HPD’s tactical village aims to evolve officer training
Nearly nine months ago, Mayor Sylvester Turner’s task force on policing reform released a list of recommendations to improve police performance in key areas. One of those areas involved training. A short time after those recommendations were released, the Houston Police Department opened the Tilman Fertitta Family Tactical Training Center.
KPRC 2 & Emancipation Park Conservancy host a conversation on social justice, reform, and our community
KPRC 2 partnered with Houston’s Emancipation Park Conservancy for a live webinar on social justice, reform, and our community. It’s one of many events EPC planned to celebrate Juneteenth this month.
TSU’s Center for Justice Research creates action brief banning chokeholds
The school’s Center for Justice Research will release a report on Monday that will provide tools to local state and national legislators. It will ensure that they understand that there is evidence out there to begin banning chokeholds across the country. “All around the country you find that over 70 percent of the country’s largest cities have begun to put policies in place to ban chokeholds,” Dr. Henderson said. Since May, Dr. Henderson and others across the country have been working to develop policies to eradicate the problem. Dr. Henderson says the next action brief will focus on the duty to intervene.
Mayor Turner’s task force on police reform releases over 100 recommendations
HOUSTON – Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s task force on policing reform released 104 recommendations Wednesday afternoon. The task force’s chairman, Jerry Payne, was joined by co-chairs and the 45 members who were appointed by Turner in June. He also named five special advisers to the task force. Watch the full press conference below:WATCH LIVE: Mayor Turner’s task force on police reform to release recommendations on Wednesday Posted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Wednesday, September 30, 2020The task force was put in place to help review the Houston Police Department policies and practices following the death of George Floyd and several officer-involved shootings in the city. In June, I appointed a 45-member Task Force on Policing Reform to explore best practices and procedures in operating the Houston Police Department and in the best interest of the community.
Officer charged in Breonna Taylor case pleads not guilty
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The lone Kentucky detective facing charges related to the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor pleaded not guilty Monday. The decision not to charge the officers set off protests in Louisville and across the country. On Monday, Louisville's mayor lifted the curfew put in place after people refused to end their nighttime protests. Her response comes after Democratic state Rep. Attica Scott was charged with the felony last week while participating in Louisville protests for racial justice. Many marched along Louisville’s streets chanting “Breonna Taylor, say her name,” and “no justice, no peace."
Houstonians propose citizen’s board to hold HPD accountable
HOUSTON – A group of local community leaders proposed a Houston Police Independent Citizens Investigative Board to create transparency between the community and the Houston Police Department. The board would be comprised of community members from multiple organizations and the law schools at Texas Southern University and the University of Houston. The citizens' investigative board would work to ban the use of no-knock warrants. According to the proposal, the board would be funded by the City of Houston budget not to exceed $3 million a year. Turner also appointed a Policing Reforms Task Force to review Houston Police Department policies and practices.
Gov. Greg Abbott calls for new crimes, mandatory jail time for certain offenses related to protests
Greg Abbott issued a string of new legislative proposals to raise penalties and create new crimes for offenses committed at protests. Abbott’s proposals would create felony-level offenses for causing injury or destroying property during what is deemed to be a “riot.” Blocking hospital entrances and using lasers to target police would also be felony offenses, Abbott said. Striking an officer with something like a water bottle would lead to a mandatory minimum of six months in jail. Many protesters in Texas have been arrested on suspicion of such offenses since protests erupted in May after the death of George Floyd. DeSantis' proposal also created new crimes and enhanced penalties like Abbott’s proposal, including a mandatory six months in jail for striking an officer.
2 Louisville officers shot amid Breonna Taylor protests
Police move after a Louisville Police officer was shot, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Louisville, Ky. A grand jury has indicted one officer on criminal charges six months after Breonna Taylor was fatally shot by police in Kentucky. He says the officers were shot after investigating reports of gunfire at an intersection where there was a large crowd. Taylor, an emergency medical worker, was shot multiple times by white officers who entered her home during a narcotics investigation. State Attorney General Daniel Cameron said that while the officers had a no-knock warrant, the investigation showed they announced themselves before entering. ___This story has been updated to clarify that, according to the investigation, officers did not execute the warrant as a no-knock warrant, not that they didn’t use a no-knock warrant.
Police cancel vacations, prepare for Kentucky AG’s decision on whether or not to charge officers in Breonna Taylor’s death
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Louisville, Kentucky, police said Monday that they had canceled vacations and were setting up barricades in preparation for the state attorney general’s announcement about whether he will charge officers in Breonna Taylor’s shooting death. “It is important to note that (Cameron) has said there is no timetable for the announcement,” the statement added. “When the investigation concludes and a decision is made, we will provide an update about an announcement,” he said. Celebrities, athletes, activists and Taylor’s family have for months pushed Cameron to criminally charge the officers involved in the raid. Last week, the city of Louisville settled a lawsuit from Taylor’s family for $12 million and pledged several police reforms as part of the agreement.
Abbott to sign pledge, announce legislative proposal against defunding police departments
AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to sign a pledge and announce a legislative proposal Thursday aimed at stopping efforts to defund police departments after many advocates have called for the slashing of budgets following the death of George Floyd. Abbott will be joined by other state leaders, such as House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, Attorney General Ken Paxton and members of the Austin Police Association to sign the pledge. The governor’s news conference is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Click2Houston.com plans to offer a livestream of the event.
Dallas' 1st Black female police chief to step down Nov. 10
DALLAS U. Rene Hall, the first Black woman to lead the Dallas police force, has submitted her resignation effective Nov. 10, the city announced Tuesday. Hall's resignation letter, which the city provided to The Associated Press, didn't give a reason for stepping down. She wrote that Dallas police have dealt with an unthinkable series of events since she took office in 2017. Hall said shes proud of how the department coped and implemented critical reforms." Halls resignation letter hints that she will continue police work but says shes keeping her next steps confidential.
Debate over defunding the Houston Police Department heats up after Austin slashes budget
Many of these calls have coalesced into a “defund the police” movement in cities across the country, including in Houston. “We’re talking about making sure there’s money in programs where it’s needed,” said Ashton Woods, the head of Black Lives Matter Houston. Dr. James Douglas, President of the Houston NAACP, wants to see HPD spend its money differently. “Just arresting people alone is not going to reduce crime,” he said. When we asked Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner for his thoughts, he said he believes the budget is in line with the city’s needs.
New Houston task force on police reform: Real change or window dressing?
It is just one of the incidents that led to the formation of the Houston Task Force on Policing Reform. Laurence “Larry” Payne is the chair of the task force and says the goal is clear. Here’s what else you can expect on this week’s Houston Newsmakers:Democrats in runoff to fight for chance to face Senator John CornynM.J. Hegar led 12 others in the Democratic primary on March 3rd. Her 22% beat 2nd place finisher State Senator Royce West who captured almost 15% of the vote. They’re now in the runoff that takes place on July 14th and both are guests this week on Houston Newsmakers.
HPD Chief Art Acevedo makes appearance on ‘The View’ to discuss police reform in Houston
HOUSTON – Houston police Chief Art Acevedo called for better policing during an interview on ‘The View’ Thursday morning. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are working to pass new police reform legislation in the wake of the death of George Floyd in police custody. Among the proposed reforms comes changes to “qualified immunity,” which shields officers from being sued for their actions on the job. During the interview, Acevedo spoke on the possible removal of the immunity -- and those calls for defunding police departments. Just last week, the Houston City Council just increased its police budget from $945 million dollars to $964 million.
Police reforms quickly take hold across America. Its only just getting started
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo says he supports national policing standards. The legislation is the most expansive effort in recent years to address national policing practices at a federal level. "Most departments have not allowed chokeholds for decades," said Joe Gamaldi, national vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police, which represents more than 350,000 US law enforcement officers. A key measure in the legislation -- vehemently opposed by a coalition of law enforcement unions -- will shatter the veil of secrecy that a 1976 law provided police personnel and disciplinary records. The New York state legislation will designate the attorney general as an independent prosecutor in cases involving civilian deaths.
Police officers across the US have quit their jobs in recent days. Here is where there have been resignations
In MinneapolisIn Minneapolis, at least seven police officers resigned from the department since protests sparked by Floyd's death in late May flooded the city's streets. More than half a dozen officers are also in the process of leaving, a city spokesperson told CNN. The officers resigned only from the SWAT unit, not from the police department, Hallandale Beach City Manager Greg Chavarria said. The chief told CNN Monday night she was "extremely disappointed" in the officers' decision. A few members of the unit are out currently and are not included in the 57 that resigned, according to the mayors office.
New York poised to lift veil on police disciplinary files
(AP Photo/Hans Pennink)ALBANY, N.Y. ALBANY, N.Y.As protesters of police brutality demand accountability, New York lawmakers are poised to overhaul a decades-old law that has kept officers disciplinary records secret. But over the years, the law has draped a veil over most records of police misconduct, including allegations. Formal complaints about excessive force by officers are not public in New York. Only New York and Delaware have state laws that provide law enforcement with special carve outs from records disclosure, according to a statement from advocacy groups including Common Cause New York and the New York Public Interest Research Group. ___Associated Press writers Jim Mustian in New York and Michael R. Sisak on Long Island contributed to this report.