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Two teenagers got into a fight. Only one black man was handcuffed.

It was an ordinary brawl that would normally go unnoticed: two teenagers swinging against each other in a New Jersey shopping center.

But when the police arrived and pulled them out, a teenager, who was black, was handcuffed. The other, the white man, was allowed to sit restlessly on a bench.

The fight, which took place at the Bridgewater Commons shopping center on Saturday, was captured in a video that has been viewed more than 1.8 million times on Twitter.

Governor Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey said at a news conference Wednesday that “the emergence of racially disparate treatment” is “really disturbing.”

On Monday, the Bridgewater Police Department wrote on Facebook“We recognize this video has upset members of our community and are calling for an internal investigation.”

In a letter to residents On Tuesday, the mayor of Bridgewater said the town’s sheriff had asked the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office to look into the matter. The NAACP’s New Jersey State Convention is call for officers involved in the episode to be immediately removed from the force pending investigation.

The family of Black teen Z’Kye Husain, 14, is working with Benjamin Crump, the civil rights attorney who represents the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other famous victims of atrocities police brutality against blacks.

In a brief phone interview on Thursday, Z’Kye’s mother, who asked that she be identified only by her first name, Eboné, said her son remained in handcuffs for about 20 to 30 minutes. Eboné said the white teenager, whom Crump said was in 11th grade, was not handcuffed. She said there were no charges against both teenagers.

“The police said it was just protocol for such a situation for them to put the kids in handcuffs,” she said. “It happened like that, my son was the only one in handcuffs.”

A Bridgewater Police Department spokesman referred questions to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, which did not respond to a request for comment.

Z’Kye’s mother said her son was at the mall with friends around 7:30 p.m. Saturday when the white teen started harassing one of Z’Kye’s friends, who was in class. seven. Z’Kye defended her friend, she said, as other teenagers at the mall began recording the encounter with their phones.

In the video, a Caucasian teenager, wearing a dark sweater, stabs a finger near Z’Kye’s face. Z’Kye pushed his hand away. Then, the white teenager used both hands to push Z’Kye to the chest. Z’Kye staggered back. Then, both teenagers started throwing punches as the crowd around them backed away.

The older boy put Z’Kye on the couch. Many punches are thrown. The white teenager confronts Z’Kye and is above him when two uniformed officers, who appear to be white, arrive.

Officers threw the white teenager over to the couch and one stayed with him briefly when another officer pinned Z’Kye to the floor and began handcuffing him.

The officer was with the white teenager on the sofa leaving him there to help restrain Z’Kye, both officers resting their knees on his back.

The white teenager stood up and took a few small steps toward the officers and Z’Kye.

The video ends as one officer lifts Z’Kye off the ground and the other walks up to the white teen and places her hand on his chest as if to guide him back to the couch.

“Yo, that’s because he’s black,” said one bystander before the video ended. “Racial motives.”

A Bridgewater Commons spokesman said both teenagers had been banned from the mall for three years. She declined to comment further, citing the evolving investigation.

Mr. Crump said other videos of the fight could show more of the encounter and officers’ reactions to it. He also said the episode was important because “too many of us are killed when falsely accused and falsely accused.”

Mayor Matthew Moench of Bridgewater Town, about 30 miles north of Trenton, told residents in his letter it was “not appropriate for me or any other Town official to comment further” because of a meeting investigation is underway. Mr. Moench did not respond to phone calls and emails seeking comment.

Town officials also canceled a previously scheduled meeting at town hall on Wednesday, citing “the volume and nature of communications that have been received by Town staff and their Police Department.” I get,” according to letter posted on the town’s website.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/17/nyregion/mall-fight-bridgewater-commons-nj.html Two teenagers got into a fight. Only one black man was handcuffed.

Fry Electronics Team

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