Before you read what you're about to read, know this: I'm a proud member of the conservative media. I actively defend the police. I believe #BlueLivesMatter and the cops in this country are needlessly criticized by the media, academia, Hollywood and high ranking politicians far more often than they deserve.
All that being said, let's talk about the mess that recently took place in Houston, Texas.
On January 28 a drug raid killed a middle-aged couple and injured five undercover narcotics officers in Houston.
Police Chief Art Acevedo praised the police involved in the shooting. A lot of us did. We didn't know exactly what took place at the time, but many of us are the kind of people who give the police the benefit of the down when you-know-what hits the fan.
Acevedo specifically praised Gerald Goines, a 34-year veteran who had been shot in the neck after breaking the door and entering the house to assist his wounded colleagues.
Acevedo said, "He's a big African-American, a strong ox, tough as nails, and the only thing bigger than his body, in terms of his stature, is his courage. I think God had to give him that big body to be able to contain his courage, because the man's got some tremendous courage."
It was a bit odd that Acevedo's description of Goines started with his ethnic background, but we'll let that slide.
Two weeks later Acevedo was singing a different tune about Goines. This time he suggested the man was a liar who had broken the law and embarrassed his department by faking a heroin purchase that was the basis for the deadly police raid. Five police officers were injured and two people - Dennis Tuttle & Rhogena Nicholas - are now dead. Their dog was also killed.
Goines may have done something very dishonest but, according to Reason.com, he was a problematic member of our local law enforcement agency long before the deadly no-knock raid but Acevedo kept him on the force.
Similar allegations about Goines have surfaced from at least two previous drug buys. Goines was previously accused of lying under oath and mishandling drug evidence.
In one case witnesses contradicted the officer's testimony tying a defendant, Otis Mallet, to a stash of crack cocaine. That case is still being handled in our court system.
Mallet's lawyer said, "The new evidence discovered in this case shows that Officer Goines testified falsely and that no drug deal, as described by Goines, took place. Mallet was convicted based on Goines' perjured testimony."
Goines has also been previously reprimanded for unprofessional behavior. The behavior in question includes threats of physical violence. A grand jury found those threats to be credible and declined to indict the suspect in that case despite the fact that he shot Goines while working undercover.
Despite these incidents Goines received positive evaluations under Acevedo's watch.
Goines former supervisor defended the man by saying, "He was a good narcotics officer. He's not corrupt, but he's lazy with his paperwork. He has a history of not doing his reports until afterwards."
That explanation doesn't even begin to dismiss the allegations made against Goines, but okay.
Clearly something about that no-knock raid at Dennis Tuttle's home wasn't right. The police never found any black tar heroin inside. They also didn't find scales, bags or other miscellaneous equipment often associated with illegal drug dealers.
Even still, Acevedo is continuing the narrative that Tuttle and Nicholas are dangerous heroin dealers despite neighbors and relatives disagreeing with that assessment.
Acavedo said the that "the neighborhood thanked our officers" for the no-knock raid, but local residents haven't verified those claims.
It's easy to see how one police officer in a department as big as the Houston's could be problematic. But what's not clear is how the person in charge of the ship, Art Acevedo, allowed this guy to remain on the force despite multiple examples of previously similar incidents leading up to this tragic event.
Even if Tuttle and his wife were drug dealers, why was the no-knock raid necessary? Why did officers have to charge in with guns blazing? If police are here to serve and protect, who's life was improved by this incident?
I will continue to support the police. Cops don't get to decide what laws they enforce, that burden falls on the shoulders of politicians. But I can't sit idly by and not scratch my head when I see our police chief publicly praise a narcotics officer before disavowing the man two weeks later. Are we to believe Avocado just suddenly realized this guy was potentially toxic to the police force?