A pair of white teens in West Yorkshire, UK have been arrested after video footage of the two harassing a black youth went viral online. The footage shows a white girl laughing as a white boy berates and hits the black child, telling him to “kiss my shoes.” In the wake of the video’s spread, the 16- and 17-year-old aggressors are facing public backlash and legal consequences. Meanwhile, an outpouring of support has begun for the bullied boy.
The abuse was documented over two video clips that were shared to social media this week. It shows a white teenage boy taunting, cursing at, and slapping a black youth. A white teenage girl looks on and laughs.
“Kiss my shoe now,” the boy can be heard saying. “No one’s gonna back you.”
In a second clip, the boy can be heard threatening to “slap 50 shades of black” out his victim, reports the Independent. The outlet says the footage shows the bullied boy getting on the ground to kiss his harasser’s shoes before an older woman shouts from off-camera for the abuse to stop. Reportedly, more teens can be heard watching and laughing in the background of both clips.
Aftermath of Abuse
Since the disturbing footage spread online, West Yorkshire Police have taken action against the aggressive teens. According to Chief Superintendent Julie Sykes, “A male age 17 has been arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated common assault and a female aged 16 has been arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence. They are both currently in police custody.”
Meanwhile, support for the victim, whom Yorkshire Live reports is an autistic teen named Keiran, has poured in from all over. Manchester United stars Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard both shared kind messages for the youth on social media.
“This is [Keiran], a lovely young boy with autism. The other 2 in the video, I have no words to describe,” said Rashford. “The video speaks for itself. [Keiran], I got you my guy, always.”
Fellow footballer Lingard shared similar sentiments, telling the boy, “Keep going bro, don’t let anybody affect you. Dream big. I want to do something special for you.”
Yorkshire Live reports that a GoFundMe in support of Keiran has gone live. So far, the site has gathered £4,212 (approximately $5337 US dollars), far exceeding its stated goal of £200.
“After seeing the video of Keiran getting bullied in Holmfirth, I wanted to create a page so everyone can show him their support and kindness by donating a little bit of money so he can do something lovely with it when lockdown is over,” fundraiser organizer Lauren Crossley said.