HOUSTON -- Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland has suspended an officer for beating a former University of Houston basketball star last Christmas eve.
But victim said the punishment, 20 days off, is not enough.
"That don't cut it with me at all," Michael Young said.
Young said he was shopping with his son for the new edition of Air Jordan basketball shoes when the incident occurred. He was making his way out of a crowded shoe store when out of nowhere, Young said, he was struck from behind with a nightstick.
“I mean a hard clunk,” Young said of the blow that ultimately sent him to the emergency room.
According to a disciplinary report obtained by the I-Team, Senior Officer Brenton Green did violate department rules on use of force. But Young called the 20-day suspension a “vacation” and said he was hoping HPD would have taken away Green’s badge.
"Let's look at it like this, if you flip the script, if I hit Officer Green with a deadly weapon, I would get 20 years,” Young said. “I wouldn't get 20 days, I would get 20 years."
The I-Team attempted to ask McClelland about the suspension he handed down, but an unidentified officer blocked our access after a recent promotions ceremony at the HPD Training Academy.
McClelland left through a back door, and was pulling away in an unmarked SUV before finally stopping to answer questions.
I-Team: “Why 20 days?”
Chief McClelland: "Any time I make a disciplinary decision, I look at the entire case, not only the facts of that particular incident, the officer's past history."
But the I-Team also looked at Officer Green's history, and as we reported in March, Green had shot an unarmed citizen, Steven Guidry, during a traffic stop early last year.
"He acted like Rambo, like a mad cop," Guidry said.
HPD’s Internal Affairs Division cleared Green of any wrongdoing in that incident, but Guidry has since filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Houston.
"Who's policing the police?" Guidry said.
Michael Young is asking the same thing.
"I just want to know how he's running his ship down there. I mean right is right, wrong is wrong," Young said.
I-Team: "What message are you sending the public that an officer can strike a man with a nightstick and keep his badge?
Chief McClelland: “Well Jeremy, you know you don't really know all the facts and I can't disclose what the internal affairs investigation revealed. But it's not just that he was strike by a nightstick, there was much more evidence and details that the internal affairs investigation gathered."
In Green’s disciplinary letter, it states the officer believed he observed Young being violent toward another citizen and that's why he tried to detain him. Young has always denied doing anything wrong and never was arrested during the incident.
“This demonstrates that the leadership of Houston condones officer misconduct and federal authorities need to take a close look at the Houston Police Department's history of citizen abuse,” said Young’s attorney Reginald McKamie.
Green’s attorney Chad Hoffman declined to comment given a Harris County grand jury is expected to hear the case next month for possible indictment.
In the meantime, Green remains on administrative status assigned to the property room, according to a Houston Police spokesperson.