I wish to make you aware of an issue I find disturbing in our small town.

Over the last few days one of the local police officers has stopped and harassed two teen boys that frequent my house. They are the same age and grade as my eldest daughter.

These boys are not saints by any stretch. They come from broken homes and are known by the local police for domestic issues with their parents. However, they have never committed serious crimes, never been convicted, and are both successfully completing high school.

On two separate instances in the last week one of the local Pacific Grove police officers has stopped one of the boys walking home from our house. The first time he was stopped it was mid afternoon, forced to empty his pockets, handcuffed, and brow beaten by this officer because some house had been burgled across town and he fit the description. What that description was, was never revealed. He was supposedly acting suspicious because he was shaking. Being stopped by the police and handcuffed could make an adult quake, let alone a teen age child.

The second time he was stopped was Sunday morning while walking home from our house. He was again stopped by the same officer, forced to empty his pockets, searched, and again brow beaten to reveal any “information” about any “crimes” he might know about. He was then told by this officer to call his friend and tell him to come over. Which he did. His friend then shows up, is forced to empty his pockets, placed in the back of a squad car to be “questioned” and driven off. I will not repeat what I was told of that conversation/questioning because I wasn’t there and was only told second hand what happened. If what I did hear was true, then I am disgusted and saddened by the state of our local police.

No crimes were committed. No arrests were made. No reasons for the stops were given other than they “looked suspicious”. At this point the boys are asking for rides back and forth from and to their homes  to avoid being harassed any further.   They are scared of the local police and are afraid to walk in public.

At this point I have done some basic research on personal rights when stopped by the police and will be informing all the local teenagers that they Do Not have to answer questions from the local Pacific Grove police officers without either their parents being with them or a lawyer. The out come of this officer harassing these boys is that now, they and their friends, will be getting tutored in what their rights are and how NOT to answer any more questions from the local police without a supervising adult being present.

I am sorry that it has come to this. This is not the way things should be in a small town like Pacific Grove. We live here because it’s a safe and quiet place to raise our daughters. That doesn’t mean I can turn a blind eye when troubled children are being harassed by those who are supposed to protect us.

Richard Hickey