Black teen cuffed by cops while white kid walked free speaks out: 'Treating him like he was superior to me'

On Don Lemon Tonight Wednesday, 14-year-old Kye and his mother Eboné appeared to speak about the fight Kye got into at a New Jersey mall on Saturday. Video of the fight between Kye and the older, bigger white teen went viral because when officers arrived to break it up, the white kid was escorted to a couch while Kye, who is Black, was tackled and cuffed while both officers each had a knee pressed into his back. At one point, the other kid stood up from the couch and stood over Kye, looking down at him as he was being cuffed.

“I kind of felt like the cops were going along with what the older kid was saying about him being bigger and stronger and superior. I felt like they were agreeing to it,” Kye said. “I felt like they were treating him like he was superior to me, and agreeing with the fact that he knew he was superior. Or that he thought he was superior.”

The viral video understandably has people outraged by the actions of the officers. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said he was “deeply disturbed” by it. Eboné believes that what happened unfortunately was due to race.

“I hate to say this, but if it wasn't for race, then what is it?” Eboné asked. “What made them tackle my son and not the other kid? What made them be so aggressive with my son and not the other kid? Why is the other kid sitting down looking at my son be humiliated and put into cuffs? It just doesn't make sense. It makes me angry.”

Video Transcript

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- I felt like they were treating her like-- and treating him like he was superior to me and agreeing with the fact that he knew he was superior. But he, like, thought he was superior.

KYLIE MAR: Kye and his mother Eboné appeared on Don Lemon Tonight Wednesday to speak about a fight the 14-year-old got into with a white teen at a New Jersey mall on Saturday. When two white officers arrived to break up the fight, only Kye found himself in cuffs.

- We ended up on the ground. Cops came over. They tackled me with their knee in my back. And then the female cop that was dealing with them came over to help and cuffed me and put her knee in my back.

KYLIE MAR: Video of the incident has gone viral, causing outrage at the one-sided police response. New Jersey Phil Murphy said he was deeply disturbed. And Eboné has no doubt this happened for one reason and one reason only.

- If it wasn't for race and what is it. What-- what made them tackle my son-- not the other kid. What made them be so aggressive with my son and not the other kid? Why is the other kid sitting down looking at my son be humiliated and put into cuffs. And it just doesn't make sense.

KYLIE MAR: Eboné believes that had this not happened at a mall with so many onlookers, things could have been a lot worse for Kye.

- I feel like if it wasn't in a mall setting where there were so many eyes-- if they did that when there were so many eyes, I can't imagine if it was in any other scenario. That's scary.

KYLIE MAR: And it's because of that thought that Eboné says the officers that were involved should be fired.

- I want their badges taken away because if they-- if they'll do it now, I'm sure they've done it before. And what will they do in the future? They're-- if you do something once, you can do it again.