Photo Credit: ABC 7
Clip of Police Breaking Up Fight & Putting Black Teen in Handcuffs Sparks Outrage
A clip of Bridgewater Township Police went viral when officers broke up a mall fight between two boys and apprehended a Black 14-year-old.
On Tuesday, a disturbing video of New Jersey police incriminating a Black teen went viral on social media.
The clips shows an argument brewing between two young boys at Bridgewater Commons Mall in New Jersey over the weekend. The boys were a Black 14-year-old 8th-grader and a white high schooler. As they begin fighting, two Bridgewater Township Police officers approach, separating the teens and seating the white teen onto a nearby couch. The Black teen, Kye, is pinned to the ground with an officer's knee on his back and handcuffed.
The video also shows that the second officer had Kye held down. The person recording the video is heard saying "It's cause he's Black," as Kye is pinned.
"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 explained that the fight began when the other teen was picking on Kye's 7th-grader friend.
"My friend was arguing with the older kid and so I kind of just jumped into a fight, and since he's older, he was on top of me and he's bigger," Kye said. "I was just confused and mad about it."
According to ABC 7, while Kye's mother, Ebone, hasn't watched the video with the volume on, she's grateful that the altercation didn't escalate. She now wants the officers to become unemployable.
Since the video's release, the police department has launched an internal affairs investigation. Bridgewater mayor Matthew Moench also assured residents of a prompt investigation in a written statement.
"The Township Administration is aware of a video circulating on social media involving some young people and officers of the Bridgewater Police Department," he wrote. "I want to thank the public for its patience in refraining from jumping to conclusions while an investigation is pending. I also want to thank the brave men and women of the Bridgewater Police Department for their continued service, and for keeping our public safe in today's challenging environment."