The two-and-a-half minute video has gotten almost 40,000 views since being posted on February 7, 2013. It depicts a black teenage boy, somewhere in Newark, being stripped naked and berated by a man in a black t-shirt and black hat. His sidekicks surround the victim, laughing about the situation.
“Where my money at ,” the man rages at the victim, seen cowering on the video. The man then grabs a belt from one of his sidekicks and beings to whip the victim with it. For the next 90 seconds, the victim is mercilessly whipped while the man’s sidekicks laugh and command him to tell the camera that it’s a “dog eat dog world.” One of the sidekicks later reveals that the “money” was actually a debt owed by the victim’s father – a debt of $20.
The imagery and the language is disturbing at best, and has enraged law enforcement. Newark Police Director Samuel DeMaio dispatched three separate detective squads to find the man holding the belt in the video. He called it “sickening.” DeMaio further commented that they are closing in on the assailants, having located a Twitter account associated with publicizing the video. He indicated that the man and his sidekicks will all face aggravated assault and weapons charges.
DeMaio, who has a young son of his own, appears to be taking the investigation personally. “To see him stripped down naked and taken advantage of and abused like that, it was sickening to me.” He continued, “I pictured somebody doing that to my son…the people that did that need to be brought to justice.”
For more information, see the Star Ledger article, “Police hunt for suspects in viral video of naked teen being whipped on Newark street.”