A veteran Houston police officer participating with a cooking team at the Houston rodeo’s Bar-B-Que cook-off has been relieved of duty for allegedly tossing a tear gas canister at booth opponents.
During the popular event, apparently several patrons became sick. Another tent nearby that was occupied by several military veterans, including some amputees in wheelchairs, was also affected.
Senior police officer Mike Hamby, 51, was relieved of duty with pay on Monday while he is under investigation for “criminal allegations,” said HPD spokeswoman Jodi Silva. The nature of the allegations against Hamby are under investigation by the internal affairs division and will not be disclosed, Silva said.
At the Houston Police Officer’s Union, Hamby resigned as a member Monday of the board of directors. Union president Gary Blankinship said he had no comment.
Hamby, who joined HPD in December 1980, is assigned to the department’s burglary and theft division. Hamby has had seven previous internal affairs complaints sustained against him including misconduct, improper police procedure and two accidents, according to HPD records.