Baytown Mayor Brandon Capetillo continues to say that allegations of police misconduct are taken seriously and will have an appropriate response, but declined to answer specific questions posed by The Baytown Sun about the May 2019 shooting death of Pamela Turner, the July 2 arrest of two men observing the arrest of a friend or what policy changes might be in the works for the police department.
“I understand the interest in specific officers and cases, but I am not able to comment on an open case or investigation. For questions concerning police policy, please contact the Baytown Police
Department directly,” he said.
He referred to the Community Engagement Advisory Committee, which he initially formed in June 2019 in response to the Turner shooting.
City Council voted Thursday night to turn the Community Engagement Advisory Committee into a regular standing committee of the city, but pushed the effective date of that change back to Aug. 30 from the initially proposed July 20. Council also tabled action on appointing members of the committee.
The current committee, with 16 of its 25 positions filled, can continue to operate until then.
Rev. Raphael Montgomery, chair of the committee, said “I think it’s fair to say that many of the people that are on the Community Engagement Advisory Committee are just frustrated.”
“It’s like we’re in a slow rush to wait.”
He said, “As members of the committee, although we’re frustrated, we’re not giving up because we knew going in that this was a marathon and not a sprint. It just seems that there are obstacles we’re having to face in this race that we were not thinking that we would have to face.”
“We at least have a voice when we’re at the table. We’re not getting up from the table.”
Moving from the committee to comments he is hearing from the community, Montgomery said people ask who is policing the police?
“Of course, not all police officers are the problem, but the police officers that are the problem are making a stain on the police officers that are not a problem.”
“It seems like we always hear about investigation, investigation, investigation, but we never see any action being done; we never see any consequences,” Montgomery said.
“We think that the citizens of Baytown as well as the citizens all around the country are basically getting tired of waiting. They need to see some results.
“The very people who are dealing with the brunt of the issues need to be at the table — they need to be heard. I think that the city is not doing a good job of hearing from its community.”