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Mardi Gras beatings investigated

NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 15 (UPI) — A videotaped encounter between white state troopers and two young black men during New Orleans’ Mardi Gras should be investigated, a civil rights group says.

The NAACP said the troopers might have used excessive force Sunday night, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported. The videotape aired Wednesday by WVUE-TV, New Orleans, showed nine troopers knocking down Sidney Newman, 17, and Ferdinand Hunt, 18.

The two men were released after a female New Orleans police officer in uniform talked to the troopers. While the tape does not have audio, she is said to have told them she was Hunt’s mother.

“The major issue is whether or not excessive force was used, and whether or not the civil rights of the young men were violated,” said Danatus King, president of the New Orleans NAACP chapter. “There is a great concern that had those young men been white, they would not have been treated the same way.”

State Police Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson said an investigation began Monday morning. He promised results within 60 days.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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