Ocean City, MD –Several clashes between police and groups of teenagers on the Ocean City boardwalk were captured on video over the weekend, sparking controversy over officers’ tactics.
One incident occurred at about 8:28 p.m. on June 12 after officers caught a large group of people vaping on the boardwalk in the area of 12th Street, according to a press release from the Town of Ocean City.
Officers approached the group and told them it was prohibited outside of designated smoking/vaping areas.
As the group was walking away, one of the men started to vape again, according to the press release.
Police stopped 19-year-old Brian Everett Anderson and asked for his identification, but Anderson did not comply with police requests and became “disorderly,” The Washington Post reported.
Officers went to take Anderson into custody and he resisted arrest.
Then police said 19-year-old Kamere Anthony Day tried to interfere as the officers were arresting Anderson, The Washington Post reported.
Officers ordered Day to back up multiple times but he continued “yelling profanities” and approaching the officers, according to the town’s press release.
When officers tried to detain him, he resisted arrest, The Washington Post reported.
Officers attempted to establish a line between the arrests taking place and the growing, angry crowd on the boardwalk using police bicycles, the video showed.
Police said 18-year-old Jahtique Joseph John Lewis pushed a public safety aide in the chest and then picked up a police bicycle and tried to strike him with it, according to the press release.
Officials said that officers were able to take the bike away from Lewis but that he proceeded to assault the public safety aide again.
Lewis resisted arrested but was eventually taken into custody, the press release read.
Police who were maintaining the perimeter at the scene spotted 19-year-old Khalil Dwayne Warren standing on private property nearby next to two “no trespassing” signs and told him to leave.
Officials said that Warren became disorderly and then resisted arrest.
Most of the chaos was captured on cell phone video by bystanders.
None of the teens who were arrested were juveniles.
THERES MORE! @GovLarryHogan you gotta stop putting these unqualified cops in ocean city every June for theese kids .. this is honestly disgusting , it puts a bad look on senior week for kids .. they just graduated to get brutalized by police .. please do something about this!! pic.twitter.com/sG3aBhnA9f
— Hav 永不折叠 🦾 (@1Younghav) June 13, 2021
Anderson was charged with disorderly conduct, resist/interfere with arrest, second-degree assault, and failure to provide proof of identity, the New York Post reported.
Day was arrested for disorderly conduct, obstructing and hindering, failure to obey a reasonable and lawful order, resist/interfere with arrest, and second-degree assault, the town said.
Lewis was charged with disorderly conduct, failure to obey a reasonable and lawful order, obstructing & hindering, assault second degree, and resisting/interfering with arrest, the New York Post reported.
Warren was charged with trespassing-posted property and resist/interfere with arrest, according to the town’s press release.
The four teens, all of whom were from Harrisonburg, Pennsylvania, appeared before a Maryland District Court commissioner and were released on their own recognizance, the New York Post reported.
Another cell phone video of a teenaged boy being Tased on the Ocean City boardwalk on Saturday has been making the rounds.
The video showed officers yelling commands at a teen wearing a backpack whom social media users claimed had been stopped by police for vaping, The Washington Post reported.
In the video, the teen moved one hand toward his backpack strap and officer deployed a Taser at him, taking him to the ground.
“He was standing there!” someone yelled on the video.
“You all did that for no reason,” a woman off-camera said.
Police in Ocean City Maryland tasered a 17-year-old teenager after they accused him of vaping yesterday. pic.twitter.com/PVzagAV5i1
— Rebecca Kavanagh (@DrRJKavanagh) June 13, 2021
Bystanders filmed while officers secured the suspect’s feet and hands then carried him off the boardwalk to a waiting police vehicle.
Social media exploded with criticism of the officers’ tactics and complaints of excessive use of force, with some calling for Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to intervene.
The town of Ocean City said the use-of-force incidents over the weekend would be reviewed but stood behind its police force.
“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,” the town’s statement read.
“All uses of force go through a detailed review process,” the town continued. “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 House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones tweeted criticism of the incident on Monday morning.
“The video from this weekend in Ocean City is deeply disturbing. Vaping on the Boardwalk is not a criminal offense. 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,” Jones tweeted.