HOUSTON—Organizers frustrated by the recent acquittal of one of the officers accused of beating Chad Holley issued a veiled warning to city leaders during a meeting Monday at the Shape Community Center in southeast Houston.
“This is a very volatile situation,” said Nation of Islam Minister Robert Muhammad. “Either we’re going to get real justice, or we can’t have any peace.”
Muhammad’s remarks came as dozens of people gathered to discuss perceived injustices by police and the criminal courts. Last week, protestors sounded off after an all-white jury returned a verdict of not guilty for the first officer to go on trial in the Holley incident.
During the trial, jurors were shown a video taken of Holley in which he flashes what appeared to be gang signs. But attendees at the meeting focused their attention on the other video jurors watched, the one that showed several Houston police officers kicking and stomping Holley while he laid face down on the ground.
They called for the creation of an independent civilian review board with subpoena power. Muhammad called it the only way to keep what happened to Holley from happening again. He also said people frustrated by the police would be watching the up-coming trials of the other officers accused very closely.
“When people are denied justice, they become instable and insane,” he said.