Family of woman killed in botched raid says HPD is 'uncooperative'

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The family of the woman killed in the botched Harding Street raid is accusing police of being uncooperative.

A court filing from Rhogena Nicholas' legal counsel states the family's primary claims arise under Nicholas and Dennis Tuttle's wrongful death and survival statutes.

"The City and the Department have been completely uncooperative, blocking the Nicholas family's attempts to obtain 911 call records relating to the incident and refusing to disclose the results of the Department's investigation of the incident," the document states. The court filing also asserts that the City has a "recurring problem with preserving evidence."

According to the document, an investigator hired by Nicholas' family concluded that HPD had not conducted a full investigation of the incident and left evidence at the Harding Street house.

Nicholas and Tuttle, husband and wife, were killed in January during a botched no-knock raid conducted by HPD's undercover narcotics unit. Four officers were also shot during the gunfire.

The circumstances described by the family's attorneys are far different than the initial picture painted by HPD, which said in the days after the shooting that there was some sort of gun battle inside the house.

In the aftermath, two officers were suspended and eventually retired. Both officers are facing charges in the botched raid.

Eyewitness News is reaching out to the city and Houston police for a comment.


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