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HPD Chief Art Acevedo reacts to Harris County’s plan to release inmates from jail

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo speaks during a press conference at HPD headquarters on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, in Houston. Former HPD officers Gerald Goines and Steven Bryant were taken into custody Wednesday and charged with a variety of federal crimes. The two former Houston police officers are facing federal charges related to providing false information in a January drug raid that left two people dead and several officers injured, authorities announced on Wednesday.   (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP)
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo speaks during a press conference at HPD headquarters on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, in Houston. Former HPD officers Gerald Goines and Steven Bryant were taken into custody Wednesday and charged with a variety of federal crimes. The two former Houston police officers are facing federal charges related to providing false information in a January drug raid that left two people dead and several officers injured, authorities announced on Wednesday. (Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle via AP) (© 2019 Houston Chronicle)

HOUSTON – Houston police Chief Art Acevedo has released his response to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s plan to release about 1,000 inmates from the county’s jail during the coronavirus pandemic.

Hidalgo said Tuesday that there are currently about 8,000 inmates in the Harris County Jail, leaving little opportunity for social distancing within the jail.

The proposal was announced following an inmate who tested positive for the coronavirus, two dozen inmates with symptoms and about 1,100 asymptomatic inmates who were under observation. She described the jail as “a ticking time bomb” that had the potential to be the “epicenter of a catastrophe.”

Acevedo made it clear in his response that he was not given any specifics and that the plan was not discussed with him. He said there has been an 18.9% increase in business burglaries during the pandemic. He said hopes that criminals convicted of burglary are not released in large numbers.

Acevedo said he has prepared a declaration for a lawsuit pending in federal court that details his position on the release of inmates.

Read the full statement below:

READ: Harris County judge says she will sign order to release about 1K inmates from county jail amid coronavirus crisis


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