‘Few more days,’ Houston Police Department’s internal probe into suspended cases not completed as originally slated

In a June 18 report, Mayor John Whitmire told KPRC 2 Investigates Mario Diaz the Internal Affairs Investigation into HPD’s suspended sexual assault cases was expected to be completed on July 1.

HOUSTON – An internal affairs investigation into the Houston Police Department’s suspended cases was said to be completed today. The reason for the July 1 date was because that’s what Mayor John Whitmire told KPRC 2 Investigates Mario Diaz last month at City Hall.

For months, KPRC 2 Investigates has broken several developments into the suspended cases within HPD as we seek answers for the more than 260,000 people who had cases placed on the back burner due to what was described as “a lack of manpower.”

Last month, Mayor Whitmire said he expects Internal Affairs to complete its investigation by July 1st. HPD also confirmed that date to KPRC 2 Investigates.

Mayor Whitmire confirmed Monday morning in a call to KPRC 2 Investigates Mario Diaz that the internal affairs investigation would be completed not as scheduled but in “a few more days.”

When we asked KPRC 2 legal analyst Brian Wice for his thoughts on the investigation being delayed slightly further, he noted it was “troubling.”

Here’s a timeline presenting how KPRC 2 Investigates has been following this story from the very beginning.

February 7, 2024

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner is made aware internally of a significant number of sex adult cases being suspended by investigators citing lack of manpower

February 16, 2024

HPD Chief Finner informs Houstonians for the first time that a significant number have been suspended due to “Lack of Personnel” in a social media post.

February 22, 2024

Chief Finner holds a news conference for the first time regarding the “unacceptable issue pertaining to adult sex crimes investigations” according to Finner. During the news conference, Finner admits that he first became aware of cases being suspended in November 2021 and ordered the practice to be stopped. On that same day Executive Assistant Chief Chandra Hatcher writes a letter to Chief Finner asking for an HPD investigation into the “issue”. In her letter, Hatcher admits to having attended a meeting in November 2021, “distinctly” recalling “heightened concern” as to how sexual assault cases were being investigated.

February 26, 2024

Chief Finner reveals over 264,000 various cases were not investigated department-wide, and criminal cases were suspended through “a lack of manpower” code.

March 1, 2024

Assistant Chiefs Kevin Deese and Ernest Garcia are demoted as a part of the fallout from what has now become a scandal for the department.

March 6, 2024

Mayor John Whitmire orders Independent Review of HPD Chief Troy Finner and the suspended cases

March 19, 2024

HPD’s Union requests recusal of HPD Chief Finner in suspended cases scandal

April 5, 2024

KPRC 2 Investigates uncovers some assault cases involving children were also suspended, according to HPD records.

May 3, 2024

KPRC 2 Investigates exposes Hatcher’s February letter to Chief Finner as not being completely accurate according to sources. The questions surrounding Hatcher’s integrity and what she wrote in the letter forces Internal Affairs to reopen the investigation.

April 30, 2024

Chief Finner says Internal Affairs investigation into Houston’s deactivated sex assault cases scandal is complete.

May 7, 2024

2018 email emerges showing Chief Finner knew of sexual assault cases in 2018, KRPC 2 Investigates Mario Diaz tracks Finner down for reaction. “It’s something that I didn’t know about and I definitely didn’t remember that,” said Finner in his final media availability during the scandal.

May 8, 2024

Chief Finner resigns, Mayor Whitmire says accepting Chief Troy Finner’s retirement from Houston PD was tough, “Made me sick”

May 9, 2024 - https://www.click2houston.com/news/local/2024/05/09/i-am-sorry-houston-acting-police-chief-responds-to-when-he-found-out-about-the-department-suspending-incident-reports/

Houston Acting Police Chief Larry Satterwhite provides an unclear response to when he first learned about SL code after KPRC 2 Investigates Mario Diaz pushes for answers. Satterwhite also confirms that Hatcher has to explain her letter.

June 18, 2024

Mayor Whitmire tells KPRC 2 Investigates Mario Diaz that he expects the Internal Affairs investigation in suspended cases to be wrapped up by July 1.

July 1, 2024

KPRC 2 Investigates has learned the Investigation still is not complete. Mayor Whitmire confirmed Monday morning in a call to KPRC 2 Investigates Mario Diaz that the internal affairs investigation would be completed not as scheduled but in “a few more days.”

About the Authors

Journalistic bulldog focused on accountability and how government is spending your dollars. Husband to Wonder Woman, father to a pitcher and two Cavapoos. Prefers queso over salsa.

As an Emmy award-winning journalist, Jason strives to serve the community by telling in-depth stories and taking on challenges many pass over. When he’s not working, he’s spending time with his girlfriend Rosie, and dog named Dug.

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