Dover, NJ — A community is expressing their outrage this week after a video posted to Twitter shows officers with the Ridgewood Police Department violently arresting a small 15-year-old boy over a minor infraction.
The original Tweet claimed the boy was stopped and arrested for not wearing a helmet. However, the chief of police issued a statement Tuesday afternoon claiming that the boy was detained for riding his bicycle through a closed off road.
The boy was part of a large group of cyclists who police claimed were a hazard to motorists. Police said that the group of bicyclists then traveled through a closed off area before the boy was violently attacked and arrested.
“The roadway was closed to motor vehicle traffic to allow for increased pedestrian traffic and for tables and tents which were set up in the roadway.
“Patrol units stopped the group to speak with the group about bicycle safety and about the groups’ conduct.
“One bicyclist disregarded the safety of others and began to pass the officer as the officer was speaking with the group.
“After some conversation, the officer advised that bicyclist that he was going to be issued a summons….At that time, the bicyclist attempted to flee and began to pull his bicycle away from the officer.
“The officers on scene then attempted to take custody of the bicyclist and the bicyclist continued to actively resist the officers.”
In other words, the boy didn’t stay around to listen to the officers, so he was singled out and the officers made an example out of him.
The video below starts as the teen is seen pulling his bicycle away from the officer. Without warning he is blind-sided by the officer behind him.
The two cops — who are both much larger than the boy — slam him to the ground as he tries to hold onto his bicycle. As the massive cops press down on the boy, he can be heard yelling for the officers to get off of his stomach as they put him in handcuffs.
“Ridgewood police used excessive and unacceptable force against a Latinx minor today in [Ridgewood],” a group that calls itself Ridgewood for Black Liberation tweeted Sunday. “We are working with lawyers right now to ensure that this kind of disgusting display of force does not go unaddressed.”
— Ridgewood for Black Liberation (@RW4BL_) July 26, 2020
Emily Rizzo, an organizer for Ridgewood for Black Liberation, said the group will fight for the firing of the officers involved.
“These grown men beat a child in front of a group of children riding bicycles, traumatizing each and every one,” Rizzo, a village resident, told NorthJersey.com
According to the statement from police, the incident is now under investigation.
“Due to the many facets of this incident, including, but not limited to the fact that we review every use of force incident and feedback received from the public, this incident is still under active investigation. This incident has also been referred to the Internal Affairs Unit. ”
Karol Ruiz, co-president of immigrant rights group Wind of the Spirit, called for the Attorney General’s Office to investigate the incident, as she says the kids were just biking through the town, NorthJersey.com reported.
“This is one more example demonstrating the need for the reforms of the Office of the Attorney General proposes and much more,” Ruiz said.
So @Rpdnj “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. @NewJerseyOAG @GovMurphy @LATINOACTION the investigation needs to start NOW. @RW4BL_ @jnena08 pic.twitter.com/5UYICxCRbO
— Karol Ruiz (@KR_KnowUrRights) July 26, 2020
Unfortunately for many folks in the land of the free, riding a bicycle can be hazardous to your health when minor traffic codes are not strictly maintained.
As TFTP previously reported, an officer’s dashcam video showed a disturbing scene unfold as a police officer stops a man on a bicycle. An unarmed, shirtless, shoeless man is mauled for several minutes by a police K-9.
The reason for the stop was the cyclist was riding without a light on his bike.
Also, another incident was captured on video in which an officer attempted to cause grave injury to a child by running him over with his cruiser. The child’s crime? He was riding his bicycle without the proper lighting. Now, the taxpayers are going to be held liable for this cop’s actions.