|The Spanish Inquisition - from Wikimedia Commons|
by Judith Cullen
If you have not been, you do not understand. If you have not been stopped by the police, or called in for questioning, or any of the other degrees of being suspected of committing a crime, you have no idea what this process is like and what it does to you. You have no idea what it is like to know that you are innocent, and be in the power of people who believe fervently that you are not. We are all raised on the notion that every citizens is innocent until proven guilty. It probably seems simple to you. If you are innocent, you have nothing to worry about. Think again.
In reading the account in the Boston Globe, and artist SteveLocke's own account of being stopped by the police ("I Fit the Description", Dec 5, 2015) last year on his way to work at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design where he is on the faculty, I was reminded that "innocent until proven guilty" is a figure of law in
America, not a
figure of practice. It is something
lawyers remind citizens during voir dire,
something that judges remind seated juries.
It is not something that happens on the streets in the midst of a crime investigation. I am sorry to disillusion you. It does not
matter who you are, being a suspect messes with your head.