23 Jan 2009

Another example of Duncey dotishness

Disturbing visit from the police

Published: January 22nd, 2009

Is it okay that, in a compound with maybe 20 apartments, if someone who may or may not even be living there is suspected of some illegal activity, the police can theoretically break down everyone’s door including young couples, families with young children and what seemed to have been the easiest target on January 16, me, a naked, single, female academic?

It was around 6.30 pm, as I had just come out of the shower, that I heard loud talking and banging on doors. It took a little while before I deciphered voices shouting “police” and “open up.” Then I heard knocking on my door as well and I responded saying that I was not dressed and that they must be making a mistake, offering to provide identification (under the door) so they could see who I am. Instead, they threatened to break the door and then did exactly that. By this time I had only managed to wrap a towel around myself. They asked me if I didn’t hear them say they were police, but I was thinking that the police had no reason for coming to my apartment.

They told me that real bandits would not have identified themselves as police but would have already had me down on the floor (pointing where) naked as I was. Then they kindly allowed me to dress in front of the woman police officer. Meanwhile, after a quick look around my room and finally viewing my ID, and student ID, they appeared to have come to the realisation of how wrong they were and attention shifted elsewhere. The officer who broke down my door however decided to make himself comfortable on one of my chairs and asked me where was my fan. He asked if I do not get tired walking up the steps and wanted to know how much I was paying for the place, giving his unsolicited opinion on the value stated.

He told me there were people involved in criminal activity in the building and I should know that. I wondered why, if that was indeed the case, was he making himself comfortable in my chair, with idle unwelcome chitchat, instead of looking for whoever. But I responded that I had only noticed families and little children. They showed me a photo of a man who I had never seen before in my life and I told them that I never noticed any such person. They were laughing at the fact that I was shaking. The female officer said, “You still shaking girl? Relax!” As though it was every day that someone could expect to have people with guns breaking down their doors.

I decided to leave and picked up a couple of my things (laptop, handbag and some unfinished assignments). There was no security for my things in that room but, more importantly, there was no security for me. I am pretty certain that they did not find who or what they were looking for but with their approach, who is surprised? Needless to say, I am looking for a new apartment since I am not prepared to deal with this type of distraction. To add insult to injury, the landlord, who insists that background checks had been done on all of the tenants, clearly intends to withhold my deposit for the damage the police caused.

Violated Student
(name given), via e-mail