Should we issue a missing persons alert for Clarence Bradford?
Chuck Rosenthal isn't the only local pol facing some legal difficulties.
As the Chronicle's Cindy George reported this weekend, Harris County District Attorney candidate Clarence Bradford remains a part of several lawsuits stemming from HPD's 2002 K-Mart parking lot raid:
A federal judge has declined another city request to end the 10 lawsuits filed by people arrested in a 2002 Kmart street racing raid.
It's the second time U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas has ruled that the lawsuits can go forward.
In a decision this week, Atlas wrote that the more than 100 plaintiffs could sue about whether the Houston Police Department had a "custom of mass detention without individualized reasonable suspicion."
In 2005, the judge ruled that the police plan that led to the mass arrests was unconstitutional. In a scathing opinion, she called HPD tactics to detain and arrest people who were not observed violating the law "an unjustified, almost totalitarian, regime of suspicionless stops."
Civil rights lawsuits were filed after almost 300 people were arrested in August 2002 during a surprise raid on the Kmart parking lot in the 8400 block of Westheimer. The HPD operation was an attempt to combat street racing.All of the cases name former HPD Chief Clarence C.O. Bradford, who is running as a Democrat for Harris County district attorney, and allege he knew about the plan. The lawsuits also accused police of brandishing firearms and being verbally abusive during the incident.
The judge also wrote that there is a genuine dispute about then-Chief Bradford's knowledge about that summer's plan.
Bradford lost his appeal of Atlas' decision to keep him as a defendant in the lawsuits.
The story contained no quote from Bradford.
The DA candidate's political team did issue a statement to the Chronicle in reaction to the Rosenthal resignation:
Former Houston Police Chief C.O. "Brad" Bradford, the lone Democrat running for district attorney:
"I said when I began my campaign last year that we need change in the District Attorney's office," Bradford's statement read. "I find the personal use of government property by government officials, including computers and e-mail, to be totally inappropriate. And there is no place in the District Attorney's office for racism or belittling of women."
A call to Bradford for further comment, was not immediately returned to the Houston Chronicle.
Not immediately returned, or not ever returned?
It seems that Clarence Bradford has nearly gone into hiding, which is odd behavior from a political candidate. He must really not want to answer any tough questions!