Murder of Joe Campos Torres
Joe Campos Torres (December 20, 1953 - May 5, 1977) was a 23-year-old Vietnam Veteran who was beaten by several Houston police officers and subsequently died. His death sparked protests and the outcome of the trial was met with rioting.
The officers then took Torres to the city jail, who refused to process him due to his injuries. They were ordered to take him to Ben Taub General Hospital, but instead of doing so, the officers brought him back to the banks of Buffalo Bayou and pushed him into the water. Torres’s body was found two days later.
Trial and aftermath
Officers Terry Denson and Steven Orlando were tried on state murder charges. They were convicted of negligent homicide and received one year of probation and a $1 fine. Denson, Orlando and Officer Joseph Janish were later convicted of federal civil rights violations in 1978, and served nine months in prison.
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