Police officers searched me, a 17 year old kid minding his own business

By NecroHexr

Since we Singaporeans love to complain, here's a genuine complaint I'd like to share!

First, a little backstory. I'm generally a nervous and anxious kid, I haven't been diagnosed with anything but I can safely assure you I seize up when I talk to people, especially staff who are serving me or people with authority.

Naturally, I don't have a lot of friends (2 good ones in total), and I had just graduated from secondary school. I wanted to be more independent; I was a homebody throughout my 16 years of my life and nobody has ever asked me to go out.

Anyway, I went out a few times during my school holidays, to (I know this sounds silly) "practise being alone", because I know no one was going to drag me out and I had to do it myself.

At the same time, I was trying to do some amateur vlogging to practise my speaking (my voice is very raspy which is bad for my presentations at school), cinematography and editing (well also for school).

So, first two trips - okay! I was happy. Things were starting to work. I was getting better at it.

Then I went down to Labrador Park because I saw some pictures online and the place looked very cool. So I went down, did some videoing with my camera around the park, then headed down the pier when my nightmare begun.

While I was using my phone to take some photographs of some flowers growing along the side in the concrete, I noticed a pair of uniformed policemen strutting around asking other people a bunch of questions. In particular one Malay bloke who was just enjoying the view. I felt bad for him.

I slipped past them thinking I had escaped, and sat down to relax at a nearby bench. I relaxed. The weather was good with a cooling breeze blowing; I felt great doing what I was doing. No problem at all.

Then two different plainclothes policemen approached me from behind and totally caught me completely off-guard.

Happened very quick. Flashed me their IDs (they were indeed the real deal) and I started panicking. I didn't do anything wrong, but I was feeling a lot of irrational fear because of my lack of social skills.

They saw my camera and started bullshitting about me spying for terrorists, that I was filming Pulau Tekong from a distance or the private property in another direction. Keep in mind I had a shitty camera with no attachments, no telephoto lens whatsoever. So these accusations were completely baseless! And I was just a kid, sitting there enjoying the view. I seriously don't get why they saw me as a threat?

If this doesn't seem enough cause for outrage: get this. They looked through my camera and played my embarrassing vlog stuff in front of me, then went so far back digging within the memory card until she saw a video for my sibling's school project, which involved terrible acting and loan sharks.

Then she accused me of engaging in loan shark related activites! Hello, ma'am! You can obviously see the shitty acting in what's clearly just a homemade video, are you crazy or what?

Still this wasn't enough.

They told me to unlock my phone which I complied, and they scrolled through my WhatsApp messages, flicking through the webpages previously surfed and reviewing the apps downloaded. While the female officer did this, the man (her partner) talked to me about other bullshit about being like me, a polytechnic kid, soon to enlist in the army and other nonsense I didn't really catch because I was momentarily taken aback by the woman's behaviour.

Then they proceed to search my bag and made me empty my pockets. I was truly feeling very lost and embarrassed at this point.

I was extremely bewildered by their accusations. Add to that, they didn't let me explain myself much. They simply gestured coldly and ordered me to unlock my phone and stuff. How can I ever forget the way the female officer spoke to me, it was mere accusatory and sarcastic bullcrap that made me feel worse.

When the search was over, they left without saying anything, and they chatted with one another like nothing happened.

I wish I had taken down their names, because honestly after they left my fear dissipated and gave way to pure unadulterated anger. What kind of police work is this? You walk up to a random young kid, he shows you his polytechnic card for verification of identity, then still accuse him of getting involved in terrorism and loan shark activities? Not forgetting to rummage through his personal belongings subsequently?

Just wanted to share this horrible experience I had last year. I remember their faces, just not their names which they didn't care to give. They just flashed their police IDs really quickly so I didn't have time to properly contemplate my next course of action. Still feeling peeved about it till today.

This first appeared as a post on Reddit Singapore. Do join in the discussion over there if you have thoughts to share.


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