The community outrage continues to pour in regarding the videotape that shows several Houston police officers kicking and punching Chad Holley, the teenager who was a suspect in a home burglary case.
State Representative Sylvester Turner is concerned the alleged actions of the officers could damage the relationship between HPD and minority neighborhoods.
I have posted his entire statement below. It is followed by a statement from Michael Williams, Houston Community College Trustee and city council candidate.
From State Rep. 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.”
From 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