HOUSTON, TX – Local station, KTRK, reported that an armed gunman on foot, fired at and struck a police vehicle on Wednesday.
Houston Police Chief, Art Acevedo, issued the following statement on social media:
“Suspect has shot multiple times at officers and citizens this morning and fortunately missed. His gunfire struck a patrol vehicle occupied by two officers and another vehicle occupied by 3 citizens.”
Police: Officer Shoots, Kills Gunman Who Opens Fire at Houston Police Vehicle https://t.co/zIj6tJChWr
— Thomas Paine (@Thomas1774Paine) August 27, 2020
The assailant fired his weapon and struck a Chevy Tahoe containing the three people multiple times, on Wednesday morning at approximately 3:30 a.m. The bullets missed all three people inside. The driver of the Tahoe called 911 to report the incident.
Police officers were dispatched and arrived on the scene in one patrol vehicle (also a Chevy Tahoe) three minutes later. Other officers arrived and helped establish a perimeter within five minutes.
An hour later, the suspect fired again and struck a patrol vehicle. The suspect missed both officers inside, despite penetrating the driver side door.
#Police in #Houston fatally shot a man who opened fire on a car carrying 3 civilians and at a patrol vehicle, the city’s police chief said.
A #SWAT officer fired a single shot and struck the suspect, who was rushed to a hospital and later pronounced dead. https://t.co/7vuAQ3OI17
— The Epoch Times (@EpochTimes) August 27, 2020
While officers were engaged with the suspect, another officer encountered a vehicle close to the scene that had been broken into and burglarized. The burglary has not been tied to the suspect at this time.
The suspect kept his weapon, a silver revolver, exposed and often pointing at the officers during what became an hour long standoff.
After indicating thirst and asking for water, the suspect was tossed a container of bottled water by one of the officers. An officer also attempted to talk down the suspect and diffuse the situation. He continued to point his weapon and make threats against the officers, however, and took an aggressive stance while pointing at a group of them.
One of the officers, a S.W.A.T. officer, shot the suspect with one round from his service weapon, ending the standoff. He was pronounced dead at Memorial Hermann Hospital, after being attended to by a S.W.A.T. attached medical doctor and rushed away from the scene by ambulance.
Support has poured in on social media for the Chief and officers involved, with very minimal criticism of the officers’ handling of the situation. There have been no reported protests related to this shooting so far.
A Black Lives Matter march was already planned however, for Saturday, August 29 in the nearby suburb of Dickinson, TX.
Chief Acevedo praised the officers’ restraint, in doing all that they could to diffuse the situation, despite shots already being fired by the suspect.
In a statement made live on Periscope, Chief Acevedo said,
“This is an African American male, and the narrative is that the police officers never want to take anybody alive. The amount of restraint that was shown here, I think is indicative of our commitment to trying to de-escalate; trying to respect the sanctity of life.
“Officer (inaudible)… again, his eyes were lit up, thinking about how he would be able to put the training that he had just received a few days ago from our training staff, in terms of trying to get this man to surrender.
“He said, ‘Chief, I tried everything. I engaged him.’
“As a matter of fact, he was actually able to do the negotiating before the hostage negotiating team got here.
“‘But he just did not want to surrender.’
“Again, out of the blue he said that he was going to shoot officers again. He raised his gun, and at that point, understanding that this man had already shot at police officers and civilians… fearing for the lives of those officers and himself, the S.W.A.T officer discharged one round.”
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Houston has been in the news lately as Chief Acevedo has stood against defunding the police and actually hired more officers. Here’s Law Enforcement Today’s previous report on that.
Their message is simple: if you’re going to complain about lack of diversity at the police department, at least try and help solve the ‘problem’.
Houston Police Department’s (HPD) Recruiting Division Sergeant Charlah Woodard told FOX 26 News Houston in an interview:
“We need good, qualified applicants to join the Houston Police Department.”
HPD is working in collaboration with a local church, Community of Faith, and Bishop James Dixon in the next recruitment. Bishop James Dixon said:
“This is a great career option for so many people in our community.”
HPD is going to hire over 400 officers with a new recruitment strategy to attract a special type of officer.
Bishop James Dixon also told FOX 26 News:
“We’re in the midst of a social revolution in America and that includes Houston. Of course, Houston is the home of George Floyd. We should set the precedent for doing things new and innovative.”
HPD has decided to try this new recruitment strategy in light of the recent protests that have been occurring over the past few months due to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police Officers.
Some of the HPD officers say they have a solution to the protestors’ claim that there is a problem of racism and bias within the law enforcement profession. The protestors want racial equality.
HPD Officer Eric Carr, the Public Affairs African American Community Liaison for HPD said:
“If you really want to see change in today’s time, you have to be the change you want to see.”
So, what is the new recruitment strategy? Houston’s Afro American Police Officer’s League (AAPOL) planned to host a Community Based Police Recruitment Program.
The recruitment is offering those who want social justice a chance to step up and become Houston Police Officers allowing for the what you might call “bad apples” to be replaced. Sgt. DeAndre Hutchison, President of the AAPOL said:
“We know when we recruit people who have a relationship to the community, we get a better police service.”
Officer Carr said:
“We’re just trying to shake the good trees so we can get the good fruit.”
This new recruitment strategy was designed to help rid law enforcement and the communities they serve of systemic racism.
Anyone interested must register for the recruiting event. There are two dates for the event, Friday at 6:00 p.m. and another one on Saturday at 10:00 a.m.
Both recruiting events will take place at the Community of Faith Church located at 1024 Pinemont Drive. You must be between the ages of 20 and 44 to be recruited.
This recruitment program also serves as an internship for those individuals looking to be one of the 400 positions that HPD needs to fill. The program also intends to help recruits overcome certain obstacles.
Bishop Dixon, co-host of the recruitment, said:
“We need people who will come into the police department respecting blacks, whites, browns and all people the same. Knowing we do all matter, understanding that from the beginning. They were raised to understand that. They’ve lived that reality. You don’t have to teach them to be sensitive to diversity. Changing the people will change the practices.”
Sgt. Hutchinson told FOX 26 News:
“We get a better result when people are partnered with a mentor. We think it’s important that we provide a mentorship so we can work with these people one on one so we can walk them through the process.”
Sgt. Hutchinson spoke about some of the obstacles for the new applicants in getting hired by HPD. He stated that poor or bad credit is most likely to be a disqualifying factor for most applicants.
Sgt. Hutchinson said:
“You have to have a heart for service to be good in this job and we want to make sure we articulate that to everybody watching. We want servant leaders to come and apply with HPD.”
HPD recruitment flier says: “A Safe Community Begins with You!”
“A new community-based police recruitment program for new officers.”
It’s the polar opposite of cities like Seattle, where they are eliminating countless officers:
Seattle, Washington – It seems that everyone has their proverbial breaking point or moment of surrender, and one of the most important figures within the Seattle Police Department is said to be resigning.
SPD Chief Carmen Best is said to be ending her career with the SPD after 28 years with the department.
‘When it’s time, it’s time’: Chief Carmen Best to announce resignation from SPD #DefundThePoliceFAIL https://t.co/6Rsbxql3a3
— Shawn G. Chasing The Truth (@1shawnster) August 11, 2020
In an email said to have been from Chief Best that was sent to the roughly 1,400 officers with the SPD, she stated the following about her planned resignation:
“This was a difficult decision for me, but when it’s time, it’s time.”
The infamous Seattle City Council had pushed through a vote to cut the SPD budget for the remainder of the year by about $3 million in a 7-to-1 vote. Unsurprisingly, the only person who voted against the motion was Kshama Sawant – because it didn’t go far enough into cutting the budget:
“It completely fails to defund the police by 50%, as six of the eight council members had promised to support and carries out a major austerity program on behalf of big business.”
However, the Minneapolis Charter Commission had already blocked the controversial 50% defunding option from being present on the November ballots earlier in August.
Yet, this newly passed budget cut by the City Council will see roughly 100 police officers laid off and cuts to the SWAT team, Navigation team, and the Chief’s own salary.
Carmen Best carries herself with dignity has been a steady voice of reason. The council is insane. | Carmen Best, Seattle’s first Black female police chief, resigns after the city council voted to cut the police budget without even consulting her. | https://t.co/nb2vzhmJoM
— Fiery but peaceful Mike (@Doranimated) August 11, 2020
Chief Best has been a strong voice in the opposition against the City Council’s knee-jerk reactions to protests which seemingly on represents a minority of what Seattle really wants done with the SPD.
Not to mention, there’s already been studies that show the SPD couldn’t possibly see the remainder of 2020’s budget be reduced by 50% anyway.
In the email addressed to members of the SPD, Chief Best stated the following:
“I wanted to notify you that I will be retiring from the Seattle Police Department, effective September 2nd, 2020. I wanted you to hear this from me, but some media have reached this conclusion on their own.”
Later on in the email, Chief Best also revealed who her successor would be:
“Mayor Durkan has appointed Deputy Chief Adrian Diaz as the interim Chief of Police. Chief Diaz shares my commitment to this department and has the trust of the community.”
Carmen Best announced plans to resign the same day the city council voted to cut the police force by up to 100 officers.https://t.co/H5tJFkMm7O
— The Federalist (@FDRLST) August 11, 2020
Acknowledging her long career within the department, Chief Best reflected on how much she appreciated the time she had with the department and the officers within it:
“After more than 28 years, I am so thankful for the time I spent at SPD. You are my family. You will always be in my heart. We have had tough times before and come out better on the other side. I am glad I pushed through each of those tough times with you.”
Not long after Chief Best sent the email out to those within the SPD, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan also emailed members from the SPD confirming Chief Best’s retirement:
“I wanted to follow up on the Chief’s note announcing her retirement from the Seattle Police Department. Know that while I understand the Chief’s reasons, I accepted her decision with a very heavy heart.”
Mayor Durkan noted some of the accomplishments attributed to Chief Best since her appointment in that role in 2018:
“She led the department toward a dramatic reduction in use of force against people in crisis as well as a decreased major crime rate in 2019. In addition, she hired more diverse officers to reflect the community, and in 2019, the department hired its most diverse class in recent memory at 39 percent people of color.”
Seattle Police chief Carmen Best has thrown in the towel and resigned after the Democratic city council voted to cut millions from the police department’s budget following demands to defund the police from Antifa rioters and Black Lives Matter agitators.https://t.co/iNx6W5E4kv
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) August 11, 2020
In Mayor Durkan’s email, she also noted that the ongoing public debate and protests against police officers have been a hardship against those who don the uniform:
“I know that this necessary public debate is personal for you, and that it affects not just your jobs. It impacts your families and the pride you have in serving the public. I also know it seems like the real strides SPD has made in recent years are going unrecognized.”
Still, much like Chief Best stated, Mayor Durkan feels as though the newly announced Deputy Chief, Adrian Diaz, will be able to handle the upcoming hurdles for the SPD.
It’s unclear what this move will translate to in the long run from a public relations perspective, but it’s possible that the City Council may have run off what was perhaps one of the best mediating voices within the community and the SPD overall.
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