Man says he was assaulted by HPD officer in case of mistaken identity

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A man said he plans to file a lawsuit against the Houston Police Department after he was mistaken for a suspect and assaulted by an officer.

Kevin Cooper and his wife attended a wedding party at Swagger lounge in southwest Houston in May 2014. Cooper said he was walking to a gas station across the street when an officer in an unmarked Ford F150 truck placed him in handcuffs.

"At the time I was in a suit attire," Cooper said, "and I simply asked the officer to let me sit in one of the arriving cars."

Cooper said the officer threw him to the ground, injuring his elbow, ankle and back.

"I was bleeding from hitting my elbow, which caused a contusion. And at that point, they took me out of the handcuffs, and told me to go home," Cooper said, "with no EMT, with no case number, no nothing whatsoever."

Cooper and community activist Quanell X filed a complaint with HPD internal affairs. In return, they received a letter stating the officer is guilty of three charges: improper police procedure, misconduct and responsibility to know procedure.

"Are you going to allow other citizens to encounter this officer after this document states that he is not qualified to wear the uniform," Quanell X said. "We want to know: what's the punishment?"

According to an HPD Public Information Officer for the department, it is station policy not to reveal the officer's name or reveal the officer's charges. HPD did confirm no officer was indefinitely suspended because of this incident.

Eyewitness News has also submitted a public information request with the city of Houston. We hope to receive a copy of the officer's disciplinary letter within 10 days.

HPD did issue the following statement: