When an 84 year-old mother was concerned about her 58 year-old daughter’s drug use, she called 911 for help.
Weeks after the call, a Houston narcotics swat team served a no-knock raid, murdering the daughter, Rhogena “Regi” Nicholas-Tuttle and her husband Dennis Tuttle.
Only a small amount of marijuana and a “white substance” that was possibly cocaine or fentanyl was found in the home.
Rhogena Nicholas had been battling cancer and neighbors say the drugs were for medicinal use for Ms. Nicholas and her 59-year-old husband, Dennis Tuttle, who was also a disabled Navy veteran.
For those who have followed my previous reports, they’re familiar with the bizarre circumstances of this case along with the massive amount of police corruption that led to the murder of the Rhogena Nicholas and Dennis Tuttle.
If not, here’s the “cliff notes” version . . .
On January 28th, following the approval of a falsified no-knock warrant, officers raided the Tuttle home.
In order to obtain the warrant, narcotics officer Gerald Goines claimed that he witnessed an informant buy heroin from the home and that a informant saw a 9mm handgun and “bags” of heroin in the home.
When officers kicked in the Tuttle door, they shot a family dog with a shotgun, and Dennis Tuttle, reacted by allegedly firing on the officers with a .357 magnum revolver.
Four officers were shot and wounded while another twisted his ankle.
Both Dennis Tuttle and his wife Regi, were shot during the raid.
It’s assumed that Regi died quickly, but neighbors heard Dennis screaming for help for two hours after the home was evacuated by police. After a robot went into the home, a SWAT officer placed one final round into Mr. Tuttle according to independent reports.
All of the officers survived, including Gerald Goines who was shot in the neck and evacuated.
Houston’s Police Chief Art Acevedo and Houston Police Union President Joe Grimaldi, ran to the television cameras to quickly condemn the “drug dealing” couple that shot four of their officers.
But after a search of the home, no heroin was found, no 9mm was found . . . not even a .357 revolver was reported as being recovered in the home.
Two shotguns and two hunting rifles were found and legally owned by Mr. Tuttle who had no criminal history.
However, heroin was allegedly found in the car of officer Gerald Goines, and in the tactical vest he was wearing during the raid. It’s alleged that because Goines was shot, he had no time to plant the heroin.
Goines was relieved of duty, the FBI is investigating, and the Harris County District Attorney is now reviewing 2,000 other cases Goines and his colleagues were involved in.
Basically, Houston Police kicked in the home of two law-abiding citizens and shot them to death.
Now, that we’re all caught up, there’s a few revelations that are new and one that I missed.
The first is one that I originally missed that was reported by a Houston ABC news affiliate, KTRK.
According to KTRK’s sources, the “anonymous call” that was originally made to police, was made by Rhogena Nicholas’ 84 year-old mother.
Sit back and think about that for one moment.
An elderly lady, concerned that her cancer-stricken daughter was self-medicating called the police for help and advice.
That call led to her daughter’s violent murder by government authorities.
How absolutely horrible.
Back in the 1950’s when she was growing up, the police were likely a completely different force.
Today, if you choose to call 911 for help, you are risking your own life and the lives of anyone in your home.
That’s not because all cops are corrupt in the vein of Houston’s Gerald Goines, it’s because of so many more reasons . . . and that will have to be saved as a topic for a future column.
A new shift to this story is the investigation of a second Houston narcotics officer, Steven Bryant. The undercover cop who worked with Gerald Goines is linked to another 800 drug investigations that are now under review by the Harris County District Attorney.
Both Goines and Bryant served under the eyes of Narcotics Division Commander Paul Follis.
Outside of the Houston Police Department, an independent reporter, David Worden, who had been covering the Tuttle murder, forcing HPD to admit fault, was arrested a day after recording a stunt of himself literally stirring a metal pot outside of the office of Houston Union Boss Joe Grimaldi.
Grimaldi had previously threatened to go after anyone “stirring the pot” against police.
The journalist, Worden, was arrested with the worst charges possible – sexual assault of a child.
Worden was granted bail of $50,000 and released. Regardless of whether or not Worden is found innocent, the damage was done as local Houston media quickly ran with stories of his arrest.
After his release, Worden called the case “laughable” and that police lied in order to arrest him on the devastating charge.
Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats in Washington held their first hearing on Gun Control and stepping away from the chaos in his own department, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo traveled to Washington to testify.
Acevedo told the committee that gun violence is, “one of the greatest public health epidemics facing the nation.”
The Houston Police Chief, fresh off the heels of his own officers killing two innocent civilians, advocated in favor of “red flag” laws that would allow judges to take guns away from people who are reported to be a danger to themselves or others based upon recommendations of authorities.
Acevedo sternly delivered his case to Washington telling lawmakers, “Doing nothing is not acceptable. Our sons, our daughters, our children, our family members, our police officers are being shot, killed and maimed and I would urge Congress to do something this term. It’s our time to make a difference because our streets, our neighborhoods are truly drowning in the blood of our victims and the tears of their loved ones.”
Acevedo left out of his testimony that the majority of the firearms related bloodshed so far in 2019, has been due to the corruption and violence of his own police officers.