Even though a security camera showed Houston, Texas, police officers stomping and kicking then-15-year-old burglar Chad Holley (pictured below), jurors unfortunately decided Wednesday afternoon that the first officer on trial for the beating, Andrew Blomberg (pictured left), is not guilty of official oppression, according to the Associated Press.
On the videotape, Holley is seen laying face down on the ground, while several officers kick and stomp him. Still, Blomberg testified that Holley was resisting arrest — and while it may have looked as though he was abusing the teen — he was actually using his foot to move Holley’s arm.
Watch the police beating of Holley here:
Even Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland Jr. testified that he believed that Blomberg assaulted the teen.
The Associated Press reports:
Prosecutors told jurors that Blomberg kicked the teenager several times and Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland Jr. testified that he believed Blomberg kicked and stomped on the teen.
Not surprisingly, the all-White jurors still came to the decision that Blomberg was not guilty of abusing Holley. If Blomberg was found guilty of his misdemeanor charge, he would have faced up to a year in prison. Three other police officers will stand trial for the offense. Relieved that he had gotten off, Blomberg contemplated whether he would consider going back in to law enforcement:
“This is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do in my entire life,” Blomberg said referring to being a police officer. “And I’m just glad this part is finally over.”
Obviously, our community wasn’t happy with the outcome of this trial. Rev. James Dixon of Community Faith Church said amid chants of “racism!” and “injustice!” “It is pathetic. It is unacceptable. This kind of expression says to me, to my children and to every Black child in the city, `Your life is not worth manure.’”
Of his client, attorney Dick DeGuerin said, “Andrew Blomberg is truly a hero in what he did that day. I believe that.”
In March 2010, Holley and his three friends stole a piano keyboard and some alcohol from a Houston townhome. When authorities stopped their truck, Holley ran from the vehicle. On trial, Holley said that after police knocked him over with a patrol car, he put his hands up in surrender.
This, and the beating that followed, would be caught on tape.
According to the Associated Press:
That was when “the kicks started coming,” said Holley, who is Black.
“I started feeling people on my back. I felt one hard blow,” he said. “It felt like knees and I don’t know kicks … I lay there,” not fighting back. Holley said he briefly lost consciousness and the next thing he remembers is waking up in the back of a patrol vehicle.
Still, Blomberg gets off scot-free.
Putting aside the fact that you can get off beating someone even when it is caught on tape a la Rodney King style, does anyone else find it intriguing that in 2012 we are still having all-White juries? According to DeGuerin, the reason there were no Black and minority jurors on the jury is because the Black jurors appeared to be biased out the gate.
When asked why there weren’t any blacks or minorities on the jury, DeGuerin said that most of the African-Americans in the jury pool had already made up their minds on his guilt.
I find it intriguing that White people, in this country and world, are consistently seen as impartial and somehow unbiased no matter the situation. Is it not biased that most — if not all — of these jurors likely thought that the White cop was not guilty before the trial took place?
Just the other day, NewsOne covered the story of 19-year-old Kendrec McDade, who was a college student and football star. McDade was shot seven times by police, who erroneously thought that he was armed, and then handcuffed afterward as he waited for the paramedics. McDade died a little more than an hour later.
I said it then, and I’ll say it now: Police in this country are out of control.
While Holley was beaten, he lost consciousness. He could have died. And he would have just been yet another name on the endless list of Black males who are killed by “law enforcement.” The idea that Blomberg is seriously considering being a police officer again is chilling.