Banksy: Stop and Search
In Stop and Search by Banksy, an officer stops Dorothy on her way home for an impromptu inspection
An officer in uniform appears to be conducting a search through Dorothy’s basket and appears to have found something. Toto, her loyal companion, looks up in confusion. The image is done in Banksy’s typical black stenciling, however he adds a pop of blue with the officer’s latex gloves. Banksy chose Dorothy to be stopped for inspection for a specific reason. In the story of The Wizard of Oz, all her character is trying to do is get home. Played by Judy Garland in the 1939 film, Dorothy is known for her wholesome nature and naivety. Her catchphrase, “There’s no place like home.” only furthers her childlike innocence.
The stop and search policy itself warrants an officer to conduct a search of any individual without prior cause or proof of misconduct. The “sus” law (as in suspected person) was introduced originally in the UK in 1824 as part of the Vagrancy Act. Since then, stop and search policies have become some of the most controversial practices by law enforcement, leading to higher numbers of profiling and growing concerns of a rising police state. Since Banksy first released Stop and Search in 2007, stop and search policies have begun to be reduced and revoked around the globe.
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