Newsmakers for Jan. 13: Sheriff, police chief discuss Jazmine Barnes case, gangs

HOUSTON – Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said the community help was a big part in helping to arrest two suspects in the shooting death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes. He said the early description of the suspect being White was part of what happens early in an investigation and did not throw his department off their focus.

“For us, it was a whodunit,” he said.

“We wanted to identify who the perpetrator was, try to locate that vehicle and then it would lead us eventually to motive. I didn’t want to get wrapped up in what the motive was up front without having evidence at hand.”  

He said the suspects have gang ties which are a symptom of a bigger problem in our urban community. “Yeah there are linkages to gangs,” he said.

“It is an issue here in the city and in our region and it’s something that we need to continue to suppress every day.”

HPD Chief Acevedo on gangs and best response

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo acknowledged that gangs are an issue in the Houston region and many other urban areas and said the best way to combat the problem is not to pour money into border security when it could help here.

“I’m excited with the legislative session opening up, looking at funding for our cities, funding for our counties,” he said.  

“To actually combat this scourge of gang violence and gun violence in our state and I think this opens the door to talk about those strategies moving forward. We want policymakers at the state and federal government to make decisions based on evidence, intelligence, and data and not based on polling,” Acevedo said.

Watch Houston Newsmakers at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

Newsmakers Extra

Here's an interview you won't see on Newsmakers.

More information

Ed Gonzalez (D), Harris County Sheriff 

Art Acevedo, Chief, Houston Police Department

About the Author: