Last year, a Houston Police Officer who shot his neighbor after a dog fight has officially resigned.
Jason Loosmore, an 8-year department veteran, remains under criminal investigation in the October incident but has not been charged.
State records show his tenure with the department ended on April 11, but the resignation was not revealed publicly until the Chronicle inquired.
“The officer has resigned from the department,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said. “Due to an ongoing criminal investigation and the provisions of Texas Local Government Code Chapter 143, I am precluded from commenting any further.”
The law spells out the appeals rights of officers.
Loosmore’s private attorney, Carson Joachim, declined to comment about the shooting, citing the ongoing investigation by police and the district attorney’s office.
He said Loosmore had not been forced to resign.
“He just had an opportunity to pursue another career that’s not in law enforcement,” he said. “Which obviously, that’s his prerogative to do.”
The case highlighted concerns among civil rights attorneys, who said the Houston Police Department does not sufficiently discipline officers who violate policy. After the shooting, only five of 40 cases involving police shootings of unarmed individuals since 2010 had resulted in disciplinary action against officers, even after police chiefs found that they had violated policy.
None of those officers was criminally charged, nor were the disciplinary actions announced publicly.
Loosmore got into an argument with his neighbor, 21-year-old Casey Brown, after their dogs fought.
The argument gave way to a scuffle, at which point the off-duty officer shot Brown in the stomach and chest.
Brown was charged initially with misdemeanor assault, but the charge was dropped.
“Although this happened under prior administration, it has not been forgotten or pushed aside,” said Dane Schiller, spokesman for Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg. “We inherited a lot of cases and we’re working our way through them.”
The case was supposed to have been presented to a grand jury but was delayed after a request from Loosmore’s attorney, he said.
“It’s expected in the near term,” he said.
Chareka Gadson, Brown’s lawyer, said he is still undergoing surgeries and trying to recuperate fully from the shooting. She said the family had been unaware of the resignation and had notified the city earlier this year that they were reserving a legal claim against the city because of the shooting.
“I trust his resignation won’t interfere with justice for my client,” she said.
Joseph Gamaldi, vice president with the Houston Police Officers’ Union, declined comment because Loosmore was no longer a Houston police officer.
“We are not representing him, he is no longer a Houston police officer, so we have no comment,” he said.