Sgt. Curtis Hampton: No Charges for HPD Officer Who Shot and Killed an Unarmed Blake Pate on Christmas Day
Blake Pate, an unarmed man who was shot and killed on Christmas Day by a cop, is "a victim of the Houston Police Department," says attorney David Hodges, who is representing the victim's family.
Photo by Steve Jansen Blake's mother, Patsy Pate, surrounded by family, holds a photograph of her late son.
On December 25, 2011, Pate finished dinner at his family's home and headed towards his brother's place. Around 11 p.m., the 24-year old, the youngest of six kids, crashed his car into a tree at the 9300 block of Tidwell by the Lakecrest Village apartments, says Hodges.
"As witnesses described, Blake appeared to be disoriented because he'd just been in a car accident. He started to the nearest street light," explains Hodges on Thursday from the steps of the Harris County Criminal Justice Center building on Franklin Street.
"Along the way, Sergeant Curtis Hampton of the Houston Police Department intercepted him," says Hodges. A confrontation ensued. Hampton ended up on his back.
Hampton -- "fearing for his life," according to an HPD statement -- reached for his gun. He fired five to six shots. Three of them struck Pate, leaving the unarmed 24-year-old "dying by the side of the road on Christmas Day," says Hodges, who adds that several witnesses that he interviewed claim that Hampton overreacted by shooting Pate because the officer wasn't in danger.
"The world lost a beautiful person when they lost him," adds Blake's mother, Patsy Pate.
An autopsy report revealed zero drugs or alcohol in Pate's system. A background check into his criminal history turned up empty.
On Monday, a grand jury, who didn't hear testimony from any witnesses, issued a no-true bill, meaning they chose not to indict Hampton. Now the family is demanding a federal investigation regarding the conduct of an HPD officer who has been in hot water before.
In 2007, according to City of Houston documents obtained through an open-records request, Sergeant Hampton went overboard during a sexual role play with another HPD officer.