T Nation

Police Intimidate Me

Like the subject line says, police intimidate me. Not just a little bit, but a lot. I consider myself a (generally) law abiding citizen and don’t ever really do other people much in the way of harm.

However, whenever I see a cop, I prick up, or if I’m driving I get nervous. I’ve been pulled over twice before (tail-light and a check point, nothing bad) and I have to say, the police were NOT at all nice people. They seemed to treat me like I had done something wrong from the start.

I’m basically just wondering other people’s general thoughts on this and whether or not it’s appropriate for public servants to be this generally intimidating. Maybe it’s just my isolated experiences, but many of my friends feel the same way. Thoughts? I’d also be interested in what people from other countries/regions have to say.

I know several cops. In point of fact, while it is comforting, in a weird way, to think that they are part of the evil empire bent on oppressing you my experience is that they’d really rather be having a donut… Funny thing is, I never feel a sense of foreboding around cops since I got to know a few, although I used to.

More to the point, on a daily basis they see people who beat their wives, shoot their neighbors and steal from little old ladies. If you act like something awful is happening their radar might go off and then they get really nasty. Wouldn’t you if the last call you had involved a child molester?

I’m not saying cops are all great people, there are some real turds I know too, but they are pretty professional normally and if you act like they are professionals doing their job you might get a better reaction from them.

Oh and don’t lie. If it’s serious tell them (truthfully, I hope) that you’ve never been in that situation before and would like to talk to a lawyer before talking with them further.

I’m sure other people have more to add to this.

– jj

It takes a serious pussy, to hide behind a gun.

No, I’m not afraid of cops.

I just dropped a lawsuit against the city due to the police screwing with me. Lack of evidence. Oddly the cop’s mic went down as he approached me. I still don’t see them collectively, and prefer to judge them individually. I don’t hate the police, but I sure as hell don’t trust them.

I’m sure many cops join up wanting to be good guys, but how can you trust a guy who knowingly enforces laws that he doesn’t agree with?

mike

Embrace the bell curve. There is the asshole and angel, idiot and the genius, there is a left and a right. Fits almost everywhere

Cops are supposed to intimidate. Treat them with respect but know your rights.

[quote]Guerrero wrote:
It takes a serious pussy, to hide behind a gun.

No, I’m not afraid of cops.[/quote]

So when the skel whips out an AK on me…what the fuck am I supposed to use…harsh language?

Get a brain pleb.

[quote]Agressive Napkin wrote:
I consider myself a (generally) law abiding citizen and don’t ever really do other people much in the way of harm.[/quote]

This suggests that you sometimes break laws and, on occasion, “do other people much in the way of harm”. That might be enough to cause the hair on the back of your neck to prick up when you see a cop.

While very few of us are 100% law abiding, when you do harm others, what’s your excuse?

As stated before cops are a microcosm of the world around you. Some are pussies that joined to get power and “respect” some are true heroes that wake up everyday and fight the bad guys. I think most are decent folks that got into it to help keep their community safe and do something good.

I would agree with the one poster that after dealing with douchebags and crackheads all morning it might be tough to put on a happy face for the next person you deal with.

I have had some real asshole cops pull me over before. And I have some cool ones, but more assholes than cool.
With out getting to detailed, there needs to be a citizens oversight on cops. I too keep to myself and am mostly law abiding. I certainly have never done anything to warrent being treated aggressively, but the police have absolute power in a traffic stop and can do anything they want. That is unacceptable. We are totally reliant on the good nature of the individual pulling us over. If they don’t have said good nature, you’re basically fucked and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it.

(BTW, you have my favorite scree name of all time!)

I only can say it from an inside view. I wasn`t stop by police officers since i can remember :slight_smile:

Some said it, there are good and bad ones like in other jobs too.

The best thing is to know your rights but on the same time treat the police officers with respect. They sit on the brighter side. Even if you doesnt do anything besides being not polite you can get little problems. Its for them only a thing of writing a good report.

And i say it another time. Treat the officers with respect and you will gain their respect

It seems police have this mentality that they have to act/prepare as if the worst possible thing is going to happen. So, if there’s a possibility the guy they’re going to pull over or serve a warrant to is going to be a dangerous, violent maniac, they treat them all that way indiscriminately. Now, I know this is painting with a broad brush and it’s not true with all police in all situations, but it’s something I’ve noticed.

I guess it’s better safe than sorry, but it really sucks for the wrong place wrong time folks or even the non-violent criminals who don’t deserve to be treated that way.

I’ve had some bad experiences with cops. One cracked me on the back of the head while I was face down in the grass wearing handcuffs, after I called him a cocksucker (Incidentally, I hadn’t broken any laws and was cooperating fully–they were looking for someone in a car like mine)

Another time I was pulled over at random on my way home from work at around midnight and placed in the back of a squad car in handcuffs while they searched my car for drugs and questioned me and my gf over and over about “where we hid the drugs”. It took like 30 minutes before they finally let us go home.

Not long ago a cop pulled right out in front of me and almost caused a wreck, then got behind me and pulled me over. I didn’t have my new license, just my expired one, and after checking it, he comes back with rubber gloves on, handcuffs me, frisks me and puts me in the back of his car and says he’s taking me to jail because I am driving without a license. His sargent, however, tells him via the radio to just write me a ticket. By this time my mom has shown up (she lives nearby). She has insurance on my car and asks if she can drive it home (1 street away) and he says “no.” On top of that, after waiting for the tow truck, the cops says he is not letting me go yet–I have to walk home. WTF?

It seems that the US Police do their job on a different level then we in Germany :slight_smile:

[quote]Agressive Napkin wrote:
I’m basically just wondering other people’s general thoughts on this and whether or not it’s appropriate for public servants to be this generally intimidating. [/quote]

My experience with police is that they are assholes. I don’t doubt some of them have the intention of helping people. But I think a whole lot of them get off on the power trip of being able to tote a gun, scare people and project a menacing appearance.

If police scare you, there is one thing that can appease them: donuts.

The police in America are fucking idiots.
Every other country i’ve been to in Europe that cops are chill.

Dont know. I wasnt in America yet but the stories told her gave me a worried view :slight_smile:

But maybe it is like here. People always tell you how unfriendly and incompetent the police officers were.
No word when you helped them or something like that. Always complain even if they do something wrong.
Sometimes i wish we could be tougher with some type of people but we have to put up with everything here in Germany

Not once have I had a real problem. Have I dealt with a grumpy officer a time or two? Sure. But, I remain polite. Why escalate the situation? I generally greet them politely, and hand over my DL and Ins. when asked, and wait for them to come back from running my ID, to tell me why they’ve pulled me over.

The VAST majority of the time…no citation, just a warning. The number one thing I’ve seen folks do to start off a bad confrontation is play the “I refuse to show my DL until you tell me why I’ve been pulled over,” game.

I’ve generally found the cops to be cool. I find the rise of the use of SWAT ninja squads to be alarming. SWAT raided the apartment of this wannabe Mexican gangster behind me a couple of times. I’m not sure a flashbang and a team of guys with MP5s were necessary to snatch the little turd off of his futon…

[quote]Bartleby83 wrote:
Dont know. I wasnt in America yet but the stories told her gave me a worried view :slight_smile:

But maybe it is like here. People always tell you how unfriendly and incompetent the police officers were.
No word when you helped them or something like that. Always complain even if they do something wrong.

Sometimes i wish we could be tougher with some type of people but we have to put up with everything here in Germany[/quote]

That’s exactly it.

Some people have bad run-ins with cops that clouds their view of them, and they’re ever eager to share those horror stories. Also keep in mind that these types of stories are similar to fisherman’s tales: the abuse, just like the fisherman’s catch, grows bigger with every telling.

However, I would venture to say that most people have not had particularly bad experiences with cops. The only time I’ve had to deal with the police force for anything other than routine traffic stops was when my parents had a car stolen in Dallas. The cops found the car within a couple of days, and returned it with minimal damage.

The cops did a fantastic job there, but those stories don’t make the news.

The police force isn’t perfect, there are some bad apples and corruption, and some people do get the short of the stick. But if you listened to the media, especially foreign media, you might think that Americans live in fear of a modern-day Gestapo, and that is plainly false.