Maryland Police Face Backlash for Kneeing & Tasing Teens Over Vaping
Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Over the weekend Ocean City, Maryland police began enforcing a new ban on vaping on the city’s boardwalk. Subsequently, multiple videos of officers tackling vaping teenagers surfaced on social media, leading many to question whether their use of force was necessary.
In one video, a teenager–later identified as 18-year-old Taizier Griffin–can be seen with his hands raised, surrounded by officers yelling at him to get on the ground. Griffin begins to take off his backpack and lie on the ground, but he’s tased in the stomach before he can finish doing so. In another video, onlookers respond in outrage, recording the scene as a group of officers attack another man.
In total, four teens, all from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, were arrested on charges ranging from disorderly conduct and resisting arrest to second-degree assault. 19-year-old Khalil Dwayne Warren was arrested for standing on private property near two “no trespassing signs,” according to officials. Griffin’s mother spoke with The Washington Post about the arrest.
“They end up slamming him back on the ground and hog tying him at his feet,” she said. “I’ve never seen police do that.” Griffin’s mother said Taizier was “extremely scared” afterwards. “He’s young, that kind of thing would scare anybody.”
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund president Sherrilyn Ifill called on Maryland’s Democratic attorney general Brian Frosh to investigate the incidents. Ocean City Police Department shared a statement on Twitter claiming that the department is “aware of the social media videos circulating regarding this incident.”
OCPD was on foot patrol in the area of 12th St & the Boardwalk, when they observed a large group vaping on the Boardwalk. Four individuals were placed under arrest during this incident. We are aware of the social media videos circulating regarding this incident.
— Ocean City PD (@OCPDMDInfo) June 13, 2021