Chief Hurtt blasts "inaccurate and misleading" report

Last week, Chief Hurtt's blog promised to address Mark Greenblatt's KHOU-11 report criticizing HPD's refusal to classify some deaths as murders.

Today, Chief Hurtt's blog repeated the HPD PR talking points that Greenblatt's reporting was "inaccurate and misleading" and complained that Greenblatt failed to go into a lengthy discussion of the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting protocol.

Unfortunately, Chief Hurtt's blog failed to address any of the specific cases discussed in Greenblatt's reporting.

However, HPD last week conceded that at least one case should have been classified as a murder:

We also asked about other homicide cases like a 2006 arson fire on Delmar Street in East Houston, the day before Valentine’s Day.

Joseph Chryar died in that fire. The Houston Fire Department’s conclusion?

HFD Arson Chief Roy Paul: “I know this fire's a homicide. And it should have been reported as a murder.”

11 News: Your response?

HPD Captain Jett: “You're exactly right. Chryar's death should have been ruled a murder."

It's the first homicide the Department is admitting to making a mistake with and to leaving it off last year's report.

Apparently that aspect of the investigation by KHOU's award-winning reporter was neither inaccurate nor misleading!

Greenblatt also is reporting that HPD has changed its internal process for reviewing and classifying homicides:

The Houston Police Department announced internal changes to how it will review and report homicides in Houston. That announcement came Tuesday, less than 24 hours after an 11 News investigation exposed the department has been keeping many homicides off the books.

Do most city departments change procedures in response to "inaccurate and misleading" criticism by journalists? Just wondering.

Posted by Kevin Whited @ 11/26/07 10:37 PM | Print |

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