Houston mayor unveils new plaza dedicated to memory of Joe Campos Torres

It's been more than 40 years since the tragic death of Jose (Joe) Campos Torres, the Vietnam-war veteran, who was beaten to death by Houston police officers. 

The 23-year-old Vietnam War veteran was arrested for disorderly conduct on May 5, 1977, then beaten by 6 police officers. Torres' body was found in the bayou two days later. The six officers responsible were sentenced to a year of probation and a $1 fine. 

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Houston police chief issues public apology to Jose Campos Torres' family

During a public ceremony Saturday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner was joined by Mr. Campos Torres' family, other elected leaders and community members, and LULAC to unveil a new trail, park, and plaza to honor his memory. 

The ceremony was held from 1-3 p.m. on Commerce St. at Buffalo Bayou. 

Campos Torres' death set off riots and led the HPD to set up its Internal Affairs Division. And despite the decades that have passed since his death, Campos Torres' family continues to reel from their loss, so the City has worked to correct past injustices. 


In fact, Houston PD Chief Troy Finner issued a public apology to Campos Torres' mother last June, saying it was long overdue. 

 "I know this little apology from me – and I'm calling it little because it should have happened a long time ago…nobody has more pain than a mother for 44 years," Chief Finner said before coming off the stage and embracing her. "I love you, and I know we're just meeting, but you got another son."