(CBS/AP) Leaders in Houston's black community are calling a video that appears to show four former city police officers kicking and stomping a black teenage burglary suspect "appalling" and "outrageous."
But prosecutors and Houston Mayor Annise Parker criticized community activist Quanell X Thursday for releasing the video to Houston television station KTRK, which aired it Wednesday evening, claiming it could jeopardize the cases against the officers.
"This never, ever should have been kept from the people," said Quanell X. "What's on that tape, the world will get a chance to see now how they truly behave in public with young black men."
The video appears to show the officers kicking, punching and stomping on then 15-year-old Chad Holley during his arrest last March at a self-storage business in southwest Houston. In the video, Holley is on the ground and is surrounded by at least five officers. He appears to be kicked in the head, abdomen and legs by the officers, even after he has been placed in handcuffs.
Holley, now 16, was convicted in October in juvenile court of burglary and put on probation.
Quanell X released the video despite a court order by a federal judge in October that had barred its release before the officers' trials.
"The city of Houston did everything right when we found out about this horrific incident," said Houston Mayor Annise Parker. "I resent any implication that we were trying to hide the tape. We did everything we were supposed to do when we received that tape. We turned that investigation over to the District Attorney's Office, we have backed the District Attorney and we fired the officers."
Andrew Blomberg, 28; Phillip Bryan, 45; Raad Hassan, 40; and Drew Ryser, 30, were fired and are set to be tried on official oppression charges later this year. Hassan and Bryan were also charged with violation of the civil rights of a prisoner. If convicted, each officer faces up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
Three others, one sergeant and two officers, were also fired. The sergeant chose to retire and the two others had their firings overturned in arbitration. The city is appealing those decisions.
"They have not regained their jobs. We are doing everything we can to get them to stay fired," said Houston police spokesman Victor Senties.