In my February 12 BJT article Acevedo Should Be Fired For His Reckless Comments On The Tragic Houston Drug Raid I asked, “Was the search warrant in the Houston raid based on a careless worded or worse, fabricated affidavit?” That question has now been answered and unfortunately the answer is the affidavit was fabricated.
It appears that narcotics officer Gerald Goines, who is still hospitalized, lied about a confidential informant having bought heroin at 7815 Harding Street and that officer Steven Bryant, who has been relieved of duty, likely colluded in the fabrication of the affidavit.
Officers from HPD’s special investigation unit obtained the identity of all informants who ever worked for Goines and each of them denied ever buying any drugs at 7815 Harding Street or from Dennis Tuttle and his wife Rhogena Nicholas, the couple that was killed in a shootout with Goines’ team.
Now Houston police chief Art Acevedo acknowledges that a crime was committed in obtaining the search warrant and says, “We know for a fact that, more than likely, the investigating officer will be charged with a serious crime at some point.” He asked that HPD not be painted with a ‘broad brush’ and said, “The community will absolutely know the good, the bad and the ugly.”
Ugly this is. It’s beyond bad! A lowdown lying officer caused the deaths of two innocent homeowners and almost cost the lives of himself and his fellow officers.
Goines and Bryant, if he colluded in fabricating the affidavit, must be punished to the full extent of the law. Two counts of murder for Goins and probably two counts of murder for Bryant appear to be appropriate. If any additional officers participated in the fabrication, the same for them.
HPD has been given a black eye that will linger for some time to come. Acevedo finally got it right when he asked that HPD not be painted with a broad brush. The actions of Goins and Bryant should not reflect on the dedicated officers of the Houston Police Department who risk their lives every day while protecting the citizens of this great city.
As for Acevedo, now that he knows the ugly truth, he’s saying all the right things. But he’s a day late and a dollar short. Acevedo should still be fired for the reckless misstatements he made during several press briefings on this tragic case. The city of Houston and its cops deserve better than a leader who discredits HPD by shooting his mouth off without knowing the facts.