Pubdate: Wed, 4 Nov 1998
Source: Houston Chronicle (TX)
Section: Letters to the Editor
Copyright: 1998 Houston Chronicle
Author: (Noted with each letter)


I do not want to uphold the Houston Police Department officers in the
Pedro Oregon Navarro shooting for entering Oregon's residence on the
basis of an unreliable informant, but I do understand the shooting
once the officers got inside.

Much has been said about Oregon's weapon that was not fired, but in my
42 years' experience as a policeman and a criminal investigator, I
never saw an officer let a criminal take the first shot if it could be
avoided. Most criminals do not miss their first shot like in the movies.

Fear is a constant companion of police officers and especially those
on narcotics and major crime squads. When an officer has to shoot to
protect his life or the life of another, he is trained to shoot more
than one time because the culprit might shoot back if only wounded.
Many officers do not stop shooting until their weapons are empty.

The media are quick to condemn those who make a mistake and try them
in the press before they get their day in court. Everyone forgets
about the criminal and his activities in order to crucify the
officers, who were only trying to make the streets safer for the
citizens. This is the reward they get for their years of dedicated

Joe S. Price, Crosby
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Police Chief C.O. Bradford did the right thing in firing the six police
officers who shot Pedro Oregon Navarro under the guise of drug
enforcement. As the chief noted, not only did the officers violate
policy by not notifying their superiors of their impending raid, they
were also grossly flippant with their guns.

Law enforcement is an extremely difficult and dangerous job. However,
professional restraint should be the guideline in matters of life and
death. Doing the right thing is an art and you have to have the heart
to do it. Bradford definitely has the heart and he deserves
commendation for letting the officers go.

Hopefully, the plight of those officers and the reaction of the
department will serve as a clarion call to other officers to respect
the law or ship out of the force. Chief Bradford's action reinforces

public trust in the fact that the Police Department can police itself.
And no doubt such trust will yield respect and public support for the

Alex Edema, Houston
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The decision by Houston Police Chief C.O. Bradford to fire the six
police officers involved in the killing of Pedro Oregon Navarro is a
first-step victory in response to the campaign of public protests
demanding that charges be brought against those involved. This
acknowledgment of the officers' wrongdoing and guilt, as well as
indications of improprieties of the grand jury bolster the case for
another grand jury investigation. No fair-minded person believes that
the (deserved) loss of their jobs is suitable punishment for illegally
breaking in and killing Oregon. This is merely the first step.

Aaron Ruby, Houston

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Checked-by: Rich O'Grady