Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families

8Oct/140

Police Pepper Spray North Carolina Teen Inside His Own Home, Mistaken for Burglar

Yet another example of a so-called concerned citizen calling the police on a Black person, because they assume they're either out-of-place, involved in some sort of criminal activity, or a combination of both. The start of this chain of events reminds me of those leading up to the August shooting of John Crawford at the Ohio Walmart store.

At some point, individuals in the larger society must also be held accountable - in addition to over-zealous law enforcement officials - for the ways in which Black males and females are profiled, and the harm that comes from their assumptions, stereotypes, etc.

I'm glad DeShawn wasn't harmed any worse than he was, although the effect of this sort of experience will stay with him for many years to come.

The parents of a Wake County high school student are outraged that police pepper-sprayed him inside their home after a neighbor mistook him for an intruder.

It happened Monday afternoon on England Avenue in Fuquay-Varina.

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 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.

"He's my baby boy just as much as my other three children are," said Stacy.

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.

Read the full news story here.