Today, Congressman Al Green (TX-09) renewed his request that the Department of Justice (DOJ) investigate the March 2010 arrest of Houston resident Chad Holley. The request comes in response to the not guilty verdict rendered in the trial of former Police officer Andrew Blomberg. Blomberg and three other officers lost their jobs with the Houston Police Department (HPD) because of their conduct in Mr. Holley's arrest. The other three former HPD officers are awaiting trials.
If Blomberg had been convicted of the charge of official oppression against Mr. Holley, he would have faced up to one year in jail. The incident took place in Congressman Green's district on March 23, 2010, and was recorded by a surveillance camera owned by a storage facility near the location of the arrest.
The video shows a then 16 year-old Holley going over the hood of a police car as he flees a burglary. After falling, the teenager rolls on to his stomach and puts his hands behind his back. Immediately after, a group of law enforcement officers, including Blomberg, appear to stomp, kick and punch Holley.
"I am once again asking the Department of Justice to investigate this case. The law permits it and justice demands it," said Congressman Al Green, who submitted a letter in February 2011 to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. In his letter, Congressman Green noted that community leaders were concerned about the conduct of the officers and the possibility of civil rights violations.
"I am still concerned about any violation of Mr. Holley's civil rights," Congressman Green said. "Although we must not indict the entire Houston Police Department, the shocking video of the arrest speaks for itself as it relates to the officers caught on camera. In light of the conduct displayed in the video, there needs to be a Department of Justice investigation to determine whether federal civil rights violations occurred, which are different from the official oppression charges brought in the State Court."