HOUSTON – Houston police Chief Art Acevedo spoke publicly Wednesday for the first time since a Harris County grand jury handed up indictments of six more Houston police officers in connection with the deadly Harding Street raid.
Officer Felipe Gallegos was charged with murder Monday in connection with the January 2019 raid that killed homeowners Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas and their dog. Gallegos’ charge stems from Tuttle’s death. Five other officers were also charged Monday.
“The charges, other than the one on Gallegos, has to do with overtime,” Acevedo said.
A total of 12 officers have been charged in connection with the investigation stemming from the raid.
Acevedo said that his internal affairs division is now doing its own investigation into the allegations of an overtime scheme. He said that type of scheme within a police department is nothing new to him.
“Would I be surprised that they charged people with allegedly stealing overtime, per se?” Acevedo said. “That would not surprise me. I’ve seen that happen in law enforcement, including departments I’ve run at. We’ve actually fired people here before.”
Acevedo who defended Gallegos in a written statement issued after Monday’s indictments said he is not going to retract any statement regarding the 12-year veteran of the department.
The families of Tuttle and Nicholas are expected to file a civil suit against the city of Houston, blaming HPD for their loved ones shooting deaths.
Thursday will mark two years since the raid.