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Unsolicited Advice for HPD


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photo: thinkstock

It happened on King Street, downtown, during one of the Honolulu Police Department’s antijaywalking campaigns. We were walking down the street when we noticed an older gentleman, 60-ish, in an aloha shirt, getting stopped by a young foot-patrol police officer.

First thing the cop says to the citizen: “Do you know why I’m stopping you?”

That’s when it hit us. Cops always start out with The Question.

Do you know why I pulled you over?

Do you know how fast you were going? Etc.

It’s routine. The question gets you to admit to some wrongdoing so the police can maintain power in their interaction with you.

It’s also creepy and manipulative. Passive-aggressive. Infantilizing. It’s counterproductive in terms of the respect the police would like to have from us, which they need to function effectively.

So, enough with the trick questions.

You want respect? Respect us enough to talk to us like adults and tell us why you made the stop.

And ditch the Oakley sunglasses. Makes you look like high-school students pretending to be cops.

 

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Honolulu Magazine July 2017
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