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POLITICIANS AND HOUSTON LEADERS RESPOND ON CHAD HOLLEY’S BEATING BY HOUSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT

Statement from State Representative Sylvester Turner

“The actions of some of the police officers shown in the recently-released videotape attack on Chad Holley are disturbing and unacceptable. No matter how much we love and respect the men and women in blue, the unprovoked actions by these officers should be universally condemned by all. Whether the senseless actions were being committed by persons against a police officer or police officers against a person, in this City, it is our responsibility to condemn those actions. The kicking and stomping of Chad Holley cannot be justified or simply glossed over in the midst of bad weather.

“It has taken years to build a positive relationship between the Houston Police Department and the general public, especially in minority neighborhoods. Without question, it requires a trusting and respectful relationship between the two to maintain public safety. I am incensed that the actions by these few could place a strain on a relationship that has made tremendous strides for the better but whose bond still needs to be perfected. No matter how distasteful or painful the actions depicted on this videotape may be, the airing of it and the condemnation of the actions shown will make the police force better and allow us all to strengthen a relationship between HPD and the public that may have been strained but is desperately needed.”

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Statement by Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis

“The actions of the HPD officers shown in the taped beating of Chad Holley were excessive, deplorable, and cannot be tolerated. These rogue officers
not only brought unnecessary physical injury to Chad Holley, but have undermined the good work of the vast majority of HPD officers. They violated the trust of the community and must be dealt with accordingly.

We entrust officers of the law with an important duty to protect and serve. With that comes a heightened responsibility to act with temperance and appropriate force in any given situation.

As a city, we need to take a serious look at our practices and review public policy to prevent such injustices from occurring in the future. It is essential that we protect the relationship between the police and the community that is integral to public safety.”

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Statement by State Representative Boris L. Miles, District 146

“I am deeply concerned about the increased number of civil rights violations at the hands of the Houston Police Department. There can be no tolerance for the violation of our communities civil rights no matter what laws they may have violated.

As a former law enforcement officer, I believe that the Chad Holley tape represents more than misconduct, rather it represents a blatant abuse of power and excessive force from those Houston Police officer’s. The release of the Chad Holley tape identifies a greater problem within the Houston Police Department, a problem that requires immediate action.

I have been in communication with Attorney General Eric Holder’s office requesting intercession in this case and urge federal elected officials to join me in bringing justice to Chad Holley. Nothing less than the termination of the officer’s involved in this matter will be acceptable.

This incident is unconscionable and while I am calling for the removal of the officer’s involved, I want to be clear, this is in no way an indictment on the Houston Police Department or the officers that were not involved in this incident, however we must stop these senseless acts by a few rouge cops.”

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Statement by State Representative Garnet Coleman, District 147

“I’m appalled and deeply disturbed by the actions of the officers shown in the video. The kicking and stomping of a 15-year-old boy by these officers was brutal, unwarranted and shameful. It is especially disturbing when those charged with keeping us safe so blatantly abuse their power and violate our trust. These individuals are not above the law and must be appropriately dealt with.”

I applaud Mayor Parker and Police Chief Charles McClelland for dealing swiftly and directly with the bad actors. As the Houston Chronicle editorialized, individuals who have been trusted with power should be held to a higher standard. I will work with my colleagues to push legislation that reflects that standard into law.

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Statement by Dr. Michael P. Williams, HCC Board Chairman

Dr. Michael P. Williams“Those who do not know their past are doomed to repeat it” is an often used phrase that has lost its impact. But this week’s recent release of a private security video, showing the beating of a young black man by Houston police officers, brought back memories of a painful time in our history as African-Americans. The days of police beatings and dogs being let loose on our community is something that we think is behind us and today’s youth can hardly imagine. However, here it is again in black and white. As an African-American, whose father was born in Tunica, Mississippi, I understand injustice and the violation of the civil rights of a young man within our community. For those of us who do remember, we must speak up to ensure that it never becomes an acceptable practice again.  In the sense of fairness, we need to continue to hear from all parties involved and keep our discourse civil. We urge our elected officials and police department to act swiftly to bring this issue to a just closure.

Moving forward, we must not let the deplorable actions of the few bad apples ruin the relationships between good officers and our community. It is through cooperation, mutual respect, and appropriate sanctions on officers who violate the public’s trust that we can ensure that all our communities are safe and that such actions never occur again.

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