Houston Police Chief Troy Finner resigned on Tuesday after new developments in the 260,000 case controversy where incident reports went uninvestigated for eight years.  

When the story broke, Finner claimed he discovered cases were going uninvestigated when he was appointed chief in 2021 and immediately ordered the department to stop using it. An email thread newly obtained by KHOU found that the HPD command staff was notified of the issue in 2018. The thread included then-police chief Art Acevedo and Finner. In the email, Finner, the only one who replied, said, “This is unacceptable. Look into it and follow up with me,” showing he was aware of the issue before he claimed to be. 

When news of the email broke, he released a statement saying he “had no recollection of it” until he was shown the email and he had been informed that it was included in the independent internal investigation, noting his lack of knowledge of it served as evidence of the true independence of the investigation.

At 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday night, Mayor John Whitmire issued a statement saying: 

I have accepted the retirement of Troy Finner as Chief of Police and have appointed Larry Satterwhite Acting Chief of Police, effective 10:31 pm tonight. This decision comes with full confidence in Acting Chief Satterwhite’s abilities to lead and uphold high standards of our department. I ask everyone to extend their full cooperation and support to Acting Chief Satterwhite during his transitional period.

Support for Finner came from both sides, with former Mayor Sylvester Turner tweeting, “Before you can remove someone who has done an excellent job and liked, you must seek to discredit that person’s work and leadership.” He then called on leaders to “find their voices.” 

Republican Mark Herman, Constable Precinct 4, said, “Chief Troy Finner has always treated the men, women, and citizens of Precinct 4 with the utmost respect. He has always led from the front and stayed in the trenches fighting crime with all law enforcement. We wish him the best and will support him going forward.”

Replacing Finner is Acting Chief Larry Satterwhite, who most recently served as Executive Assistant Chief for Patrol Operations. 

Charles Blain

Charles Blain is the president of Urban Reform and Urban Reform Institute. A native of New Jersey, he is based in Houston and writes on municipal finance and other urban issues.