Jury selection has begun in the trial of former HPD Captain Mark Aguirre on five counts of official oppression, and everyone involved is having a hard time finding jurors who don't already have an opinion on the case.
At the end of the day Monday, only 45 of 97 original members of the jury panel were left. Some had schedule conflicts and other reasons for not being able to serve, but many said they had formed opinions that would affect their verdict in the case.
Preview of coming attractions:
Potential jurors also were interviewed two days last week, and today they can expect to be queried "ad nauseam" about other HPD problems, such as its faulty crime lab reports, said Aguirre's attorney Terry Yates.
Yates said the Kmart lawsuits, including one seeking $100 million from the city, provide a motive for arrestees to lie.
News reports, he said, painted Aguirre as persecuting innocent bystanders when he failed to find any drag racing going on. But in fact, Yates said, the plan was to arrest spectators who had gathered to watch the racing.
"Chief Bradford knew what was going to happen," Yates said.