The fury behind the recent protests over the Charlotte, North Carolina police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott was made clear with the recent release of footage behind yet another police brutality incident – this time the cruel beating of Dejuan Yourse for the terrible crime of sitting on his porch.
On July 17th, Greensboro Officer Travis Cole and his partner approached Mr. Yourse as he sat outside of his house while investigating a possible breaking-and-entering. They began asking Yourse several questions, and he is compliant and answers them all. But after several minutes of questioning, Yourse becomes displeased with the baseless accusations being thrown at him and begins to call a friend, informing them that he’s being harrassed by police officers.
Once he picks up the phone, Officer Cole instantly escalates the situation, and attempts to take the phone from him. An altercation ensues, and Yourse is brutally beaten by Cole for no reason.
Cole was placed on paid leave on August 10th and resigned on August 19th, prompting the department to drop all charges against him. Cole was also involved in another racially charged incident in 2014, when he encountered two black men, Devin and Rufus Scales, in the street, one of whom was intoxicated. He arrested both of them on the charge of resisting arrest, even though Devin Scales filmed his brother being arrested without resistance. The charges were later dropped and the city paid the men $50,000 in a settlement.
The Mayor of Greensboro has apologized to Mr. Yourse, but activists are still infuriated that Cole was able to walk away without any real consequences.
This video demonstrates in chilling fashion how black Americans are never given the benefit of the doubt and are routinely punished by police for crimes they didn’t commit. How many of these videos are not released to the public? How many of these brutal incidents happen without the public’s knowledge? The small sample size we’re allowed to see is about to get smaller, thanks to Governor Pat “Tell Me About Your Genitals Before You Go Into That Bathroom” McCrory, who signed a bill requiring a judge’s permission to release police footage that comes into effect Oct 1st. It’s a clear move to shield police officers from the consequences of their actions, and is a disastrous blow to any efforts to heal racial relations in the United States.
Watch the shocking video here:
What do you think?
Colin Taylor is the managing editor of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.