Op-Ed: Police harass students in bar busts

Let me set the stage for you. It is midnight, and you are at one of D.C.’s finest bars having a $12 mixed drink – not in a yard glass. Suddenly, there is a ruckus behind you. You turn around and see Metropolitan Police officers swooping in to snatch the freshmen. A rainbow of bracelets suddenly appears in the air as the underage drinkers yank them off their wrists. A larger group of girls than usual stampedes toward the bathroom.

You are standing in a vodka river as boys and girls pour their drinks all over the floor. You watch in amazement as police ask for identification from a girl who actually hands them her fake ID. The police have keen eyes and are able to discern that the five-foot brunette in the photo is not the six-foot blonde girl standing in front of them. Handcuffs go on as a look of bewilderment crosses her face.

All of this actually happened, and I was very amused by the antics of the drunk freshmen who seem to go through these raids twelve times a night. I was not amused, however, when the police stopped me that night – four different times. I am 22 years old. I am allowed to hold a beer and wobble a little. The fourth time a police officer approached me and asked for ID, I asked him if he could just talk to the three other officers who had already called my license in.

I even cooperated by pointing out the three men in question, although at that particular moment, each one seemed to have a blurry twin. Apparently, this officer did not trust his fellow men in blue or me and proceeded to check my ID again. I started delivering a passionate speech to him on harassment, but he was too busy repeating my social security number over and over again. This lasted 20 minutes.

Since the evening in question, I have been stopped on the street outside Foggy Bottom Grocery on two separate occasions by MPD officers. My roommate was detained outside the same store for 15 minutes after purchasing a bottle of Coke. Just because a beverage is in a paper bag does not necessarily make it a forty.

There are approximately 8,000 perverts in the area of Aston Hall every weekend night. They are allowed to expose themselves, commit robbery and harass students. I do not think they have ever been asked to show ID by the police. Come to think of it, there are seemingly no police patrolling that area. They are too busy accosting of-age students at bars and on the street and occasionally busting an under-aged drinker. I understand it is illegal to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages if you are under 21. It is also illegal to perform fellatio. Maybe the police officers should raid the Marvin Center bathrooms on a nightly basis, or even Thurston Hall, to ensure that all laws are enforced.

-The writer is a senior majoring in psychology.

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