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Drag Racing Raid gone wrong


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  • Drag Racing Raid gone wrong

    I saw this article and thought I'd post the link here. A very interesting read. I'd call this a big OOPS.


    [ 08-28-2002, 01:49 AM: Message edited by: Niteshift ]

  • #2
    My take on this is very mixed, and I usually have a very strong opinion about things.

    On the one hand, there were some kids I believe who were arrested who had no reason to be. They really were there just eating or shopping.

    On the other hand, there have been confirmed reports of kids ducking into Sonic as soon as the kids showed up and buying a coke or something like that and then using the receipt as "proof" they were doing nothing wrong.

    Now, the captain who organized all of this is disliked by all of HPD's higher ups, and I do believe he will be the sacrificial lamb in this case.

    While I think the execution was pretty poor considering the intense planning that went into it, I still feel they did net some drag racers who I feel are a very dangerous criminal element (basically, imagine getting hit by a car going 140 mph. I don't mean to be gruesome, but just think about it.) Street racing is illegal, and stopping it before it starts is necessary.

    Overall, it was a botched raid in my opinion. However, I don't think heads should roll. It think at the most, the kids who are cleared for legitimate reasons should be cleared in court with their records expunged, apologized to by the police chief (something he will never do) and possibly some sort of disciplinary action against the heads of the raid, NOT the individual officers simply following orders.



    • #3
      140??? That's more of a road racing speed, Drag racers generlly don't go to far over a hundred, at least not on the street anyway.
      Come visit the Royal Dragon Kung Fu Discusion forums at www.dreamwater.net/biz/royaldragon/index.html


      • #4
        My dad grew up near Salem Ohio. The road leading into town starts a mile away, at the top of a hill and you can see the whole mile into town. He told me once about getting his mothers Monty Carlo up to 130 on that road, and that was 30 years ago. Granted, this is a rare case, and I can't speak for the roads in Houston, but people used to do 120 to 130 on that road back in Salem... seems to me it's a possiblilty nowadays, given the improvements made to cars these days. I've got a friend of mine that has riced out a Nissan Altima (don't ask why, I still don't understand) to include nitrous oxide and uses it to drag race... though he does it legally on a drag strip, he does hit 140
        "No ma'am, we at the FBI don't have a sense of humor we're aware of." -K


        • #5
          Here's an update on this mass trespassing arrest debacle.

          Aug. 27, 2002, 2:42PM

          HPD suspends 12 more in mass-arrest scandal
          Coercion alleged; city sued for $100 million
          By RACHEL GRAVES
          Copyright 2002 Houston Chronicle

          A scandal involving the Houston Police Department's handling of a massive
          trespassing raid in West Houston on Aug. 18 ballooned Monday with the
          suspension of 12 more police supervisors, allegations of criminal coercion
          against the captain who led the raid and a $100 million lawsuit against the

          The 12 supervisors suspended with pay Monday include a captain, two
          lieutenants and nine sergeants.

          Police officials would not comment on the suspensions because of an
          investigation by HPD's internal affairs division, but a city news release
          says officers are typically suspended because of "allegations of criminal or
          serious administrative misconduct."

          HPD officials confirmed Monday that criminal allegations led to Saturday's
          suspension of Capt. Mark Aguirre, the man who ordered the raid. Spokesmen
          for the department said Aguirre, a 23-year HPD veteran, was suspended
          because of allegations that he tried to influence other officers' statements
          to investigators about the incident.

          Aguirre said through his attorney, Terry Yates, that Police Chief C.O.
          Bradford is making Aguirre a scapegoat for the arrests because of an
          outpouring of public anger. Aguirre, who says he has been barred by the
          city's Office of Inspector General from speaking about the case, asked a
          judge Monday to block the HPD investigation of the raid because the
          department has "conspired to intentionally inflict ... emotional distress"
          on him.

          State District Judge John Donovan denied the request.

          Aguirre was in charge of two raids the weekend of Aug. 17-18 at a Kmart and
          two fast-food restaurants. In the first incident, police arrested 25 people
          at the James Coney Island at 5745 Westheimer on trespassing charges. The
          next day netted 278 arrests from the parking lots of a Kmart and Sonic
          Drive-In on Westheimer.


          Houston Police Capt. Mark Aguirre has been suspended with pay pending an


          • #6
            Originally posted by Gubmentcheez:

            asked a
            judge Monday to block the HPD investigation of the raid because the
            department has "conspired to intentionally inflict ... emotional distress"
            on him.

            What a candy***. I bet if one of his subordinates wanted the investigation against him for his role blocked, Aguirre would put him in his place. It sounds like this captain screwed up royally. You identify who is causing the problem and arrest them, not just sweep the whole parking lot.

            I have a hard time getting worked up about kids drag racing. It has been part of growing up since there were cars, and always will be. Just write them their tickets and don't treat them like they are Dillinger or something.

            If drugs and alcohol are involved, then it's different. But even then, most of the kids are just watching, not actively participating and only a small percentage are drinking and causing trouble.

            Some of the best times I had in school was cruising West Cliff Drive with my buddy in his El Camino, and then his 69 Firebird with the 400.
            Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

            I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq


            • #7
              Unfortunately due to a horid work schedual I have not kept up with the story so I won't comment on what I do not know, but I am very familiar with Westheimer Rd. It is a major road on the W/SW side of town that goes almost from downtown for at 15 miles out past the Sam Houston Tollway. That is as far as I have gone anyway. It consists of 2 very bad lanes each way until it intersects loop 610 and then it grows to 4 lanes each way.

              This is also one of the busiest stretches of road in the city. I have consistantly encountered heavy traffic at all times of the day and night. Some of the freeways aren't even as busy. And, anyone who has driven in houston know that the freeways suck ***. Any type of racing would be very dangerous.

              As if any racing is safe.
              "Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are." - Bertold Brecht


              • #8
                When the defendant gets released, bailed or pleads guilty, who gets the money (fine, bail fee)?

                The reason why I ask is, in Massachusetts, the Clerk of Courts gets $40.00 for his fee to bail a person arrested, after court hours. Imagine if the 248 people were arrested in Mass, that clerk would make $9,920.00. That's if all the 248 trespassers were adults. That would be some nice change for ones pocket.
                "are you going to bark all day little doggie or are you going to bite"


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