Philadelphia Zoo spokeswoman Dana Lombardo told EBONY that the public safety officer did not call the police, but flagged a vehicle down as it was passing by after someone in the group made a “threatening remark” toward her.
Lombardo added that the Zoo has had issues with that group before and they were not selling water as previously reported by the Associated Press.
Police launched an investigation over an arrest of a Black teen boy selling water at the Philadelphia Zoo, the Associated Press reports.
Video posted on Facebook on Thursday shows Philadelphia Police officers attempting to detain a 14-year-old, while other young boys and adults shout for the cops not to arrest him.
A public safety officer called the police on the group because they were asking money from people entering the zoo, a spokeswoman, Dana Lombardo, told the AP.
The video shows two public safety officers, one presumably being the one who initially called the police, arguing over the decision to call law enforcement.
“Is this what you want?” one officer yells at her coworker.
In a statement to Philly Voice, Lombardo said the group was “throwing rocks at a Zoo member (just the previous day),” and “harassing another female public safety officer just before this incident occurred.”
“When asked to leave the area, the group began to move off but made a threatening remark to the public safety officer as a Philadelphia Police Department vehicle was driving by,” the statement said.
Law enforcement is looking into the incident after receiving complaints from the community, per AP.
The teens and adults involved in the confrontation were cited for disorderly conduct.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.