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Chief Hurtt Must Resign

The performance of Houston Police Department Chief Harold L. Hurtt has reached unacceptable levels. The recent death of Officer Rodney Johnson at the hands of an illegal migrant from Mexico is simply the latest and most obvious example of Hurtt's incompetence and stone-faced apathy to the needs of his officers and the city.

Hurtt was the guy who thought that red-light cameras at intersections to increase ticket revenue was better than protecting safety by using police officers.

Hurtt is the guy who decided HPD officers could not pursue suspects in chases, a decision which ran directly counter to the officers' experienced opinion.

And when Rodney Johnson was gunned down by an illegal who should never have been in the United States at all, Hurtt refused to allow HPD officers even ask suspects if they are in the United States legally, much less take them off the streets. Mayor Bill White asked Chief Hurtt to reconsider his - well, his consistently stupid and dangerous decision - last December, but Hurtt did not bother to reconsider, and now a police officer is dead in part because of that policy.

Chief Hurtt is not even available to answer questions and criticisms from Houstonians; he went off on a trip to give speeches in Arizona and North Carolina immediately after Officer Johnson's death. Almost as if the murder of one of his officers brings him no worry or grief.

Resign, Chief Hurtt.


Before your policies and politics get more people killed.

Comments (15)

No need to ask where the ch... (Below threshold)

No need to ask where the chump er chiefs politics lie. Is there one democrat in the country that is the least bit interested in protecting the American public? If there are they are hidden away really good, or banned from public by the DNC.

Jay Tea just called them il... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea just called them illegal aliens. You called him an "illegal migrant."

Jay Tea is correct. No more euphemisms.

Actually, I was trying for ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Actually, I was trying for accuracy. Aliens show up here and live like citizens, though illegals make no effort to assimilate or become citizens; they just want the benefits.

Migrants, on the other hand, cross the border back and forth according to the moment. This guy not only came into the US, but left and came back as he pleased, no worry about border patrol, and that is even worse.

There are only 3 things a p... (Below threshold)

There are only 3 things a police dept. can do to protect and serve. Technology (cameras etc), manpower and procedure. Using manpower by putting an officer at an intersection instead of using technology is a vast waste of manpower. To have maximum effectiveness, mobility is needed. An officer in a car, patrolling an area and being readily available to respond quickly is the best way to utilize manpower. The red light cameras at an intersection act as a deterrent if the media is made aware of them. They can be placed at numerous locations for a fraction of the cost of a police officer. Manpower is very expensive.

The red-light cameras only ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

The red-light cameras only highlight Hurtt's money-first thinking. Chief Hurtt has refused to authorize any new police academy classes, and has reduced cars from 2 officers to 1, even in areas known for violence and high risk to single officers. HPD ranks are getting older and smaller.

Hurtt is a damnable bureacrat.

Harold L. Hurtt=Lee P. "out... (Below threshold)

Harold L. Hurtt=Lee P. "outta town" Brown.


Everyone in Houston knows that those red light cameras are there only to generate revenue for the city. We have people here intentionally running lights in order to fight their existance in court. They will win, too.

And right now red light runners, despite the danger they cause for others, are the least of Houston's porblems. We have a crime wave going here thanks to a minority of Katrina evacuees from NOLA robbing, raping, car jacking and murdering. Couple that with the ongoing illegal aliens smuggling and Central American gangs like MS13. Right now the state is sending DPS officers here to deal with stuff like traffic problems so HPD can concentrate on the hard core criminals and murders. Mayor White is under fire from the citizens who are fed up with the criminals. I would not be surprised to see the "shotgun squads" come back here, it is a very effective tactic because criminals are cowards and they dislike being on the wrong end of a shotgun.

The rank and file of HPD detest Hurtt and his policies and lack of attention are making matters worse here. I am also going to guess that the cities policy of not asking about peoples immigration status is going to be done away with here after this one. Sure, the ACLU and identity groups like LULAC may open their mouths and squeel about it but if they were smart they won't.

As for this Mexican who killed Officer Johnson even his wife says he deserves what he has coming to him. This bozo thinks he will only get deported back to Mexico like he has before. Nope, he is going straight to Huntsville and death row.

I already knew what I would... (Below threshold)

I already knew what I would find but I checked anyway...he's black. Surprise, surprise. I'm not a racist, I just go through life with my eyes open.

And right now red ... (Below threshold)
And right now red light runners, despite the danger they cause for others, are the least of Houston's porblems.

One of my friends from college was hospitalized for a MONTH in Houston by a red-light runner.

There is no constitutional right to run a light.

Waldo -- The notio... (Below threshold)

Waldo --

The notion that police are obligated to protect citizens is false. Most often this statement is presented in gun control ideology in the form "Private citizens don't need firearms because the police will protect them from crime." That belief (police must protect) has bled into other arguments. The courts have spoken over the years and the police have "no duty" to protect citizens.

Just for Jay, we will use Massachusetts as an example. See Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. Ch. 258 § 10(h), where it states you can't sue the state "for failure to provide adequate police protection, prevent the commission of crimes, investigate, detect or solve crimes, identify or apprehend criminals or suspects, arrest or detain suspects, or enforce any law." These are referred to as "no-duty" laws. Other states have similar statutes.

These laws in MA (and other states) have been tested and upheld. In Ford v. Town of Grafion the court said a court order that was supposed to restrain a predator and protect Ford did not amount to an "assurance of safety or assistance" from the police department. According to the court, when the police advised Ford "to get a gun for protection," that was a warning to her that the police were unable to assure her safety or protect her. Because Ford received no assurances of safety from the police, she had no legal right to rely on the police to protect her. Case dismissed. Statute upheld.

Anyway, red light and speeding cameras are installed to "raise revenue", not protect citizens. From the courts logic above, the placement of the camera should serve as a warning
that the police are unable to assure our safety, hence, "drive defensively".

DJ --

I would agree, Hurtt should go. But, down here in Arizona and other southwest states, illegal immigrants have been injuring, maiming, and killing Joe Citizen for quite some time. In addition, we have had illegal immigrants perform same and similar actions against law enforcement personnel. It seems we all hear about it for days when a cop is killed, however, it doesn't seemed to get the press or government folks too riled up when the common folks are killed. Should the common folks just tolerate it? Or, perhaps before federal policies and congressional hide-saving and self-serving politics get more people killed, might we secure the southern border?

Unlike the police that are under no obligation to provide protection, the federal government does have an obligation to secure the borders and members of Congress have a duty to uphold the Constitution.

JohnAnnArbor, in 1994 I was... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

JohnAnnArbor, in 1994 I was broadsided by a drunk who ran a red light at 80+ mph with his lights off.

No one has a right to run a red light, but claiming that a camera will prevent accidents, especially when the red-light runners will not have the offense noted on their record, is lying.

Yes or no, Ric - if most HPD officers want to be able to arrest illegals, should their Chief say 'no'? Should the Police Chief decide to ignore certain laws?

Catching illegals at the border is the DHS job. After that, we ALL have that responsibility.

Ric, Granted, the pu... (Below threshold)

Granted, the public has no guaranty of protection from the police. Bad choice of words in my post. Replace protect with do their jobs etc. As for the red light cameras, yes, they raise revenue. So do parking meters and speeding tickets property taxes, sales taxes. You need money to run a city. Of course, not everyone is going to be deterred from running a red light but with the camera there, maybe even a majority might actually stop. I have been in the same position as Chief Hurtt with budget problems and staffing demands. Trying to please all the politicians and keep the morale in the department up is a juggling act. How many of the problems listed are pushed on him from above, like the budget director?

May I use your quote with o... (Below threshold)

May I use your quote with one simple change?

"Resign, Rumsfield


Before your policies and politics get more people killed."

DJ --Those questio... (Below threshold)

DJ --

Those questions almost present the same paradigm as asking "Ric, have you stopped beating your wife yet?" :-) Yes or no does not quite suffice. In response to "if most HPD officers want to be able to arrest illegals, should their Chief say 'no'?

First, I am not too familiar with Texas law, but does an HPD officer even have the authority under Texas statute or Houston ordinance to arrest an illegal? I don't know. Any Texans or Houstonians out there that can provide clarification? (The attorneys on both sides of the equation have made a mess of things).

If HPD officers do not possess the authority by statute or ordinance, then just because they "want" to arrest an illegal it doesn't mean they can. That kind of stuff gets dangerous. Next thing you know an officer will "want" to arrest folks for driving pickup trucks with NRA and USMC bumper stickers and I'll find myself in the pokey. A lot of ideologies that end in 'ism' operate that way (Islamism, Communism, Nazism, etc). However, personally, I believe if the officer knows that a violation of law outside his jurisdiction occurred, he should be able to arrest the individual and turn them over to the proper authorities. In regard to this discussion, I personally believe HPD should be able to arrest illegal aliens and hand them off to DHS.

If HPD officers possess the necessary authority to arrest illegals, and they are prevented from exercising that authority by their superiors ("Should the Police Chief decide to ignore certain laws?" - No), his management needs to get on the stick and remove him. If management is complicit with the Chief, well, its time for law-abiding citizens to gather, remove him (them), and restore order.

Waldo --

RE "Trying to please all the politicians and keep the morale in the department up is a juggling act. How many of the problems listed are pushed on him from above, like the budget director? "

Just my opinion - Given Chief Hurtt's behavior, and if he faces these issues mentioned, the fellow lost his spine and cajones somewhere along the way and he ought to step down (If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen). If he found his backbone, I would bet a paycheck the citizens of Houston would stand behind him.

Ric, I have to say that was... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Ric, I have to say that was an incredibly lame answer.

First, the obvious answers, and btw I speak as a Texan and an Houstonian. YES the law nominally REQUIRES HPD to enforce the statutes against illegal entry into the United States; the problem is that Hurtt on his own ass-faced judgment decided that enforcing those particular laws was "too hard" for HPD, and by the way the Officers Union - not normally the kind of guys to look for extra work - overwhelmingly wanted to enforce the immigration laws where they came up in patrol and investigation situations.

And if you speak to Houstonians, you will find that Hurtt has zero credibility. He was an out-of-town executive brought in who has only sat on his butt and ignored both citizens and officers. He never had cojones - he's a CYA bureaucrat in the mold of Lee Brown, and the only mistake I can pin on Bill White was hiring this total loser instead of finding the next Chief from among the five thousand officers in HPD already.

Police Chief Hurtt MUST res... (Below threshold)
K Aimes:

Police Chief Hurtt MUST resign. His refusal to DO HIS JOB and control the illegal immigration problem in Houston has cost a good police officer his life. It is obvious the Police Chief has NO desire to protect American citizens or his law enforcment officers. "I'M MAD AS HELL and NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE". FIRE POLICE CHIEF HURT and boot his a-hole out of the country.






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Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

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