Houston cops scrapping no-knock warrants for undercover raids

Officers in Houston will now need to request a special exemption from its police chief’s office to conduct a no-knock raid, according to reports.

Officials also announced a new policy for undercover officers to wear body cameras on raids.

The policy changes follow a drug raid on a home that turned into a deadly shootout in which two suspects were killed and five undercover officers were injured, the police chief said.

“The no-knock warrants are going to go away like leaded gasoline in this city,” Chief Art Acevedo announced during a town hall meeting Monday.

The decision comes as the city faces criticism from local community activists for the Jan. 28 raid that led to the deaths of 59-year-old Dennis Tuttle and 58-year-old Rhogena Nicholas, who both lived in the home. Four officers were shot in the gunfight and another was injured but not shot.

Rhogena Nicholas, 58, and Dennis Tuttle, 59, were identified as the suspects. (Houston Police Department)

Rhogena Nicholas, 58, and Dennis Tuttle, 59, were identified as the suspects. (Houston Police Department)

5 UNDERCOVER COPS INJURED IN HOUSTON RAID, 2 SUSPECTS DEAD, OFFICIALS SAY

Acevedo said last month that a team of nine narcotics officers attempted to serve a search warrant and “immediately came under fire” upon entering a home in the city’s southeast side.

He said a large pit bull charged at the first officer through the door, who shot and killed the dog. Acevedo said Tuttle opened fire, striking that officer in the shoulder.

The shooting erupted as members of the Houston police narcotics unit responded to a residence they suspected was a hub for drug dealing, particularly the sale of “street-level narcotics” like “black-tar heroin,” Acevedo said.

Officers found no heroin, but recovered marijuana, an unidentified white powder and two rifles, he said.

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Acevedo revealed last week that an investigation into the drug raid found a 30-year veteran of the force lied in an affidavit to justify storming the house without warning. Officer Gerald Goines, who prepared the search warrant, has since been suspended and it’s unclear what charges he could face.

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Fox News’ Kathleen Joyce and The Associated Press contributed to this report.