Author Topic: Advocates call on Harris County DA to release name of untrustworthy cops  (Read 134 times)

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Offline Elderberry

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Houston Chronicle by  Keri Blakinger July 19, 2019

A coalition of advocates and lawyers on Friday morning asked Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg to develop a list of police deemed too untrustworthy to rely on in court — and to release the names publicly to rebuild community trust on the heels of a botched narcotics raid that left a Houston couple dead earlier this year.

The request for policies that would bolster accountability and transparency comes less than a week after the district attorney’s office refused to release to the Houston Chronicle an accounting of how many cops and deputies are on the office’s existing list of potentially untrustworthy witnesses.

The current list, known as the disclosure database, includes broader allegations and helps prosecutors figure out what information they should turn over to defense attorneys. Office policy precludes releasing it to the public, according to the DA’s office.

The new proposal — floated in a two-page letter signed by the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, the Texas Organizing Project, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, the Harris County Public Defender’s Office and a slew of advocacy organizations — calls for the DA’s office to follow the lead of a small number of prosecutors in other states in creating a “no call” list of officers who would no longer be called to testify.

“Under this policy, the District Attorney’s office would identify police officers who have violated the public trust by lying, falsifying evidence, or making racist or violent statements, thereby calling into question their ability to provide legal testimony in an unbiased manner,” the letter says. “This ‘no call’ policy would include only those officers whose behavior is so problematic and antithetical to the oath that they took to protect and serve the entire community that the District Attorney’s office could not rely upon them to convict someone.”

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