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Posted: 12/7/2002 5:19:09 AM EDT
A Harris County grand jury on Friday indicted two veteran Houston police officers on charges of felony official oppression. 23-year veteran Capt. Mark Aguirre and 26-year veteran Capt. Ken Wenzel were each indicted on five counts of felony official oppression. 13 police supervisors are suspended and the Houston Chief of Police is indicted for felony perjury at this time. 270 innocent people were arrested in a K-Mart parking lot in August. According to police, Capt. Aguirre ordered the arrests as part of a crackdown on drag racing although no drag racers were turned up. The city of Houston faces one lawsuit amd 89 claims for damages filed by victims seeking millions of dollars in compensation. All charges of tresspass and curfew violation were dropped by prosecutors for lack of evidence of commission of any crime. Police Chief C. O. Bradford said he was out of town the week before the illegal raid and would not have approved it. He said subordinate officers should have disobeyed commanders' orders for such a sweep. Acting Police Chief Tim Oettmeier says any future operations will have to be approved by the Chief in writing. The department's internal affairs division continues to investigate the arrests.
Link Posted: 12/7/2002 5:30:18 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/7/2002 5:33:28 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Arock: A Harris County grand jury on Friday indicted two veteran Houston police officers on charges of felony official oppression. 23-year veteran Capt. Mark Aguirre and 26-year veteran Capt. Ken Wenzel were each indicted on five counts of felony official oppression. 13 police supervisors are suspended and the Houston Chief of Police is indicted for felony perjury at this time. 270 innocent people were arrested in a K-Mart parking lot in August. According to police, Capt. Aguirre ordered the arrests as part of a crackdown on drag racing although no drag racers were turned up. The city of Houston faces one lawsuit amd 89 claims for damages filed by victims seeking millions of dollars in compensation. All charges of tresspass and curfew violation were dropped by prosecutors for lack of evidence of commission of any crime. Police Chief C. O. Bradford said he was out of town the week before the illegal raid and would not have approved it. [red]He said subordinate officers should have disobeyed commanders' orders for such a sweep[/red]. Acting Police Chief Tim Oettmeier says any future operations will have to be approved by the Chief in writing. The department's internal affairs division continues to investigate the arrests.
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I wonder what they would have done if ordered to confiscate weapons. Arok, do you live in that area? It looks like the city wants to hold some of them accountable. Seems to me, all who participated should be charged, as "just following orders" is not a defense. They all trashed their solemn oath.
Link Posted: 12/7/2002 5:34:55 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/7/2002 5:44:02 AM EDT
WHAT!!! HOLDING LAW ENFORCEMENT ACCOUNTABLE??? What will they think of next??? ..fullclip[:)]
Link Posted: 12/7/2002 6:16:33 AM EDT
It makes me happy. I used to live in the apartment complex next to that K-Mart and did a decent bit of shopping after hours, so it hit a little close to home for me. I'm happy that the two commanders in question were indicted, as this operation shouldn't have gone down the way it did. I'm all for them busting street racers, but finding none and then deciding to round up a parking lot full of people was extremely heavy handed. I also agree that ever officer who played along should face diciplinary actions. They should have known better, and in some cases vocalized their objections while still going along with the raid. I want 100% accountability for all those involved, and I'm as pro-LEO as you can get. A cop who's just following orders when those orders are wrong is a bad cop. HPD actually bought tresspassing signs and posted them at the parking lot days after the raid, without the property owner's knowledge. They were taken down shortly afterward. Remember the Alamo, and God Bless Texas
Link Posted: 12/7/2002 7:33:04 AM EDT
Good News!
Link Posted: 12/7/2002 7:38:43 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 82ndAbn: [<]:)] [:D] [beer] [bounce] [smoke] [size=5]OUTSTANDING!!![/size=5]
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What he said. SSD
Link Posted: 12/7/2002 8:28:08 AM EDT
What a novel idea....making the law enforcers follow the same laws they are to enforce. WoW! Now is anybody in the city of Dallas listening?
Link Posted: 12/7/2002 8:34:13 AM EDT
WOW! Amazing! That's all I can say really. I'm glad these assholes are on the way out, there was no reason for this to have occured and no reason they should still be in a place to guard the public.
Link Posted: 12/7/2002 9:07:13 AM EDT
Houston is one screwed up city. That is why people live in the suburbs...better schools, lower taxes, and much better law enforcement. Who ever takes over after mayor "out-of-town Brown" hopefully will clean house. Remember mayor Brown used to be the police chief, he lowered standards, recruited the wrong people and the Houston PD is still dealing with these challenges. He forced these things on them, as police chief...and his legacy continues as mayor. After Brown was police chief, he left for new york city....screwed that up...and Klinton made him drug czar. He then "returned home" to Houston to run for mayor. And the "educated" voters in Houston just kept electing him....hey they also keep electing that liberal, anti gun, "genius" Sheila Jackson Lee. Saw her and her aids attempt to purchase silencers and class III weapons at the Geo Brown Show....real jerks! Kops wouldn't touch it.
Link Posted: 12/7/2002 10:56:01 AM EDT
Excellent! Let's hope further indictments are forthcoming! [^]
Link Posted: 12/7/2002 11:13:28 AM EDT
Let's just hope they actually face some serious jail time! Afterall, this was organized kidnapping.
Link Posted: 12/7/2002 11:52:25 AM EDT
Ok, so who here really thinks these guys will get convicted of anything ?? More likely, a promotion.
Link Posted: 12/7/2002 11:58:53 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/7/2002 12:51:37 PM EDT
Yes, OUTSTANDING!!! How about some Federal charges, too... denial of civil rights under color of authority??? I remember when HPD had an entire substation go to jail for selling drugs, and I think, mfg, too.
Link Posted: 12/7/2002 5:18:02 PM EDT
How about some Federal charges, too... denial of civil rights under color of authority???
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Hell yeah. Don't these people realize Ashcroft has his own E-mail at DOJ. Hit his office with enough mail and you will be surprised. How are the local Houston media outlets handling this? Getting bombarded by media requests for information about a case often gets local US Attorneys attention.
Link Posted: 12/7/2002 5:56:00 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 82ndAbn: [<]:)] [:D] [beer] [bounce] [smoke] [size=5]OUTSTANDING!!![/size=5]
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you guys should have herd my dad laughing last night while watching the news! it was sooo funny. my dad was under Capt. Aguirre many years back and hasnt changed. anyway my dad told the Capt. that he wouldnt play his games and he almost got fired for it. we had to take him and the chief of police to federal court before they unnsuspended him and whiped the record clean. anyway in 95 dad retired and last night he was litereally ROFLHAO.
Link Posted: 12/8/2002 8:02:46 AM EDT
I grew up in Houston and remember the days of Whitmire and Betty Watkins (Watson?) who cut crime in half overnight. Literally. I had family in HPD and still do, but I left town as soon as I went to college so I wouldn't have to work LE in Houston. I also remember the Joe Campos Torres Swim Team and the teenage auto thief who got shot in the head after surrendering. Later turned out the pistol he was alleged to have pulled was from the evidence locker. Lee Brown is just another contiuation of why I won't live in Houston.
Link Posted: 12/8/2002 8:33:01 AM EDT
Originally Posted By fullclip: WHAT!!! HOLDING LAW ENFORCEMENT ACCOUNTABLE??? What will they think of next??? ..fullclip[:)]
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Come on folks, this is just smoke and mirrors to make it appear they are doing something to punish the perps. None of these officers will ever get jail time.
Link Posted: 12/8/2002 9:10:12 AM EDT
M24 Shooter, that was "Queen Elizabeth" Watson. She was MY chief after she fled Houston (Hired by her sorority sister who was Austin city manager.) Both of them resigned when 32 MILLION dollars could not be accounted for out of the city/police budget. Had to boogie ahead of the indictments. Queen Elizabeth then went on to be a special advisor on policing to the Clinton Admin, I think her quoted salary was 340K a year. At least she's out of Texas now. Her College roomie became a professor at UT, teaching city management!
Link Posted: 12/8/2002 1:35:23 PM EDT
Yea, and get this, after the indictments were announced the head of the officer's union (Hans (somethingortheother)) was on TV saying "this decision will have a chilling effect on HPD officers who are just trying to do their job." It is that kind of narrow-minded, us-against-them, assholeesque attitude that turns the population aginst the police. Every HPD cop I every met has been OK by me. I think its time for a new union rep. . .
Link Posted: 12/8/2002 2:06:40 PM EDT
Guys, I live in Houston and this situation is a double-eged sword. Yes, the idiots in charge of that raid should get slapped somehow but the political backlash from this will only result in HPD's legitimate law enforcement abilitiy to be diminished. The [i]end[/i] result will be higher crime in Houston because HPD will be gunshy about taking a strong position on persueing crime. This is not good at all. This is analogous to Kalifornia law enforcement not going after the hispanic gang-bangers for fear of being sued for "discrimination". This is a vicious cycle folks. CMOS
Link Posted: 12/8/2002 2:16:46 PM EDT
just so you know....it is really hard to get on as a white guy in HPD. well atleast thats what my dad said. Houston is prodominatly liberal city anyway. but i think with the right leader a better inferstructure could be put inplace and thus resulting in a more profectional police force. by the way to the 300+ pound HPD officer i saw at edwards theater working an extra job, SLIM FAST!!!!! go to the gym. I COULDNT SEE YOUR GUN BELT AT ALL! ONLY THE GUN STICKING OUT THE SIDE OF YOUR BLUBBER!!!
Link Posted: 12/10/2002 1:28:19 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Johninaustin: M24 Shooter, that was "Queen Elizabeth" Watson. She was MY chief after she fled Houston (Hired by her sorority sister who was Austin city manager.) Both of them resigned when 32 MILLION dollars could not be accounted for out of the city/police budget. Had to boogie ahead of the indictments. Queen Elizabeth then went on to be a special advisor on policing to the Clinton Admin, I think her quoted salary was 340K a year. At least she's out of Texas now. Her College roomie became a professor at UT, teaching city management!
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Yup. I left Houston to go to UT in 89 and remember her coming to Austin a few years later. I told a few of the officers that I knew what was in store. They didn't believe me at first. Now they do. Knowing some of the UT staff from when I was getting my MPA, I think her friend probably fit right in. Really hated the staff.
Link Posted: 12/10/2002 2:13:39 PM EDT
I like the name of the charge: [b]official oppression[/b] - it describes quite accurately what Aguirre and Wenzel did.
Link Posted: 12/10/2002 5:34:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By A_Free_Man: I remember when HPD had an entire substation go to jail for selling drugs, and I think, mfg, too.
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considering an entire sub station consists of several hundred officers you might wanna check a bit more into the details of that.
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