The New Jersey governor was shocked, the mayor had to cancel the council meeting due to security concerns, and calls for the two officers to resign were loud. “We understand that this video disturbed the residents,” said the police, who asked the prosecutor to investigate the matter.
The brawl took place in a mall last weekend, but it has only drawn attention now that his photos have gone viral. According to the Civil Rights Movement NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored PeopleIt is sad to see how the two white officers immediately view the white teenager as the “victim” and the black youth as the perpetrator. “Despite years of talk about training aimed at preventing bias,” the organization said.
The video shows how the two, surrounded by friends and classmates, often talk to each other. According to the black boy, Kye, he defended his younger friend who was being bullied by the white teenager. As the controversy intensifies, the white boy points his finger at the black teenager’s face.
Then he pushes his hand away, after which the white boy pushes the black teenager away. When the black boy responds, a fight erupts with severe beatings from both sides. The officers intervene when the black boy is lying on the ground and the white teenager is standing and bending over him, wanting to fight. The officer pulls the white boy away and lets him rest on a sofa.
At that moment, a classmate presses the black teenager, irresistible, to the ground. He is handcuffed while the policeman keeps the boy on the ground with her knee. The white teenager stands and watches quietly. Passers-by were astonished by the officers’ actions. “It’s because he’s black,” said one young man.
“I am deeply disturbed by what appears to be non-racial treatment in this video,” New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. “I felt like they were treating him like he was better than me,” Key told CNN of the officers who left the white boy alone. His mother wants the two officers fired. The NAACP is calling for the officers to be suspended immediately pending investigation.
Although the investigation is still gathering facts about this incident, I am deeply disturbed by what appears to be racially disparate treatment in this video. We are committed to increasing trust between law enforcement and the people they serve. https://t.co/ck9yCXMmL0
– Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) February 16, 2022
“The immediate response was to force the black kid to the ground, knees on his neck and handcuffs,” said Richard Smith, chief of the NAACP division in New Jersey. At the same time, the white boy, who was at least as guilty of fighting as his black opponent, was gently put on a bench and treated as a victim. This is often the experience of many black residents of New Jersey.”
The family engaged the well-known black attorney Benjamin Crump, who previously represented the family of George Floyd, among others. Crump wants to know why the officers immediately handcuffed Kee, while the white boy was allowed to watch what happened. As of Thursday, no one in the police was able to give him an explanation. “Their actions are clearly motivated by racial bias and unacceptable,” Crump wrote on Twitter.