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TEEN BEATING HIGHLIGHTS HOUSTON’S HISTORY OF POLICE BRUTALITY

Chad Holley stands beside his mother Joyce Holley as Minister Quanell X(L) describes the events surrounding the alleged beating of Chad Holley after an encounter with eight Houston police officers in March, during a news conference Tuesday, May 4, 2010, in Houston. (Photo, Michael Paulsen)
Chad Holley stands beside his mother Joyce Holley as Minister Quannell X describes the events surrounding the alleged beating of Chad Holley after an encounter with eight Houston police officers in March, during a news conference Tuesday, May 4, 2010, in Houston. Photo, Michael Paulsen

“When one is afflicted with an illness, the first and foremost thing he or she must do to remedy themselves is to achieve a proper diagnosis. We simply must understand what is wrong with us prior to treating ourselves. Otherwise, we inoculate ourselves with medicine that either numbs us from what has deterred our health, or does nothing at all to heal us. In the worst cases, bad medicine can also exacerbate our suffering. The same goes for social ills. Unless we can properly diagnosis the origins and nature of that which is harming us as a culture, then we run the risk of being an ill society for prolonged periods of time or even of making ourselves sicker.”

These were the first thoughts that came to my head on the morning of February 3, 2011, as I viewed the videotaped beating of yet another young and male African-American at the hands of law enforcement officers.

On the ground, Holley is seen putting his arms out in a surrender pose then folds his arms behind his head as police move in. As many as 8 officers can be seen repeatedly kicking and punching Holley for almost a minute and a half.

“I was angry, I was upset, and I said who did this to you? He said the officers did it. He was bruised and his nose was fractured,” said the teen’s mother.

Chad Holley, who is now 16, was convicted of burglary. The video was not shown at his trial.

“Ain’t no hiding from this one, there’s no sweeping this under the rug,” said Quannell X, a community activist.

A federal judge issued an order for the release of the tape and the local DA said they did not want the tape out before the officers were put on trial. But Thursday, the tape was released by the NAACP in Houston. They are calling for a Justice Department investigation.

“How many times has this happened and there are no cameras to see this. We hear these stories all the time in our community, all the time, we just happen to have one that was caught on tape,” continued Quannell X.

Nine Houston police officers were disciplined for their actions. Four officers have been indicted and fired. An attorney for one of the officers says the release of the tape will make It harder for the officers to get a fair trial.


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