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Houston cops taken off duty for alleged beating

By Juan A. Lozano
Associated Press

HOUSTON — Three Houston police officers under investigation for allegedly beating the father of Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver have been taken off patrol duty.

The decision was welcomed by Marvin Driver Jr.'s family members, who said they now want the officers fired and brought up on charges.

"We just want justice," Michael Driver, Marvin Driver's son, said after a news conference Friday outside his father's home.

Officers Bacilio Guzman, Gilberto Cruz and M. Marin have been reassigned to administrative duties pending the outcome of an investigation, Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt said in a statement Friday.

Hurtt said he made his decision after receiving a preliminary briefing late Thursday.

"We take allegations such as these very seriously and will conduct a thorough investigation into the matter and be transparent in our findings, whatever the conclusion," Hurtt said.

Houston police spokesman Victor Senties said he did not know how long the investigation would take to complete.

Family members of 56-year-old Marvin Driver claim he was arrested early Monday morning outside his mother's home, where he also lives, for outstanding traffic warrants. But before arriving at a Houston jail, they say, he was taken to a gas station, where he was beaten by at least two officers and had something forced down his throat.

Marvin Driver's family initially said he was only able to communicate with them through handwritten notes.

Michael Driver, 26, said his father, who earlier in the week had been in critical condition, was in good condition on Friday and his health was improving.

Doctors have told family members the injuries were the result of blunt force trauma and that he suffered head injuries and has bruises in his abdomen area from being kneed to the stomach, Michael Driver said.

Hurtt said investigators are awaiting medical reports on Marvin Driver to determine what injuries he sustained.

In his statement, Hurtt said that Marvin Driver, after being arrested during a traffic stop at about 1:30 a.m. Monday, was taken to a city jail. At the facility, a doctor found him unresponsive and he was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital.

The Internal Affairs Division of the Houston Police Department is investigating the family's claims.

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