HOUSTON, Texas – Houston Police Officers remain on high alert in the wake of a Harris County Grand Jury’s decision to no-bill a Houston Police Officer in the shooting of an unarmed black male, Jordan Baker. The Houston Police Department issued a warning to its officers earlier this week after two New York City policemen were shot and killed. Baker was killed in January and the decision by the grand jury was made after a lengthy investigation.
Baker was shot by Houston Police Officer Juventino Castro after he allegedly charged Castro while reaching into his waistband. Castro concluded Baker was reaching for a weapon and fired one shot, killing Baker. The grand jury found no probable cause for an indictment according to a report on MyFoxHouston.com.
Houston Police Officers’ Union President Ray Hunt told Fox26 that the lesson to be learned from this shooting is to comply with an officer’s orders at any scene. He said if you feel something unjust is occurring, file a complaint after the incident.
Castro believed Baker was acting in a suspicious manner consistent with someone who would be “casing” the local business establishments. Baker was riding a bicycle slowly by businesses in a strip center looking in the windows. When Castro challenged Baker, Baker allegedly charged Castro and reached into his waistband. The findings of the medical examiner supported Castro’s version of the incident and there were no other eye witnesses to the shooting.
The no-bill by the grand jury adds to the tension already present with police after the shooting of the two New York City policemen last week. Earlier this week, The Houston Police Department issued a warning to its officers after a local television station, KTRK, filed a report about a threat found on an as yet unidentified Facebook page.
The person making the threat allegedly lives in the Kingwood area of northeast Houston. Referring to the New York police assassinations the person wrote, “2 down, 49,000 to go. Not ‘an execution’ just a minor insurrection and a bit of humble revenge.”
Ray Hunt told KTRK this is not the first threat against Houston police he has seen recently. “On a scale of 1 to 10… it’s a 10,” Hunt said. “We are very concerned.”
The union has requested the police department issue an order requiring two-man unites to increase officer safety during this period. According to Hunt, Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland responded that he would leave staffing decisions to the district captains.
“We’re hoping that each individual captain will see how serious this is and will pair those officers up,” Hunt says. He encouraged the officers to request backup on all calls for service.
The Houston Police Department later released a statement about the Facebook threat. “This particular post appears to be solely anti-law enforcement rhetoric and constitutionally protected speech. No specific threat was discerned in this post; however we remain vigilant and will review any similar items brought to our attention.”
The Kingwood man later posted a clarifying statement on his Facebook page. “Do I wish every police officer dead? No,” he wrote.
Jodi Silva, Houston Police Spokesperson, said the department’s 5,400 officers are “always trained to be vigilant.”
Breitbart Texas reached out to other departments across Texas to see if any other threats have been received by other departments.
Fort Worth Police Officer Daniel Segura, a public relations officer, told Breitbart Texas, “We constantly distribute ‘officer safety’ bulletins to inform officers of possible treats against police officers. Officers are schooled to always stay alert of their surroundings keeping officer safety at all times. The current national events reminds each one of us to stay alert at all times while providing quality police service to the residents.”
Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Tom Vinger responded to Breitbart Texas’ inquiry stating, “Our troopers, agents and Texas Rangers, as well as all DPS employees, are constantly reminded to always be vigilant and aware of their surroundings.”
At this time, no other responses have been received.
Bob Price is a senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.