HOUSTON – Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman held a press conference Wednesday to announce a new initiative the agency has implemented to hold judges and magistrates accountable on criminal cases where they concluded a lack of probable cause.
The Harris County Deputies’ Organization, Houston Police Officer’s Union, and Crime Stoppers of Houston were also in attendance.
Herman said the issue has resulted in thousands of criminal cases being dismissed in Harris County. Herman said, as a result, the crime rate has gone up, public safety is compromised, and the safety of police officers in Harris County is in jeopardy.
Herman said, about eight months ago, he was notified by Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg that in 2021, 1,000 criminal cases were dismissed by criminal court judges and magistrates. He said the cases were slated for dismissal, leaving the District Attorney’s Office no other option.
Hermann said hundreds of those thousand cases were filed by his officers. This finding prompted the initiative, which was launched three weeks ago, to put together groups to review these dismissed criminal cases with the DA’s Office to refile. More than 100 cases have been refiled so far.
Herman said they will not let these people go without having a day in court.
“The message today that I want to give out: If you come out to Precinct 4 and you commit a crime, if your case is dismissed, you can count on it being refiled,” he said.
Herman said they must hold these criminals and judges accountable to make sure judges adjudicate these cases. He said he is choosing to change the direction and hopes other surrounding agencies take the same steps.
Watch the full announcement below: