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Facebook video showing US police arresting 2 Black men prompts protest

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A demonstrator protests to Rock Hill police in riot gear Wednesday in downtown Rock Hill. (Photo via HERALDONLINE.COM)

Protests have erupted after a video surfaced showing what appeared to be the violent arrest of two Black men by police officers in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

The arrest on Wednesday was captured on a Facebook video which shows officers punching Ricky Roderick Price and Travis Price, two brothers.

Although it was not clear from the video how the altercation started, at one point an officer can be seen punching one of the brothers several times as he and another officer attempt to make an arrest while the suspect is held on the ground.

The lawyer for the two men argued the level of force the police used was excessive and that the officers should be held accountable.

After the release of the video, angry demonstrators protested into Wednesday night in the city, marching across Black Street toward downtown.

They got up close to the police officers, chanting “no justice, no peace, no racist police,” and “hands up, don’t shoot.”

Using a speaker from a van, an officer said, “This is the Rock Hill Police Department. If you refuse to leave, you will be arrested.”

Rickey and Travis Price were arrested in the incident and a bond hearing was held Thursday at the Moss Justice Center in York, S.C.

Rickey Price appeared in court in a wheelchair with a broken nose from the altercation, his lawyer said. He is charged with drugs and weapons violations and his brother, Travis Price, was charged with hindering police.

Local Black leaders argued there was no justification for the degree of force that was applied by the police.

S.C. Rep. John King, D-Rock Hill, said there was a need for a transparent review of actions he called blatantly racist

“I’m calling for the city to do an independent investigation. I’m asking for the mayor to do his job, I’m asking the chief to do his job,” King said. “(Rickey Price) was denied bond. These officers are still working. That’s what I’m asking the chief for -- to stop them from working or fire them.”

“As a Black man who has to drive my car in this district, I am afraid. Even with the legislative tag on, when a police officer stops me, I’m afraid. And that should not be what Black men and Black women feel when they get in their cars.”

US police’s mistreatment, shootings and killings of unarmed Black men have led to mass protests across the country in recent years and the formation of the Black Lives Matter movement.

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