Next month marks the 20th anniversary of the day five police officers were videotaped beating Rodney King as he lay prone on a Los Angeles roadside. The images on the tape, which were aired on news broadcasts all over the country, and the acquittal of the officers a year later following a trail, led to six days of rioting in Los Angeles that claimed 53 lives. The entire episode stands as a low-point in American race relations—but did serve to awaken the general public to the widespread problem of police brutality.
Sadly, today we have another video that proves once again the pervasiveness of the problem. Last March, 15-year-old Houston resident Chad Holley was chased down by police and, lying on the ground with his hand raised over his head, repeatedly kicked and stomped by as many as eight officers.
Holley, a high school sophomore, who suffered a broken nose and multiple bruises, limped out of the police station when his mom picked him up. He was later convicted of burglary and given probation, but the video was not seen at his trial.
Twelve officers were disciplined over the incident, four of whom were fired and now face criminal charges for intentionally subjecting someone to mistreatment. Holley’s family has filed a federal lawsuit. A judge barred the release of the video while the case was pending.
Yesterday, though, community activist Quanell X showed the tape to local news reporters. He says the officers should be facing more serious charges.
“That tape made me angry as hell,” X told KTRK-TV. “And I’m telling you, when the people in the ‘hood see it, they will be angry also, and now it’s time to come out. I want to know how in the hell did they do what they did to that boy on that videotape and they only got charged with official oppression.”
Courtesy of KTRK TV / ABClocal.go.com
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