Police departments typically keep all their evidence locked away in “property rooms.” These rooms house important documents and items related to ongoing criminal cases such as DWI blood samples. Unfortunately, several news outlets have investigated to find that the Houston Police Department’s property room suffered significant damage after Hurricane Harvey.
The Houston Police Department (HPD) is struggling to handle multiple roof leaks and reported floodwaters up to three feet deep. Officials stated no evidence was damaged or missing. However, Harris County Constable, Precinct 4 reported that some money, guns and other forms of evidence were floating in rainwater.
What does this mean for HPD? Well it could jeopardize some current cases. The property rooms damaged at the police department and constable both contain important evidence. Constable Mark Herman told local news that approximately 13 separate cases have been affected by the incident. This means innocent people might be convicted because of missing evidence.
Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. was able to lend an ear on this issue. Managing attorney Tyler Flood stated his opinion to local news channels. “That building should be stormproof. There are too many important things in there for it not to be water tight.”
This isn’t the first time Houston has lost evidence. In 2016, a single Precinct Constable destroyed evidence linked to 100 cases without a court order. This led to the dismissal of many offenders who were never put on trial.