—Never judge a person by his appearance.
This is a story named “Identities” written by W.D. Valgardson and it’s about a man dressing in the blue jeans with day-old beard who is going to have a drive but an inexperienced policeman, who is nervous and arbitrary, kills the man by shooting. I think the man is so pool and helpless that the police officer is not justified when he kills the man who he thinks is “dangerous” and “suspicious”.
First, the man doesn’t do any dangerous things to anyone on the street. “he slips his wallet into his shirt pocket, does up the metal buttons on his jacket and slips a ten-dollar bill in to his back pocket”. Although his behavior is a little strange, it doesn’t cause a reason for the police officer to kill him. I can say most people who is searching for the money on themselves, the action would be almost the same. Second, although the appearance of the man is little dirty, wearing in blue jeans and with day-old beard; he can be a good guy. “In spite of his car, he hopes his day-old beard, which he strokes upward with the heel of his hand, will, when combined with his clothes, provide immunity.” Who says the dirty man must be a “suspicious”? In the history, there were lots of artists dressing in the dirty to keep their ideas and excite themselves to make more artworks. The police officer only glances on the man who he thinks is a “suspicious”, it would be a little arbitrary. Third, the police officer should also show the identity to the man at first instead of killing the man right away. “He is so intent upon the three men and the girl that he does not notice the police car drift against the curb, nor the officer who advances with a pistol in his hand”. The man doesn’t even have time to react and show his identity which he would do next, “in the last voluntary movement of his life, he reached his hand toward his wallet for his identity”. The police officer is so nervous and inexperienced to handle such situation so he chooses the most extreme way: kill the man, which is ridiculous, which is the worst choice in any situations.
Although the man is a little strange, the police officer shouldn’t kill him without knowing his identity. Because of his nervous and inexperienced, an innocent life has been taken away.