Houston police fired their guns at civilians more than 100 times in the last five years, resulting in numerous injuries and deaths, but never in charges against the officers, according to a series of stories in the city’s Chronicle. From 2008 to 2012, officers shot 121 people, 52 of them fatally. Police say their lives or others were threatened in all those incidents, although more than a quarter of the civilians shot were unarmed. Of those, 10 died.
Harris County grand juries have cleared HPD officers of criminal wrongdoing in all shootings from 2008 to 2012 that they have reviewed so far. The last time an HPD officer was charged for a shooting was in March 2004, when Arthur Carbonneau was indicted in the death of 14-year-old Eli Escobar Jr. Carbonneau was convicted of negligent homicide. Since then, Houston police officers have been cleared by Harris County grand juries 288 consecutive times for shootings.