HOUSTON -- On the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 8, during a town hall meeting to discuss the Chad Holley incident following the release of the videotape which depicts HPD officers beating him while he was on the ground, the Harris County Assistant District Attorney pointed out a discrepancy in our Texas Criminal Code. A discrepancy which holds our police officers to a lesser standard when it pertains to police brutality. It is a standard that allows police officers to use excessive force and only face misdemeanor charges, but if a civilian strikes an officer it is a felony.
The District Attorney's Office has brought (via indictment) misdemeanor charges against four of the officers shown in the video. The explanation for this is that in order for felony assault charges to be filed, a deadly weapon must be used during the assault and/or the victim must have suffered serious bodily injury.
Rep. Reynolds (D- District 27, Fort Bend) responded, "I have reviewed the video tape and find the actions of the HPD officers deplorable. The officers should be terminated from HPD and charged with a felony. I strongly believe the police officers' actions should be subjected to a review that is equal to what would be expected of every citizen within the state of Texas. I truly believe that this has brought attention to a legislative loop hole that I am committed to change. I am extremely disappointed that the actions of a few police officers may have contaminated the relationship with those that wear the uniform, and often make the ultimate sacrifice."
"I am encouraged that we will take this terrible incident and use it as a means to ensure that proper charges are filed in this incident, that police officers in the field report misconduct and those arbitrators assigned to police discipline cases have a specific nexus to the Houston community," Rep. Reynolds stated.