November 13, 2003

Another Police Incident...
Earlier this week, there was another police incident in the Lille Metro. It didn't happen to me, but to a friend of mine. The police stopped him in the station, much like they stopped me. "Can we see a piece of ID please?"
Being from the EU, there shouldn't be a problem, but they make a mysterious call to check up on his drivers' license.
They ask if he has any hashish, guns, or weapons. Of course he doesn't, but the cops don't really care. They fully search him anyway.
They then start to ask vague questions, trying to find out if he's 'fully European', or partly something else. Racist would be the word that pops to my mind.
Then they ask why he's here, "I'm working as an English assistant." "But if you speak English already, why are you here?" "Because I'm working to teach French students English."
Then they get a call that his drivers' license is OK, and that he's good to go. They cop tries to 'smooth things over' by making light of the number of languages he speaks.
I thought that I had gotten over the whole cop thing; I had rationalized that it was just a one in a million chance that I had been stopped. Then, just over two weeks later, it happens again (but luckily not to me). Going into the metro and seeing six cops glaring at you walking by can be very intimidating.
I saw the lady that went through my wallet when I got off at the metro station a couple of days ago. I know that she doesn't remember my face, but it still makes you wonder...

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