The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the detention of a Black teenager in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, for riding a bicycle without a 50 cent license card.

Video clips of the incident, taken by a friend wearing a camera, went viral on Tuesday hours before Derek Chauvin’s verdict and impressed people around the country.

The District Attorney, Yolanda Ciccone, said in a statement that “every minor detained by law enforcement in Middlesex County is of greatest concern” and “what happens before, in and after the described incident is under review.” And the mayor, Helmin Caba, has pledged to “engage more with the cycling community to give safety tips and rules of the road.”

No further information was provided and a police spokesman did not say whether anyone would ultimately be charged. But based on information gleaned from a longer version of the video posted on YouTube, here’s what we do know.

The video shows a young man riding a bicycle through parks, riverside promenades, on sidewalks and on busy roads. he performed tricks, such as driving a wheelchair and walking down the church steps. Occasionally, one of the cyclists briefly swerves into opposite traffic on the left side of the double yellow line. At one point, the boys stopped to buy a bucket of water they shared. He then passes a blue balloon on a rope while riding.
While passing through Perth Amboy, a largely Latino city located directly across from Arthur Kill from Staten Island, police began tracking the group. When the officers asked him to pull over through the loudspeaker, the first officer to approach them was a volunteer auxiliary officer who was trying to defuse the situation — he immediately promised not to. confiscated their bikes and he said he wanted them to be able to ride this summer but also be safe. He points out that their offense is riding a bike without a license card, which is mandatory in Perth Amboy and costs 50 cents.

Because he refused to give up his bike, he was handcuffed and taken to police headquarters. It is unclear if he will be charged. The confiscated bikes were eventually returned — this is also captured in the longer video.

Perth Amboy City Councilmember William Petrick said he had not spoken to police about the incident but said it was clear from the video of the youth riding a bicycle that was a nuisance to public safety.

Petrick points out that the sergeant who eventually captured the young man was Latina. “Of course in the hype environment we’re in right now, the image of a handcuffed minority youth in a patrol car, it doesn’t send the right image,” he said.