HOUSTON, TX – Four Houston police officers fired by former Chief Art Acevedo after the 2020 shooting of Nicholas Chavez have been reinstated, according to the Houston Police Department (HPD).
Four Houston Police Department officers who were indefinitely suspended in September 2020 in the deadly shooting of Nicolas Chavez will be reinstated, according to the department's police chief. https://t.co/qD8pc7gAfK
— CNN (@CNN) March 15, 2022
Officers Benjamin LeBlanc, Luis Alvarado, Omar Tapia, and Patrick Rubio were “indefinitely suspended” over the shooting of Chavez after the Houston Police Department concluded its investigation into the incident in 2020.
At the time, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner commented:
“No one should conclude that the dismissal of these officers is an indictment on [the Houston Police Department], of the 5,300 police officers.
“But when you are wrong, there are consequences.”
The Houston Police Officers’ Union (HPOU) issued a statement on Monday praising the appeal ruling, releasing a statement stating that the Mayor and other officials were misled by former police chief Art Acevedo into believing the officers violated policy:
“It was clear when viewing the video that these officers did not want to shoot Mr. Chavez and did everything in their power not to.”
— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) March 14, 2022
HPOU said the officers and sergeant were rightfully reinstated and will receive full payback and seniority.
The Mayor issued a statement stating the reinstated officers will be retrained on department policies and procedures:
“I reviewed the video shortly after the shooting of Mr. Chavez and was disturbed by what I saw. The city dismissed the officers, but the independent hearing examiner has reinstated them. It is important that before any consideration is given to placing these officers back on the street, they be retrained and fully understand the policies of this city.
“Mr. Chavez’s family lost a loved one, and even though the hearing examiner has reinstated these officers, no one should be rejoicing under the circumstances.”
Police Chief Troy Finner said the officers appealed the decision and an independent arbitrator sided with them after determining there was no proof that they violated department policies.
He said that regardless of agreeing or disagreeing with the appeal ruling, it was time to trust the process and move on:
“It’s a difficult time, as I’ve stated, for the Chavez family, our department and our community.
“I just want everybody to be respectful, everybody has differences of opinion but let’s all respect the process and let’s have some time for healing.”
A sergeant and three other officers who were fired from the Houston Police Department for their roles in the 2020 deadly shooting of Nicolas Chavez are to be reinstated, according to the Houston Police Officers’ Union.https://t.co/k8ID2MSnix
— Rilwan Balogun (@KPRC2Rilwan) March 14, 2022
On April 21, 2020, Chavez, 27, was killed by police in northeast Houston during a confrontation that was captured on bodycam video. A portion of the incident was also captured on a bystander’s cellphone.
Police had responded to several 911 calls that night about a possibly suicidal man in east Houston. Chavez was armed with a piece of rebar, which officers believed was a knife. For the next 15 minutes, officers said they retreated and tried to de-escalate the situation.
While on his knees, Chavez then grabbed a Taser that had already discharged both cartridges and pointed it at the officers. Officers fired more than 20 shots, killing him.
Former Chief Acevedo said that an autopsy showed that Chavez suffered a total of 29 entry or exit wounds, which included wounds from bullet fragments. He said Chavez also had methamphetamine and ethanol in his system.
Nicolas Chavez shooting: 3 Houston police officers and 1 sergeant reinstated after firing 21 shots at alleged suicidal man https://t.co/uvtgAD4uHV
— SUUTAN: What's going on? (@suutancom) March 14, 2022
Protests broke out following the shooting after the family of Chavez claimed he was suffering from mental illness when he was shot. His mother, Leantha Chavez, claimed the officers “executed him.”
Former Chief Acevedo said during a press conference in 2020 that the officers’ actions were inexcusable:
“(The officers’ actions were) inexplicable to (him) when they had plenty of opportunities to back up and continue to do what they were doing, for them to stay the line and shoot a man 21 times. I cannot defend that.”
Following an internal investigation into the shooting, all four officers were fired. In October 2021, a Harris County grand jury determined that the officers would not be charged in the shooting.
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said of the grand jury decision:
“Civil Rights Division prosecutors presented all the evidence over a four-day period. By issuing a No Bill, the grand jury, which is comprised of members of the community, determined that there was no probable cause to charge anyone with a crime.
“Civil Rights Division prosecutors presented all the evidence to ensure grand jurors were fully informed prior to making a decision. Our heart goes out to the Chavez family over the loss of their loved one. We respect the grand jury’s decision.
“The primary question for a grand jury in a police shooting is, ‘did officers act reasonably?’ Grand jurors are supposed to apply the law to the facts and reach a decision on probable cause. We use this process to ensure that the community decides whether or not police should be charged in on-duty killings.”
Revealed: Cop who exchanged gunfire with 4-time ex-con during chase was forced to resign by Chief Acevedo
November 3, 2021
HOUSTON, TX- A Houston police officer who exchanged gunfire with a four-time ex-convict during a police chase has been forced to resign by then-Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.
According to his criminal history, 32-year-old Juan Pablo Chapa is a career habitual violent felon. https://t.co/ucj6jCdagx
— FOX26Houston (@FOX26Houston) November 2, 2021
According to reports, 32-year-old Juan Pablo Chapa is a career habitual violent felon with a long criminal history. Andy Kahan with Crime Stoppers said:
“Every time he gets out of prison, every time he gets out of jail, it’s just a matter of time before he commits another violent crime.”
Chapa bonded out of jail in 2020 and in no time, two med ended up dead. Kahan added:
“In May of 2020, he’s out on bond for another family assault charge. Two months later, there’s when everything gets really crazy.”
On July 22, 2020, Houston Police Officer Nahuel Faiura and his partner saw Chapa driving recklessly. The officers attempted to pull him over around Old Spanish Trail and 288. Police said that three minutes later, the officers called out that the suspect was shooting at them.
Officer Faiura returned gunfire striking Chapa, who ultimately survived. After the incident, Acevedo forced Faiura to resign from the Houston Police Department (HPD). Houston Police Union President Doug Griffith said in a statement:
“We have a policy that you shouldn’t shoot from a moving vehicle, unless it’s extreme circumstances and they felt officer Faiura could have backed off and just waited. Had that happened, who knows who Chapa would have killed.”
(Houston- previous) Miami police chief Art Acevedo fired after feud with city hall. ‘The city was not ready for reform,’ he says. – The Washington Post https://t.co/BO8Y3ufO7i
— CMC 🌻🇺🇦 (@cmcdittmer) October 26, 2021
According to a news release from July 22, 2020, officers pursued the vehicle for several minutes and several miles. During the pursuit, Chapa began to fire a weapon at officers. The release added:
“Officers continued to cautiously pursue, but Chapa fired several more times at them. Fearing for his life, the life of his partner, and other units in the vehicle pursuit, Officer Faiura drew his duty rifle and returned fire, striking Chapa numerous times, causing Chapa to lose control of his vehicle and crash into an electrical pole.”
Officers then performed a high risk traffic stop and began to give verbal commands. Chapa exited his vehicle with no weapon in his hand, but evaded on foot until he surrendered without further incident. The release stated:
“Officers observed that Chapa had sustained several gunshot wounds. The officers immediately administered first air and paramedics transported Chapa to Memorial Hermann Hospital with life-threatening injuries.”
Authorities stated that officers found a .223 rifle in plain sight within Chapa’s vehicle. At the time of the incident, no one knew that just days before, Chapa allegedly shot and killed two men at the Steeplecrest Apartments at 11220 West Road. In August 2020, Chapa was charged with capital murder in the deaths of those two men. Griffith said:
“It’s disheartening for any officer who goes out there trying to do the right thing. I tell everybody we are one bad call away from losing our jobs, our career, taking care of our family.”
Former Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo — now chief in Miami — was suspended earlier this week from his new job and will be fired, according to a statement from Miami City Manager Art Noriega. https://t.co/ticCdopMSs
— Houston Chronicle (@HoustonChron) October 16, 2021
The revolving door at the courthouse has claimed the lives of law officers as well as defendants. Griffith said:
“Look at our last eight officer-involved shootings. Seven out of eight of them involved defendants out of jail on multiple bonds.”
Faiura now works for the Harris Count Sheriffs Department; Griffith spoke on his behalf to Fox26. HPD and Chief Acevedo declined to comment. Chapa remains jailed with a bond set at $1 million.
Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”. While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.
And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.
And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.
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