Editorial: HPOU doesn’t shut up about Brown’s release But PUTS UP $100,000 reward for new info

Tom Kennedy

YOU CAN STATE WITH A HIGH DEGREE of certainty that the Houston Police Officers Union, which represents all but just a few Houston police officers, puts up and doesn’t shut up.

Earlier this summer the Union drew a crowd of local news media to announce that it was offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who killed Officer Charles Clark 12 years ago during a check cashing robbery on the Southeast side.

Houston Chronicle columnist Lisa Falkenberg won a Pulitzer Prize based on her columns that resulted in getting the capital murder charges against Alfred Brown dismissed, thus freeing Brown from Death Row. Brown was originally convicted based on the best evidence presented by Harris County prosecutors. Then the evidence was called into question within the last two years when a phone record that corroborated Brown’s alibi was discovered in a detective’s garage. Although a new trial was ordered, District Attorney Devon Anderson decided there was not enough evidence to retry the case – yet.

The Union believes HPD already has birddogged the right killer. Now it’s a matter of finding enough evidence to file new charges and retry the case. This is not just all talk. The HPOU Board of Directors unanimously voted to put up $100,000 as a reward to any individual who can bring forth the necessary evidence.

Meanwhile Homicide investigators under the leadership of Capt. Dwayne Ready is staying poised to thoroughly peruse any new bit of information, while simultaneously closely examining the old file.

Falkenberg attended the news conference announcing the reward. She told HPOU President Ray Hunt that if HPD finds the evidence needed to indict Brown again, she will dutifully write a column about it.

We look forward to reading that column.

Welcome to our new B&G format

CERTAINLY YOU HAVE NOW NOTICED that the monthly Badge & Gun has a newer, modern-looking magazine format.

The changes has been in the works for several months. We think it will be easier to read on the additional pages herewith with many more color photos than the old tabloid of the past 12-14 years of publication.

No change like this one comes without a change in the deadline schedule. We must move the final deadline for copy and photo submissions to the end of work on the third Friday of every month. This enables our production staff to provide the finalized proof to the printer by the end of the following week in order to get the magazine in the mail to all members and HPD retirees in timely fashion.

Enjoy the new format and call us with story ideas!

Let’s hear it for Mr. Thomas!

THE BADGE & GUN TAKES GREAT PLEASURE in making Mr. Thomas – along with Police Chief Chuck McClelland – the first people to grace the cover of the newly formatted B&G Magazine.

Recently the city officially named Houston’s police headquarters for Mr. Edward A. Thomas, the longest-tenured police officer in HPD history and a man whose status grew to be legendary. He joined the department in 1948 when African American officers weren’t so much as allowed at roll calls. They walked beats that their white counterparts covered in patrol cars and weren’t allowed to arrest white suspects without a sergeant’s permission.

The department has come a long, long way. Today in the 21st Century it is altogether fitting and proper to name the building at 1200 Travis after the man known for decades simply as “Mr. Thomas.”

Congratulations, Mr. Thomas and thank you to City Council for the official designation we all will love to live with!