Looking to the camera is not the only way to charge the HPD officers involved in the teenage beating with felonies
by Steve Dekker on 07/02/11 at 2:19 am
Topping the local and natioinal news the last couple of days has been the release of a video showing HPD officers beating an unresisting suspect in an incident from last spring. Chad Holley, a teenager and suspect in a burglery, was chased down and beaten, kicked and punched by Houston police officers during the arrest. The video shows Holley lying on his stomach and offering no resistance.
The entire incident was captured and recorded by a security camera at a nearby storage facility. The officers involved were unaware that they were being taped. It wasn’t until sometime later that the security company sent a copy of the tape to the Chief of Police and the Mayor.
Since there were no criminal chargers filed against the police officers until after the tape was discovered, we can conclude that the incident report filed by one or more of the involved officers detailing the arrest, whether by omition or intentional misstatements, did not accuratly portray what happened during the incident.
Chief of Police McClellend’s statements to the press specific to the officer’s terminations and or diciplanary actions taken against the involved officers only after receiving the tape is sufficient evidence of the reports ommissions or missatements. Had the incident report accurately stated what the video portrays happened, the officers would have already been charged and disciplined prior to the video coming out and Chief McClelland would have been able to avoid that dreadful statement to the press.
Now it seems that the question is why were the police officers involved charged with only a misdeamenor offenses?
The short answer is that the charges came down from the Grand Jury. But remember that the Grand Jury can only act on the information that is presented to them.
After the recent release of the tape I, like most Houstonians, saw it multiple times. And, like just about everyone I have spoken with who has seen the tape, I have my own opinion of what the officers should be charged with.
Instead of attacking the misdemeaner charges passed down from the Grand Jury, it would seem the easiest route to follow would be to present the Grand Jury with new evidence of other crimes.
Present the Grand Jury with the original incident report(s) along with a copy of the tape to determine whether the omitions or intentional misstatement of facts supports additinal inditments.
Filing a false police report and tampering with a government document as defined by the Texas Penal Code §37.03 is a felony.