Two Fired Officers May be Reinstated

Two fired Houston police officers could get their jobs back through arbitration. The officers were fired in connection with the beating of a 15-year-old robbery suspect. Laurie Johnson reports.

The videotape that shows the beating of Chad Holley, which went public last week, is difficult to watch. Seven police officers were fired in connection with the beating and five others were disciplined.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker says outside arbitrators have told the Houston Police Department to reinstate two of the fired officers. Parker says the city is appealing those rulings.

"I do not want the officers who were fired back in the Houston Police Department, nor does the chief. I was not involved, in any way, in the discipline decision. They did a full investigation, it came to the chief, the chief told me what he planned to do. I think he made the right decision, I don't want these officers back. And to be forced to put an officer back into the department who has failed to uphold the highest standards of the department sends exactly the wrong signal."

Parker referred to the arbitrators as people who don't have to live with their decisions.

"We have to have a system that works for officers and for the police department. We don't believe that in this situation it's working at all for the city."

Parker says she'd like to change the way arbitration hearings are handled and she's working with the Houston Police Officers' Union to negotiate those changes.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...