A pair of white New Jersey police officers are being investigating for pinning a 14-year-old black boy to the ground, putting a knee on his back and arresting him after a fight with a white teen – who they allowed to walk away.
Troubling video footage shows the two teens exchanging words February 13 at the Bridgewater Mall before their argument turned violent.
The white teen is seen shoving the black teen before punches are thrown in the fight recorded by a number of teens at the popular shopping center.
Within seconds, a Bridgewater Police Department officer arrived and pulled the white boy away as her male partner tackled the black teen and held him on the ground.
The white teen, identified as a 15-year-old named Joey, was ushered to a nearby couch, but the black teen was led away in handcuffs.
Before he was lifted from the ground, the female cop placed her knee on his back while he was laying face down on the ground.
‘Yo it’s cuz he’s black,’ said a girl filming the scene. ‘Racially motived.’
The female officer is seen pressing her knee against the boy’s back during the arrest
A widely-shared video shows two teens engaging in a verbal argument at a New Jersey mall
The argument turned violent when the white teen pushed the black teen, which kickstarted a fist fight
The white boy involved in the scuffle 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.’
Joey’s friend Sienna Freidinger, who caught the fight on video, said she also considered the officer’s response to be unfair.
‘The black kid was the only one who was getting tackled,’ she told the outlet.
Teens watch, and some videotape, as the boys brawl at the mall on February 13 before police arrive to break them up
When cops arrive, one pulls the white boy out of the way while the other tackles the black boy to the ground and arrests him
The white teen said he also offered to be arrested, but wasn’t, after the black teen was cuffed and led away
The viral video sparked a response from New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, who took to Twitter to voice his concern.
‘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,’ Murphy tweeted. We’re committed to increasing trust between law enforcement and the people they serve.’
The Bridgewater Police Department referred media inquiries to the city, which did not respond to a DailyMail.com request for comment.
The department posted a statement on Twitter where it said, in part, that it was ‘thankful for our community partners and [looked] forward to continuing to build our positive relationships.
‘We recognize that this video has made members of our community upset and are calling for an internal affairs investigation,’ the statements said. ‘The officers were able to respond quickly to this incident and stop it from escalating because of a tip we received from the community.’
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said he was ‘deeply disturbed by what appears to be racially disparate treatment in this video’
The department posted a statement on Twitter where it said, in part, that it was ‘thankful for our community partners and [looked] forward to continuing to build our positive relationships’
The department asked the Somerset County prosecutors to assist in the investigation.
A number of people voiced outrage over the arrest on social media.
‘The white boy instigated it but the black boy got arrested,’ Kim Lively wrote on Facebook. ‘How f***ing typical.’
‘I can’t wrap my head around this,’ Lynn MacDowell wrote on the social media site. ‘This could not be more clear. If no one notices anything off, they are just plain evil humans.’