Mayor Turner unwilling to admit FBI is investigating HPD

HOUSTON – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner appears unwilling to admit that the FBI is investigating his police department.

Channel 2 Investigates reminded Mayor Turner in an interview the FBI is now investigating, the mayor said, “No, no that’s not the case.”

When civil rights were brought up by Channel 2 Investigator Mario Diaz, Mayor Turner said, “No, no.”

This comes on the same day the FBI said it is investigating to determine if any civil rights were violated in the Jan. 28 raid and shootout.

Turner said what the FBI is doing is not an investigation, despite what the FBI and Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said earlier Wednesday.

"Based on our findings, they (the FBI) have opened a formal civil rights investigation into the actions of the officers involved so far," Acevedo said.

Acevedo said that he knows a crime has already been committed as part of obtaining the original search warrant that led to the Jan. 28 raid and shootout at 7815 Harding St. that left five officers injured and two suspects dead.

Turner said it is a collaborative effort, not an independent investigation.

"Law enforcement works collaboratively. We've always had a solid working relationship with the FBI," Turner said to Diaz.

The FBI is an independent agency investigating HPD over civil rights violations in the botched raid that ended in the deaths of 59-year-old Dennis Tuttle and his wife, 58-year-old Rhogena Nicholas, according to a news release from the FBI.

Last Friday, Channel 2 Investigates was first to report that HPD's Special Investigations Unit uncovered that some lies were told in order to secure the search warrant that led to the shootout.

Turner said keeping the trust of the people is a priority at time the HPD’s integrity has been fractured in the minds of many.

"We are working very feverishly to make sure that we don't lose the trust," Turner said.