Family says HPD should help pay for loved one's funeral after officers involved in autoped

ByCourtney Carpenter KTRK logo
Friday, December 10, 2021
Family says HPD should help pay for loved one's funeral after crash
Family members of a man who was hit and killed by a Houston police vehicle that was assisting in a chase say they are stressed with paying for their loved one's funeral and believe HPD should be helping them with funding the services.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The family of a man who was hit and killed by Houston Police Department officers as they were responding to an assist Saturday evening is scrambling to pay for the victim's funeral. Family members also said HPD should be helping them out.

SEE MORE: Brother of innocent man hit and killed by police during chase: 'He was just going for a haircut'

"The family should not be trying to raise money to bury him when the city of Houston or HPD basically killed him," said Tamica Burns, the victim's stepdaughter.

Just before 6 p.m. in Sunnyside, two HPD officers were responding to an assist after a chase involving carjacking suspects.

SEE MORE: Teens who led HPD in chase that killed pedestrian committed carjacking before pursuit, victim says

The officers were driving on Reed Road when they lost control, went up onto the curb and killed 62-year-old Michael Wayne Jackson.

"He had a big sense of humor. He loved to sing. He loved to write poetry," Burns said.

Burns said Jackson was walking to get a haircut when the tragedy occurred.

On top of the grief, Burns said the stress of trying to pay for the funeral has been almost too much for her mom to bear.

"She's grieving. She's stressing. Now we have to come up with money to bury him, and it's not fair. It's not right," said Burns.

Burns said two officers came by earlier this week to offer condolences and dropped off information about nonprofits that may be able to help them.

"For them to just come out and say sorry and that's it, and then pop up with a pamphlet saying, 'Here are a few nonprofits.' That's not going to cut it," said Travis McGee, a community activist and longtime Sunnyside resident.

McGee feels strongly about the city being held accountable for doing more to help Jackson's family.

"The city needs to right this wrong. They need to take care of this family. They need to make sure they are good," said McGee.

HPD said the two officers involved in the crash are both 25 years old and have been with the department less than two years. As the investigation continues, they are both on administrative leave.

The DA's office said when their investigation is over, it will be referred to a grand jury.

The family has a goal of raising $7,000 to cover Jackson's funeral expenses.