Widespread support from the New Jersey community appeared at Bridgewater. Many have demanded police reform over the past year, especially since America’s racial reckoning heated up in 2020, yet very little has changed.
The incident that sparked this protest started with two boys at the Bridgewater Commons Mall. Z’Kye, a 14-year-old boy who was Black, and Joseph, a 15-year-old boy who was Colombian and Pakistani. The two boys started a fistfight, and two police officers responded. Joseph, who is light-skinned, is led to a nearby bench by a female officer while Z’Kye is tackled to the ground by the male officer who puts his knee in the teen’s back.
The female officer leaves Joseph on the sofa so she can assist the male officer. She places her knee on Z‘Kye’s upper back while he is handcuffed. Joseph, who offered to be handcuffed as well, has also called the event troubling. “I say that was just plain old racist. I don’t condone that at all,” he told NJ Advance Media.
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