Policy changes may be coming to HPD after deadly shootout

By Sophia Beausoleil - Reporter

HOUSTON - On Monday night, the Greater Houston Coalition for Justice will host a town hall meeting to discuss no-knock warrants, the type that was served at Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas’ home.

“We get the truth about what happened with the Tuttle’s and the no-knock warrants,” said Hai Bui, an executive member of the coalition.

The couple died after several narcotics officers entered the home for a drug raid. Last month’s shootout left the couple dead and four Houston police officers with gunshot wounds.

All eyes are on HPD, especially after Chief Art Acevedo said a narcotics officer is accused of lying in the affidavit that led to the raid and shootout, which left Tuttle and Nicholas dead.

The town hall meeting will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday at the Talento Bilingue de Houston, 333. S. Jensen Drive. Members from the Community Activists for Justice along with citizens will be at the meeting.

Bui said they invited Acevedo, District Attorney Kim Ogg and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

“We got our radar up and knew something was going on, so we’ve been paying attention and very focused on trying to bring light and justice to the Tuttles,” Bui said.

He believes no-knock raids are dangerous and referenced a 2017 New York Times’ investigation of deadly no-knock raids from 2010 to 2016, which found that 94 people died in those type of operations, 13 of them being law enforcement and 81 being civilians.

On Friday afternoon, Acevedo said after what happened on Harding Street, authorities plan on looking into the policy and also referenced The New York Times article.

"I don't think after we're done here, after I had four officers shot and two suspects killed ... we'll be tightening that up pretty well,” Acevedo said. "The truth of the matter is, if somebody flushes all the evidence it probably wasn't because you had to not use a no knock, you probably didn't have that much evidence to start with and secondly, if it's that dangerous, we probably need to use ... a different type of team to go in."

Acevedo also addressed the fact the undercover officers did not have body cameras on while executing the warrant, something he said may change soon.

"If we make the decision then there’s a high probability that we will move towards ... our entry teams putting body-worn cameras on them, there's a high probability we'll move to that sooner rather than later,” Acevedo said.

Bui said he also wants a third party to investigate, but Acevedo said he’s confident his department can investigate itself.

"We are working to ask the Texas Rangers to come out and investigate HPD. We need an outside body, we cannot have the fox watching the henhouse,” Bui said.

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