Police Investigated After Video Confiscating Black Teens' Bikes Goes Viral

After a video went viral of cops stopping a group of minority teenagers to confiscate their bikes and handcuff one Black teen in the group, local prosecutors have opened an investigation of the police unit.

According to a report from New Jersey Advance Media, the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office announced they were looking into a New Jersey Perth Amboy police precinct after footage began to circulate online of their terse interaction with a group of bike-riding teens.

We can’t even ride bikes now... I’m not surprised. I’m just angry. pic.twitter.com/xcAR8zmnuP

— ⁶Kid (@deep_dab) April 19, 2021

Hours prior, a brief clip of the incident was posted to TikTok and Twitter. It begins with police officers scolding the boys for not having paperwork to ride their bikes.

"I told you guys you're supposed to have licenses," a white officer says. "The sergeant warned you guys about your bikes."

Assisting officers are heard threatening the teens with arrests if they do not surrender their bikes. "Bruh ... take my s**t," one exasperated Black teen says. The video then cuts to him being handcuffed and taken to a nearby police car.

"Y'all see this, man?" the man filming says. "Over some bikes!" He ends the video by counting six separate cop cars at the scene.

Executive Director of ACLU-NJ Amol Sinha retweeted the footage that has since been viewed over 5 million times. "This is Perth Amboy, NJ. Are the police really arresting kids over bike registrations?" he wrote. "Does it really require this many officers to address whatever situation this is? Police CANNOT continue to be our response to EVERYTHING."

Viewers expressed their anger in the comments. "Imagine needing a license for a bike but not a gun," one viewer wrote. "Are those cops gonna start shaking down elementary school kids for their lunch money?" another asked.

This is Perth Amboy, NJ. Are the police really arresting kids over bike registrations? Does it really require this many officers to address whatever situation this is? Police CANNOT continue to be our response to EVERYTHING. https://t.co/fcrPfJNKBI

— Amol Sinha (@AmolSinha) April 20, 2021

"Every juvenile being taken into custody by law enforcement in Middlesex County is of the utmost concern to Prosecutor [Yolanda] Ciccone and this young person is no different," her office told NJ Advance Media in a statement. "What occurred before, during and after the incident depicted is under review."

However, the full interaction that was posted onto a public YouTube account under the name Christian Orozco on Saturday paints a different picture to some. The 17-minute long video shows over a dozen teens weaving through traffic, popping wheelies and performing various tricks on their bikes.

They also appear to break rules of the road, with footage showing several teens crossing a double yellow line into traffic, leaving some in the comments section to criticize their behavior prior to being stopped by the police.

"There's a time and place for everything..the middle of the day in the middle of the road is not it," said one user.

"The kids were riding towards traffic and will blame the driver when they get ran over," said another.

Halfway through the video, cops arrive and instruct the group to stop. The cop seen in the Twitter video explains that they need licenses and registration to ride per a city ordinance for any vehicle operating on a city street in Perth Amboy — including bicycles.

"Guys, we're not gonna take your bikes, alright?" he says as he approaches the group, now whittled down to less than 10. "You guys know that when there's like 30-40 of you guys it creates a problem for the people driving their cars ... Listen, be careful."

After a calm discussion, the issue appears to be resolved, with the unidentified officer walking away and thanking the teens. The group even claps for him, with the man behind the camera saying, "That's how you gotta handle business out here."

Moments later, the altercation heats up again as a separate female officer approaches to confiscate the bikes. She claims to have issued a warning to the group earlier. Upon hearing this, the male officer allows her group to take the bikes and arrest one of the teens.

The boy is heard repeating "I'm from Edison," where municipalities do not require tags for bicycles.

It was not immediately clear if the teen is facing charges.

News continues to circulate about interactions between Black citizens and white officers following officer Derek Chauvin's guilty verdict on all counts in the death of George Floyd. A recent Newsweek report reveals that since Floyd's death, 181 Black people have died in police custody.

A group of teens recorded their recent run-in with police, who proceeded to take their bicycles and arrest at least one in the group. ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images