At today's City Council meeting, the family of a dead man will accuse HPD officers of beating the man to death.
Houston civil rights attorney Randall Kallinen tells Hair Balls a report from the county medical examiner reveals that Marion Wilson, 52, died from blunt force trauma after an altercation with police five months ago. The manner of death, he says, is listed as "homicide."
Wilson's family "wants to tell City Council and the public that [Wilson] died of blunt force injuries because that's never been reported," Kallinen says.
On June 14, police responded to a burglary call on the 9700 block of Galaxy Street, located just east of Tidwell Park. Kallinen says it was an abandoned house used by squatters and drug users. When police arrived, Wilson took off running (a class-A misdemeanor) and was eventually tracked down in a dark, wooded area, according to an HPD June news release.
Wilson and an officer began to struggle, according to the news release, when Wilson threw the officer to the ground and pinned him down. The officer then struck Wilson to get him off. A second officer arrived and used his TASER on Wilson, twice.
Wilson was taken to Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital, where two hours later he died. The officer who fought with Wilson was also taken to the hospital for "respiratory distress," according to HPD.
Kallinen says Wilson had a criminal history and had cocaine in his system when he died, but that the medical examiner's report cannot be ignored.
"I called up the doctor himself an he said [Wilson] would not have died if he did not receive the blunt force injury," says Kallinen. "One officer was taken to the hospital, but for respiratory problems. [HPD] didn't say it was for cuts or bruises or other injuries. Basically, in layman's terms, he might have been beaten to death."
Kallinen says he will wait to see what comes out of today's council meeting before preparing to file a lawsuit.
-- Chris Vogel
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.