Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo announces no-knock policy changes

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo went before city council Friday to share new details about changes being made within his narcotics division.

You'll remember it was several officers on the narcotics unit that executed the no-knock warrant that took a deadly turn. The chief is now saying that those types of search warrants must be signed off by a district court judge.

Sitting before members of the city council, Chief Art Acevedo explained new policy changes happening inside his narcotics division, specifically with no-knock search warrants.

As of Feb. 20, the chief announced either himself or a designated higher up must approve and sign off on the request, that warrant then must be signed by a district court judge and only SWAT members will execute those warrants.

"They are probably the best equipped, and I believe, to execute the no-knock search warrant," Acevedo said.

In addition, when it comes to how the unit handles warrants, the narcotics division will only execute "knock and announce warrants" and ballistic shields will be used for entries.

Narcotics lieutenants must also be present as these warrants are being executed.

Questions still loom around what really was going on inside the home on Harding Street. Many neighbors claim the two victims, Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas, were not involved in drug activity as HPD claimed.

ABC13 Eyewitness News asked Chief Acevedo if he could share any new details into that aspect of the investigation.

"Like I committed to Mr. Tuttle's brother, once we are done with our investigation, looking at the good, the bad, and the ugly, we will be able to say what extent there was involvement in that home. We owe it to everyone involved to let them know," Acevedo said.

The chief says his department's investigation should be complete in the next few weeks, and then it will be submitted to the district attorney's office.

He also mentioned new policies are being developed for the narcotics division in regards to body cameras, and a testing phase of different camera mounts is beginning soon within the department.
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