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2012-05-18

All-White Jury Acquits Houston Ex-Police Officer in Videotaped Beating of Black Teen Chad Holley

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Hundreds of people rallied in Houston on Thursday to protest the acquittal of a former police officer in the videotaped beating of an African-American teenager. On Wednesday, the officer, Andrew Bloomberg, was found not guilty by an all-white jury in the beating and stomping of 15-year-old burglary suspect Chad Holley. Video taken of the March 2010 incident shows Holley being stopped by a police vehicle. After Holley falls to the ground, he is clearly seen surrendering and putting his hands behind his head. But instead of placing him in handcuffs, Bloomberg and six fellow officers proceed to attack Holley with stomps and kicks. "It seems we’ve become jaded, willing to accept in too many instances young black people being grossly mistreated," says NAACP President Ben Jealous. [includes rush transcript]

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And finally, Ben Jealous, hundreds of people rallied in Houston on Thursday to protest the acquittal of a former police officer in the videotaped beating of an African-American teenager. On Wednesday, the officer, Andrew Bloomberg, was found not guilty by an all-white jury in the beating and stomping of 15-year-old burglary suspect Chad Holley. A video taken of the March 2010 incident shows Holley being stopped by a police vehicle. After he falls to the ground, he is clearly seen surrendering and putting his hands behind his head, but instead of placing him in handcuffs, Bloomberg and six fellow police officers proceed to attack Holley with stomps and kicks. Bloomberg and the other officers lost their jobs after the video emerged. Three of the officers will learn of their trial dates next week. Your response?

BENJAMIN JEALOUS: Yeah, look, this is what people deserve in this country, no matter what color you are. If the cops have you in custody, and then they proceed to the whoop you and beat you and shoot you, those cops should be held accountable.

Our country fought a revolution, because—you know, sparked by something called the Boston Massacre. What happened that night? There was a group of young men, black and white, walking on the streets of Boston, confronted by Royal Gendarmes, the actual cops of their day, the Redcoats. One of them, a young black man named Crispus Attucks, was shot and killed. This problem of police brutality in our country goes back to the founding of the country itself. What was different then was that the entire country responded the way that the country should have responded to that young black man being killed wrongfully and said, "This is outrageous, it has to stop." And that was actually the spark of our great revolution in this country.

Today, hundreds of years later, it seems we’ve become jaded, willing to accept in too many instances young black people being grossly mistreated, even killed, by cops in our country. We have got to get our country to the place that our children, like my six-year-old daughter who’s in kindergarten, believe it is every day, when they say this is one country, indivisible, under God, with liberty and justice for all. What the Chad Holley case tells us is that we’re far away from it. What the prosecution of those officers tell us is that it is still possible, even in places like Houston, for us to make progress, more progress than it seems that we’re making right now in New York City.

AMY GOODMAN: Ben, thanks very much for joining us. Ben Jealous is president and CEO of the NAACP. He is joining us from Miami, Florida.

When we come back, we go to the drug war in Honduras and U.S. involvement in the killing of four Honduran civilians, two of them pregnant women. Stay with us.

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