On Monday, January 4, at around 2 p.m., my brothers Alex and Joseph and I were pulled over by a sheriff in Lemon Grove. We were taken out of the car, handcuffed, and searched in front of my nephew’s school, Sweetwater Springs Elementary, on Austin Drive.
The officers wouldn't give us a reason for the stop and kept wanting us to tell them what gang we were from. They kept saying, "If it walks, talks, and looks like a duck, then it must be a duck,” referring to the fact that we have shaved heads, wear baggy clothes, are Hispanic, and tattooed.
Nobody in my family has ever been in a gang, and the only tattoos I have are my kids’ names on my back.
After a fruitless search of our vehicle and finding out that we all have clean records, they uncuffed and released us...but not before taking pictures of all our tattoos. I was made to take off my shirt in front of my nephew’s school, with school staff looking on.