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Houston

4 HPD Officers Who Fired 21 Shots At Nicolas Chaves Will Not Be Criminally Charged

On April 21, 2020, four Houston Police officers responded to a call of a suicidal person identified as Nicolas Chaves, who was running in and out of traffic. Upon confrontation, the four officers shot at Chaves at least 21 times.

According to police, Chaves, who was unarmed, disregarded commands and threatened officers. He was also reportedly aiming for an officer’s stun gun. Chaves died and the four police officers were fired from their jobs five months after the shooting happened.

Credits: abc13.com

Grand Jury Issued A “No Bill” Against Four HPD Officers

Just this Monday, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office announced that a grand jury issued a “no bill” against the former police officers regarding the deadly shooting of Chaves, KHOU.com reported.

According to the district attorney’s office, the “no bill” indicated that the panel of community members concluded that there was no probable cause to file charges against the four with a crime. The grand jury’s decision came after the Civil Rights Division of the district attorney’s office showed evidence over a four-day period.

“In officer-involved shootings, grand jurors have a range of options, from criminally negligent homicide to murder, and range of defense considerations, including self-defense and defense of a third person,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said.

“Civil Rights Division prosecutors presented all the evidence to ensure grand jurors were fully informed prior to making a decision.”

Ogg explains, “The primary question for a grand jury in a police shooting is, ‘did officers act reasonably?’ Grand jurors are supposed to apply the law to the facts and reach a decision on probable cause. We use this process to ensure that the community decides whether or not police should be charged in on-duty killings.”

Former Officers May Be Back In Service

Since there are no charges filed against the four former HPD officers, they are expected to head to adjudication in a move to return back in the department.

No Comments Yet From Chavez Family

As of writing, there are no comments from the Chavez Family over the grand jury’s decision. Back in March 2021, the family filed a $100 million lawsuit against the Houston Police Department, the City of Houston, and five police officers, accusing the officers of violating Chavez’s due process. The lawsuit has since been dismissed.