On Wednesday, a video was released of a Black Memphis inmate Gershun Freeman being brutally beaten to death by a group of officers. The victim, identified as 33-year-old Gershun Freeman, can be seen in the video being punched and kicked repeatedly by the officers.
As a society, we have long struggled with issues of police brutality and systemic racism. Unfortunately, that struggle has once again come to the forefront in Memphis, where a group of officers was recently caught on camera brutally beating a Black inmate to death. The footage is horrifying and raises countless questions about the use of force by law enforcement officials.
This tragic incident occurred just one day after the decision was made to not indict the officers involved in the Breonna Taylor shooting. Once again, justice was not served and it sends a clear message that Black lives do not matter to law enforcement.
Gershun Freeman was a Black Memphis inmate who was beaten to death by a mob of officers. In the fall of 2022, Freeman was arrested after his girlfriend accused him of domestic violence and he was charged with domestic violence. The suspect has been taken into custody by the police and has been charged with aggravated assault and kidnapping. Afterward he was then restrained by officers and taken to an outdoor area, where he was repeatedly punched, kicked, and hit with a flashlight. One officer can be seen standing on Freeman’s chest while he is lying on the ground. The officers involved in the incident have not been charged.
In the United States, people of color have long been subjected to violence and discrimination at the hands of law enforcement. This history of racial injustice in law enforcement came to a head in 2020 with the high-profile killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other Black Americans by police officers. The resulting nationwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism put a spotlight on the long-standing problem of racial injustice in law enforcement.
Racial injustice in law enforcement is not a new phenomenon. In fact, it has its roots in the very origins of American policing. The first formal police force in the United States was established in 1838 in Boston, and it was modeled after British policing methods that were used to control slave rebellions in the West Indies. These methods were then adopted by southern slave patrols, which were created to catch escaped slaves and prevent slave uprisings.
When news of the incident broke, there was outrage among community members and bystanders. Many were shocked and appalled at the violence that was inflicted upon the inmate, and felt that it was unjustified. There were calls for the officers involved to be held accountable, and for justice to be served. The incident has also raised questions about the use of force by police officers and how it is often disproportionately used against people of color. This case is still ongoing, and the outcome will likely have a significant impact on the community.