51ºF

No-knock warrants will end, HPD chief Acevedo says

Acevedo also says he will not step down

HOUSTON – Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo promised during a community town hall Monday night to end the department policy of "no-knock" warrants, following last month's raid that turned into a deadly shootout.

Acevedo said officers executing search warrants will probably start to wear body cameras in the next couple of weeks as a result of the deadly shooting.

The town hall, which at times turned into a shouting match, was sponsored by the Greater Houston Coalition for Justice and was attended by many community members upset about the Harding Street shootout and other deadly police shootings, and no-knock warrants in general.

"The family was murdered," Eileen De Los Santos, a longtime friend of the raid victims, said during the meeting. "I would like for someone to use the word murdered, because they were murdered."

Acevedo and Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg took many audience questions. The meeting was also attended by at least one Houston City Council member and Houston mayoral candidate Bill King.

"What charge is going to be presented will be based on the evidence and the evidence is still being collected," Ogg told the audience, to boos.

Dennis Tuttle, Rhogena Nicholas and their dog were killed in a drug raid Jan. 28 at their home at 7815 Harding St., where a no-knock warrant was being served.

According to the activist group, if Tuttle and Nicholas had known who was at their home, they would never have fired shots at officers.

Hai Bui, an executive member of the Greater Houston Coalition for Justice, said the group’s focus is to get rid of no-knock warrants.

Bui said police officers in street clothes, who don’t identify themselves and bust down a door, are a problem.

“It endangers everyone, just barging in and shooting the dog. You shoot my dog, I shoot you back,” Bui said.

Acevedo also responded to Tony Buzbee's comments earlier Monday, saying he would not step down from his position as the Chief of Police despite negative publicity from the shootout.