Houston (TX) May 25, 2012 – Today, Congressman Al Green (TX-09) released the following statement on the arrest of Chad Holley and the trial of former Houston Police officer Andrew Blomberg:
I support the Houston Police Department, but I do not support what I saw on the video of Chad Holley’s arrest. Which is why, on Thursday, May 17, 2012, I met with officials at the Department of Justice while in Washington, D.C. During the meeting, I reiterated my request to have the DOJ look into the circumstances surrounding the Chad Holley arrest and trial. The community has requested it and justice demands it.
I support the American justice system, but I do not support unchallenged one race juries in Harris County which has over 2.5 million minorities. We are one of the most diverse counties in our great nation. We must not only celebrate our diversity in the political, social, and economic order; we must also celebrate it in the judicial order and reflect it in our jury trials.
The Chad Holley case is about more than Chad Holley’s race. It’s about more than black and white. It’s about wrong and right. It’s about how you get a one race jury in Harris County regardless of the race of other participants in the trial.
In Harris County, with over 2.5 million minorities, it’s wrong to have an unchallenged, one race jury regardless of the race of the jurors. In Harris County, it would be wrong to have an unchallenged all black jury; and, it is equally wrong to have a one race all white jury.
Given the empirical evidence in Harris County, achieving a one race jury trial in the Chad Holley case shocks the conscious:
There are over 255,000 Asians in Harris County, not one identified as such on the Chad Holley jury;
There are over 773,000 African Americans in Harris County, not one identified as such on the Chad Holley jury;
There are over 1,670,000 Latinos in Harris County, not one identified as such on the Chad Holley jury.
With these numbers, how do we end up with a one race jury in Harris County regardless of the race of the jurors? We live in a world where it is not enough for things to be right, they must also look right. Unchallenged one race juries in Harris County do not look right and are not right. One race juries give the appearance of one race justice. The appearance of one race justice is a perceived injustice.
Blaming minorities for not showing up for jury service is not enough especially when minorities say they don’t show up because they won’t be selected to serve.
To remedy the perceived injustice of one race juries, I will work with State Representative Sylvester Turner to fashion:
Legislation that will codify the constitutional circumstances which allow one race juries;
Legislation that will constitutionally expose the number of one race juries;
Legislation that will help expose any invidious discrimination in one race jury cases; and
Legislation that will require the court’s official record to explain why a one race jury tried a given case.
This is about more than specific parties in specific litigation. It’s about more than lawyers and judges. It’s about liberty and justice for all. It’s about no perpetrator being above the law and no victim being beneath the law.
Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz (Press Secretary)
Office Phone: (713) 383-9234