Black teen from viral fight video says cops were treating the white teen 'like he was superior to me'

Z'Kye Husain and his mother, Eboné, appeared Wednesday on Don Lemon Tonight to speak about a fight between the 14-year-old and a white teen at a New Jersey mall on Saturday, and how officers responded when they arrived — an incident that sparked outrage across the country as video footage went viral.

Husain said the fight started because the older white kid was picking on his friend. The scuffle didn’t last long before the police showed up, but even though the white kid appeared to be winning at the time, one officer pulled him off of Husain and sat him on a nearby couch, while the other officer tackled Husain, put him on his stomach, and proceeded to arrest him. Both officers' knees were pressed into Husain’s back while the other teen just watched. At one point, he stood up and looked down at Husain as he was being cuffed. Husain was taken to a holding room while the white teen was not.

“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,” Husain 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.”

I want their badges taken awayEboné

After the video was featured on social media, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said he was “deeply disturbed” by the incident. And Eboné has no doubt this happened for one reason and one reason only.

“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.”

Eboné, who said she would like to trust the police, believes that had this not happened at a mall with so many onlookers, things could have been a lot worse for her son.

“It could have been worse. 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,” Eboné said. “That’s scary, especially knowing, you know, especially knowing what has happened before. It’s just scary to think of it.”

Eboné made clear that she doesn’t think all police officers are bad, but she believes the officers involved in this particular incident should be fired.

“I want their badges taken away,” Eboné said, “because if they’ll do it now, I’m sure they’ve done it before, and what will they do in the future? If you do something once, you can do it again.”

Don Lemon Tonight airs weeknights at 10 p.m. on CNN.

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