Indiana Daily Student

Black Voices: Police continue to bully in broad daylight

<p>Students and community members march in protest of law enforcement stationed inside schools June 16, 2020, in Los Angeles, California. In response to the video circulating around Twitter, many users voiced their frustrations about the police.</p><p></p>

Students and community members march in protest of law enforcement stationed inside schools June 16, 2020, in Los Angeles, California. In response to the video circulating around Twitter, many users voiced their frustrations about the police.

Editor’s Note: This story includes mention of violence.

In May 2020, as the video of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of police spread like disease, countless enraged Americans took to the streets to demand that things in this country change.

On Aug. 21, 2022, another video began to circulate on Twitter depicting three policemen savagely beating a suspect who is pinned to the sidewalk. One officer holds him down while the other two knee and punch him, smashing his head into the concrete.

In the video, one of the officers looks up from the beating and makes eye contact with the camera before shouting something unintelligible. The officer who was punching the suspect’s head into the ground looks up and points a finger toward the witness recording them. After that, the video ends.

The suspect being beaten is Randal Ray Worcester, a 27-year-old white man. He had allegedly threatened to cut off an employee’s face inside a convenience store the morning of his arrest.

On Twitter, the video has gone viral across multiple threads, with at least one of them gaining over 13 million views. Comments on the footage reveal the exhaustion people feel toward police corruption.

One Twitter user responded sarcastically to the video with “He’s getting served and protected.”

Another user brought up the suspect being white, implying his race will cause more people to side with him over the police.

The charges against Worcester are severe. According to a BBC article chronicling the subsequent suspension of the officers, police said Worcester became violent when confronted, pushing a deputy and punching him. He was arrested on charges of terroristic threatening, resisting arrest, criminal mischief, criminal trespass, battery, assault and possessing an instrument of crime.

Still, the sheer viciousness exhibited as Worcester struggles underneath the officers seems hardly justifiable and way outside the realm of acceptable use of force. It is violent and unnecessarily prolonged.

Police felt comfortable enough to behave this way in broad daylight, not unlike how Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost ten minutes despite there being witnesses. Considering this, how long might Worcester’s beating have continued if no one had been recording?

Would it have ended with another murder?

Alinase Mzumara, IU senior and member of the Black community on campus, cited the murder of Eric Garner as illustration of the lack of accountability within the police force, despite witnesses and even video evidence.

Garner, a 43 year old Black man known to illegally sell loose cigarettes, was killed in Staten Island, NYC on July 17, 2014 after a policemen put him in a fatal chokehold. A video recording of his death circulated quickly. Pinned to the ground, Garner repeated “I can’t breathe” several times before falling unconscious.

“The original ‘I can’t breath’ guy, Eric Garner, that was on video.” Mzumara said. “The dude jumped on his back and choked him to death. And then nothing happened.”

Indeed, Garner was killed over eight years ago. And it took five years for a judge to ultimately drop the charges against Daniel Panteleo, the officer who put on the chokehold. Meaning the officer was never held criminally responsible in a court of law.

Given the relatively minor allegations of crime that cause Black victims to be murdered without pause — Floyd with his counterfeit 20-dollar bill, Garner with his loose cigarettes — Worcester probably got off easy. But that only reiterates the racial disparity in how the police treat Black suspects — a fact well-established.

Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.

Powered by Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2022 Indiana Daily Student