I am writing in reference to the 2/26 article about a wrongful detention by the BPD. It seems that I often read angry statements by people so wrongfully detained and their friends or relatives, many times with the implication that their race contributed their mistaken detention.
I am writing to state the obvious fact that mistaken detentions of this sort are an inevitable consequence of having police protection - even effective police protection. Certainly it is important for the police and us all to do what we can to minimize such mistakes and to rectify them as quickly and painlessly as possible, but some such detentions will have to happen if we are to enjoy the safety of police protection in a civilized society.
I was myself wrongfully detained in connection with a car theft some years ago. In my case my car looked like a car that had been stolen. The fact that I was a young white male (as the police were looking for) contributed to their mistaking me for the thief. I was detained, patted down, handcuffed, interrogated, and ultimately released after the police had a chance to verify my registration information and identity. I found it a more interesting experience than an evening of chips and sodas.
I find it difficult to understand how comments like "It's not right" and the notion of "seeking satisfaction" after such an incident can be anything but negative for our society. I certainly agree that such an evening is "a real experience", but to say that the detainees were "humiliated" seems to me to go too far. To me it was the victim of the armed robbery who was most traumatized and it was the police (and perhaps again the victim) who were humiliated by their mistake.
We're all doing the best we can. Live and learn.