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NJ Police Under Investigation Because of The Way They Handled a Fight Between Black And White Teens

Bridgewater, NJ – An internal affairs investigation is underway after a video posted on social media shows Bridgewater New Jersey police officers’ response to a fight between two teenagers at a mall. 

The cell phone video shows two male teens, one a Black 8th grader and the other a white high schooler, arguing with each other. After a brief verbal back and forth, the white teen points his finger in the Black teens face and shoves him. In response, the Black teen throws a punch and the two begin fighting. 

Within seconds two Bridgewater police officers arrive and pull the two teens apart. The white teen is sat on the couch, while the Black teen is roughly pushed to the ground and handcuffed. As the two white officers kneel on the Black teen’s back and cuff him, the white teen sits alone on the couch. Neither officers handcuff or restrain the white teen in any way.

“It’s cause he’s Black. Racially motivated,” a female voice is heard saying in the video.

The Black teen, Kye, who asked that his last name not be used, told PIX11 News that he didn’t understand why police singled him out and allowed the other teen involved in the fight to sit on the couch as he was aggressively taken down and handcuffed.

“I was confused, like, why they saw me as a bad person, like, me as an aggressor,” 14-year-old Kye told PIX11 News.

Kye said the fight broke out after he stood up for a friend who was being picked on by the other teen.

“My friend was arguing with the older kid and so I kind of just jumped into a fight, and since he’s older, he was on top of me and he’s bigger,” Kye told WABC. “I was just confused and mad about it.”

The Bridgewater Police Department released a statement regarding the incident on Facebook Monday.

“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 post says. “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/.” 

Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted Tuesday night, saying he is “deeply disturbed by what appears to be racially disparate treatment in this video.”

The NAACP of New Jersey released a statement saying in part that it was “disappointed to see still another police action irrefutably showing the disparate treatment of African Americans in our police institutions.”

The NAACP is calling for the officers to be removed from the force, pending an investigation.

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