HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – The Houston teenager at the heart of a racially-fueled police brutality case that has caused a firestorm among community leaders graduated from high school.

Chad Holley graduated from Cy Falls High School on Thursday, amid the ongoing debate involving the not-guilty verdict stemming from the ugly incident of police brutality caught on tape when Holley was 16.

KHOU reports that Holley hopes that his graduation helps him move on from the ordeal. At the time of the arrest, Holley was a burglary suspect. Now, he’s a high-school graduate hoping to attend college and begin a career in nursing.

The verdict of not guilty against the first officer tried in the case has conjured up mixed reactions from the Houston community, specifically regarding the all-white jury that decided the case.

“I’m just trying to stay strong and keep my head up,” he told KHOU. “I’m not letting it drive me down or anything.”

Though Holley believes the jury got the verdict wrong in the case of the first officer on trial, he said he remains positive and has tried to better himself since that situation.

“I’ve learned not to hang out with the wrong people,” Holley told KHOU. “To keep a positive crowd—people who keep you motivated.”


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