HOUSTON Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said during the remarks Wednesday that a Houston police officer in his own time attended the Trump demonstration in Washington and then “penetrated” into the U.S. Capitol building last week.
An investigation is underway and Acevedo said he is “very confident” that he will be prosecuted. He now has administrative leave, Acevedo said.
“There is no excuse for criminal activity, especially from a police officer,”
Sources tell KPRC that the officer is Tam Dinh Pham. A KPRC 2 source says he was released from service this morning.
Acevedo said Pham has 18 years of service with the department and no previous disciplinary issues. The chief said he traveled alone to Washington.
Law enforcement tells Channel 2 Investigates that they are also investigating several other people in the South Texas area over their alleged involvement in the attack on the U.S. capital. The source stated that none of those surveyed are members of law enforcement.
Potential criminal charges against individuals alleged to be involved are expected to emerge from Washington DC as it is the hub of the massive investigation. However, local federal agencies provide support in the investigation process.
HPD’s union says KPRC Pham’s resignation is expected on Thursday.
Acevedo said he learned the officer may have been involved Sunday and reported the information to the FBI, and a joint investigation was launched.
The chief said he gave the officer 48 hours notice to meet with him.
“Let’s see if he shows up,” Acevedo said. “There is no excuse (for this), especially from a police officer.”
KPRC 2 is working to get more information about this officer and will report what we know as soon as we can confirm it.
Acevedo made the remarks while answering questions about public safety ahead of scheduled or unplanned gatherings in the city ahead of next week’s presidential inauguration.
Acevedo said there are no known threats to Houston or the county, but he described the region as a “hotbed” of activity for right-wing nationalist groups and hate groups.
The chief said that effective Friday at. 6 in the morning, officers will take a modified “all hands on deck” attitude in the area, and officers will not be able to take additional days off until January 20th. This position will be reassessed after the inauguration.
Airports in particular were important. Acevedo said the area’s airports will not become protest zones and a safe environment will be maintained.
“If you start acting the fool, you will be asked to travel,” he said.
The department monitors social media and asks the public to report things they see to their local authorities and the FBI.
“Do not be dismissive,” Acevedo said. “Report it.”
This is a story that is evolving.
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