By Rady Ananda
The recent public release of a video capturing police brutality that resulted in seven Houston police officers being fired while only four have been charged with misdemeanors has prompted fresh outrage. In the video above, we see 15-year-old Chad Holley running from the cops after a robbery on March 23 of last year. After being knocked to the ground by a police car, he immediately rolls onto his stomach and puts his hands behind his head. Before cuffing him, Houston police begin kicking him in the head and punching him several times in a clear felonious assault.
Note that one cop, standing between the boy’s legs, kicks him in his groin four times, and smashes his knees in an apparent attempt to break them. Another cop slugs him several times while others hold the boy down.
Instead of initially expressing shock at the criminal brutality of police officers who never disclosed the incident until after Uncle Bob’s Self Storage mailed the District Attorney the video, Houston authorities condemned last week’s public release of the video.
Of the twelve officers involved in the incident, seven have since been fired, according to Reuters. Below is a picture of the four charged with misdemeanors: Andrew T. Blomberg, Drew Ryser, Raad M. Hassan, and Phillip Bryan, who have also been sued for federal civil rights violations by the Holley family.
Holley was convicted of burglary in July 2010.
On February 8 of this year, Houston NAACP held a Town Hall meeting with Mayor Annise Parker, Houston Police Executive Assistant Chief Michael Dirden and Harris County First Assistant District Attorney Jim Leitner. Hundreds showed up for the event, according to Fox News:
“Community activist Quannel X released the video last week after the city and a federal judge managed to keep it under wraps for months.” The woman who supplied him with the video, Ms. Payton, was later fired from the storage facility whose camera captured the crime.
“Uncle Bob’s Self Storage denies anyone was terminated or disciplined as a result of any action taken regarding the video.” A corporate spokesperson disclosed that in April 2010, they mailed the video to both the District Attorney and Internal Affairs Department of the Houston Police Department.
Social justice organization, ColorOfChange.org, has prepared a letter you can sign demanding that US Attorney General Eric Holder investigate Houston PD’s culture of brutality.