Mother and Son Allege Abuse by NYPD Officers

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By Carolyn Hall

Black Americans often have a love-hate relationship with the police. They love to hate them. While officers may have been designated to protect and serve, many Blacks have found themselves the unwitting victims of the law. Likewise, the long-standing antagonistic, and often racially-motivated profiling of African-Americans have left a black eye on the Black community’s relations with the police.

Recently, Krystal Silvera (a 30 year old New York mother of two) experienced the “bad side of the law.” Ms. Silvera claims, in a recent lawsuit filed against New York’s 63rd precinct, that she was sexually molested and her son’s leg was broken by an NYPD officer. The police, who came to Silvera’s home searching for her ex-boyfriend, became enraged when her 10 year old son was seen videotaping one of the officers.

Apparently, the officer did not appreciate being videotaped and he responded by kicking the 10 year old boy in the shin.

Silvera ran down stairs when she heard the cries of her son, as any mother would do. The young mother had been upstairs getting herself and her five year old ready for school. She was so startled by the commotion that she did not have time to finish dressing and was wearing underclothes. After descending the steps, she was immediately grabbed by the officer and pulled outside in the freezing cold in these same undergarments.

According to the lawsuit filed by Silvera, “The officer flicked the piercing [on her breast], he flicked the ring up with his finger on my right breast,”; “He said, ‘Is this what mothers look like these days?’ Not only was Miss Silvera embarrassed in front of her neighbors, who happened to be outside during the drama, she was also humiliated and sexually violated by the officer.

Situations of police misconduct, like the one involving Silvera, are all too common in the Black community. Unfortunately, these negative interactions seem to set the tone for the way  African-Americans, especially in urban communities, deal with the police. This also explains why so many in the “hood” are hesitant to call upon law enforcement, even when crime is rampant in their community.