Police Officer Suspended for Gassing BBQ

Officer Suspended This guy gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "now you're cooking with gas!" An off-duty Houston police officer was recently suspended for allegedly throwing a canister of tear gas at opponents during a barbecue cook-off at the Houston rodeo.

Not only did the tear gas sicken several patrons, but it also reached a USO tent where military veterans, including some amputees in wheelchairs, were gathered. The annual "Bar-B-Que" cook-off, held in conjunction with a popular rodeo, is usually attended by around 117,000 people.

Although his motives are unclear, senior officer Mike Hamby, 51, was relieved of duty with pay while "criminal allegations" are investigated, said police spokeswoman Jodi Silva.

This is not the first time he's has been in trouble. Houston police department records show Hamby, who worked in the burglary and theft division, has been the subject of seven internal affairs investigations for allegations including misconduct and improper police procedure.

"I can't think that we could punish him any more than HPD can, but how stupid can an individual be?" Mike DeMarco, executive director for the rodeo, commented to the Houston Chronicle.

After the incident Hamby, a Houston police officer since December 1980, resigned his membership on the board of directors for the Houston Police Officer's Union.

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