Video of a Black teen being accosted by police breaking up a fight at a New Jersey mall is causing outrage across the nation. The Bridgewater Township, New Jersey police officers who responded to the incident involving a fight between to teenagers – one black and one white – are accused of treating the two in vastly different ways.
According to a video obtained by CBS News, two teens got into a verbal altercation and then punches began flying inside a mall in Bridgewater Township, New Jersey, which is 44 miles west of New York
The video shows officers breaking up the altercation by pulling the white teen assailant off the black teen and separating the two. Two male Bridgewater Township officers immediately force the Black teen to the ground face down with an officer placing his knee in the eighth grader’s back before handcuffing him.
Kye is a 14-year-old eighth-grader from a local middle school. Kye explained that Joey is older than him and his friends and is in high school.
In the meantime, a female officer is seen instructing the White teen to take a seat on a couch before turning to assist the male officers. She joined her fellow officers in subduing the Black teen and placed her knee on the Black teen’s neck.
“It’s ’cause he’s Black, [it’s] racially motivated,” a female witness on site can be heard saying in the disturbing video.
The white teenager who has been identified as Joey, expressed surprise that he wasn’t treated similarly or at least placed in handcuffs.
The schoolboys’ fight has attracted national attention and is calling for an investigation into the treatment by Bridgewater police of the black teenager.
The state’s governor, the NAACP, the child’s parent and other community leaders have responded in outrage. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted, “I’m deeply disturbed by what appears to be racially disparate treatment in this video. We’re committed to increasing trust between law enforcement and the people they serve.”