A mall fight in New Jersey ended with a Black teenager in handcuffs after viral video shows him sticking up to a white bully. Officers responded to the fight inside of the Bridgewater Mall on Saturday (February 12) allowed the white teen who was involved in the fight to sit on a couch.
According to NJ.com, the video was posted to Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook and shows the two teens arguing. The Black teen can be heard saying, "You gotta stop right now," before the white teen put his finger in the Black teen's face.
A fight breaks out seconds later. Two officers run onto the scene, pinning the Black teen to the ground. The video shows one of the officers kneeling on the top of the 14-year-old's upper back while the other kneeled on his lower back and put cuffs on him.
"It's cause he's Black. Racially motivated," a bystander can be heard saying in the video. The video ends as one of the officers walks over to the white teen. It's not clear if he was also pinned to the ground and handcuffed.
The two officers are now under internal investigation.
A woman who identified herself as the 14-year-old's mother spoke with NJ Advance Media telling the outlet that her son, who is an eighth-grader, was defending his friend from the 16-year-old white teen. Neither of the younger teens know the older one, she reportedly told the outlet.
She reported that her son was in handcuffs for 30 minutes and taken to a mall security office. No charges were filed against the teen, but both are banned from mall properties for three years.
The mother also said the mall told her they'd be in touch about a broken table, but when she reviewed the footage again, she realized the table was only broken after the officers tackled her son.
"I'm not going to point fingers at race. I just know the cops handled my son in a way that I don't agree with," the woman told the outlet. "My focus is not the racial aspect. It's more like I don't the fact that the cops handled my son like that and the other boy was not touched."
The woman confirmed she's reached out to an attorney in the matter.
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