Tensions Boil Outside Courtroom Following Former HPD Officer Blomberg's Verdict
by: Pat Hernandez, May 16, 2012 4:05:00 pm
Twenty-nine-year-old Andrew Blomberg appeared to have tears in his eyes after the verdict was read by Judge Rueben Guerrero.
"We the jury find the defendant A Blomberg, not guilty. Signed by the foreman of the jury."
Blomberg was acquitted of the charge of official oppression. He was fired from the Houston Police Department, after a videotape surfaced of the beating of 15 year old Chad Holley in 2010. The teenage burglary suspect was fleeing from police, but was arrested and later convicted of the burglary.
The video taken by a surveillance camera from a SW Houston business, showed Holley tumbling over the hood of a patrol car as he fled from a burglary scene. It showed officers including Blomberg running to the scene, hitting and kicking the suspect on the ground.
Blomberg would have faced up to a year in prison had he been convicted. He thanked everybody that supported him during the trial.
"It's been a long ordeal. This is the only thing I ever wanted to do my in entire life, and I'm just glad that this part's finally over."
Blomberg's attorney Dick DeGuerin had argued during his trial that Holley's arm was kicked in a sweeping motion, because Blomberg thought he might have been reaching for a weapon.
"I'm very pleased that the jury returned the verdict that they did. They worked hard, they looked at all of the evidence and this is the right thing. Andrew Blomberg is truly a hero in what he did that day."
Immediately after the verdict, spectators stormed out of the court, outraged at the decision.
This is community activist Quanell X:
"I went through hell releasing that video. These cops sued me, threatened to put me in jail to release that video. What happened in that courtroom just now is a damn shame.
"That's an abomination of justice."
"There is no justice."
" What they just said to African Americans, that police can do whatever they want to do, and get away with. They just sent a message to all of us, that our lives don't mean a damn thing in Harris County. That was wrong!"
Ray Hunt is president of the Houston Police Officers Union. He says he hopes people respect the verdict.
"There's no time for gloating from anyone here. There's three more trials to go. There've been a lot of families disrupted through this whole thing, from the person who was burglarized, to Chad Holley's family, to Andrew Blomberg's family, to all the officers who were fired. So, there's no time for gloating here."
Police Chief Charles McClelland issued a statement that said, "Some will disagree with the verdict, and although no system is perfect, our system of jurisprudence provides appropriate safeguards to protect our freedom."