Houston Councilman’s Death Declared Accidental Drug Overdose

By Keri Blakinger 04/02/18

The late city councilman was found in his home by police during a welfare check on March 6.

City councilman Larry Green
Photo via YouTube

The Houston city councilman who died in office earlier this month was killed by an accidental drug overdose, the Harris County medical examiner said last week. 

Larry Green was found dead in his home March 6, after staffers sent police for a welfare check when the usually diligent councilman didn’t show up for appointments and stopped returning calls. When officers forced their way into the 52-year-old’s condo, they found him dead in bed. 

From the outset, authorities said they did not suspect foul play. On Friday, the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences officially declared it an accidental death, caused by an overdose of methamphetamine and chloroethane.

Choroethane is a solvent and local anesthetic used as a recreational inhalant and sometimes sold under names like “Black Max” or “Maximum Impact,” according to the Houston Chronicle.

Green represented a southwest Houston city council district for more than six years. He was remembered for getting street repairs and a new police station approved in his district.

“He gave himself to this district,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said at his funeral, according to the Houston paper. “The district loved him. He loved them back. And Larry was hands-on, and he wanted better because if you’ve lived in districts and neighborhoods that have been underserved, what brings you satisfaction is to make it better.”

A Houston native and graduate of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Green worked as an attorney for two decades, then served as district director for Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and ran a Houston job training nonprofit before winning a council seat. He is survived by a brother, nieces, nephews, and a slew of other family members in Texas and Louisiana.

Friends, family and colleagues remembered Green earlier this month during a 2.5-hour standing-room-only funeral at a Houston megachurch, Brentwood Baptist Church. Mourners wore green ribbons in his honor, sang songs and told stories about his life. 

“Can you die and still live?” Turner asked the church crowd. “I believe you can die and still live. And the beauty of today is that Councilmember Larry Green has passed, but he still lives.”

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Keri Blakinger is a former drug user and current reporter living in Texas. She covers breaking news for the Houston Chronicle and previously worked for the New York Daily News and the Ithaca Times. She has written about drugs and criminal justice for the Washington Post, Salon, Quartz and more. She loves dogs and is not impressed by rodeo food. Find Keri on LinkedIn and Twitter.