The videotape and subsequent acquittal of the first officer to stand trial for the beating caused a firestorm in our community that was reminiscent of Rodney King.
Fast forward just a few years later, only two months after having finished his probation in connection with his 2010 arrest and conviction for burglary, Holley is back in trouble with the law……for the same crime.
Many in the black community are experiencing a litany of emotions concerning this new arrest of Holley for a crime that triggered a firestorm that galvanized the black community in Houston.
Four young African-American men were arrested last Wednesday on suspicion of burglarizing a home; the most recognizable of the group being Holley. The group was apprehended after they allegedly broke into a home in a northwest Harris County subdivision, Easton Commons, around 2 p.m.
A neighbor, Brandon Scott, saw everything transpire and called 911. Scott was armed with a shotgun and said he was ready to take action if needed.
Deputies said Holley and three others parked at a dead end street in the 12900 block of Forest Trails, unlawfully entered a home and started loading up the goods.
The four burglars fled and were caught just a few blocks away.
Fortunately, no one was physically harmed this time, but the pain of knowing this young man committed the same crime came as a severe blow to those who had gotten behind the teen and have been seeking justice for the severe beating he endured.
In 2010, Holley was given probation and he had just gotten off of probation two months prior. Holley, along with his three cohorts came into court Thursday morning, donning bright orange jumpsuits, back in the same situation that he claimed to have learned from.
Holley was charged with burglary of a habitation – again – and given a id="mce_marker"0,000 bond.
NO LESSONS LEARNED
During his first criminal trial and during police officer Andrew Blomberg’s trial, the attorneys on both sides attempted to paint Holley as a thug and a criminal that had not learned from his mistakes and needed to be punished to the full extent of the law.
When he stood trial for his initial burglary charge, Holley admitted that he made a mistake. When a video surfaced of Holley on the Internet showing him flashing what appeared to be a gang sign, to his choice in friends, he admitted that he made a mistake. When he testified during the Blomberg trial, Holley claimed that he had changed and that he was looking forward to graduating from high school and going to college.
Defense attorney Dick DeGuerin, who last month won acquittal for one of the four ex-HPD officers, charged with official oppression in Holley’s first arrest, said prosecutors should dismiss all charges on the remaining defendants as his credibility has been severely compromised.
“In our trial, the DA’s office claimed he had straightened up, that he was going to graduate high school and go to college,” said DeGuerin.
The credibility of Holley as a model citizen has taken a huge hit.
WHO WAS IN HIS LIFE?
Minister Quanell X, who has been one of the people closest to Chad Holley and his family, was at a loss for words and stunned when he found out about the recent Holley arrest.
“I don’t know who the other guys were, who were with Chad, but to be honest with you, I really don’t think Chad is mentally right,” said Quanell. “When I asked why he did it, he just kind of sat there like he was in a daze. It’s as if he didn’t fully comprehend anything that I was saying.”
Quanell believes that Holley is dealing with an undisclosed mental illness that may be linked to a genetic family history of mental illness. He believes that Holley’s recent encounter with breaking the law may have been enhanced by his refusal to continue taking his prescribed medication.
He says that Holley’s mom and aunt were the primary people watching over him and monitoring his activities. Holley’s mother is not talking to the media directly at this time, but is sharing key information with Quanell.
According to Quanell, the family claims that Holley told them he was going to stop taking his medication once he reached his 18th birthday, because the medication made him extremely drowsy and sleepy. Holley turned 18 years of age a little over a month ago and it is during that timeframe that Holley’s mother claims to have seen mood swings and childlike behavior in him. Quanell states that Holley would have moments of mental confusion after refusing to take his medication, choosing to sleep on his mom’s floor with the light on all night.
Holley made his court appearance on Friday and has since been released on bond.
“We are not going to throw this young man in the garbage pail. He needs help,” he said after Holley’s court appearance.
Attorney Benjamin Hall, who is representing Holley and his family in a federal lawsuit filed against Blomberg, the other fired officers and the city of Houston, said while the teenager will have to face the consequences of his actions, the new arrest should not be part of the pending trials.
“What Chad Holley has done before or after his videotaped beating has no bearing on the crimes HPD officers committed,” said Kofi Taharka, National Chairman National Black United Front and member of the Black Justice Tuesday Coalition (BJTC). “Chad Holley is one in a long line of victims of police brutality that have received no justice. Jose Compos Torres, Ida Delaney, Robbie Tolan to name a few.”
Attorneys for the remaining officers are seeking to have charges dropped or Holley’s recent arrest admitted as evidence in their trial.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
Many in the community have asked the question, “Why did he do it?”
Honestly, it doesn’t matter why Chad Holley did it. The thing that matters is Chad Holley committed criminal acts for which there can be no excuses.
For too long, many in the black community have abandoned their responsibility as village leaders and have turned a blind-eye to the social ills that have been allowed to ravage our communities.
We have chosen to abandon that village raising the children philosophy and have allowed the children to run the village. Many of them do this without the support and the knowledge they need to be productive community citizens.
Chad Holley can turn his life around and share a wonderful testimonial, similar to the ones preached in church pulpits, read in books and uttered before audiences across the world.
The truth of the matter is, everyone has experienced something in their lives that eventually led them to experience that “a ha” moment that caused them finally get it and subsequently turn their lives around. The younger generation needs mentors and people to set a solid example for them. Let’s hope Chad Holley gets the help he needs to be the shining star he could one day become.