A black teenager was filmed being surrounded by five white police officers and tasered after he allegedly ignored a request to stop vaping on a Maryland boardwalk.
Brian Anderson, 19, was zapped with the device in Ocean City, Maryland, on Saturday, despite his apparent cooperation with the five officers surrounding him, and was filmed tumbling to the ground moments later.
Anderson, who was seen holding his hands up at the start of the clip, was struck by the taser as he reached for the strap of his backpack. One eyewitness claimed Anderson had been asked by police to remove the bag from his back, although that order was not captured on the video since shared online.
Anderson was one of four teens arrested on Saturday after being stopped by cops about vaping on the beach resort’s boardwalk. Ocean City Council has banned smoking and vaping on its boardwalk, and only allows people to do so on several designated areas of its beach.
Police told the the teenagers, all from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, that vaping was prohibited on the boardwalk, except in designated areas.
The group walked away but police said they continued to vape.
The viral clip, which has been viewed more than 1.9 million times on Twitter as of Monday, begins with Anderson standing a few feet away from officers with his hands up.
An officer yells ‘get down on the ground,’ and Anderson appears to reach for the strap of his backpack but is instantly tasered by an officer and falls to the ground clutching his stomach in pain.
‘Stop! He was standing there!’ a woman screams at the officers as they handcuff Anderson on the boardwalk.
Video: Video shows Maryland police use Taser on a teenager (The Washington Post)
‘What is wrong with you?’ one person asks the police as one officer tells the small crowd to back up.
‘Y’all did that for no reason the woman tells the officers.
A separate clip appears to show Anderson handcuffed and being carried away by five officers.
The town of Ocean City said in a release that Anderson was arrested for failure to provide necessary identification for vaping.
Police said Anderson resisted arrest and was charged with disorderly conduct, resistance, and interference with an arrest, second-degree assault, and failure to provide proof of identity. He has since been released on his own recognizance and has not commented on the arrest.
Three other teens were arrested after a large crowd of people began to form around the officers,’ including Kamere Day, 19, who was arrested for yelling profanities and approaching officers during Anderson’s arrest, the release said.
Jahtique Lewis, 18 was also arrested for allegedly pushing an officer in the chest while yelling profanities and trying to throw a bike at an officer and Khalil Warren, 19, was arrested for becoming disorderly after being warned that he was standing on private property, the release said.
Additional footage captured Warren’s arrest in front of a large crowd as several officers were filmed on top of the teen attempting to handcuff the teen.
An officer tells Warren to ‘stop resisting’ and he responds ‘I’m not resisting.’
At one point an officer is seen kneeing him three times on his side.
Those other three teens have also been freed, and have yet to speak out on their arrests.
Police said in a statement that they are aware of the various clips circulating online and defended the officer’s use of force – but said a review had also been launched.
‘We are aware of the social media videos circulating regarding this incident,’ Police said in a statement. ‘Our officers are permitted to use force, per their training, to overcome exhibited resistance.’
‘All uses of force go through a detailed review process,’ police added. ‘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.’
Ocean City saw a 21 percent jump in violent crime during 2020, including rapes, robberies and burglars.
Those serious offenses rose from 1,509 in 2019 to 1,825 in 2020. Forcible rapes triple from six in 2019 to 18 in 2020, while aggravated assaults jumped 76 percent over the same period, from 66 in 2019 to 116 in 2020.