Recorded on cellphone videos assaulting teenagers in separate incidents for vaping near the beach, no Maryland police officers currently face criminal charges or disciplinary actions for tasing and beating multiple teens.
At 8:28 p.m. on June 12, several Ocean City police officers confronted four teenagers for illegally vaping on the boardwalk. According to the official statement, the officers allowed the teens to walk away when 19-year-old Brian Anderson allegedly started to vape again.
After Anderson reportedly refused to show his identification to the officers, they tackled him to the ground and began to assault him. In the bystander video, an officer ordered Anderson to stop resisting.
“I’m not resisting,” Anderson responded. “He just kneed me, bro.”
According to the video, a couple of officers held Anderson down as a third cop repeatedly kicked Anderson in the back with his knee. Anderson did not appear to be resisting as he remained facedown with his hands behind his back.
Upset at the flagrant use of excessive force against their friend, the three other teens began shouting profanities at the officers and pushing their marked police bicycles. Although the official statement neglected to mention that an officer fired a Taser at one of the teens, the video clearly shows an Ocean City police officer tasing a teenager for no justifiable reason.
Kamere Day, 19, was charged with disorderly conduct, obstructing and hindering, failure to obey reasonable and lawful order, resist/interfere with arrest, and assault second degree. John Lewis, 18, has been charged with disorderly conduct, failure to obey a reasonable and lawful order, obstructing & hindering, assault second degree and resist/interfere with arrest. Khalil Warren, 19, was charged with trespassing-posted property, resist/interfere with arrest.
Anderson was charged with disorderly conduct, resist/interfere with arrest, assault second degree, and failure to provide proof of identity.
“The video from this weekend in Ocean City is deeply disturbing. Vaping on the Boardwalk is not a criminal offense,” Maryland House Speaker Adrienne Jones said in a recent statement. “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 hogtie.”
“We are aware of the social media videos circulating regarding this incident,” the town wrote in its official 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. 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.”
On June 6, Ocean City police officers were recorded on cellphone video in a separate incident firing a Taser at a different teen who also allegedly violated the local ordinance prohibiting vaping near the beach. In that video, Taizier Griffin, 18, stood with his hands in the air when several officers ordered him to get on the ground.
According to witnesses at the scene, one of the officers ordered Griffin to take off his backpack before the video started. As Griffin clearly appeared to be taking off his backpack, an officer abruptly fired his Tazer at the teen.
“It just happened so quick. He reached for his book bag, the next thing I know he’s on the ground,” Griffin’s brother, Tayvin Griffin, told NBC News.
According to a statement from the Ocean City Police Department, the teen “became disorderly and began yelling at officers and threatening to kill them. At that time, officers drew their Conducted Electrical Weapons (CEW). He continued to make threats on officers, spit on them and resist arrest.”
But according to the video, Griffin stood with his empty hands in the air and appeared to be complying with the officers when they fired a Taser at him. Griffin was booked on charges of assault, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest.