Calls for resignation of Houston police chief following disturbing revelation

In a recent statement, founder Hai Bui expressed concern by stating, “Houston, We have a problem! Who is in charge of running the Houston Police Department?”

HPD has announced that over 260,000 criminal cases were suspended over a span of eight years due to a “lack of personnel.”

On Monday afternoon, the Houston police made a significant announcement. They stated that after conducting an extensive department-wide investigation, they have uncovered a shocking revelation. It has come to light that a staggering 264,000 criminal cases dating back to 2016 were suspended due to a “lack of personnel.” This revelation highlights a major issue within the police force’s ability to effectively handle and process criminal cases.

Tippit expressed how incredibly traumatic it was to go through such an experience, where reporting the incident was the right thing to do, only to be treated as if her feelings and the situation itself didn’t matter. She shared that both she and other women she has spoken to felt an immediate sense of disappointment and betrayal.

Below is the complete statement from We The People Organize for your reference.

Houston, we have a problem! Who is responsible for overseeing the operations of the Houston Police Department? Who authorized the implementation of a Code that permits officers to disregard the investigation of criminal activities?

Since 2016, there have been growing concerns about the mishandling of 264,000 suspended cases, some of which involve serious offenses like sexual assault and felonies, within the Houston Police Department (HPD). This has raised questions about the use of the “Lack of Personnel” Code, which allegedly allowed officers in various divisions to avoid their responsibility of investigating crimes.

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Chief Troy Finner has repeatedly denied approving the use of the Code “Lack of Personnel” to suspend case investigations. He claims to have ordered officers in the special victims division to stop using the Code years ago. However, it is concerning that Chief Finner did not issue a Department Circular officially prohibiting the use of this Code, which should have been distributed to all divisions within the department. The absence of clear communication and a formal abolishment of the Code reflects a lack of leadership and incompetence. This oversight has brought embarrassment and disgrace to the department, and it may potentially result in low morale among its members.

Chief Finner should have raised these concerns with the Mayor and City Council back in 2016 in order to request additional resources for investigating these cases. Initially, Chief Finner mentioned that the Houston Police Department (HPD) was reviewing over 4,000 cases that had been put on hold using the code. However, recent news reports indicate that the number of cases suspended under Finner’s leadership using the same code ranges from 2,000 to 264,000.

This issue extends beyond internal policy, as it poses a threat to public safety and potentially exposes victims to their aggressors. This situation prompts the following important questions:

    • What has happened to the commitment to protect and serve Houstonians?
    • Where is the integrity and transparency that the community expects?
    • What happened to the millions of dollars in federal grants HPD received to hire officers within the last 5-10 years? 
    • Have these grants money been quietly reallocated without public knowledge? 
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This situation cannot be simply disregarded as a minor mistake. It highlights a more significant issue of ineffective leadership, lack of competence, laziness, neglect of responsibility, recklessness, and a complete disregard for the safety and well-being of victims of sexual assault and other crimes.

We, the People Organize, are demanding an independent investigation and oversight of the Houston Police Department’s misconduct. We are urging for an audit to be conducted on the utilization of the millions of dollars in federal grants that the HPD received for the recruitment of officers over the past 5-10 years. This audit should include a thorough examination of the allocation and expenditure of funds, such as $10 million in September 2010, $6 million in November 2021, $6.25 million in November 2023, $3.125 million in October 2014, $4.9 million in September 2011, an additional $9.9 million in December 2011, and $6.2 million in November 2020, which were specifically designated for expanding HPD’s domestic abuse teams. However, we also emphasize that this audit should not be limited to these specific grants but should encompass all relevant funds, including those allocated for Covid-19 initiatives.

The mishandling of victims’ cases has damaged HPD’s reputation, undermining the trust and confidence that the public and dedicated officers, especially patrol officers, have in their leader.

We strongly believe that Chief Finner should resign from his position as Chief of the Houston Police Department. This step is vital in order for HPD to initiate the necessary process of restoring trust with the residents of Houston and boosting morale among the officers within the department.

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