Videotaped Police Brutality in Houston Generates Attention


A Houston television station recently released a surveillance video in which Houston Police officers kick and punch a 15-year-old boy after he surrendered and laid motionless on the ground. On February 15, 2011, more than 1000 outraged Houston residents at a town hall meeting demanded an end to police brutality.

Police chased 15-year-old Chad Holley fleeing a home burglary in March 2010. Surveillance cameras showed Chad Holley being hit by the front bumper of a moving police car, tumbling over its hood and landing face down on the ground, after which he put his hands over his head. Several Houston police officers rushed toward the teen and beat, stomped, and kicked him in the head, neck, and ribs.

Seven Houston police officers were fired following the beating and four were charged with “official oppression.” In October, Chad Holley was convicted of burglary and sentenced to probation. His family filed a civil lawsuit alleging that he sustained grave injuries to his head, neck, face, and eyes and suffers ongoing neurological impairments as a result of the beating.

The beating of Chad Holley follows another videotaped incident of police brutality in Houston, involving 27-year-old Henry Madge, also African American, who was beaten by an officer in a hospital waiting room two years ago.

Residents at this week’s town hall meeting complained of numerous incidents of police brutality. National civil rights leaders and elected officials are calling for the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI to investigate.