Grand Jury Indicts Houston Police Officer in Shooting of Unarmed Neighbor

A former Houston police officer was indicted Friday on felony charges in the shooting of an unarmed neighbor after a fight between their dogs last October – the first time an HPD officer has been charged as a result of a shooting since 2004.

Jason Loosmore, 32, is accused of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after shooting Casey Brown, 22, who is still recovering from extensive wounds. The officer shot Brown three times with a handgun, hitting him in the chest and stomach.

“He used his badge and gun to try and settle a personal score,” said Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, in a news release shortly after his indictment. “The community, through a grand jury, decided the officer broke the law.”

The last HPD officer indicted in an on-duty shooting was Arthur Carbonneau, who was charged with murder in March 2004 for causing the death of 14-year-old Eli Eloy Escobar.

Professor James Douglas, a Texas Southern University law professor and president of the Houston Branch of the NAACP, said the charges are an indication that times have changed in Houston.

“The district attorney should be commended. Obviously, one of the big problems we have is sometimes we have officers who think they are above the law, and we have a district attorney now who understands no one is above the law, including law enforcement officials,” said Douglas. “The last few police chiefs had the right attitude about improper actions by officers, and in the past, the problem had been getting the district attorney to get some charges to the grand jury.”

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo noted that while the majority of the 5,200 HPD officers conduct themselves in an honorable manner, the public should be assured the department will thoroughly investigate misconduct.

“What this demonstrates is no one is immune from accountability, and the police department played its role, the DA played its role, the grand jury played its role, and now a court and a jury will be a final arbitrator on this matter, which is the way its supposed to work.”

Arrest warrant issued

Loosmore was off duty on Oct. 13, 2016, but was wearing his badge around his neck and carrying his duty weapon as he walked his dog around 6 p.m. in southwest Houston. When Brown’s dog became aggressive, the officer told investigators he knocked on his neighbor’s door to verify whether Brown’s dog was vaccinated. Loosmore claimed that Brown’s canine had bit his dog. Brown eventually came outside and a fight took place between the men.

At an afternoon news conference, Natasha Sinclair, chief of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office civil rights division, declined to go into specifics of the case but said they take cases such as Loosmore’s seriously.

“We believe whether you are a citizen, former police officer, or a current police officer the law applies equally and we will go wherever the evidence takes us,” Sinclair said.

A warrant has been issued for Loosmore’s arrest, but he was not yet in custody, Sinclair said. He resigned from HPD on April 10, about seven months after the shooting.

For the full story visit: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Grand-jury-indicts-former-HPD-officer-in-shooting-12295258.php

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5648 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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