Receiving justification can be difficult. Especially when it is controversial. In the short story “Identities” written by W.D. Valgardson, initially, based on the title, you may think it is about someone who does not know who they. However, this is a story about how your identity determines almost completely who you are perceived to be. When you think about a police officer, stereotypically, they are the “protectors” and the main character is supposed to be a stereotypical “criminal”. But in this story, the police officer was not the protector. Instead, he was the opposite, the protagonist was anything but a criminal. He was just an average man trying to live his life. The police officer was not justified when he killed the man. The police officer was inexperienced and quick to judge. “So intent is he upon the future that he dangerously ignores the present and does not notice the police car, concealed in the shadows of a side street, nose out and follow him.” Because he is so wrapped up in what he was doing, he doesn’t realize his own danger following close behind because this stereotypical neighborhood does not usually see a certain type of cars driving in it without a controversy behind him. “Ahead, there is a small store with windows covered in hand-painted signs and vertical metal bars.” This store is not the safest store because it has metal bars on the windows which in self-raises red flags. When the officer, who is inexperienced and nervous because of the neighborhood, he became suspicious of the Mercedes Benz and because he has been trained to see an unshaven man in blue jeans as a potential thief. This is ironic because police are supposed to be fearless and invincible and he is no different than the protagonist. In a way that they are both scared. “When he turns part way around and recognizes the uniform, he does not feel fear but relief.” Instinctively relaxing, he was certain of his safety, “in the last voluntary movement of his life, he reaches toward his wallet for his identity.” The moment he saw the blue uniform, he thought he was safe and in “good hands” because he was with a police officer who is the stereotypical “hero” and at the last moment of his life just wanted to give the officer his identity so that he could be identified. But instead, the officer sees him as no more than a stereotypical “criminal” because of how he looked. The police officer saw and thought the man could not be reaching for anything other than a weapon to hurt the officer, and the stereotypical “hero” turned out to be anything, but he decided to protect himself when the main character was the true victim. Strangely enough, the true victim needed protection from the police officer. Your initial thought of this story may be about someone who does not know who they are or their “identity”. But this story is about how your identity determines almost completely everything about you. When you think about a police officer, you would think they are the “protectors” and this man was supposed to be the “criminal”. But, the officer in this story was the opposite of a protector and the protagonist was anything but a criminal, he was just an average man trying to live his life. Therefore, the police officer was not justified when he killed the man.