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Corrupt Police Officers that have Killed: Lamont E. Tillery, David R. Barrera, Pete A. Herrada, David Perkins, James R. Willis, and Darrell H. Strouse
Innocent Citizen Killed: Pedro Oregon Navarro
Location: Houston, Texas
At 1:30 a.m. on July 12, 1998, six members of the Houston Police Department Gang Task Force, after receiving a "bogus drug tip" from an unregistered informant, burst into PEDRO OREGON's apartment, without a warrant, and fatally shot him 12 times from behind."
"The first shot entered the back of his head, the second in the back of his wrist, the third to the back of his shoulder, and the remaining 9 shots were to his back as he lay face down on the floor with his hands in front of him."
"One of the cops, Officer Barrera, fired until his gun was empty, paused to reload, then resumed firing. He is responsible for 24 of the 33 shots fired that night.
The police are now conducting a slander campaign against PEDRO and the OREGON family by claiming, without proof, that PEDRO was a "drug dealer" and "gang member." Not surprising, considering the way they think about all young blacks and latinos, this is a second assassination of PEDRO.
First they killed him with guns, now they are trying to kill his character and turn the victim into a criminal.
The fact is NO drugs were found in the apartment, nor on PEDRO, nor in his body. The cops also maintain that he shot at them, but new evidence indicates that the police never saw him with a weapon. This means they LIED."
"On August 24, the case was referred to a grand jury by District Attorney John B. Holmes with no charges recommended. D.A. Holmes has admitted that it is his policy never to recommend charges against cops. The means that you and I are held at different standards than the police. Instead of indicting these killer cops for murder, the grand jury cleared all of them except one, who received a sham misdemeanor criminal trespass charge. Only after a public outcry were the six officers fired by Chief of Police Bradford. They were fired because people like you had the guts to stand up and voice your outrage."
"The internal police investigation even found that they had violated state and federal laws. Still no charges! This is the major demand of the JUSTICE FOR PEDRO OREGON COALITION (JPOC), that the cops be charged with murder now!" "Just last week, information from a deposition of one of the notorious six officers, David R. Perkins, has shed new light on PEDRO's murder. Police reports state that when the cops entered the apartment, PEDRO bolted from the living room, ran down the hallway and into his bedroom. But in Officer Perkins' deposition, he states that he never saw PEDRO run to the bedroom. He then goes on to say that he never saw PEDRO outside the bedroom at any time. So now they are caught in another lie: The truth is that the cops "kicked in the bedroom door, never identifying themselves as the police.
After Officer Barrera accidentally shot one of his own men, the cops opened fire on PEDRO, an unarmed man, killing him. Officer Perkins even said that he never saw PEDRO with a weapon at any time!
Harris County District Attorney John B. Holmes Jr. said that the six Houston police officers involved in a raid in which a man was killed could have been within their rights to shoot him - even if they had no right to be in his home.
"I don't know of any authority at this point that gave them the right to be in that residence," Holmes said. "But that doesn't make the shooting a crime."
Holmes said that because the law [in Texas] does not allow anyone to resist an arrest, even an illegal one, officers had a right to use deadly force against Oregon if he threatened them. A pistol was found at the scene, but police have not yet said if it had been fired. "They do not have to sit still for a citizen pointing a firearm at them, even if they entered unlawfully," Holmes said.
"They were - every one of them - in uniform," he said. "There should not be any reasonable idea in your mind that you are being the victim of a kick burglary."
Holmes said Texas law at one time had recognized a person's right to resist an unlawful arrest. But since the mid-1970s, the law had required that everyone submit to arrest, even in their homes. The only exception, Holmes said, is the right to defend yourself against unreasonable force, such as being beaten.
Calling the shooting of Pedro Oregon Navarro "murder," protesters, activists and relatives of those slain previously by Houston police demanded justice in Oregon's killing.
Saying the firing of the six officers involved in the unauthorized raid that resulted in Oregon's death is insufficient, dozens of protesters gathered outside the Harris County Criminal Courthouse on Thursday.
They called for the resignation of District Attorney John B. Holmes Jr. and prosecution of the officers for the July 12 killing of Oregon, who was shot 12 times.
A grand jury no-billed all the officers except for indicting one on a charge of misdemeanor criminal trespass.
"We feel the evidence is clear," said Toylean Johnson of the Justice for Pedro Oregon Coalition.
The protesters' anger was fanned by a Houston Chronicle story Thursday that Officer David R. Barrera fired 24 of the 33 rounds discharged during the raid.
HPD Chief C.O. Bradford fired all six officers on grounds that they violated the law as well as procedures.
The protesters included Susan Hartnett, whose son Derek Jason Kaesman, 25, was shot 14 times in a hail of gunfire after leading Houston police on a chase Oct. 25.
"We have returned to the wild West where the posse acts as judge, jury and executioner, said Hartnett, who accused the police of murdering her son.
Another adding her voice was Janie Torres, whose brother Joe Campos Torres was beaten by Houston police in 1977 and drowned after falling or being pushed into Buffalo Bayou.
"Everyone else in this city who (commits) a crime is expected to pay for that crime," said Torres. "This (Oregon's killing) is murder."
The officers involved in Oregon's shooting were "cold-blooded murdering cowards," Torres said. "We did not ask for this and we do not deserve this."
Noel "Skip" Allen, whose son Travis, 17, was shot to death by Bellaire police in 1995, called the lack of a felony indictment in Oregon's killing "typical of the good old boy justice in Texas."
"Police brutality is not a thing of color," said Allen. "We have police out there who have no business being in uniform."
Local NAACP President Howard Jefferson called on city leaders to "come together and right this wrong."
Justice of the Peace Al Green warned the gathering, "Unless we take a firm stand, the next victim can be one of our own relatives."
Green decried what he called the lack of public interest in the shooting of Oregon because he was not an affluent member of society.
"Someday," Green said, "they (police) are going to kill the wrong person.
"When they break into the wrong house and kill the wrong person, then we'll see lawyers and doctors and politicians rise up."
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