T Nation

LEO Encounters and Complaints


Some of you that followed the "Open Carry in Philadelphia" thread probably watched me squirm as I defended the officer in that case. At least one person suggested we all just bend over and let LEO do what they wish and we just take it (DoubleDeuce implied this). Anyway, for anyone mistaken that I would do such a thing, here is an e-mail complaint I just sent to a local Department after I was stopped last night.

I'm sure I'll get flamed by the pro-LEO among us. I'm sure I'll hear that I should have just answered his question and I might not even have gotten the ticket. And in reply, I say FUCK THAT BULLSHIT. If you fully read my email and consider the manner in which the stop was conducted, you'll understand why I chose my course.

Dear Chief ------:

I am writing to you to complain about the treatment I received by two members of your Department. Last night, a traffic stop was effectuated upon my vehicle in the Township of ------. I was traveling with my 5 year old son, and his mother. The officer in question turned on his emergency lights and I immediately pulled-over safely to the shoulder of the road. I remained in my seat belt, turned on the interior lights (as is my custom at night for my and the officer's safety) and placed my hands on the steering wheel until the officer's arrival at the passenger side door. He immediately requested my license, insurance and registration, which I immediately produced.

The officer's very next statement was a question: "Where are you coming from?" While I am accustomed to some banter beyond "name rank and serial number" from an officer during a traffic stop, being abruptly and immediately questioned about the origin of my trip (without explanation) was alarming to me. Was there a robbery last evening where the description of the get-away-vehicle matched that of the one I was operating?

I ask the foregoing only half-facetiously, as this is the EXACT explanation that was offered to me by your Supervisor. No robbery? No get-a-way vehicle matching the description of mine, with a 5 year old child as the passenger? Well then, "where are you coming from" is not germane to my traffic stop and would constitute strictly voluntary information on my part.

I POLITELY informed the officer that the origin of my trip was not relevant to the traffic stop. He immediately informed me that I was "hindering his investigation". In other words, your officer alleged or at the very least implied that I was committing a crime by not answering his question. I immediately requested his Supervisor and the officer complied.

Your Supervisor arrived and ordered me to exist the my vehicle and stands with him to the front of my vehicle. We discussed the officer's request and I repeated that I did not believe the origin of my trip was lawfully required information. I will also add that neither of your officer's had yet informed me exactly WHY I was being stopped and detained, but I assumed (correctly) that it was an equipment violation.

While I cannot and will not state that your Supervisor (or the officer) were "unprofessional" up to that point, your Supervisor wore a constant smirk as he was talking to me and at one point, challenged me more than once by asking, "are you a lawyer?" where he eventually replied to his own question by informing me that he knew the law better than I did. I think at least in this instance, he did not.

In addition, when I informed him that I did not desire to argue with him, and that we were merely going in circles (and to just issue the ticket or otherwise charge me, which I did POLITELY), he abruptly walked away and told the officer to "hammer this guy".

I need not remind you that the moment an officer stops a vehicle, that person is technically under arrest. I am not free to happily drive away. I am being detained. Beyond providing the required documents and perhaps confirming my name and address, I am not under any legal obligation to answer questions. Period.

To be clear, it was not my intention to be purposefully obtuse or difficult with your officers. I was not on some crusade to exercise my "rights" during my very next traffic stop. But being abruptly queried about the origin of my trip as the very first question during a traffic stop did not sit well with me. I know such questions are basic procedure. I also know that such questions constitute an "investigation" and if I'm going to voluntarily subject myself to an investigation, the officer ought to do a better job of explaining it and build a better rapport first.

I also know the average motorists has no idea about their rights concerning such an "investigation", but I do. If your officer politely explained why he was stopping me and engaged me in polite conversation, I would have explained exactly from where I was coming, along with my destination - nothing nefarious was occurring last night.

First, unless you can illustrate to me the law that requires me to disclose to an officer the origin and destination of my trip, you have a training issue within your Department. If you cannot provide any such law or requirement, and I do not believe that you can, the express or implied threat that I was breaking the law ("hindering investigation") was inappropriate.

Furthermore, the comment "hammer this guy" was wholly unprofessional, threatening and expressed a clear bias toward me. May I also point out to you how highly inflammatory such a comment is, on the side of the road, at night, with a woman and a 5 year old in the vehicle listening to such a comment.

I want to remind you of the obvious: Your officer's are employed by your Township to uphold the law, including respecting the rights of the citizens of the State. They do not have to agree with those rights, but they are sworn to uphold them. Further, your officers should be required to discharge their duties in a professional manner. It would be bad enough if I alone were subject to this mistreatment, but my 5 year old son was in the vehicle, and could hear everything. 5 year old boys grow up wanting to BECOME police, not learning to mistrust or FEAR them. I won't bother you with the comments of my 5 year-old, but suffice it to say I had to "defend" your officers.

You might read this, speak to your officers and conclude that I'm just being difficult - your Supervisor certainly had that attitude last night. And I'd expect that a good number of LEO would feel the same way. And in reply, I'd remind you that I was polite and non-threatening at all times, and if by exercising my lawful rights constitutes "being difficult", perhaps some LEO need to find new occupations where they are not hindered by those pesky "rights" thankfully afforded us all.

I am sorry that I cannot provide the officer's name at the moment as I do not have the ticket in front of me. My full name follows below and I was stopped some time around 11:00 PM. I thank you in advance for your kind attention to this matter and I look forward to your reply.



98 or more % of officers go on power trips. It's sad but true. I hate hearing cops brag about how they can trick someone into tickets, and I've heard a few. On the other hand, some cops are cool and do good things. It's a complicated world. Sucks BG, usually I'm not a fan of yours, but being stopped and harassed just because is never okay.


And this matters....how? What's wrong, you not wearing your magic underwear today? Maybe if I was wearing magic underwear, my tail light never burns out, I don't get stopped, my engine isn't idling on the side of the road causing greenhouse emissions, and I don't contribute to the changes in our atmosphere that will undoubtedly lead to the "end times" but then again you don't care because you and your magic underwear will be "raptured" off the planet amiright? (run on sentence fully intended) :slight_smile:

Still not a fan?


Not having a working knowledge of police procedures and what not in America, do you expect your letter to get a positive response from the chief? Or is there a chance this could lead to further harrassment.

Since you have an anti-fan in here, I will pipe up and say that I've always enjoyed your posts and insight into various topics and hopefully your incident with authorities will be resolved.


I totally agree with your email and your issues with being pulled over.

However on a larger scale...

Being a former LEO officer (not a police officer) I hate getting generalized, Many of my friends are cops and all of my former coworkers and fellow friends are good, family people who do their job with the best intentions. I have been on both sides of the fence so to speak, I have had LEO treat me like garbage and basically abused their power to berate and belittle me, however 98% of the of the good(I will use the number %98 as it has been used before) that a LEO does often goes unnoticed.

For as many times a cop or whatever fucked with me as a kid, I can triple the amount of times where a LEO has helped me or my family or even recently understood what and why I did what I did (which was an arrestable offense) and gave me a break, but we never hear about this.

I dont how many times I see a skell getting cuffed when I get off my train stop (36th street Sunset Park Brooklyn) and all I see is some douche mouthing off the usual "yeah take the badge off and Ill fuck you up pussy" and the officers TOTALLY ignoring them.

There have been countless times in my former profession wherein I was shot (literally we talked about this before BG a while ago re...camden) at and belittled while doing my job trying to protect the community and their children specifically. I have been spit at, kicked, assaulted, threatened and to be honest very very scared at times yet all I hear mainly is the negative.

I have never abused my authority when I had it, and have even gone the extra mile to give a guy a break...but the media and the public refuses to hear it, they would rather rally around the negative all the time.

In your instance BG and if what you say is verbatim on how it occured the cop was a dick and you had every right to do what you did.

EDIT...BG I am a fan :slight_smile:


I think your form of protest was safer and more "in the right" than the guy mentioned in the other thread. I think it is also everybody's duty to make sure our own rights are not being violated. I think your protest makes sense it's about being vigilant. Law abiding citizens should not live in fear of LEO. Any other plans for this?


Have to agree. I've often found you to be articulate and to the point without getting emotionally drawn into debate, for the most part. Something that isn't easily done it has to be said, particularly when you feel strongly about a subject.

Regarding the above though - totally within your rights to query it and I look forward to hearing about the results. I know you've made no direct comparison to the previous Philly incident you're currently discussing on the other thread, but you've shown that there's a right way to do things and a wrong way to do things. Sadly many people lack simple common sense when handling themselves.


I agree with you. I've worked with cops in the past and some are friends. And yes, it occurred EXACTLY how I said it did...verbatim.


If I do not receive a satisfactory reply, I will escalate it to the County or State's AG's office.


Thanks Jase...I'm not sure what to expect to be honest. I do expect a reply or I will escalate it. I'm sick and fucking tired of unprofessional conduct from LEO from something as simple as a non-felony traffic stop. This is the 2nd time this has occurred within the last year, both times with my 5 year old in the car. The other guy was a complete douchebag in the first incident. My personal feelings and views on LEO in general notwithstanding, I do not want my son to fear the police. I do not want his innocence stolen.

One day he was scared at our house (we live rurally, it's dark, etc.) and after watching a movie with LEO (LEO in the movie), he said he wanted to be a "police cop" when he got bigger. All I could do is smile at the dreams of every 5 year old. Other dreams will occur along the way. Now, the last thing he wants to be is a "police cop", because of these few dickheads.

I'd love to get them on the mat and pound the shit out of these 3 assholes and then go intimidate their children. Ok, I'm getting carried away...just "dreaming" LOL. I wouldn't want to scare their children, but I wouldn't mind bending an elbow or two in the wrong direction.


you are under absolutely no obligation to tell any officer a goddam thing. he has no right to know where your coming from or going. why is that his business. let him write his ticket and be gone. simple. sure, he can ask you anything he wants, but you do not have to ever answer him.

I have been pulled over and asked the same exact thing. i was a bit less polite than you were. i simply said, where im coming from or going to is none of his business. i told him to write me a ticket and let me go, i have things to do. he promptely wrote me a ticket. and i promptly fought it and won. simple. under the 1st ammendment, you have every right to express yourself in anyway you choose.


So what actually happened?
You were stopped and refused to answer, then "you got hammered"? Did you get a ticket for speeding or what?


I find this stupid. I've seen you go back and forth for a ridiculously long time in arguments, which I have no interest in doing with you. But seriously, how far are you willing to go to prove a point? You've got your wife/or kid's mom and your kid in the car. If you're honestly concerned about them, isn't your best course of action to just comply with the request and get the hell out of there?

You act as if the officer did something ridiculous, like approached the car and asked the female to step out of the car. Something like that would be cause for objection. But you got yourself removed from the vehicle, requested a supervisor to the scene, etc, because you felt you were being violated asking where you're coming from? Give me a fucking break.

"Hammer him"- agreed, fucking beyond stupid for the cop to say. Who knows what context that was meant in, either way, stupid.

But you refusing to answer where you were coming from because you feel your rights were being violated? How fucking on-edge and hot-headed do you have to be, so fucking wound up that your first reaction is to question his reasoning for asking, rather than just simply answering? Give me a break.

And let me save you the time- I'm in the process of applying/becoming a cop, so go ahead and dismiss what I've said.


I was pulled over for an equipment violation (lights). I knew that (because I wasn't speeding or weaving, and I knew a light was out). Yes, I got a ticket for an equipment violation. That's it. I expected the ticket (the township I was in is not known for giving breaks). I didn't expect the gestapo though and I didn't expect the "hindering investigation" comment and certainly didn't expect the other guy to say out loud "hammer him". I knew one way or the other I was not getting any breaks, but to actually hear it out loud, in such a threatening manner, was a little shocking.

And fyi, there are some very sound legal reasons for not answering such seemingly innocuous questions like, "where are you coming from". It's not entirely inconceivable that there was a crime committed locally with a vehicle leaving the scene similar to mine. Next thing you know, I admit I'm coming from the direction or locale where a crime was committed, and I've just made an admission against my interest without even knowing it.

They have a right to your documents and generally to confirm your name and address. That's it. And they should know that and damn well fucking respect it when you choose to exercise said rights, no matter how annoying or inconvenient it is for them.


I knew this kind of post was coming.

Well, I think we can all be grateful that you and your flawed logic may now become part of the police force. Yay for you with a gun and a badge (not)!

First, I was not hot-headed. I was polite, as I always am with LEO, the entire time. In fact, I was courteous by turning on my interior lights and keeping my hands in plain view.

Next, I did not say to ask me the origin of my trip was an outrageous question, but it was a question that I was not required to answer, and more importantly, his statement that I was "hindering his investigation" - was entirely inappropriate and THAT's when I requested the Supervisor.

I was neither "on edge" or "hot-headed".

How fucking stupid do you have to be to get that anywhere from my post or my detailed description of the incident? (see how that works). Detective is not in your future sir.

How should the incident have gone? When I fucking told him that I was not obliged or inclined to share with him the origin of my trip, he should have returned to his fucking toy police car and wrote the fucking ticket he was going to write anyway. Let's hope you learn that in traffic ticket writing school. Better yet, let's hope you don't make it on the force - the bar is low enough.


And if LEO ever breaks down my door, or asks to search my house, I'll be sure not to be so "on-edge" or "hot-headed" as to ask for a warrant. Hell, I'll be sure not to legally defend myself either in court either - we wouldn't want to trouble them.

You do understand, ya ignoraNus, that innocent answers to innocuous sounding questions can incriminate you right? You do understand that LEO is conducting an INVESTIGATION right? You do understand that there is a big fucking difference and gulf between exercising a basic right and being "on edge" or "hot headed" right? Ya lil nazi.


And to the future jack-boot would-be future LEO from MD...

Any answer to my point of origin could give reason to search my vehicle or subject me to further detainment...

Robbery just happened? Car generally matching the description of mine? Admit you just came from that direction? Trouble.

Car matching mine purchasing drugs? Trouble.

Someone cut someone off, road rage, etc.? Trouble.

Under your logic, we should just allow searches of our property too, so we can be on our way expeditiously. I sincerely hope you mature a bit, or become better informed, before you're ever allowed to become LEO. Sadly, you will be happily accepted into the ranks...because passing a civil service test is less difficult than passing a basic math exam.




I believe there have been a couple of court cases lately that have moved things in that direction.


mr future cop. why should he answer him. what does where hes coming from or where hes going have anything to do with why he was pulled over. if he was speeding, or a tail light out, give him a ticket and be gone. you can't let your rights be trampled on by a cop who likes to make up laws as he sees fit. just cause he wants to bust balls. whether you answer him or not, hes most probably going to write you a ticket, so id rather stand up for my rights and tell him its none of his business.