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Acquitted officer speaks out about verdict

Thursday, May 17, 2012

"Not guilty," those two words unleashed an immense amount of raw emotion Wednesday. The trial of Andrew Blomberg may be over, but the reaction is still boiling over.

The case centers around video first shown on Eyewitness News. Blomberg's is the first of trials related to the beating of Chad Holley, and now we have a one-on-one interview with the former HPD officer.

It was a verdict that split many people. On one side, there was relief, on the other, harsh criticism.

Blomberg and his attorney, Dick Degeurin, sat together at the 100 Club's Annual Heroes Awards Banquet, which honors area law enforcement officers and firefighters.

Hours earlier, the two stood in a Harris County courtroom awaiting his fate on an official oppression charge.

"I was happy. I don't know what else to say about it, happy," Blomberg told us.

The former HPD officer says, for two years, he has thought about the actions he took in a few seconds.

"This had nothing to do with race. It was a fleeing burglary suspect -- that's all he was," Blomberg said.

But the attorney for Holley, Benjamin Hall, doesn't agree, saying "The verdict exposes a shortcoming in our judicial system when an out-of-control police officer is permitted to escape criminal consequences for his actions."

And says he believes what happened in the courtroom on Wednesday does not rectify a wrong, adding "Justice is clearly not blind in Houston, Texas. She appears to wear a badge and blue uniform while peeping behind her blindfold."

The case began March 23, 2010 after then 15-year-old Holley burglarized a home and ran from police. When officers caught up with him video shows them beating Holley as he surrenders. About a year later, Eyewitness News was the first to make the video from a nearby surveillance camera public. Several officers were then reprimanded and four were criminally charged.

"The verdict rendered today in Harris County Court 174 declares to all African Americans and others that your life is no more valuable than that of an insect," said Bishop James Dixon with the Community of Faith Church.

Community leaders stood outside the NAACP on Wednesday afternoon calling for the justice department to get involved.

"Justice is not black and justice is not white. Justice has no color," Dixon said.

"The jury's verdict is not the last word on Blomberg's conduct toward Chad Holley!" Hall said.

Blomberg still faces a civil trial and says he still hopes to work in law enforcement someday, even though it will not be for HPD.

"That's all I've ever wanted to do is be a police officer. Unfortunately, I can't do it in the city of Houston anymore," he said.

Blomberg isn't done going to court. Holley has filed a civil lawsuit against him and three other officers. That case is expected to be heard later this year.

(Copyright ©2014 KTRK-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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