In the UK it is legal for police officers to stop and search people who are in public spaces. The rules regulating on what grounds someone may be searched are so few and ambiguous that they make it so that literally anyone out in public my be searched simply for being outside. New York City has a similar policy called Stop and Frisk, which amounts to much the same thing. In both cases a disproportionate number of black and middle-eastern men are being stopped and searched. While even the issue of the effectiveness of these preemptive searches is debatable, the random searching of citizens hardly seems like the policy of free and open society. In the short film and photo series Viewed with Suspicion: The Human Cost of Stop and Search , Photographer Ed Kashi explores the realities those people who “fit the description.” Their stories are a powerful testament to the detriments of such policies. After watching the video is it any wonder the that British produce so many dystopian novels?

[youtube id=7Tx7sK54y2Y width=”620″ height=”360″]

 

Ed-Kashi, Stop-and-search, viewed-with-suspicion

©Ed Kashi/ VII

Ed-Kashi, Stop-and-search, viewed-with-suspicion

©Ed Kashi/VII

Ed-Kashi, Stop-and-search, viewed-with-suspicion

©Ed Kashi/VII

 

Ed-Kashi, Stop-and-search, viewed-with-suspicion

©Ed Kashi/VII

 

 

You can follow Tom Kray on twitter @tomkray

He also has a website www.the-fas.com