4 HPD Officers Indicted 7 HPD Officers FIRED

7 members of the Westside HPD Gang, er, uh, HPD's Westside Gang Unit have been fired and 4 of them have been indicted.  "District Attorney Pat Lykos identified the indicted officers as: Phil Bryan, Raad Hassan, Andrew Blomberg and Drew Ryser. All four were charged with official oppression, a Class A misdemeanor. Bryan and Hassan also were charged with violation of the civil rights of a prisoner, also a misdemeanor."  I am simultaneously thrilled and disappointed.  6 Class A misdemeanor charges?  Yeah, their tickets to be officers get yanked too and they lose their jobs but it is NOT enough for what they did.  They've gotten paid since this incident so that's quite a bit out of taxpayer's pockets for them sitting on their butts and now they'll get a slap on the hand, at worst.  It is NOT enough for a gang style smackdown beating of a teenager in cuffs.

"The four and three other officers have been fired for their roles in the alleged beating of Chad Holley, an Elsik High School sophomore, who was handcuffed and lying on the ground after leading police on a short chase March 24."

"All four were fired by McClelland, who also terminated Sgt. John W. McClellan, Gaudencio Saucedo and Lewis M. Childress. All but McClellan were members of HPD’s Westside Gang Unit.  Five other officers were given two-day suspensions by HPD Chief Charles McClelland. There were identified as: l.M. Vaughn, M.J. Novak, R.E. Abel III, K.W. Cockrill, and R.J. Oppermann."  Kudos to Pat Lykos, the DA, for naming every single one of them.

"Lykos, Parker and McClelland separately declined to release the videotape, despite pledging transparency for each of their administrations."  Oops, I take my kudos for Lykos back...

"The first time it will be seen will be in court," Lykos said. "The defendants are entitled to a fair trial."  Huh, and yet you let Houston SPCA publish all over the net when they do an animal seizures and, and...  Why do these officers get preferential treatment to a "fair trial"?  Boo, Hiss to Pat Lykos.

Mayor "Parker said if anyone else had the tape, she would consider it stolen."  "The incident was recorded by a surveillance camera at Uncle Bob’s Self-Storage at 8450 Cook Road."  Huh, I think it is OWNED by the company that sent it to you.  Maybe they'll be kind enough to post the video they OWN on youtube (or leak it to someone who will).  Mayor Parker, can you say OFFICIAL OPPRESSION or have you just jumped right to practicing it?  BOOS and HISSES to Mayor Anise Parker for threatening anyone who might be willing to publish the video even if they ACTUALLY own it!

KUDOS to Uncle Bob's Self-Storage.  Excellent citizenship!

"When you have a large number of officers involved in a scene, and it was not disclosed, I think that you have to look at, is it a systematic problem, is it a training issue, is it a cultural issue, what happened?" he said. "Something went terribly wrong where that number of officers were involved."  YA THINK???  No DUH!

Councilwoman Jolanda Jones... "It’s law enforcement, and if they weren’t actively participating, then they allowed it to happen," she said. "The city would send a strong message and the right message if everyone who was involved no longer worked for the city…We can’t allow government to step on people without consequence."  KUDOS, KUDOS, KUDOS!!!  Please send Yolanda's campaign $5 and a note of thanks if you can!  Jolanda Jones for Governor maybe?  Please, let's get her there while she still thinks like a human.

Houston Police Officers Union President Gary Blankinship... "Evidently a grand jury has reviewed the evidence, sought testimony from parties involved, and come to a determine that sufficient evidence exists to move forward with a trial. In no way is this a conviction, but another step in the process of our criminal justice system," he said. "I think its important to note a very fast, very thorough investigation was conducted and present to a grand jury relatively quickly given the magnitude of the investigation. Well the just let the process run its course and see what the outcome is."  ROTFLMAO, "evidently"?  Seriously?  That's not what you'd say if it was anyone other than one of your membership!

The average person who beat the hell out of another would be cuffed, tried, plea bargained and in jail in under 2 weeks but the Union President is trying to make this a hasty investigation when the officers were caught on tape and the investigation dragged on for weeks.  They've already gotten 1,000 times the due process any of the rest of us would get.  How do you live with that internal dissonance Blankinship?

No, sadly, I don't expect these officers to be convicted in court.  They might even end up getting their jobs back.  More's the pity that we continue to summarily convict the innocent and let the truly violent criminals walk free all too often.

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