Teen who was tasered, kneed by police says he prayed for strength
“I just asked God to give me the strength."
The Pennsylvania teenager who was assaulted by Police in Ocean City, Maryland, for vaping on the Boardwalk on Saturday said he prayed for protection during the violent confrontation caught on camera.
theGrio previously reported, Brian Everett Anderson is seen with his hands up and then drops to the ground after being tasered by an officer, who also repeatedly kneed the teen in the stomach. One officer is heard shouting, “Stop resisting!”
The incident left four teenagers arrested, including the teen who was tasered and is seen being carried away from the scene hog-tied by officers.
“I just asked God to give me the strength,” Anderson said, as reported by NBC Washington. “Guide me and protect me so that this officer doesn’t make this my last day here.”
Anderson said when the officers asked him and his friends to stop vaping on the boardwalk, they complied, but the cops continued to harass them.
“I put the vape away, and we started walking, and they’re still following me,” Anderson said.
Ocean City police claim Anderson ignored the officer’s request and refused to show his ID, an arrestable offense, according to the report.
Anderson tried to walk away as officers surrounded him and that’s when all hell broke loose.
“Next thing I know, I’m just on the ground getting kneed in my ribcage,” he said.
In a news release, the Ocean City Police Department said officers were on foot patrol when they observed a large group vaping on the boardwalk. According to the officers, as the group walked away, they observed the same teen vaping again.
According to the department, “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.”
The officers then attempted to arrest Anderson for “failure to provide necessary identification for the violation of the local ordinance.”
The teen was later charged with disorderly conduct, resist/interfere 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.
Democratic House Speaker Adrienne Jones called video of Anderson’s arrest “deeply disturbing.”
“Vaping on the Boardwalk is not a criminal offense,” she tweeted. “Vaping should not yield a hog tie.”
Eastern Shore lawmaker, Delegate Wayne Hartman, defended the officers.
“To make a decision from just seeing a video I think is unfortunate,” Hartman said. “I know that both of these cases are very active investigations, and they’re going to be looked at very closely, but to make a decision to say that someone overreacted I think is very premature at this point.”
Mayor Rick Meehan has called on the public to not jump to conclusions amid the investigation into the officers’ handling of the four teens.
“I hope that when all the video is out there, we have a better understanding of really what occurred,” he said. “I’m glad nobody got hurt in any of these situations.”
Willie Flowers, president of the NAACP Maryland State Conference, responded to the mayor’s statement, saying, “Somebody did get hurt, and it’s the entire community that got hurt.”
He believes a thorough and transparent investigation can yield a positive outcome.
“Build from there, and it’s an opportunity to bring everybody together,” Flowers said.
“We’re just anxious to get the initial investigation conducted so we can have all the facts before making further statements about it,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said of the video.
Anderson and his pals traveled to Ocean City to celebrate senior week.
“I could’ve been fully cooperative with them and I still could have ended up on that ground being kneed,” he said.
theGrio’s Biba Adams contributed to this report.