OCEAN CITY, Md. — The use of force by four Maryland police officers during the arrest Saturday of a teen for vaping will be reviewed, officials said.
A widely viewed video shows a teen put his hands in the air, several feet away from a group of officers, when one of the officers steps forward and deploys a stun gun before the other officers converge on the teen, WBAL reported.
The officers are then seen holding the man to the ground while another officer knees the teen several times.
“We are aware of the social media videos circulating regarding this incident. Our officers are permitted to use force, per their training, to overcome exhibited resistance,” an agency spokesperson said in a statement. “All uses of force go through a detailed review process. The uses of force from these arrests will go through a multi-level examination by the Assistant Patrol Commander, the Division Commander and then by the Office of Professional Standards.”
Officials said the incident started around 8:30 p.m. when a group of officers on foot patrol at the boardwalk noticed a group vaping. An ordinance prohibits smoking and vaping outside of designated areas on the boardwalk.
The officers told the group of the rule. The group walked off but one person started vaping again, WMAR reported. Police said Brian Everett Anderson, 19, refused to show officers his identification, prompting a crowd to form around the officers.
Anderson was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, resist/interfere with arrest, second-degree assault and failure to provide proof of identity, WBAL reported. He was released on his own recognizance.
A group started to form during the incident.
Another teen, Kamere Anthony Day, 19, started yelling profanities at the officers during Anderson’s arrest. An officer parked a bicycle in front of Day and told him to move back. Day refused and was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, obstructing and hindering, failure to obey a reasonable lawful order, resist/interfere with arrest and second-degree assault, WBAL reported. He was released on his own recognizance.
Jahtique Joseph John Lewis, 18, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, failure to obey a reasonable and lawful order, obstructing and hindering, second-degree assault and resist/interfere with arrest, WBAL reported. He was released on his own recognizance.
Khalil Dwayne Warren, 19, was arrested and charged with trespassing-posted property and resist/interfere with arrest, WBAL reported.
House Speaker Adrienne Jones called the video disturbing.
“Vaping on the Boardwalk is not a criminal offense,” she said on social media. “Black and brown children should not be tased while their hands are up. Officers should not kneel on the back of a minor. Vaping should not yield a hog tie.”
Earlier this year, Maryland legislators passed a police reform bill.
“An important balance exists between under enforcement and over enforcement,” Senate President Bill Ferguson said on social media. “We achieve that balance and we achieve real public safety when constitutional policing leads to the appropriate enforcement of our laws and where the system yields swift, certain, and just consequences for those who break the law.”
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