Drug War

The Houston Cop Charged With Murdering Dennis Tuttle During a Disastrous Drug Raid Portrays His Victim As the Aggressor

After breaking into Tuttle's home with no legal justification, police killed his dog and his wife.

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Felipe Gallegos, the Houston narcotics officer who was indicted this week for murdering Dennis Tuttle during a disastrous 2019 drug raid based on a fraudulent search warrant affidavit, says he lawfully shot Tuttle in defense of his colleagues. At a press conference yesterday, Gallegos' lawyer, Rusty Hardin, described what happened after plainclothes cops broke into Tuttle's house on January 28, 2019, and immediately used a shotgun to kill his dog. Hardin said Gallegos shot Tuttle, who according to police responded to the violent invasion of his home by grabbing a revolver and firing at the intruders, only after four officers had been wounded.

Hardin made it sound as if the cops were overwhelmed by a barrage of gunfire. But the evidence indicates that nearly all the rounds were fired by the cops, who responded to Tuttle's defense of his home with overwhelming force, shooting blindly and wildly through the front of the house and into walls, cabinets, and the ceiling.

According to Hardin, Tuttle fired just four rounds, all of which hit his targets, striking two officers in the face, one in the neck, and one in the shoulder. That is some pretty impressive shooting, especially for a 59-year-old disabled Navy veteran who, according to a lawyer representing his wife's family, had just been awakened from a nap.

"I don't think he could have shot all of them," Tuttle's uncle told KPRC, Houston's NBC station, in 2019. "You're going to tell me he is capable of doing what they say he did?" KPRC noted that "Tuttle weighed only 112 pounds," and "he had his right hand bandaged and his leg in a brace." Yet Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo insists "there is no evidence of friendly fire in this case."

Hardin said Gallegos was standing near the front porch, toward "the back of the stack" attacking the house. "He hears one officer yell 'I'm hit!'" Hardin said, apparently referring to the first cop through the door. According to Acevedo, that officer was struck in the shoulder after he fired shotgun "rounds" at the dog. At that point, Hardin said, Gallegos "hears some gunshots. He then hears some more gunshots, and then officers are starting to back out."

While the officers are backing out, Hardin said, Officer Cedell Lovings is "shot through the neck, and he falls, and he can't move. Other officers back out. There's more shooting." As the cops try to pull Lovings out, Officer Gerald Goines "is shot in the face to such a degree that…part of his face hangs loose. This is what Officer Gallegos is seeing. There is still an officer inside that has been shot. And then [Gallegos] sees Mr. Tuttle stick his arms out and shoot outside. Another officer is shot in the face. And then ultimately, Officer Gallegos engages in fire with Mr. Tuttle, and Mr. Tuttle is killed."

When police examined Tuttle's revolver, Hardin said, they found that he had fired "four shots," with "two live rounds remaining." Tuttle therefore could not possibly have fired all of the rounds that Hardin says Gallegos heard.

After the first cop through the door was shot, Acevedo said at a press conference the day after the raid, he "fell on the sofa in the living room," at which point Tuttle's 58-year-old wife, Rhogena Nicholas, "reached over the officer and started making a move for his shotgun." Responding to that threat, he said, "other officers in the stack that made entry discharged their firearms, striking that female suspect."

A forensic examination commissioned by Nicholas' family contradicted Acevedo's account, finding that she "was fatally struck by a bullet from a weapon fired outside the Harding Street Home by a person shooting from a position where the shooter could not have seen Ms. Nicholas at the time she was fatally shot." After the cops killed Nicholas, Acevedo said, "an exchange of gunfire…continued." That is when Lovings and Goines were shot. "After we had two officers down and another one shot," Acevedo said, "the remaining officers in the stack started laying down cover fire."

According to March 19, 2019, autopsy report from the Harris County Institute for Forensic Sciences, Tuttle was hit at least eight times. He suffered gunshot wounds in his head and neck, chest, left shoulder, left buttock (which was struck twice), left thigh, left forearm, left hand, right wrist, and right forearm (two graze wounds). The report says the chest injury "may represent a re-entrance wound of a fragmented bullet associated with one of the gunshot wounds of the upper extremities." An autopsy report on Nicholas, written the same day, says she was shot in the torso and right thigh.

The Houston Police Department has not publicly said how many rounds the police fired that day. An independent inspection overseen by Michael S. Maloney, a former supervisory special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, found that several rounds, including the bullet that killed Nicholas, were fired through the exterior wall of the house near the front door. KPRC showed multiple bullet holes in the ceiling and in the kitchen's walls, cabinets, and stovetop.

For two years, Nicholas' mother and brother have been trying to find out exactly what happened during the raid, which was not recorded by body cameras. The city has resisted them at every turn. The information sought by Nicholas' family includes "the bullet count remaining in the weapons used by the HPD and the bullet count in any additional magazines, speed loaders or other devices carried at the time of the incident." The family also wants "medical and ballistics documentation of the wounds sustained by the HPD personnel," along with "ballistics materials that may have been recovered during medical intervention and from protective vests worn during the Harding Street Incident."

Hardin conceded that "it appears [Tuttle and Nicholas] were innocent of drug activity," since the case against them was fabricated by Goines, who as a result faces multiple state and federal charges, including two counts of felony murder. But once Tuttle "started shooting," Hardin said, "he was not innocent."

Hardin argues that Tuttle should have known that the men who invaded his home, killing his dog and his wife, were police officers. While they were not wearing uniforms, he said, "they were dressed in a way" that "anybody would look at them and know they were a police officer." Hardin also claims witnesses heard the cops shout "Police! Search warrant!" as they entered the house—an announcement that Tuttle easily could have missed in the shock and chaos of the raid. Although it was the cops who broke into the house with no legal justification and it was the cops who fired first, Gallegos' defense hinges on portraying Tuttle as the aggressor in this situation.

NEXT: Prison Guards Who Forced Menstruating Visitor To Expose Vaginal and Anal Cavities Are Protected by Qualified Immunity

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  1. “The Houston Cop Charged With Murdering Dennis Tuttle During a Disastrous Drug Raid Portrays His Victim As the Aggressor”

    Just for the record, Ashli Babbitt was unarmed, and shooting unarmed protesters for trespassing on public property is unjustified.

    1. What a fucktard. You’re trying to equate this illegal search and manslaughter with a shooting that occurred during an organized riot where many rioters were openly carrying and had already attacked officers. It’s not even apples and oranges, it’s apples and anti-apples.

      The officers were in the wrong here due to the illegal search and lying about it afterward. The rioters where in the wrong at the capital for rioting and attacking police officers trying to stop an ongoing crime.

      1. Rioting is not a crime as we have been told multiple times all year long.

        1. “Whoever said protests have to be peaceful?” – Chris Cuomo, professional asshole

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        2. The US Capitol has the ultimate insurance package or something.

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        3. Update your Newspeak dictionary comrade.

      2. It’s not even apples and oranges, it’s apples and anti-apples.

        You even worse at metaphors than you are at logic. In both cases officers killed people who were not an actual threat to their lives.

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        2. One unarmed person may not be a threat to someone’s life. Two might be. If you are outnumbered ten, or fifty, or a hundred to one by a mob, and you have a gun, and the mob is refusing to obey your commands to stand down, then the mob can kill you whether armed or not, and if you choose not to fire, your gun will soon be their gun. Babbitt was just the one who won the lottery to take the bullet for the horde she was a part of.

      3. Doesn’t matter who was “in the wrong”. What matters is whether anyone committed murder.

        1. Yes. The people who beat the police officer to death committed murder. The police officer who shot Babbitt did not.

          1. No police officer was beaten to death.

            1. She was a Trumpista. She got what she deserved.

              1. The truth finally comes out.

          2. “The people who beat the police officer to death”

            don’t exist because that never happened.

            “The police officer who shot Babbitt”

            comitted murder.

      4. “What a fucktard.”

        —-Brandybuck

        Shooting an unarmed protester for trespassing on public property is unjustified–regardless of whether I’m a fucktard.

        “. . . a shooting that occurred during an organized riot where many rioters were openly carrying and had already attacked officers . . . .

        The rioters where in the wrong at the capital for rioting and attacking police officers trying to stop an ongoing crime.

        —-Brandybuck

        You appear to be portraying the shooting of an unarmed protester as if she were the aggressor, but in reality, trespassing on public property doesn’t justify shooting an unarmed protester.

        I’m not saying the Capitol cop was guilty of murder or voluntary manslaughter beyond a reasonable doubt at this point, but that’s not the standard for bringing charges against somebody. I am saying that shooting an unarmed protester for trespassing on public property is unjustified. There should be charges.

        Riddle me this: Do you think that Ashli Babbitt’s family should be allowed to sue the cop who shot her in civil court, or do you support qualified immunity in cases where cops shoot unarmed protesters?

        1. Babbitt was the aggressor. The police officer would get QI because there is no case law saying that it is a constitutional violation to shoot someone who is attacking a secure government facility and about to enter an area with members of congress.

          1. Your pronouncements wouldn’t have any authority–even if I hadn’t seen all the ridiculous unsupported and unsupportable claims you made yesterday.

            Babbitt certainly wasn’t an aggressor–just because you say so–and trespassing on public property doesn’t justify shooing unarmed protesters–just because you say so–either.

            P.S. Your qualified immunity rationalization is obtuse. The question isn’t whether qualified immunity is legal. The question is whether it’s appropriate in a free and just society.

            1. The video clearly shows Babbitt as the aggressor. And no, QI is not appropriate in a free and just society.

              1. “The video clearly shows Babbitt as the aggressor.”

                You make pronouncements and that becomes the truth–is that the way you think reality works?

              2. No it doesn’t.

              3. You are a liar. But we already knew that.

          2. To think only 5 months ago you were crying about statists arresting people in unmarked vans even though they had agency and number on their shirts.

          3. attacking a secure government facility

            You can’t just make shit up because it supports your argument. The Capitol isn’t even as secure as a courthouse, which nobody ever has described as ‘secure facilities’.

      5. Man, biden cultists are really for cops shooting unarmed white people.

      6. If police had shot an unarmed protestor at a mostly peaceful protest/organized riot in 2020, would the mostly peaceful protestors have said, “yeah, okay, that was justified?” Or would they have burned down every major city in the USA?

        It doesn’t matter if other protesters/rioters in the crowd are “openly carrying” if none of them is pointing their weapons at anyone.

      7. “many rioters were openly carrying”

        Ah so other people having guns means I can be shot legally.

        Who knew you were this fucking stupid.

        1. And Ashli Babbitt wasn’t carrying.

        2. I’d like to see evidence any protesters were carrying. Carrying is illegal in DC so I’d be really surprised if any protesters actually brought guns.

          Unless the original poster means carrying flags and placards which is fully legal and a typical Tuesday in DC.

          1. Allegedly these so called rioters were first attending a speech by the POTUS and they were as the mass media puts it “heavily armed.” Anyone at a presidential speech would have gone through something similar to airport security (metal detectors, wands, and such). So we are to believe a multitude was walking around as this speech was going on openly carrying firearms in Washington, D.C.

      8. You are never going to convince them that Babbitt was in the wrong because they supported the insurrection and wanted it to succeed. To them killing the police officer, or even a member of congress would have been acceptable.

        1. “You are never going to convince them that Babbitt was in the wrong because”

          she wasn’t. It’s why you constantly try to portray her as violent and lie about the circumstances. You know your guys murdered her.

          Also, stop replying to yourself to make it look like people agree with you.

        2. To whom? Everyone who was there? Babbit? You know this how?

          You are a disgusting person, cheering the murder of someone whose worst crime was unlawful entry into a building.

          1. I do not cheer her death, I have said that my preference was to see her rot in prison. But it was legal justified.

            1. “But it was legal justified.”

              To retards maybe.

          2. Suppose four or five people are in my home. They broke in, and now I’m in a room and they are forcing the door open. I am armed. Four or five unarmed people can kill someone without a weapon. Am I justified in using lethal force to defend myself and my family, or do I have to let them take my gun and beat me to death with it?

      9. Loser Brigade…on my reason?

      10. This is the first time I’ve heard of protesters in the Capitol openly carrying weapons (the phrase “openly carrying” normally means firearms). Do you have any evidence of that? I’m serious in this question because this is truly the first I’ve heard of it.

  2. Lying motherfuckers. They knew what bullets were shot by whom about 30 minutes after those shot cops got out of the OR. They’re simply delaying to try and lessen the heat on their departments. And dodge explaining how gunshots were heard at the scene nearly a half hour after entry.

    Disgraceful that this series of indictments has been mostly used to hammer overtime fraud, and not to try and clean up how narcotics search warrants are handled in that county.

    1. This kind of lying is institutional. The whole department should be investigated.

  3. “an organized riot”

    Take your Reichstag Fire and shove it up your ass, you fascist prick. The officer who shot Babbit was in even less danger than the ones who murdered Tuttle.

    1. Obviously this was intended for Herr Brandyfuck.

  4. *this* I appreciate you writing on.

  5. I bet the police officer got a Hardin after killing the wife. 😀

    1. They all got Hardins after shooting the dog. That’s why they couldn’t shoot straight and ended up (probably) shooting each other. All the blood was rushing to their nether regions.

      1. LMFAO

  6. For their legal defense against a murder charge, I don’t think it matters whether the victim was the aggressor, or knew whether those were police. Except for the one who fabricated the reason for the entry, what we have is a melee in which anyone is justified in shooting at anyone on the scene, because nobody knew who was shooting at whom. Not guilty.

    1. Ever see a fight cloud in the comics? Like that, with bullets.

    2. You have a point here. The defense can claim he was firing back at the friendly firing at him and that he only killed Tuttle by mistake. Acquitted. And since there is no way that scenario is on the books, qualified immunity for the lot of them.

      1. Could be convicted of reckless endangerment or manslaughter, even if murder is hard to prove.

        On the other hand, kicking down someone’s door and shooting their dog are felonies, and anyone killed while committing a felony counts as murder, even for those only peripherally involved. Hold the police to the same standard as everyone else.

        1. Courts have provided qualified immunity to a deputy that interrupted a birthday party, made the family and all the attending children lie down on the ground, and then proceeded to shoot a 10-year old boy in the knee when he missed the family dog that wandered into their midst. The chance of an officer returning live fire being held accountable by a court for an accidental shooting approaches zero.

      2. I have a handgun carry permit which required a four hour class on self defense law and I had a perfect score on the written exam afterward.

        If I shot the wrong person in a confused melee, I would not get an acquittal. If I shot, I would be held accountable for any and all damage intended or not from any shot I fired.

        You would think cops with more intense and professional training would be held to a higher standard than a civilian acting in self-defense.

      3. That’s not how qualified immunity works. It protects from civil suit, not criminal prosecution.

    3. what we have is a melee in which anyone is justified in shooting at anyone on the scene

      There is no legal principle that supports this opinion.

      1. Ahem, it’s called the FYTW principle.

      2. It’s the principle I’d want to be judged by.

    4. They weren’t lawfully there, so any shooting they did should be presumptively unlawful.

      They’re police operating under color of law. They should be held to a higher standard, not a lower one.

  7. “According to Hardin, Tuttle fired just four rounds, all of which hit his targets, striking two officers in the face, one in the neck, and one in the shoulder. That is some pretty impressive shooting, especially for a 59-year-old disabled Navy veteran who, according to a lawyer representing his wife’s family, had just been awakened from a nap.”

    Took out 5 officers with 4 shots from a 6-shot revolver, after being taken at unawares. Totally believable. As I’ve often said, he’s like Dirty Harry crossed with Chris Kyle.

    Also – This is almost exactly how Biden proposes typical home defense, other than the fact they made it through the door.

  8. The word testily doesn’t exist without good reason.

    1. Testilie. Whatever. When a cop’s speaking, he’s probably lying. Especially in court.

  9. Another officer is shot in the face. And then ultimately, Officer Gallegos engages in fire with Mr. Tuttle, and Mr. Tuttle is killed.

    It wouldn’t be a story about cops in a questionable shooting without some good ol’ passive voice.

  10. Did the Ministry of Information ever confirm Mr. Tuttle’s hat size?

  11. I see Houston is employing the stop hitting yourself defence

    1. Houston being run by leftists yeah it’s their tried and true method.

  12. “After we had two officers down and another one shot,” Acevedo said, “the remaining officers in the stack started laying down cover fire.”

    Anyone else picturing Cyril Figgis from Archer yelling “Suppressing fire!!!!!” and firing randomly when they read this?

    1. No, I was imagining 6 NYPD officers trying to shoot 1 drunk in a busy intersection and hitting 9 bystanders and 0 drunks.

  13. Plainclothes police officers should never be invading homes, even with a legal warrant. How is the homeowner to know they are legit?

    1. They do it because they take pleasure in terrorizing people and killing their pets. When the subject is actually dangerous they employ totally different tactics. Draw them out and surround them, usually. These tactics are nothing more than the boys who went from high school football to police academy getting their jollies.

      1. We are aware that you’re still upset about a cop out-competing you for the affections of your wife, and that I turned you down for dates repeatedly.

        You don’t have to whine about it daily, we get it.

        1. If you’re gonna spew my personal details out, you may as well get it right. She left the guy who later became a cop while we were together, and now she’s with some old guy who looks like he spent way too much time in the sun on his Harley. Obviously she isn’t the best judge of character.

          1. You know she has him wear the uniform when he’s railing her.

    2. But it makes them feel cool. You know, like Starsky and Hutch.

    3. This is a huge point. Anyone can yell “police” as they break into your home. A person is absolutely justified in shooting at a person breaking into their home. The police are supposed to take on extra risk to protect the public. People sitting at home minding their own business should not be expected to make the judgement of whether the person breaking in your door is a cop or a crazed murderer.

    4. Locally we have had home invasions by criminals posing as drug cops or as bounty hunters. Even a serial rapist with a Crown Victoria tricked out with blue lights as an unmarked police car pulling women over at night. No knock raiders or even door breakers claiming to be legit are likely to be resisted.

  14. “The great masses of men, though theoretically free, are seen to submit supinely to oppression and exploitation of a hundred abhorrent sorts. Have they no means of resistance? Obviously they have. The worst tyrant, even under democratic plutocracy, has but one throat to slit. The moment the majority decided to overthrow him he would be overthrown. But the majority lacks the resolution; it cannot imagine taking the risks.” ~ H. L. Mencken (1926). “Notes on Democracy,” p. 50, Alfred A. Knopf
    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.” ― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn , The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

  15. When defending the indefensible, you are be left with only indefensible defenses.

  16. Police chief Acevedo is craven lying scumbag.

    1. And the fact that he’s still police chief lets you know that Houston’s city government are craven lying scumbags as well.

      And how to describe the voters in Houston who continue to elect these lying craven scumbags?

  17. Maybe, just maybe, that the situation was set-up by the police to be excessively violent? Maybe the police should not assume they have a right to shoot a dog for existing in a home they are invading? Maybe the police’s approach and tactics to things in these types of raids is just wrong?

  18. I guess it is going to take a constitutional amendment to require actual real live identified persons in a warrant application instead of ‘confidential informants’.
    And another to define as an accessory any judge who signs a warrant without a personal interview with the accuser.
    And a third to allocate the free pony to every child.

  19. Lost in the mists of time seems to be the fact that Tuttle’s pistol was missing from the inventory of evidence collected at the scene and, as far as I can tell, is still missing. It’s not clear to me how the ballistics evidence says that Tuttle fired the four bullets that were supposed to have struck the wounded officers without the gun for test firing or how they knew four bullets had been fired without making such evidence available to attorneys during the stonewall.

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