Emmett, Also, Visits With The Sikh Family That Said It Was Harassed

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The Sikh family that says it was harassed by Harris County Sheriff's deputies has been getting to know county politicians more than they might have guessed.

Over the weekend, sheriff-elect Adrian Garcia met with the family and many other Sikhs; yesterday is was County Judge Ed Emmett.

Emmett apologized for the incident, even though technically it's still under investigation.

"I apologized for what happened to them, and I kept saying over and over, as kindly as I could, that I can't judge the facts," Emmett tells Hair Balls. "If the facts stand as you present them, I said, and I have no reason to doubt that, then I apologize."

Emmett notes that "I haven't heard anything to contradict [the family's story] -- no one contradicts the fact that these people called for help and instead became the target. If there's any other story, then someone needs to get it out there pretty quick. But I don't think there is."

The Tagore family had made a 911 call November 26 after discovering a burglary had been committed at their home; sheriff's deputies harassed them physically and verbally, they claim.

A sheriff's department spokesman has said the incident is being investigated.

Emmett, a Republican, surely supported Sheriff Tommy Thomas in his recent failed re-election bid, right?

Ask and you'll get a pause. A long pause. One that lasts until you ask, "So there's no campaign literature out there with your endorsement or anything like that?"

"That's correct," he says.

Emmett actually has a somewhat extensive history with India and the Sikh community. His son studied in an ashram there and is moving soon to Mumbai. Emmett says he's visited the country "probably a dozen times or so."

Emmett called for the state Attorney General to remove Chuck Rosenthal from office, but doesn't see doing that with Thomas.

"In this case, that's not appropriate. I mean, Tommy Thomas is going to be sheriff for two more weeks," he says. "I do hope they clear up the internal investigation before he leaves office."

-- Richard Connelly

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