A Harris County jury has found a former Houston Police Department officer guilty of official oppression in the March 2010 beating of Chad Holley, who was 15 years old at the time.
Drew Ryser, who was sworn in as an HPD officer in February 2007, was convicted on Wednesday afternoon, one day after closing arguments took place on Tuesday.
Two other former officers, Raad M. Hassan and Philip N. Bryan, accepted plea agreements for the same charges on April 24 and were sentenced to two years of deferred adjudication. Both were also charged with violation of civil rights of person in custody.
Ryser was later sentenced to two years of probation.
The NAACP released the following statement regarding the conviction on Wednesday afternoon:
Today, the NAACP Houston Branch applauds the Harris County criminal court jury for its finding of guilt in the official oppression litigation of former Houston Police Officer Drew Ryser. After being disappointed with the acquittal and the back door plea deals of the previous three officers that were indicted, today's conviction of the former officer involved in the horrific beating of then 15 year old Chad Holley in March 2010, provides a glimmer of hope for our Harris County criminal justice system that far too often turns a blind eye to justice by acquitting rogue law enforcement officers and issuing disproportioned [sic] sentences to minorities.
HPD Chief Charles McClelland released the following statement in response to Ryser's conviction:
I would like to thank the jurors for their diligence and hard work. The punishment phase of the trial is yet to be completed therefore; it is not appropriate for me to comment further on the details of this case.
It is important to note, there are more than 5,300 officers working hard every day to serve the people of Houston with honor, integrity and respect. Houstonians have instilled a great deal of trust and responsibility in the men and women of HPD.
The Houston Police Department will continue to live up to that commitment and strive to be the most professional law enforcement agency in the United States.