The Houston Peace and Justice Center Denounces Deadly Force

Official Press Release

May 15, 2020

The Houston Peace and Justice Center denounces the deadly force used against 27 year old Nicholas Chavez by the Houston Police Department.  We call for an independent and thorough investigation and review into the shooting death of one of our fellow citizens.  A video showed that Chavez was on his knees when he was shot to death by the police officers.  

We believe that all life is precious and before deadly force is used against any members of our society, all possible non-lethal means should be utilized including the Crisis Intervention Techniques that all officers certified by the state of Texas are required to have.  We hold that everyone living here is a member of our society and are entitled to the same constitutional rights regardless of past behavior or verified citizenship.  We are all members of the public, including all police officers whose service we rely on.

We demand that ALL Law Enforcement agencies follow their mandate to protect and serve the public and only use deadly force as a last resort after exhausting any and all methods. Effective Crisis Intervention should be utilized before non-lethal physical restraint devices are deployed and those should be exhausted before deadly conduct occurs. We call for the creation of an unbiased civilian Citizens Review Panel with subpoena powers whose control lies outside of any law enforcement agency, or anyone with a possible conflict of interest in the outcome of the investigation.

Our community is a diverse and multi-cultural one and includes those members who might have broken the law at one time or engaged in behavior that defies understanding. ANYONE with an altered mental status or who exhibits bizarre behaviors and actions that contradict the norms of society should be considered in a medical/mental crisis.  We expect all law enforcement agencies and officers to fulfill their oath of office and serve and protect the public, with an objective of saving life, not taking it.  The Houston Peace and Justice Center stands with the Greater Houston Coalition for Justice in demanding an unbiased and thorough investigation in the shooting death of Nicholas Chavez and in the creation of a Civilian Review Board with subpoena powers that do not answer to any agency or persons within the sphere of influence of law enforcement.

Jeff Reese
President, Houston Peace and Justice Center, and member of the Greater Houston Coalition for Justice
Contact: 832-244-3814 for any questions or more information