NJ gov Phil Murphy slams PD's 'racist actions' for arresting Black teen and letting White boy go in mall fight
Bridgewater police at the scene pulled the White boy away, the other tackled the Black boy to the ground and placed him under arrest
The Bridgewater Police Department has called for an internal affairs investigation after a recently surfaced video showed police officers violently arresting a Black teen while getting a Latino teen go after breaking up a fight between the two in a mall. The video from February 13 shows a Black male teen and a White male teen having an altercation, with the two pushing and shoving each other. A couch slid along the floor as a result of the fight and the Black teen is thrown on the floor.
The subsequent reaction of the police and their response is now being questioned by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy as racially motivated. The video shows police officers in Bridgewater, NJ responding to the fight, with one White male officer pinning the Black teen on the ground and putting handcuffs on him while the Latino teen, identified as Joey sits on the couch and watches, uncuffed. "It's cause he's Black, racially motivated," a female voice is heard saying in the video. The White boy involved in fight accused the cops of mistreating the Black teen. "I knew it was wrong, and I knew there was gonna be problems when they did that," Joey told local news station PIX 11. "They didn’t go for me." He said he couldn't comprehend why he wasn't also arrested. "I didn’t understand why," the teen said. "I even offered to get handcuffed as well."
White teen starts the fight and two officers jump on and handcuffs the Black teen only. I told y’all these cops be racist as hell in police departments across America.— JUNIOR (@ACCORDINGtoJr) February 15, 2022
What’s up @PhilMurphyNJ ?
Bridgewater Mall pic.twitter.com/J7ceayxoBj
"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," Murphy tweeted.
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. https://t.co/ck9yCXMmL0— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) February 16, 2022
The Bridgewater Police Department took to Facebook to say that they were aware of the video. "The Bridgewater Twp Police Department is aware of a video on social media of our officers stopping a fight in progress at the Bridgewater Commons Mall. We recognize that this video has made members of our community upset and are calling for an internal affairs investigation. The officers were able to respond quickly to this incident and stop it from escalating because of a tip we received from the community," the Facebook post reads. "We have requested that the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office assist us in this matter and are requesting patience as we strictly adhere to the New Jersey Attorney General’s Internal Affairs Directive. https://www.njoag.gov/iapp/ We appreciate the videos that we have already received from community members and ask that anyone who has a video of this incident please email it to [email protected] The men and women of the Bridgewater Township Police Department are thankful for our community partners and look forward to continuing to build our positive relationships."
Several people commented on the post, demanding the officers be held accountable for their actions. "Those officers need to be held accountable!! Immediately!!!!! Did we just forget about George Floyd and allllll my other black brothers and sisters that have DIED from police brutality!!!!!! I am disgusted," one user commented.
"This sounds like a cop out to me (pun intended). Police officers once again demonstrate their inherent biases and why they shouldn’t be officers in the first place. A white boy was treated with dignity while a Black boy was thrown to the ground. No questions asked. Disgusting," another wrote. One user commented, "During your investigation I hope you come to realize why neither of these officers should be police. They don't have the temperament and they already have the mental mindset of where they automatically see the black boy as guilty and the white boy as innocent and/or victim which is the problem of many cops".