Union leader explains passionate response to HPD shootout

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- In the wake of a shootout that injured five members of Houston police, the union leader representing the city's officers said he was expressing the overall frustration felt by the thousands of patrol men and women being targeted every day.

"We are sick and tired of having dirtbags, trying to take our lives, when all we're trying to do is protect this community and protect our families," said Houston Police Officers' Union President Joe Gamaldi on Monday.

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"ENOUGH IS ENOUGH": Houston Police Officers' Union president Joe Gamaldi is taking a hard-line stance against anyone stirring anti-law enforcement rhetoric in Houston.



On Tuesday, Gamaldi explained his thinking and the passion behind what he said.

"For me, in that moment, it was just vocalizing what the 5,200 brave men and women of the Houston Police Department were thinking, what every single officer at that hospital was thinking, and what every single police officer in this country is thinking, and that is we are sick and tired of having targets placed on our back. We are sick and tired of people painting us as the bad guy. Enough is enough," said Gamaldi.

He insisted there was nothing political or racial about his words, but it was all about public perception and rhetoric.

"It probably started after the harmful narrative after (the unrest in) Ferguson. 'Hands up don't shoot,' which wasn't true at all," observed Gamaldi. "We're the good guys and we want to make a difference. And it's what I wanted people to hear last night."

Meanwhile, Houston police Chief Art Acevedo was candid a day after the shootout.

"When you're making entry into a home, you've gotta go through a door that's really a fatal funnel," Acevedo said.

Acevedo added they needed every one of the officers at the scene that night. All of them were part of a meticulous planning process.

"They gather a lot of intelligence, as much as they can. They try to do a risk assessment on the location, on the suspects, unknown occupants of a target house. And they put together an operational plan," he explained.

Serving search warrants is a risky business, according to the chief. The warrant was obtained after buying heroin at the address. He said the investigation is ongoing, and he also understands the strong words from Gamaldi.

"I think what you're seeing from Joe is just the frustration of his brothers and sisters being shot at and actually knowing there were two guys," Acevedo pointed out. "We weren't sure that one or two of them weren't going to make it last night. So I think the nerves are a little frayed."

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