Author Topic: Court filing raises more questions about official narrative of Harding Street raid, seeks to depose  (Read 142 times)

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Offline Elderberry

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Houston Chronicle by  Keri Blakinger and St. John Barned-Smith

Six months after a botched drug raid left a south Houston couple dead and sparked a police scandal, the results of a private investigation released in a court filing raise new and troubling questions about the official narrative of the case.

The forensics expert hired by relatives of the couple killed in the failed bust found that police apparently fired some of the fatal shots through a wall, while standing outside the Pecan Park home. The independent review also highlighted the perplexing presence of two bullet holes in an inner room of the home, shot into the wall from inches away - but more than four yards from the shootout by the front door.

Taken in conjunction with video footage that appears to have captured the sound of two shots half an hour after the gunbattle, family attorney Mike Doyle argued in a 22- page legal petition that the independent findings raise enough questions to merit further investigation in preparation for a lawsuit. In Thursday’s court filing, he asked a local judge for permission to question police officials under oath about the raid and about “abuses” throughout the narcotics division.

“Given the indications that the City’s story does not line up with the physical facts at the Harding Street Home,” Doyle wrote, “the Nicholas Family believes the Court has more than sufficient basis to order the depositions requested to investigate the wrongful death, civil rights, and other claims arising from the Harding Street Incident.”

But to Nicole DeBorde, the attorney representing former lawman Gerald Goines - the case agent at the center of the raid - the new filing didn’t raise any red flags or new questions.

“This is a very one-side, hired-expert-based spin filed with the end goal of getting a big payout from the city and its taxpayers,” she said. “Law enforcement, both federal and state, is not going to release reports in the middle of an investigation - in part so that civil lawyers looking for a big payout cannot manipulate the data.”

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, meanwhile, cautioned against jumping to conclusions either way.

“We will get to the truth,” she said. “And while we welcome any information about the incident that unfolded on Harding Street, we caution everyone to wait for all the evidence to be brought forth before making a decision about what happened that day and who is responsible.”

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