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HPD suspends eight for “excessive force”

Uh oh.

Eight Houston Police Department officers from the Westside command’s gang unit have been relieved of duty in an investigation into a videotaped incident of suspected excessive force used against a suspect, Houston police union officials confirmed tonight.

The incident, which happened last month, was captured on video by a surveillance camera at a self-storage business in southwest Houston. The videotape was forwarded to HPD and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office about a week later.

One HPD official, who asked not to be identified, said the officers were seen on the video using force against a burglary suspect after a chase.

One sergeant and seven officers were suspended with pay Tuesday, Mayor Annise Parker said.

More here. That has the potential to be all kinds of ugly, and is just exactly the sort of thing Mayor Parker needs to have to deal with right now. All I can say is I hope it’s not as bad as it sounds. Hair Balls has more, and a statement from Council Member Al Hoang, in whose district the alleged incident took place, is beneath the fold.

COUNCIL MEMBER AL HOANG ON SUSPENSION OF HPD OFFICERS ACCUSED OF EXCESSIVE FORCE

Eight Houston Police Officers assigned to the Westside command gang unit have been relieved of duty in an investigation of suspected excessive force used against a suspect after a police chase.

A surveillance camera at a self storage business at 8450 Cook road in southwest Houston was able to record the moment when the chase concluded. Allegedly, it was at that point that the suspect ran out of his vehicle and was assaulted by the officers as they attempted to detain him.

“I have not seen the tape, but have communicated with the chief’s office and expressed my interest in being kept informed. I have full trust in the administration’s handling of this matter and know there will be a complete and thorough investigation,” said Council Member Al Hoang. “Because the incident occurred in my City Council district, I want to reassure my constituents that it will in no way affect police service in the community.”

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One Comment

  1. Mike says:

    That’s very non-committal of him. Having heard him speak at an event attended primarily by Vietnamese, he is what you might politely call an apologist for authority figures. What he says to the white media and what he says to his Vietnamese constituents are not always the same. Despite our community’s protestations for democracy for South Vietnam, etc., many of that generation have that Confucian devotion to strong authority figures (most Vietnamese people overlook the fact that the Republic of Vietnam was not anything but a corrupt banana republic dictatorship anyways).