Opinion

Should We Fear the Police?

JACKIE GERSON

OPINION EDITOR

   The minute you see those flashing red and blue lights your stomach sinks to the floor and you think of the 100 million things an officer could ding you on while driving on the highway.

   Was I going above 65 miles per hour? Was I drifting into another lane? Did I forget to turn on my signal when I changed lanes? All these questions and many more race across as panic begins to set in and adrenaline pumps throughout your body.

   But then, the police car speeds past you (definitely not at 65 mph), and a wave of relief is passed over you kinda like the feeling when you thought you were getting pulled over but then it turned out to be for some other
unlucky person.

   Imagine seeing a sheriff’s car parked on the side of the road. You would most likely think that he or she was sitting in the car waiting for some person to speed down the local road. I would think the same too.

   However, it was not the case when I pulled up to the intersection on Sand Hill Road only to see the sheriff himself, standing right next to the stop sign, hands behind his back, glasses tilted slightly forward so you could glimpse his glaring black eyes, just so he could ensure that every last car came to a complete stop at the stop sign.

   While part of me wanted to smile and wave at him, his hostility and sense of superiority over the drivers and law-abiding citizens of the United States felt palpable and made me feel more like a criminal than a person.     Why is it that we all have an irrational fear over the same people who are supposed to keep us safe and protect us? More so, why is it that police feel a sense of power over us?

   Yes, police can arrest us.They can make our lives a nightmare with excessive parking tickets, speeding tickets, and tickets for just about anything else you can name, but isn’t it their job? I do not fear the red and blue flashing lights because I know that those same lights are the ones getting drunk drivers off the roads and making things safe for the wellbeing of others.

   While it is okay for police officers to do their jobs, I ask that they do so without the unneccessary glares and stares and instead treat us as the equals that we are.

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