Maryland police defended officers' actions after viral videos showed them kneeing and deploying Tasers on Black teenagers to enforce a vaping ban on Ocean City's boardwalk.
However, Maryland House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones on Monday questioned the use of force over vaping.
"The video from this weekend in Ocean City is deeply disturbing. Vaping on the Boardwalk is not a criminal offense," Jones said in a statement. "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 hogtie."
Four teenagers from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, were picked up Saturday night and charged with various offenses, including disorderly conduct and resisting or interfering with an arrest.
This latest confrontation unfolded just before 8:30 p.m. ET as officers patrolled the neighborhood by the boardwalk and 12th Street and found a group vaping, according to a statement by the town of Ocean City.
Local codes ban vaping and smoking there, and a group of teens complied with officers' original commands to stop vaping, officials said.
As they walked away, at least one in the group started vaping again, leading to another confrontation, according to the town's statement.
A "large crowd of people began to form around the officers," the statement said.
Video appeared to show an officer repeatedly thrusting his knee into one teen who was already pinned to the ground by other officers.
Police acknowledged the footage and promised a thorough review of the officers' actions.
"We are aware of the social media videos circulating regarding this incident. Our officers are permitted to use force, per their training, to overcome exhibited resistance,” the statement said.
“All uses of force go through a detailed review process. The uses of force from these arrests will go through a multilevel examination by the Assistant Patrol Commander, the Division Commander and then by the Office of Professional Standards.”
In a separate incident also caught on video, officers appeared to surround a teen June 6 before bringing him down with a Taser.
In that footage, 18-year-old Taizier Griffin can be seen with his hands up as he's approached by several officers.
Just as he lowered his left hand, an officer activated his Taser, as Griffin went limp and fell straight to the ground before police swarmed on him, video showed. Police said he was being combative, forcing officers to "draw their Conducted Electrical Weapons (CEW)," the town statement said.
However, the teen's brother, who witnessed the confrontation, said his sibling was following police instructions to take off his backpack when the Taser was employed.
"It just happened so quick. He reached for his book bag, the next thing I know he's on the ground," Tayvin Griffin told NBC News.
Taizier Griffin was booked on charges of assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. It was not known Tuesday if Griffin, who was released after posting $3,000 bail, has entered a plea to the charges.
"Something completely menial turned into violating my child, treating him like he was an animal," Jessica Barber, his mother, said.