Thomas Jones · Policemen on a Train
On the train to Rome the other afternoon, three bored young policemen were roaming the corridors. Maybe they'd been on since Trieste and were going all the way to Naples: who knows. In the compartment next to mine a young black woman, travelling by herself, was talking on her phone. One of the policemen stopped outside the door to her compartment and asked her to be quiet. She ended the call. The other two officers swaggered along to join their friend. The three of them stood in the corridor, in silence, staring at her. I thought I should go out and ask them what was going on, maybe tell them I was an English journalist, possibly one who was writing an article about racism, or about sexual harassment... Or maybe I should I just go and sit in her compartment. I didn't do anything though, telling myself (yeah, right) that I'd intervene if they went any further, though of course by then it would have been too late. Eventually they got bored of intimidating her and wandered off. Next time I'll say something, I resolved. Next time.