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Houston Police Chief Troy Finner retired amid suspended cases dispute, mayor says – Houston Public Media



Sarah Grunau

Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media

FILE: Houston Police Chief Troy Finner stands in entrance of a podium on March 14, 2022.

An e-mail on the middle of reports studies that Police Chief Troy Finner was conscious of a code used to droop greater than 260,000 incident studies was the “ultimate straw” in his sudden resolution to retire, Houston Mayor John Whitmire instructed reporters Wednesday.

The announcement of his retirement got here within the type of an e-mail to metropolis staff final Tuesday night time. A spokesperson for the mayor’s workplace instructed Houston Public Media on Wednesday that Finner’s discover of retirement was given verbally, and town has not but acquired a retirement letter.

His resignation comes every week after the Houston Police Division wrapped up an investigation into the hundreds of police circumstances that had been suspended by an inner lack of personnel code. Nonetheless, in keeping with Whitmire, the interior investigation was reopened simply days later.

Throughout a media briefing on Wednesday, Whitmire referred to as Finner “ pal” and stated he felt “sick” when he realized of the chief’s sudden retirement. Whitmire added that he believed the continued investigation was “disruptive to the division” and aimed to refocus the division by getting HPD “out of the information.” Whitmire additionally emphasised that he did not push Finner to retire and that Finner had made the choice on his personal.

“Chief Finner selected to retire. I accepted it and it was not straightforward,” Whitmire stated. “Chief Finner was spending a lot time coping with the press, coping with the division…It was affecting operations at HPD.”

Efficient round 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Govt Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite took his place as performing chief of the Houston Police Division.

“This resolution comes with full confidence in performing Chief Satterwhite’s talents to guide and uphold the excessive requirements of the division,” Whitmire wrote within the e-mail on Tuesday.

Houston Police Executive Assistant Chief Larry Satterwhite

Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media

Appearing Chief Larry Satterwhite throughout a press convention in July 2021.

In accordance with Whitmire, HPD’s inner investigation has, to date, given “no indication that [Satterwhite] knew something” a few code that was reportedly used to droop greater than 264,000 unreviewed incident studies over the past eight years. The identical can’t be stated for Finner, whose retirement got here simply hours after TV stations reported Finner knew of the code way back to 2018 — regardless of his claims that he realized of the code throughout a gathering in Nov. 2021.

RELATED: Houston police’s inner probe into suspended circumstances has concluded, Chief Finner says

In a night submit to X on Tuesday, Finner stated he had no recollection of a 2018 e-mail alternate obtained by a number of Houston TV stations through which he took situation with a highway rage case suspended due to an absence of personnel.

“Despite the fact that the phrase ‘suspended lack of personnel’ was included on this 2018 e-mail, there’s nothing that alerted me to its existence as a code or the way it was utilized inside the division,” he stated Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Satterwhite stated he was current on the Nov. 2021 assembly the place Finner says he first realized of the code, however defined that his recollection was hazy as a result of he needed to depart early to conduct a walkthrough NRG Stadium earlier than the notorious Astroworld live performance.

“I merely don’t bear in mind a lot about it,” Satterwhite stated in regards to the assembly. “It wasn’t my focus.”

Over the previous few months, Finner had promised to launch findings of the investigation, however these have but to be disclosed. On Wednesday, Whitmire ensured that findings shall be publicly launched as soon as the investigation is wrapped up.

Whitmire added that he doesn’t have any speedy particulars of a plan to search out Houston’s subsequent police chief. Till then, Satterwhite will lead the division.

This can be a growing story.

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