The evening of November 3, 2006, Shuaib O’Neill took a stroll with a companion in his neighborhood of Inwood, Long Island, a village of little homes that adjoins the huge public-lodging undertakings of Far Rockaway, Queens.The 22 year-old O’Neill, who lived with his folks, had quite recently completed the late shift at a nursing home where he filled in as a helper, wiping floors and washing pots. He procured seventeen dollars an hour and paid his folks 300 dollars every month for a lot of the lease.
His companion Shaun Buchanan had recently completed work too, as an administrator at the Kmart close to Penn Station, in Manhattan. Subsequent to hanging out at O’Neill’s home for some time, Buchanan said that he expected to purchase cigarettes. He likewise needed to check whether they may run into a young lady he preferred who lived close by. O’Neill, who doesn’t smoke, chided his companion about his propensity, however, without further ado before 10 p.m., the two set out for a corner shop. They had strolled only a couple blocks when a plain vehicle pulled up behind them.
“I just saw a spotlight and heard somebody hollering ‘Stop,’ ” O’Neill said. Three casually dressed cops hopped from the vehicle, with their firearms out. O’Neill heard somebody yell, “Freeze, don’t move!” One of the officials push him against the side of the vehicle. The men, he said, never distinguished themselves as police. “They never do,” he advised me.
Experiencing childhood in Jamaica, Queens, O’Neill, who is Black, lost tally of the occasions that he was halted by police. “Presumably more than ten,” he said. His first experience came at age twelve, as he was leaving a store where he had gone to purchase a move of aluminum foil for his mom. Police halted him, asking where he was going and where he had been, at that point sent him out the door. Some other time, he was halted soon after venturing out from home on his approach to class. He was pulling on his coat as he set out toward the bus station. “They thought I put something in my sleeve,” he reviewed.
This stop, he said, was substantially more forceful. As he inclined toward the vehicle, one of the officials searched him. He was then bound and twirled around. At the point when he looked into, the official was hanging a dark gun by the barrel. “He asked me, is this my firearm? I advised him no, I never seen that weapon. I didn’t have the foggiest idea what he was discussing.”
O’Neill and Buchanan were taken to the 101st Precinct station, in Far Rockaway, where they were left in a holding cell for over an hour prior being brought higher up for addressing. Cuffed to a table, O’Neill was tested by two cops. One was Joseph Cruzado, the official who had shown him the firearm. Close to Cruzado was a sergeant, Kevin Matthews, who headed the area’s enemy of wrongdoing crew. Did he think about any burglaries around there, Cruzado asked him. Did he know anyone who was selling guns? O’Neill addressed no to the two inquiries. At a certain point, Cruzado began discussing a new occurrence at A-train station in Far Rockaway, where police had shot a man. Cruzado, who is white, revealed to O’Neill that he was happy he and Buchanan hadn’t flee. “On the off chance that you had ran, I would have shot you,” Cruzado said.
Cruzado disclosed to O’Neill he could tell he was anything but a terrible individual, and he would release him home when he composed an explanation portraying how he got the weapon. “For what reason would I do that?” O’Neill said. “I never had a weapon.” Cruzado answered, “Indeed, on the off chance that you need to return home, compose the assertion.” When O’Neill said he didn’t have a clue what to compose, Cruzado offered to take care of him. “He revealed to me he would walk me through it,” O’Neill reviewed.