Officers accused in teen beating decline comment

April 29, 2010 8:30:10 PM PDT
Not long after the teen, who says he's the one on the videotape, stepped in front of cameras and went public, the Houston Police Department also went public, identifying the eight officers who are off the job. That includes Officer Raad Hassan.

"You guys can talk to my union attorneys," Hassan said.

Hassan was leaving his Katy-area home Thursday night when ABC13 showed up. An HPD officer for 6 years, he's a member of the Westside gang unit.

Seven officers from that unit, including supervisor Sgt. John McClellan, have been relieved of duty with pay after the alleged beating.

Chad Holley's mother says her son had a fractured nose, was bruised and limping when she picked him up from the Juvenile Detention Center last month.

"I got very upset when I saw how he was looking," Joyce Holley said, "And I said, 'Who did this to you?' and he said, 'The officers, the police did it.'"

The March 24 incident happened when Holley was arrested after a short chase on a burglary charge, and it was recorded by a surveillance camera at a self storage facility in southwest Houston. An employee of the storage business contacted activist Quanell X and showed him the video.

Activist Quanell X has a copy of the tape and says it shows officers, including one African American, kicking and stomping the high school sophomore after he had already given up.

"I was deeply disturbed," Mayor Annise Parker said.

Parker viewed the tape Thursday morning and says she saw an inappropriate use of force.

"When you stop and clearly indicate that you are not resisting, that you are no longer trying to escape, no one should be beaten for that," she said.

At the news conference, the 16-year-old did not speak because of the pending criminal charge against him. His mother wants the videotape released.

"Let everybody see what they did to my son," she said.

Like Officer Hassan, a man at Officer Andrew Blomberg's house wearing a T-shirt bearing his name had nothing to say.

"No thanks" was all he said.

So far, the officers been have been only disciplined. Quanell X wants indictments.

Eyewitness News has filed an open records request for the Houston Police Department to release the video which reportedly shows eight officers beating that handcuffed suspect back in March. The accused officers are:

With the Westside Gang Unit:

Sgt. John W. McClellan - sworn in May 1972
Ofc Raad M. Hassan - sworn in Dec 2003
Ofc Waleed M. Hassan - sworn in May 2001
Ofc Philip N. Bryan - sworn in Dec 1990
Ofc Drew W. Ryser - sworn in Feb 2007
Ofc Andrew T. Blomberg - sworn in Feb 2007
Ofc Gaudencio Saucedo - sworn in April 2002

With the Westside Tactical Unit:

Sr. Ofc Lewis M. Childress - sworn in July 1988

Quanell X says the teen's family has filed complaints with HPD's internal affairs division against those officers.

Once HPD finishes its investigation, it will turn over everything to the feds. The FBI will review that information and decide whether federal civil rights violation charges should be filed.

Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos said in a statement that the DA's office also "is conducting an independent investigation into the incident involving the suspension of eight officers. Houston Police Department officials notified us immediately upon their receipt and viewing of the video tape involved and have cooperated fully in the investigation."

But while they're all off the job, Mayor Parker says not all of them had the same level of involvement in the alleged beating, and not all will be the target of a criminal investigation.

However, ABC13 looked back through internal affairs records of sustained complaints, where the department took action against the accused officers.

The records available are only through 2007. They show McClellan has 10 sustained complaints, five of which were for misconduct. The first one was from 1978.

Officer Bryan has had six complaints, and two were for conduct and behavior and misconduct.

Three other officers also had sustained complaints, but they were for things like being at fault in an accident, or improper police procedure.

The records only show sustained complaints; the number of those filed and investigated weren't released.

The FBI is closely watching how HPD proceeds with this investigation. The FBI has opened a case on this.
Load Comments