In recent weeks we’ve seen some baffling behavior of police squads in the USA as they responded to demonstrations against law enforcement brutality and systemic racism.
While the Black Lives Matters protests seem to have spread to many more countries since the protests started free the murder of George Floyd by a police officer, in most countries it seems the police has dealt with protesters in a decent, non-violent manner.
But there’s ample of other examples of “police stupidity” elsewhere too.
According to the Guardian the Swiss police has investigated an 8-years old boy after he asked in a local shop if he could use “toy money”.
The kid had collected so-called “spirit money”, fake banknotes printed on Chinese joss paper, complete with Chinese characters on them as well. As such the notes would obviously be immediately recognizable as “toy money” and clearly not represent any form of counterfeit money.
Yet the police had to investigate the boy after the store - in compliance with company policies - warned the police about possible counterfeit money in use. The cops went to the house of the boy, where the investigation lasted a whopping 3 hours.
“We were informed that children with a bundle of counterfeit euro notes tried to buy goods. There was therefore suspicion of counterfeit money being put into circulation.”
- Basel-Landschaft Police
The police confiscated more pretend money banknotes in the name of “preventing crime” as they found three 50-“Euro“, two 20-“Euro” notes, five 10-“Euro“ notes, and three five-“Euro” notes.
Additionally, they took the mugshots of the boy and his 10-years old brother. While neither the boy nor his brother were charged, their names will stay in the police system’s database for 12 years.
While it is baffling that store employees didn’t see any fun in the boy’s question and decided to apply obviously not related strict company policies, the question whether the investigating police who took things serious and went as far as taking the kids mugshots is even more stupid is relevant.
The term “stupid” is probably too euphemistic in this case .
On a side note, it was a report about using a possibly counterfeit note of USD 20 which led to the death of George Floyd and triggered the protests in the USA which have gone in their third week already.
Photos via Unsplash