Reports are everywhere about eight Houston police officers allegedly caught on tape beating a suspect. But the worst is no doubt yet to come, when the video eventually gets released.
Mayor Annise Parker tried to describe what's seen on the security-cam footage as calmly as possible to reporters yesterday, but anytime you have to say of your police force that they're alleged to have "handcuffed the suspect and then may have beaten that suspect while he was in custody and handcuffed," it's not good.
The allegation is that members of the Westside gang task force pursued a burglary suspect into a storage facility, where they cornered him and allegedly did what Parker describes. The eight officers have been suspended.
Quannel X has seen the tape; the city says it has handed it over to the DA's office. DA spokeswoman Donna Hawkins tells Hair Balls she can't confirm or deny that any investigation is going on, but everyone's pretty damn sure there is.
Bad enough....but what about when the tape comes out?
Is it Rodney King-esque? Or is it more murky and difficult to determine anything?
The incident happened at 4 p.m., so lighting shouldn't be a problem. Quannel X described the beating as "horrendous" and "horrific."
If all that is clearly shown on the video, it will go all over the world within seconds of it being released. Which will happen as part of a trial, or if Quannel X isn't happy with what the actions of the DA, the city and HPD.
Parker herself has not seen the tape, her spokeswoman tells Hair Balls. HPD chief Charles McClelland "has reviewed it," she said.
So brace yourself, Houston. At some point you may be getting yet another black eye in terms of world opinion. Not as bad as getting a beating while handcuffed and on the ground, to be sure, but not terrific either.