HOUSTON– A Harris County grand jury returned two indictments Thursday against a former Houston police officer who shot and assaulted a suspect who burglarized his home, then allegedly tried to cover up certain details about the incident.
According to District Attorney Kim Ogg, on Feb. 16, Officer Bruce Johnson was notified that his home was being burglarized. On the way home, he noticed Derek Carr on an adjacent street carrying items that belonged to him.
Johnson confronted Carr and the two began to struggle. Johnson shot Carr in the back and arm, and a witness captured cell phone video of Johnson kicking Carr after the alleged burglar was incapacitated.
Johnson admitted to moving the pickle fork burglary tool that he claimed had been used to threaten him. Johnson said he moved the tool closer to Carr and that, Ogg explained, caused the crime scene to be contaminated.
Johnson’s indictments consist of tampering with evidence and assault. The tampering with evidence charge is a third-degree felony, subject to two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Johnson also faces up to one year in prison and a $4,000 fine on the ‘Class A’ assault for kicking Carr while he was down.
Johnson has since resigned from his 23-year position with the police department and is eligible for probation, citing his prior record.
Carr has been charged with burglary and is currently in the Harris County Jail.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo released a statement that read, in part:
“The Houston Police Department is extremely disappointed in the actions of this former employee. However, I am proud of the work of the newly-created Special Investigations Unit (SIU) that I formed to conduct thorough and detailed investigations on critical cases like this one. While the circumstances in this case on the day of occurrence suggested no wrongdoing, a proper impartial investigation by HPD SIU lead to the discovery of facts and evidence resulting in the indictment of this former employee. The Houston Police Department remains committed to transparency and accountability.”