More than a month after a Galveston woman said she and her grandson were bullied when they asked a police officer to move a private vehicle blocking an alley, police said the investigation is still underway.

“It is still working its way through the chain of command, going through the recommendation process,” Galveston police spokeswoman Capt. Joshua Schirard said.

One of the people involved was a Galveston police officer and the other was a Hitchcock police officer, Schirard said. Police have declined to name either.

Janice Stanton, who filed the report, said on Monday she had been directed to file a second report with Hitchcock, but hadn’t heard back from either department.

Stanton said she wanted to give the departments enough time to investigate before she pushed the issue.

Hitchcock has launched a similar investigation into the conduct of its officer, Schirard said.

Hitchcock police officials did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Stanton has said she thought race played a role in the encounter and that she feared what might have happened to her grandson had she not been with him.

Stanton and her grandson, Stanton Burke, 27, are African-American. The two police officers were white, Stanton said.

Stanton and Burke, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney, were pulling out of her driveway in the alley between 36th and 37th streets about 1 p.m. May 8 to go to lunch when they found a black Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck parked across the alley, blocking the exit, she said.

A man in a police officer’s uniform was in the passenger seat, so Burke honked and then approached the man about moving the vehicle, Stanton said.

The passenger told Burke the driver would be out in a minute, Stanton said.

The driver approached the vehicle several minutes later, and slowly got into the truck, which caused Burke to raise his hands in a gesture of exasperation, Stanton said.

The driver didn’t move the car out of the way, Stanton said.

The passenger in the police uniform got out of the truck with his hand on his gun and confronted Burke, Stanton said.

He told Burke to roll down the window and hand over his driver’s license, Stanton said.

“He didn’t see me until I started asking him, ‘Why? What’s the problem? Who are you’” Stanton said. “He said it was because we gestured.”

The officer told Burke he should have gone out the other end of the alley, Stanton said.

“I said, “You mean back up for the whole block,” Stanton said.

The officer had refused to identify himself and had walked away, Stanton said.

“Our officer was the one who blocked the driveway and it’s my understanding we will take action based on that,” Galveston City Manager Brian Maxwell said.

Galveston can’t take action on what the Hitchcock officer did, Maxwell said.

“You hear about these things,” Stanton said in a previous interview with The Daily News. “Being black, you hear from friends about little things that have happened. But when it happens to you, you know it’s for real. And I’m so disappointed because we think of Galveston as our own little oasis. Everyone is usually so nice and kind.”

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230;


(7) comments

Michael Jozwiak

This is just disgusting! The citizens had their car blocked, and it didn't matter if it was blocked by a cop or anyone else. It was blocked and should have been moved in a proper, safe, and respectful manner. And worse: An investigation that takes so many months??? Americans, Texans, and Galvestonians should not be fearful of anyone in a uniform and armed. This sounds exactly like intimidation and bullying, and the police departments are doing nothing, trying to ignore it and hopefully it will go away. These officers should be severely counseled and penalized without pay on a long suspension as an example to other cops and to protect the innocent citizen.

Doug Sivyer

This is ridiculous that it has taken so long to conduct a simple investigation. The police seem to be stalling this investigation in hopes that it will go away. Its no wonder so many people (especially people of color) have such distain and mistrust of police officers.

Steve Fouga

I respectfully disagree with Michael and Doug. It's really, really important to investigate the incident properly, and it may not be as simple as it seems. I say take as long as necessary to get it right, so the results are believable and can be made to stick.

Ron Shelby

They were getting their drycleaning....and blocking the alley. Both lazy and probably illegal. I can understand if they were investigating a crime, but not acting like that just because they wanted to get their clothes. Not cool.

Allison Mugnier

Thank you for the follow up. We will continue to watch for more information. Mrs. Stanton is a respected member of the Galveston community, and no one should be made to feel fearful of a policeman.

George Croix

Every time I hear that 'respected member of the community' thingy it just makes me wonder exactly at what level a person is NOT deserving of common courtesy.
It implies...implies...imo....some special consideration is owed one over another when the issue itself is the same....
But, that's just me....
Exactly what is the goal here, anyway?
What do the complainants want from the Police Dept? Preferably heard from them directly, and not via a Councilman.

Do you want the officers fired?

If so, better think what criminalizing rudeness and just being a jerk might balloon into....

Bill Cochrane

I hear ya George. Harvey Weinstein was also a 'respected member of the community".

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