Police Harassment

Author: mirai  //  Category: Life in general, Rants and Raves

With all of the events happening in the States with the police brutality, I am somewhat thankful that Japan is relatively safe, and I don’t have to deal with all of that.   But with that said, foreigners are not exactly free from harassment.

I have been stopped, questioned, delayed, and racially profiled for no good reason other than the fact that I am not Japanese on several occasions now, and its always the same excuse from these clowns….we’re just trying to prevent crime.  Yeah right.  The Japanese police aren’t known for being the righteous squad, often being in the headlines for corruption and committing public nuance and indecency crimes themselves.

Yesterday during my lunch break, as I was trying to scout a place to eat during my break, a police car with two officers slowly rides up beside me.  As this was happening, I began to think oh no, here we go again…here comes the endless line of questioning.  Where are you from?  Where are you going?  Where do you work? Do you have ID on you? etc. etc. 

I came up onto an intersection, and as I was about to cross the street, the officers in the car turned left in front of me, so I stopped.  At that moment, the police car also stopped and police officer in the passenger seat, rolled down his window and stuck his head out… here we go, I thought.  He gave me this really odd and creepy smile and waved me across.  I hesitated for a second and proceeded to cross the street, but as I did this, the patrol car moved forward as well, so I stopped and signaled to the passenger to just go ahead, but he kept signalling to me to go ahead.

At this point I was getting annoyed and suspicious.  I looked up at the traffic light to see if it was still green to make sure that I wasn’t giving them some kind of excuse to stop and detain me as they usually do.  I had the green light and so did he, but since I was a pedestrian, I had the right of way.  But I decided not to go forward because these guys were obviously trying to get me to do something so I would arouse suspicion.  I stopped in my track, crossed my arms to give them a clear indication that I was  seriously annoyed at them.

So here we were, both playing chicken at the intersection, both refusing to move.  All I wanted to do, is to just have a nice quiet, uneventful lunch, and it appeared that that wasn’t happening.  So, instead of crossing and risking getting stopped for some stupid made up reason, I started to walk back the other direction.  It was only then the officer rolled his window back up and proceed.  What an asshole!

As I read the news today, I found yet another story about police brutality in the States.  Although the police are a bunch of racist, perverted, drunken assholes in Japan, at least they don’t beat or kill innocent people, so I guess the situation  here is not as bad as it could be, but it sure is annoying.