Rickey D. Holtsclaw, Houston Police Department/Retired: Policing in the Politically Correct 21st Century America.
I believe it is important for every individual to sit down and write out, document, introspection, what they believe, why they believe it, identify exactly who they are and their personal understanding/interpretation of this life, this existence, its relevance. Subsequent to my personal interpretation of the mysteries of this life, its purpose and intent, I have included an abbreviated biography of my final few years of service to the citizens of Houston Texas while employed as a Houston Police Officer; my personal experience with the demise of true and honorable law enforcement as the profession has been castrated by the infusion of Political Correctness, a perverted sense of tolerance and an obsession with civil liability. While reading documentation relevant to policing in the “new” Houston Police Department, understand that a law enforcement entity is nothing more than a microcosm/a reflection of the society in which it serves.
I am a white male, ultra conservative relevant to my world view, Christianity, political perspective. I believe that Holy Scripture, the Canon Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is the infallible, unimpeachable, word of God to His creation. I believe that Elohim is Creator and identified within the pages of Holy Scripture as the Great “I AM.” I know Him as God the Father, God the Son (John 1), God the Holy Spirit. I believe that this life, our current existence within the created realm of “time,” is nothing more than preparation for the more tangible realm of “eternity.” I believe there is a plethora of false, heretical teaching today offering a facade of Christianity; false doctrine, the origin of which emanates from the pit of Hell and the fallen nature of mankind.
I believe the Evil One, a worthy military strategist, has been most successful in creating division/divisiveness within the Christian community. Many Christians today are weak, divided, disloyal, confused, deceived. I believe the “simplicity” of the word of God has been undermined by misunderstanding; deception; greed; arrogance; self-sufficiency. I believe the intricacies of the Canon Bible can be summed up in one “simple” word or idea…RELATIONSHIP. My understanding of Scripture continually leads me see that our Creator deeply desires a relationship with His Creation and has, in turn, given His all to make that relationship possible.
I believe that sin (missing the mark, or failing to meet the standards of a Holy God), separates us, creates a tremendous chasm, between our Creator and His creation. I believe a man or women can have a relationship with our Creator by faith, that is, faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Yeshua, God Incarnate or “God with flesh.” I believe if a man or woman repents (turns from their sin), confesses Jesus Christ as their Lord; believes in their heart that Christ died for the sins of mankind and that God raised Him from the dead…that man or woman, so believing, is forgiven, by grace (unmerited favor) and will spend eternity with the Creator in peace and loving fellowship; a positional state of being that was the intent of our Creator before the creation of time. I believe those who reject the Gift of fellowship, freely offered to mankind, will spend eternity separated from their Creator.
I believe there are NO other gods other than the one true God, Elohim, nor is there any other way by which a man or woman can be saved but by the grace of God the Father bestowed upon us as a result of the faithfulness and obedience of Jesus Christ who willingly shed His blood as the only acceptable sacrifice for the sins of mankind.
It is beyond my comprehension why my Creator has shown me grace and mercy…I’ve certainly done nothing to deserve such unspeakable, incredible kindness. As you read the following abbreviated biography, the context may suggest I was completely faultless in various scenarios discussed and that my life has been one of excellence in morality, in deed and in effort. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am simply a sinner that has been saved by grace. If my belief and faith in this “grace” proves to be nothing more than self-deception in the finality of this life…I lose nothing. If my faith in this “grace” proves to be true and correct, and I believe it is, I’ve gained, inherited, everything.
At this juncture in my abbreviated biography, I would like to provide a succinct definition of “Political Correctness” seeing that said ideology is integral to understanding the subsequent content.
Political Correctness is, in my humble opinion, an ideology that has thoroughly inundated/permeated the hearts and minds of many Americans. Political Correctness is simply abhorrence for the values and ethics of our fathers and their fathers. Moral absolutes; sanctity of life issues; family values; the Biblical family unit; one-man-one woman; Christian principles; free-market initiatives; one Nation under God; respect for the rights of others; have all undergone a redefinition via the Hellish concept of “moral relativism.”
Moral relativism, the illegitimate offspring of Political Correctness, says that what’s good for you…is good for you; what’s good for me…is good for me; you have no right to judge me or my behavior and I have no right to judge you or your behavior. Every man and woman is free to do what is “right” in his/her own eyes and judging an individual for “doing his/her own thing” is intolerant.
Within the realm of Political Correctness, the absolute worst, most abhorrent, social identifier is to be labeled as “intolerant.” Twenty-first Century America now worships at the throne of tolerance. The inevitable offspring of pervasive tolerance is hedonism, narcissism, humanism.
Understand this, iconic tolerance in American society is skewed and leftist individuals deceived by same are blatant hypocrites. It has been my experience that the “Left” is “tolerant” only when “their” sociological perspectives/ideologies are acknowledged and adhered to by the majority. Any form of rejection, relevant to the current relativistic/liberal ideological perspective, is countered with incredible resistance i.e. intolerance masked or justified by a facade of enlightenment.
America has ousted the Living God and replaced Him with the god of Government. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit have been replaced by the unholy trinity of god the Executive, god the Legislative, god the Judicial branches of government.
Beginning with Johnson’s “Great Society” initiatives, America, under the auspices of Political Correctness, has made societal icons of those individuals e.g. minorities; women; homosexuals; lesbians, perceived to have been oppressed and repressed by the thoughts, ideas and social structure of previous generations. Limitless tolerance has, in turn, subjected America to rampant sexual perversion; resulted in the destruction/death of millions of infant children within the womb of their mother; redefined and corrupted the basic family unit – an essential element necessary to maintain a healthy and prosperous society; usurped free market initiatives; denied fiscal responsibility; corrupted the American Constitution via legal precedent – a bastardization of the responsibilities of the Judiciary; a loss of respect for authority, self, others and most importantly, and most tragically, respect for our God, the One who ordained America’s existence and has sustained us as a Nation for over two-hundred years.
Political Correctness endeavors to create a “sexless” society within American culture. Male and female roles have been blurred and confusion has been the natural resultant. The white male, in particular, has been targeted by the liberal left and has, for decades, been the scapegoat for all perceived social evils.
Fractured family units, via divorce and casual sexual unions, has resulted in an entire generation of young men and women who are clueless regarding the responsibilities relevant to manhood and womanhood, child rearing, parenting.
Previous generations perceived the married “working woman” to be an insult to the man of the house. A man with a working wife, one that worked outside the home, was considered to be a failure…unable to provide for his wife and children. Today, mothers elect to work outside the home while their children are raised by minimum wage daycare employees. Today, far too many mothers relegate the responsibilities of motherhood to others who, in turn, impart their values and ethics on the impressionable children in their care. Fact is, children don’t need more “things;” children need a loving, responsible, providing mom…at home. If you’re a career oriented female, don’t have children, if you do, stay home and be a responsible mother! Our children are lost, confused, angry and we have no one to blame but ourselves and our lust for “more.”
The perverse and vile, homosexuals; lesbians; bisexuals, are permitted to adopt and impart their perversity upon the innocent. Only the most vile and morally sick society would permit such a thing!
The ramifications of Political Correctness have fractured the United States of America along political and religious ideas and thought. The Hellish doctrine of Political Correctness and the demonic ideology of Moral Relativism have incrementally slithered into the hearts and minds of America’s youth via music, video, movies, literature, television and a dumbed-downed educational system. The ideologies under girding Socialism and Communism require that its subjects be ignorant, submissive, powerless.
America is currently on a path of self-destruction and I truly believe that our Creator has turned His eyes and favor away from our perversion, our filthiness and ungodliness. America, a Nation raised up to serve the Living God, has rejected His word and His Word. We have thumbed our noses in the face of the Living God and He has left us to our own devices. I believe there is no hope for America…we’ve gone too far for too long.
With that said, I would like to share my experiences with Political Correctness as it has incrementally invaded our society over the previous 50 years.
I am married to a very beautiful and sweet wife. I have two absolutely wonderful children and a very handsome grandson. I have numerous adopted daughters and adopted sons, most of which have four legs…Layla, a beautiful Cairn Terrier; Zoe, a Jackapoo; Chloe, an Italian Greyhound; Missy, a Toy Poodle; MiMi, a precocious Yorkshire Terrier (Terror); Buddy, a German Shepherd mix; Trixie, a brindled domesticated rabbit; Nellie, a female goat with three little Billies…The Three Minions; Chester and Chaco, Billy-goats; Hercules and Annabelle, a beautiful Peacock and Peahen; Esmeralda, Ariel and Fritz, Pygmy goats; Zeus, our Myotonic (fainting) goat; seven ponies…Rusty, Diamond, Buttercup w/her colt Lucky, Gypsy w/her colt Sunny, and Athena…our latest arrival; and last…but not least…thirty-five chickens/roosters. My log cabin is surrounded by my extended family, white tail deer; wild turkey; black bear; raccoon; wild hogs; beautiful birds and a million dollar view…for which I am thankful to my Lord for His incredible grace, faithfulness, kindness and provision.
It is my hope that this abbreviated biography might be of some help to a young man or woman considering, what used to be, a fascinating and exciting career in today’s law enforcement community. Policing a free society has always had its challenges, but America’s perverted sense of tolerance and freedom, combined with an obsessive concern with civil liability, has made “doing the job” incredibly challenging. Now in my retirement, I have been labeled, as a result of my prior law enforcement efforts, a Psycho Cop, and it’s a nickname I’ve grown fond of. Let me explain.
I served the citizens of Houston Texas for approximately 31.5 years as a Houston Police Officer. While employed with the Houston Police Department, I served in Radio/Street Patrol, Solo-Motorcycles and as a Commercial Pilot in the Air Support Division. The first 28 years of my career were incredible…an absolute blessing. I used to tell people, up to that point, that in 28 years I had yet to actually “work” a single day. I would like, at this point, to thank those Houston Police Administrators, those who served in the years prior to Mayor Kathy Whitmire and Chief Lee P. Brown, for training me to be a Cop, how to perform actual police work, for allowing me to experience what it means to be an effective policeman. Some ask, “Why did you become a cop?”
In retrospect, I believe I was enamored by law enforcement because I have a visceral disdain for bullies, those who take advantage of others. Law Enforcement provided me with an opportunity to “take-up” for those who could not defend themselves. Law Enforcement offered an opportunity to intercede on behalf of the downtrodden, the forgotten, those perceived to be irrelevant by our selfish society.
Law enforcement is my passion and the opportunity to serve the citizens of Houston Texas was an honor, privilege and a blessing. As is the nature and order of things in this life, change was inevitable and my career status took a change for the worse beginning with my encounter of pompous and arrogant supervision assigned to the Air Support Division within the last months of my assignment there.
Long story short, I accused the new and inexperienced Air Support Lieutenant of violating safety protocol and his unacceptable response initiated my request for a transfer. Sooner or later (at least in this life)…all good things must come to an end. Having to deal with unfit, pompous and arrogant Air Support supervision was the beginning of the end relevant to my 31.5 year police career…but not yet…read on and discover the “straw-that-broke-the-camel’s-back” as I endeavored to serve and protect the citizens of Houston Texas while serving in the “new,” “politically correct,” Houston Police Department.
Little did I know that my request for a transfer from the Air Support Division to Westside Patrol would be the impetus that would initiate my retirement in just three years. What happened? Why did I request a transfer from Air Support, one of the most sought after positions in the Houston Police Department? Well, that story is a book in itself; therefore, suffice to say, a man needs to know his limitations and act accordingly.
My decision to retire in 2011 was based on a couple of factors. First, it was time for my daughter to begin college and the monies necessary to finance that endeavor was locked away until retirement was initiated. Second, after leaving the Air Support Division, subsequent to a heated contention with inexperienced Air Support supervision relevant to my conservative stance on aviation safety, I returned to street patrol at the Westside Division. My experiences at Westside Patrol confirmed that my Department had evolved over the years in order to fall-in-line with the changing moral and ethical ideologies permeating America’s “relativistic” and “hedonistic” oriented society. I was unwilling to compromise and make this adjustment; therefore, it was time for this old redneck boy to seek a life elsewhere; therefore, I honorably retired from the “new” Houston Police Department in 2011.
I had been informed, while assigned as a helicopter pilot, that my Department was changing…and not for the better. My Air Support assignment shielded me from the incremental moral and ethical compromises snaking their way into my Department; therefore, I disregarded the discouraging news of visiting patrol officers as scuttlebutt and refuse of disgruntled patrolmen. Unfortunately, after returning to street patrol, I discovered that the Houston P.D. had, in fact, changed. This change was not immediately apparent until I began enforcing, what the H.P.D. considered, a controversial law.
You see, my beat assignment at Westside Patrol, 20G80D, has, within its perimeter, a “biker bar” (The Dam Ice House) that is (was) frequented by sad and needy middle-aged men operating motorcycles equipped with illegal, dangerously loud, intrusive, obnoxious aftermarket exhaust mechanisms that emit two-to-three times the noise emissions permitted by the Environmental Protection Agency. Also, freely operating within my beat assignment are automobiles and trucks equipped with aftermarket modified exhaust mechanisms like the 40 series “Flowmaster” performance exhaust.
Seeing that I was trained to be a policeman in 1979, a time when “men” could actually be policemen, I was taught that an officer was responsible for the welfare of those citizens in his beat assignment; in fact, I took an oath that dictated that responsibility. You see, in my day, if a miscreant entered your beat, committed an infraction in your beat…IT WAS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY! You took the report; if evidence was readily available, you performed the follow-up investigation; you did the leg work…you gathered the evidence, presented said evidence to the ADA; you obtained your arrest warrant…you cleared your case…YOU PROTECTED AND SERVED THOSE IN YOUR AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY!
This proactive style of police work was, at that time, considered “good” and it was expected that each officer take care of his case if sufficient evidence existed at the time in lieu of remitting the information to an investigative division where said information might set on a desk for weeks while complainant and witness memories faded with the passage of time.
Much to my surprise, when I returned to street duty, after 19.5 years in the protective confines of the Air Support Division, I discovered the H.P.D. had become a “Politically Correct” social environment. Homosexuals, lesbians, transsexuals, are accepted into the rank and file, their perverse behavior is not only accepted but protected. My female Assistant Chief, while in the Air Support Division, was rumored to be gay; my female Captain (now an Assistant Chief), while assigned to Westside Patrol, was rumored to be her same-sex house sharing partner. You ask, what is the relevance of their sexual orientation? Homosexuals, lesbians, transsexuals, bisexuals, the morally perverse, do not belong in areas of employment where ethics, honor, self-respect are foundational to the oath of office! With that said, one of our Sergeants, Bruce Oliver, approximately 6’2/230 pound male, decided that he no longer wanted to be a male…went to the Orient to have his penis tucked into a vagina, returned to the H.P.D. wearing a dress and was readily accepted into the ranks as a supervisor! See:http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/HPD-officer-to-undergo-sex-change-1897191.php
I watched, with embarrassment, shame and visceral disgust, as my Police Chief, on video, hugged the neck of my lesbian Mayor, and told her that, at her request, he would permit H.P.D. officers to wear their uniform in the annual “Gay Pride Parade.” The Chief’s only stipulation was that the gay police officers not be on-duty; the gay officers would have to use their own accumulated time off to march in the gay parade. See:http://www.examiner.com/article/houston-police-chief-issues-decree-on-gay-pride-parade-responding-to-mayor-memo See:http://www.khou.com/news/local/Mayor-says-police-officers-may-wear-uniforms-during-gay-pride-parade-91869894.html
I found it ironic that when I went through the recruiting process in 1979, the primary focus of the polygraph and related interviews was sexual perversion and dishonest behavior. The biggest concern of the interviewer was, “Have you done anything that could embarrass the H.P.D. should you be hired?”
I personally believe that homosexual and lesbian conduct is evidence of psychological instability. Consider this; if a man is willing to disobey the moral law by allowing another man to enter his rectum with his penis or if a man is willing to take another man’s penis into his mouth, does this act of perversion not give one pause relevant to the ethical and moral condition of that individual? If a female prefers to engage in oral copulation with another female, to lie with another female as with a male, in direct violation of the moral code instilled within our spirit, does this not give you pause relevant to the moral and ethical condition of that individual? If an individual is willing to blatantly engage in moral perversion, what prevents that individual from compromising on other moral and ethical decisions? Perhaps the corporate world is willing to hire and trust such individuals with monetary and administrative decisions, but homosexuals, lesbians, transgendered, bisexual individuals have no place in an occupation where ethical and moral excellence are critical and foundational to the oath of office! I’ve heard the argument that a police department should be representative of the community in which it serves. Yes, I agree, but…that society/community is also comprised of burglars; robbers; murderers, sexual deviates/child molestation, the addicted. Should these moral and ethical miscreants also be permitted to serve as Public Servants?
Years ago, not really desirous of the rank of supervisor, I reluctantly took the promotional exam, one time, for retirement purposes. I’ve never liked the thought of working behind a desk but figured the extra retirement income would be beneficial. After completing my first and only promotional exam, I found myself entangled in a civil lawsuit in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals due to the H.P.D. promoting minorities relevant to Affirmative Action mandates/quotas. See: http://federal-circuits.vlex.com/vid/countie-vs-city-of-houston-18410407
You see, the H.P.D., in it’s desire to be politically correct, went back some ten years and located minorities, Blacks and Hispanics, who had taken the promotional exam but did not achieve a score sufficient to promote. The H.P.D. contacted these minorities and asked if they would like to be promoted. I found that Blacks and Hispanics, many who did not even pass the promotional exam, were given rank, 10-years of seniority, a take-home vehicle, and many were assigned to coveted positions in patrol based solely on the color of their skin! See:http://www.clearinghouse.net/chDocs/public/EE-TX-0452-0009.pdf
Anyway, after returning to patrol in 2009, I began policing my beat like I had been taught to do in 1979/1980. Fellow senior officers and supervisors pulled me to the side and warned me that actual police work in the H.P.D. would no longer be tolerated. Reason being, real police work results in IAD complaints and complaints were unacceptable. A patrolman’s biggest fear today is not being shot or injured, it’s all about being Politically Correct…don’t upset anyone…create NO controversy, don’t get complained on, don’t get sued, look the other way when possible; a facade of public service void substance…if you will. All the “new” H.P.D. expects of their officers is to run their calls-for-service, get a cup of coffee, do NOTHING proactive…just write your reports, turn your car in on time, keep your mouth shut and go home…on time. Anything a Houston Police Officer involves himself/herself in other than their calls-for-service, anything that could be considered proactive, is “on them” should that proactive behavior result in an Internal Affairs investigation. As one old Officer succinctly stated: “Ain’t nobody ever got run-off for doing nothing!”
As a tenured officer, working among the new breed of H.P.D. officers, I was looked upon as some sort of oddity. I was that strange officer who came to work early, checked out his patrol vehicle early, fueled/oiled his shop (patrol vehicle), loaded his gear, signed-on to the patrol computer and prepared his workcard…all before roll call. After roll call, I was prepared to run calls-for-service and assist the night-shift. I accumulated hundreds of hours of overtime, staying late…making arrests, booking suspects, writing reports, obtaining warrants, setting-up on suspects, searching. The Westside supervision finally began to chastise me for accumulating too much overtime and advised me that I needed to go home “on time.” One supervisor suggested that I simply look the other way when returning to the station at end of shift. The chastisement and warnings given me by Westside supervision, relevant to my “excessive” accumulation of overtime, reached a point where I was too intimidated to turn in an overtime request form; therefore, I continued to work over end-of-shift for free…I just gave the City my time in order to make my arrests and clear my cases. I had accumulated so many hours of overtime and sick-time in my 31-years of service that the City of Houston continued paying me for five-years subsequent to retirement. Unfortunately, proactive policing within the H.P.D. is a thing of the past. Heartfelt dedication and passion for the job are laughable qualities within the new “politically correct” law enforcement community.
I felt that “being there” was necessary, being a reliable employee was necessary and honorable…I remember opening the door of my patrol vehicle and vomiting when sick…closing the door and hitting the streets to respond to calls-for-service. Though employee records show that I used 4-days of sick time in 31-years of service, actually, I’ve only used 1 day. I accumulated such a large number of benefit hours that in 2010 I had exceeded the maximum 5000 hours and unknowingly “gave” the City of Houston approximately 5-weeks worth of time during that fiscal year!
The City of Houston refused to compensate me for the thousands of dollars in overtime exceeding the maximum 5000 hours; I was advised that it was MY responsibility to “keep up” with my personal hourly bank of time. That’s okay; all I really desired was to work…to “do the job.” Please don’t misconstrue my intentions for having mentioned my love for the job. Many of the “old” officers I knew from “back-in-the-day” operated with a spirit of dedication and esprit de corps. There is simply a distinct difference between today’s officers, for the most part, and the police officers of 30-to-40-years ago. Today’s officer “may” be better educated, but I seldom see the heartfelt desire to do the job…to many, the new breed of officer, law enforcement is just that…”a job.” It is very possible that the current lack of “desire for the job” among the new breed of officer is the resultant of an over-zealous Internal Affairs Division and a cowardly, Politically Correct, Command Staff.
Even though I understood and acknowledged the pathetic state-of-affairs within the new Houston Police Department, I continued to be a Police Officer and “do the job.” Problems arose when I began writing noise citations to loud vehicles and performing follow-up investigations relevant to the criminal activity within my district and beat assignment. I was subsequently called into the patrol office by Sergeant Mark Miller, Westside Patrol, and ordered to stop writing noise citations and to stop performing follow-up investigations.
I was almost speechless. What? Yes, what I discovered was the H.P.D. no longer wants “real” policemen performing proactive police work, or at least what I had been taught was good police work during the academy and field training I had received almost 30 years earlier. Sergeant Mark Miller advised me that, in his opinion, the law and ordinance, relevant to noisy vehicles, was too subjective and therefore unenforceable. I respectfully disagreed and initiated a search for legal precedent to under gird my enforcement efforts. Why you ask?
My beat assignment was, and continues to be, inundated with extremely loud motor vehicles. The exhaust emissions emitted by these vehicles is not only illegal, but physiologically dangerous; psychologically stressful; intrusive; obnoxious; disruptive; harmful to quality of life issues and violates the right of the citizens of Houston to enjoy a peaceful environment and domestic tranquility. I felt it was time that someone stood-up to those who willingly, arrogantly and selfishly endanger the citizens of Houston with their illegal, intrusive noise.
Sergeant Mark Miller, the Westside Patrol Sergeant who ordered me to cease the issuance of noisy vehicle citations, also operated an excessively loud motor vehicle, a racing Corvette, and the “supervisor” had the audacity to drive the incredibly loud vehicle to work at 05:45 in the morning. I also brought it to the attention of the Chief, Mayor and certain members of the Command Staff, that H.P.D.’s own Motorcycle Detail had members operating motorcycles with incredibly loud, illegally loud exhaust mechanisms. Why would I, once again, cross the “thin blue line of secrecy” and report such a thing?
The thuggish loud bikers who received noise citations from me and those who were incarcerated for other offenses (noise being used as probable cause for the traffic stop) were furious and demanded that they had the “right” to “ride loud” if Houston’s own Motorcycle Police were permitted to operate police motorcycles equipped with incredibly loud, illegally loud, aftermarket exhaust mechanisms. Also, I discovered that some of H.P.D.’s Solo-Motorcycle Officers were actually advising the loud biker community that riding “loud” was permissible and that anyone receiving a citation from me should file a complaint with Houston’s Internal Affairs Division. Standing for what is right is not always easy and I discovered that I had angered many influential individuals, inside and outside of the Houston Police Department, with my relentlessness relevant to vehicular noise enforcement.
One motorcycle officer pulled me to the side and commented that he appreciated my stance on the noise issue. This officer advised me that there are members of H.P.D.’s Motorcycle Detail operating police motorcycles with exhaust mechanisms so loud that he can’t hear his radio when riding in formation. (An obvious safety issue.) This officer went on to describe how certain members of the H.P.D. Motorcycle Detail enjoy accelerating their illegally loud motorcycles down City of Houston streets and activating car alarms with their excessive and illegal decibel output. “They think it’s funny.” The wife of another motorcycle officer phoned me at my residence and voiced her concerns relevant to the incredibly loud exhaust mechanisms on some of the police motorcycles. She was extremely concerned regarding her husband’s safety and the fact that H.P.D. would not intervene and force the “loud” officers to comply with Federal, State and local law. She also voiced a concern for my safety and the safety of my family, suggesting that I remove my name and address from all public records on the Internet. Apparently, Chief McClelland and Mayor Parker condone this rude, unprofessional, obnoxious, illegal conduct and have decided to do absolutely nothing about the unacceptable situation. Though my position, relevant to loud motor vehicles, was extremely unpopular, I argued that the operation of excessively loud motor vehicles on our public roadways was out-of-control, the behavior was illegal, growing exponentially and needed to be addressed properly via proactive enforcement and relevant legislation.
My search for legal precedent to under gird my enforcement efforts met with fruition and I located the 2008 Texas Court of Appeals case, Aguilar vs. Texas (2008). See:http://www.4thcoa.courts.state.tx.us/opinions/htmlopinion.asp?OpinionId=20953
In Justice Catherine Stone’s Memorandum, she clearly articulated the fact that an officer does have the authority to determine what is “excessive and unusual” noise emanating from a motor vehicle. Judge Stone’s “legal opinion” completely nullified the subjective argument rhetoric and “concerns” of Sergeant Miller. I subsequently presented this legal precedent to Sergeant Miller who stood fast regarding his order to cease issuing citations to the operators of illegally loud motor vehicles. I did everything but beg Chief McClelland to allow the use of a sound meter (SAE J2825 Stationary Motorcycle Sound Test) to nullify the “subjective” argument, but my request was denied by Houston’s City Legal. I asked the Chief to allow me to present my concerns to the Houston public via a news broadcast, again, my request was denied and a letter was generated from Chief McClelland’s office with the word “denied” highlighted and emphasized. (The written responses I was receiving from Chief McClelland’s office were drafted in such a way as to notify me that I was a pain in the butt! My Union attorney referred to it as “the Holtsclaw factor.”)
I then proceeded to forward a letter, via my chain-of-command, to Houston’s Legal Department requesting their opinion regarding the applicability of City Ordinance 30-3, “Noisy Vehicles Generally,” and the related Texas Transportation Code 547.604, “Muffler Required,” referencing Judge Stone’s opinion.
After five months of waiting for a legal opinion, I was called into my Captain’s office and advised that the Chief wanted to apologize to me for having made me wait five months for the requested legal opinion. Second, I was advised that City Ordinance 30-3 was valid and Constitutional; Sergeant Miller’s order to cease issuing noisy vehicle citations was overturned; therefore, I was permitted to resume the issuance of citations to illegally equipped, illegally loud motorcycles, trucks and automobiles.
Having successfully overturned Sergeant Miller’s order (a Sergeant with some influence in the Department), combined with the issuance of citations to thuggish, egotistical, bullish, self-entitled, loud motorcyclists (some of which possessed abundant expendable income and political influence within the Houston community), combined with the weighty toes I stepped on during my requested transfer from the Air Support Division, I discovered these issues to be the impetus or catalyst that began the clock of retirement spinning. Once an officer steps over and offends the “thin-blue-line,” forgiveness is unlikely and retribution inevitable. I was unaware of the huge can-of-worms I had uncorked and the ramifications of same…but, I WOULD DO IT ALL AGAIN…IN A HEARTBEAT!
Considering the fact that I had recently accused the Police Chief and the Command Staff of permitting corruption, cover-up and favoritism in a situation that occurred within the Air Support Division combined with my refusal to “look-the-other-way” relevant to vehicular noise enforcement, I was keenly aware that the “new” H.P.D. did NOT have the courage or forthrightness to support me. After leaving the Air Support Division and filing a complaint against ranking supervisors for misconduct, I was warned by a supervisor who worked at the 1200 Travis H.P.D. Headquarters, “Officer Holtsclaw, you may very well get your pound of flesh out of this, but this Command Staff, they are also going to get their pound of flesh…where ever you go in this Department this is going to follow you!” How true!!!
Area loud thug bikers began to complain…(reportedly, bikers were lining-up at IAD intake) and who do you think received their complaints at the Westside Division…right…Sergeant Miller, for the most part. These bikers were schooled and soon learned that the H.P.D. has a weakness in its disciplinary function. You see, an officer is protected by Civil Service and it takes an act of the Almighty and meticulousness in record keeping to oust an officer, BUT, H.P.D. has a back-door procedure to rid themselves of those officers who don’t play well in the new politically correct environment.
There is a committee within the H.P.D., the Personnel Concerns Committee, who reviews complaints alleged against a police officer. According to H.P.D. General Orders, any officer who receives three or more complaints within a calendar year is subject to review, regardless of the disposition of the complaints. Any officer who is ordered to appear before the Personnel Concerns Committee is subject to be “put in the program.” The “program” entails the officer ride with a training officer for a period of time. If the officer successfully completes the “program” he/she is returned to their regular patrol assignment. If that officer is EVER referred to the Personnel Concerns Committee in the future, for any reason, said officer is subject to immediate termination.
The H.P.D. Command Staff authorized investigators for the Personnel Concerns Committee to come after me, but thankfully, I had, at that time, immediate supervision with the courage to thwart their illegitimate efforts by advising the investigators that the complaints of area thug bikers was an organized effort under girded by unscrupulous motorcycle organizations. The loud bikers, considering themselves to be entitled and above the law, had organized their efforts to thwart my enforcement of vehicular noise laws and the City of Houston had cowed to their lies and cries of harassment.
Over the years, H.P.D. has accumulated such a large number of General Orders, mandates that direct almost every facet of an employees work day, that it’s difficult to urinate without violating one or more General Orders. Officers receive IAD complaints from the citizenry for a sundry of things, many of which are simply lies, obfuscations, exaggerations, retaliation and foolishness…but Houston’s Internal Affairs Division will lap up a citizen’s complaint like a dog on a fresh meaty bone!
Well, the self-righteous thug loud bikers in Houston began to complain to IAD as directed by their biker organizations. My IAD portfolio began to swell. I was required to defend myself against a sundry of lies and false accusations from area bikers. I attempted to file charges on some bikers for outright perjury, but the Harris County D.A.’s office would not accept the charges…even though audio and video confirmed the perjurious behavior.
Problems really began after I issued a citation to Channel 2 News Investigative Reporter, Steven Dean, for operating an illegally loud Harley Davidson motorcycle on State Highway 6 at Westheimer. Dean, in his self-perceived sense of superiority, wanted retribution. IAD clamored to Dean’s cries. It has recently been brought to my attention that Channel 2’s, Steven Dean has a Webpage providing detailed instructions relevant to the process of filing an Internal Affairs Complaint on a police officer. See:http://www.examiner.com/article/houston-drivers-getting-tickets-and-online-harassment-campaign-from-hpd-officer
Also, see: http://www.examiner.com/article/houston-police-abuse-complaints-process-undergoes-changes
Soon after issuing a noise citation to Steven Dean, I noticed news cameras recording me at my traffic court. Extra security had to be brought in during one particularly crowded traffic court session to ensure the angry bikers remained civil. Not long after, Randy Wallace, Investigative Reporter for Fox News, Channel 26 in Houston, did a two-part biased report on my noise enforcement efforts with a slanted story suggesting that I was harassing area motorcyclists.
Apparently, Dean truly wanted retribution and his IAD complaint against me was not moving quickly enough. One investigator told me that Dean obsessively called the Internal Affairs Division to inquire relevant to the progress of his complaint against me. Most likely, Dean, knowing that a Channel 2 investigative report would be interpreted as retaliation/harassment, recruited his buddy, Randy Wallace, Channel 26 Investigative Reporter, to slander me and my reputation via two separate broadcasts. I was not permitted to respond to the false accusations or defend my position relevant to the enforcement of illegally loud motor vehicles operating unhindered on Houston roadways. See:http://www.myfoxhouston.com/story/18192170/motorcycle-riders-make-noise-over-hpd-cop?clienttype=printable (The videos have been pulled)
There was never any mention of the number of automobiles and trucks that had also received excessive noise citations…only the arrogant, self-righteous loud biker thugs found a sympathetic ear via the news media. I found it funny that Fox News is owned by the same guy who owns the Speed Channel and hosts shows like “Rolling Thunder.” There was never any mention of my regular documentation as a top performer at the Westside station, the number of quality felony and misdemeanor arrests made; my calls-for-service record; the number of criminal cases closed by arrest. Only the cries and complaints of area loud thug bikers received attention…inordinate attention. My Command Staff and Mayor Parker’s administration pathetically and embarrassingly cowed to the brewing controversy rather than support one of their own.
The owner of the biker bar in my beat assignment, The “Dam Ice House” on State Highway 6, made a number of trips to the Westside station to complain that I was ruining his business and harassing his customers. He claimed that bikers were afraid to frequent his low class establishment due to my issuance of citations and arrests in the vicinity of the greasy bar. My response was, if you do business with thugs and criminals you get what you deserve, you reap what you sow. On a number of occasions, I stopped traffic in the vicinity of the “Dam Ice House” and my traffic stop investigation was interrupted by workers and patrons of the filthy establishment exiting the bar, taking photos and video of my traffic stop. The self-entitled biker patrons would proceed to their extremely loud motorcycles, start their engines and rev the bikes motor to provoke a response from me while I was performing my interview with a violator. Apparently, these little boys confined within a man’s body were livid that I did not fear them, I was not intimidated and that I cited and jailed them for their behavior at every opportunity. I found these miscreants to be nothing more than 3rd grade bullies in a middle-aged man’s body. Like a 3rd grade bully, they were bold when accompanied by their “pack,” but cowards when confronted by the law and incarceration. An embarrassing reflection on manhood and the American male.
The Houston Area Motorcycle Riders (HAMR), an embarrassment to the sport of motorcycling, coordinated two police escorted rides to Houston’s City Hall from area biker bars and addressed Mayor Parker/City Council/Chief McClelland during a regular Tuesday open forum session. I sat and watched uniformed policemen, operating incredibly loud-illegally equipped police motorcycles, escort a hoard of loud biker thugs from these greasy bars to Houston’s City Hall. See:http://www.myfoxhouston.com/story/18193628/bikers-rally-against-houston-officer See also:http://bikersofamerica.blogspot.com/2011/03/tx-houston-drivers-getting-tickets-and.html
The loud bikers demanded that my enforcement efforts be stopped, though Mayor Parker informed them that I was “following policy.” One biker, psychologically disturbed, arrogantly yelled at Mayor Parker advising her that if she could not fire me, perhaps they (his gang) should fire all of them (Mayor and City Council). [Prior to his confrontation with members of Houston’s City Council and Mayor Parker, I had arrested this particular psychologically disturbed biker during a traffic stop where he initially refused to stop, then became uncooperative and confrontational when I initiated a traffic interview. This particular biker was almost tased during the incident but was finally successfully taken into custody and booked for a county court offense. In retrospection, I learned that the individual has some psychological issues and suffers from an acute sense of self-worthlessness, as do a number of other faux-barbarian loud bikers I have encountered.] The loud thug biker, like many other faux-barbarians that operate a loud motor vehicle on public roadways, is nothing more than a selfish, arrogant, egotistical, self-entitled bully that knowingly and willingly violates the safety of the general public; these miscreants also violate the right of the general public to enjoy an environment free from unnecessary noise and the right to enjoy domestic tranquility. Problem is, the Houston Police Department, like far too many other agencies throughout the United States, is too apathetic, cowardly, participatory, to stand-up to these morons and enforce the laws prohibiting their unlawful, intrusive, obnoxious conduct.
I watched in disbelief as the City of Houston ran scared; the H.P.D. and the City Administration did not know what to do with this old cop who was actually performing his duties…according to law, ordinance, statute and legal precedent. The City of Houston, in its cowardliness, formed a sort of “think tank” and rewrote the City Ordinance (30-3, Noisy Vehicles Generally). The objective was the restructuring of Houston’s Noise Ordinance to prevent it from being used to enforce excessive vehicular noise emanating from vehicles equipped with illegal aftermarket exhaust mechanisms.
I then defaulted to using the Texas Transportation Code, 547.604, but the City of Houston continued to cower to the pathetic cries of loud biker thugs.
The Houston Police Department could NOT order me to stop my enforcement initiative. My noise enforcement initiative was Constitutional and met the requirements of all statute elements. Due to the fact that the personality type which engages in the operation of loud and obnoxious motor vehicles also, often times, actively participates in other forms of illegal behavior, my traffic arrest rate escalated and felony and misdemeanor warrant statistics also increased. In other words, my traffic stops, where noise was used as probable cause, not only led to numerous citations issued, but old warrants cleared by arrest. Again, the City of Houston was at a loss…how can they stop this old controversial officer who is so very productive, dedicated and following policy/procedure? What a quandary! I received a warning from a very tenured member of the H.P.D. employed at the 1200 Travis headquarters…He warned me: “Buddy, watch your back…the Houston Police Department will not hesitate to throw an officer under the bus at the first hint of controversy.” How correct he is!!!
Seeing that the upper echelon of the Houston Police Department was too haughty or proud to sit down and talk with me. Seeing that H.P.D.’s upper echelon did not have the courage to ask me to stop my noise enforcement initiative, coupled with the fact that far too many police officers themselves compromise their personal and professional integrity by operating excessively loud motor vehicles, the Houston Police Department was forced to approach the situation from a different direction.
My Department, instead of supporting one of its own, decided to cower and obfuscate by intermittently removing me from an enforcement capacity and placing me on desk duty at the Westside Patrol Station.
I was, on two separate occasions, removed from street duty and placed on desk duty pending investigations of alleged harassment by area loud thug bikers. Whenever I returned to the street, I, once again, issued citations to the operators of loud motor vehicles. Though I placed priority on my calls-for-service and continued performing follow-up investigations to close my cases, whenever I had any spare time, I cited traffic and made traffic arrests, concentrating on those who violate the rights of others to enjoy a peaceful environment and domestic tranquility by assaulting the public with illegal vehicular noise.
I continued to battle the H.P.D. supervision; other noise advocating police officers; the inept and ineffective Houston Municipal Court System (what an embarrassment); area loud thug bikers; the media; worried about my family and job status as we were harassed at my private residence by loud bikers with absolutely no assistance from the impotent Harris County Pct. 5 Constables…on and on it went.
Finally, I was temporarily relieved of duty after a biker thug accused me of threatening him in one of my Downtown Municipal Courts at 1400 Lubbock Street. Funny thing was, I was completely unaware of the loud biker’s presence in the court room, nor did I ever address or acknowledge him. An IAD Lieutenant advised me that the accusation was absolute nonsense and the case could probably be classified as “unfounded” soon. This Lieutenant could not believe that the H.P.D. had done this…but I certainly could. How does one battle against the power and influence of the H.P.D. when it decides to flee and cower in the face of adversity? Why don’t law enforcement organizations, like the Houston P.D., stand for what is right, justice…for the good of ALL people, not just a select few? Why are Mayors of municipalities around the United States prostituting themselves by hosting “biker rallies” for the influx of revenue at the expense of the safety and welfare of tax paying citizens? Guess I just got too old and set in my ways…I refuse to change with the times, to look the other way!
Something else I found to be suspicious. The ONLY time I was pulled from street duty and investigated for alleged harassment of an area motorcyclist was when the biker was black. I found it suspicious that the Chief over IAD was black and that his decisions relevant to my enforcement efforts were most likely skewed by loyalties to other black bikers in the community. I am also aware that this black Assistant Chief has a lower ranking police “buddy” that rides loud and purportedly affiliates with other black loud biker enthusiasts. Just a thought, but one that angers me to this very day.
I have never been tolerant of bullies or anyone that abuses/takes advantage of another…the unhindered operation of illegally loud motor vehicles, especially loud motorcycles, on our public roadways is symptomatic of a deeper problem in America. We are a Nation that has lost its way and a people that have been given over to hedonism, relativism and moral decay…we are reaping what we have sown. The loud thug biker is symptomatic of America’s moral decay, a loss of respect for our neighbors and evidence of moral relativism and hedonism. The silent majority is too apathetic and cowardly to stand- up and take action against this hoard of miscreants who bully their way through our neighborhoods, highways and byways. Our police, legislators, judges are too apathetic, cowardly and participatory to intercede on behalf of the citizenry they swore to protect and serve.
It became blatantly obvious that I could no longer be an effective policeman in the City of Houston; therefore, in conjunction with my daughter beginning college and my complete and utter disappointment in the “new” H.P.D., I retired August 19, 2011. My current Patrol Sergeant could not believe that I was calling it quits, but I would rather quit than play the “Politically Correct” role required by the “new” Houston Police Department. I cannot and will not adhere to a pacifist ideology and compromise with iconic tolerance worshiped by the “enlightened” American populous.
There is scuttlebutt from the thug biker community and on the Internet that I was terminated for my enforcement initiative…this is a lie. I do believe the HPD intended to coerce me into retirement via harassment and intimidation…and I did feel the weight of that coercion as it played a part in my decision to leave the Department when I did. Fact is, I see the loud biker for what he is, basically a selfish, thuggish bully. I believed, and continue to believe, that these miscreants need to brought under control. Problem is, very few have the courage to stand with me.
Actually, I had the H.P.D. and its Legal Department bent over a barrel. My noise enforcement initiative was valid, lawful and Constitutional. The violators I cited were treated with the utmost in respect and kindness, as verified by audio/video. Those who needed to be incarcerated, I incarcerated…those who needed to be released…I released. I sometimes feel that perhaps I should have remained and fought the good fight, but faithfulness to the Lord and family come first.
The H.P.D. cowed to controversy; the H.P.D. sided with thuggery and antisocial conduct of the loud biker community; Houston’s leadership failed to support my lawful efforts to bring civility to the streets of Houston. I simply could not, will not, look the other way! My prayer throughout the years was that the Lord would make it very obvious to me when it was time for me to leave…He did…and I did.
Houston P.D. Retired