HOUSTON - After two men were arrested, one of whom was injured in an officer-involved shooting, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo blasted judges and the district attorney's office who believe "it's OK to give deferred adjudication to armed robbers," he said.
In short, deferred adjudication is a type of probation. A defendant is placed on probation for a certain period of time, and if the probation is successfully completed, the case is dismissed. A defendant will enter a guilty plea, but the judge does not find the defendant guilty and instead "defers" the finding of guilt. Pleading guilty for deferred adjudication is not considered a conviction under Texas law. A criminal background check will show the arrest for the charge and will show the deferred adjudication, but it will not show a conviction.
The comments came after two men carjacked a person driving a Honda Accord just before 7 a.m. Wednesday. "Good morning. What a way to start your day, your workday, with some fool putting a gun to your head," Acevedo said.
The carjackers were arrested around 3 p.m. after one of the men was shot in the leg area by an officer who was chasing him.
The area the incident happened in is the Braeburn neighborhood, an area targeted by repeat offenders.
"The areas that are being most impacted by this violent crime is communities of color. And disproportionately, communities being impacted by violent crime is black and brown communities that are already victimized by the socioeconomics of this country," Acevedo said. "We don't need to victimize them because we're not holding violent people accountable who are acting a fool out here and shooting people and shooting children."
He said the man who was shot by law enforcement Wednesday afternoon had already been placed on a three-year deferred adjudication for the same crime -- armed robbery. That man's identity had not been released Wednesday.
"If one of these people were killed here today, we can go to that judge, we can go to the DA, we can go to whoever was involved in giving somebody, robbing people at gunpoint, deferred adjudication," he said.
KPRC has reached out to the Harris County District Attorney's Office for comment but did not immediately hear back.
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