EXCLUSIVE: One-on-one with HPD Chief Art Acevedo on deadly shootout

By Mario Diaz - Reporter, Cory McCord - Digital News Editor, Aaron Barker - Senior Digital Editor

HOUSTON - KPRC2 Investigative reporter Mario Diaz sat down with Houston Police Department Chief Art Acevedo on Friday to talk about the investigation into his department's role in a deadly shootout last month.

The Jan. 28 shootout left Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas dead and four Houston police officers shot.

Earlier Friday, Acevedo said a narcotics officer is accused of lying in the affidavit that led to the raid and shootout, which left Tuttle and Nicholas dead.

Timeline: Harding Street raid-turned-shootout

Acevedo said one of his officers will be charged with a serious crime at some point. He also insisted that the community would learn "the good, the bad and the ugly" details about the investigation.

VIDEO: Acevedo talks about affidavits

On Feb. 7, a narcotics officer was relieved of duty, the police department said. That officer was not named at the time, but police said he was connected to the case. It is not clear if it is the same officer Acevedo referenced Friday.

Affidavits obtained Friday alleged that “material untruths or lies” were used to get a search warrant for a southeast Houston home last month where a raid turned into a deadly shootout, according to Acevedo.

The chief said that he knows a crime has already been committed as part of obtaining the original search warrant that led to the raid and shootout at 7815 Harding St.

In the warrant, the sergeant says that Officer Gerald Goines, of HPD’s Narcotics Division, provided officers, including a high-ranking narcotics division supervisor, two different names of confidential informants. The warrant stated the two officers “interviewed all of the confidential informants and all denied making a buy for Goines from the Harding Street residence, and ever purchasing narcotics from Nicholas or Tuttle.”

The affidavits obtained by Channel 2 Investigates on Friday were connected to the internal investigation of the shooting.

DOCUMENTS: Read affidavits obtained by Channel 2 Investigates
Warrant 1 | Warrant 2

Here is part of the conversation with Acevedo:

Diaz: "Why should Houstonians not be concerned with your department? Because reading this, it is terrifying to many people."

Acevedo: We are a department of 5,200 people. The actions of one person or two persons is not reflective of the excellence of our department."

Diaz: "What was your reaction when you saw the fact within this affidavit?

Acevedo: "Well, you know, when you see the facts in this affidavit, it causes, it's (of) great concern."

Diaz: "Chief, you indicated you had reason to be at that home. There appears to be no reason listed in this affidavit."

Acevedo: "But remember, that affidavit is but one piece of a very comprehensive investigation. It's important for people to realize and remember that we still have the video from our patrol units, the cad calls, everything that set into motion this series of events. Having said that, when you lie in an affidavit or you mislead in an affidavit, that is a very serious offense and it's a serious criminal offense."

Diaz: "And it's an officer of yours that is doing it, sir?

Acevedo: "Absolutely, and so, guess what? No one gets a pass in this department. None of us."

Diaz: "Would you be open to having the feds come in and investigate this case?

Acevedo: "Let me tell you something, I run this department, like I tried to explain to the union last week. I've already been in communication with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Justice."

Diaz: "Does Officer Goines compromise any previous cases that he has been involved with the HPD in this city as result of his actions in this case?

Acevedo: "My focus right now, our primary focus is this ongoing investigation, but under Brady we have to go back and we have to look at all the cases he was involved in."

Diaz: "Have you begun that process?"

Acevedo: "That is part of the ongoing investigation."

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