NJ mall fight video sparks police use-of-force investigation

BRIDGEWATER, NJ – The Bridgewater Police Department has called for an internal affairs investigation after video circulated on social media showing officers’ response to a fight at a New Jersey mall over the weekend. end.

The video shows two teenagers, one black and the other white, arguing before pointing fingers at each other. They then start pushing and shoving each other, a move that causes a couch to slide across the floor, and the black teen is thrown to the ground.

But it’s the police response that some, including voices heard on the video and Gov. Phil Murphy, are questioning as racially motivated.

As the police arrive, a female and male officer grabs the white teen from the black teen. The white teen is placed on the couch while the male officer tackles the black teen to the ground, straddles his back and crosses his hands to handcuff him while the female officer appears to have his knee on his back. The video shows no signs of resistance from the black teenager.

“It’s because he’s black, racially driven,” a female voice says in the video.

As the black teen is handcuffed to the ground, the white teen is seen standing staring at the officers before the female officer lays him down on the couch as the black teen is lifted off the ground by the officer male. The video cuts out at this point.

In a Facebook post Monday, the Bridgewater Police Department said it was aware of the video.

“We recognize that this video has upset members of our community and are calling for an Internal Affairs investigation. Officers were able to respond quickly to this incident and prevent it from escalating due to a tip we received from the community “, reads the post. bed. “We have asked the Somerset County Attorney’s Office to assist us in this matter and ask for your patience as we strictly adhere to the New Jersey Attorney General’s Internal Affairs Directive.”

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The message goes on to say that the police have received videos from members of the community.

“The men and women of the Bridgewater Township Police Department are grateful to our community partners and look forward to continuing to build our positive relationships,” the post continued.

The police department’s post generated more than 200 comments, with some questioning why the two teens weren’t restrained or if the fight could have been broken up without the use of handcuffs.

Suzanne Russell is a breaking news reporter for MyCentralJersey.com covering crime, the courts and other mayhem.


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