Authorities said a black teen was pepper-sprayed inside the home of his white foster family when officers mistook him for a burglar Monday afternoon.
DeShawn Currie, 18, had just returned from school when police arrived to the Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, residence in response to reported break-in. A neighbor who saw the teenager enter through a side door of the house mistook him for an intruder and called 911.
Currie told ABC 11 that the cops ordered him to put his hands on the door. "I was like, 'For what? This is my house,' he said. "I was like, 'Why are y'all in here?'"
The cops said they pepper-sprayed the teen after he became “threatening” and “belligerent.”
Currie said officers pointed out pictures of his white foster siblings as proof he did not belong in the house.
"I'm feeling comfortable," Currie explained, describing his family life. "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."
Currie’s foster parents, Ricky and Stacy Tyler, said they were upset by the incident.
"He's my baby boy just as much as my other three children are," Stacy Tyler said. "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.'"
Currie has been living with the Tylers for about year, before the family moved to their current residence in July.
"Everything that we've worked so hard for in the past years was stripped away yesterday in just a matter of moments,” Ricky Tyler said unhappily.
No charges have been filed. Currie and his foster parents met with the Fuquay-Varina Police Department’s Capt. Bob Adams for a couple hours on Tuesday.
The department released a statement Monday explaining that officers responded to a 911 for the Tylers' house, located in a neighborhood that has recently been plagued by criminal activity.