State Watch

‘Plain old racist’: Other kid from NJ mall fight condemns treatment of Black teen

The other teenager involved in a New Jersey mall fight that went viral after video of it was posted online is condemning police treatment of the Black boy he fought, calling it “plain old racist.”

In an interview published by NJ.com on Monday, 15-year-old Joseph, who is Pakistani and Colombian and was identified only by his first name, recounted how he traded blows with Z’Kye Husain at the Bridgewater Commons mall before police showed up and pinned Husain to the ground prior to handcuffing him while officers sat Joseph down on a nearby couch.

“I don’t understand why they arrested him and not me,” said Joseph, who had been described as white on social media and in some news reports. “I say that was just plain old racist. I don’t condone that at all. Like I said, I even offered to get arrested.”

“I knew that was really bad,” Joseph added. “I offered to get detained after Kye was detained, and they turned my offer down. I even asked they why they detained Kye and not me, and they said because Kye was resisting.”

The NAACP New Jersey State Conference has called on the Bridgewater Police Department to remove the two officers who were involved in the incident.

The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the two police officers’ conduct, which has drawn criticism from New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D).

Joseph added he hasn’t spoken to Husain since the incident but said he’s bothered by being labeled a bully by civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who was hired by the Husain family, and by Husain’s aunt Enrie Simms. He said he’s received online harassment as well.

“Basically, people saying, ‘I know who you are, you better watch your back.’ There was one saying I should just kill myself,” Joseph said.

Tags Bridgewater Bridgewater Commons Kye Husain New Jersey Phil Murphy police brutality police misconduct Police misconduct in the United States Z'Kye Husain

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