Houston Police Chief Charles A. McClelland, Jr. Friday, announced the indefinite suspension of a sergeant and discipline of two lieutenants, two sergeants and four officers as a result of an extensive Internal Affairs investigation into investigative processes and procedures within the HPD Homicide Division.
A total of 24 cases, the oldest of which dates back to 2004, were identified with deficiencies including not conducting proper follow-up, not entering documentation in a timely manner, and insufficient documentation or none at all. The majority of the deficiencies occurred between 2008 and 2012.
A lengthy and intensive investigation determined the major problems identified were the direct result of the actions of one individual, Sergeant Ryan Chandler, and not pervasive throughout the division. Out of the 24 cases, 21 were connected to Sgt. Chandler. The investigation determined Sergeant Chandler was less than forthright with his supervisors and fellow employees, failed to conduct proper follow-up in the manner in which he was trained and expected to perform, and appeared to have taken advantage of the trust placed in him as a supervisor in the Homicide Division. It was also found that during the Internal Affairs investigation, Sgt. Chandler had been untruthful.
Sergeant Chandler was cited for Attention to Duty, Untruthfulness, Insubordination, Evidentiary Procedure and Controls and Sound Judgment. As a result, Chief McClelland indefinitely suspended Ryan Chandler today.
In addition, four other officers, K. Carr, B. Oxspring, R. Moreno and L. Lovelace were each cited for Attention to Duty for other policy violations in these cases. Officer Carr received a 10-day suspension, Officer Lovelace received a 5-day suspension, Officer Moreno received a 2-day suspension, and Officer Oxspring received a written reprimand.
Also cited for their involvement were three other supervisors, Lieutenants J. McGalin and R. Lakind and Sergeant B. Roberts. Sgt. Roberts received a 5-day suspension, Lt. McGalin received a one-day suspension and Lt. Lakind received a written reprimand.
Chief McClelland said, “I want to let the public know that in no way is this indicative of the 5300 men and women who work hard every day in protecting and serving this city.”
“I also want to state that I have complete confidence in the Homicide Division. I fully expect all my commanders to constantly look for ways to make things better and improve processes and procedures. This investigation is an example of how we look for deficiencies and develop better processes,” Chief McClelland added.
The Houston Police Department will continue to pursue each and every lead as it pertains to homicide investigations.
New processes and procedures have been put in place as a result of this investigation, such as stricter mandates/controls regarding file submissions, improved file preparation, tighter security controls and documentation of the file room and creation of automated management reports.
The Houston Police Department at the request of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office turned all the investigative findings over to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office. The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office was to act as Special Prosecutors for the case.
After review by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office it was determined there was no criminal intent shown in the investigation on the part of Sgt. Chandler, and no charges will be filed.