Family of Harding Street raid victims want more answers from police

HOUSTON – Cliff Tuttle lost his nephew, Dennis, on the night of the deadly botched raid at 7815 Harding Street. Since that night he has been very reserved with comments, but this week he once again opened up to Channel 2 Investigates, “Our family is very upset about this.”

The interview was the first time Tuttle got on camera since murder charges filed District Attorney Kim Ogg in August, as well since Channel 2 Investigates revealed the findings produced thus far by the families private forensic investigator, “It’s time that the family had an opportunity to speak.”

Tuttle is not alone.

John Nicholas, the older brother of Rhogena Nicholas also is speaking out to Channel 2 Investigates. “Me and my momma would like to know why they went there,” said Nicholas.

Nicholas, who lives in Louisiana, had the following perspective on how things are being handled in Houston: “The big cities are supposed to be professionals when it comes to this stuff.”

The two men sat down exclusively with Channel 2 Investigates this week.

In the Nov. 6 report, Channel 2 Investigates aired with Maloney, the decorated forensic investigator, and he revealed the couple were shot by a blind round.

For Tuttle, the findings by Maloney translate to a quick demise for Dennis and Rhogena. When asked for his thoughts as to what went through their minds at that moment? Tuttle said, “It happened so fast, no time to react. No time to look at your wife and say I love you.”

Channel 2 Investigates asked Nicholas how much faith he had in the investigation, considering everything Maloney has discovered on his own thus far? “I don’t really. They hiding, they covering up, I guess that is the right word, some kind of cover up for some reason," said Nicholas.

The families are calling for more transparency from HPD. "We would like to get the ballistic report, we can then determine who did what, why they did it and move forward,” said Tuttle.

Both families made it clear Monday and Tuesday of this week that they have yet to receive any kind of formal apology from HPD chief Art Acevedo or the department. “That’s ridiculous, he’s not going to,” said Nicholas, “They owe the family an explanation. They owe the family a retraction and apology, and then we need justice."

Tuttle said that on Tuesday, 24 hours later chief Acevedo said the following to Channel 2 Investigates after federal indictments were announced: “We had an officer lie about his actions that led up to the issuance of the warrant and for that I apologize to that family.”

For the families of Tuttle and Nicholas, the one thing they strongly desire is the one thing they believe they will never receive from HPD: the truth.

Their fight will only continue both privately and publicly. The families feel they owe it to clear their names and allow them to rest in peace.

In response to chief Acevedo’s apology on Wednesday, Nicholas sent the following statement to Channel 2 Investigates: “From our family’s perspective, the police chief’s comments about the killing of Rhogena are still vague and evasive. He still cannot bring himself to apologize to us. The city’s promise of transparency in this investigation has not been kept. So our search for the truth will continue — with or without Art Acevedo’s help.”