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Opening Arguments

Crime boss

Man, oh, man -- probably not the best way to get rid of Gary's reputation as a crime-plagued city:

The police chief in the violence-plagued city of Gary assaulted two people he suspected of burglarizing his home and had them and two others wrongfully locked up for three days, prosecutors said today.

Police Chief Thomas Houston, Deputy Chief Thomas Branson and Sgt. Thomas Decanter surrendered to U.S. marshals and were released on $20,000 bond each by U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Cherry, who also set March 14 arraignments for the three.

[. . .]

Houston returned from a funeral June 1 and found his house had been ransacked and a gun was missing, the indictment said. It said he and Branson went to a home that same day and that Houston assaulted two of the suspects and had all four arrested and detained without probable cause.

Among other things, Houston was accused of kicking a handcuffed suspect in the stomach and punching another suspect, a woman, also in the stomach.

Branson and Decanter are accused of striking a third suspect in the arm with a piece of wood.

The four were held illegally until three days later, prosecutors said.

None of the four was charged in connection with the break-in. They denied any role in the break-in and said they had never met the chief before the incident.

The three are innocent until proven guilty, of course, but the mayor probably stretches the benefit of doubt too far. He will say only that the three will "possibly" be removed from active duty. That hints at an attitude that might be part of the problem.


Bob G.
Fri, 03/07/2008 - 10:42am

Leo, if there's one thing you can be assured of it's that ATTITUDE is ALWAYS at the root of some problem.
And it's rarely the solution, as well.

Just had the wrong person in the "right" job...that's all.