Houston Police Chief: We are experiencing a surge of ‘unprecedented violence’ in the city

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HOUSTON, TX – Houston’s Chief of Police has described the city’s level of violence as being “unprecedented” in the wake of all that is ongoing with the pandemic. The notion was delivered by the chief during a press conference held on May 20th, following the murder of a pregnant woman police say was killed by her ex-boyfriend.

Chief Art Acevedo of the Houston Police Department remarked on the disturbing case of a pregnant woman killed inside of her home:

“Sadly, this appears to be a case of domestic violence turned deadly.”

Police alleged that 30-year-old Kendrick Thomas gunned down his seven-months pregnant ex-girlfriend, and then shot both her sister and her mother inside of the home as well.

The suspect was said to have tracked down his ex’s new boyfriend hours after the shooting and shot him as well.

Authorities caught up with Thomas at around 2:00 p.m. on the 20th, where he was said to be hiding inside of the cab of a rig located at an Exxon truck stop on FM 1960. Chief Acevedo said the suspect had taken his own life while inside of the vehicle’s cab.

According to the chief, this latest case has added to the increase he’s witnessed in violent crime during the pandemic:

“The last few months have been a time frame of just some unprecedented violence. Put up some prayers for these evil series of events that are going on in our city.”

Andy Kahan, a Crime Stoppers victim’s advocate, mirrored the sentiments relayed by the police chief regarding the violence plaguing Houston. Kahan noted that murder within the city has “skyrocketed,” and fears that the worst has yet to come:

“I haven’t seen levels like this in quite a while. And I think this is just the tip of the iceberg.”

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Murdered officer's grave desecrated before headstone even placed

This most recent murder follows the words spoken by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner back in March of this year, when he pleaded with the Houston’s criminals to “chill” when it pertains to committing crime:

“Let me just make my plea. Until the coronavirus is resolved, criminals take a break, OK! Stay home, OK? Stay home. And don’t commit any crimes!”

The manner in which the city mayor essentially begged miscreants to cease their criminal behaviors was somewhat odd in its delivery, as a portion of his statement seemed to imply that once the pandemic is over then criminals can resume committing crime:

“And that way, they’ll stay safe and out of jail, and police officers will stay safe and go home to their families, OK? So, everybody chill! Crooks, criminals, you chill! Wait until the coronavirus is over! OK, and then we’ll all be OK!”

There’s also the issue pertaining to releasing violent offenders from jail on some extremely low bonds, despite being accused of some pretty serious offenses. Take for example the case of 31-year-old Timothy Singleton. 

Back in April, Singleton paid $50 on a $500 bond to get out of jail. He then allegedly beat up his ex-girlfriend and her grandmother.

He is now back in custody. 

Singleton did not have his court-mandated ankle monitor on him when he was arrested. He told officers that it fell off when he was scaling a fence, so he just left it there. 

He originally bonded out on charges of burglary with intent to commit another felony and aggravated assault back in April, which is where the 10% down on the $500 bond fiasco stemmed from.

The rationale of said low bond was in the interest of the threat of the pandemic affecting the jail population, according to Magistrate Jennifer Gaut. 

When Singleton was wanted on new charges pertaining to the alleged attack on his ex-girlfriend, the Criminal Court of Appeals upped his bond from $500 to $100,000, and issued a warrant. 

Court records reveal that when Singleton was arrested, he told officers that he was not worried about the increased bond because he “could beat it” and would be “out and about” soon. Hopefully Singleton is wrong in his presumptuous belief of beating the newly attributed bond. 

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