Green Calls for Federal Probe into Police Beating
by: Pat Hernandez, February 7, 2011 10:02:00 pm
Surveillance cameras captured 16 year old Chad Holley being kicked and punched by eight Houston Police officers near a SW self storage facility last March. Holley, who was 15 at the time, was later convicted on a burglary charge.
The video also showed a police car hitting the teen before he was subjected to the kicks and punches by officers. Holley is not seen on tape struggling with the officers or resisting arrest.
A federal injunction was supposed to keep the tape from being shown to the public, but black activist Quannel X decided to release it after he obtained a copy as part of a defamation lawsuit filed against him by one of the officers.
Houston Congressman Al Green decided to act after he saw the tape.
"We are shocked and we are dismayed. We are outraged at what occurred. That video speaks for itself and because it speaks for itself, we want the Justice Department to review it, and make a determination as to whether or not charges should be brought. There may be civil rights violations that have to be explored."
Congressman Green says he wants to make sure that the law is applied to those who breached the civil rights of others.
From right to left: State Representative Hubert Vo, Houston Congressman Al Green, and Houston Councilmember Al Huang
"Well, if the Justice Department concludes that there are civil rights violations, my hope is that there will be prosecution. And after prosecution, if the officers are found guilty, then there should be proper punishment. Without indicating whether the officers are guilty or innocent, I do say that there must be an investigation."
Seven of the cops seen on the video were fired and four officers were also charged in connection with the incident. Green commented on what appears to be a culture by some officers who think such actions are justified.
"Well the first thing we do is that make sure that we don't indict the entire police department for the actions of a few, and when we do find that officers have been committed offenses, then they must be punished. If they are punished, that would change the culture."
Houston City Councilmember Al Huang agrees with Congressman Green, who wants to ensure that the incident isn't a reflection on the HPD as a whole.
"The wrong doers, they have to be punished, so that we can stop this kind of culture in the HPD. And hopefully, this incident will show that HPD has transparency and if there is no transparency, then they are going to answer to the public."