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Watch a peaceful Baltimore protester snatched by police from the streets live on television

Snatched: Kent just moments before he was 'arrested' on the streets of Baltimore
Snatched: Kent just moments before he was 'arrested' on the streets of Baltimore

Footage of a peaceful protester in Baltimore being snatched off the streets by police has sparked a panicked response on social media and the media.

The footage, which was shown on live television, shows the seizing of 21-year-old student Joseph Kent by police. 

In the clip the young man is seen walking among riot police with his hands in an upright position, suggesting compliance and non-violence. 

However, an armoured Humvee is seen approaching Kent before several police officers lunge at him and bundle him into the back of the vehicle. Alarmingly, the Humvee shields the prying eyes of the media from the actual kidnapping. 

The footage sparked a flurry of activity on social media, and on Twitter the hashtag #whereisjosephkent began trending. 

Rapper Talib Kweli raised the issue on his Twitter page after the shocking footage emerged. 

According to the Guardian newspaper, the Morgan State University student is currently in a large bullpen with other inmates on the second floor of Baltimore central booking, a jail 10 minutes from the city hall.

A lawyer for the young man told the Guardian he was safe and that he “wanted police to know he was harmless so he had his hands up the whole time”.

“You’ll see on the video he walked very slow so there was nothing aggressive about him. He didn’t see the humvee coming, he didn’t hear the humvee coming,” Beatty said.

“All he knew was that suddenly he was cut off from the cameras. Then he was grabbed by multiple people in riot gear.”

Kent is waiting to see the commissioner, to decide whether he will be released without bail.