DeShawn-Currie-WTVD-800x430

It’s a shame when a Black person can’t enter his own home without being accused of breaking and entering. In Wake County, North Carolina, the white foster parents of a Black male high school student are outraged that police pepper-sprayed him inside their home after a neighbor mistook him for an intruder.

ABC 11 reported:

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.

By the time Stacy came home, EMS were treating DeShawn in the driveway. She cleared up the confusion with the officers, but not with the rest of her family.

“My 5-year-old last night, she looked at me and said, ‘Mama I don’t understand why they hated our brother, and they had to come in and hurt him.'”

“Everything that we’ve worked so hard for in the past years was stripped away yesterday in just a matter of moments,” said Ricky Tyler.

“I’m feeling comfortable,” explained DeShawn. “I had moved into my room, and I’m feeling like I’m loved. And then when they come in and they just profile me and say that I’m not who I am. And that I do not stay here because there was white kids on the wall, that really made me mad.”

Fuquay-Varina police released a statement Monday saying officers responded to a report of suspicious criminal activity at the Tyler’s home. Officers accused DeShawn of becoming threatening and belligerent and said that when he would not follow the officers’ instructions, they pepper-sprayed him. Police also indicated in their statement that the neighborhood where this happened has recently experienced criminal activity.

And that means what? That the neighbor and police officers were justified in suspecting this Black male was a robber and deserved to be questioned and his story could immediately be deemed as incredulous? Given the recent behavior of police officers around the nation, DeShawn is lucky that he wasn’t seriously hurt or killed. Unfortunately these types of racial profiling encounters are “rites of passage” for too many people of color in this nation.

Tags:
Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter
  • RE:Police also indicated in their statement that the neighborhood where this happened has recently experienced criminal activity.

    And that means what? That the neighbor and police officers were justified in suspecting this Black male was a robber and deserved to be questioned and his story could immediately be deemed as incredulous?

    YES; THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT IT MEANS.

  • Anthony

    Too bad police culture has evolved into a bunch of people who seem incapable of saying a sincere “sorry.”
    I can’t speak for this young man, but if it were me, if the police said “we acted in good faith, the young man was justifiably upset, we regret using pepper spray, and wish this had never happened.” I could see me accepting the apology even if I did not trust them any further than I could throw them.

    Statement blaming the victim, and insisting that they followed procedure are nothing but lawyer speak, arrogant, ass-covering garbage.

  • ALM

    “….the white foster parents of a Black male high school student are outraged that police pepper-sprayed him inside their home after a neighbor mistook him for an intruder”.

    ^^^This is what I believe will be one of the key things to work on racism in this country. About a month ago a white woman was featured on Yahoo! Because she was outraged that her adopted Black son had been beaten savagely by the police. It seems as if it is going to take situations like these where the police do not realize that they will be dealing with outraged white parents. The police are expecting one parent or one set of parents to show up at the precinct, and a very different parent/set of parents shows/show up. This will also very slowly hopefully help some white people realize their privilege. When you have a child living in your home and you know that child is an obedient child, and they still end up abused by the police, that will change your view on race in America.

    The reality is though, most white people who adopt Black children are probably already aware (at least in part) of their privilege.

    “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”.

    He WALKED into the house…he didn’t smash a window….he didn’t break a door in….These communities need to specify for people what an actual break-in is. He didn’t “break” into anything. It sounds like he calmly walked through the door, and some nosy neighbor needs to get out of the window and go back to watching their own tv.

    “Officers accused DeShawn of becoming threatening and belligerent and said that when he would not follow the officers’ instructions, they pepper-sprayed him”.

    ^^^This is the part that really gets me. They followed DeShawn into HIS house, uninvited, without a warrant. Why are the police confused about why he became upset? They weren’t listening to him. The right thing to do would have been to call the owners of the home to verify what DeShawn was saying.

    I’m glad that DeShawn was not badly harmed. I suggest that the family gives DeShawn a key instead of just leaving the door unlocked. The next time the police may be waiting on him in the house, and I don’t want to hear about another tragic story.

    • Anthony

      @ALM, you are so right, he walked in through an unlocked door. He did not slip through a window or jimmy lock yet the neighbor calls the police.

  • Tsaun

    Thank god he wasn’t killed. It’s really not safe for blacks at all. One cop too many are following suit because they see that the others racist cops are not being punished for assassinating people for being black.! Smh.

  • MommieDearest

    This is all his fault. If he would’ve simply declared himself a “colorless American” this never would have happened.