HPD expects to be done with probe by end of April

HOUSTON – For nearly 90 minutes Thursday afternoon, Houston Police Department Chief Art Acevedo showed plenty of candor before a handful of Houston City Council members.

“Since the advent of time, human beings have figured out how to screw things up, and cops are no different,” Acevedo said.

Acevedo took questions from members of the Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security. He revealed that in the wake of a deadly botched raid in southeast Houston, several policies are currently being reviewed and others have been already adjusted.

It was Jan. 28 when Houston police officers forced their way into the home of Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas with a warrant based on the word of an informant and a police officer. The problem is that the “informant” did not exist and, according to Acevedo, the officer lied about the informant and the alleged reasons for the no-knock warrant in the first place.

Once the policy reviews are complete, he said he anticipates an unprecedented system for ensuring no room for an HPD raid to have errors.

“When we are done, we are going to have a checks and balances that I think will be a model for the rest of the country,” Acevedo said.

The biggest revelation from Acevedo came midway through the question-and-answer portion of the meeting. Acevedo shed some light on how the Harding Street investigation is shaping up.

“When this is all said and done, we are going to have victims that are police officers that were shot in this case that were victims of our actions and potentially the actions of the people that shot them,” he said.

Afterward, Acevedo provided a more concrete timetable as to when his department plans to complete their investigation into the actions that led to the deadly botched raid.

“Probably two to three weeks, but no later than the end of April. We’ll have it to the DA’s Office (they) will have their own process they will have to go through, it will be out of our hands and into the DA's,” Acevedo said.

The District Attorney’s Office and the FBI are currently conducting their own investigations.