Today, Congressman Al Green (TX-09) released the following statement on the verdict in the trial against former Houston Police officer Andrew Blomberg in relation to the arrest of Chad Holley in March 2010:
Although I support the Houston Police Department, I do not support what I saw on the video of Chad Holley’s arrest.
If you watch the video showing Rodney King’s arrest in 1991 and then watch the 2010 video showing Chad Holley’s arrest, you see similar circumstances. It’s hard to believe this is happening in Houston in 2012. I commend those who engage in peaceful protest as a response.
We should oppose mob-like behavior by anyone and this includes peace officers acting under the color of law. What we saw on the video recorded in Los Angeles was mob-like behavior by peace officers under the color of law and what we see on the video recorded in our city is mob-like behavior by peace officers under the color of law as well.
Chad Holley and his family deserve a fair and just federal civil rights investigation. The Houston Police Department deserves a fair and just federal civil rights investigation. We must not allow the actions of some officers to become the image of the entire department.
On Thursday, May 17, 2012, I personally visited with officials at the Department of Justice while in Washington, D.C. I reiterated my request to have the DOJ look into the circumstances surrounding the Chad Holley incident. The community has requested it and justice demands it.
The Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL’s) Coalition for Mutual Respect today issued the following statement in response to the verdict in the
Andrew Blomberg case:
We respect the fact that a jury has spoken in finding former Houston police officer Andrew Blomberg not guilty of breaking the law in the first of several trials involving the beating of Chad Holley. We also respect the opinions of those who disagree with this verdict, and encourage them to respond in constructive and non-violent ways.
As Mayor Annise Parker told us this morning, Houston has set an example for the rest of the world in the way that its citizens behave when they disagree and the importance we attach to respecting everyone’s civil rights. In what is a challenging time, we encourage open dialogue and discussion throughout the community, and trust this dialogue will be productive .
We recognize that the Houston Police Department and city officials acted swiftly and decisively in reprimanding the officers involved in the beating of Chad Holley, and we commend them for their actions.
We call on the Houston Police Department to continue to review and implement best practices for training, policy and procedures that would help prevent these types of incidents in the future.
Protesters are at the doorstep of Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos today. Community activist Quanell X and local ministers met with her this morning.
STATEMENT OF DISTRICT ATTORNEY PAT LYKOS
As District Attorney, it is my duty to pursue justice under the law. The people must have trust and confidence in the legal system. My record clearly reflects that I listen to the people and have made remarkable improvements to the criminal justice system.
The ministers scheduled a meeting with me today. We met to discuss the law and the criminal justice process.
Later this morning, a group obstructed the lobby of the District Attorney's Office. Profane language was directed against the employees of this office. They were disruptive and impeded our work.
Should anyone wish to meet with me, there is an appropriate manner in which to schedule it. I expect people to treat the dedicated professionals in my office with respect.
I will not permit any group to occupy our office. I will not allow the administration of justice to be held hostage. I will not capitulate to threats.
I swore to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the United States and of the sovereign State of Texas. I live by that vow. The DA's Office is both sword and shield to defend and protect the people of Harris County. Justice and order are inextricably intertwined.