A black teenager in North Carolina was pepper sprayed in his own living room after being mistaken for a burglar, ABC News affiliate WTVD reports. The teen, 18-year-old DeShawn Currie, was accosted in his home Monday afternoon after a neighbor called the police when he saw Currie enter the home through the side door, suspecting him of being an intruder.
Currie is being fostered by Ricky and Stacy Tyler, a white couple. He has been living with them and their three young sons for roughly a year, but the family had just moved to a new neighborhood in July. Stacy Tyler left the side door open for Currie on Monday afternoon so that he could get into the house after returning home from school. A neighbor saw Currie walk into the home and called to report a break-in.
Three officers arrived on the scene to question Currie, even pointing out pictures of the Tylers and their three white children and asking how Currie fit in. "They come in and just profile me and say that I'm not who I am... because there was white kids on the wall, that made me really mad," Currie said. When he objected, an argument ensued, and that's when one of the officers pepper sprayed him in the face, Currie said.
The officers claim Currie became "threatening and belligerent," according to WTVD's report, and that they pepper sprayed him because he neglected to follow instructions. They cited recent criminal activity in the neighborhood as reason for their actions.