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Teen Tased By Ocean City Police Speaks; NAACP Calls For Suspension of Officers, Discusses Possible OC Boycott

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The NAACP and other civil rights organizations condemned the violent arrests of Black teenagers in Ocean City in several incidents that began when police confronted the teens over vaping, which is prohibited on the Boardwalk.

"The question is whether the rest of the elected officials in this state will stand up and speak out against police brutality, or if they'll just go to Ocean City and sit on the beach and have cocktails," said Baltimore NAACP President Kobi Little.

The NAACP is calling for the officers to be suspended and for an independent investigation into the officers' conduct.

While some are hesitant to call for a boycott of the resort town, others believe it should happen.

"Everything is on the table," said lawyer Billy Murphy.

"The businesses are going to be affected however you look at it because people have already made up their minds without us saying it. That video was a message to boycott Ocean City. We didn't say that," said Maryland State NAACP President Willie Flowers.

WJZ reached out repeatedly to the Ocean City mayor's office and received no comment.

Murphy, who represented Freddie Gray's family, said one of the arrested teens reached out to him.

"Well, we're going to help. We're going to file every possible legal action against them that the law permits. I'm proud to stand up against the police," Murphy said.

Ocean City police have declined interview requests but contend the teens were disorderly and in some cases threatened officers. They said the use of force in these cases is under review.

Police tased 18-year-old Taizier Griffin who was visiting Ocean City from Perryville in Cecil County on June 6.

"I was worried that I was going to get shot. I am upset about getting Tased, but I'm just glad it wasn't a gun because who knows if they had a gun instead I could've been shot," Griffin said. "I never thought it would happen to me. Honestly, it all started out as a normal day, and then I'm being arrested over a vape."

Officers said Griffin threatened to kill them. He said that is not accurate.

"That never happened. I did not say that I was going to kill him."

Carl Snowden of the Caucus of African American Leaders called for an expedited investigation into the arrest.

"His hands are up in the air, and they shoot him. They Tased him. What lawful order did he not follow?" Snowden asked.

During a press conference Wednesday, state and some Worcester County leaders shared their thoughts on the video and what needed to happen next.

Bishop Antonio Palmer said the actions of the officers makes a mockery of the legislators and other police officers working to make changes in the community.

"To me, the actions of the OCPD, of the use of excessive force -- what we saw on the video, to happen after the passing of legislation that promotes police accountability is first a mockery to our legislators who labored intensely for policies that promote change," Palmer said. "That's a slap in the face to the police officers who are having deep dive conversations with community leaders about rebuilding trust between community and police."

"Their actions is indicative of the fact that police reform is necessary," Palmer said. "Body cameras and civilian review boards are necessary."

Although they didn't call for an outright boycott of Ocean City, some leaders said they wouldn't be attending conferences and meetings there.

Watch the full press conference below:

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