The New York Times recently spoke with Tyquan Brehon, a young, African American resident of Brooklyn who has been stopped over 60 times under the NYPD’s oppressive “Stop and Frisk” program.
Brehon discusses the senselessness of these stops, and the standard reaction from many of these officers when the motivation behind a particular stop is questioned.
“‘Most of the times I get stopped, I’m walking down the block,’ he says. ‘They never say, ‘This is why I’m stopping you.’ When you’re young and you’re Black, no matter how you look, you fit the description.’
Brehon recalled a time when officers stopped and frisked both him and a group of other teens and lined them up against a wall. Breton asked why he was being stopped. An officer told him he was spraying graffiti on the wall. Breton in turn asked how could he possibly be spraying anything on the wall if it is Black and he only has a pink highlighter in his pocket.
According to Brehon, once you ask officers what their motive is, it provokes negative reactions. “That’s when you can hear a change in their tone,” he says. ‘They start to get a lot more aggressive. And they feel threatened.’
According to Brehon, the constant harrassment impacted his schoolwork and led him to act out in class. Since then however, he’s turned his life around and hopes to attend college and become a lawyer in order to “help other minorities who are unfairly treated by police.”
A phenomenal short documentary on the experiences of Tyquan Breton can be found at NewYorkTimes.com
Tyquan’s story is a familiar one.
Should the Justice Department launch an investigation into the NYPD’s treatment of people of color?
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