A video of a mob beating on the Temple University campus is stoking racial tensions after police released footage of a group of black teens appearing to target white students at random.
The attacks took place last week on the urban Philadelphia campus, with groups of teenagers attacking a number of people and even assaulting a university police officer and police horse. On Tuesday, police released video of the Temple University mob beatings, giving a glimpse into the brutal and unprovoked beatings.
As ABC News noted, what the video showed was disturbing.
“Black-and-white surveillance video, captured by a nearby pizza shop, showed the violence as it took place in North Philadelphia. A large group of youths appears to target people indiscriminately, crowding and punching them. The number of victims is unclear in the footage.”
“An onlooker, seen in the video, snapped cell phone pictures of the chaotic scene as a tide of bodies surround one particular victim, beating him or her in turns.”
The video of the Temple University mob beatings can be seen below, but be warned that it may contain some disturbing images.
Police arrested four teenagers after the series of attacks, though the Philadelphia Police Department noted that there were close to 20 “black juvenile males and females” who participated in the attacks.
There could be more video of the Temple University attacks. Police noted that one of the victims took cell phone video, which has since been collected as evidence.
Officials at Temple University noted that the attacks appear to have been planned online.
“The source of this gathering appears to be posts on social media that have been identified by police,” the university said in a statement. “For the next few hours, the juveniles split into several smaller groups, some of which committed assaults, and ran from police in various directions between Jefferson and Norris streets and between Broad and 17th streets. Four juveniles were arrested in connection with three assaults.”
Temple University has also responded to the mob attacks by beefing up security around campus and warning students not to walk alone at night.
It appears that there were no serious or life-threatening injuries in the Temple University attacks, though many were left with cuts and bruises. Christina Lauletta, a sophomore at Temple University, said she was kicked and punched to the ground. Her father, Joe Lauletta, told a Philadelphia Fox affiliate that his daughter was left with extensive injuries.
“Her head was stomped on. The whole side of her face, the back of her head was black and blue,” he said. “Her arms, her legs, her back, her ribs. She was on the ground. They were kicking her.”
Some believe that the Temple University mob beatings were racially motivated, and many have left angry comments calling on police to level hate crime charges against the teens arrested. Christina Lauletta’s father acknowledged the sentiment that there was a racial component to the attacks, but said he would not be commenting on it.
“Well, I haven’t been saying that because everybody is trying to get me to say it and I don’t know if I want to be that person,” Lauletta told the New York Post. “Everyone can draw their own conclusions.”
It is also unclear from the video released by Philadelphia police if the mob is exclusively attacking white students. It appears at one point as if the group surrounds a young black woman as well.
Police in Philadelphia are hoping that the release of the Temple University mob beating video can help lead to the arrest of other assailants. They have asked anyone with information about the attackers to contact police.
[Featured Image by Philadelphia Police Department]