HOUSTON - Reaction to the verdict in the trial of former Houston cop Andrew Blomberg was strong and swift in the black community Wednesday.
The six-member, all-white jury found Blomberg not guilty of official oppression in connection with the videotaped beating of teen burglar Chad Holley.
There was outrage in the hallway outside the courtroom.
"They just said to black people that the police can do whatever they want to do and get away with it," said activist Quanell X. "They just sent a message to all of us that our lives don’t mean a damn thing in Harris County."
"This good ol' boy network, ain't no justice coming out of here," said another activist.
As Blomberg left court with his attorney, a heckler followed shouting, "You’re guilty, man! You know you’re guilty!"
Inside Third Ward’s This Is It Soul Food restaurant, many in the lunch crowd were left with a sour taste in their mouths.
"This is not the first time this has happened. Police officers have been beating black young men and women and getting away with it. I know they get off and laugh about it. But it’s not right," said Jean Phillips. "There’s somebody else who sits high and looks low. They’re going to have to give an account."
"I really just think it’s sad," said Santina Vance. "It makes me feel as an African-American woman, an African-American, our life isn’t valued and no one will suffer any repercussions from it."
Most said they, to,o expected a not-guilty verdict, even with video evidence showing Blomberg kick Chad Holley during a police beating.
"No justice comes out of (the courthouse)," said Kofi Taharka, chairman of the National United Black Front. "The justice gonna come in the streets."
However, inside Third Ward’s Finest Barbershop, people shrugged it off with disappointment.
"We expected that," said Bruce Knighton. "We know the history of Houston. Instead of being held at a higher standard, they’re held to a lower standard and get away with it."
"For me personally, it’s just like if that happened to him, it can happen to any one of us," said Richard Wilson. "I just pray justice is there for me."
Quanell X said a protest rally will be held Thursday at 4 p.m. outside the courthouse.