Officer involved shooting off Spring Loop (February 8, 2023)

48,325 Views | 260 Replies | Last: 13 days ago by Hornbeck
phillytex24
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I'm trying to find officer Lovelace's photo, but it's been scrubbed online. He was officer of the year in '21. Shouldn't this be public information?
Stucco
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Brian Alg said:

Assuming everything investigators put in the warrant for the Spring Loop residence was true, the warrant was still invalid. It was so grossly deficient that no reasonable person could have a good faith belief it was valid.
If it is as deficient as you say, then the judge has a problem too.
Another Doug
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AG
phillytex24 said:

I'm trying to find officer Lovelace's photo, but it's been scrubbed online. He was officer of the year in '21. Shouldn't this be public information?
https://www.cstx.gov/common/pages/DisplayFile.aspx?itemId=14161177

There is a old pic at bottom
Brian Alg
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Even if the judge signed the warrant in error, I don't see how he would be in trouble. My understanding is absolute judicial immunity is pretty solid.
Brian Alg

Brazos Coalition for Responsible Government
Stucco
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Quote:

Code of Criminal Procedure - 18.01 (b) No search warrant shall issue for any purpose in this state unless sufficient facts are first presented to satisfy the issuing magistrate that probable cause does in fact exist for its issuance.
Issuance of a warrant without evidence sufficient to establish probable cause is a violation of Texas law. Even if this came to judicial discretion and immunity held, I don't think a judge rubber stamping search warrants is going to go over well with the community.
Brian Alg
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maroon barchetta said:

More news on this case

https://www.kbtx.com/2023/10/09/family-man-killed-during-warrant-execution-sues-city-college-station/
The thing that sticks out to me is that the family is claiming there was a flashbang. If true, this would be news to me. If the family is wrong on that, the city would be able to deny it convincingly.

If however, the city has not mentioned (for 8 months!) that a flashbang went off during a vanilla knock-and-announce search, that would be a big deal. I waiting on the city to send me the findings of the Texas Rangers' investigation. And I am also waiting on them to confirm or deny that a flashbang went off.
Brian Alg

Brazos Coalition for Responsible Government
phillytex24
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Another Doug said:

phillytex24 said:

I'm trying to find officer Lovelace's photo, but it's been scrubbed online. He was officer of the year in '21. Shouldn't this be public information?
https://www.cstx.gov/common/pages/DisplayFile.aspx?itemId=14161177

There is a old pic at bottom


He looks like a really nice guy. Sad situation for all.
12Power
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This is sad and appears to be extremely poor police work. All should be fired and CSPD needs to pay BIG TIME! Lovelace appears to be the catalyst to this tragedy.
mariloo
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LInk the EVIDENCE findings (not what that JOKER at CSPD says) that Mark Hopkins "opened fire". Not true.
Another Doug
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AG
https://www.chron.com/news/article/college-station-lawsuit-shooting-texas-18431390.php

Nom de Plume
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AG
None of us know all of the details. And I have the utmost respect for law enforcement. But if what the family says is true, and CSPD is obfuscating, that is abhorrent behavior. I don't know how folks sleep at night knowing their staff took a life it shouldn't have and they're not willing to work with the family.
Another Doug
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Nom de Plume said:

None of us know all of the details. And I have the utmost respect for law enforcement. But if what the family says is true, and CSPD is obfuscating, that is abhorrent behavior. I don't know how folks sleep at night knowing their staff took a life it shouldn't have and they're not willing to work with the family.
Yeah that should be career(s) ending if true. They took the son of a family that has money, so I don't think they can write a check to make this go away, so if they tried to cover up any bad police work they are screwed.
Hornbeck
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Discovery for this case should be interesting… Assuming the family's lawyer is allowed to see anything.

Just to recap: the person shot was not a suspect, he was just guilty of having a roommate connected to the main suspect, and no illicit drugs were found at the scene.
Brian Alg
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Hornbeck said:

Just to recap: the person shot was not a suspect,


He was listed in the warrant as "Suspected Person #2." But basically, yeah. Police indicated he was not a target of the investigation or some such.

Hornbeck said:

he was just guilty of having a roommate connected to the main suspect, and no illicit drugs were found at the scene.


Police indicated marijuana and paraphernalia were found. They have not given any indication of how much marijuana or what kind of paraphernalia. None of the Spring Loop residents have been charged with anything.
Brian Alg

Brazos Coalition for Responsible Government
EBrazosAg
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The CoCS needs to release the body cam unedited. It seems pretty simple. I can't see why they keep from doing it. At some point a judge will force them to do it.
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Stucco
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Legal or not, CSPD should spend less time stonewalling and more time identifying ways to prevent this from happening again.
Nom de Plume
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AG
Most municipalities have learned it's best to get the video out and let the chips fall. When you don't it looks much worse no matter what it shows.

CSPD and CoCS in general need to get out of the 1960s.
Brian Alg
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Chief Couch says he won't say anything and all questions need to go to City Attorney Falco.

Falco just called me to let me know the City has no intention of revealing any more information beyond what was in the most recent statement (see KBTX article).

They are stonewalling.

Details they never expected to have to disclose are leaking out because of the Hopkins family's petition.

We now know the warrant affidavit was garbage. We now know the warrant service, which was supposed to be a knock and announce, was botched.

They are committed to making sure none of the necessary changes are going to be made from within the City.

If the public is going to provide the oversight the City will not, we need transparency. Without it, oversight is impossible.

Show the files. Show the videos.
Brian Alg

Brazos Coalition for Responsible Government
Hornbeck
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Well, well, well. The fishy situation continues to get even more fishy. The more covering up that the CSPD does, the worse that they look.

This kid thought he was defending his house, and gets killed for it.
Hornbeck
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Sure looks bad now………
phillytex24
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Unbelievably corrupt! This is scary!
EliteElectric
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My family was home invaded and robbed when I was 10 years old. The robbery started off with the door kick at 4am and the meth head invaders shouting "Police search warrant!" repeatedly as they poured in.

I know nothing about what really happened the night this young man was killed, nor do I claim to. I do however know that just because someone "announces" that they are LE, doesn't necessarily mean that they are legitimate LE and not just nefarious intruders.

Because of what happened to me and my and siblings as children, I sleep with a couple large caliber attitude adjusters within arms reach, and, can tell you 100% that whomever comes through my door uninvited will be engaged. The 4th amendment exists for a very good reason
damiond
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government can not be trusted
Brian Alg
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In the warrant affidavit, the investigator wrote that Escobar sent Hopkins money as a part of a money laundering scheme.

5 days after the shooting, KBTX asked them if that particular claim was correct. The City didn't say.

The Hopkins family called them out on it in October, saying no such transactions ever happened.

Only then, after 8 months, did the City acknowledge that the claim was false.

It should not have taken 8 months for the City to clear that up. We need to have greater transparency. We need to know what other mistakes the City made.

Show the files. Show the videos.
Brian Alg

Brazos Coalition for Responsible Government
Hornbeck
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Only at the receiving end of a lawsuit, that they will try and settle out of court to keep all this from coming to light.
Another Doug
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Hornbeck said:

Only at the receiving end of a lawsuit, that they will try and settle out of court to keep all this from coming to light.
Family doesn't look like they need money, so I would guess their motivation would be more on the accountability side, and less on the $.
Nom de Plume
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AG
I hope they get a whole lot of both.
Brian Alg
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One of the many things I have found shocking about the situation is how little the City seems to care about what happened.

In their October 9 statement, the City said, "The Texas Rangers conducted an independent, thorough, fair, and transparent investigation, and the City is confident in their findings."

In their October 19 statement, the City said, "The Texas Rangers, the Brazos County district attorney, and the Brazos County grand jury found no wrongdoing by the city after conducting thorough, independent, and unbiased investigations."

In October, in response to my records request, I was told that the City (including CSPD specifically) had no "Rangers report, or other reports, communications, or other documentation received from DPS/Texas Rangers relevant to their investigation and findings regarding the search and shooting at 925 Spring Loop on February 8, 2023."

I confirmed with the City Attorney's Office that the City's response was not an error. Despite their stated reliance on the "thorough" investigation by the Texas Rangers and the fact the City is "confident in their findings," at the time of those statements, the City did not know what the Texas Rangers' findings were and had never bothered to ask for them.

I did a simple records request to DPS and have their investigation synopsis now. Its contents indicate other issues which I am sure I will bring up later. But I am super disappointed in the fact that nobody in the City can be bothered in the least. If the City doesn't care what happened, they need to disclose their information to the public, because we do.

Show the files. Show the videos.
Brian Alg

Brazos Coalition for Responsible Government
Hornbeck
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The city wants it to go away.
Brian Alg
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In their October 19 statement, the City stated:

Quote:

A judge approved and signed the knock-and-announce warrant based on valid probable cause.
This statement is false. The warrant affidavit is so lacking in indicia of probable cause as to render official belief in its existence unreasonable. If the warrant comes in front of a judge, I have no doubt any claim that the City had a good-faith belief it was valid would be eviscerated.

In mid-February, KBTX notified the City of an apparent issue with the City's claim that Escobar sent money to Hopkins. In October, the City admitted that that assertion was false.

In March, I notified the City that the warrant affidavit was so facially deficient that any reasonable person would have to conclude the magistrate signed the warrant in error.

Despite being notified early about issues with the warrant, CSPD told me in April that the scope of their internal investigation did not include a review of the Spring Loop warrant.

In November, I was told by the City Attorney's Office that the City's claim that the warrant was valid not made based on a review by the City of the warrant itself. The statement was made with the assumption that the Texas Rangers' investigation must have looked into the matter because any investigation of the shooting of Mark Hopkins would be incomplete without a review of the warrant. That assumption was made without knowing the scope or findings of the Texas Rangers' investigation. From the investigation synopsis, it does not appear there was any review of the warrant.

The upshot: the warrant was invalid. Police had no legitimate reason to enter the Spring Loop apartment. Police had no legitimate reason to kick in the door to Mark Hopkins' bedroom at 6:02 AM. Despite the warrant's issues being brought up early in the process, the City has never identified any reasonable basis for the claim that the warrant was valid. A plain reading of the affidavit indicates that no reasonable person could have a good-faith belief the warrant was valid.

I have submitted an open records request for the Internal Affairs file related to the Spring Loop incident. Perhaps CSPD conducted a review of the warrant after April. I will let y'all know what I find out.

We need to know how an invalid warrant led to CSPD breaking into that apartment. We also need to know how CSPD conducts invalid warrant services.

Show the files. Show the videos.
Brian Alg

Brazos Coalition for Responsible Government
AgProgrammer
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AG
Brian Alg said:

I have submitted an open records request for the Internal Affairs file related to the Spring Loop incident. Perhaps CSPD conducted a review of the warrant after April. I will let y'all know what I find out.
I'm going to take a wild guess that you are going to hear crickets from CSPD on this. They've made it clear they don't believe they need to release any of this to the public. It's going to take the courts to force their hand, which will be interesting to see how that plays out.
EliteElectric
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Brian Alg said:

We need to know how an invalid warrant led to CSPD breaking into that apartment.............
and killing a human being
Brian Alg
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In their request to the AG to suppress the Internal Affairs/Professional Standards file, the City claimed they should be allowed to withhold the file because:
Quote:

a government agency may withhold an internal record maintained for internal use in matters relating to law enforcement or prosecution if the record relates only to an investigation that did not result in conviction or deferred adjudication.
This matches up with the understanding I got when I met with CSPD in April. By asking for a 552.108(b)(2) exception, the City seems to be admitting the scope of CSPD's internal review was only to determine if Officer Norris was criminally culpable. That would mean CSPD's Internal Affairs/Professional Standards division has made no serious attempt to review how CSPD's plainly deficient policies led to their needlessly dangerous execution of an invalid warrant.

The City should not be able to hide behind claims that they only performed an incomplete and wholly inadequate review of their mistakes leading to the unnecessary and avoidable death of Mr. Hopkins.

Show the files. Show the videos.
Brian Alg

Brazos Coalition for Responsible Government
Hornbeck
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Like I said above, they will only respond to what they are forced to at the end of a lawsuit. Which is what the deceased's parents are doing.
CS78
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Thanks for keeping up the good fight! They shouldn't be able to just slink away from a screw up and hope everyone forgets.
 
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