Thursday, February 3, 2011

Police brutality in action

Courtesy of KTRK-13 in Houston and Quannel X, this is the actual video footage of the beatdown of burglary suspect Chad Holley by members of the Houston Police Department.

You will see Mr. Holley getting clipped by a patrol car, falling to the ground, rolling onto his stomach and putting his hands behind his head. Then you will see members of Houston's finest kicking and punching Mr. Holley while he is on the ground.

Anyone who thinks this is an isolated incident is naive. It's just that, more often than not, these incidents take place away from security cameras.

I had a conversation with a client's mother today who couldn't understand why the prosecutor wouldn't dismiss a case against her son. I told her it was because when a prosecutor reads an offense report, he takes it as the gospel truth. Prosecutors either don't realize, or don't care, that offense reports, particularly the reason for the encounter, have more in common with historical fiction than the truth.

Of course when the only person who can challenge the assertions made in the report is the person who arrested, you can almost lie with impunity -- so long as there's no video camera around.

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