~well just know we’ve all got your number now.

This comment could be construed as an admission that they have a secret database of targeted individuals. Grounds for an FOIA?

~We’re going to be keeping track on all of y’all,

whoops ! There it is!

~and we’re going to make sure to hold you accountable every time you stir the pot on our police officers.

Yup. And with actual /actionable malice, no doubt

Rog S. says:

Re: Re: Re:police,targeting individuals

Yes, right? That whiney scumbag has made it clear that they will target individuals.

In Texas, their is a group of defense contractors/CIA/ far right/police affiliated hackers that targets people in heinous ways, and one of the most famous cases of people they targeted is a guy named Steve DeVoy, who at one point was a director of programming at Cycorp.

As a crypto-anarchist, he helped shut down the original Total Informatio Awareness (TIA) program-felon John Poindexter’s baby- that preceded the NSA/FVEYs world-wide wiretap schemes.

DeVoy revealed the TIA program, but also, many other CIA affiliated defense contractor/Cycorp related malfeasance, such as weaponizing AI and machine learning to target individuals; and the fact that police work very closely with CIA affiliated illegal hacking operations to target individuals in the domestic theater, based on pure speech grounds.

Devoy wrote:

"The harassment began while I was working for a defense contractor in Austin, Texas. The defense contractor lost more than a million dollars as a result of my anti-IAO work. Other victims of gang stalking claim that corporations do this to their employees. Things are getting too weird to ignore. If what I suspect is going on, is going on, I may have the easiest to prove and best documented gang stalking case yet. For in my case we know the motivation, the source, the actors, and their connections to the CIA and law enforcement. As well, we know the identities of some of the hired stalkers."

http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/12/305278.shtml

It is one of the better documented cases of gang stalking on the web, and DeVoy himself is quite literate, easy to read, and documents the pure insanity of these black operations.

Gee…I hope they don’t put me on a list or something…..

Anonymous Coward says:

Nixon started all this when I started high school, with the "War on Drugs". I’m now in my sixties, and it’s been a gradual downhill slide all along since then.

We’ve locked up huge numbers of people for no better reason than they wanted to get high. We’ve enriched gangs and cartels beyond their wildest dreams even with the example of prohibition still fairly recent history. We’ve eroded our civil rights to an astounding and truly scary degree. We’ve militarized our police into the most corrupt bloodthirsty gangs imaginable.

And for what? What benefit has our society derived from this insanity?

Can we not look at the example of Portugal for a sane way to deal with drugs?

The next step is a Blank Panther style reaction – armed citizens monitoring the police department. They have clearly shown they can not do the job themselves. If Joe Gamaldi wants to declare war on the citizens… well, I wonder whether he’ll be willing to take the blame when citizens declare war on the police. Because it seems like that’s all that’s left to do. If the courts won’t take any action when police declare war on the citizens… nor the politicians… Well, what’s left to do?

But it won’t happen. Not for a while. Like someone else said: the citizens have been pacified. I can’t believe there aren’t riots in Houston over this.

Ramona Thompson wrote
"Ain’t even one of ’em worth a thing
Just dirt beneath our feet
Scum
Each and every last one of ’em
They protect and serve all right….
Themselves!"

which isn’t true. There are lots of good cops out there. But as others have said, their system is designed to filter them out and promote the bad ones. So it ends up not mattering if there are good ones if they allow the bad ones to murder the citizenry on a regular basis.

I hate that people like Joe Gamaldi can’t see that behavior like his is pushing us towards a day when a majority will agree with Ramona Thompson, that "The only good cop is a dead cop".

Sad.

Mark (profile) says:

Re: Firearms Training

I’m going to make two likely guesses here. First, the residents aimed at the center of the chest. It is the largest area and easy to aim at. Not only that it is where a firearm self defense course will teach you to aim. Second, it is almost a certainty that the police were wearing body armor/ballistic vests. This protects the body center mass. The only truly effective aiming point is the head, a much smaller & harder to hit target.

In absence of any information I suspect the officers were hit in the arms, legs, or maybe even s lucky throat/head shot. The police OTOH were shooting at unprotected people where a body center mass shot would be effective.

In spite of the fact that more criminals are obtaining ballistic vests it is still a rarity on the streets. Not every incident is a North Hollywood Bank of America robbery. That by the way is the classic example of the police being outgunned. They were shooting .38 caliber 6-shot pistols at heavily body armored robbers firing fully-automatic assault weapons. Every weapons upgrade the police make can be traced directly back to that event. Police now routinely wear ballistic vests, carry semiautomatic pistols, and have fully-automatic AR-15 rifles in their patrol units.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Firearms Training

In absence of any information I suspect the officers were hit . . .

The officers’ specific injuries were discussed at the January 29th, 2019 press conference: “Houston police chief gives update on wounded officers in shooting” (CBS News YouTube video: 40 min).

Note that this press conference updates the information on the officers’ injuries that had been given out earlier at the initial press conference the night before this one.

Further, just after the 17:00 mark in this video of this Jan 29 press conference, a reporter’s question about “bullet-proof vests” was answered by Chief Acevedo. He answered, “No”.

The information given out at these press conferences has been reported in numerous media stories, and isn’t very difficult to find.

ECA (profile) says:

“We are sick and tired of having targets on our back,”
“We are sick and tired of having dirtbags trying to take our lives when all we’re trying to do is protect this community and protect our families…."

REALLY?
Who was shooting at whom??
They always ASK us to prove our rights and our honesty and we are not guilty..
How many doors has this group HAD to replace?? Pay for after they destroyed them??

Isnt there a cop agency that uses the sewer to capture any thing Flushed, during and before a Raid??

Anonymous Coward says:

Other than shooting, HOW ELSE are the Houston Police supposed to take out a rival druglord that was interfering with the Houston PD’s extremely lucrative arrest-people-take-their-heroin-sell-it-via-dealers business eh?

Houston PD want to be the #1 organized crime syndicate in Houston, and if that involves shooting various people in the back whilst they beg for their lives, then putting the corpses fingerprints onto an officers gun, well so be it….

/s <–just in case

wesley says:

Public Servants

Can we stop referring to police officers as “public servants”? They are neither. They refuse to operate in public…surreptitiously concealing every action and reaction possible and refusing to make substantive changes to transparency is hardly “public” it is, instead, the very worst kind of private…the kind that conceals trauma and suffering…much like the actions of child molester or rapist. Nor are they servants: The pay, benefits, subsidies and advantages they glean from wearing a badge make them far from servants and instead make them the beneficiaries of a morally bankrupt and ethically insolvent profession that profits from the abuse, exploitation and cruelty they foist upon victim after victim much like human traffickers or child pornographers who profit far less from human suffering than does the American criminal justice system.

Anonymous Coward says:

Falsified search warrant affidavit

HPD Chief Acevedo says narcotics cop committed likely crime by lying in affidavit for deadly raid”, by St. John Barned-Smith, Keri Blakinger, and James Pinkerton, Houston Chronicle, Feb 15, 2019

An internal Houston police investigation has uncovered alarming deficiencies in the department’s narcotics division that led to an allegedly falsified search warrant used to justify a southeast Houston drug raid last month . . . .

In a hastily called press conference, Police Chief Art Acevedo said Gerald Goines, the veteran narcotics case agent at the center of the controversy, will likely face criminal charges. . . .

Anonymous Coward says:

Cellphone Search Warrants

On the faces of the documents, both warrant affidavits were sworn on Feb 8, 2019, and both warrants issued and were executed on that same date. Both document sets appear to be stamped “FILED” “FEB 14 2019”.

“Model A1549” presumably refers to Apple iPhone 6 (info via Google).

Documents from “Officer ‘will be charged’ in connection with deadly shootout, HPD says”, by Mario Diaz, Aaron Barker and Joel Eisenbaum, KPRC2 / Click2Houston, Feb 15, 2019.

(Via New York Times.)

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