I haven’t had many chances to feel as if I am offensive to the law, but I was recently put in such a position. We had to go to the bank recently to deposit some checks. Normally, we go through the drive-through or ATM, but we needed to meet some people inside. While waiting in line, I kept the checks in my coat pocket so as not to appear pretentious.
When my turn arrived, I reached my hand towards the checks (in the inner pocket next to my left breast). As I was making that motion, the teller, very subtly, lowered his hand from the level of the bottom of his ribs to his hips, just below the rim of his counter. As I pulled my hand out of my pocket unarmed and holding only checks, he, just as subtly brought his left hand back to its original position, away from what I can only presume was an alarm button that surely would have ruined my day.
It didn’t bother me too much in the moment, but in reflecting on the situation after we left, I felt deeply troubled that I had been viewed as someone capable of committing such a crime. I wouldn’t wish that feeling on anyone. If nothing else, it left me having a greater resolve to give others the benefit of the doubt and see them in the nest light possible.