A Killeen resident is organizing an event next month called “Hold KPD Accountable.”
In the description on the Facebook page of his event, James Everard, a local veteran, said the event is in response to the imprisonment of Marvin Guy, deaths that have occurred because of police no-knock raids and “questionable police practices have left our city unsatisfied with the people sworn to protect us.”
As of Thursday afternoon, 10 people on the Facebook event post had confirmed they will be attending Everard’s event and another 26 people were interested in attending the event, scheduled for 4 p.m. Jan. 8 at Killeen Police Department headquarters, 3304 Community Blvd.
Assistant KPD Chief Alex Gearhart said Thursday that the department is aware of Everard’s post, but had no further comment.
Everard said Thursday the event will serve as a way for people to air their grievances towards Killeen Police Department.
“The Killeen police has had multiple incidents with citizens of Killeen, mainly affecting those who are people of color,” Everard said to the Herald, “I’m not the primary protagonist of this event, I’m just the organizer bringing people and groups out to air their grievances with Killeen Police Department.”
Everard said the arrest of Killeen YouTuber “No Question Abaudit” does serve in some ways as a catalyst that sparked the event.
The YouTuber’s name, according to a Killeen Municipal Court docket, is Kevin Duane Butler, although KPD and the videographer have declined to provide the Herald with his name.
Last weekend, Butler was arraigned on a Killeen misdemeanor charge that he “interferred or obstructed an officer” while the YouTuber was taking a video of a KPD traffic stop and said aloud that passengers don’t need to show police their ID.
The videographer said that city law omits a key provision in a similar Texas law, which provides a loophole if the obstruction or interference “alleged consisted of speech only.”
Everard also plans on attending the next Killeen City Council meeting on Jan. 4 to encourage the council to amend the city ordinance that lead to the arrest of “No Question Abaudit”.
Everard did say the Killeen Police Department has been making the right steps in the last few years.
“It’s great that they are actually doing more with crime prevention than just revenue generation. They’re no longer sitting outside of bars or (Highway) 190 looking for people to arrest. They are looking at actual crime prevention,” Everard said.
The event will have people of different groups in attendance, Everard said, including Nick Bezzel, the president of the African-American gun club the Elmer Geromino Pratt Pistol and Rifle Club Central Texas; Open Carry Central Texas; the auditing community (people who film the police and other public officials); and other people who are involved with bringing an end to no-knock warrants.
In April of this year, the Killeen City Council approved a new ordinance that bans the Killeen Police Department from participating in no-knock warrants within city limits.
No-knock warrants — in which police don’t announce themselves before forcefully entering someone’s home in order to arrest the person — have come under fire in Killeen in recent years.
Two people have died in the Killeen raids, which sometimes include broken glass, explosives to blow off doors, and a lot of guns — mostly in the hands of police, but sometimes in the hands of the residents inside. Usually done in pre-dawn hours, the no-knock warrants can catch a criminal when they least expect it. However, sometimes things go horribly wrong.
Guy, 57, is accused of shooting a Killeen Police Department detective, who later died, during a 5 a.m. no-knock raid on Guy’s residence on Circle M Drive in 2014. KPD SWAT Detective Charles “Chuck” Dinwiddie and three other officers were shot on May 9, 2014, and Dinwiddie died in a hospital two days later. After seven years in the Bell County Jail, Guy is still awaiting trial.
In another case, 40-year-old James Scott Reed, was killed by a single bullet during a no-knock narcotics raid at his home on Feb. 27, 2019. The family alleged that at least 22 rounds were fired by Killeen Police Department SWAT team members during the early-morning raid and that Reed was armed but did not fire his handgun. Reed’s family eventually sued police in the city over the shooting in a civil case that has dragged on in court for over 18 months. The outcome is still pending.