Thursday, 7 May 2020

SEE IT: Massive brawl in Jersey City ends with arrests, claims of excessive force

Authorities are investigating claims of excessive force after a massive brawl between Jersey City cops and civilians ended with six people facing charges.

The brutal battle happened Tuesday just after 5 p.m., when police received multiple calls about a fight on Boswick Ave., authorities said Wednesday.

An initial call indicated 20 people were involved in the fight, while another said 100, officials said.

Video posted online appears to show some of the violence that was happening before cops showed up. Nearly two dozen people can be seen on the street during what appears to be a confrontation.

It isn’t clear what sparked this violence.

When the six officers arrived at the scene and started to disperse the crowd, one officer was attacked by a male juvenile who pulled at the cop’s belt and seemed to be trying to get his weapon, according to Jersey City Public Safety Director Jim Shea.

The video shows officers struggle with one man in a grey hoodie and another in a white shirt. This is when police said the officer used pepper spray, although this isn’t clear in the video. Cops can be seen using batons to subdue the two men.

"Our police officers acted with great restraint, and used exactly the force necessary to bring this situation to a close," said Jersey City Police Chief Mike Kelly.

The Jersey City Police Department Internal Affairs Unit is looking into the incident, officials said.

“This situation is very unfortunate,” Chris Gadsden, a civic activist and former city councilman, told the The Jersey Journal. “Right now folks feel as though they’ve been violated and that’s not a good position.”

Two officers suffered minor injuries, and two others were treated at the scene due to the pepper spray.

Three adults face multiple charges, including obstruction and disorderly conduct, authorities said. Three juveniles were also charged in the melee.

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