A 33-year-old Marion County, Florida, deputy, Jesse Terrell, was indicted on Tuesday of “depriving a man of his civil rights” over the August, 2014, beating of Derrick Price, a black man who surrendered by laying face down on the ground with his arms spread, only to receive punches, kicks, and knees, described as “cowardly” by the Free Thought Project.
Four of the other officers shown in the video, Trevor Fitzgerald, Adam Crawford, James Amideo, and Cody Hoppel were reported to have plead guilty to the same offense, though none have been sentenced.
Marion County Sheriff Chris Blair stated that the beating of Derrick Price at the hands of Terrell and the other four officers was not race related, as reported by Reuters.
“These are individuals making poor decisions,” Blair was quoted, stating that there was no trend in violence toward black citizens on the part of white police officers. “The abusive and unprofessional actions they displayed shocked me to my core, and there was absolutely no hesitation for me to immediately inform the Florida Department of Law Enforcement of their actions, to immediately suspend those former deputies without pay and, ultimately, to request their resignation and/or termination.”
In the video, which was released this week by the Fifth Judicial Circuit state attorney and includes two views of the beating, Price can be seen running away from police, who are following him in a vehicle. Appearing to realize that he is not going to get away, Price holds his hands above his head, and then lies on the ground, over a parking curb, with his hands outstretched on the ground.
The first police officer that reaches Price appears to take his hands and begin to handcuff him. Other officers then begin to kick, punch, and knee Price as he lies on the ground. The fate of the fifth officer in the video, who did not participate in the beating but who allowed it to occur, is still unknown.
Jessee Terrell is reported to continue to profess his innocence, despite the existence of the video and the guilty pleas by the other officers.
“Jesse is not guilty. He is not guilty of anything,” Charles Holloman, Terrell’s attorney, was quoted, without providing further explanation. If he is convicted, the former Marion County deputy may face up to ten years in jail.
The police with the Marion County Sheriff’s office had served a drug warrant on Terrell, which resulted in him running from them. The mayor of Ocala, Florida, Kent Guinn, reportedly explained that police are specifically trained not to behave as officers seen in the video did, according to WUHF.
The release of the Derrick Price beating video comes amid what has been perceived as an uptick of violence against black people on the part of white police officers and the beginning of the Black Lives Matter movement, as reported by the Inquisitr. Other black people to lose their lives at the hands of police violence in recent years include Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Laquan McDonald, and Tamir Rice.
Matt Agorist, a “veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA” with the Free Thought Project, described the Derrick Price beating as being “Rodney King-style.”
The 1991 beating of Rodney King was one of the first to be captured on video. The acquittal of the white police officers, by a mostly white jury, sparked riots in Los Angeles that resulted in the deaths of 50 people, 9,500 arrests, and more than $1 billion in damages, according to Biography.
“People, I just want to say, can’t we all get along? Can’t we all get along?” King could be seen pleading to Los Angeles residents for peace on the third day of the 1992 riots. The then 47-year-old was reported to have been found dead in his swimming pool in 2012, the victim of an apparent heart attack.
[Image via WUFT/YouTube]