Disciplinary letters reveal new details in Houston police chase, beating case
HOUSTON — Police officers kicked a 15-year-old boy while he was handcuffed and stomped on his head or neck during a March incident in which three burglary suspects were injured, according to disciplinary letters issued to the officers.
Seven Houston police officers were fired last month after a grand jury indicted four of them on criminal charges. Five other officers received two-day suspensions.
New details about the police chase leading to the arrests and the alleged beating emerged in disciplinary letters Chief Charles McClelland issued to a dozen officers.
The letters describe an unruly chase that began when four suspects were spotted leaving a home in southwestern Houston. More than a dozen officers were involved, and at least two police cars ran into each other as the chase ended, the letters say. One officer shocked himself with a stun gun.
Six different officers repeatedly kicked and hit the teen as he lay on the ground with his hands behind his head, according to the letters.
One officer, Raad Hassan, 40, told internal affairs investigators that he kicked the boy 15 times and hit him to get him to move his arm so he could be handcuffed, a disciplinary letter said. Hassan also told investigators he kicked the boy after he was in handcuffs, it said.
At one point, Hassan dropped his stun gun, which went off and shocked him, the letter said. Hassan was fired and faces charges of official oppression and violation of the civil rights of a prisoner.
Hassan’s defense attorney, Joe Owmby, said, “We will be contesting HPD’s hindsight version in court, as well as appealing Officer Hassan’s termination.”
Three other former officers are facing official oppression charges. Each officer could face up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine if convicted.
Lawyers for several of the officers said they are appealing their firings.
The teen has been charged with burglary of a habitation. The Associated Press does not name juveniles who have been accused of crimes.