BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Several violent arrests of teens on the Ocean City, Maryland boardwalk remain under investigation and are drawing nationwide attention.
Some of the teens taken into custody are now speaking about the incidents—including 19-year-old Brian Anderson. He was repeatedly kneed by an Ocean City police officer as seen in a viral video.READ MORE: ACLU, NAACP Demand Investigation After Video Shows Ocean City Police Officers Using Force To Arrest Teens Accused Of Vaping On Boardwalk
“They were trying to get me down. I didn’t even know that I was under arrest at first. I was walking, and then I just got grabbed from behind,” said Anderson. “I’m asking them what are they arresting me for; I’m telling them I’m not resisting, but I need to know what you’re arresting me for.”
Anderson’s arrest happened Saturday at 12th Street and the boardwalk. Police told WJZ that Anderson, who was visiting from Pennsylvania with friends, was vaping, which is prohibited on the boardwalk. They said he refused to show his identification and became disorderly.
The situation escalated even more following Anderson’s arrest when several of his friends confronted officers. Police tasered one of them and eventually arrested 4 teens.
“He said he felt my right muscle tense up. Then, he said he saw my left hand ball up, and I was in a fighting stance on the floor,” said Khalil Warren, who was also arrested.
In another incident from June 6th, police stopped an 18-year-old for smoking and Tasered him. They said he threatened to kill officers.
Top state lawmakers have called for an investigation into the arrests—all of them involving young black men.
House Speaker Adrienne Jones tweeted, in part, “Black and brown children should not be tased while their hands are up.”
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.
— Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (@SpeakerAJones) June 14, 2021
The NAACP said the incidents “send the message African American tourist dollars are not wanted in Ocean City.” The state chapter called for the officers to be removed. They plan to hold a news conference Wednesday in Annapolis.READ MORE: Concerns Mount Over Use Of Force In 'Deeply Disturbing' Video Of Ocean City Police Arresting 4 Teens Along Boardwalk
Governor Larry Hogan called the videos “disturbing” and said Maryland State Police are looking into the arrests.
On Ocean City arrests—Gov Hogan calls videos disturbing; he says he’s reached out to the mayor; Maryland State Police have reached out; he wants to see results of an initial investigation into what happened. @wjz
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) June 15, 2021
“We’re just anxious to get the initial investigation conducted so we can have all the facts before making any further statements,” Governor Hogan said Tuesday afternoon.
And WJZ has learned of yet another arrest last weekend involving a Black 18-year-old who was visiting from Pennsylvania following his high school graduation.
Another mother tells WJZ her 18yo son was slammed to the ground and hogtied by Ocean City police last weekend—in a separate incident from the 4 arrests on 12th St and the Boardwalk. She said this also started over vaping. @wjz #OceanCity pic.twitter.com/xB15u3TED7
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) June 15, 2021
His mother told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren that her son was also stopped for vaping. She said the situation escalated and claims police slammed him to the ground and hogtied him. In video she posted to Facebook, you can see at least 5 officers carry him away.
“It makes me very angry, scared and upset for these young men. This is not right,” Selina Browning told WJZ Investigator Mile Hellgren.
“Why y’all punch him when he’s in handcuffs,” someone said to officers on video taken after the initial confrontation.
“They don’t need those jobs. If you have a job like that, you protect and serve. These kids are scared to call the cops,” Browning said.
Police have not commented on the arrest of Browning’s son.
Here is the full Ocean City Police statement on the four teens arrested last Saturday:
“On June 12,2021, at approximately 8:28 p.m., officers were on foot patrol in the area of 12th Street and the Boardwalk, when they observed a large group vaping on the boardwalk. Officers approached the group and informed them of the local ordinance prohibiting smoking and vaping outside of the designated areas on the Boardwalk.
As the group walked away, officers observed the same male start vaping again. Officers approached the group again to further address the violation. During the course of the interaction, the male refused to provide his proof of identification and became disorderly. A large crowd of people began to form around the officers. The male was later identified as Brian Everett Anderson,19, Harrisburg, PA. Officers attempted to place Anderson under arrest for failure to provide necessary identification for the violation of the local ordinance. Anderson began to resist arrest. Brian Anderson was charged with disorderly conduct, resist/interfere with arrest, assault second degree, and failure to provide proof of identity. Anderson was seen by a Maryland District Court Commissioner and released on his own personal recognizance.
During the interaction with Anderson, Kamere Anthony Day, 19, Harrisburg, PA, was yelling profanities and approaching officers during the lawful arrest. Officers placed a marked police bike in front of Day and advised him to back up. Day refused to comply with the officer’s orders, continued yelling profanities while attempting to approach the officers placing Anderson under arrest. Officers approached Day to place him under arrest for disorderly conduct. Day resisted arrest. Kamere Day was charged with disorderly conduct, obstructing and hindering, failure to obey reasonable and lawful order, resist/interfere with arrest, and assault second-degree. Day has been seen by a Maryland District Court Commissioner and released on his own personal recognizance.
Officers and Public Safety Aides attempted to provide a perimeter to separate the aggressive and hostile crowd and the officers making an arrest. Officers observed, Jahtique Joseph John Lewis, 18, Harrisburg, PA, push a Public Safety Aide in the chest while yelling profanities. John Lewis then picked up a police bicycle and attempted to strike a Public Safety Aide with it. Officers were able to remove the bicycle from John Lewis. John Lewis assaulted the Public Safety Aide again. Officers attempted to place John Lewis under arrest. John Lewis resisted arrest. John Lewis has been charged with disorderly conduct, failure to obey a reasonable and lawful order, obstructing & hindering, assault second degree and resist/interfere with arrest. John Lewis was seen by a Maryland District Court Commissioner and released on his own personal recognizance.
As Officers and Public Safety Aides maintained the perimeter, officers observed Khalil Dwayne Warren, 19, Harrisburg, PA, standing on private property next to two “no trespassing signs”. Officers gave Warren a lawful order to leave the private property if he was not staying at the property. Warren became disorderly. Officers attempted to place Warren under arrest. Warren resisted arrested. Warren was charged with trespassing-posted property, resist/interfere with arrest. Warren was seen by a Maryland District Court Commissioner and released on his own personal recognizance.
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. 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.”