Video has surfaced of a massive street fight that broke out in Jersey City Tuesday evening in which five people were arrested and police used batons and pepper spray to disperse the crowd.
The fight started with roughly 20 people but quickly grew to approximately 100, Jersey City Public Safety Director Jim Shea reported, according to NJ.com. He added that officers who initially responded called for backup after a civilian allegedly pulled at one officer's belt where his firearm was holstered.
The video initially shows a large crowd gathering and fighting in the streets before the officers arrived. Officers then pulled onto the packed street, exited their vehicles, and began dispersing the crowd.
Then at the 1:25-minute mark, the video shows officers intermixed with a group of roughly 20 people with shoves and punches being exchanged. Officers can be seen using batons and pepper spray in attempt to end the melee and arrest the responsible individuals.
(Warning: This video contains graphic content and vulgar language.)
Extreme Jersey City Brawl Complete Version youtu.be
Two individuals were eventually arrested on charges of aggravated assault on a police officer, disorderly conduct, obstruction, and resisting arrest, NJ.com noted. Another individual was arrested on an obstruction charge and two juveniles were also arrested.
According to the New York Daily News, the Jersey City Police Department Internal Affairs Unit is investigating claims of excessive force by police officers.
"This situation is very unfortunate," said Chris Gadsden, a civic activist and former city councilman. "Right now folks feel as though they've been violated and that's not a good position."
Jersey City Police Chief Michael Kelly said it appears officers acted appropriately and with restraint.
"Of all of the video that I've seen on social media, police video bodycam, our police officers acted with great restraint and used exactly the force necessary to bring this situation to a close," Kelly said.
Shea added that following the incident two officers were treated for pepper spray exposure while two others were treated for bruises, lacerations, and bloody noses.
The arrested individuals were released with scheduled court dates and reportedly refused any medical assistance.