Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Black Foster Child Pepper-Sprayed in his Home by Police

A North Carolina family's 18-year-old foster son was pepper-sprayed in his own home after a neighbor and police mistook him for a burglar:
Ricky and Stacy Tyler have fostered 18-year-old DeShawn Currie for about a year. The Tylers, their three young children and DeShawn moved to Fuquay-Varina (NC) in July. They said while they're still getting to know their neighbors, it's hurtful someone would assume DeShawn was a burglar just for going about his normal routine of walking home after school...

She left the side door to their home unlocked Monday for DeShawn, who was coming home early from school.

Fuquay-Varina police said when a neighbor saw DeShawn walk in; they called 911 to report a break-in. Soon, three officers were inside the house, all to DeShawn's surprise. "They was like, 'Put your hands on the door,'" said DeShawn. "I was like, 'For what? This is my house.' I was like, 'Why are y'all in here?'" DeShawn said he became angry when officers pointed out the pictures of the Tyler's three younger children on the mantle, assuming he didn't belong there. An argument ensued and DeShawn said one of the officers pepper-sprayed him in the face.
DeShawn was being treated by an ambulance crew when his foster mother arrived home. She was able to straighten things out with the police before they arrested the boy for being in his own home.

I've already seen comments describing DeShawn as "thug-like" and questioning why an 18-year-old high school student (one with an early life that was difficult enough already to result in his permanent removal from his birth family, no less) doesn't behave perfectly when confronted out of the blue by police officers within his home when he's in his own home. And that's assuming the police are accurately describing his behavior in their reports. These days, I don't trust their collective truthiness.

Shockingly, the police haven't charged DeShawn with any crimes.

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