In fallout from the botched drug raid in the Pecan Park neighborhood in Houston, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office is requesting nearly $2 million in additional funding from county commissioners for 10 additional prosecutors to complete 14,000 case reviews, the Houston Chronicle reported.
That raid left two people dead and sparked a backlash against the Houston Police Department, with critics questioning whether the raid led by narcotics officer Gerald Goines and his partner, Steven Bryant, was justified. Both have retired and are under investigation both by local authorities and the FBI.
Initially, the proposed new staffers — seven felony chief prosecutors and three investigators for the Civil Rights Division — would have examined 2,200 cases handled by Goines and Bryant. But District Attorney Kim Ogg now wants to expand that to 14,000 police reports and reams of new confidential informant data recently turned over by HPD, the newspaper reported.
The letter from the DA’s office to commissioners said those reviews could determine whether criminal convictions of thousands of persons are justified.
“What leaders [agree to pay for] speaks to what they think is important, and our investigation of the Harding Street shootings is one of the most significant matters we have seen in decades,” Ogg said in a statement to the Chronicle. “Community trust depends on us getting to the truth sooner than later; we need to add experienced prosecutors to our Civil Rights Division to handle an investigation this deep and wide.”
The proposal also includes hiring an outside consultant to review the DA’s office plan for handling the investigation.