Texas prosecutors to review more than 1,400 cases involving Houston officer

Posted at 4:23 PM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-20 18:32:04-05

With a Houston police officer under criminal investigation, authorities in Houston are reviewing more than 1,400 cases the cop has worked on during his 35-year career.

The announcement from the Harris County District Attorney’s office said Officer Gerald Goines has been relieved of duty. Nicole DeBorde, Goines’ attorney, told CNN on Wednesday that her client, who was shot in the face and neck, is still being paid as a police officer but has not spoken with the chief.

Goines was involved in a January 28 drug raid in which two people were killed and five officers were hurt after officers went in using what is called a no-knock search warrant.

Houston police Chief Art Acevedo said Wednesday the department will change its policy and now require officers wanting to conduct a raid without knocking on the suspect’s door or ringing the doorbell to get approval first from the chief or the chief’s designee.

Acevedo also said the FBI has opened a civil rights investigation into Goines’ actions.

Police have said Goines lied to obtain a search warrant for the January raid. He used an unnamed confidential informant to confirm that drugs were being sold in the home police raided, according to affidavits obtained by CNN. The affidavits, dated February 14, detail the investigation after the raid.

Following the raid, Goines named his informants to investigators, but the informants told authorities they had not worked with Goines on this particular case, according to affidavits.

Goines, whose career was decades long, according to the DA’s office, was injured in the shooting.

DeBorde, Goines’ attorney, told CNN earlier this week that her client’s jaw is wired shut and he continues to undergo medical treatment.

“That’s why you’re not hearing the other side. He’s severely injured. He still can’t speak clearly,” DeBorde said.

DeBorde said Wednesday that she and her client welcome the review of his cases.

“It’s the responsible thing,” she said. “I think it’s sensible.”

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said her duty was to see justice done.

“Although the criminal investigation of Officer Goines is ongoing, we have an immediate ethical obligation to notify defendants and their lawyers in Goines’ other cases to give them an opportunity to independently review any potential defenses,” she said.

When narcotics officers breached the front door of the home on the evening of January 28, gunfire erupted almost immediately.

One of the suspects retreated to the back of a room and re-emerged, returning fire, police said. The second was shot while trying to wrestle a shotgun away from an officer, they said. Both suspects were killed.

Four undercover narcotics officers were shot, police said. A fifth officer suffered a knee injury.

Investigators discovered no heroin in the raid despite having said they previously purchased the black tar form of the drug at the home. Officers did find marijuana, five guns and a white powder believed to be cocaine or the painkiller fentanyl, Acevedo said after the raid.