Houston Congressman: 'One Race Jury Trial In The Chad Holley Case, Shocks The Conscious'

Houston area lawmakers angry about the acquittal of a former Houston police officer in the alleged beating of a black burglary suspect, say they'll work to change how juries are chosen in the future. The lawmakers want the Justice Department to investigate why an all-white jury decided the fate of a white defendant in a case involving a black suspect.

Angry protests followed the not guilty verdict for Andrew Blomberg last week. He is one of four Houston police officers fired after surveillance video captured them beating and stomping then 15 year old Chad Holley in 2010.

Lawmakers gathered in front of the federal courthouse downtown.

Democratic Congressman Al Green wants answers to why the jury that acquitted Blomberg was all white.

"With over 2.5 million minorities, it's wrong to have an unchallenged one race jury, regardless of the race of the jurors. Given the empirical evidence in Harris County, achieving a one race jury trial in the Chad Holley case, shocks the conscious."

Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee says citizens demand racial equality when it comes to selecting a jury.

"I will tell the district attorney, I do not want a 75 person panel; I want a 300 panel. This community demands that and expects that. Do not give me a 75 person panel, and tell me that you were not able to find a diverse group. This is the fourth largest city in the nation growing above 2 million, and you tell me you can't  get 300. Give me a 300 person panel."

The lawmakers say they will work to introduce a bill in the next legislative session that would eliminate one race juries.

The three other former police officers caught on tape beating Holley still await their day in court.

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Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...