WALLER COUNTY, Texas - Defense attorney Paul Looney is the man who will conduct an independent, top-to-bottom investigation of the Waller County Sheriff's Office. At the request of Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith, Looney will form a committee to investigate the practices and policies of the office.
"His jail procedures, the interactions of his deputies with the public," Looney said. "He wanted to hear from people other than law enforcement sources."
The request comes on the heels of the Sandra Bland death inside a Waller County jail cell, ruled the result of suicide. Looney says Bland's death, combined with several other high-profile cases of alleged police brutality, make it important to form a diverse group of committee members.
"If we don't have significant and serious minority participation," Looney says, "It's a waste of all our time."
Looney hopes to announce the full committee of five members by early next week. While he hasn't place a time frame on the committee's investigation, he says he expects and has been promised unlimited access to documents as well as personnel.
"I expect to be able to show up at the door and ask to speak to them at that moment and be granted access," says Looney.
Looney also says he hopes the committee will create what he calls a much need conversation that will lead to greater understanding and respect between the community and law enforcement.
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