Houston, TX -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/17/2014 -- "We work violent crimes first. If someone steals your trash can or your lawn mower out of your garage, there are no witnesses, there's no evidence, there's nothing for a detective to follow up on, it's not assigned," McClelland stated during a budget hearing.However, a city-commissioned study revealed that the department did not investigate 20,000 crimes with leads in 2013, a direct contradiction with the Chief’s statement. Furthermore, of the uninvestigated cases, a majority were violent crimes, including assault and hit-and-runs.
According to Neal Davis, Houston criminal defense lawyer, all crime should be investigated and pursued by the police, "The problem with the Chief’s position, of course, is that the public is not upset the police did not aggressively probe EVERY crime reported to it. Rather, folks are mad that police did not aggressively pursue cases in which crimes were clearly committed. There’s no excuse for police not to investigate such cases; indeed, that’s the reason we have cops."
HPD has been under investigation for shoddy investigation before. In 2002, DNA testing at HPD’s crime lab was suspended after an independent audit revealed unqualified personnel, lax protocols and insufficient facilities that included a rainwater roof leak that destroyed evidence. Recently, a back-log of untested rape kit evidence going back a decade has been moved to an independent lab for processing. More than 10,000 unsolved and uninvestigated cases are finally being tested after Mayor Annise Parker made it a priority to move the evidence out of storage in the HPD property room.
HPD plans to ensure that the staffing issue is resolved soon, but as of now more officers are retiring than are being hired and trained. Despite Police Chief McClelland’s assurance that violent crimes will be investigated, a recent study reveals that 15,000 burglaries and thefts, 3,000 hit-and-run crashes and 3,000 assault cases were simply set aside without any investigation.
About Neal Davis
Neal Davis is a Board certified Houston criminal defense attorney dedicated to defending all types of criminal problems in federal and state courts across Texas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Fort Bend County and Jefferson County. Neal specializes in Assault charges, DUI charges and any serious criminal charges. Founding attorney Neal Davis is the recipient of several attorney awards and accolades including certification from Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Facing serious criminal charges? Call (713) 227-4444 for a free case evaluation today!