Two Videos of Ocean City Police Using Stun Gun on Young Men Draw Criticism

One of the incidents happened just this past weekend, and the other occurred on June 6

A video posted on social media of an officer repeatedly driving his knee into 19-year-old Brian Anderson of Pennsylvania has drawn criticism.

Editor's note: This story contains descriptions of video that some may find disturbing.

The Ocean City Police Department is facing criticism after videos of two violent arrests spread online. 

Both incidents occurred along the boardwalk this month and are raising serious questions over the officers’ use of force. 

The most recent incident occurred Saturday. Video shows an officer repeatedly driving his knee into 19-year-old Brian Anderson of Pennsylvania. 

According to police, Anderson violated the boardwalk’s vaping ban. He allegedly resisted when officers tried to arrest him for refusing to show his ID. 

In addition to failure to provide proof of identity, Anderson was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and second-degree assault.

As the incident unfolds on camera, officers form a perimeter to keep the gathering crowd at a distance, and some of Anderson’s friends can be seen trying to intervene on his behalf.

Later on, those friends come face to face with police as the crowd continues to grow restless. One of them is tackled to the ground by multiple officers. 

Almost simultaneously, another man struggles with an officer. A second officer kicks him, and finally a third officer fires a stun gun.

After the video sparked outrage on social media, Ocean City Police released a statement that read in part, “Our officers are permitted to use force, per their training, to overcome exhibited resistance...The uses of force from these arrests will go through a multi-level examination." 

Anderson and the three other Pennsylvania men arrested and charged have all been released.

The second video is of an incident that happened June 6, when an 18-year-old from Cecil County, Maryland was stunned by an officer along the boardwalk. 

Police said he violated the city's smoking ordinance, became disorderly and threatened to kill officers.

A friend who shot the video said officers told the 18-year-old to take his backpack off before he was hit. 

A woman captured officers using a rope to tie the man’s feet together before he was ultimately subdued and loaded in the back of a police van. 

The incident drew a sharp rebuke from Maryland House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne Jones. 

“Black and brown children should not be tased while their hands are up. Officers should not kneel on the back of a minor. Vaping should not yield a hog tie,” she said in a tweet. 

The 18-year-old was arrested for assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Ocean City Police have not commented on the June 6 incident. 

Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan said in a statement that he understands the public’s concern over the videos.

He went on to say that police are “focused only on keeping all residents and all visitors safe by enforcing the laws and ordinances of our community, as well as defusing situations as quickly as possible and maintaining control over the environment.”

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