After being kept under wraps for more than two years, police body cam footage has come to light, revealing a Louisiana state trooper violently struck a Black man in the head and body 18 times with a flashlight.
The horrifying video captured Aaron Larry Bowman being beaten by White state trooper Jacob Brown with a flashlight, all the while screaming:
"I'm not resisting."
The graphic video footage was shared by the Associated Press .
WARNING: graphic violence
Bowman was reportedly pulled over for a traffic violation, and when Brown reached the scene, it is reported he told investigators that he "was in the area, and wanted to get involved".
According to an investigative report Brown hit Bowman 18 times in 24 seconds with an 8 inch, aluminum flashlight, despite Bowman already being on the ground and restrained by officers already on the scene.
Brown was heard screaming "I ain't messing with you" to Bowman in the footage, and though Bowman responded by saying "I'm not fighting you, you're fighting me, all Brown had to say to that was "Shut the f*ck up", and "You ain't listening."
Brown was later heard screaming "I'm bleeding" and "They hit me in the head with a flashlight", met with seemingly little concern to the officers on the scene.
The footage was met with both confusion and horror, particularly at the seeming lack of concern from the officers in the video.
@AP This is appalling, disturbing and painful to watch. Who knows how many other victims there are!?— WBG06 (@WBG06) 1629948867.0
@AP This is sickening. Trooper needs to be in jail.— Protect Voting Rights (@Protect Voting Rights) 1629933228.0
The incident left Bowman with a broken jaw, a broken wrist, three broken ribs, and a head wound which required six staples to close.
The attack on Bowman was all but completely ignored by Louisiana State police until Bowman filed a civil lawsuit, totaling 536 days after the events occurred.
Brown resigned from the Louisiana State Police in March of this year, and according to police records, left with a total of 23 use-of-force incidents, 19 of them against Black people.
The Louisiana State Police issued a statement on Wednesday, August 25, acknowledging that Brown "engaged in excessive and unjustifiable actions", and claiming he both failed to report the incident to his supervising officers, and "intentionally mis-labled" the footage.
Brown has claimed that his blows to Bowman's head were "pain compliance", claiming that Bowman had previously struck an officer, which was not seen on the video.
However, upon further investigation of the video footage, it was subsequently determined that Brown used excessive force, and he is now facing not only a federal investigation, but also state charges of second degree batter and malfeasance.
Disturbingly, Brown is also facing state charges on two other arrests of Black drivers which ended in violence, even reportedly bragging about one of them in a group chat with other officers, telling them the suspect was "gonna be sore".
While the public image of Police in the United States has been under considerable scrutiny this past year, the release this footage is especially damaging to the Louisiana State Police.
Brown's attack on Bowman occurred only three weeks after Ronald Greene died in the custody of the Louisiana State Police, after having been punched and stunned by officers.
In a sickening coincidence, body cam footage of Greene's arrest was also kept hidden before eventually resurfacing, resulting in a widening investigation into both coverups and police brutality by the Louisiana police.
Alanah Odoms, executive director of The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana has claimed that the twin cover-ups of police footage has created a demand for an investigation of "pattern and practice" against the state police.
"In the absence of federal oversight, LSP will continue to put Louisianans at risk of constitutional rights violations."
With the footage now made public, followers also took to Twitter demanding for change in what seems to be a blatantly systemic problem.
@AP So is the chief that helped cover it up getting charged also, b/c I see that being the only viable solution to… https://t.co/BLZmHIeCwM— Keegan Coleman ⓥ (@Keegan Coleman ⓥ) 1629934936.0
@AP This is a man..A Black Man in America...he gets beat like a dog. God bless him and may justice "ring down like the mighty waters"...— keepthefaith (@keepthefaith) 1629933776.0
Bowman, who is still being charged with battery, resisting an officer and improper lane usage, only saw bodycam footage after it was shown to his attorney, Keith Whiddon, who was previously told no footage existed.
Bowman told the Associated Press that watching the footage made him feel like he was re-living the horrifying experience.
"I kept thinking I was going to die that night."
"It was like reliving it all over again. By watching it, I broke down all over again."
"I don't want nobody to go through that."
When asked about the case, Monroe District Attorney Robert Tew declined to comment, saying only:
"We'll see what the DOJ has to do."