HOUSTON — A family claims undercover officers barged into a northeast Houston home and shot to death a grandfather sick with bronchitis six years ago. They begged Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo for help Monday night.
A day later, the victim’s daughter is hopeful change in the way the department secures search warrants is coming.
Ponciano Montemayor, 55, was sick. He had bronchitis and was healing in his bed when a group wearing all black snuck up before the sun and, based on information from an informant, kicked in doors, broke windows and opened fire, Montemayor’s daughter Andrea said.
“There was supposed to be high amounts of marijuana in the house, and when they went, they found nothing,” she said. “I don’t know if my dad knew that was a police officer. I guess they said he went to retrieve a handgun when they broke the window and they shot him through his bedroom window. It seemed like they dragged him through the house. There was smears of blood. You could see his hand(prints) on the wall. I had to clean that myself.”
Andrew Montemayor said neither police nor prosecutors explained what happened to the family. Also because the officers involved were undercover, records were sealed.
Even after grand jurors no billed the officers, authorities held on to Montemayor’s home surveillance camera and recorder, Montemayor’s daughter said. His family believes it shows what happened during the raid.
“They took (the camera and recorder) after the incident and they never gave it back,” Andrea Montemayor said. “They took family photos just little random stuff from the house.
“I want to see this not happen to other families in the future so people don’t have to feel what I feel and go through what I go through every day. I have constant anxiety. I don’t wake up in the morning and walk out my house feeling safe.”
HPD’s botched drug raid on Harding Street brought back memories. During a town hall meeting to discuss no-knock warrants Monday night, Montemayor’s sister asked Chief Acevedo and District Attorney Kim Ogg to better inspect and verify information in every warrant.
“I don’t want you to judge us by what would have happened last administration and what would have happened (the) administration before that,” Chief Acevedo said during the town hall. “You know we’ve had two of our officers from our investigations from officer involved shootings that right now are facing prosecution.”
For Andrea Montemayor, waiting for change is the hardest part.
“It’s just heart-wrenching knowing that I have nephews and children now, and it’s possible that something like this could happen to them or their kids,” she said. “It’s just not right.”
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