The Houston police chief has publicly apologized to the family of a man killed by six police officers more than four decades ago, calling him a “direct murder.”
Joe Campos Torres was a Mexican-American Vietnam War veteran who was beaten to death by Houston police in 1977.
In a ceremony Sunday, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner issued a formal apology to Torres ‘relatives and vowed to work with the family to build a monument to Torres’ name.
“I’m the chief of police, but I’m a son of Houston, and what people need to understand is if you can’t see and feel this family’s 44 years of pain and suffering, you can’t ‘re not human,’ Finner said.
Apology to Torres’ family came amid calls for post-2020 police reform George Floyd murder in Minneapolis.
Torres, 23, had been arrested for misconduct. Police officers beat Torres for hours, then took him to Buffalo Bayou where they beat him again and threw his body in the water, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Two of the six police officers were subsequently convicted of the tort of negligent homicide and sentenced to a fine of $ 1 and probation.
Torres’ nephew, Richard Molina, said the family was in communication with the city to find a suitable way to commemorate his uncle.
“Our ultimate goal is to humanize our uncle at this point. We want people to know what kind of person he was and what he meant to my family,” Molina said.
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