Chief Hurtt Invites Outside Review of Initial Taser
April 4, 2005 -- In an effort
to belay concerns raised by some within our community, Houston
Police Chief Harold Hurtt today (April 4) recommended that a small
committee be formed to review the particulars surrounding Taser
usage by officers of the police department. The committee will
be made up of both police and non-police personnel. No timeline
is yet established for the creation of this committee, and Chief
Hurtt is awaiting feedback from minority community leaders on
who should even be on the committee.
The chief made the announcement following a meeting
with community leaders from the National Association for the Advancement
of Colored People (NAACP), the League of United Latin American
Citizens (LULAC), the New Black Panther Party and the American
Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
"The Houston Police Department has nothing
to hide, and we will make every effort to demonstrate our willingness
to be transparent insofar as the law will allow us," said
Chief Hurtt. The chief also stated that, "We must all, at
some point, turn away from focusing on the sullied past if we
are to move forward in strengthening police-community relations."
Chief Hurtt recognizes that numbers themselves make up only part
of the picture, so he is creating an opportunity to look behind
those numbers to see if community leaders have lingering concerns
after being made privy to more details. All those present at today's
meeting concurred with the chief's recommendation.
The focus of the committee will be limited to
the first 192 Taser discharge incidents only. There are no plans
to create a standing committee or to have committee members do
anything more than review the cases that have already been reported
to the media and community.
For additional information, please
contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.