Andrew J. Padilla, a New York City writer and filmmaker, was walking into Manhattan’s Riverside Park with two of his friends one night to hang out, when a police officer pointed a gun at them. 

Padilla put his hands up, knowing things could escalate, and that they had done nothing wrong. It was 2007, or maybe 2008. Padilla doesn’t quite remember the date — only that he must have been 17 or 18 years old. 

“It was a feeling of impotence,” Padilla told HuffPost in a phone interview. “That we could die.”

Padilla said the police officer emptied their pockets, threatened them with the possibility of arrest and the use of force. Then, he let them go. When

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