Houston police reform task force to be formed by end of June

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A group of citizens will come together to review procedures within the Houston Police Department and make recommendations on how they can improve.

Mayor Sylvester Turner announced that members of the police reform task force will be selected by the end of the month and will have 90 days to provide feedback.

"People want us to listen and they want to come forth with recommendations," Mayor Turner said. "This is a task force that will be pretty much citizen-driven, meaning people not so much related to city hall."

Outside of the memorial for George Floyd, the mayor said he thinks the point is being missed when people call to disband police departments.

"They want good policing," Mayor Turner said. "They want policing with accountability."

The mayor said he does not want to dictate to members of the task force what they should be making recommendations on specifically.

He has said the group will be tasked with coming up with criteria on when body camera footage from officer-involved shootings should be released.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo stood next to the mayor as he announced the plans at a press conference Saturday.

On June 25, the Houston City Council Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee is holding a meeting to discuss the investigative procedures after an officer-involved shooting.

Council Member Abbie Kamin, head of the committee, said Houston police, the Harris County District Attorney's office and the head of the police oversight committee have all been invited.

She said creating an open dialogue will be the first step.

"HPD, by and large, has implemented a lot of the recommendations that are being put forth across the country," Kamin said. "Now, how do we make sure those are being enforced? How do we make sure we have transparency? That's part of this conversation too."

Members of the community are able to sign up to speak at the meeting, although they have not started accepting requests. The committee is working to determine if the meeting will be held in person or virtually.

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