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New Houston Police Chief Says He Will Go After Celebratory Gunfire

The practice has been in the news because a Texas State Representative was hit by a stray bullet on New Year’s Eve.


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HPD chief Art Acevedo works at his office in the department's headquarters, located in downtown Houston.
Photo: Kese Smith (HPD)
HPD chief Art Acevedo works at his office in the department’s headquarters, located in downtown Houston.

Firing guns into the air is one of the ways some Americans celebrate the new year and Texans are no exception, but the new Houston Police Department chief says he plans to go after this practice.

Celebratory gunfire is in the news because Texas State Rep. Armando Martinez was hit in the head by a stray bullet on New Year's Eve in Weslaco.

Martinez survived, but he says he plans to propose legislation against this practice.

That is despite the fact that discharging a firearm in a public place, other than a public road or a shooting range, is already illegal in the state.

Recently appointed Houston police chief Art Acevedo patrolled the city on the last night of 2016.

He didn't see any incidents, but he is determined to go after anyone who engages in that kind of activity.

"In the future, we are going to deploy officers, not just in black and whites, looking for these people that are engaging in what I consider to be deadly conduct. We are going to actually deploy people in cool cars, in cars that don't look like police cars, so you don’t see us coming," Acevedo said.

Additionally, Acevedo said deployments could also take place on the Fourth of July and added, "we are going to evolve, our methods are going to evolve and we are going to start arresting some of these people."

On New Year's Eve 2014, a Houston man was killed by celebratory gunfire.

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