Saturday, February 12, 2011

Making sausage

In the past week both Mark Bennett and I have written about the op/ed piece written by HCCLA Vice President Chris Tritico regarding the release of the videotape showing officers with the Houston Police Department beating a teenager lying on the ground.

In his piece, Mr. Bennett alluded to the fact that members of HCCLA's Executive Board are defending some of the officers accused of beating Chad Holley. Mr. Bennett seemed to be implying that there was a conflict of interest in the decision to submit the op/ed piece and that members of the Executive Board were using HCCLA to promote their own agenda.
But the lawyer for one of the police officers shown on the video is HCCLA’s President, and HCCLA’s President-Elect and Immediate Past President have a contract to defend police officers against criminal charges. So they pick whatever is behind door C.
I must admit that the same thought crossed my mind when I read Mr. Tritico's op/ed piece.

I can tell you that Mr. Bennett is barking up the wrong tree in this instance.

I'm a member of the board of directors of HCCLA - but I am not a member of the Executive Board, so I wasn't privy to the goings-on behind the curtain last weekend.

Here's what happened. A member of the board approached the Executive Board and suggested that HCCLA should take advantage of the release of the video and issue a statement indicating our opposition to police brutality. The members of the Executive Board discussed the matter and when the decision was made to go forward with the op/ed, the members of the Executive Board who were representing officers accused of beating Chad Holley recused themselves from any further discussion. That left Mr. Tritico to write the op/ed piece. With no other members of the Executive Board taking part in the discussion (for unknown reasons), Mr. Tritico wrote the piece and submitted it to the Houston Chronicle without any input from any other member of the organization.

I'm not going to rehash my criticism of the article because I don't think Mr. Tritico had any ulterior motive when he wrote the piece.

1 comment:

Mark Bennett said...

My counsel to you would be not to place overmuch weight in what you're told on the record in a board meeting.