(The AEGIS Alliance) – RIDGEWOOD, NEW JERSEY – Police in Ridgewood, New Jersey is being criticized after video shows two officers shoving a 15-year-old boy onto the street.
Karol Ruiz, the co-president of a group that fights for immigrant rights called Wind of Spirit responded to the incident and said, “So Ridgewood police ‘protect & serve’ our youth by ensuring they ride bicycles with a helmet by beating them down & arresting them? This is a minor. He is Latino.”
An officer in the video is seen pulling on the front of a bicycle that the boy in a black shirt was riding. A second officer then came up from behind and grabbed the boy by his shoulders. Bystanders were outraged and are heard shouting while police dragged the child down onto the hard asphalt.
A bystander is heard saying, “What are you doing?” And shouted for the officers to get off of him.
Ridgewood for Black Liberation tweeted on Sunday, saying, “Ridgewood police used excessive and unacceptable force against a Latinx minor today in Ridgewood. We are working with lawyers right now to ensure that this kind of disgusting display of force does not go unaddressed.”
Emily Rizzo, an organizer for Ridgewood for Black Liberation said, “This is why we call for defunding the police and funding the community instead. Because clearly, these Ridgewood officers can’t be trusted to so much as responding to youth bike riding on a Sunday without escalating to violence.”
The Ridgewood Police Department told a different story, and in a statement, they said the teens were causing safety hazards and obstructing traffic, that they stopped to speak with them about their behavior and safety. Police said the boy in the video disregarded the safety of others, and that he resisted arrest when officers tried to take him into police custody.
Police later released the teen after his parents signed a release form, but the boy was issued four court summonses for violating motor vehicle laws.
The department said the incident is currently under active investigation and has been referred to the Internal Affairs Unit. In other words, the police are investigating their own police and the investigation will have a biased outcome favoring those officers as a result of the department investigating itself.
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.