Racial questions arise after surveillance video surfaces

Mayor William Bell is unsure what role, if any, race played in the incident last month caught on video of Birmingham Police officers repeatedly striking a black suspect.

The video shows Travarious Daniel holding his hands in the air as three white officers strike him and force him to the ground. Several other officers join in, including a black officer who eventually cuffs Daniel. A second black officer is seen watching.

Thursday, the mayor's spokesman Chuck Faush said Bell had seen the video and was disturbed by what he saw. Bell is calling for a full investigation and isn't rushing to any quick judgment.

"Right now I don't know that it was an issue of race," Bell told Fox 6 News. "It looks bad that all the officers are white and the suspect is black, but there was also a black officer standing by who did not participate. I can't say it's a black white thing. Until I get all the facts, I don't want to characterize it as one thing or the other."

The mayor has called for more training for police officers to deal with such situations. Internal Affairs and the Alabama Bureau of Investigation are continuing a probe of the incident.

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