City officials deny cover up to hide video
Feb 4, 2011
A graphic video of Houston police landing scores of punches and kicks to the head a fifteen year old boy suspected of burglary has been released despite attempts by the DA’s office to withhold it from public view.
The video shows High School sophomore Chad Holley being clipped by a police cruiser as he attempts to flee the cops. as he hits the ground he is clearly seen to place his hands behind his head and remain motionless.
Despite this, the cops charge out of the vehicles and begin landing volleys of kicks and punches.
One officer forcefully stomps on the teenager’s head as four other officers repeatedly kick him in the body and legs. One officer then lands five separate kicks to Holley’s head as the other officers hold him down, despite the fact that he is not resisting.
Another officer then lands five punches into Holley’s mid section with full force, as another stamps on his legs.
Holley is clearly posing no threat to the officers. Furthermore he is of slight build while the officers kicking and punching him are heavily built, almost twice his size.
It is remarkable that Holley was not severely injured or even killed as a result of the blows to the head that he sustained.
The incident, which took place last March, was recorded by a security camera of a nearby business. Had Holley continued a few more paces, the actions of the police might never have been exposed.
City officials reportedly withheld the video because they feared the public would be “sickened and shocked” by the images, yet ABC News affiliate 13/KTRK TV obtained a copy and leaked it, despite being asked not to by officials. Mayor Annise Parker has denied there was any attempt to hide the tape from public view.
The police seen in the footage were suspended without pay pending investigation and eventually fired. Yet they were only charged with misdemeanor official oppression, rather than assault charges
As reported by the Houston Chronicle, Holley was convicted of burglary by a Harris County jury in October and sentenced to probation until he turns 18. The video was not shown at his trial. He is now pursuing federal civil rights charges against two of the officers.
The video is the latest example in a long list of cases of police brutality that highlight a fundamental rise in an authoritarian attitude stemming from law enforcement officers. It is the culmination of a decade or more of cop shows depicting violence on behalf of police officers as normal, necessary and acceptable.
Holley is lucky he wasn’t charged with assaulting the officers, as in the case of Maryland student John McKenna, who took a similar beating last year, merely for walking close to a police horse after a sporting event.
Over recent years we have documented countless incidents of this type. Once only has to take a look through our archives to note that attacks like this are happening everyday.
American cops used to be the most respected in the world. Now they behave more like imperial jackbooted thugs worthy of a third world dictatorship like Nepal or Zimbabwe.
As the case of Chad Holley highlights, our greatest and perhaps only protection remaining against such brutal police state thuggery is the video camera.
Watch the video (discretion is advised):
This article was posted: Friday, February 4, 2011 at 8:13 am