OCEAN CITY, Md. — Bystander video showing the weekend violent arrest of several Black teenagers in Ocean City has been watched millions of times in recent days.
One of the videos, taken from Ocean City's boardwalk and posted to Instagram, shows what appears to be an officer kneeing a suspect on the ground as police try to take him into custody. Other videos show officers using stun guns on teenagers.
In one video, police told a suspect — pinned to the ground by four law enforcement officials — to stop resisting and to give them his hands. The suspect tells police that he isn't resisting and asks why he's being arrested.
One of the officers responded by kneeing the man on the ground five times. Some of the blows look like they may have landed on the side of the man's body.
Police say the encounter began when a group was seen vaping in a prohibited area.
View videos of the arrests in the Instagram posts below. Warning: They contain violent content and some explicit language.
As they walked away, police said one of the men started vaping again. He allegedly refused to provide officers with his ID when asked and officers said he became disorderly.
Police later identified that man as 19-year-old Brian Everett Anderson.
As officers struggled to place Anderson under arrest, a crowd formed around them. One of those individuals has been identified as 19-year-old Kamere Anthony Day.
Police say Day yelled profanities and continued to approach officers as they were placing Anderson under arrest, despite being told to back away several times.
A third suspect, 18-year-old Jahtique Joseph John Lewis allegedly assaulted an Ocean City public safety aid twice. He later picked up a police bicycle and tried striking officers with it.
Another man, identified as 19-year-old Khalil Dwayne Warren, also refused to leave the scene and was arrested.
All four suspects are from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and have been released on their own recognizance.
A police spokeswoman said the department is aware of the videos and that the incident would undergo a review process.
"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," said Deputy Communications Manager, Ashley Miller. "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."
Maryland State Senate President Bill Ferguson commented on the incident in a Tweet Monday, tying the videos to a police reform package passed during this year's General Assembly.
"No teenager should face brutality for walking along the Boardwalk. An important balance exists between under enforcement and over enforcement," said Ferguson. "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."
Statement on violence in Ocean City and Fell's Point this weekend. pic.twitter.com/As2DSsVzWs— Bill Ferguson (@SenBillFerg) June 14, 2021
This story was originally published by Michelle Richardson on Scripps station WMAR in Baltimore.