CYPRESS, Texas — A young man who was caught at the center of a racially-charged case of alleged police brutality collected his high school diploma Thursday night.
Chad Holley said he hoped to turn a painful page at the commencement ceremony for Cy Falls High School .
“I’m just ready to graduate,” said Holley as he looked forward to the next step in his life.
When asked what he plans to do, he said, “going to college and finishing. I’m fixing to try and be a nurse.”
Holley also reflected on the incident that made him a household name two years ago. Houston police beat him as they attempted to arrest the then-16-year-old burglary suspect.
The incident was captured on surveillance video. Recently, an all- white jury returned a not-guilty verdict in the trial of the first officer accused in the case.
Holley said he believes they got it wrong.
“I’m just trying to stay strong and keep my head up. I’m not letting it drive me down or anything,” he said.
Holley credited his mother for supporting him in what has been a turbulent couple of years. And he admitted that he had made some mistakes, from his choice in friends, to his appearance in another video in which he flashed what appeared to be a gang sign.
“I’ve learned not to hang out with the wrong people. To keep a positive crowd—people who keep you motivated,” Holley said.
He said he hopes to carry that lesson with him during the next chapter of his life.