Now I've used cups and other items to mark evidence before, but I've never used these..
Houston police put an end to the use of Whataburger tents as crime scene markers
HPD has put an end to the use of Whataburger tents as crime scene markers, although a spokeswoman said the widely publicized practice only happened once.
That most Texas of crime scene spottings - the Whataburger evidence marker - is officially a thing of the past.
Even before the Wall Street Journal turned its gaze to the Houston Police Department's occasional use of the kitschy orange tents at crime scenes, HPD brass had already put the kibosh on the practice, the Houston Chronicle learned Monday.
"We got a lot of concerns as to whether Whataburger was endorsing us or whether we were endorsing Whataburger and whether they were a sponsor of the police department," HPD spokeswoman Jodi Silva said.
Sadly, the beloved fast food establishment is not a sponsor of Houston police, so no free fries with that speeding ticket.
Although at least one older image of Whataburger numbers at a Houston-area crime scene is circulating online, the one that sparked concerns was a March homicide on West Little York...a young mother friends described as the "life of the party," was shot to death in her car on the way home from a club - and police needed to mark the evidence.
Typically, Silva said, police would wait for Crime Scene Units with the Houston Forensic Center to come put out evidence markers. But sometimes, officers want to make sure nothing gets kicked or ignored or drenched in rain, so they improvise with whatever's handy.
And in the case of the West Little York shooting, there was a Whataburger nearby.
"We became aware when it first happened because people called and asked if Whataburger was sponsoring us now and we took action immediately to let the people on the scene know not to do that again," Silva said. Patrol captains sent out a directive to officers ordering them not to use marked items with visible brand names. Thus no Starbucks cups or Wendy's bags - but also no Whataburger tents.
"I think somebody was very well-intentioned when they did it," Silva said, adding that it seemed to be a one-time thing...
With all respect to the command staff of the police department, this order may not be fully followed. If you need to secure the evidence and have not other means but a McDonald's cup, well, you gotta accomplish the mission.