Two friends of mine are dating. They were walking home from coffee along Marine Drive. A bunch of cops stopped them, harassed them and threatened to call their parents and place them under arrest. For walking together. They solicited a bribe but my friends got away without paying one. The cops had their info and called them the next day, looking for money. WTF.
What crime did my friends commit? Walking. As a couple. The cops asked stuff like ‘are you married?’ ‘do you want to marry her?’ and any number of things unrelated to any law or public interest. They said that someone had been killed there earlier and feigned an interest in their safety. Those cops were just extortionists and thugs.
My friends were able to get out, but for a poor or minority couple this is an extremely dangerous situation. They’re cops. There’s nothing to stop them from taking the guy in or, worse, the girl. Many couples have not told their parents, so that’s something the cops can also hold against them. It’s traumatic for everybody, but it’s extremely dangerous for people that are less connected or self assured.
It’s also complete bullshit. The cops have gotten better since the war ended and they began doing actual cop work besides checkpoint duty. I haven’t been asked for a bribe in months, maybe years, which is new. There still seem to be pockets of uniformed criminals, however, like the officers trolling Marine Drive.