Dozens rallied outside a police station in New Jersey in protest of officers’ decision to handcuff a Black teenager involved in a mall brawl last weekend while the white teenager involved appeared to go unrestrained.
Video of the struggle was captured last Saturday at Bridgewater Commons and has since gained national attention following an outcry over the actions of the responding officers.
The rally outside the Bridgewater Police Department included a call for the officers in question to be fired. In the video, two uniformed officers from the department appear to pull the teens apart, with one of the cops shoving the white teen onto a couch.
The Black teen, Z’Kye Husain, meanwhile, was pinned to the ground with an officer’s knee pressed against his back. The second officer moves over, placing her knee near the back of the 14-year-old’s neck, as he’s put in handcuffs, according to the video.
Husain said the brawl began after he stood up to the other boy for picking on his friend.
A rally was held outside a police station in New Jersey in support of a Black teenager seen on video appearing to get different treatment when cops broke up a fight at the mall. NBC New York’s Anjali Hemphill reports.
“He was kind of saying, like, ‘You’re a little kid, you’re my little pet,’ and stuff like that,” the eighth grader said earlier this week.
“He did exactly what we taught him to do and he was met with not one but two knees in his back while the aggressor towered over him,” Enrie Simms, Husain’s aunt, said Saturday.
The actions by the officers now under an internal investigation while both teens have been banned from the mall for at least three years, the mall told NBC News. That investigation is being aided by the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office.
“It doesn’t take two cops to hold a 14-year-old boy down who’s not resisting, while the other boy is just kind of going free and still going off on my son. It just doesn’t make sense,” the teen’s mother, Eboné, said.