Two Black teens were stopped and arrested for jaywalking on a street that had no sidewalks.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Black people can literally be doing nothing at all and still be harassed by police. The latest report comes from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where police officers arrested two Black teens for jaywalking on a street with no sidewalks. Body camera footage from the incident which happened last week has just been released after the Tulsa community called for more answers about the teens’ arrest. The video appears to have been blurred in order to protect the identity of the officers.
In the video, you can see the two teens walking down the middle of an empty road when a cop comes up from behind them and forces one of the teens to the ground. A second cop arrives in a squad car, and the other teen is arrested. The teens repeatedly ask the officers why they are being arrested; at one point, the first teen puts up a struggle before being handcuffed and forced to the ground. One of the young boys says to the officer, “you want to see me in jail or dead” and accuses the cop of targeting him because he is Black.
During the arrest, the second teen tries to calm his companion down and tells him the struggle is “not worth it.” Thankfully a Black man from across the street from the incident takes notice and questions the cop’s excessive force. The cop yells back at the man, telling him to get out of the street, or he will arrest him along with the boys. The first teen was kept inside the officers’ squad car, and the second teen was eventually released and told not to jaywalk.
In a statement released on Wednesday by Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum states the incident is being investigated. “I want every kid in Tulsa to feel safe to walk down the street in their neighborhood. No Tulsa kid should have to fear being tackled and cuffed for walking down the street. I viewed that footage last night more as a parent than a mayor,” he said.” I know the officers in that unit focus on removal of illegal guns from the streets, but the goal of that work should be that families feel safe in their neighborhood. This instance accomplished the opposite.”
Tulsa police say the department’s Internal Affairs Unit is investigating the first teen’s arrest and will not comment as the investigation is pending.