Houston Police Chief Resigns Amid Probe into Case Backlog

Houston’s Democratic mayor, John Whitmire, accepted the resignation of the city’s police chief amid an investigation into over 264,000 suspended cases, including more than 4,000 sexual assault cases. The cases were not properly investigated due to a shortage of sworn officers, as reported by the media.

Mayor Whitmire, who took office in January 2024, stated that the probe into the suspended cases was disrupting the police department’s operations, leading to his decision to accept the resignation of Chief Finner. Despite previously expressing confidence in Finner’s ability to handle the high number of uninvestigated cases, Whitmire ultimately deemed the resignation as the best course of action for the residents of Houston.

Chief Finner claimed he only learned of the issue in November 2023 when it became public knowledge. However, an email from July 2018 surfaced, indicating that Finner and other senior HPD officials were made aware of the problem earlier. Finner maintained that he had no recollection of the specific email until recently, insisting that he had been truthful and was unaware of the code used for suspending cases.

The mayor’s decision to accept Finner’s resignation was described as a tough but necessary choice to ensure the department’s focus remains on fighting crime. This incident highlights the importance of accountability and transparency within law enforcement agencies. It is crucial for leaders to address issues promptly and take decisive action to maintain public trust and safety.

Written by Staff Reports

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