Houston mayor says police chief is out


The mayor of Houston has replaced the city’s police chief as investigations continue into why hundreds of thousands of cases were never investigated, including more than 4,000 sexual assault allegations.
But that seemed to evaporate quickly after Houston television stations reported Tuesday that Finner had been informed in a 2018 email.
He appointed assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite as acting chief.
Several city councilors expressed gratitude for Finner, who joined the Houston police department in 1990 and became chief in 2021.
“His efforts have significantly contributed to our community’s safety and wellbeing.” Finner’s retirement comes as police investigate the dropping of more 4,000 sexual assault cases that are among more than 264,000 incident reports never submitted for investigation.
Despite this, he said, he learned on Feb. 7 of this year that it was still being used to dismiss a significant number of adult sexual assault cases.
But in a social media post in February, it said sexual assault survivors “pay a high price” when investigations aren’t clearly resolved.
“Small and medium agencies now have more sworn officers than they had in January 2020,” according to the forum’s report.


While inquiries continue into why hundreds of thousands of cases—including over 4,000 allegations of sexual assault—were never looked into, Houston’s mayor has taken over as the department’s police chief.

At the beginning of the City Council meeting on Wednesday, Whitmire offered a brief statement, thanking Troy Finner for “his many years of public service” and accepting his retirement as chief of police. “.

Whitmire, who assumed office in January, had voiced his confidence in Finner following the chief’s February revelation of the enormous number of unresolved cases, claiming to have first learned of the issue in November. However, that appeared to vanish swiftly after news outlets in Houston revealed on Tuesday that Finner had received the information in an email from 2018.

Whitmire called Finner a friend and said that he had pledged to keep him as police chief during his mayoral campaign. “But you have to make tough decisions,” Whitmire said. “.

In the end, the problems with the investigation . are diverting the department’s attention. from its main objective of combating crime, according to Whitmire. Acting Chief Larry Satterwhite was named by him as the deputy chief.

Finner joined the Houston police department in 1990 and was appointed chief in 2021. A number of city councilors expressed their gratitude to him. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz, a city councilor, stated that she is already missing him.

“He has shown unwavering dedication to our city,” Evans-Shabazz stated. His efforts have made a major difference in the safety and wellbeing of our community. “.

Finner’s retirement occurs concurrently with an investigation by police into the dismissal of over 4,000 cases involving sexual assault, out of over 264,000 incident reports that were never filed for further examination. After admitting that the unsubmitted cases were being assigned an internal code by the officers due to a staffing shortage, Finner issued an apology in March. Whitmire also ordered an impartial panel to conduct an evaluation.

When Finner discovered for the first time that officers had been using the code to justify dropping cases, he said he had ordered them to stop in November 2021. Nevertheless, he claimed to have discovered on Feb. 7 of this year, a considerable number of adult sexual assault cases were still being dismissed using it.

Finner responded to a 2018 email that mentioned the suspended cases and was included, following reports from multiple Houston TV stations. Finner then posted a statement on X claiming he was unaware of the email until he saw a copy of it on Tuesday.

Finner wrote, “I have always been honest and have never set out to mislead anyone about anything.”. Despite the fact that the email from 2018 contained the term “suspended lack of personnel,” nothing made me aware of its use or existence as a code within the department. “.

The Houston Area Women’s Center, the biggest nonprofit in Houston that assists victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. However, it was stated in a February social media post that victims of sexual assault “pay a high price” when inquiries aren’t satisfactorily concluded.

It may cause unimaginable trauma for a victim to summon the bravery to come forward and disclose their attack, only to have their case put on hold while they wait. dot. The fourth-largest city in the country is suffering from a system failure, the post stated.

According to an August report by the Police Executive Research Forum, as many younger officers resign and as many older officers retire, police departments across the nation are facing an immediate staffing crisis. A national reckoning over police treatment of minorities coincided with a sharp decline in applications for open positions.

More positive statistics were discovered in a report released on April 27 by the same Washington-based think tank.

The forum’s report states that “small and medium agencies now have more sworn officers than they had in January 2020.”. “Sworn staffing in large agencies increased somewhat in 2023, but it is still over 5% below January 2020 levels. “.

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