HOUSTON – Mayoral candidate Tony Buzbee speaks to Channel 2 Investigates 24 hours after calling for the resignation of Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, saying, "The accountability has to start at the top."
The notable attorney discussed the botched drug raid last month that left two homeowners dead and four officers shot, saying, "There is a system in place that this chief allowed to be in place, where a police officer, alleged so far, could lie to get a no-knock warrant and to then bust into your house and, if you resisted in any way, shoot and kill you. That should make everybody in this city a little bit worried."
Channel 2 Investigates first revealed a blistering affidavit, a sworn statement by a sergeant in Acevedo's Special Investigations Unit that detailed lies told by narcotics officers regarding the deadly raid. Buzbee, a former Marine, said the approach for true transparency in this investigation is simple, saying, "We're going to have somebody from the outside come in and look at this."
Mayoral candidate Bill King announced the same position earlier this week.
Channel 2 Investigates first asked Acevedo on Friday for his stance on an independent investigation and whether he would be open to the federal government coming in.
“Let me tell you something. I run this department,” Acevedo said.
Acevedo now says he is open to an independent investigation. The chief also admits he has been in contact with the federal government from day one and that monitoring of the events by the federal government is common practice.
An investigation is different from monitoring. Mayor Sylvester Turner did not endorse a federal investigation when he said to Channel 2 on Monday, "There are a number of eyes that are on the investigation. Not even concerned about that, not even worried about that."
The mayor later said, "I'm not afraid of the truth. Wherever the truth falls, OK. We are going to call a ball a ball and a strike a strike."
Buzbee’s reply to that was, "Well, this was certainly a strikeout and, usually, when you strike out, you have to go back to the dugout."
On Wednesday afternoon at City Hall, Turner will have another chance to say whether or not he endorses an independent investigation at the news conference he announced Tuesday night. The news conference is titled “Accountability and Transparency,” and it will focus on the deadly raid. The mayor will be joined by Acevedo and Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg.
Channel 2 Investigates will be there, as well.