Attorney claims murder charge against HPD officer in Harding Street case is politically motivated

Union president echoes attorney’s claim

HOUSTON – A lawyer who is representing one of the officers charged in connection with the deadly Harding Street police raid claimed Tuesday that the charge is politically motivated.

Attorney Rusty Hardin is representing Houston police Officer Felipe Gallegos who was charged with murder in connection with the January 2019 raid that killed Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas. Gallegos has been charged in connection with Tuttle’s death.

Gallegos was one of six Houston officers who were newly charged in the case Monday.

“They indicted a hero,” Hardin said at a news conference.

Hardin said Gallegos was responding to his fellow officers being shot by Tuttle. He said Gallegos was doing what he thought he needed to do to save his life and the lives of his fellow officers.

Gallegos tried to testify before the grand jury that later indicted him, Hardin said. He said the grand jury declined to hear from Gallegos before handing up the indictment.

“I haven’t been awarded the opportunity to tell my side of the story, to be able to explain that I’m not the bad person that I’m being painted to be,” Gallegos said.

Hardin said the charge against Gallegos is part of an anti-police agenda and that Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg is jumping on the bandwagon of a political issue to further her career.

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