Houston cop who told another officer to shoot fleeing suspect charged with aggravated assault 


Houston cop who told another officer to shoot a fleeing suspect during traffic stop is charged with aggravated assault

  • Houston police announced the indictment against Lucas Vieira on Sunday
  • Lucas Vieira stopped Aundre Howard, 34, in his vehicle on July 7, 2019
  • Body-camera footage showed Howard running away from Vieira and his partner as the cop yelled: ‘Just (expletive) shoot his (expletive)!’ 
  • Howard was initially stopped by HPD for an expired vehicle registration and was, ‘immediately handcuffed and searched for weapons but none were found’
  • Court records indicate Vieira then used his handcuffs to repeatedly beat Howard in the back of the head

A Houston police officer has been indicted for aggravated assault after he told another officer to shoot a suspect fleeing from a traffic stop in 2019 and then beat him with handcuffs. 

Houston police announced the indictment against Lucas Vieira on Sunday and said he had been suspended from the force in April after he was named in an excessive force lawsuit over his confrontation with suspect Aundre Howard, 34, on July 7, 2019.

Howard was initially stopped by HPD for an expired vehicle registration and was, ‘immediately handcuffed and searched for weapons but none were found,’ according to Howard’s lawyer Randall Kallinen. 

Body-camera footage showed Vieira and his partner, Officer Thomas Serrano, chasing after a handcuffed Howard, as Vieira repeatedly yells: ‘Just (expletive) shoot his (expletive)!’ 

Houston police officer Lucas Vieira (pictured) was indicted for aggravated assault after allegedly urging another officer to shoot a suspect in 2019

Video showed Vieira and his partner, Officer Thomas Serrano, chasing after handcuffed Aundre Howard, as Vieira repeatedly yells: 'Just (expletive) shoot his (expletive)!'

Video showed Vieira and his partner, Officer Thomas Serrano, chasing after handcuffed Aundre Howard, as Vieira repeatedly yells: ‘Just (expletive) shoot his (expletive)!’

Court records indicate Vieira then used his handcuffs to repeatedly beat Howard in the back of the head, after another officer caught up with Howard and detained him

Court records indicate Vieira then used his handcuffs to repeatedly beat Howard in the back of the head, after another officer caught up with Howard and detained him

After Howard was handcuffed, he took off running because he was ‘frightened from some of the actions of officers,’ Kallinen said.  

Court records indicate Vieira then used his handcuffs to repeatedly beat Howard in the back of the head, after another officer caught up with Howard and detained him. 

According to the lawsuit, Howard was so terrified by the incident, he defecated on himself. 

Afterwards, officers allegedly pulled down Howard’s pants in public and mocked him.  

In a statement released on HPD's Twitter, the department acknowledged the indictment writing: 'We respect the grand jury's decision. The case is now in the hands of the court.'

In a statement released on HPD’s Twitter, the department acknowledged the indictment writing: ‘We respect the grand jury’s decision. The case is now in the hands of the court.’

In an April news conference, held outside HPD headquarters, Howard said he was lucky to be alive.

‘I’m thankful to be here after I went through what I went through,’ he said. ‘People (have) been going through it, so it’s nothing new to me. I’m not even surprised.’     

Officers Serrano, Nadeem Aslam and Sgt. Earl Attebury were also accused in the lawsuit for failing to intervene. 

Both Serrano and Aslam still remain on duty while Attebury has since been relieved. 

Howard was originally charged with felony evading arrest and possession of more than 4 grams of cocaine, but charges have since been dismissed.  

Shortly after Houston Police Chief Troy Finner was sworn in, he ‘indefinitely suspended’ Vieira following new of the indictment. 

In a statement released on HPD’s Twitter, the department acknowledged the indictment writing: ‘We respect the grand jury’s decision. The case is now in the hands of the court.’ 

In addition to Vieira’s actions, the lawsuit lists dozens of examples of previous alleged police brutality by HPD officers since 1998. 

Vieira’s lawsuit is one of many,  including one by the families of a couple killed during a botched drug raid, and another by the family of Nicholas Chavez, who was shot dead 24 times by several officers after appearing to suffer a mental health crisis. 

Chavez’s family has filed a $100 million lawsuit against the city of Houston, the Houston Police Department and five current and former officers who shot Chavez.

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