Police chief Slams arbitrator's decision to Re-instate Cop Who Killed Pedro Navarro

Police Chief Harold Hurtt and two City Council members said they oppose the reinstatement of a Houston police sergeant who supervised the botched 1998 raid that led to the fatal shooting of Pedro Oregon Navarro. Hurtt said Monday that he will fight last week's decision by an arbitrator to reinstate Darrell H. Strouse, 40. The arbitrator also ruled that Strouse be demoted to the lower rank of officer and awarded back pay dating to 2002. Strouse supervised the controversial July 12, 1998, raid for which he and five other officers were fired. Hurtt, who was not chief at the time of the incident, said during a city council public safety committee meeting Monday that HPD "did the right thing" in firing Strouse. Hans Marticiuc, Houston Police Officers Union president, said the only way to overturn an arbitrator's decision is to prove the arbitrator exceeded his authority or prove the decision was tainted by collusion. The raid occurred at a southwest Houston apartment where an informant said illegal drugs were being sold, but no drugs were found. Oregon, 22, was shot when officers raided his apartment without a search warrant. When one of the officers accidentally fired a shot, police mistakenly thought the gunfire came from Oregon and fired about 30 rounds. Oregon was shot 12 times, including nine times in his back. A police investigation later determined that Oregon was armed but never fired his gun. [more]