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A different interaction

Stephen Siena | Friday, September 3, 2010

Starting with the incident on July 17, and certainly picking up following the first full weekend back at school, Notre Dame students’ “interactions” with South Bend police has been the talk of campus. Some of the debate has come to focus more on the issue of whether underage drinking is a crime worth pursuing by the police when other crime is rampant in the city. To those who think that certain Notre Dame students say the South Bend police is oppressive just because they want a free pass to drink underage, I offer a story that isn’t about to make the front page of The Observer.

A friend of mine who lives off campus was riding his bike home after dark Monday night when he passed a South Bend police car, which then pulled him over. The first thing the officers asked him was “Are you a Notre Dame student?” Such a question seems prejudicial and probably is not relevant to any crime or violation that might have occurred. After taking their time to tell him why he was pulled over, during which he was also patted down, he was informed that he was stopped because his bike did not have a light. Instead of perhaps being given a warning, he was then given a $119 fine “for his own safety.”

I would love to hear from anyone who feels safer knowing those two officers collected more money for the city because of a missing light on a bike.

Stephen Siena


Keough Hall

Sept. 2