NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The haunting video, shot on a hot summer night, starts with a young man being ordered to strip naked as he is berated by a group around him.
One person squirts his body with water. Another demands money.
When he does not hand any over, the beating starts. As the naked man is lashed repeatedly, those surrounding him laugh above the crack of a belt hitting his skin.
City officials announced Wednesday that they had arrested three people they say participated in the August attack and filmed the 2 1/2-minute video.
The men were identified as 22-year-old Ahmad Holt, 31-year-old Raheem Clark and 23-year-old Jamaar Gray. Charges against them include robbery and aggravated assault. Police said Holt administered the beating, using a belt provided by Clark.
City Police Director Samuel DeMaio said all have gang affiliations and criminal histories.
"This is a human tragedy," Mayor Cory Booker said at a press conference. "This is the kind of violence and brutality that we've seen rear its ugly head in Newark, around the nation, around the globe, that allows one human being to assault the dignity, to demean and to viciously attack another. And I believe, for one, that this is unacceptable behavior. I know the standards in the community are the same."
Police did not immediately provide the names of the suspects' attorneys.
DeMaio said the video didn't come to the attention of police until Feb. 8. It is unclear when it was posted on the Internet, and it has since been removed from YouTube.