Three months later, however, just five of the report’s 90-day recommendations can be confirmed as completed after attempts by Community Impact Newspaper to obtain updates from city officials.
“Give me a few days to digest it, but it is my intention to try to move forward and adhere to the timelines they put forth as much as possible,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said at the time of the report’s release. On Oct. 7, he said he was “overwhelmingly supportive of most of the ideas” in the report.
The recommendations ranged from translating misconduct complaint forms into different languages to revising body worn camera policies. Calls for reform were amplified this summer after Minneapolis police killed native Houstonian George Floyd on May 25.
So far, Turner has publicly announced the department’s transition to a cite-and-release policy for low-level offenses and introduced a new “safe harbor” court to help residents avoid escalating civil fines. A Houston Police Department General Order was also updated Oct. 25 to include new standards of psychological care for officers after "critical incidents," such as injuries.
Prior to the report’s publishing, Turner also signed an executive order enforcing a ban on no-knock warrants without written permission from the chief of police and banning chokeholds and other uses of force “unless objectively necessary.” Both policies were already upheld by HPD but were codified for future leadership by the executive orders.
Requests for additional accomplishments from city staff and task force members were unsuccessful. As the 90-day reform window set by the task force passes, Community Impact Newspaper has created a tracking scorecard to identify which measures have been adopted. As information is received from city officials, this list will be updated.