This week, Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland Jr. testified that when he saw a 2010 video of police beating a black teen burglary suspect, he became sick to his stomach.
Fired officer Drew Ryser, one of four police officers indicted in the beating, is on trial for a misdemeanor charge of official oppression.
"It made me sick to my stomach because it was an egregious use of force and the men and women of the Houston Police Department are better than that ... they did not deserve that type of black eye," McClelland told special prosecutor, Jonathan Munier.
McClelland told the jury that Ryser, 32, mistreated the teen and failed to follow proper procedure.
Ryser allegedly kneed, kicked and pushed Chad Holley’s head. Holley was 15 years old at the time.
Surveillance footage captured the March 2010 beating. Officers attempted to stop Holley by driving a police cruiser at him. Holley then fell to the ground and several officers descended upon him, kicking and striking him. They continued to beat Holley as he laid on his stomach with his arms behind his back in handcuffs.
McClelland said the video proves there was "no active resistance and the force that was being used against him was excessive and unnecessary."
Seven police officers were fired after the incident and four were charged with misdemeanors. Two former officers took plea agreements and another was acquitted after a trial. Ryser refused a plea deal that would have given him probation and an automatic 10-year suspension of his license.
His attorney, Carson Joachim, said Ryser followed procedure.
"They were apprehending a felony suspect who they believed to be possibly armed, and while taking him into custody, they're trained to use a modicum level of force to effectuate the arrest, and that's exactly what he did."
If convicted, Ryser faces up to one year in prison and a $4,000 fine.
"The public always has an interest in the integrity of their police officers, the public always has an interest in the police not using excessive violence or force or mistreating prisoners," Munier said. "It's that simple. This is the only check and balance on the system."
Holley will be present at Ryser’s trial. He is currently serving a six-month jail sentence for 2012 felony burglary charge.