Former FBI agent weighs in on investigation into HPD

By Mario Diaz - Reporter

HOUSTON - On Wednesday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner did not want accept the fact that his police department is being investigated by the FBI for potential civil rights violations.

"No, no, that’s not the case,” Turner said.

He said that despite being at Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo's die when the chief announced the federal investigation.

"They have opened a formal civil rights investigation,” Acevedo said Wednesday.

Also Wednesday, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said she has ordered the review of 1,400 cases connected to Houston Police Officer Gerald Goines. He is accused of lying to obtain a search warrant that led to the Jan. 28 Harding Street raid that killed 59-year-old Dennis Tuttle and 58-year-old Rhogena Nicholas.

Acevedo said the case turned once his Special Investigations Unit discovered potential criminal misconduct.

When asked by Channel 2 Investigates if the FBI informed him it wanted to investigate or if he asked the federal agency to come in, Acevedo said, "They said they are ready to open a formal case on civil rights and I said, Absolutely let's come on in and I welcome it.”

Former FBI Special Agent Dennis Franks spent 22 years with the bureau. His entire career was based in Houston.

Franks said the investigation will now slow down as it is carefully pieced together.

"It’s definitely going to be a methodical investigation,” he said.

Franks also expects the Houston FBI office to add some legal muscle.

“I would suspect there will be a DOJ (Department of Justice) attorney from Washington, D.C., that is very much involved in this,” Franks said.

Acevedo said he did not bury his head following the shooting. He took action by dispatching his elite investigators to uncover misconduct by narcotics officers surrounding the botched raid.

Considering that, Franks said the work already done will be beneficial once the evidence is turned over.

"I think it’s significant and it’s important that it’s an open book. They are not trying to sweep something under the rug,” Franks said.

All this comes after Channel 2 Investigates first uncovered a warrant that raised questions about Goines and whether he should face charges on allegations that the entire sting was built on a lie.

Here is a timeline of events:

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