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Protesters to demand murder charge against cop involved in Pecan Park drug bust

February 18, 2019 GMT

Activists and protesters are set to gather outside Houston police headquarters Monday to demand murder charges against the narcotics agent accused of fabricating evidence used to justify a no-knock raid that left two civilians dead.

From the outset, the Jan. 28 bust sparked controversy in the community after Rhogena Nicholas, her husband Dennis Tuttle and their dog were all killed in a shoot-out that failed to net the heroin stash police were looking for. Five officers were injured, including case agent Gerald Goines.

Initially Houston police Chief Art Acevedo lauded the veteran undercover officer, who was shot in the neck after bursting in the home at 7815 Harding. But on Friday, local media learned of a new search warrant seeking more information about officers’ actions in the case, and Acevedo pulled together a hastily called press conference to announce that Goines would likely face criminal charges.

“We know that there’s already a crime that’s been committed,” Acevedo said then. “It’s a serious crime when we prepare a document to go into somebody’s home, into the sanctity that is somebody’s home.”

According to the court filing that leaked out on Friday, an internal investigation found Goines allegedly lied about using a confidential informant to conduct an undercover buy at the Pecan Park home in the days before the deadly raid. When he initially filled out the affidavit used to justify the no-knock warrant, Goines wrote that he’d monitored the informant’s heroin buy.

But after police raided the home - setting off a gun battle but only netting 18 grams of pot and 1.5 grams of cocaine - Goines was questioned about the informant he used. He gave two different names in two different interviews, but both ultimately denied taking part in the buy.

Investigators then got a full list of Goines’ confidential informants, and they all denied making a buy at the Tuttle house or ever purchasing narcotics from Nicholas or Tuttle, according to the court filing.

Now, authorities are reviewing Goines’ past cases, fielding calls for an outside investigation and determining what - if any - charges could be filed. An attorney for Goines did not respond to a request for comment.

The Monday protest is set to kick off at noon, and includes activists from the People’s New Black Panthers, Black Lives Matter Houston, the Socialist Alternative, Indivisible Houston and more.