Moral Low Ground

Civil Liberties

Video: Alabama Cops Brutally Beat Surrendering Black Man

The Birmingham, Alabama police department has placed two of its officers on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into the brutal beating of a black man that was caught on video.

According to Reuters, the assault occurred on March 20 outside a nightclub after undercover officers saw 29-year-old Travarious Daniel, who worked at the club as a security guard, take the keys of a parked car, remove a GPS, a computer and cartons of cigarettes, and place the items in his own car.

A surveillance camera caught three white police officers jumping Daniel as he stood surrendering, hands raised in the air. The officers pummeled him, knocking him to the ground where they continued to beat him. Other officers joined in, including a black officer who handcuffed Daniel. Another black officer is seen standing by, watching.

Daniel’s attorney, Charles Salvagio, said that when his client came to his office, “he looked like he had two heads, it was so swollen.”

Birmingham mayor William Bell has called for more training on the appropriate use of force. “The mayor is disturbed by what he has seen of the video,” said Erskine “Chuck” Faush Jr, Bell’s chief of staff. He has called for a full investigation to determine if the beating was racially motivated. “Right now I don’t know that’s it was an issue of race,” Bell told Fox 6 News. “It looks bad that all the officers are white and the suspect is black, but there was also a black officer standing by who did not participate. I can’t say it’s a black-white thing. Until I get all the facts, I don’t want to characterize it as one thing or the other,” he said.

Birmingham has a history marred by racial violence by white police officers against black residents. Shocking images of police brutality committed during the tenure of racist police chief Bull Connor helped turn the tide of white American opinion during the heady days of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. More recently, a jury cleared two Birmingham police officers of brutality charges in connection with the beating of a black man following a high-speed car chase. One of the officers involved was black; five BPD officers were fired but are now trying to get their jobs back.


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  1. chum leeApril 1, 2011 at 10:40 pmReply

    hopefully they killed him,

  2. fredApril 3, 2011 at 3:26 pmReply

    What the soundless video didn’t show was how the cops yelled “Get on the ground!” several times, which he wouldn’t do. He probably had his hands raised as a ruse, hoping they’d let down their guard so he could turn and run. Had he REALLY wanted to surrender, he would have gotten on the ground as they’d demanded.

    Also, thousands of whites are beaten by mobs of blacks every year and it never makes it to sites like this. Guess the people on this site don’t consider that moral low ground.

  3. PeteJuly 27, 2011 at 6:01 amReply

    @ fred & chum lee You two are total idiots. Fred show me one case where a white person is mob & beat down by blacks. As far as him being told to get on the ground he was on the damn ground. I guess maybe your mind is so far gone from hatred toward black people you can’t see the true even if it’s on video. As for Lee, I hope I run into you someday so I can put m y foot so far up your “I Hope They Killed Him” ass. How would you like if someone tried to kill one of your family members?

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