Videos of multiple arrests in Ocean City, Maryland, have gone viral showing the violent extremes that local police will go to when upholding the state’s ban on disposable e-cigs. In one, a group of cops tackled and pinned a teen to the ground before violently kneeing him in the ribs. In another, a teen was tased before being put in handcuffs. All for the crime of... vaping.
The first incident—which was captured in an Instagram post by a bystander watching the scene unfold—left four teens arrested on the evening of June 12th, according to a statement put out by Ocean City Police. The statement notes that the office is “aware of the social media videos,” showing the cops brutally tackling a teenager who was just vaping on the local boardwalk, and promised that the events leading up to the arrests would “go through a detailed review process.”
That said, the release also notes that Maryland’s officers “are permitted to use force, per their training, to overcome exhibited resistance.”
According to the news release, authorities said they were patrolling around the boardwalk when they noticed “a large group” of teens vaping. After the officers approached the group and let them know about local ordinances banning smoking and vaping outdoors—save for a few designated areas on the boardwalk—they walked away, only to notice one of the teens start to vape again.
The man, a 19-year-old named Brian Everett Anderson, was later arrested after he refused to offer identification and became “disorderly,” the cops allege. 19-year-old Kamere Anthony Day was later arrested after allegedly “yelling profanities,” and “approaching officers,” during Anderson’s arrest, while 18-year-old Jahtique Joseph John Lewis was put in handcuffs after he allegedly attempted to hit one of the officers with a police bike. Khalil Dwayne Warren, 19, was then arrested for “standing on private property,” and refusing to move, the statement reads.
The police haven’t yet responded to a second viral video showing police tasing and tackling a 17-year-old—whose hands were clearly raised in front of him—after he was allegedly caught vaping outdoors.
This is hardly the first time Ocean City’s cops have come under fire for using brutal amounts of unneeded force. Back in June of last year, Ocean City officials also said that they’d opened a review into a case where a cop was caught punching and choking out a man while arresting him over an open alcohol container. Weeks later, those charges would be cleared after the Department ruled that the officer’s tactics were “within policy.” Something tells me this latest case will be handled the exact same way.