The story of an El Paso family’s terrifying encounter with police shows just how treacherous it can be when we point our cameras at law enforcement. PAR speaks to members of the family, who were doing just that when cops decided to arrest them during a violent raid on their home. We dig deep into police records and examine video evidence that reveals how law enforcement can still retaliate when cameras are pointed at them.
Pre-Production/Studio: Stephen Janis
Post-Production: Dwayne Gladden
Taya Graham: Hello. My name is Taya Graham, and welcome to the Police Accountability Report. As I always make clear, this show has a single purpose: holding the politically powerful institution of policing accountable. And to do so, we don’t just focus on the bad behavior of individual cops. Instead, we examine the system that makes bad policing possible. And today we will achieve this goal by showing you this video depicting the arrest of an El Paso family whose crime was – Now wait for it – Trying to help a relative who had been attacked. But instead, they found themselves in the crosshairs of a raid of their own home instead.
But before we get started, I want you watching to know that if you have evidence of police misconduct, please email it to us privately at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please like, share, and comment on our videos. You know I read your comments, and although I might not always get to answer your comments, I really do read them and appreciate them. And of course you can always reach out to me directly @tayasbaltimore on Twitter or Facebook. And if you can, please hit the Patreon donate link pinned in the comments below, because we do have some extras there for our PAR family.
Now, usually on the show before I tell a story, I like to preface it with a short thesis. Meaning I will make an assertion about police power and then back it up with a specific example. In journalism we call this going from the general to the specific, or better yet, showing, not telling. But today, the story I’m going to tell you might just be too bizarre to stick to that format. It’s a tale of a family who tried to film police and ended up with their house being raided, not by one or two, but six El Paso, Texas, police. That’s right, a family who used their cell phone to exercise their constitutional rights, but instead found themselves arrested, brutalized, and facing serious charges.
As you will see in the video we are showing you now, a father and his high school-age daughter, who simply wanted to record a police encounter in a respectful and legal fashion, were looking at jail time. Which is why instead of using this case to make a larger point about policing, I will instead do something on this show I have never done before: appealing to you, our viewers, for help. Please help me share their story as much as possible to help protect this family.
But first, let me present the evidence. The encounter started after a relative of the family called for police after she was allegedly assaulted by her father. For her safety, the victim asked relatives to record her interactions with police, so Adzari and her sister, and a little later her father, Eddie, walked two blocks down from their home to the property, which, incidentally, Eddie owns, and started to record. Let’s watch.
[VIDEO CLIP BEGINS]
Speaker 1: I’m phoning because I was trying to get away from him so that he wouldn’t hit me. Because I knew, I felt like he was going to hit me. And he grabbed me from my ankle and that’s when he hit me. And I was kicking at him and I tried scratching his face, but I couldn’t –
[VIDEO CLIP ENDS]
Taya Graham: One of the officers on the scene seemed completely unfazed by the recording. However, another officer told the family that recording the police was illegal and a form of interference. Take a look.
[VIDEO CLIP BEGINS]
Adzari Holguin: I’m sorry, can I get your name and badge number?
Police Officer 1: You can stay right there. Can you put that away or I’m going to take it from [inaudible].
Adzari Holguin: D. Gonzalez and three… Whoa, whoa. You cannot do that. It’s all on my… You just grabbed my phone out of my hand and physically assaulted me.
Police Officer 1: I told you to stop recording because we’re doing an investigation [inaudible].
Adzari Holguin: Recording is within my full right. You cannot have to-
Police Officer 2: You can record, but just step back.
Adzari Holguin: Can I get your name and badge number please?
Police Officer 2: Yeah, I’ll get you right now.
Police Officer 1: You’re in my way.
Adzari Holguin: No, can I have my –
Police Officer 1: Back away.
Adzari Holguin: Can I have your name?
Police Officer 2: [inaudible].
Police Officer 1: [inaudible].
Adzari Holguin: E. Primera and 3226.
Police Officer 2: We’re not arresting any [inaudible].
Adzari Holguin: There’s no reason for her to touch me.
Police Officer 2: I’m telling you you can, but you can just step back, please.
Adzari Holguin: Okay. But there’s no reason for her to get physical with me.
Police Officer 1: [inaudible] for interference, I suggest you take off now. You want to be arrested for interference or take off? Your choice.
Adzari Holguin: Interference with what?
Police Officer 1: My investigation.
Adzari Holguin: Investigation of what?
Police Officer 1: Family violence.
Adzari Holguin: What am I doing? Why are you doing this? What am I doing?
Police Officer 1: Because we’re doing an investigation, ma’am, and I told you to please put your phone away because we’re investigating a domestic violence case.
Sayowan: You need to verbally tell us your name and your badge number.
Police Officer 1: Okay.
Adzari Holguin: You have to do that.
Police Officer 1: Do you want to go in for interference or can you leave please?
Adzari Holguin: Interference of what? For what? What am I –
Police Officer 1: Interference of our investigation.
Adzari Holguin: How am I interfering?
Sayowan: She called us here.
Police Officer 1: I’m going to give you one last chance.
Adzari Holguin: How am I interfering?
Police Officer 1: Do you want to be under arrest for interference or do you want to take off?
Adzari Holguin: There is no reason for you to arrest me.
Sayowan: She called us.
Police Officer 1: No, no, no, no. No, no, no.
Adzari Holguin: Why are you touching her? You cannot touch her.
Sayowan: Don’t you dare… I will not hit you, but do not touch me.
Police Officer 1: All right.
Sayowan: I will not hit you, but [inaudible].
Police Officer 1: I’m going to get you both for interference of [inaudible].
Eddie Holguin: [foreign language].
[VIDEO CLIP ENDS]
Taya Graham: Now, even though the interpretation of interference or the victim’s privacy is questioned in this instance because the interview was occurring in the public, in the outdoors, it’s what happened next that is the crux of this case. That’s because both Adzari and her father complied with the officer’s orders to stop filming and left the premises, as you can see here.
[VIDEO CLIP BEGINS]
Eddie Holguin: Get over here, get over here. What the hell is going on?
Adzari Holguin: She got mad at me for recording. I was just recording.
Eddie Holguin: No. You can’t get mad if she can’t do anything.
Sayowan: And she’s going to attack you again. She’s going to assault you again.
Eddie Holguin: You can’t do it.
Sayowan: She assaulted both of us.
Adzari Holguin: She assaulted me physically. She grabbed me. She grabbed my phone.
Sayowan: She grabbed me as well.
Police Officer 1: No, they’re both under arrest.
Eddie Holguin: Let’s go. [foreign language].
Police Officer 1: Sir, they’re both under arrest right now.
Eddie Holguin: Come on. Go.
Police Officer 1: So you want to get another charge for evading arrest?
Eddie Holguin: What did she do?
Police Officer 1: They’re interfering with my investigation.
Eddie Holguin: No, no, no. Nobody is interfering, that is ridiculous.
Sayowan: Terrible fucking people.
Adzari Holguin: I don’t have shoes on. [dogs barking]
Eddie Holguin: [inaudible].
Adzari Holguin: Come here. Get out of here, man. Get out of here. Get out of here.
Police Officer 1: They are both under arrest.
Adzari Holguin: Sayowan! Sayowan! Sayowan! Sayowan!
Eddie Holguin: Leave us alone. Leave us alone. Get the fuck out here. [inaudible]. Fucking for children. What’s wrong with you? What the fuck happened?
Adzari Holguin: They got mad at me for recording. I was just recording Judith’s statement.
[VIDEO CLIP ENDS]
Taya Graham: But roughly 45 minutes later, not one, not two, but six El Paso police showed up at their home in full gear. And these weren’t just a couple curious officers who wanted to interview the family about what they witnessed. No, this was a veritable tactical squad that raided the house, attacked, and then violently arrested both Adzari and Eddie. Watch. [pause while footage is played]
Unfortunately, the brutal arrest was just the beginning of the ordeal for the entire family. That’s because prosecutors still moved forward with the case. Adzari and her father were charged with seven different offenses. And to learn how this has affected them and what consequences they are facing, I will be joined by the family soon. But first, I want to talk to my reporting partner Stephen Janis, who’s been looking into the case and reaching out for comments. Stephen, thank you for joining me.
Stephen Janis: Taya, thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
Taya Graham: So first, as I discussed in the beginning of the show, the right to record police performing their duties in public is pretty much covered by the First Amendment. What does the law say in Texas?
Stephen Janis: Well, the law doesn’t say anything about it. It’s been controversial because they’re trying to legislate this on a local level, but generally speaking, the First Amendment and any federal law is the governing law in this case. So really, it’s not a question of whether or not it’s legal. It is legal. And even though some towns have tried to, as we’ve reported in the past in Texas, have tried to in some ways carve out exceptions for police, that’s happened in Oklahoma, really, it’s not constitutional to tell someone they can’t record a police officer performing his public duties.
Taya Graham: So the family left the scene. How are El Paso police explaining the need to raid their home?
Stephen Janis: Well, I sent El Paso police a very detailed email with many questions, among those, that question. I also sent them an email with the video, the cell phone video of the family leaving the scene. They said to me they could not open the link for security reasons, and said here’s a link to the IID complaint form if the family wants to fill it out, but they did not answer or address specifically. What they did say to me was read the affidavit, that’s the explanation. And if you read the affidavit, which I did, there’s no explanation, really.
There’s no explanation of why the cops felt they needed to follow the family all the way back to the home or conduct a raid. There’s a law called fresh pursuit which gives officers the right to break into a home or chase someone without a warrant. But usually that involves a felony or something serious like someone’s shooting someone. Not always, not always. And so I think it’s really, really lame that the police department can’t give me some explanation of why it was so important for officers to return 45 minutes later and do what they did to this family.
Taya Graham: So you’ve reached out to the prosecutor’s office. What are they saying about these charges?
Stephen Janis: Well, I sent them a very similar email just asking them why they’re proceeding this case, what’s the legal basis? They sent me an email back saying if you want to file a Freedom Of Information Act request, here’s the link. And I’m like, hey, guys, I’m asking you to justify this prosecution. So far they have not responded. I’m sure they’re giving me the same runaround they give me always, we don’t comment on cases that are pending. But I’m going to keep on it because I really want to know what the legal justification is and how this is legally sufficient. So I’m going to stay on it, and if I find anything out before the show, I will post it in the comments.
Taya Graham: Now, to get more details on the trauma experienced by the family and what they are doing to fight back, I’m joined by Adzari and Eddie. Thank you for joining me.
Adzari Holguin: Thank you so much for having us and listening to our story. It means the absolute world. You have no idea how much it means to us.
Taya Graham: So first, tell me why you went next door. There was a domestic violence incident with your neighbor, right?
Adzari Holguin: That day, on Sunday, my dad and me and my sister were going to go out to eat, and so my sister had taken a shower, my dad had just finished taking a shower, and I had just started to take my shower. And I had received a phone call from my cousin who lives two houses down. And at first I didn’t answer the call because I was in the middle of my shower, but as soon as she called back I knew something was going on, so I answered. And she told me on the phone, talking all frantically saying, Adzari, my dad just beat me up. He left and he’s going to come right back and he said don’t go anywhere because I’m going to come back and beat you some more. Please come over. I’m scared. I’m hurt. Just, please, I need you.
So as soon as I hung up on the phone, I yelled through the door of my restroom and I told my sister, Sayowan, Sayowan, Judith called, she’s in trouble. Matteo just beat her up, please. I need you guys to go down there. I need to change. Go. And so she called my dad and they went down there, and a few minutes after I had finished changing I went down there too.
Taya Graham: So you go next door to help. Why did you start recording with your cell phone?
Adzari Holguin: My cousin and I and my sister, we had gone into the room so my cousin can put on her shoes, and while we were in the room, she had asked me, Adzari, I need you to record the police and everything that’s going on because my mom’s not here, my sister’s not here, and I forget things, especially when I’m in a panicked state. I need you to record what’s going on so I can have memory of it so I can go back and I can show my mom what went down.
Taya Graham: So see, one of these officers suddenly becomes very aggressive. What did the officer do?
Adzari Holguin: So I had actually been recording for five minutes prior to her even noticing that I was recording, and she walked in front of me in between me and the other officer, went around me and then saw that I was recording. And after she had noticed, she said, ma’am, this is an investigation. Unless you want your phone taken away, I need you to stop recording. And so I turned around and I looked at her and I said, may I have your name and badge number? That was the first thing I thought of because I was living at that house. Although I was sleeping over two houses down, that was still my residence and it was private property, and she has absolutely no right to tell me anything on private property that I lived in.
Taya Graham: I noticed one officer said that it was okay to record, but just to stand a few feet back, which you did. Yet the other female officer gave contradictory commands. What were you thinking when that happened?
Adzari Holguin: I was upset. I was confused. Why is it that, yes, you know the law and you know I’m allowed to record, but why are you allowing her to continue to assault me and give me unlawful commands?
Eddie Holguin: The reason is if you saw the officer that told her to step back, I think he was still on probation, that’s what I think. And the other one, if you look at the female, she’s got a gang sign on her mask. She’s got that mask with that blue line, and I don’t think that it’s legal for them to be wearing that when they’re working for we the people. Doing it with a gang sign on her face, I get so mad at these cops that walk around with gang signs. I believe that that is illegal. And they raise their hand to the Constitution, and there is a flag code that says that you can’t do that, but the code is not enforced because we are a free people. But when you’re working for us, you’re not free right now. Right now, you’re working for us, and you go by policies. I go by laws.
Taya Graham: I thought I had heard one of the officers say that you should leave the scene or be arrested. Is that correct?
Adzari Holguin: Yeah. She had two contradictory statements saying, if you don’t put your phone away, I’ll take it away. And then she changed it to, if you don’t stop recording, or if you don’t stop or, I’m sorry –
Eddie Holguin: Or leave.
Adzari Holguin: If you don’t leave, I’m going to arrest you. And so we did. My dad called for Sayowan, because of course I was living there. His main priority was Sayowan.
Eddie Holguin: When she said to go home, well, I’m going to call my daughter to go home because Adzari was living there at that residence, so how am I going to tell her, go home? She’s already home. And it doesn’t make sense to me to make both of them go. But they both came to my house because I’m really scared of gang members and people with gang signs. Those people terrify me.
Adzari Holguin: I wasn’t about to run towards the cops’ direction.
Taya Graham: So once you were in your home, on your property, the officers continued to harass you. What did they do?
Adzari Holguin: They were playing tug of war at the door with my dad and Sayowan. I had reached the inside to where the door is, I had made it inside, but they got a hold of Sayowan and they got a hold of my dad and they were pulling them and pulling, trying to get them out. And at that moment, I froze for a moment, and the only thing that could come out of my mouth was, Sayowan, Sayowan, because I saw her hand slipping from the doorframe, and that freaked me out the most. And so at that moment when I saw her hand slipping, I grabbed it and I pulled her in. You can kind of see it in the video but not really. And after I pulled her in, I wrapped my arm around my dad’s waist and pulled him in too, and he was holding onto the doorknob, so that’s how he got it closed.
Taya Graham: It seems that at least six officers returned to your home to arrest you. What did they tell you you were being arrested for? And how did it feel when they put you in handcuffs?
Eddie Holguin: Well, when they got there, I was so mad. I told them, okay, we’re not going to go eat anymore. You’re going to go outside and start raking them leaves. I said, next time, I don’t want you near those police officers. I don’t want you near them. Those people are nothing but trouble and problems. Just stay away. When I went at the beginning I even told them, I’m leaving, because me and those people, we don’t get along, but I think you girls will be right because you’re children. How wrong I was.
When they did come to the side, we were all outside in the backyard. And I have a fish pond, so I was starting to clean the fish pond while they were raking. And then when I turned around and I got all of these police officers at my gate, and the first thing I told them, they told me that we want to talk to you. I asked them, do you have a warrant? And I told them, if you don’t have a warrant, get the fuck out of my house. I don’t want you, get the fuck out of here. And I kept yelling at them. And then my daughter Sayowan yelled at me back in the back. She yelled at me, says, Dad, and I turned around. I thought maybe they had some more of them behind my house, because there’s a ditch behind my house, I thought maybe they had gone through the back too.
So when I turned around to look – But I have a bad leg anyway so I don’t move very fast – So when I turned and I looked at Sayowan and I was about to turn back when I felt they kicked me right in the back. They kicked me in the back, I fell to the front, and then they just started beating the hell out of me saying, stop resisting, stop resisting. I’m 63 years old, I weigh 150 pounds, and I got six cops on top of me beating me up telling me not to resist, and none of them were over 30 years old. None of them. 20-some-year-old kids beating the hell out of a 63-year-old man. I think they feel very proud of themselves.
And then they went and grabbed Adzari, but I was over here on the other side, so I couldn’t see what happened.
Adzari Holguin: You didn’t tell them about Mona.
Eddie Holguin: Oh, and then my dog, I have a Blue Heeler named Mona.
Adzari Holguin: She’s a service animal.
Eddie Holguin: She’s a service dog. She took two cops off of me. She grabbed one by the pants and pulled him off and then jumped on the other one on the back and pulled him off, and then one of them pulled a gun and was going to shoot my dog. And I told Mona, run, Mona. Get out of here. Hide, go. But she’s a Blue Heeler. If these cops had half a brain that my dog has, they wouldn’t have tried to shoot her, but she ran and she hid and they couldn’t find her.
Adzari Holguin: So at first I was hiding behind the trees because I was a little bit scared to come out. But as soon as I started hearing him scream and yell, it sounded so painful, I had to run out. And I ran out and yelled for him and I tried going towards him, but as soon as I tried turning to go towards him, I noticed that there were two more officers headed for my back door. And when I saw them, one of them had already had his hand on the doorknob and I yelled out at them and I was like, hey, you can’t… And as soon as I yelled out that, three of them came and stormed me and they attacked me.
I had my hands up like this and I was walking back because I was so scared they were going to get me. I felt so cornered, I didn’t know what to do. And they grabbed me and they were moving me side to side, and then one of them, I think she was on my right, she leg sweeped me and I fell to the ground. And I had three cops on top of me, a male on my left, a woman on my right and another one on top of my back. And I tried yelling out, I can’t breathe. I can’t… And then as soon as I tried yelling that out, I turned to go see the door and the female cop that was on my right, she put her hand through my scalp, lifted my head, and slammed it into the dirt so I couldn’t see them enter our home.
Taya Graham: So you were charged with seven different offenses. What were you charged with?
Eddie Holguin: It was seven charges in total. I received three charges. I was charged with obstructing police duties, evading arrest, and resisting arrest. And my father was charged with obstruction of police duties and resisting arrest.
Taya Graham: Now this has had an emotional and financial toll on your family. I know you had to pay for lawyers, I’m sure that there were associated court costs and fees. How has this affected your family?
Eddie Holguin: I was having the house fixed, and I had gotten some money from the insurance to get it fixed from my home insurance. And that Sunday at 1:00 to 2:00, the contractor was supposed to come and pick up $5,000 to get ready for Monday, to go get the material and keep working on my house. Well, we only have cameras in the front of the house, and only my daughter was recording the cops, but I don’t have cameras inside my house or in the backyard because that’s where we live in here and we hang out in the backyard. So I don’t have cameras back there but what for? And then we got a gate and our fence. But when I got back, when we got back home, about 7:00, 8:00 in the morning the next day, my money was gone and my neighbor saw them coming into my house.
That’s when Adzari, when they had her on the… When she saw the cop grabbing the door handle to come into my house, that’s when they grabbed her hair and banged it on the ground so she wouldn’t see who’s coming in my house. And then they turned off my cameras inside my house, thinking that the brain was there. But see, I’m an electrician, I work with wires. The brain is not out here, the brain is hidden away in a closet, so you’re not going to find it unless you know where it’s at. But I didn’t put it out here, I put it in the closet where it’s locked. You can’t get in there. Only I got the key to the closet. Nobody else had no business in my house.
Adzari Holguin: One way it did affect me in a very long term emotional way was that ever since they came over to the house and they trespassed, I’ve had these really bad nightmares where it starts off where I’m in the den watching TV with my dad and I go to get ready for bed. And while I’m getting ready in the restroom, I can hear Tequila barking nonstop. Tequila is my red and blue heeler, and we only got him after the whole incident. And I can hear him barking, and I’m wondering, what is he barking at? Why is he barking so much? And as soon as I go into the den, I see a whole bunch of cops knocking through the windows and banging through the doors, and the first thing they do is take away my dad. And I get so scared because I can’t lose my dad. He means the world to me.
And I wake up screaming and crying and I look at the cameras as soon as I wake up, and I go check on my dad to make sure he’s there because I’m so scared they’re going to take him and I’m scared they’re going to hurt him.
Taya Graham: Adzari, I know that was really difficult to share, but thank you for sharing it with me.
Eddie Holguin: How can a cop be a cop when they only have four months of training? You know, it took me 12 years to get my license to be an electrician. Somebody that cuts hair takes two years to get a cosmetology license. But to carry a gun, a badge, and destroy people’s lives, four months? Children walking around with guns. There’s something wrong with this picture.
Taya Graham: Okay. As I mentioned at the beginning of the show, I wanted to simply let this case speak for itself. That is, show you the facts of the case and let you draw your own conclusions about what it means. You, like me, witnessed an intelligent young girl thrown to the ground by police because she asserted her rights. You saw a father trying to keep his family safe and found himself assaulted and jailed for doing so. And now, the future of this girl is in jeopardy. College, job, or potential scholarships are all in peril because she went to the aid of a family member and now has multiple charges on her record. But there is more here than the trauma of just one family. But of course, as we can see from the general response from law enforcement, there is an imperative underlying this case that I just cannot ignore, a truism about policing that needs to be discussed so that we can have a better understanding of what we just watched.
To do so, I want to talk about the case of Chicago detective Tom Sherry. Sherry was in the news lately, not due to any current misdeeds, but rather some alleged criminal behavior he was accused of committing roughly 16 years ago. Back in 2006, Sherry was stripped of his police powers due to his involvement in one of the biggest scandals in the history of the Chicago Police Department. It involved the agency’s Special Operations Unit, a group of so-called elite officers who were accused of kidnapping and robbing drug dealers. Multiple members of this infamous unit were convicted of crimes, but Sherry was not. In fact, although he was stripped of his police powers due to suspicion he was actively involved in the scandal, Sherry has remained on desk duty ever since. Meaning he’s been pushing paper for nearly two decades, all the while, I might add, collecting his $87,000 salary courtesy of the Chicago taxpayers.
I’m not kidding. 16 years not being a cop as the department tries to determine whether or not he’s a crooked cop. You heard me correctly. After working in a unit that was kidnapping and robbing drug dealers, it’s taken authorities in Chicago 16 years to figure out if Sherry is worthy of a badge. Meanwhile, he has collected $1.3 million in salary while sitting at a desk. What his case reveals is why police officers often feel so empowered to do what at times seems irrational. I mean, if you can be a part of a unit that commits crimes on a regular basis and still get paid, then why worry about transgressions like what we witnessed in El Paso? If it takes your employer 16 years to investigate your culpability in a serious conspiracy to violate your oath, then you can understand why some police officers often behave irrationally.
But there is something even deeper going on here, something intangible that involves more than just a bad cop who is only now facing discipline. I thought about it when I was talking to Stephen about a book totally unrelated to policing. It’s called The Man Who Broke Capitalism. The book details the rise of what many called the CEO of the century: Jack Welch. Welch headed the well known industrial company GE, or General Electric, for nearly two decades. During that time, the company allegedly became one of the most valuable firms in the world. Welch himself became nearly a billionaire. But the story was different for workers.
GE slashed the workforce across the country, destroying communities who depended on the company for employment. Welch sent jobs overseas and cut back on research and development. And for years, it worked. GE had one great quarter after another… For shareholders. That is, until they didn’t, because it turns out that all the rosy earnings and bloated stock prices were the result of financial engineering.
As the book recounts, Welch used clever accounting and financial tricks to make the books look better. The truth was GE wasn’t growing, it was simply using sophisticated accounting to make it look like it was. Of course, all this came home to roost when the company almost went bankrupt during the great recession. In fact, the company has never recovered from Welch’s mismanagement, and is now being broken up into parts as it continues to falter and its stock price sinks.
So now you’re probably asking, why would I bring this up in a show about cops? What does a high flying CEO and bad policing have in common? Well, lots, if you think about it, because one of the ways Welch made his bones on Wall Street was through layoffs. That is, cutting staff whenever and wherever he could. Welch and the other Wall Street giants justified these cuts by arguing workers were lazy, unable to compete, or just downright useless. In fact, the rhetoric that has been deployed by the so-called wolves of Wall Street about the American working class is probably worse than has been used against some of our most dangerous enemies. If you look through the history, Welch and his disciples practically made it American capitalist scripture that workers were entitled, deadweight, and not worthy of anything other than a pink slip.
So again, I’m sure you’re asking the question now, Taya, what the heck does a failed CEO have to do with accountability? Why are you telling me the story of corporate failure in a show about policing? Well, it’s kind of simple. If you think about it, despite the fact that GE is tattered and American workers’ pay has not risen in decades, Welch still exists in the mind of corporate America as the literal king. While tens of thousands of families’ lives were destroyed by his ruthless disregard for the working class, Welch is still lionized as the best manager of the century. Meanwhile, we have a cop who still gets a hefty paycheck even though 16 years ago he was accused of working in a unit that was deemed not just corrupt, but criminal. For 16 years he was able to collect a full salary with benefits, accruing his pension and all the other perks, all while people who suffered because of his malfeasance had been hung out to dry.
My point here is while a cop doesn’t make as much as a CEO, the two professions are similarly insulated from the havoc they create. A bad cop and a bad CEO often skirt accountability and go on to be lionized because they both dwell in the same sphere of inequality that divides and conquers us on a daily basis.
Both, in many respects, work in tandem. CEOs say workers are expendable; some cops act as if we are. CEOs take away our livelihoods; cops take away our freedom, and both are rewarded handsomely for it. CEOs become unimaginably rich; Cops get pricey pensions that allow them to retire in style, unlike the rest of us. CEOs like Jack Welch are deified as gods of business while cops are constantly branded as heroes we’re either for or against.
Now, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t heroic cops and this doesn’t mean there aren’t a few good CEOs, but what I’m trying to point out here is that, unlike us, they often don’t have to answer for their crimes. Unlike average citizens like ourselves, they aren’t held accountable when they screw up, and this is the point I’m trying to make. Until we change the system, until we create a world where all of us are held to the same standard, the bad CEOs and bad cops will continue to proliferate. Until both law enforcement and corporate management know they cannot get away with crimes against humanity, then all of humanity will suffer. That’s why it’s important to watch what they do, and that’s what we will continue to do in this show.
I said before I wanted to let this case speak for itself. You, like me, witnessed an intelligent young girl thrown to the ground by police because she asserted her rights. You saw a father trying to keep his family safe by taking them home, and found himself assaulted and jailed for doing so. And now the future of this girl is in jeopardy. College, potential scholarships, or a job are all in peril because she went to the aid of a family member and now has multiple charges on her record. I’m asking you to help me protect Eddie Holguin and his daughter Adzari from any possibility of harassment or intimidation. We really need you to share this video far and wide, and let the El Paso police know that the public cares about what happens to this family and that we are watching them closely.
We need for their story to be known so these charges on their records don’t continue to negatively impact their futures. El Paso, Texas, is the largest police department in Texas without body cameras, so I urge folks in Texas to reach out to their representatives to request them. And if there are any members of the Texas legal community or a civil rights attorney who might want to take on this case and help the family, please reach out to me at email@example.com, and I can connect you with Eddie and Adzari.
I want to thank Eddie and Adzari for speaking with me and sharing their experience with us. Thank you both for coming forward. And of course I want to thank intrepid reporter Stephen Janis for his writing, research, and editing on this piece. Thank you, Stephen.
Stephen Janis: Taya, thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
Taya Graham: And I want to thank mods of the show Noli Dee and Lacey R for their support. Thank you. And a very special thanks to our Patreons. We appreciate you, and I look forward to thanking each and every one of you personally in our next live stream.
And I want you watching to know that if you have evidence of police misconduct or brutality, please share it with us and we might be able to investigate for you. Please reach out to us. You can email us tips privately at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your evidence of police misconduct. You can also message us at Police Accountability Report on Facebook or Instagram, or @eyesonpolice on Twitter. And of course, you can always message me directly at @tayasbaltimore on Twitter or Facebook.
And please like and comment. I do read your comments and I appreciate them. And we do have a Patreon link pinned in the comments below, so if you feel inspired to donate, please do. We don’t run ads or take corporate dollars so anything you can spare is truly appreciated. My name is Taya Graham, and I’m your host of the Police Accountability Report. Please be safe out there.