PERTH AMBOY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A controversial encounter between police and a group of kids riding bicycles in New Jersey was caught on video.
Officers detained a juvenile who was part of a bike rideout on the streets of Perth Amboy on Monday.READ MORE: Timeline: Snow Expected To Blanket The Tri-State Area Thursday Morning
Edited GoPro video shows a group of bike riders popping wheelies, crossing yellow lines, running lights and cutting off cars.
Eventually, Perth Amboy police follow. An officer can be heard saying, “Stop right there.”
They keep going until several police cars surround them.
An officer warns them to be more careful and that they must get licenses for the bikes per city law, but a short time later, a sergeant arrives and says she already warned them.
“Nobody heard you,” one juvenile says.
“Get off the bike,” the sergeant says.
The bikes are confiscated and a juvenile in a red hoodie, who says he’s from nearby Edison, is taken into custody.
A friend claims it was for “being disrespectful.”
But Amol Sinha, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, says it went too far.READ MORE: Biden Administration To Give Out 400 Million Free N95 Masks
“Such an outsized police response for something that seems to be a minor infraction,” he said. “It’s those minor law enforcement interactions that can lead to tragic outcomes for people of color.”
CBS2’s Lisa Rozner tried to speak with the police department about the incident, but they referred us to the mayor’s office.
The mayor’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment but the Middlesex County prosecutor now says the incident is under review in conjunction with police.
Perth Amboy Council President William Petrick saw the video and believes officers acted professionally.
He explains the bike license.
“It costs about 50 cents a year to register your bike and that way if it’s stolen and recovered, then you can get it back because the police now know its yours,” he said.
“We want to make sure people can recover stolen bicycles, but in practice, to say to somebody, ‘I’m going to enforce it when you don’t live in my community,’ that’s where it becomes problematic,” said former New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski.
The end of the video does show the sergeant returning the bikes and she explains they just want them to stop the dangerous stunts.MORE NEWS: Gas Eyed As Cause Of House Explosion That Killed 1 Woman, Injured 8 Others In The Bronx
The city has had the bike license law in the books for several decades, but no one could tell us how many people actually register their bikes.