Public trust in the American policing system has been eroding for months and yet cops still don’t seem to see any need to change their behavior. The latest reminder of how desperately this country needs to reform its approach to law enforcement comes in the form of a video from Ridgewood, New Jersey which allegedly shows police brutalizing a Latino minor for failing to wear a helmet while riding his bike.
The infuriating irony of hurting someone because they didn’t take the proper precautions against hurting themselves was apparently lost on the cops involved in the encounter and renders the “Protect and Serve” slogan as a bad joke.
The clip shows the boy peacefully sitting on his bicycle when a cop pounces on him from behind before he and another officer violently force the boy to the ground as he cries out for them to stop. The child clearly doesn’t demonstrate a threat to the officers or himself.
NorthJersey.com reports that civil rights organization Ridgewood for Black Liberation is pushing for the officers involved in the incident to be fired. The group has been actively posting about the video on Twitter.
“These grown men beat a child in front of a group of children riding bicycles, traumatizing each and every one,” Emily Rizzo, a Ridgewood for Black Liberation organizer, told NorthJersey.com. “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 respond to youth bike riding on a Sunday without escalating to violence,” added Rizzo.
Simply put, the behavior on display in the video is inexcusable. The officers involved clearly overreacted and employed excessive force and one can’t help but wonder how far they would have taken things if there weren’t witnesses there to film it. Hopefully, these men are held accountable and prevented from terrorizing more children in the future.
— Ridgewood for Black Liberation (@RW4BL_) July 26, 2020
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
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