CAROLINA — A year ago the Tylers decided to foster a 17-year old African American boy named DeShawn Curri.
Ricky and Stacy Tyler have three other children.
“He is my baby boy just as much as my other three children are,” says his mother.
Curri has never been fond of having his photographs taken, which is probably why he did not feature in one of the frames on the mantle when he was attacked in his own house.
The Tyler family had just moved to Fuquay-Varina in North Carolina when the young boy says he had a traumatizing experience that will take a lifetime to forget.
One Monday afternoon when he returned from school, the police arrived at the family’s doorstep shortly after and started questioning Curri.
It turns out one of the neighbors saw the teenager enter the house through a side door, which had been left open for him by his parents because he was due to return early.
Unaware of this and suspecting an attempted burglary, they called the police.
The cops then asked then him to put his hand on the door.
Curri was startled by the abrasive policemen.
“I was like, ‘For what? This is my house’,” he adds recalling the horrific episode.
The men in uniform pointed at the pictures of the Tylers’ other children, who were all white, indicating that he could not be from the same family.
This is when Curri started trying to explain the foster situation to the cops, but one of them pepper-sprayed him in the face.
He says all he could hear was the hissing of the container and he was sprayed from the back of his neck up to his eyes.
It is worth noting that the substance causes pain and often temporary blindness. It is unclear whether Curri suffered from these effects.
Stacy Tyler had to come home to clear the confusion and it was then that the ordeal ended.
He adds it was terrible being profiled in his own house because his siblings were not the same color as him.
The officers said Curri “threatened them and was confrontational.”
They added that he refused to follow instructions.
The Tylers said still in the process of getting to know their neighbors and were miffed that their son was assumed to be a thief. The upset teen adds that his new family had been welcoming and he was starting to settle in quite well. However, the brush with the policemen has left him disturbed.
It is not just Curri who is distressed. His mother says her five-year-old daughter is confused about what happened.
“Momma I don’t understand why they hated our brother and why they had to come in and hurt him,” asks the pre-schooler from her mother.
Ricky Tyler is not really happy either, he says police undid all the work the family had done to help Curri in the time that he had been with them.
“Everything we have worked so hard for in the past year was stripped away yesterday in just a matter of moments,” says the disappointed father.
A teary-eyed Curri says the incident made him feel “really mad.”
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