Human Rights

Horrific Video of Cop Brutality in Houston Beating of 15-Year-Old Released

The Houston Police Department (HPD) has a serious problem on its hands.

Color of Change has released a revolting video of a swarm of Houston police kicking and beating a 15-year-old kid named Chad Holley who was running away from a burglary.

Some cops kicked him repeatedly in the head and legs, others punched his torso -- all while Holley was lying face down with his hands behind his head in surrender.

You can watch the video here:

According to reports, the officers who beat Holley have been charged with misdemeanors, and many of the officers involved are still working as police officers in Houston.

Color of Change is demanding "real accountability for the Houston Police Department -- and when we do, it'll send a clear message to other departments with a similar problem. It starts with the four officers who brutalized Holley, but it can't stop there. What happened to Chad Holley isn't merely an isolated incident -- it's the result of a police culture in Houston (and in police departments across the nation) that places little value on black lives."

The organization is asking people to call on Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate Chad Holley's brutal beating, and the culture that led to it.

But Color of Change makes the larger point that this "beating is bigger than just the actions of the four officers most responsible -- Houston Police Department (HPD) has a problem. Misbehavior is rampant among Houston police, with more than 14,000 complaints against HPD officers over the last six years -- half of which were upheld. But the real amount of misconduct is likely to be much greater, with much of it not being investigated. Because black residents distrust the process -- and even fear retaliation due to holes in the process -- many don't ever file complaints against police officers."

The Houston police department has portrayed Holley's beating as an isolated incident. But as the Color of Change analysts suggest, "that's hard to believe if you watch the video of the incident. Officers attacked Holley simultaneously and without hesitation, as if this kind of violence is routine. There were no fewer than a dozen officers on the scene during the beating, yet HPD leaders didn't learn of the assault until the security video was mailed to the chief of police and District Attorney -- all the officers on the scene were silent until then, willing participants in a coverup."

Don Hazen is the executive editor of AlterNet.
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