New Jersey cops arrest Black teen over bicycle license in shocking video: 'We can't even ride bikes now'
A shocking video clip has surfaced on Twitter that shows a group of police officers in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, detaining Black teenagers who were riding their bicycles through the town. In the now-viral video, the cops can be seen proceeding to arrest a teenage boy after confiscating his bike, and then escorting him to the police car.
According to Raw Story, the law in Perth Amboy mandates the presence of 'license tags' on bicycles, which the boys in the video apparently did not have. However, the teens claim that they are residents of Edison, which is 11 miles from Perth Amboy. Sharing the video on Twitter, one of the teenagers wrote, "We can’t even ride bikes now... I’m not surprised. I’m just angry."
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We can’t even ride bikes now... I’m not surprised. I’m just angry. pic.twitter.com/xcAR8zmnuP— ⁶Kid (@deep_dab) April 19, 2021
Why did the cops arrest the teenagers?
In the video, a teenager wearing a red sweatshirt can be seen arguing with at least four police officers about the problem concerning the registration of his bicycle. After a while, he gets down from his bicycle which is then taken away by the cops. A little later, the boy can be seen being handcuffed by the police officers, as he continues to scream that they live in Edison. At one point, nearly six police cars had gathered there to confront the teenagers while ordering them to get off their bicycles, which they probably violated.
According to Raw Story, the Perth Amboy bicycle law states, "Upon approval of an application, the Chief of Police shall provide, at the expense of the city, a proper license tag which shall be attached to the frame of the bicycle in a substantial manner. The removal of such tag, except by proper authority, shall be a violation of this chapter. A license fee of fifty cents ($0.50) shall be charged per year for each bicycle."
The law also prohibits 'fancy riding' of bicycles where the rider might engage in dangerous stunts while riding the bike. Reportedly, the teenagers got all of their bikes back in the end.
A video was released later where the arresting police officer can be seen clarifying the entire incident, saying that the cops took the action for the 'safety' of the boys. She also adds that the boys were asked to ride on the road and with the traffic.
Here’s the explanation from a Perth Amboy police officer: pic.twitter.com/8T48DMEgoA— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 20, 2021
'Arresting kids for bike riding?'
Twitter users are outraged over the video as they claim that the teenagers should not have been arrested over something as trivial as bike riding. Actress Patricia Arquette tweeted, "Is this going on their record? Come on! Registering bikes? Arresting kids for bike riding?"
Writer Saeed Jones said, "So, if you live in Perth Amboy, NJ, you need a *license* to ride a bike... and have to renew it annually? The lengths cops and cities go to in order to come up with reasons to harass black people (and make money while doing it) is wild." Another user shared an undated video of a youngster on a bike being dragged by the police, saying, "They're just terrorizing kids for no reason." One user said, "Imagine needing a license for a bike but not a gun."
Is this going on their record? Come on! Registering bikes? Arresting kids for bike riding?— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) April 20, 2021
So, if you live in Perth Amboy, NJ, you need a *license* to ride a bike... and have to renew it annually? The lengths cops and cities go to in order to come up with reasons to harass black people (and make money while doing it) is wild. https://t.co/MTxn4L5MyV— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) April 20, 2021
@BermitDePhrog— Black Lives Matter (@begin_therevolt) April 19, 2021
They're just terrorizing kids for no reasonpic.twitter.com/EboZJEvz4L
Imagine needing a license for a bike but not a gun pic.twitter.com/WTR0OAachl— Here To Talk Shit (@ChandnaThomas) April 19, 2021