Clint Greenwood: A lifetime of fighting crime
BAYTOWN, Texas – For more than three decades in law enforcement, Clint Greenwood built a reputation as a smart, dedicated professional who was unfailingly good-humored in a hard business. Monday morning the man who spent his life fighting crime became a crime victim, police said.
When police said Greenwood was ambushed Monday morning, his good friend, prosecutor Jim Leitner, was in court tending to the morning docket when a mutual friend brought him the news.
"I was just totally shocked. I mean, you know, you hear about these horrible things all the time, but somehow you just think that you're immune to it. But you're not," Leitner said.
He rushed to Memorial Hermann Hospital to join Greenwood's family, along with dozens of police officers and friends. Shortly after arriving, Greenwood was pronounced dead from a single gunshot wound.
Leitner, head of the District Attorney's Office Intake Division, said he and Greenwood lunched together almost every day. He remembered seeing his friend over lunch last Friday.
"I can assure you he wasn't apprehensive," Leitner said. "He told me about his daughter doing well at Stephen F. Austin University, told me about his son. He looked forward to going deer hunting. Everything he talked about was upbeat."
Word of Greenwood's death spread quickly through the Harris County courthouse, where Greenwood spent much of his career.
He served as a prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney's office under Johnny Holmes and Pat Lykos. In between, he entered private practice and worked as a staff attorney for the Houston Police Patrolman's Union, now the Houston Police Officers' Union.
Greenwood was also a police officer, serving as a major in charge of Internal Affairs for Sheriff Adrian Garcia, a Democrat, and Sheriff Ron Hickman, a Republican, before taking the job as Assistant Chief Deputy with the Harris County Precinct 3 Constable's office last January.
Attorney Brian Wice first met Greenwood when he was a young prosecutor working for Holmes. The two shared an office suite when Greenwood went into private practice a few years later. Wice remembers that even in tough times, Greenwood was always upbeat.
"In the criminal justice system, where so often we see the worst of people, Clint always showed us the best," Wice said.
Sources said investigators are focusing on two or three primary suspects. But after his long career in law enforcement, Greenwood knew there might be many people who wish him harm.
David Mitcham, now first assistant Harris County district attorney, said he also got to know Greenwood when they both were in private practice.
"He was a fine individual, and we will all grieve his passing. I just can't wrap my head around what happened to Clint, and it's tragic," Mitcham said.
Baytown police have not said if they have a motive or suspect in Greenwood's murder. However sources told KPRC2 that investigators are currently focusing on two or three possible suspects. Friends said Greenwood was aware of the inherent risk that someone he investigated or prosecuted might seek revenge.
"Anybody that works in the criminal justice arena, obviously there's always this element that may appear when you least expect it," Mitcham said.
Greenwood was married. He was the father of a son and daughter by his first marriage, and the stepfather of a son and daughter by his second. He was 57 years old.
The following is Greenwood's biography as provided by the Harris County Precinct 3 Constable’s Office:
Assistant Chief Deputy Clinton “Clint” Greenwood, Harris County Constable’s Office Precinct Three, was shot and killed in the line of duty today, April 3, 2017.
Chief Greenwood was appointed Assistant Chief Deputy with the Harris County Precinct Three Constable’s Office on January 1, 2017. Chief Greenwood previously served as a Major with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office as Commander of the Office of Inspector General, Internal Affairs Division, Legal Services and General Investigations.
Chief Greenwood earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rice University in 1983, and a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from South Texas College of Law in 1986. Chief Greenwood is also a graduate of both the Senior Management Institute for Police, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Academy, Session 263.
Prior to working with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Chief Greenwood worked with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office as the Division Chief of the Police Integrity Division. Chief Greenwood supervised the investigations of all officer-involved shootings, allegations of excessive force and general misconduct by police officers occurring in Harris County.
Chief Greenwood started his own highly successful law practice in 1989 where the focus of his work was defending police officers in criminal matters.
Chief Greenwood gave back to the law enforcement community by being an instructor, having taught at the Houston Police Academy, Harris County Sheriff’s Office Academy, Texas Department of Public Safety Academy and numerous other agencies throughout the United States.
Chief Greenwood was a talented marksman, who shot competitively with his wife, Leatha.
Additionally during Chief Greenwood more than 30 year career he represented police officers as a contract attorney with the Houston Police Officer’s Association, Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas, and the Houston Police Officer’s Union.
100 Club provides assistance to Greenwood's family
"A $20,000 check will be given to Chief Greenwood’s wife to help with any immediate financial needs. Additional financial support for the family will be made after an assessment of their needs is conducted. The average gift from the 100 Club to a dependent family is approximately $300,000," a statement read.
Donations can be made online at the100club.org or sent to 100 Club Survivors Fund, 5555 San Felipe Street, Suite 1750, Houston, Texas, 77056.
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