HOUSTON—Three and a half decades after the Moody Park Riots rocked parts of east Houston, filmmakers showcased a movie marking the turbulent period in the city’s history.
The violent protests came about following the death of a Hispanic man at the hands of Houston police in May of 1977. The badly-beaten body of Joe Campos Torres, a Vietnam war vet who had been arrested by police for disorderly conduct, was found floating in the Buffalo Bayou.
The documentary entitled "The Case of Joe Campos Torres," runs roughly 35 minutes and tells the story of what happened.
"Not a day goes by when I don’t think of him," said Janie Torres, the victim’s sister, who was only 10-years-old when her brother was killed. "I’m reminded of it all the time. I’m reminded whenever there’s a story about it on the news."
Several of the officers involved were tried for murder. Two of them were later convicted for negligent homicide.
Carlos Calbillo produced the film, and said he hopes it reminds people of what happened so long ago. "It was a time when the Houston Police Department was dysfunctional," said Calbillo. "I was so mad that police could get away with such a thing."