This is not just evidence in an assault trial -- I mean yes, it is almost certainly exactly that; that man is clearly being beaten to death on camera, and I'm sure that justice has since been served -- but there's more to the photo than that. This is actually a pictorial how-to guide for a martial art called canne de combat: the gentle and sophisticated art of beating people with walking sticks. Canne de combat was developed in early 19th century France, and was most commonly practiced by civilized gentlemen in metropolitan areas, presumably because rural farmers could vent their bloodlust on livestock and wild animals. It was only city folk who had to save all the anger up, periodically venting their frustration via explosive cane beatings. But canne de combat wasn't sheer, purposeless fury. There was quite a bit of technique involved. Here you can see two gentlemen, both versed in canne de combat, executing muay-thai-style knee strikes and kung fu side-kicks.