Trio held after Newark beating

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IOL pic feb14 usa newark assault Associated Press New Jersey Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Smith (centre) speaks about the video showing a young man being stripped and beaten in Newark.

New York - Three people have been arrested in the crime-ridden city of Newark, New Jersey, on charges of stripping a young man naked in the street and thrashing him with a belt - while filming the episode for an Internet video.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker said on Tuesday that the vicious and humiliating beating, reportedly in response to an unpaid $20 to $30 debt, “was about human degradation”.

Among those arrested were the person stripping, then repeatedly belting the defenceless victim, and another who stood by filming. The video had more than 40 000 downloads on the Internet before being yanked by websites.

The assault took place last August and in the background of the video people can be seen walking past.

Booker, a popular mayor in the troubled city, said apart from the “evil” attack, he was also concerned by the fact that “no police report was made whatsoever”.

“This level of inaction means that you are actually a participant in that evil itself,” he added.

The fact that the video went viral meant that justice eventually caught up with the perpetrators, he said.

“This was never reported. We would never know about it if people in social media, people who saw that video, did not engage,” he said. “It triggered an investigation. It took only four days to get these people apprehended.” - Sapa-AFP

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