US Marshals allegedly hit a handcuffed Black man in the face during a recent arrest in Mississippi, sending him tumbling to the ground in pain, according to a video of the incident that is going viral.
In the clip, which was first shared with news station WLBT from a witness’ Ring home security camera, a shirtless Black man can be seen being led outside in handcuffs, where a ground of heavily armed Marshals, who appear to be white, stand in waiting.
One Marshall then reaches over and hits the man in the face, and he cries out in pain, appearing to say, “Oh my God, what did you do to my face?”
The Marshalls Service, which handles interstate law enforcement matters, fugitives, and other issues, issued a statement to the station.
“The US Marshals Service is aware of an incident that occurred this morning involving members of our multi-agency Gulf Coast Regional Task Force (GCRTF) in Mississippi,” it read. “We take any allegation of misconduct by our personnel or task force partners seriously and we are currently gathering information regarding the incident.”
The name of the individuals recorded in the video, and the reason for the arrest, have not been disclosed. The Independent has reached out for more information.
Video of the incident has been shared on social media, quickly notching nearly 40,000 views.
“They drug them, they hit them, and they was handcuffed through this whole ordeal,” a witness, who asked to remain anonymous, told WLBT. “The way that they came in and how they did them...it’s like they already got on their mind like, ‘they did this; you’re guilty of this.’”
The alleged beating is the latest high-profile incident involving the US Marshals allegedly abusing a Black man.
In June, members of another regional taskforce, the Marshal’s North Star Fugitive Task Force, shot and killed Winston Boogie Smith, Jr, surrounding his vehicle with unmarked cars.
Officials say Smith fired his weapon at officers, while a woman in the car with him at the time says he never did.
There’s no body camera footage of the incident, even though last fall the Marshals instituted a policy allowing task force members to carry the cameras in the field.
Smith’s killing, the same day city officials began dismantling a Minneapolis memorial to George Floyd, set off another round of protests, and led Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher to pull his deputies off the task force until body cameras are phased in.