*Video has surfaced of blatant racial bias happening right before your very eyes at a New Jersey mall.
Police are shown breaking up a fight between two teen boys – one Black and one white – at the Bridgewater Commons mall in Bridgewater Township, New Jersey. Police pinned one teen to the ground and put a knee on his back while handcuffing him. Cops sat the other teen on a nearby sofa, left him uncuffed and did nothing as he stood over the arrested teen and talked smack as he was face down on the ground in cuffs.
You already know which teen was laid out and handcuffed. Needless to say, the Bridgewater Police Department is now under investigation over the blatant racial disparity of the arrest. Also, the town’s mayor and state governor have denounced the behavior of the two cops.
The video begins with the teens getting into a verbal argument.
“Get your hand out of my face,” the Black teen said.
They then begin shoving each other, and a physical fight breaks out. The white teen throws the Black teen on the floor, then two police officers — one male and one female — step in. The female officer pushes the white teen onto a nearby couch and motions for him to stay there. At the same time, the male officer tackles the Black teen to the ground, sits on him and places him in handcuffs, while the female officer kneels on his back.
“It’s cause he’s Black. Racially motivated,” a bystander is heard saying.
At one point, the white teen is allowed to stand over the Black teen as he’s being cuffed. The video ends with the Black teen being hauled to his feet while the white teen chills comfortably on the couch.
Local ABC affiliate ABC 7 reported that the fight involved a Black eighth grader, identified as Kye, and a white high schooler whose name was not immediately been released.
“They basically tackled me to the ground, and then the male officer put his knee in my back, and then he started putting me in cuffs,” Kye told ABC 7. “Then the female officer came over and put her knee on my upper back too, and started helping him put cuffs on me while he was just sitting down on the couch watching the whole thing.”
Kye’s mother, Eboné, told ABC 7 that she was grateful that her son was OK but wanted the two police officers fired.
“I had to watch it on mute. I still haven’t watched it and listened to the sound, I’m baby-stepping my way into watching it, but it’s just crazy,” she said.
Eboné told NBC in an interview on Tuesday: “It doesn’t take two cops to hold a 14-year-old boy down who is not resisting, while the other boy is just going free and still going off on my son. It just doesn’t make sense.”
On Wednesday, a letter from Bridgewater Township Mayor Matthew Moench said an investigation had been launched over the incident.
“The Township Administration is aware of a video circulating on social media involving some young people and officers of the Bridgewater Police Department,” Moench wrote. He added that the local prosecutor’s office would be conducting an “independent review” of the incident with the police department’s support. Although an investigation is still gathering the facts about this incident, I’m deeply disturbed by what appears to be racially disparate treatment in this video,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted on Wednesday. “We’re committed to increasing trust between law enforcement and the people they serve.”
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, the Bridgewater Township Police Department said it was aware of the incident: “We recognize that this video has made members of our community upset and are calling for an internal affairs investigation.”