Ninth officer investigated in alleged beating

May 5, 2010 5:16:36 PM PDT
There are tough questions about why a Houston police officer did not report what he may have seen the night a teenager was reportedly beaten by a group of officers. Eight police officers are already on leave. And now, there are new questions about a ninth officer who was also on the scene that night And it's not the only concern raised Wednesday by city officials.

Just one day after the shocking photos of Chad Holley were released, talk about the alleged police beating appears to have reached a new heights.

"There's nothing about this that's acceptable," said Houston Councilmember Melissa Noriega.

At city hall Wednesday, council members took it upon themselves to at least raise the question - could this be bigger than just one case?

"My concern, and I think the concern of a great many of the community, is is this representative of something or is this an isolated incident?" said Noriega.

It was March 23 when a then-15-year-old burglary suspect was chased on foot to just outside a storage center. A surveillance camera allegedly captured the teen beaten by officers. Eight were on the scene. We learned Wednesday that a ninth officer also rolled up later, fueling even more questions.

"Why didn't that ninth officer report it and let us know?" asked Houston Councilmember Wanda Adams.

"That's under investigation," said Houston City Attorney David Feldman.

"So he knew about the incident?" asked Adams.

"Actually council member, not necessarily," said Houston Mayor Annise Parker.

"Every officer, whether they participated or not, are just as guilty for the cover-up," said community activist Quannel X.

While all of that will be worked out by the investigations, the incident has rekindled interest in a stronger citizen review board.

Houston City Councilmember Al Hoang said, "They have to have more power someway, somehow to make sure this kind of thing is not going to happen again."

Some suggest giving that board, which is responsible for recommending punishment, subpoena power to call witnesses. The Houston Police Officers Union thinks that would be a mistake, given internal affairs and the DA's office already has that power.

"I don't, for the life of me, see how an independent civilian review committee of political appointees with no investigative expertise is going to do a better job," said HPOU President Gary Blankinship.

The FBI, DA's office and HPD's internal affairs are all looking into the case.


Load Comments