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BCA Files Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Houston Police Department

Houston Police Department caught red-handed illegally engaging in a home invasion and covering it up by destroying security system: Damages Suit filed by Law Firm for Homeowner

In one of the most egregious examples of police excess and violation of law perpetrated by HPD in recent times, two separate security systems from two different homeowners caught an HPD police officer and another uniformed officer illegally break into a Harris County home, destroy their surveillance system, illegally search the home with no one there, illegally go through their mail, and leave the home with the door open before the homeowners arrived back to their residence. All of this illegal activity, conducted without probable cause, without a search warrant, without any permission from anyone, and the destruction of the homeowners private property, including their security system, was captured on the homeowners backup system and by a neighbors system as well. In addition, the activities occurred outside the city limits of the City of Houston.

The homeowners brought the highly disturbing proof to HPD officials who were dismissive of the charges in spite of the damning tapes. As a consequence of HPD officials failure to take appropriate remedial action, Robin Custer, the homeowner, filed suit on Thursday, March 02, 2017, through a team of attorneys from the Houston area led by well-known trial lawyer Brent Coon in Harris County State District Court.

BACKGROUND

On March 5th, 2015, Robin Custer’s husband arrived at their property in Highlands, Texas at 2:30 pm to find their home had been invaded, and their security cameras disabled. Robin Custer quickly left work and joined her husband at their home. Fortunately for the Custers, their security camera footage was saved to a DVR. In addition, the Custer’s neighbor had recorded security camera footage that also captured the events. Upon reviewing the DVR security footage of the day, the couple were shocked by what they saw.

The Custer's security camera videos, as well as the neighbor’s video, clearly shows a Houston Police Department (HPD) patrol unit pull into the family's driveway, with two officers exiting the car and surveying the Custer's home. One of the officers is seen in a Houston Police Department uniform, while the second officer is wearing a tactical vest marked “POLICE”. One of the officer's used his police flashlight to force open the couple's front door. Next the officer began walking around the house disabling each of the Custers’ security cameras. Both officers then entered the home for several minutes, then exited the property, removed the couple's mail and then left. The front door was left wide open by the officers. Shortly thereafter, Mrs. Custer arrived home from work and the same HPD patrol unit was seen driving by the house with knowledge that the Custers were then at home. The officers never went back to speak to the Custers.

The lawsuit, filed by Brent Coon and Associates, and two other area law firms, is brought pursuant to various statutory and common law actions, most notably Sec. 42 USC §1983, entitled the Civil Rights Act, the critical language of which is as follows:

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress.

Brent Coon, attorney in charge of the matter, was quoted as saying, “I am astonished by two things. First, that the very people who we as a community trust to protect us would ever engage in this type of illegal activity, and second, that their superiors did not seem to think it was a big deal when brought to their attention by the homeowners. This was a home invasion. Those words strike fear in every resident in every town in America. The mere thought that someone would trespass on private property without invitation, authority or notice, and then bust in without knocking or gaining permission, is a terrifying act of aggression. Had anyone been home, they would have been within their rights to shoot the invaders, and had firearms been engaged this incredible incident could have turned out much worse for all concerned. The officers didn’t belong there. They didn’t have a search warrant. The homeowners had done nothing wrong or illegal. The officers clearly desired to break in to the home knowing their conduct was illegal. They clearly thought they had covered their tracks by destroying the surveillance system at the residence. They were wrong. Had not the system had a backup, or a neighbors camera also capturing the activities, Ms. Custer would have ironically probably called the police to investigate”.

The plaintiff is suing for negligence and gross negligence as the officers committed various acts of negligence and caused physical and emotional injuries and damages to Plaintiff’s personal property.

The lawsuit seeks a jury trial and pursuant to Rule 47, the Plaintiff seeks unspecified monetary relief.

A copy of the petition may be seen here

Watch the video of the security footage below:


BCA in the News

Brent Coon in the News

Check out the latest news
and developments relating to BCA.

Attorney Brent Coon’s Response to Sen. Hancock’s Dangerous Harvey Misinformation Campaign

August 31, 2017, 1:14 pm

Shame on Senator Kelly Hancock for sending out a self-serving communication from his office this week stating that the law regarding the new hurricane and flood insurance laws WILL NOT change the claims process. It WILL change the process, and to the detriment of policy holders.   Why is he saying that?


Asbestos supervisor sues Motiva after fire erupts, Brent Coon handling case

August 20, 2017, 11:44 pm

An asbestos supervisor is suing Motiva Enterprises for injuries he suffered after a fire erupted.

Through Beaumont attorney Brent Coon, Joshual McElroy filed his suit Aug. 8 in Jefferson County District Court. Greg Lucchesi is also named as a defendant.


Brent Coon Named Litigator of the Week By Texas Lawyer

August 10, 2017, 12:51 pm

Brent Coon & Associates is proud to announce that BCA founder Brent Coon has been honored as Litigator of the Week by Texas Lawyer. This latest award for Mr. Coon comes on the heels of a $7,000,000 verdict against the Houston Independent School District (HISD).


HISD LOSES TWO BIG LAWSUITS IN SWEEPING 38 PAGE VERDICT

June 11, 2017, 3:21 pm

Jury hits HISD with over $7,000,000.00 in damages on one suit, and denies any recovery to HISD as a Plaintiff in their own $13 Million dollar lawsuit.  

A unanimous Houston jury told HISD they were wrong to breach five construction contracts with a local building contractor Friday evening after a full day of deliberations. In the same 38 page verdict, the jury also told HISD that their countersuit against the contractor, Fort Bend Mechanical, along with their bonding agent, Hanover Insurance, and yet a third defendant HISD sued for defective field testing of foundations had ZERO merit and awarded no damages against any of the three defendants and awarded zero legal costs to HISD.  Fort Bend Mechanical had sought almost $9 Million in damages at trial for what they alleged were multiple and repeated contract violations over the course of six construction jobs with the school district emanating from the 2007 School Bond, which had provided for almost a billion dollars in renovations to over 100 HISD campuses.  The jury of 7 women and 5 men agreed with most of the complaints asserted by Fort Bend Mechanical, and awarded damages and legal fees in excess of $7 million dollars in their verdict, which came in early Friday evening in the 151st Harris County District Court before Judge Michael Engelhart.


4 New Lawsuits Filed Over the Waco Biker Shooting

May 8, 2017, 11:56 pm

What does Patch Adams have to do with the Waco Biker shooting?

A lot.  The overzealous Waco Police Department clearly stumbled and bumbled through the debacle of the Waco motorcycle tragedy of May 2015 at the Twin Peaks restaurant in what is likely the worst police operation initiated by law enforcement in the history of Texas, including the fiasco of the Branch Davidian storming that killed dozens of innocent women and children outside of Waco over 20 years ago (which resulted in far more civilian casualties than the recent gas attacks by Assad of Syria).  James Harris, a college student in Austin and a devout motorcycle rider, was one of the 200 motorcycle club members from the region taking a relaxing ride to Waco on the morning of Sunday, May 17, 2015, to hear what was going on legislatively in the motorcycling community through a briefing sponsored by the Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents.


Father of Worker Killed at PCA Plant Explosion Files Multimillion Dollar Suit.

May 2, 2017, 10:02 am

The father of one of the three workers killed in a packaging facility explosion two months ago has now filed suit in Houston.  He explains his feelings and relationship with his son, facts known about the incident to date, and what he hopes to achieve with the lawsuit.  His attorney, Brent Coon of Houston, elaborates on the incident and expresses concern for the possible closing of the CSB, which is charged with investigating fatal chemical explosions across America, something that could significantly change industrial facility operations and increase safety and health risk factors. More details are below, and the office can be contacted for further information on this breaking story


Houston Police Department caught red-handed illegally engaging in a home invasion and covering it up by destroying security system: Damages Suit filed by Law Firm for Homeowner

March 3, 2017, 9:34 am

In one of the most egregious examples of police excess and violation of law perpetrated by HPD in recent times, two separate security systems from two different homeowners caught an HPD police officer and another uniformed officer illegally break into a Harris County home, destroy their surveillance system, illegally search the home with no one there, illegally go through their mail, and leave the home with the door open before the homeowners arrived back to their residence.


Jury Awards War Hero Over 1 Million Dollars

November 9, 2016, 3:22 pm

Today a jury verdict was returned regarding a lawsuit filed against Woven Metal Products, Inc. on behalf of Jacob Matthew Cadriel, who was killed on the job by a co-worker, Steven Damien Young.  This tragic incident took place on April 1, 2015. On that date and on Woven Metal Products, Inc.’s workplace premises, co-worker Steven Damien Young reached into his waistband, pulled out a 38-caliber handgun and shot and killed Jacob.  Young was arrested and charged with murder, and is now serving a 45 year sentence.


Deepwater Horizon Film Puts Spotlight on Disaster

October 3, 2016, 5:11 pm

The motion picture depicting the 2010 Gulf oil spill hits theaters nationwide this weekend.  So what, if anything, has changed since the Deepwater Horizon blast killed 11 oil rig workers?

Attorney Brent Coon represented one of the workers who escaped the rig; he hopes the film brings more attention to what really happened and how little regulation there is in the drilling industry still today.


Used cars with recalls being sold with 'no open recalls'

August 17, 2016, 8:49 am

Buying a used car instead of a new one almost always makes good economic sense, unless you end up in Ann Nogast's old 2011 Honda Pilot.

"Because it's going to be some innocent family that ends up the next possible fatality," Nogast said.



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