Nearly every day, a new video surfaces capturing police officers misusing their power. Even if these occurrences exist as the exception to the rule of cool-headed and reasonable judgment in law enforcement, they point to a deep contradiction on the front lines of our justice system.
Personally, I’ve had very few encounters with police officers. Like most people I have had a speeding ticket or two. I have been let off with a warning more than once. Regarding police interaction, I have expectations that, to me, seem sensible. These expectations all boil down to being treated with dignity, even as a possible suspect. Sadly, not all people have had experiences which support these expectations.
I’ve started this series by asking my friends if they or anyone they know has had negative experiences with police. Their stories range from racial profiling during a traffic stop, to officers driving aggressively, to false arrests and imprisonment. Collectively, these stories expose the edges and patterns in a mosaic of oppressive tactics.
This project’s purpose is to shed light on police misconduct and abuse of power, through the stories of ordinary people.
From time to time, I have also interviewed people who can ground these personal narratives in their expertise, so we can understand more of the systemic forces at work.