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A few months ago, my younger brother was pickup by the police for questioning in relation to a crime he had nothing to do with.

Apparently there were two guys which my brother usually hangout with in the community. According to him, they were just his childhood friends. But to everyone else they were known for stealing, and dealing drugs from the parents homes.

These guys were eventually busted after a week long undercover police string operation. AT the time my brother thought that the whole situation was hilarious because it wasn’t to long ago one of his other friends was pickup by the police for possession of marijuana with intend to sell.

The laugh ended when he was arrested, and interrogated by the police for nearly eight hour straight. The policemen were convinced that my brother was a drug dealer too, partly because my brother’s lifestyle mirrored the lifestyle of the drug dealer; and the fact that he associated with these guys regularly made him a bon-a-fide drug dealer. Of course, my brother wasn’t no drug dealer, but that didn’t seem to matter to the officers. He was guilty by association.

Too many times we judge people, and presume that they’re guilty of something just by the people they associated themselves with. I’m not condone keeping bad company, but it’s time we give up this type low-level thinking in our Dominican society. Whatever happen to the saying that everyone is innocent until proven guilty?

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