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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Attorney General and SDTX U.S. Attorney Recognize Law Enforcement Service and Sacrifice During National Police Week

FBI Releases 2017 Statistics on of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted

HOUSTON - Attorney General Jeff Sessions and U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick recognized the service and sacrifice of federal, state, local and tribal police officers on the occasion of National Police Week and Peace Officer Memorial Day and commented on the FBI's 2017 Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report.

In October 1962, Congress passed and President Kennedy signed a joint resolution declaring May 15th as National Peace Officers Memorial Day to honor law enforcement officers killed or disabled in the line of duty. The resolution also created National Police Week as an annual tribute to law enforcement service and sacrifice. 

“This day and week is set aside to remember the men and women who gave their lives protecting our communities,” said Patrick. “Ninety-three sworn officers and agents died in the line of duty last year. We mourn those taken from us. As a U.S. Attorney’s Office, we sometimes have the duty to bring justice for the families of these fallen heroes and we rededicate ourselves to carrying forward their legacy.”

“One officer death is too many,” said Sessions. “While we are inexpressibly grateful to have had a decrease in the number of officers killed in the line-of-duty last year, the number is still far too high. At the Department of Justice, we honor the memories of the fallen and we pray for their families. We are also following President Trump's Executive Orders to back the women and men in blue, to enhance law enforcement safety and to reduce violent crime in America. Those priorities will help keep every American safe, including those who risk their lives for us.  As always, we have their backs and they have our thanks.”

Sessions also posted a video message on Police Week.

In 2017, the FBI reports seven Texas sworn officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty and four more in line of duty accidents. The Southern District had three line of duty deaths last year.

Clint Greenwood
Harris County Constable Pct. 3
End of Watch - 4/3/17

On April 3 at 7 a.m., Clint Greenwood - an assistant chief deputy with the Harris County Constable’s Office in Baytown - was killed in an unprovoked attack in a courthouse parking lot as he arrived for work. The 57-year-old was a veteran of law enforcement with nearly 29 years of experience. He was gathering items from his vehicle when he was shot twice, once in the side of his head and once in his front upper torso/chest, above his body armor. Greenwood was able to remain standing, pointing out the direction the subject fled and warning other officers of the continued danger. He was transported to the trauma center at a local hospital where he succumbed to the wound to the side of his head.

Greenwood served as the commander of the Internal Affairs unit. A subsequent investigation revealed the subject was angry about a complaint he had filed that was not resolved to his satisfaction. The subject planned, stalked and waited for Greenwood to arrive at work in order to ambush him with his 9 mm semiautomatic handgun. Video footage from the courthouse parking lot showed the subject had been at the parking lot the day before, casing it to see where the chief parked his vehicle. The 64-year-old subject had a criminal history including a drug law violation and a violent crime. He committed suicide the following day.

Steve Albert Perez
Houston Police Department
End of Watch - 8/27/17

Sergeant Steve Perez drowned after his patrol car was caught in floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Perez left home at approximately 4:00 a.m. in an attempt to report to his duty station in the downtown area, but was unable to reach it due to impassable roads caused by extreme flooding. He spent more than two hours trying to find a route, but when he could not, he dispatched that he would follow department protocol and report to the nearest station in Kingwood.

As he attempted to reach Kingwood, his patrol car was washed away in high water in the area of Hardy Tollway and Beltway 8. His body was recovered by members of Houston Police Department dive team and citizens Aug. 29, 2017.

Perez had served with the Houston Police Department for 34 years and was just days shy of his 61st birthday. He was a U.S Army veteran and is survived by his wife, two adult children and father-in-law.

Elias Martinez Jr.
METRO Police Department
End of Watch - 9/17/17

Police Officer Elias "Sonny" Martinez succumbed to injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash while escorting permitted loads on Gulf Freeway in the area of FM 646 in League City.

He was passing the trucks in the escorted convoy when he laid his motorcycle down in an attempt to avoid a collision. He struck the rear of one of the trucks, causing him to suffer severe injuries. He was flown to Hermann Memorial Hospital where he remained until succumbing to his injuries a week later.

Officer Martinez had served with the Metropolitan Transit Authority Police Department for 25 years. He is survived by his wife and two children.

According to statistics collected by the FBI, 93 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents in 2017 – a 21 percent decrease from 2016 when 118 law enforcement officers were killed in line-of-duty incidents.

Additionally, in 2017 there were 46 law enforcement officers killed in line-of-duty incidents as a result of felonious acts – this is a 30 percent decrease from 2016, when 66 law enforcement officer were killed in line-of-duty incidents as a result of felonious acts.

For the full comprehensive data tables about these incidents and brief narratives describing the fatal attacks and selected assaults resulting in injury, please see the 2017 edition of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report, released last week.

During Police Week, which is observed from Sunday, May 13 to Saturday, May 19, 2018, our nation celebrates the contributions of police officers from around the country, recognizing their hard work, dedication, loyalty and commitment in keeping our communities safe.

The names of all 93 fallen officers nationwide were formally dedicated on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, during the 30th Annual Candlelight Vigil on the evening of May 13, 2018. 

The Candlelight Vigil is one of many commemorative events taking place in the nation’s capital during National Police Week 2018.

For more information about other National Police Week events, please visit http://www.policeweek.org.

To access the FBI's 2017 Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report, please visit www.fbi.gov.

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Updated May 15, 2018