NJ officials review police taking bike, cuffing Black person
PERTH AMBOY, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey authorities are reviewing an incident captured on video showing police handcuffing a Black youth and confiscating his bike, prosecutors confirmed on Wednesday.
The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s office said the matter, which unfolded over the weekend in Perth Amboy and led to critical comments online about policing, is under review. But authorities declined to comment further.
The office of Perth Amboy Mayor Helmin Caba said in a statement posted on Tuesday that the youth shown in the video was taken into custody, then released to a guardian along with his bike.
The mayor’s statement cites disorderly conduct, but it’s not clear if the unidentified “juvenile” was ever charged.
The incident, which the mayor’s office said happened on Saturday, led to comments online after a 55-second clip was posted online along with the comment: “We can’t even ride bikes now... I’m not surprised. I’m just angry.”
That version on Twitter has more than 5 million views with commenters asking about the extent police will go to “harass black people.” The person who filmed the videos posted versions on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube.
The short clip shows officers ordering the riders to dismount their bikes, amid crosstalk. The officers then handcuff the young Black person, though it’s unclear why. Officers then lead him to the police SUV and place him in the back.
A longer, 17-minute video, posted on YouTube by the same person who filmed the shorter clip, shows more than a dozen bikers riding through Perth Amboy before police stopped them. The footage, which is edited, shows riders popping wheelies, chatting, stopping to buy a 24-pack of bottled water and jumping off steps on their bikes. They also at times cross over the double yellow line into traffic and veer close to cars, appearing to graze them.
At the end of the longer clip, police are shown returning bicycles to members of the group of riders they stopped, and a sergeant says the group had been warned to stop riding in the middle of the road.