Friday, August 29, 2014
The Texas Observer's Emily DePrang writes:
Every shooting by a Houston Police Department officer is investigated by HPD’s Internal Affairs and Homicide divisions. Between 2007 and 2012, according to HPD records, officers killed citizens in 109 shootings. Every killing was ruled justified.
The 112 instances of an officer shooting and injuring a person were justified, too.
So were the 104 times an officer wounded an animal, and the 225 times an officer killed an animal.
There were 16 shootings found “not justified,” but they were all ruled accidental.
In more than one in five cases in which officers fired on citizens, the citizen was unarmed.
I suppose it's theoretically possible that every single shooting by a Houston police officer was entirely legit. But I'm skeptical - and a little scared.
DePrang also points out that Houstonians have very little authority to oversee questionable police conduct because the body charged with reviewing Internal Affairs investigations has no enforcement authority.