At approximately 6 a.m. on March 5, a group of New York Police Department officers used a battering ram to break down the door of Tijuana Brown's home in Jamaica, Queens. Without knocking, the group then raided a home in search of drugs they believed Brown's nephew, Andre, was dealing. As a result, they cut a hole through the wall in Andre Brown's bedroom. Throughout the entire ordeal, Tijuana Brown, Andre Brown and several children were in the home. Officers "found only enough marijuana for two or three joints," but it was not enough to prove that anyone was dealing drugs.
“When they were leaving I heard one officer say, ‘Well this was a bust,’” Tijuana Brown told the NY Daily News.
“They said they were sorry for the inconvenience. Inconvenience? An inconvenience is when your train is running late, not when they’re busting down the door to your house and turning the place upside down.”
Andre Brown was charged with possession, but the case was dismissed before he even saw a judge. Unfortunately, the trauma from the incident sticks with the Brown family. Tijuana Brown said that she was shaken by the incident and has trouble sleeping because of it. She also had to pay nearly $1,000 to replace her door. Having lost faith in the police force, Brown has turned to New York City Councilman Adrienne Adams for help. Adams was upset by what happened the Brown household and is frustrated that raids like those can further divide communities of color and police.
“How am I supposed to convince them when they see day after day instances where they are still treated the same?” Adams asked.
“They are still being disrespected. They are still being dishonored. It seems like their lives are not valued.”
The NYPD has not reimbursed Brown for her door or allegations the officers refused to show the Browns a warrant during the raid.
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