praying for my black young men out here….these kids was just trying to make money for their football team 😢😢😢
Posted by Dominique Davis on Thursday, July 5, 2018
A Facebook video of Philadelphia police officers forcefully arresting a Black teenager over selling bottles of water went viral on Thursday and sparked outrage among the community.
A video recorded by Facebook user Dominique Davis was posted on social media of a 14-year-old boy faced on the ground as two cops slammed handcuffs on him outside of the zoo’s front gates. The video shows a crowd of people yelling at authorities to let the child go and two zoo public safety officers in a heated confrontation.
One of the public safety employee, who’s a Black woman screams at her white co-worker “Is this what you wanted!”
Sekou Kinebrew, the Philadelphia Police Captain claimed that one of the zoo employees flagged the police down after the teen allegedly made a threatening comment towards her, ABC6 reported.
The teen was eventually taken away from the crowd of people and placed in cuffs. However, the events that led up to the takedown were not shown on video and internal affairs are conducting an investigation.
“I don’t have enough information to say this wasn’t handled perfectly. I don’t believe it was,” Hans Menos of the Police Advisory Commission told the news source. He added that sometimes companies are too quick to involve law enforcement when it comes to Black citizens, referring to the Starbucks incident. “I think we need to start thinking as a city, citizens, as corporations as businesses when do we want to infuse a police interaction into what we can handle on our own.”
However, the director of communications at the Philadelphia Zoo, Dana Lombardo told the Philly Voice in a statement that the zoo has had issues with the same group of young boys including the teen arrested. She alleged that they were “soliciting money from Zoo guests” and “throwing rocks at a Zoo member.”
“When asked to leave the area, the group began to move off but made a threatening remark to the public safety officer as a Philadelphia Police Department vehicle was driving by,” the statement read. “At that time the public safety officer flagged down the Philadelphia Police Department vehicle and asked for help in dispersing the group.”
Black Lives Matter activist Asa Khalif was infuriated by the incident and said the “Philadelphia Cops” are out of control.
“They were selling water,” he added. “Not crack, not drugs, not any of that nonsense. They were selling water to raise money. Entrepreneurs, that’s what they were and that’s who they are. … It ended in arrest. A violent arrest. And I’m not gonna tolerate that,” he expressed.
Police officials have yet to confirm the arrest and are reviewing the situation.