✅ A fight broke out inside Bridgewater Commons in Feb. 2022

✅ A Black teen was handcuffed, a Hispanic teen placed on a couch by police

✅ Bridgewater Township reached a monetary settlement with the family

BRIDGEWATER — This municipality is settling with the family of a Black teen who was restrained by a police officer after a fight at Bridgewater Commons.

The police encounter was captured on video that went viral in February 2022.

Z’kye Husain, then in the 8th grade, was handcuffed on the floor while the Hispanic teen involved in the fight was not restrained. The Hispanic teen was briefly left unattended on a couch.

"While we are pleased to announce the Husain family has reached a monetary settlement with Bridgewater Township over their nakedly anti-Black actions. This settlement, however, does not end the Husain family or the wider community’s pursuit of justice and accountability from Bridgewater Township. That pursuit is far from over," Husain's legal team said in a statement.

His parents, Ebone and Jihad Husain, filed a proposed settlement of $100,000 with Superior Court in Somerville.

Mayor Matthew Moench on Friday morning did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for more information and comment.

teen fight at Bridgewater mall (Tamra Goins via Facebook)
teen fight at Bridgewater mall (Tamra Goins via Facebook)

A teachable moment for law enforcement

The Husain family's legal team is using the incident as a springboard to "a comprehensive examination of the racial biases that persist in law enforcement and the long-lasting impacts that such incidents have on the mental welfare of Black children in this community."

At a press briefing Thursday, attorney Ben Crump said that police view Black as predators during their investigations. Crump said that Bridgewater police were not required as part of the settlement to acknowledge any mistakes were made.

"It was a bad thing the officers did, let's try to use it as a teachable moment," Crump said. "They scoffed at it. Almost as if Z'Kye doesn't matter."

He called for the state Attorney General's office, which investigated the incident, to release their findings.

Attorney Gregg Zeff said the New Jersey chapter of the NAACP will offer implicit bias training for law enforcement.  The names of attending officers will be recorded by the group. Zeff encouraged Bridgewater police to attend.

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