The video-taped beating of 16-year old Chad Holley had me fuming. It’s one thing when police use excessive force, but this video was startling for at least a couple of reasons. First, the kid is only 16-years old, and kids that age don’t deserve this kind of treatment. While he appears to be a viable suspect for burglary (he was convicted of his crime), the truth is that we must move beyond a society that believes that any child who makes a mistake is beyond redemption. Black children tend to be the ones most likely to be sentenced as adults, and those kids who are lost at an early age can be thrown to the wolves as if they are worthless commodities with abolutely no long-term potential value. Secondly, it appears on the video that Holley does nothing to warrant any form of physical retaliation by officers. He has his hands behind his back and surrenders to the police immediately when they surround him. Yes, Holley might have broken the law, but police officers should not be the judge and jury of this young man, as well as the ones to administer his (cruel and unusual) punishment.
Here are a couple of other things to consider as the nation thinks about the Chad Holley beating by police: