New details about last month's drug raid that left two suspects dead and five Houston police officers wounded. KPRC television is reporting there was no informant that led them to the home on Harding Street on January 28.
"An HPD officer swore to a judge there was an informant and that police witnessed the informant buying drugs at that house," according to Channel 2 Investigates reporter Joel Eisenbaum. "Police are now seeking a search warrant to inspect the phones of two HPD officers, including Officers Gerald Goines who is still in the hospital."
"From those court documents, 'Interviewed all of the confidential informants and all denied making a buy for Goines at from residence at 7815 Harding Street or ever purchasing narcotics from Rhogena Nicholas or Dennis Tuttle,'" Eisenbaum continued. "Both Nicholas and Tuttle are dead, they were killed in the shootout. And now all of a sudden there is no record of any drug purchase from those two."
According to Eisenbaum, court records also indicate unprocessed drug evidence was found inside one of the officers' vehicles.
"Recovered in Officer Goines vehicle, two bags of heroin that were in the console. Those unlogged bags appear to have been picked up from an informant at another address and it was all under the radar, 'Officer Goines had him/her do a buy from a house on Napoleon Street. Officer Goines returned to pick up the bags of heroin approximately six hours later."
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo responded to the affidavit by phone with KPRC television.
"The affidavit speaks for itself, but folks should not draw final conclusion from a piece of this investigations," said Acevedo. "We still have a lot of work to do. We're going to try to get it done sooner rather than later and then we'll come back and have a full accounting of the good, the bad and the ugly and where ever the chips fall, we'll take whatever appropriate action needs to be taken."
Houston Police Officers' Union president Joe Gamaldi issued statement saying, "The HPOU is not the one who is conducting the investigation. The HPOU will comment as soon as the department officially releases any details of the investigation or confirms the documents posted on media websites are accurate."
February 15, 2019
Harding Street Shooting
On February 7, 2019, the HPOU released a statement that no further comments on this case would occur until the case agent was able to be interviewed.We believe that interview took place on February 13th and we just heard some facts confirmed at the Chief’s news conference, which are extremely concerning.Such actions, if true, would be extremely disturbing and would not be a reflection of the many men and women of HPD who do an incredible job every day, including those who have worked tirelessly since the shooting ensuring that no stone goes unturned.
We stand by our assertion from February 7th that the house on Harding Street was not selected at random and we did have information that narcotics were being used/sold at that location.Clearly the officer at the center of this investigation, like any suspect in a criminal case, is innocent until proven guilty. However, at the end of the day, we are all law enforcement officers and the law must be equally enforced against anyone who is proven to be guilty of breaking it.
Regardless of any criminal investigation, the HPOU will support and participate in any review and changes to policy/procedures that can prevent an incident like this from ever happening again. If these allegations are proven, all HPD officers will have to work to regain the trust of the citizens we serve. Our pledge is the same we have made to you on many occasions: we will use every bit of our energy to provide the most professional law enforcement services to the citizens of Houston.