By: Shelia J. Jefferson
The City of Houston was “shocked” by the not guilty verdict for former Houston Police Officer Andrew Blomberg, who was accused in the beating of teenage burglary suspect, Chad Holley. The jury had to determine whether Blomberg intentionally mistreated Holley in March 2010. Undoubtably, the African-American community is upset at the verdict because the video shows Blomberg using his foot to stomp on the head of Holley twice, who was face down on the ground with his hands behind his head, in a surrendering/arresting position.
In an interview, Community activist Quanell X called the verdict not simply a miscarriage of justice, but an “abortion.” He continued, “They just said to Black people that the police can do whatever they want to do and get away with it. They just sent a message to all of us that our lives don’t mean a (darn) thing in Harris County.”
African-Americans has the right and should be upset at the verdict. However, we should we not be surprised because not one African-American person was on the jury. What kind of message is this sending to our young Black kids? Regardless of what crime this young man committed, he still did not deserve to be kicked and stomped unmercifully. It seems as if HPD is saying that its okay for them to beat a young man (or woman in some cases) to teach them a lesson and get away with it because they are simply doing their jobs; ridding Houston’s streets from the criminal element.
Many think that the Mayor and Police Chief are okay with the verdict. In actuality, both Mayor Parker and HPD Chief McClelland knows that what the officers did was wrong. Mayor Annise Parker has repeatedly said the officers violated Chad Holley’s rights. She said, “I certainly don’t agree with the verdict. I support the chief of police in his actions in relation to these officers. They will never again be Houston police officers whatever the verdict is in the criminal trial.” Those words are of little comfort to African-Americans residing in Houston and surrounding areas because three other officers have yet to be tried.