I felt humiliated


My first encounter with the police was when I was 19, although it was a few years ago, I remember it quite clearly.

I was exiting Mile End station and as I put my travel card back into my purse I was stopped by an officer, who told me that they needed to search me. I was really shocked and confused, as to me the only people who got stopped were those who had done something wrong or looked ‘suspicious’. I asked the officer why she had stopped me and she told me that there had been an incident in the area. I then explained to her that I had only just reached Mile End, so surely I didn’t fit the ‘suspicious’ criteria. The officer said that I needed to comply. She was quite abrupt and as I didn’t want any trouble I allowed her to search me. I felt violated; to have someone touch your clothes and go through your pockets is horrible. I just had to stand there in front of everyone, I felt humiliated.

That experience really tainted my view of the police. I already had quite a negative view of them, but it was reinforced by my personal encounter.


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