HPD investigating clash between officers, partygoers at Houston Free Thinkers event

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by KHOU.com staff, Jeff Mcshan / KHOU11 News

khou.com

Posted on February 7, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 8 at 1:14 AM

HOUSTON – A local group of conspiracy theorists says their civil rights were violated when Houston Police Department officers crashed their party last month and detained two people.

It happened in the 2300 block of Wheeler Avenue on Jan. 2.

According to their website, the Houston Free Thinkers is a group created to “give a voice to the people of Houston regarding issues, and crimes that the government, the mainstream media and corporations seek to suppress.”  Those issues include, but are not limited to “the Federal Reserve scam; heath dangers such as fluoride, aspartame and genetically modified organisms; 9/11 truth; the growing police state and erosion of civil liberties.”

The Free Thinkers believe those issues connect to show that countries all over the world are being hijacked by a “hidden elite to create a one-world government, a New World Order.”

Micah Jackson said there were several hundred people at a free concert when HPD was called out for a noise complaint.

When police officers arrived, several people at the party pulled out cell phone cameras, and now say their videos show HPD went too far.

Derrick Broze, one of the group’s leaders, says he was unjustly arrested for unlawful behavior and spent 15 hours in jail.

“They brought excessive force for a sound complaint. They could have just brought an officer or two and talked it out, Broze said.

Instead, Broze said they not only arrested him, but detained his friend Micah Jackson. That’s when one HPD officer pulled out a shotgun and chambered a round. Many people heard it click. There were a lot of people yelling at the police and questioning their authority.

“He was like get back. I was just hoping no one else would get in trouble,” Jackson said.

HPD said it will do a thorough investigation, but neighbors KHOU 11 News talked to said the action by the officers was warranted.

“The police were just trying to calm them down, and get the noise down and they (the civilians) were getting out of control,” said Afua Hassan.

“It was a ton of people, and it was about 9 when I got home. It was loud. I had a red cone protecting my parking space at my home, but someone moved it,” said resident Queen Anderson

Neighbors and party organizers said there were at least 150 people that had gathered that night.

KHOU 11 News asked Chuck Joyner to look at all the cell phone videos that were posted from the incident.  Joyner spent 24 years with the FBI and investigates excessive force complaints. He was with the federal agency during the riots in Los Angeles.

“Everything that I saw was within proper procedure,” Joyner said. “Again, you are dealing with people under the influence that are angry.”

He said it appeared the officer with the shotgun did nothing wrong and was trying to protect himself and quiet the crowd.

“And if you watch him, what’s interesting to me, from a firing instructor’s standpoint, his muzzle discipline is excellent. He keeps it in a safe direction and his finger is off the trigger so he was following all safety protocols,” Joyner said.

KHOU 11 News talked with HPD leaders Tuesday night and they said after seeing the tape they don’t believe any police policies were broken. One high ranking member of HPD did say that someone other than the officer with the shotgun could have detained Micah Jackson. The source told us there were other officers standing there that didn’t have their hands full with a large shotgun.

HPD Police Chief Charles McClelland promised a thorough investigation.

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