This has been submitted by a reader. All reader articles represent the views of the writer, and not necessarily tokyoprogressive.
I’ve been the victim of police harassment for over ten years. I’m continuously being stopped while riding my bike for ID checks. I’m living in Tokyo’s Setagaya area and the police that work from the Himonya police station in which covers the Himonya,Setagaya,and Takaban areas,are the ones who have been harassing me.I’ve lived in this area for a long
time….long enough for every cop the works from that station to know my face and who Iam…..I’m pretty much the only black guy in the area. They don,t just stop me, they also follow me around the neighborhood,in patrol cars and undercover cops in unmarked cars. I don,t understand the reasons for this kind of harassment…..I’ve never comitted any crimes here,nor have I ever been arrested.I was stopped as recently as last week by two bike cops wanting to see my ID.
On some occasions,I’ve even been stopped twice in the same month by the same cops. A couple of years ago, i was riding my wife,s bike (sometimes I would ride her bike for shopping because it had the basket, mine is a mountain bike) and the police stopped me and claimed the bike was stolen.They took me to the police station where they tried to make me sign a document stating the bike was stolen…I refused. They let me go and kept my wife,’s bike. I didn’t tell my wife because I did’nt want to drag her into it. The harrassment continues on a regular basis…..I was even stopped last week. This harrassment has been going on for 10 years….it,s not about my I.D., or my bike …….I believe the police here are trying to discourage me from riding my bike because they don’t want foreigners, especially black guys riding their bikes around the nieghborhood.