Houston Police Officers’ Union Targets City Council Member

(Updated with statement from Council member Jones)

The Houston Police Officers’ Union PAC released a list of candidates it has endorsed and will support for the November election.

The list includes Mayor Annise Parker, City Controller Ron Green and most city council incumbents – except two term incumbent Council Member Jolanda Jones.

Not only is HPOU endorsing one of Jones’ opponents, Laurie Robinson, the union is also sending a mailer to some voters targeting Council Member Jolanda Jones.

The mail flyer urges voters to “save the date” to vote for “a safer Houston” and it also says on the flyer that Jones is “working overtime to prevent police officers from protecting you.”

This is part of the fallout over the Office of Inspector General investigation. It accused Jones of violating ethical standards by allegedly using her council office staff and resources to operate her private law firm.

That investigation began when some complained that Jones passed out this flyer at town hall meetings:

It encourages people to know their rights with police. The advice included tips such as, “never speak with the police” and “never sign a consent to search.”

It also listed Jones’ city council office phone number.

Some police officers felt this was a slap in the face and severed the trust and bond they’ve worked hard to establish with members of the community.

Jones is facing three challengers in November. She narrowly won re-election in 2009, but I wouldn’t count her out just yet. She has loyal followers and is a fighter.

However, people who support the Houston Police Department may feel they can’t cast a vote for Jones if she is as reckless and anti-police as HPOU claims.

Meanwhile,  a spokesperson for council member Jones released this statement, “Council Member Jones has received support and endorsements from individuals and organizations throughout the city including the AFL-CIO, Tejano Democrats, Harris County Young Democrats and the Houston GLBT Political Caucus. 

The council member is concerned about public safety issues and supports and respects the Houston Police Department. We hope that HPOU will join her in focusing on important issues that would make better use of police union resources such as police brutality, the crime lab and justice for thousands of rape victims.”

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