The following video depicts actual violence and may be unsuitable for some viewers.

A friend sent me a link to this video last night to ask me what I thought.

I don’t have words to describe this; anything I can choke out is inadequate. Even what I write here will not adequately do justice.

This is a child — a 15-year-old youth only a little older than my youngest and a little younger than my oldest. And Houston’s so-called finest are kicking him while he is down on the ground, kicking him in the head, near his kidneys, his groin after nearly running him down with their car.

This is a child who at the time of this battery was suspected of being involved in a home burglary along with three other suspects. The other three had been under surveillance; Holley was seen exiting a townhome with two of the suspects. When the police gave chase, Holley ran — and what appears in this video is the outcome of that chase.

The police did not take fingerprints at the townhome; they didn’t fingerprint the stolen goods. There’s apparently nothing in the way of evidence to tie Holley to a burglary, only association with others suspected of burglary.

And yet the police tried to run him down with their car; he was stomped, kicked and beaten by at least five officers although he was already down on the ground. At no point in any of the coverage of this story does it appear that the officers believed Holley was an adult, or that Holley might have a weapon, offering little excuse for the battery show in this video. It’s cruel and unusual extra-judicial punishment without any due process. [cont’d]

Making the situation worse is the city’s handling of this tape; they did not want it released. The mayor made statements that were perceived as a threat to anyone releasing the tape. The subsequent response of the police force also appears inappropriate. There’s no denial, no non-denial, which might be expected, but there’s also no apparent effort to calm the community’s concern about police brutality — and residents claim this is the first time there’s been video evidence published showing the kind of brutality they have put up with for a very long time.

This child’s civil rights were violated. There needs to be an examination of both the administration and the police of the city of Houston by the Department of Justice, to find out why this happened and just how often this kind of thing has been happening to other children and adults alike in Houston.

And the mayor — once a shining light for Houston — needs to invest immediately in some serious community relations-building. Not merely damage control, but credible, intensive effort made to restore the faith of the public in the mayor’s office and the police of Houston.



Blogger since 2002, political activist since 2003, FDL community member since 2005, geek since birth.

Fan of science and technology, wannabe artist, decent cook, successful troublemaker and purveyor of challenging memetics whose genetics may be only nominally better.

Assistant Editor at Firedoglake and Editor at The Seminal.