A viral video is sparking outrage and condemnation against two police officers (shown above) who are being accused of racism for the manner in which they broke up a fight between a white and Black teen inside the Bridgewater Commons Mall in New Jersey.
In the video, during an argument, the white teen is shown putting his hand into the face of the Black teen. When the Black teen tells him to get his hands from out of his face, and knocks the white teen’s hand away, the white teen proceeds to shove the Black teen.
At this point, the Black teen decides to defend himself by throwing punches at the bigger white teen. Both then begin trading punches.
Not long after, two white cops, one male, one female appear. This is where the disparate treatment is seen in how these two police officers treat the teens.
The white female officer pulls the bigger white teen away, while the white male officer wrestles the smaller Black teen to the ground–and then, proceeds to handcuff him. The white male officer does this while sitting on the back of the Black teen.
The white female officer then leaves the white teen (who was not wrestled to the ground, or handcuffed) and proceeds to also sit on the Black teen with both her knees. The white teen is seen looking on while this is occurring.
One bystander is heard not long after saying “its because he is Black, racially motivated.”
The Bridgewater Police Department in a statement said, “We recognize that this video has made members of our community upset and are calling for an internal affairs investigation.”
The Internal Affairs Unit of the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office said it is also investigating.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said, “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. We’re committed to increasing trust between law enforcement and the people they serve.”
The executive director of New Jersey’s ACLU, Amol Sinha, called the incident an example of “racial bias in policing” and highlighted “The swiftness to take down and arrest the Black child, the care shown to the white child.”