Are These Recent Viral Videos Showing Police Brutality in the US?

A disturbing video is making rounds on social media shows an officer subduing and punching a young boy repeatedly.

The video starts by showing the officer on his knee near the boy’s chest while trying to detain him. He then slams his neck to the ground and launches several punches to the young boy’s face. The boy can be seen trying to block the punches but the officer manages to turn him over and place his hands behind his back.

The video has been making rounds on WhatsApp recently and has also been shared by blogs on April 29th and 30th, 2020. See posts here and here respectively.

Another video shows an unarmed man and woman with their hands up being subdued by officers. One officer uses a taser as the other releases a dog, which bites the leg of the man as he is being handcuffed, leaving him bleeding.

Background

Since he was killed on May 25, thousands of protests and memorials have been organized to fight for justice and honour George Floyd. The video showing Floyd’s death at the hands of white police officers in Minneapolis sparked outrage across the United States and around the world.

There has also been a surge in video clips being shared showing police brutality supported by hashtags such as #PoliceBrutality and #BlackLivesMattter. Most of these videos are being circulated especially on WhatsApp with no clear timelines, which can be confused as being part of the Floyd protests.

Verification

A separation of the keyframes using InVID, a video verification tool, followed by reverse searches of the videos shows that both incidents took place in the month of April 2020.

According to various media reports, the officer beating the young boy in the first video is from Rancho Cordova, a city of East Sacramento, California. The boy, who is only 14 years old, was cited for possession of a tobacco product. A Twitter user identifying themselves as the boy’s sister posted the video on Twitter on April 28, pleading for justice.

California Senator, Kamala Harris referred to the incident as a ‘horrific abuse of power’, calling for the officer to be held accountable. Julian Castro, a former presidential candidate and secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, called it “sickening” and calling for action in the case.

According to local reports the man from the second video, who has since been identified as Jason Anglero-Wyrick, 35, was from Graton, Sonoma County in Northern California. He was arrested on the April 4, for apparently violating his parole and resisting arrest after a confrontation with Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies.

Verdict

The timelines of these viral videos showing police brutality in the US are indeed recent.

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Peris Gachahi

Peris Gachahi is a reporter at Africa Uncensored.She is passionate about human interest stories told through in-depth documentaries, data stories and digital storytelling.