HOUSTON – The Houston Police Officer’s Union president responds to questions surrounding a deadly raid-turned-shootout that left five officers injured and two suspects dead on Feb. 7 following new revelations.
Joe Gamaldi said his union will support any policy reviews and changes to ensure that this type of warrant error doesn’t happen again.
Gamaldi said the allegations against the officer are disturbing, but even though Gamaldi says the allegations prove the officer was negligent in executing the warrant, HPD officers have been investigating the home of Rhogena Nicholas and Dennis Tuttle on Harding Street in southeast Houston.
“I think it’s important for everyone to remember that we didn’t come to that house by happenstance, we received a call where a mother was concerned her daughter was at location doing drugs and officers actually went out to that scene, so it wasn’t like we picked that house by random,” Gamaldi said.
The Houston Police Officers' Union released the following statement about Friday's developments:
"On February 7, 2019, the HPOU released a statement that no further comments on this case would occur until the case agent was able to be interviewed.
"We believe that interview took place on February 13th and we just heard some facts confirmed at the Chief’s news conference, which are extremely concerning.
"Such actions, if true, would be extremely disturbing and would not be a reflection of the many men and women of HPD who do an incredible job every day, including those who have worked tirelessly since the shooting ensuring that no stone goes unturned.
"We stand by our assertion from February 7th that the house on Harding Street was not selected at random and we did have information that narcotics were being used/sold at that location.
"Clearly the officer at the center of this investigation, like any suspect in a criminal case, is innocent until proven guilty. However, at the end of the day, we are all law enforcement officers and the law must be equally enforced against anyone who is proven to be guilty of breaking it.
"Regardless of any criminal investigation, the HPOU will support and participate in any review and changes to policy/procedures that can prevent an incident like this from ever happening again. If these allegations are proven, all HPD officers will have to work to regain the trust of the citizens we serve. Our pledge is the same we have made to you on many occasions: we will use every bit of our energy to provide the most professional law enforcement services to the citizens of Houston."