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HomeNewsFormer HPD officer acquitted in deadly 2020 crash, DA announces

Former HPD officer acquitted in deadly 2020 crash, DA announces

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HOUSTON – A Harris County judge acquitted a former Houston Police officer in the death of a 71-year-old man in a November 2020 crash.

Matthew Valdez was found innocent of the criminally negligent homicide charge on Tuesday.

In January 2021, Valdez resigned from The Houston Police Department after being relieved of duty, according to an HPD spokesperson.

Surveillance video from a nearby gas station shows Walter Cooper, who was driving a black Cadillac, approach a stop sign at Darien Street and Ley Road in northeast Houston, and then drive into the intersection to cross Ley.

At that same moment, the video shows an HPD SUV traveling westbound on Ley Road, the two officers inside responding to a weapon disturbance call. The impact from the patrol vehicle sent Cooper’s car across the street and into the gas station parking lot.

Investigators said Valdez was driving 90 mph in a 35 mph zone and that he did not have lights or sirens on.

In court Monday, prosecutors revealed Valdez was not dispatched to the call and volunteered to respond as a backup.

The defense and prosecutors questioned several HPD officers who were dispatched to the initial call about whether they were allowed to use lights and sirens during calls that were classified as priority/code 2.

The defense and prosecutors questioned several HPD officers who were dispatched to the initial call about whether they were allowed to use lights and sirens during calls that were classified as priority/code 2.

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Sourabh Verma franklin
Sourabh Verma,From Franklin Tn - Sub-editor in Asian News International(ANI) I am a detailed-driven journalist with 3+ years of experience in news writing and copy-editing, I can file quick, compelling and error-free stories as they break. I have sound knowledge of national and international issues and have covered stories across beats, including politics, parliament, legal and crime like drugs and Human Trafficking at Asian News International (ANI), where I currently work. Some of these include extensive coverage of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, several state Assembly elections, Parliament sessions, COVID-19 pandemic and other stories of national importance. A typical working day involves copy-editing dozens of drafts, managing junior sub-editors in shifts and keeping an eye on developing stories. This added responsibility followed a couple of years of filing stories based on press briefings, bytes and inputs from reporters on the ground.
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