HOUSTON - Remember the explosive speech by Houston Police Officers' Union President Joe Gamaldi in the hours following the deadly botched raid at a home on Harding Street earlier this year?
“We are sick and tired of having dirtbags trying to take our lives when all we are trying to do is protect this community and protect our families,” Gamaldi said on Jan. 28.
Gamaldi and the union stood defiantly that night in its backing of former narcotics officer Gerald Goines, as well as the other Houston police officers injured in the raid.
For months thereafter, the union picked up Goines' legal tab. However, Goines is no longer being provided that luxury.
On Monday, KPRC 2 Investigates learned the union has stopped paying Goines' legal fees. A union official confirming it in a text. Goines' attorney, Nicole DeBorde, said she will remain with her client.
When asked why her client was innocent following his second court appearance, DeBorde said:
“He is innocent because he didn’t commit a crime. So we are eager to finally have access to the investigation in this case so that we can go through the details ourselves, and we look forward to mounting a vigorous defense.”
Goines was back in court Monday along with his former partner, Steven Bryant. The former HPD narcotics officers were charged Friday in connection with the raid that left Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas dead.
“I think we do owe both families everything we can give it to get to the truth as to what happened and that is what this office is going to do,” said Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg.
Ogg said her office is working to see if Goines and Bryant are the only officers involved in the raid that should be charged with a crime.
“We are interested in figuring out whether the officers in the stack, that were sent in by Gerald Goines were innocent players," Ogg said.
Bryant’s legal fees are still being covered by the union; however, an official said Monday they need to examine the charging documents carefully before making a final determination. On Tuesday, a union official said that Bryant's legal fees will be taken care of until the very end.
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