‘I was treated differently based on the colour of my skin’, says Black teen pinned to floor by police after fight with white teen

White teen throws the Black teen on the floor, before police restrain the Black teen

Jade Bremner
Wednesday 23 February 2022 15:25 GMT
US police seen arresting black teen provokes widespread anger

A Black teeanger who was pinned to the floor by police following a fight with a white teen has spoken out in the wake of video of the incident going viral.

Footage of police breaking up a fight between the teenagers at a New Jersey mall angered viewers, as the police appeared to rush to restrain the Black teen while leaving the white teen unrestrained sitting on a couch.

“It’s been kind of weird thinking about, like, how I was treated differently based on the color of my skin,” the 8th grade student Z’Kye Husain told ABC7, explaining that the white teenager was a highschooler who was picking on his 7th grade friend.

“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,” Husain said. “I was just confused and mad about it.”

The fight, which took place at the Bridgewater Commons Mall in Bridgewater Township, shows teens filming their peers in an argument before things get physical and the pair start shoving then hitting each other.

The white teen throws Z’Kye on the floor and the police arrive to break up the fight, the female officer pulls the white teen off Z’Kye then tells him to “sit down”.

The female officer then goes over to help the male officer cuff Z’Kye as he is being held on the floor, she further restrains him by putting her knee on his back, all while the white teen is being left on his own on the couch.

“They basically tackled me to the ground and then the male officer put his knee in my back and then he started putting me in cuffs then the female officer came over and put her knee on my upper back too and started helping him put cuffs on me while he was just sitting down on the couch watching the whole thing,” Z’Kye Husain told ABC7.

(Karina Stevens/ Facebook)

The white teen is able to watch the police cuff Z’Kye as the person filming the video is heard saying “oh no” and “holy f**k, yo it’s because he’s Black – racially motivated”.

After cuffing Z’Kye and hearing the comments, the female officer then walks over to the white teen who has stood up. The video ends there. It is so far unclear as to whether the white teen was ever cuffed.

Bridgewater Police offered a statement about the incident. “Bridgewater Police Department is aware of a video on social media of our officers stopping a fight in progress at the Bridgewater Commons Mall,” it said in a statement on Facebook. “We recognise 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. 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.”

Social media users littered the post with comments of condemnation.

“During your investigation, I hope you come to realize why neither of these officers should be police,” said one user.

“Police officers once again demonstrate their inherent biases and why they shouldn’t be officers in the first place. A white boy was treated with dignity while a Black boy was thrown to the ground,” wrote another user.

“It is clear as day, both kids should have been cuffed as they were equally responsible and a threat,” wrote another.

The Independent has contacted the Bridgewater Police Department for further comment.

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