Cop Stories

Having finished rebuilding the engine and replacing the transmission in my motorcycle (BMW R1100), I took it out for a very quick test ride to make sure everything was running properly despite the M/C not having current tags. Bad idea. Also bad idea: winding the M/C up to 80+ on beautiful rural CA roads (instead of a track). California Highway Patrol pulled me over, politely disregarded my “but it’s just a test ride” narrative, and wrote me a sizeable speeding ticket.

I’ve called the cops because I was robbed at gunpoint…but they never showed. A remarkably nice officer once helped me out of a bad situation, too.

Have any interactions with cops you’d like to share? Good, bad, ugly or beautiful, what’s your PoPo story?

EDIT: If you’d like to share a story in which you act like a callous prick because you think being a callous prick is a good time? Then skip this thread. Also: You’re an asshole.


I once called the police because a man I met online dating freaked me out and made me fear for my safety. The lady who was taking my report said: “This is why you shouldn’t date online.” Ok, thanks.

And the flip side, cops picked up a family member who was decompensating and paranoid and manic and out way past her outpatient curfew, and in another town altogether, and drove her all the way back to where she was supposed to be instead of arresting her or taking her to the local hospital.


Here’s a positive story I shared back in July.


I was driving through West Virginia once and got pulled over.

You know those things you keep reminding yourself to do, which you eventually forget to do? Two of those things were renewing my driver’s license and car registration–both fairly recently expired. (Thankfully I was insured at least)

As soon as I saw the flashers on, I knew he got me fair and square and honestly throughout the whole interaction had 0 clue about the tags and driver’s license. The guy thanked me for not making him chase me, and being polite and friendly, mentioning that most people he pulls over on that stretch are, “total buttheads” and he sent me on my way with the minimum speeding ticket.

About a week later I finally realized how goddamn much I had lucked out.


Once a cop gave me a ticket for not wearing my seat belt. I was wearing my seat belt. Afterwards, he told me to “drive carefully”. I told him to “do your job carefully”.

Another time, a cop ticketed me for speeding, which I was. Afterwards, he showed me the radar gun and let me try it. Pretty cool.


My best cop story;

Back in the 90’s I worked as a public criminal defense investigator in DC. For those who don’t know what a criminal defense investigator is, it’s basically a detective who works for the defendant, rather than working for the police, and the goal is to find exculpatory evidence for the defendant in a criminal case.

Anyway, I’m out one Friday evening in Southeast DC, an area not known for being welcoming for white folk like myself. But I have my trusty rust-colored accordion folder, which acts as my very visible ID as a lawyer or paralegal. I’m out knocking on doors, talking to witnesses, and as the sun begins to set and I’m about to wind down for the night, one of the people I talk to tells me about a potential witness in the park over at MLK and Malcom X Blvd. The sun is setting at this point, and my employer (the Public Defender Service of DC) prefers I not be out after dark in dangerous areas, but I was following a lead and figured it wouldn’t be a problem. I head over to the park and see a gathering of men, ages mid twenties to probably mid-fifties. They’re all chatting and laughing, so I head over to introduce myself, and they all look at me and go completely quiet. Then I introduce myself and tell them who I’m working for, and the case I’m investigating, and they start to loosen up. We get to talking and I’m getting a few leads, and before I know it, they’re passing the bottle to me and we’re all laughing it up.

All of a sudden, our group of about 5 guys is hit with a spotlight, and it’s only then that I realize how dark it’s gotten - the sun has set. Instantly we’re all surrounded by blue uniforms. We’re separated apart and before I even realize what’s going on, I see the guys I was just talking to sitting on their hands in the grass. Meanwhile, I’ve got three cops around me, one of whom is staring me in the face asking me what I’m doing there. I explain it all to him and he looks incredulous, but after surveying my attire and accessories (the telltale rust-red accordion folder) he decides my story must be true. He looks me straight in the eye and tells me “Someone called us and told us there was a white boy out here where he shouldn’t be. You should go now. This area isn’t safe for you.” and I nod and smile and watch them leave. I wave goodbye to my new friends, who bear me no ill-will for being the cause of their harassment, and I promise I’ll be back another day to chat again. Maybe when it’s a little lighter out.


sounds interesting. you need a degree for that?

Years ago I was riding my m/c on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in a light, very cold rain about 10pm when the engine coughed a few times and died. Fiddled with the bike briefly but couldn’t get it going so I started walking in search of a phone (pre-cell phone, and I was way out of my area). I was on a four-lane highway, and after walking a bit I saw the lights of a Highway Patrol station. The scariest part was crossing the highway late at night, all four lanes, to get to the station. No close calls, but it’s amazing how fast cars are moving relative to a person walking.
Anyway, I was expecting to be told to wait outside, or basically to “fuck off”, but the officer behind the desk let me in and gave me towels to dry off, hot coffee to kinda warm me up, and let me sleep for a while in a back room. Three hours later, a friend arrived and all was good.
Similarly to your story, my experience didn’t involve anything more than a handful of human kindness. Guy could’ve tossed me, or been a dick, but he supported me for the briefest moment when I was near frozen, hungry, and exhausted in a foreign area–and THAT is how I think LEOs should aspire to act every day.

Yes. Because every time I’m pulled over it’s some kind of natural law that I’ve forgotten to update one of those important things. And years ago it happened in Georgia as my three buddies and I were riding m/c’s somewhere way too quickly. Got nabbed by Mr. Law, and as he’s reading us the riot act I see my paperwork is out of date and I do the inward groan. And then, his radio is squawking something and he’s throwing our stuff back to us and hauling ass somewhere else for bigger fish to fry. Which was fine with me.


Nope! Most are ex-cops, though I got it through the liberal arts degree --> internship route.


Most of my run-ins with police have quite negative. For example:

A few years back a Wilmington, DE police officer conspired with a DNREC enforcement officer to run an illegal dump on the county property next to my fenceline. This particular site is regularly flooded by the Pike Creek, which is a drinking water stream serving tens of thousands of people in Newark, DE. The flooding, of course, washes away the evidence of dumping in a federally protected watershed - unless you get too greedy and dump too much! Anyway, various contractors and landscapers would pull up in their trucks (the fragile streamside road is clearly posted, no trucks) with trailers full of debris and garbage and stop traffic while they flung it into the floodplain.

I used to go and confront the dumpers and tell them what they were doing was illegal and they’d say “no it’s not, a cop told us we could do it” and I’d explain to them that if anybody got caught the cop would hang the dumpers out to dry, since there was no way he’d take the rap himself - he’s a cop, and cops aren’t subject to the law. Eventually the cop got tired of the dumpers complaining to him about me harassing them while they were dumping, and came to my house (to see if his steroid-inflated chest would scare me, I guess?). I wasn’t particularly scared, which seemed to rattle him a little.

After that incident the dumpers would only come by while I was at work, and they vandalized my fence by smacking their big trucks into it, snapping off some of the posts at ground level and tearing up my lawn at the road edge. But I work from home occasionally, and I was annoyed by the vandalism, so I went out there with a friend one day and he video-recorded me confronting the dumpers. That seems to have triggered the next event.

The ringleader is a Wilmington police officer, as I mentioned, and he’s a K9 unit. So when an officer of the county K9 team and another from the state K9s showed up to roust me at 2AM on the solstice it was pretty clear what was going on, but I did not mention it and neither did they, they just harassed me for a while on some trumped-up nonsense about my mail being found on the neighbors property (no, really, that was their official excuse for coming to my house in full armor with two cars, weapons and attack dogs, - they found some of my mail on the neighbor’s property. Really!). Luckily I saw their uniform buttons before they saw me, and I threw my weapon into the other room before they saw it and used it as an excuse to murder me.

Now keep in mind I complained to every authority in the state that was supposed to stop this sort of thing, and they basically refused to interfere with a cop. Some of them were fairly blunt about it. But I am nothing if not stubborn, so I kept this feud going for several years, with me pushing my body into the way of the dumpers and calmly explaining over and over to them that they were fall guys for a crooked cop, and that eventually someone was going to take it in the neck, and telling them that vandalizing my property was childish and shameful behavior.

But - Then It Happened. The dump got too big to wash away in the fall floods, and when the leaves fell, the rich people up on the hill could see a dump from their living room windows!!! Wow, you want to see something get done in the USA, just offend the aesthetic sensibilities of rich people! Suddenly I was taking state senators and county councilmen and district representatives and local community organizers on guided tours of the site, showing them pictures and videos, things were popping! The Army Corps of Engineers were onsite, and the DNREC guy was disciplined (possibly fired, I never found out what the extent of that was) and Speeches Were Made to the People.

Eventually six State employees brought a gradall and a ten-wheeler out and spent a day or two scraping up the dump, and the State billed the cop for the cleanup.

But he didn’t pay, and he never will, and he received no other punishment. Because he’s a cop - and cops are above all laws (except one - don’t upset the rich people). But the dumping stopped and (somewhat amazingly) I didn’t get shot, so I am satisfied with the outcome.

Here’s my only good cop story.

I was on one of those crazy Gernsback Continuum style I-95 flyovers, just north of either DC or Baltimore, on a concrete road 50 or 60 feet in the air, and there was a black object spinning in the middle of the road. As I dodged it I realized it was a turtle, on its back, unsmashed but spinning like it had been just barely clipped by some other passing car.

Now there’s no real shoulder there, so when I pulled over my car was sticking out a foot or two into the right of way, but there wasn’t much traffic coming. So I jumped out and ran back, and sure enough it was an Eastern Painted Turtle, somehow stranded on the flyover, with a small crack in its plastron from being clipped by a car. Just spinning there in the middle of the roadway.

At which point a cop car came rolling up, and since I was obviously caught red handed (turtle handed?) breaking the law by stopping on the flyover, I just walked over as the cop rolled down the window.

The police officer was a large, muscular woman with a fierce scowl who looked like she could rip me in half with her bare hands and use my bones for toothpicks. She beetled her brow at me and growled “what are you doing?!” to which I replied “Um, rescuing a turtle?” and held up the reptile in question, just starting to poke his stripy little head out. The cop’s face just sort of melted into that mom-looking-at-a-new-baby expression and she said “d’awwwwww… you need to get off the road before someone else comes.”

So I left.


Well, there’s this one time when I was playing Minecraft and the hoard of creepers were…

Oh. Cop. Not co- OK.

No. No good cop stories. Plenty bad. Won’t have anything to do with them.



My spouse and I used to be in a darts league. We played at least twice a week at a bar where a bunch of off-duty cops hung out. One night the bar was raided by a different group of cops. There was a lot of laughing and exchanges of “What’re you doin’ here?”

The bar had illegal gambling video games in a back room, poker machines that paid out. It’s kind of funny that the regulars were so genuinely clueless.


Stand up comic buddy of mine that used to open for us swears this is absolutely true-

He’s driving home from a gig one night and gets pulled over. Cop comes up to the window, says something, my buddy makes some wise assed comment.

“Oh, yeah? What are you, a comedian?”

My buddy says “Well, actually, yeah. I just finished a set down at the Comedy Vault”.

Cop: “Yeah? Say something funny.”

“Okay, where does a guy get a box of doughnuts at this hour?”


Buddy says “No, but if I have to prove I’m a comic, you’ve gotta prove you’re a cop.”


Riding along with a couple female friends of mine as a teenager, we got pulled over for speeding. The girls had never been pulled over before and started going into full panic attack mode. Because they were acting so hysterical, the cops made us get out and patted us down. I had a dagger (in sheath, clipped my belt). Cop was kinda ambivalent, saying it was a concealed weapon, but I was pretty calm and polite so he ended up just telling me to put it in the glove box and not get caught with it again. Luckily, they didn’t look in the back seat because one of the girls’ had a brother who also used the car and had thrown empty beer cans back there. We just turned around and went home for the night.

Also as a teen, while walking around the city I would occasionally get carded and have to wait while they ran my id for ‘matching the description of someone wanted’ (young male, with hair, presumably?).

Not a real cop, but I was taking a Greyhound once (many years ago) and we had a brief layover in NYC. The port authority decided they wanted to search us all and they confiscated my swiss army knife. Wouldn’t let me check it or anything, didn’t offer to reimburse me. (It wasn’t prohibited on Greyhound, but presumably just within that particular bus station, because that station was ruled by evil nazis, it was not allowed.) I was too tired to bother pressing the matter. Just added NYC to my list of places never to go.


Long time ago… when I was in my 20s and was full of piss n vinegar - we were having a little graduation party for my good friend. He and about 10 of us were drinking beers, smoking pot, and doing other less than legal substances. It was the 80s. So when the knock on the door turned out to be Ryan, I wasn’t happy. Nobody liked Ryan. I didn’t like Ryan. And he wanted to join the party.

“No, man. This is a private get-together - sorry” I tell him. So he whines some before telling me he wants his cassette tapes back. My roommate agrees that yes, he borrowed ‘em and he’ll give his cassette tapes back. But that took too long for graduation boy. Before the cassette tapes can be returned from the room, Dan steps by me and punches Ryan in the jaw. Then, as he crumpled like a sack o’ potatoes, a kick to the side of the head.

So, we resumed the party. Dan decided to go across the street to his friend’s for a while (Good decision).

A few minutes later the cops knock on my door. I answer, and they proceed to ask their questions about a possible assault that had allegedly happened here. I deny everything, of course. The cops then tell me that they have “Brian” in their car and - would I like to step outside so we can investigate this matter further? Hell yes, I tell 'em. I don’t know any “Brian” - let’s see what this is all about.

The best defense is a good offense. I lit into Ryan. “Why you givin’a false name RYAN? Got your ass kicked, and now you wanna blame it on us, huh?” Having lied to them about his name, the cops started asking their pointed questions at Ryan now, instead of me. It worked. End of the story being that Ryan spent the night in jail for drunk and disorderly (or something like that), while we enjoyed a cool little graduation party. My confidence - false as it may have been - sold the officers on my (or “our”) innocence. If they only knew…

So you let brosef club Ryan down and then kick him in the head for being a nag? And then you lied to the cops about what happened and let him go to jail?

Wow hey that’s dumb as hell and not a little cruel.

Thanks for making me want to end this whole godamn thread.


I’m not understand your anguish. Judge.

I didn’t “let” anybody do anything. My friend didn’t ask my permission, ya see.

I won’t be back on any of your threads anymore. Okay? Bye

i’m not understand the brag on lack empathy/ one-up violent unkindness, guy.


Right. 30 damn years ago…

Y’all are snobs. Take your collective superiority complex, and go sit on your high horse. I’m done here.

May (most likely is) a factor of where I live and the paleness of my complexion, but I haven’t really had BAD cop encounters.

  1. Once I was driving home from work after the 4pm to midnight shift I was on so it was about 12:30am on a dark, rural road, and I was maybe going a little fast when I glanced in my rearview and saw blue and red lights flashing behind me. I was sure I was busted. I pulled to the shoulder, knowing that right ahead was a corner with a tendency to be slippery with a ditch that liked to eat cars.

Next thing I know, I’m boxed in, one car diagonally in front of me and one pulled up behind. A cop gets out of each, one approaching my window with a flashlight, the other hanging back within earshot. I roll down my window and wonder what they must be making of the mess (I was also attending Library school and had books and papers all over the place).

Cop (sten cop voice): Is anything wrong?
Me: No. (thinking, say as little as possible. Don’t give them too much)
Cop: So why did you pull over?
Me: Because I saw your lights and thought that’s what you’re supposed to do, and I knew that it’d be easier for you to get past me here instead of on the corner.

There was a pause and then suddenly both cops burst out laughing, tell me to have a good night and leave. To this day I still don’t know if they were pranking me from the start or if they were so genuinely surprised by someone following that part of the traffic code on an empty road, late at night that they actually saw their own overreaction as a punchline and got the joke. I am just glad it ended in a good laugh and not something bad.

  1. Context: parents’ neighbour has a weird, slippery curve outside their place which has resulted in many cars going into their pond or (for the lucky ones) a well-placed tree. One day my dad gets a call. Can he please come take some pictures (said neighbours are quite elderly) because they were concerned and wanted them for insurance / liability reasons.

Earlier, the cops were called to just down the road about someone passed out in their car. Ambulance came and got the guy and one of the two cops on scene decided to follow the ambulance back into town. And promptly drove, lights flashing, straight into the tree.

  1. When my dad* was serving in local politics, the cops asked him in his official capacity if there were any sort of traffic issues the area needed focus on. Indeed, my dad told him. There was a group of drivers that tended to go a little fast, spend a lot of time playing with their radios when doing so and could also be seen working on their computers whilst still attempting to drive. It took the cop a moment to figure out what ‘group’ of drivers routinely had computers in their cars.

*If you ask my dad, he’d tell you he’s a conservative. He’s also an agnostic who got a BA in English at a Jesuit-run university. It sometimes means he has… interesting views.