WebRTC Solutions Industry News

TMCNet:  Houston mayor reacts to release of police beating video

[February 04, 2011]

Houston mayor reacts to release of police beating video

Feb 03, 2011 (Houston Chronicle - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Mayor Annise Parker reacted fiercely today to accusations that her administration or the Houston Police Department tried to keep the public from viewing footage showing a teen burglary suspect's beating by several officers.

The surveillance video, which aired publicly for the first time Wednesday night on KTRK-TV (Channel 13), shows Chad Holley, then 15, running away from police before he lays on the ground and clamps his hands behind his head.

Houston police officers appear to beat, kick and stomp the teen before and after he is handcuffed. Holley, then a sophomore at Elsik High School, was ultimately booked on a burglary charge and convicted by a Harris County jury. The tape was not shown at his trial.

In response to questions following a severe weather news conference this afternoon at Houston Transtar, Parker denied trying to conceal the footage from the public.

"We have never said that the public shouldn't see this video," the mayor said. "We simply said that we thought the most appropriate place that they see it the first time would be in a court of law when these officers are brought to justice. The frustration is that by the release of this video, it has the strong possibility of causing their trials to be moved out of Harris County, and we don't want to do anything to jeopardize the prosecution of these police officers." Parker said she also believes that the chance of the officers being held responsible for their actions diminishes if the trial is moved out of Harris County.

"The public absolutely has the right to know this information, and I resent any implication that we were trying to hide the tape," Parker said. "We did everything we were supposed to do when we received that tape. We investigated. We turned that investigation over to the district attorney. We have backed the district attorney and we fired the officers. We didn't believe that the jury pool down here should be tainted because we were afraid there would be an effort to move the trial away from Harris County." Wednesday night, Parker released a statement saying, in part, that whoever released the video should be prosecuted, but retracted that, saying that it's not up to her to say if someone should be charged. She issued the statement after watching the 10 o'clock news and finding out Quanell X acquired the footage as evidence in a separate court case.

Activist Quanell X acknowledged that he released the tape and was notified later by his attorney, Benjamin Hall, that he may be subject to a court order forbidding the release. The activist received a copy Wednesday in connection with a defamation lawsuit filed against him.

The airing comes months after local news organizations asked a federal judge to release the tape and the same day the teen's civil lawyer attempted to stop the footage from being "leaked" to the public.

In August, the Chronicle and four local television stations asked U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein Jr. to allow them to intervene in the federal case pending against two officers.

The media outlets opposed a protective order for the tape sought by Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos and others to keep Hall from giving the tape to journalists and prevent news organizations from airing the footage if obtained.

The news outlets argued that preventing journalists from airing the tape is a violation of the First Amendment, but Werlein ruled that the footage should not be released because the pretrial publication would likely prevent the HPD officers from receiving a fair trial.

Hall said he tried to get an injunction Wednesday evening to prevent the footage from being made public.

Eight officers were suspended without pay while HPD's Internal Affairs Division and the Harris County District Attorney's Office conducted separate investigations.

In June, four HPD officers were indicted on misdemeanor official suppression charges and fired: Andrew Blomberg, Phil Bryan, Raad Hassan and Drew Ryser. Bryan and Hassan also were charged with violation of the civil rights of a prisoner, also a misdemeanor.

Three other officers were fired without being charged: Sgt. John McClellan, Gaudencio Saucedo and Lewis Childress. Five additional officers received two-day suspensions: R.E. Abel III, K.W. Cockrill, M.J. Novak, R.J. Oppermann and I.M. Vaughn.

Parker emphasized that the city intends to take all steps to ensure the fired officers never return to HPD.

"We fired them," she said Thursday. "We intend for them to stay fired. Arbitrators in two of the three situations that have been arbitrated said that they need to return to the Houston Police Department. We are going to fight that every step of the way. They have not gotten heir jobs back and we intend not to allow them to have their jobs back." cindy.george@chron.com To see more of the Houston Chronicle, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.HoustonChronicle.com. Copyright (c) 2011, Houston Chronicle Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For more information about the content services offered by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services (MCT), visit www.mctinfoservices.com.

[ Back To WebRTC Solutions's Homepage ]

FOLLOW US

Featured Podcasts

Delivering First Class Communications With WebRTC

This webcast captures a recent discussion about WebRTC between Jim Donovan, Director of Product Management at Oracle and Larry Hettick, Editorial Director and Senior Research Fellow at Webtorials. The topics cover WebRTC reliability, interoperability, and security--looking at how Oracle addresses these issues.

Oracle in Enterprise Communications

Most in the industry have heard of the acquisition of Acme Packet by Oracle. What you may not know is that Oracle has a number of telecommunications products including a UC suite, WebRTC Session Controller, and Operations monitoring tools. Oracle is pursuing both the enterprise and service provider.

Featured Whitepapers

ConnectCare & Unified Contact Manager

SPAN's ConnectCare is a WebRTC-based telemedicine app, which allows consumers to easily and instantly avail clinical healthcare from the providers, regardless of their location. This app is extremely useful to healthcare providers, patients and their caregivers alike.

WebRTC Security Concerns

This whitepaper covers two of the most relevant topics in communications industry today: WebRTC and security. We will introduce the problem of security in WebRTC including those traditional VoIP attacks that are going to be present in WebRTC services. Later we will mention ad-hoc WebRTC attacks and protection mechanisms, to close with an overview of identity management solutions.

Migrating Real Time Communications Services to the Web

In the Internet age, businesses that own fixed and mobile communication networks, including traditional Communications Service Providers (CSPs) of all kinds, are being challenged with some tough questions: How do we stay relevant to our customers?

Delivering Enterprise-Class Communications with WebRTC

WebRTC is an emerging industry standard for enabling Web browsers with real-time communications capabilities. It enables enterprises to enhance Web sites, empower BYOD users, and improve video collaboration and on-line meetings, to name but a few examples.

WebRTC Report Extract Reprint

This document examines the growing important of WebRTC, both generally and for telecom service providers. It considers the expanding range of use-cases, the multiple layers of interoperability likely to be desired by telcos, and some implications in terms of network integration and mobility.

WEBRTC SOLUTIONS PAPERS, SLIDES, COLLATERAL

Robust Enterprise Grade WebRTC Systems and Services


The emerging WebRTC standard has become one of the industry's hottest topics – and with good reason. Being able to "communications enable the web" has Communications Service Providers as well as Enterprises busily making plans for deployment. But, as these plans unfold, reality is starting to intrude on those plans. Our expectations of telephony services are much higher than web browsing. We expect the phone to connect instantly, operate with minimal disruption, and work seamless across any network, anywhere, at any time. There is also an understanding that phone service is inherently secure. With WebRTC, the expectation is for these applications to behave in the same manner.

This session looks at the user experience and expectations of a WebRTC Enterprise service. It will also cover how a WebRTC enterprise handles security, reliability, and interoperability within browsers and networks.

ORACLE COMMUNICATIONS WEBRTC SESSION CONTROLLER

The Oracle Communications WebRTC Session Controller enables communications service providers (CSPs) and enterprises to offer WebRTC services – from virtually any device, across virtually any network – with carrier-grade reliability and security.

Sales Presentation: Oracle Communications WebRTC Session Controller

Agenda:
- WebRTC Market and Opportunities
- WebRTC Challenges
- Oracle Communication WebRTC Session   Controller
- Summary

ORACLE COMMUNICATIONS WEBRTC SESSION CONTROLLER SOLUTION

Communication Service Provider (CSP) voice service revenues continue to face pressure due to shifts in communication preferences and competition from non-traditional service providers. Voice communications are now often embedded into applications outside the domain of traditional telephony voice usage. CSPs have been challenged to effectively leverage and monetize new web-oriented communications technologies.