Houston police chief blames 'broken' bond system, COVID-19 for alarming increase in homicides

Posted 7 days ago

From WWW.KHOU.COM

“If you would tell me I’d be in a major U. S. city and violent criminals would get out in Texas on $100 bonds, I would have said you’re crazy,” the chief said.

HOUSTON — The number of homicides in Houston is up an alarming 44% compared to this time last year.

For perspective, the current murder numbers surpass yearly totals dating back to 2007, when the city recorded 351 murders. We’re already up to 350 with more than five weeks to go.

Police Chief Art Acevedo said Friday that a "perfect storm" is to blame.

Gang crime and drug-related murders account for some of the increase.COVID-19 is also a key factor, as people struggle with the stress of a pandemic.But the biggest problem, according to the chief, is the “broken” bond system that has put dozens of violent criminals back on the streets.

“If you would tell me I’d be in a major U.S. city and violent criminals would get out in Texas on $100 bonds, I would have said you’re crazy,” Acevedo said.

Releasing suspects in violent criminals on bond also makes it tougher to solve the crimes because witnesses are scared to cooperate.

“If you witness a murder, and you’re seeing time and again that the murderer is going in one door and, a day or two later, they’re back out, our level of co... (Read more)