Mayor Parker responds to emotional town hall meeting

February 10, 2011 6:56:29 AM PST
We have new developments in the outrage over a surveillance video showing police beating a 15-year-old boy during an arrest. It's video you first saw on Eyewitness News. After heated calls for harsher punishments and a federal investigation, on Wednesday, the mayor asked the community to begin the healing process. This comes after a town hall meeting Tuesday night where emotions were running high.

The release of the troubling Chad Holley video was the topic of an emotionally raw town hall meeting Tuesday night.

"They threatened this lady, they threatened me because I wanted you to see the tape," said Quanell X during Tuesday's town hall meeting.

It's changed the way Houston Mayor Annise Parker viewed the release of the video.

"Had I to do it over again, I probably would have said I supported the release of the tape," she said Wednesday.

For longtime city leaders, the actions of the officers on the video needs no explanation.

"To see the shame they have brought to the department and to our city, it makes you incredibly sad," said Councilmember Sue Lovell.

With the future of these former police officers winding its way through the legal process, the man who used to run the police department says the work history of these officers need to be fully examined.

"I think we have to dig deeper," said Councilmember C.O. Bradford. "I think we have to go back and look at other arrests that were made by those particular officers on that particular team and see if there are other complaints."

The biggest mistake, says the mayor, is that many local leaders weren't in tune with the emotions of the community they're serving.

"Failed to realize the depth of anguish that many people in the room expressed," said Mayor Parker.

The mayor says Tuesday night's meeting is the first of many going forward as the community tries to heal and tries to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.