Student alleges police harassment

Editor:

I am writing in regards to Kimberly Miller's article that appeared in the Feb. 13 edition of the Arizona Daily Wildcat titled "Athletes vs. meters in mediation." In the article, parking and transportation director Marlis Davis states, "We don't have anyone standing out there to watch people . if one of our employees does see someone hit a meter its just that they happen to be there at that time." While this may be the case, Ms. Davis failed to inform the campus population that UAPD is watching and standing out there waiting to catch people.

On Jan. 30, I was parking near McKale Center. I noticed that upon taking my quarter, the meter failed to show any time. It was not expired, simply, it didn't register any time. I turned the knob three times and still there was no time allotment. I figured the meter was broken and proceeded about my business knowing I would return shortly. As I walked toward the main entrance, I noticed a UAPD officer inspecting the meter that had just robbed me of 25 cents. I immediately ran over and began to explain that the meter appeared to be broken. To my utter surprise, the officer began to question me and explained to me that parking and transportation was "on its way to take the slug that I saw you put into that meter." I replied that I put a quarter into the meter and it failed to show any time. He then explained that he had been watching me with binoculars from a roof top and that he saw me put a slug into the meter. Offended, I defensively told him to have parking and transportation hurry and that I expected an apology when the quarter was retrieved from the meter. While we were waiting, a female approached us and attempted to explain that her meter was also broken: her meter was never checked by the officer. Finally, after 10 minutes, parking and transportation arrived. The person explained that this particular meter was broken. He retrieved my quarter and I received my apology.

I have two questions. First why was I targeted? There were two or three other people parking their cars around the area. One of these people even came up and asked to have her meter checked out! Maybe it is because I fit the student-athlete stereotype of parking near McKale and being a minority student. The second question I have is this why don't UAPD and parking and transportation have a better system of communication? If this had been the case, the officer would have known this meter was not operational. Perhaps then assumptions won't be made based on a perceived stereotype. I don't have an answer for the second question.

Raymond Andrade

Health Education Senior/Former UA Track Athlete

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