Video shows confrontation between officer, attorney

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- An attorney squares off with a Houston police officer who she said was trying to force his way into her client's home Sunday.

"Sir, I'm asking you to remove your foot from the door so I can close the door," attorney Lema Barazi could be heard saying in a recording of the incident.

Barazi said officer LR Velasquez was dispatched to the home to help in a civil matter. Barazi said her client's ex-girlfriend wanted to get her stuff from inside the home.

"They (Barazi's client) were telling me that they fearful of their lives from this ex-girlfriend and police," said Barazi.

Officer Velasquez was seen in the video flashing his name tag and badge number. Barazi said the officer went away and then came back with his sergeant and a threat for Barazi.

"They told me that if I did not let them into the house, they would be arresting me," said Barazi.

The officers said they wanted in, yet they had no warrant and no probable cause - just an ex-girlfriend who claimed she lived there and had some items inside. Barazi kept refusing entry.

"They said we have permission from assistant DA Carter, that he has accepted charges against you for interference with public duties," said Barazi.

She was put in handcuffs. The officers allowed the ex-girlfriend in to take what she wanted.

"These officers were assisting this ex-girlfriend in the theft of my client's property," said Barazi.

"The attorney was doing the right thing. The attorney was following the law. The law does not give an officer the right to interfere in a civil dispute and that's what this is," said ABC-13 legal analyst Joel Androphy. "He's (Ofc. Velasquez) lucky he didn't get his foot shot off. He had no business putting his foot in the door."

In the end, Barazi said the officers made her a deal in the back of the patrol car. They would not file charges against her, if she agreed to not report them to internal affairs. Barazi was let go. No charges were filed Sunday.

The Houston Police Department denies that claim. And Monday, an HPD spokesperson set the officers did nothing wrong.

Barazi said he plans on filing an internal affairs complaint after all.

Related topics:
Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.