DEADLY HOUSTON RAID: District attorney to ask for 10 more employees, $1.7M to fund investigation

Thursday, July 25, 2019
District attorney looking for more help in botched HPD raid
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District attorney looking for more help in botched HPD raid

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Harris County District Attorney's Office will ask for $1.7 million in taxpayer money to investigate Houston Police Department's Narcotics Division after a botched raid that left a husband and wife dead.

The money would fund 10 additional employees who could look into potential police misconduct.

This Friday will mark five months since the no-knock raid of Rhogena Nicholas and Dennis Tuttle's home on Harding Street in southeast Houston.

Several police officers were also shot. Gerald Goines, the lead case agent, has been blamed for the raid.

He swore in a search warrant that a confidential informant bought drugs at the home, but investigators believe he lied about that.

The incident prompted a review of his 1,400 cases over the years as well as his partner's cases.

Now the district attorney's office plans to review records on all confidential informants used by HPD's narcotics officers for the last several years.

READ MORE: HPD hands over narcotics division files in raid investigation

"I mean they're looking at cases going all the way back to 2014. If they find out confidential informants were made up or known confidential informants were listed as providing information on cases that the informants say that they didn't, this could go far beyond Goines' cases," said former prosecutor Stephen Aslett.

A spokesperson for the district attorney's office released a statement saying in part:

"The Harding Street case is huge and more complex than most other cases. From possible misconduct to the use of confidential informants, we must review everything and get it right. The public demands and deserves nothing less."

Despite the high price tag, some were supportive of the request for more resources.

"Are there people in prison? Are there people in jail who are victims of these HPD officers? How high does it go? This is unprecedented," said civil rights attorney Randall Kallinen.

Another group, Texas Organizing Project, plans to speak against the attempt to hire more prosecutors, saying that the move would be counter to Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg's public commitment to ending mass incarceration.

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