HOUSTON — The families of Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas are demanding transparency on the anniversary of their deaths. The couple was killed two years ago following a botched Houston Police Department no-knock drug warrant at their Harding Street home.
Their families are suing in hopes of finding out what happened before, during and after the deadly raid.
Rhogena Nicholas’ brother, John Nicholas said, “We want answers. We’re not going to quit until we get answers.”
John Nicholas is on a mission to bring justice to his sister and brother-in-law.
“Chief (Art) Acevedo keeps saying, 'We had a reason to be there,'” John Nicholas said. “It’s taken you two years to find that reason? Me and my mother would like to know.”
Rhogena Nicholas' family has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against HPD.
They claim Squad 15 operated as a criminal organization and tormented Houston residents by depriving their rights to privacy, dignity and safety.
Mike Doyle is representing the Nicholas family.
“This was the culmination of years and years of preying on our communities,” Doyle said.
The attorney said they’ve been given nothing but empty promises of transparency and accountability.
“They’ve been put in a position where the only way we’re going to get to the bottom or the top of what really is going on and continues to go on in this city and with this police department is by filing a civil action,” Doyle said.
Also, Doyle said the family’s independent investigation revealed Rhogena Nicholas was killed on her couch after she was shot by an HPD officer through the wall. He also said Tuttle never shot at officers.
“Chief Art Acevedo today could release this ballistics information. He could release the facts, this physical evidence. He could do it today and if he won’t do it, the mayor could do it,” Doyle said.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city has procedures and policies in place for a reason, and that the lawsuit is going to run its course.
The Nicholas family calls it a cover-up.