Community outraged at Blomberg verdict in Chad Holley case - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Community outraged at Blomberg verdict in Chad Holley case

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More community reaction tonight after the not guilty verdict in the case of former Houston Police officer Andrew Blomberg.

Blomberg was on trial for the videotaped beating of 15-year old burglary suspect Chad Holley back in March of 2010.

An all-white jury found him not guilty of official oppression on Wednesday which immediately sparked outrage throughout the city.

A protest was held in downtown Houston this afternoon by local activists and community members who have major issues with the Blomberg verdict *and* with the Harris County criminal justice system.

It was chaos outside of the courtroom yesterday after the not guilty verdict was handed down by an all-white jury, and you could say it was peaceful chaos again this afternoon outside of the Harris County Courthouse.

Nearly 100 protesters saddened with the verdict and fed up with the Harris County criminal justice system...took to the steps of the courthouse chanting and carrying signs.

"We're not talking about racism we're talking about justice and it says criminal justice and that's what's happening here, it's criminal.  Blomberg had the best white lawyer in town and he walked with an all white jury and all white DA," said a member of the New Black Panther Party.

Other comments from protesters:

"Nothing has changed in this county, nothing has changed."

"I was upset, I was very upset, I couldn't believe they were saying there was only white people in the jury, and there was no color."

"The videotape is clear, he didn't even get a slap on the hand, he just wasted tax payers time."

Robbie Tolan urged the crowd to get out and they can voice their outrage at the polls.

"People please get out and vote, go do jury duty it's the only way you're going to make a difference," said Tolan.

Tolan is the black former minor league baseball player who was shot and seriously injured by Jeff Cotton- a white Bellaire Police Sergeant-back in 2008.

Cotton, like Blomberg, was also acquitted.....his attorney Bill Helfand stopped by the Fox26 studios today to give his perspective.

‘Public perception of an event is not necessarily consistent with all of the facts.  My reaction is that the jury has seen some things that the public is just not aware of," said Helfand.

Helfand says it's wrong to draw any conclusions based on a juror's skin color.

"Everybody has a chance, the prosecutors, defense, the court can ask questions, they're under oath, my experience is people who show up for jury duty take it very seriously and I think it's a mistake to identify how a juror makes a decision based upon the color of their skin," said Helfand.

What many are wondering now-is what impact the Blomberg verdict will have on the other three officers involved in the beating, who are still set to stand trial.

"I think that you find with jurors, they take an oath, they will put aside their own beliefs and judge it based on the evidence," said Helfand.

Trial dates for the three other former HPD officers charged in the Holley case...have not been set yet.

Chad Holley has also filed a civil lawsuit against all four officers.

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