A video of two teensinside a New Jersey mall has sparked outrage after two officers intervened. One teen was allowed to sit on a couch, while the Black teen was placed in handcuffs with both officers pinning him to the ground.
The Black teen's mother, Ebone, who asked that her last name not be used, said her eighth grade son Z'Kye did not resist as officers handcuffed him.
Z'Kye told CBS News that the experience "made me feel like … they were agreeing to him — to me being inferior to him."
Z'Kye, who is 14, said he was trying to stop his seventh grade friend from being bullied by a 15-year-old named Joseph.
"I did not bully, tease them," Joseph told CBS News.
Joseph, who also asked that his last name not be used, said he was confused why he was also not put in handcuffs.
"I was confused why they were detaining him and not me. I even offered to get detained when I was on the couch. I put my hands up like this and I said, 'You guys could detain me.' She said 'No, because you were calm,'" Joseph said.
Both officers are under investigation.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy called the video troubling.
"Although an investigation is still gathering the facts about this incident, I'm deeply disturbed by what appears to be racially disparate treatment in this video," Murphy said.
Police did not charge the teens, who have been banned from the Bridgewater Commons Mall for three years.
Ebone said she wants the officers held accountable and worries about her son. She said she has had a conversation with him about being a Black man who may be seen by some as a threat.
"You have to have your Black-Man-America talk to every boy," she said.
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