Dalelorenzo's GDI Blog

Behind the Video of Cops Brutalizing Kids for Vaping Is a History of Racial Exclusion, Force, and Profit

With a group of seven friends, Brian Anderson, 19, was celebrating elderly week on the Ocean City, Maryland boardwalk: a three-mile stretch of oddity t-shirt browses, beachfront hotels, and fried meat vendors. It was 8: 30 pm on June 14, their last darknes in municipality before they headed back to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and he was smoking a vape in an area where vaping is are prohibited by a city ordinance.

It’s unclear exactly what happened next; by the time a viewer hit record on their cell phone, Anderson was already down on the boardwalk boards, at least five police personnel tower over him. According to the police department’s version of affairs, Anderson didn’t follow an order to stop vaping, then refused to provide ID--becoming “disorderly, ” in law enforcement parlance. Anderson, nonetheless, told a Baltimore news anchor that he articulated his vape away at an officer’s request and started leaving with his friends, but police restrained following them. When asked for his ID, he questioned why. “The next thing I know, I’m really on the ground, ” he recounted.

In the video, Anderson roars “I’m not resisting, ” as six officers surround him, some comprising him down. “Why don’t you tell me what you’re arresting me for? ” he wails. Before he finishes his question, military officers drives a knee into Anderson’s side.

" I just asked God to give me the strong and to guide me, protect me so that this officer doesn't make this my last day ," Anderson said. He was charged with disorderly conduct, failure to provide proof of identity, second-degree assault, and refusing arrest.

After the video of Anderson’s arrest went viral, yet another video moved of Ocean City patrolmen tasing a Black teenager accused of smoking on the boardwalk less than a week earlier. In that video, made on June 6, police confront 18 -year-old Taizier Griffin. The police district quarrels, in a Facebook statement, that Griffin “threatened to kill” police and spitting on them; the video testifies merely him putting his hands up. When they yell at him to get down on the foot, he contacts his hands toward his backpack strap, is hit by a Taser, and crinkles. A observer says: “It happened last year, too.”

What in the world is going on in Ocean City? Details from the 60 -second video of Anderson’s arrest gesture at a decadeslong narration of racial exclusion, army, and profit.

The beach

Ocean City’s sea and boardwalk were, for most of the town's history, reserved only for white people. Black beachgoers could enjoy the sunlight and beach simply on “Colored Excursion Days”: three days in September when business owners sold off leftover food and souvenirs, removing their last-place earnings of the season. Black families in Maryland flocked instead to belongings on the other side of the bay, including Carr’s Beach, which was run by the daughters of formerly enslaved parties. To Baltimore resident Mike Lee, who spoke to the Baltimore Times last year, Carr’s Beach offered “a safe haven, a home where we could do what we wanted to do, and not have anyone appearing over us, like law enforcement.”

It made a 1955 federal court of appeals to legally desegregate Ocean City’s coast along with the rest of Maryland’s beaches. In a suit brought by the NAACP, the court ruled “that racial segregation in recreational activities can no longer be sustained as a proper utilization of the police power of the State.” Yet regional business owners refused to integrate, and the town and its sightseers remained overwhelmingly white-hot. By 1986, merely 2 percent of Ocean City visitors were Black, as were 3 percent of customer-facing resort staff.( Behind the facade, Black people saved the place running, clearing up 75 percent of kitchen organization, custodians, and housekeepers .)

As of 2019, Ocean City’s full-time tenants were 95 percent grey, according to the Census Bureau. Yet the sightseer gathering, an financial boon the town claims is worth $1.74 billion, has been getting more diverse in recent years, says Rosie Bean, who planned 2020 Black Lives Matter demonstrations on the boardwalk. According to Bean, the demographic switch in tourism has precipitated conflict with the town’s white, longtime visitors. “There’s a lot of maverick pennants around here, ” Bean says. “A lot of racism.” Last year, about a month after Derek Chauvin slaughtered George Floyd in Minneapolis, bundles of KKK literature were found scattered on the sidewalks. The city’s white mayor and police chief participated in one of Bean’s proofs, but Bean now inspects back on their involvement as “performative politics.”

“They said they want change? They didn't change anything, ” Bean says. “For us, it's not a PR stunt.”

The present of force-out

For most of the year, Ocean City is a town of about 7,000 beings and 105 police officer. That comes out to about 15 patrolmen per thousand residents--a higher rate than 99 percent of other police departments, according to the Police Scorecard, a project to analyze law enforcement statistics in different regions of the country. But on the average summer day, when sightseers pour in, the town population reaches 230,000. So every year in May, the police department doublings its force, partly through the use of “seasonal policemen.” Those summer officers, including 46 hired this year, get their handguns and powers of arrest after less than a part of the training requirements for year-round law enforcement officers. Becoming a seasonal officer is a well-worn path to a year-round job at the OCPD. Officer Patrick McElfish, the arresting officer for one of Anderson's friends, participated the department full-time last year after summer cop gigs in 2018 and 2019.

Seasonal officers’ use of force in resort towns has made other troubling happens. In Wildwood, New Jersey, a summer polouse punched a woman in the thought as one of the purposes of a crackdown on underage booze in 2018. On Nantucket, Massachusetts, a group of seasonal and full-time officers injured a group of eight Black youth, demolishing one teen’s face into the pavement, after telling them to move off the sidewalk.

Ocean City Police Department’s fund this year totals more than $ 24 million and costs the town about a quarter of its general store. By 2024, OCPD plans to hire 33 more patrolmen than the department had in 2020, in a schedule so far reinforced by the mayor and city council.( One councilman, Mark Paddack, was a police officer for 28 times, including 10 times as a police union president .)

At least 13 law enforcement employees are depicted in the video of Anderson’s arrest.

The yellow shirts

In the OCPD, a yellowed shirt express a “public safety aide”: high school graduates, 17 and a half years or older, some of whom are assigned to patrol displacements after a one-week training. They don’t carry a firearm, but they have the power to enforce civil contraventions, as well as issue parking tickets and transport people who have been arrested. This time, OCPD hired 60 of them.

In the video of Anderson’s arrest, one of the aides assistants comprise him down, while others provision crowd control. In the video of Griffin, an aide-de-camp steps front of the videographer as police arrest Griffin after he’s just been tased, backing up protest bystanders.

The reduce off-color way spot

As he stands over Anderson, one polouse reveals his “thin blue line” patch, a type of the Blue Lives Matter movement. Andrew Jacob, the white-hot financier who dreamed up this signal as a college undergraduate, told correspondent Jeff Sharlet in 2018 that the black stars and stripes above the blue line represent “citizens...and the pitch-black below represents criminals.” Today the flag signifies both support for law enforcement and opposition to ethnic right advances. Staff in Maryland district fields are are prohibited from wearing the type because of its association with white supremacists.

In a second video from the June 14 arrests, the patch-wearing cop consumes a Taser on one of Anderson’s friends as he strives with two other officers.

The knee

The OCPD did not return multiple requests for comment on the identity of the detective who drove his knee at least five times into Anderson's side, or with more details around both occurrences. But field records reported by Matthew Presnky and Rose Velazquez of Delmarva Now identify the policeman driving his knee into Anderson’s surface at least five times as “Officer Jacobs.” According to Maryland court records, an Ocean City Police Officer listed Daniel Jacobs was involved in the June 14 happen, as the arresting officer for one of Anderson's friends.

In 2018, an Ocean City officer Patrolman First Class Daniel Jacobs was reportedly one of 16 officers involved in an incident in which a cop punched a subdued Black teenager. The beginning of this year, the OCPD apportioned him two excellent carry-on commendations.

Top art source photos: Getty; Instagram; New York Times

Read more: motherjones.com

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