***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***
The Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, the largest local criminal defense bar in Texas, sends its heartfelt sympathy to the victims’ families in Louisiana, Minnesota and Texas. We are all grieving heavily over the losses sustained in recent days.
As a Nation, State, and City, we are divided by these terrible events. We send this letter to try to help put an end to the downward-spiraling trend of increasing racial division in our community. We feel that strong action is immediately necessary to help avoid more racially motivated killings.
HCCLA calls for local officials to help heal our community, to fix broken relationships, and to try to re-build trust and confidence in law enforcement officials.
This can be accomplished by having the Mayor and the County Judge host a joint round table that includes the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Houston Police Department, Harris County District Attorney’s Office, Harris County Public Defender’s Office, Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, the Houston Chapter of Black Lives Matter, and the American Civil Liberties Union as well as other law enforcement and community leaders to discuss the following issues:
- Reassignment of law enforcement Internal Affairs investigations to neutral and impartial third parties to insure law enforcement accountability.
- Body Camera use for all law enforcement encounters and mandatory policies for such use.
- Increasing transparency from local law enforcement and the District Attorneys’ Office; Brady disclosures, prosecutor racial-sensitivity training, and full disclosure of complaints against officers and disciplinary information.
HCCLA calls on Mayor Turner and Judge Emmett to schedule a date and time to host this round-table meeting as soon as possible. This meeting is necessary and important for our citizens to see proof that Houston and Harris County leaders are committed to examining the path we are on to help avoid reliving the Louisiana, Minnesota and Dallas events here in our community.
Please feel free to contact me by email at email@example.com. Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this very important and sensitive matter.
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