By Lee McGuire
HOUSTON -- In April, 2008, Roland Carnaby led Houston Police on a 122 mile-per-hour chase that ended in the Galleria, all the while claiming to be a CIA agent. When he finally pulled over, police shot and killed him after he reached for something shiny.
Carnaby’s widow, Susan, has filed a civil suit against the city in federal court and, in documents reviewed by 11 News, claims Carnaby was in fact working for the CIA.
“The FBI and the CIA regularly fail to disclose the truth to the Houston Police Department,” one court filing said.
In another, Carnaby’s attorney says he plans to call a former Secret Service agent to testify “with respect to Mr. Carnaby’s work on behalf of the Secret Service and other federal agencies as a contract informant and operative.”
Randall Kallinen, Carnaby’s attorney, says he definitely was a CIA agent.
“He helped the United States of America with its threats, and then to be shot in the back and for police to claim that he was not working in the interest of the United States is a travesty,” Kallinen said.
Kallinen plans to call former President George H.W. Bush to the stand to support Carnaby’s claim. According to court documents Kallinen expects Bush would testify regarding his prior associations and personal acquaintance with Mr. Carnaby, and regarding Mr. Carnaby’s involvement in uncovering two assassination plots on the life of President Bush.
A spokesman for President Bush, Jim Appleby, was not familiar enough with the case to comment.
In the lawsuit, Kallinen claims the City of Houston failed to properly train police officers in “high-risk vehicle approaches” such as the type officers encountered last April.
Officers originally pulled Carnaby over for a traffic violation, but he pulled away after being stopped for nearly half an hour, when two officers were speaking to him through his car windows. Police gave chase, and Carnaby ultimately pulled over near the Galleria.
A dashcam video of the event shows Carnaby stepping out of the car as officers approach. He then turned back into the vehicle and appeared to grab something, at which point two officers fired weapons. Carnaby died on the scene.
Houston City Attorney Arturo Michel said police officers acted in fear for their lives.
“What you have here is someone who was stopped for a traffic violation and then took off,” Michel said. “I think under every jurisdiction, the officers were justified in the action they took, however tragic it might be.”
According to Kallenen, one of the officers who shot Carnaby admitted in a deposition that police training was not adequate.
“What we say killed him is the poor training of the City of Houston police officers,” he said.