Brian Everett Anderson, 19, is seen with his hands up before dropping to the ground after being tasered by an officer. Police in Ocean City, Maryland have come under fire for their aggressive tactics of enforcing a ban on vaping on the boardwalk. In a now viral video, a young Black man is seen with his hands up as he is tasered by an officer. The officer also seen repeatedly kneeing the teen in the stomach.
The incident left four teenagers arrested, including Anderson who was tasered and hog-tied as he was carried away from the scene.
In a news release, the Ocean City Police Department said that officers were on foot patrol when they observed a large group vaping on the boardwalk. As the group walked away, officers observed the same young man begin to vape again, according to the news release. The officers attempted to arrest the young man, now identified as Anderson, for “failure to provide necessary identification for the violation of the local ordinance.”
“During the course of the interaction, the male refused to provide his proof of identification and became disorderly. A large crowd of people began to form around the officers,” according to the department.
Anderson was later charged with disorderly conduct, resisting and interfering with arrest, assault second degree, and failure to provide proof of identity. He was seen by a Maryland District Court Commissioner and released on his own recognizance.
The other teens on the scene were also charged. Kamere Day, another 19-year-old, was charged with disorderly conduct, obstructing, and hindering, failure to obey a reasonable and lawful order, resist/interfere with arrest, and assault second-degree. John Lewis, another teen, was arrested when officers accused him of attempting to strike a public safety aide with a bicycle. A fourth teen, named Khalil Dwayne Warren, also 19, was arrested when he was “observed” standing on “private property next to two “no trespassing signs”.
Despite the account provided by the Ocean City Police Department, videos of the incident have gone viral on social media, drawing condemnation from Maryland lawmakers, advocates, and social media users. Many users maintain that the use of force by officers was unreasonable.
“The police brutality video from Ocean City is horrific,” one user wrote. “That officer should be arrested IMMEDIATELY. To the young Black men who intervened & put their lives on the line to save that young person – your courage is as immeasurable as it is heartbreaking.”
Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh responded to a tweet saying that he was “deeply concerned” and has been in contact with law enforcement about an investigation.