By: Eric J. Davis
Yesterday, Congressman Al Green announced that he is calling on the United States Department of Justice to step in and investigate the beating of Chad Holly by several Houston Police Officers. As a defense attorney, I have seen less egregious cases prosecuted by Federal prosecutors. In this case, Federal Prosecution might shed more light on this situation and will certainly send the signal to other police officers that such conduct will be dealt with seriously. Thanks Al Green for stepping up. (Click on his photo to see a video of the press conference).
But with conduct so egregious and clearly portrayed on the tape, I still question the DA's decision to keep the tape from public disclosure. Clearly, withholding the tape from the F.B.I. and other law enforcement agencies impairs their ability to assess the situation and determine whether or not they want to pursue charges. Is the DA's Office sending the signal to officers that "we'll take care of you, even when you get caught doing wrong"? Why were these officers given favorable treatment? The Feds routinely are allowed to review other cases and determine whether or not they want to pursue charges. Why were they only charged with a misdemeanor? Most of the time when two or more people commit a crime together they are charged with engaging in organized crime. Is the DA saying it's not too bad to beat up young black men if they make you chase them? I think she is.