Before Brehon reached 18, the police had unjustifiably stopped him on more than 60 separate occasions. In several instances, he was handcuffed and detained for hours in a cell without being charged, just because he asked why he was stopped.
As a result of those encounters with the police, Brehon tried to avoid the police at all costs, saying he felt as though he was a prisoner in his own neighborhood.
The heavy presence of armed officers and school security agents kept Brehon from attending school, he said. “I would do stuff that would get me suspended so I could be, like, completely away from the cops,” he said. He would intentionally arrive late to school, cut classes and refuse to wear the school uniform.
After a time, he was expelled. Brehon would go on to get beyond his situation when he transferred to Bushwick Community High School, where there was less police presence.
The short documentary produced by Julie Dressner and Edwin Martinez is intended to by a part of a long piece on the impact of the stop-and-frisk policy of the city’s residents.
This doc illuminates the point of recent disturbing stop-and-frisk studies. In 2011, the New York City Police Department conducted 685,724 stop-and-frisk searches. Of those stops, 87 percent of them involved blacks or Latino’s, with the majority being young men. The statistics published the New York Civil Liberties Union last month have been the source of much discussion in the city’s political sphere, forcing the police department to take responsibility for perceived racial profiling.