Feb 4, 2011 – 10:05 AM
(Video is, predictably, violent.)
Video of police repeatedly kicking and stomping a teenage burglary suspect has passions running high in Houston, with community activists charging the city with a cover-up and the mayor fearing that release of the footage may end up jeopardizing a pending trial of officers charged in the case.
The video taken March 24 shows a number of policemen surrounding then 15-year-old Chad Holley, who is facedown on the street after being chased by patrol cars. The officers can be seen kicking, punching and stomping Holley, and some of the blows appear to have been administered after he had been handcuffed.
Twelve officers were disciplined in the case, and four have been fired and are awaiting trial on official oppression charges, ABC affiliate KTRK-TV reported. The station was given a copy of the video by local activist Quanell X and aired it Wednesday night. City officials had said they wanted the video kept under wraps until the trial began.
Mayor Annise Parker, who told KTRK she was "shocked and disgusted" when she first saw the video, nevertheless complained that the person who gave it to the TV station should be prosecuted. Later, the mayor tempered her stance.
"I was angry and frustrated," Parker told the station Thursday. "Having slept on it, I would not have been so harsh."
But the beating continues to stir emotions in Houston's minority community.
"That tape made me angry as hell, and I'm telling you when the people in the 'hood see it, they will be angry also, and now it's time to come out," said Quanell X.
He said that the indicted officers should be facing more serious charges than misdemeanor official oppression.
"I want to know how in the hell did they do what they did to that boy on that videotape and they only got charged with official oppression," he told the station.
I just saw this story quickly referenced on CNN, where they called the black teen a murder suspect. Slip of the tongue? Wishful thinking?