When police officers disregard the rules, it isn’t just a violation of our constitutionally-protected rights. In some cases, it can directly lead to violence, serious injury, and death, both for civilians and for police officers acting in good faith. In a tragic recent example, one Houston narcotics agent stands accused of falsifying a search warrant to justify a Pecan Park drug raid, which led to two civilian deaths and five officer injuries.
According to the reports, internal investigators found evidence of deficiencies within the Houston Police Department narcotics division. They also discovered that one particular narcotics officer, Gerald Goines, may have lied about a confidential informant in order to perform an undercover drug buy before the Pecan Park raid.
Now facing criminal charges, Officer Goines has been relieved from duty, along with his alleged accomplice Steven Bryant. Police Chief Acevedo has also ordered a full investigative audit of the entire narcotics division and all of Goines’s past cases.
Section 1983 Claims: Fighting Civil Rights Violations
Under section 1983 of the federal Civil Rights Act, citizens are legally empowered to bring lawsuits against police officers who violate their rights. While you can cite almost any violation of constitutional procedure in a section 1983 claim, one of the most commonly violated is the Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans from exactly the kind of unlawful search and seizure methods demonstrated in this case.
If you believe that a Houston police officer may have illegally tampered with evidence or falsified a search warrant in your case, you could have grounds to bring a section 1983 lawsuit and recover damages. As the Houston Police Department continues to investigate evidence of illegal activity in the narcotics division, we encourage anyone with additional information to come forward, and seek the legal representation they deserve.
Ready to speak with one of our Houston police brutality lawyers? Contact Farah Law at (888) 470-9772 for a free consultation. We have more than 30 years of experience helping injury victims seek recovery, and we’re committed to holding law enforcement officials accountable for civil rights violations.