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Video: US cops handcuff black teen and confiscate bikes … for pulling wheelies

Footage was posted online ahead of a week of heightened racial tensions in the US

A New Jersey city is reviewing local laws that require cyclists to licence their bicycles after footage was posted online of police officers handcuffing a black teenager and confiscating his bike, and others belonging to his friends, after they pulled wheelies while riding.

The incident took place earlier this month in Perth Amboy, a city that lies across the Arthur Kill channel from Staten Island and forms part of the New York metropolitan area.

Posting the footage to YouTube on Sunday, Christian Orozco said: “This video speaks for itself, all I really have to say is that cops abuse their powers and that I’m glad everyone got their bikes back and everyone is safe, including the one kid who got arrested … for wheeling … crazy man.”

Referring to a local law that requires cyclists to display licence plates on their bikes, William A. Petrick, president of Perth Amboy City Council, said: “We are going to review our ordinance.” He did not elaborate further, reports Insider.com.

However, in a statement Yolanda Ciccone, prosecutor for Middlesex County, which the city lies within, said: “The facts and circumstances of this incident are being reviewed by the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office in conjunction with the Perth Amboy Police Chief Roman McKeon and other law enforcement officials from the City of Perth Amboy.

“Every juvenile being taken into custody by law enforcement in Middlesex County is of the utmost concern to Prosecutor Ciccone and this young person is no different.

“What occurred before, during and after the incident depicted is under review.”

It happened ahead of a week when tensions between the black community and law enforcement agencies in the United States were particularly heightened ahead of police officer Derek Chauvin being convicted of the murder of George Floyd, whose death last year sparked nationwide protests.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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