View Full Version : ah, the street

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09-07-2003, 06:06 PM
Hello all, I wish to start a new thread concerning peoples experiences ,especially encounters/contacts with the law enforcement community. Please feel free to share the good ,the bad, and the ugly, in as much detail as you can muster. I want to serve you as an explainer of things that might be misunderstood when police contact citizens in initial verbal encounters.I am generally not going to be for or against the police in this thread,I will try to remain in the zero point as I explain/educate and or enlighten you, in why we do what we do. Again i have been in police work approximately 10yrs in a patrol capacity and consider my time so far a very colorful and educational ride. Please feel free to share and I will respond,offering insights and hopefully this thread can be helpful for all. Lets hear about your street encounters! Daniel

09-07-2003, 06:28 PM
Once in Vegas, I was on the streets at night (not a good idea). An angry homeless-looking guy came over to me and before he said or did anything, I asked him if he was thirsty or hungry. He said yes, so I took him into the gas station for a bite.

Later, the next night, I bumped into one of his friends who told me he got in a fight in an alleyway and was shot (or did the shooting, can't remember).

That's the closest I've ever been, all other encounters I try to avoid before they happen (I hope!!).


Kevin Masters
09-07-2003, 08:30 PM
Once when I was a teenager I was accosted by a couple of cops in a patrol car. It was early Saturday morning and I was walking to the school for Saturday detention. I was to be serving time for kissing a girl in the hall at school (No, really!).

Aparently the night before one of the homes in the neighborhood had been robbed. So the police officers stopped me and made me give them my ID so they could run a check on me. It almost made me late for detention and would have gotten me 3 more days for my trouble. That was pretty annoying considering it was MY neighborhood too. I don't know what they would have done if I didn't have a photo-ID. Maybe they woulda cuffed me and stuffed me just in case. It was cow-town Florida after all.

Besides a couple of traffic stops that's the extent of my run-ins with the law.

09-07-2003, 11:47 PM
I've never had a bad experience with police officers. I treat them with respect and they do the same to me. I wouldn't want your job for the world but I'm glad there are those who do.


Yann Golanski
09-08-2003, 02:39 AM
There is a book called ``What Cops Know'' written by Connie Fletcher. It details some talks she had with members of the CPD. It's well worth a read.


As for encounters with police officers, in all four countries I have lived in, I found that if you respect them, are polite and well manered they will treat you with the same respect. After all, most people if treated well will return the favor.

09-08-2003, 02:56 AM
Thankfully, only two bad encounters, both when much younger. The first was as a young teenager shopping with my mum, I was caught in a police charge by officers on horseback. The second time was when a couple of police dogs were being used to clear an alley way, one of the dogs had just been hurt and proceeded to lose sight of it's training and instead attack anything within range. Now this was understandable to an extent, but the handler also showed the same lack of restraint.

Since then, all my experiences with police have been in the dojo. This has given me a more positive attitude towards the police in general, but I still treat them as any other mob when they're out in force (with caution and distance). However, I do dispair when I see young ones patrolling without being teamed with an experienced officer as their people skills are often sadly lacking, bravado being used instead of authority.

Jim ashby
09-08-2003, 03:32 AM
I was accosted by a police officer on a motorcycle as I was about to cross a road in Singapore. I was very politely warned to only cross at the designated crossing points and was sent on my way with the biggest smile I had seen for a long time. Damn she was pretty!! The uniform was a bonus.

Have fun.

09-08-2003, 07:05 AM
To cut along story short - I was attacked by some bouncers at a night club one time (for a slight misdemeanor) and eventually one of them kicked open the door and hoofed me out. The police had arrived and one of the police officers said I had clearly booted open the door and had started the whole thing. Luckily the other (older)police officer was willing to listen to my story but I had little faith that anything could/would be done about it so I never bothered reporting it.


09-08-2003, 07:09 AM
P.S. a friend of mine was coming out of a subway and unawares - straight into the middle of a riot. There was a batton charge towards him and he instinctively took down the first police officer as the officer went to strike him. Obviously it did't end very well after that but he survived intact.

Joe Jutsu
09-08-2003, 08:41 AM
OK I'll bite.

Last halloween a few buds and I were leaving a party and walking to a bar a few blocks away. We were all screwing around and I got pushed into a truck. I made light contact with it, inflicting absolutely no damage to it. We get about a half block down and I hear this maniac yelling in our direction. We ignore it and keep walking. About a block down, this truck (I'm not even convinced that it was the same truck) comes screeching to a hault and this guy comes flying out of his vehicle, yelling and getting in my face. I do not want to get into it with this guy, who was a bit smaller than me. I put out my arm against his chest to keep him at bay, and try to talk him down, a mistake that I may never make again.

So about this time a friend of mine yells, "yo Joe, the cops are here." I look to my left and see two patrol cars parked, and three officers getting out. At which time I take a haymaker to the jaw.

Long story short, they detained me and let my aggressor go. Claiming that they have "so much on me" which was total BS. I told them that what they had was assault and aggravated battery, at which point they mocked me saying that "those are big words for you to be using, boy." I realised that my side was not being heard at this point. They gave me a thorough search, made me open a small bottle of alcohol and dump it, or else.... I guess that's the price one pays for uncomformity-a testosterone junkie looking for an ego boost and three to four officers who are willing to support his cause.

-Joe "I can't wait to move out of Kansas" Proffitt

Joe Jutsu
09-08-2003, 08:44 AM
Oh yeah, one more point. When I was telling them how I got jacked in the face (which they witnessed), one of the officers had the audacity to say to me that he would be pretty pissed off too if someone had tried to damage his truck. So in other words, if someone bumps into my car I have every right to whoop his arse?? So much for impartiality.

Ok. I'm done ranting, I promise. Back to lurk mode...

09-08-2003, 09:05 AM
hi all, and thankyou for writing your experiences. if i can find a theme through all of them it would be the feeling that your side was'nt truly being heard and/or you felt talked down to, am i right? if so ,i agree that officers in u.s. and abroad do not have great communications skills and what they do have can be worked and developed upon. the biggest complaints from citizens about the police is just that, that people feel they are being talked to, too harshly. Sometimes you could be dead wrong for your situation but if you are respectful about it and remain as calm as possible(hard to do under stress),then you have a better chance of the police"being on your side". Now please understand an officer should be non-biased and hear all sides befor a determination of what to do is made. sometimes that decision also has to be made lightning quick. it really depends on the scene. and everything is a situation(i mean that no two scenarios are exactly alike). this may be basic common sense but under stress people may assume many things that are not exactly the reality at hand. stress does that, and again this is the chief reason a good cop should be very low key, and be able to cut to the heart of an issue as unemotionally as possible.(like randori-a very real thing) this state of professionalism does tend to make people believe the officer to be arrogant,cocky, etc.. so officers must work on the verbal com. it is said that of all the policemans issued gear, the cocked tongue is the most dangerous weapon. i have a chance to improve every day and there have been times where i have had to talk someone down from another officer who had "jacked them up". i take geat pride in being able to de-escalate pissed off people- and i blame it on my aikido training. please all, more stories and questions too. take care daniel.

09-08-2003, 09:22 AM
Ahhhh, youth is wasted on the young.

Funny, when I was younger my experiences with police were never positive. Now, that I am a bit older, all of them are positive. The fun side is now I train them :)

Ron Tisdale
09-08-2003, 09:38 AM
Hi Daniel,

I'd like to stress how nice it is to see a police officer going out of his way to seek advice from the public. It's quite refreshing!

As some others have posted, most of my bad experiences have been from my youth, and now I have pretty good relations with the police I come across. They tend to treat me with respect, and I treat them the same way, so all is good. Unfortunately, it has not always been that way.

From experiences when I was very young, when my mother called the police to our house because of a neighbor, and they assumed she was the maid (due to her being African American); To the time they came to my church and wanted to arrest me for being there, even when told by the other members that I belonged there; to the time when they pulled me off a train and surrounded me in swat gear, forcing me to submit to a search of my person and bags...the police have come a long way to learning how to deal with people like myself much better.

The last incident I had with the police was in the late 80's...since then I'd say their attitudes in general have really changed.

But I'm currious Daniel...what action (if any) do you take with the officer in question after you've calmed down the citzen who was riled up by another officer?

Thanks, and stay safe on your job,


09-08-2003, 12:59 PM
hi ron, and thanks for the question. first ron, i will be vague and say "it depends", and it really does-it depends on many things. such as; how long hes been on the job,how many calls i have been on with him/her, how well i can gauge how they will take constructive criticism, will there be the same attitude towards me trying to understand their position for the actions they have taken(verbally or otherwise), do i trust this person?,in what measure do i trust? how he will take the critical advice that may save his / her hide down the line?, is it a minor incident that can be squashed with some peer2peer counseling?. is it worth it at all or is the officer a lost cause from a fellow peers perspective? and so ron, consider this a basic checklist I go through,which may be peppered with more questions etc.. i am not an IAD guy and am not akin to "narking" people out. even though this has happened to me in the past, i am not a vengeful type(thanks again aikido!), I live and learn, and sometimes think that some officers just have to learn the hard way-could this mean a thicker complaint jacket? could this mean loss of peer respect? could it mean getting beat up by what they have said or failed to say to someone? some people have to be forced to look within. The problem with police departments is that they hire from the human gene pool,therefore they get all walks of life, people with all kinds of issues,baggage and agendas etc.. i hope i have offered some insights here. anyway all, keep throwin questions my way and keep the stories comming and lets see how this thing evolves. daniel

Lyle Bogin
09-08-2003, 02:21 PM
My last experience with a cop was listening to him: after spending the last two years couciling people who were traumatized at the WTC attack, people still hate his guts without even knowing him.

09-08-2003, 02:32 PM
I have many freinds who are police officers and I train with many. Even had the opportunity to train a few.

Great people with a tough job. We should take care of them and cover their backs as they do their best to cover ours.

IMHO, the bad experiences are the exceptions, not the rule. If they do their job right, we never see it and they never get thanked. If they show their humaness, it is public and they pay the price.

They have to play within the rules against and enemy that plays outside of them. Its a no win situation for them in the streets. They know it and still show up each day.

Lets be grateful and compassionate to them and not gripe about it.

Lan Powers
09-08-2003, 09:04 PM
*I have many freinds who are police officers and I train with many. Even had the opportunity to train a few.

Great people with a tough job. We should take care of them and cover their backs as they do their best to cover ours.

IMHO, the bad experiences are the exceptions, not the rule. If they do their job right, we never see it and they never get thanked. If they show their humaness, it is public and they pay the price.

They have to play within the rules against and enemy that plays outside of them. Its a no win situation for them in the streets. They know it and still show up each day.

Lets be grateful and compassionate to them and not gripe about it.*

Very nicely put Lynn........except

There is one division of the Department of Public Safety who could more realistically be called the dept. of raising revinue.

The officers who do the roadside, random, generally unneeded compliance checks for the freight hauling trucks.

My father owns a small trucking business, and I work for him in this and another side venture. Public saftey concerns, my arse!

Fines are the lifeblood for their division, and they WILL find SOMETHING to cost you.

If stopped, you will pay.

This despite constant maintanance, and compliance work in the shop. :mad:

Rant over........

I believe in law enforcement, and couldn't

imagine civilized life without these heros,

Just not this section of the DPS.


09-08-2003, 09:57 PM
Tonight I was exiting commercial clases and I aproached to an street event resulted to be one guy grabbing tight another by the ribs after a fight.

3 policeman were already there, one of them started to spray the guys face but they continued engaged, so started to bootkick the guys and fist punch them in the cageribs.

I placed myself at 10ft. to wacth close, at determined moment I have to do tenkan to let pass the singular trio, the guys separated, one of the guys seated on floor yelling because the pepper, but the other one (dopped) attempted to hit the officer, and he were cornered by the other two and get beated bad.

I was commended to leave the place, but I asked the third officer "why are you punishing the unhappy that way?" he said again: you better leave now" and so I did.

That was just tonight, last weekend happened something similar I was very close too, with a breaked bottle, police wasnt there yet.

For the Old masters that I tell you is true.


09-08-2003, 11:07 PM
Generally I have only had positive experiences with law enforcement officers in Copenhagen (Denmark). They usually respond with the same amount of respect you give tham, and that is good enopugh for me.

BUT I had a negative experience the other day.

I was standing outside a club where we had just been denied access beacause the club was full. Some guy was standing and arguing with the bouncer, because he had been kicked out and his jacket was still inside. It was strictly verbal, he wasn't the least bit aggressive.

The police then turned up and started to talk to him. But they weren't very flexible. They told him to go, and did not listen to him at all.

The guy got frustrated and said that he needed his jacket, and they couldn't just force him out without at least taking his wardrobe ticket and getting someone to get it for him. The two officers (a man and a woman, both in their 20's) answered by taking his arm and pulling him to the street.

When he was there the male officer jumped up, grabbed him around the neck in a headlock and twisted him to the ground. This all happened in one motion, and both of them were in midair at one point. The guy was totally unprepared and hit a car and dented it on the way down with his legs in midair.

The male officer then put his knees on the back of the guy, who was screaming in pain, and the woman put him in cuffs.

I was standing about 10ft from them and it looked very excessive. My friend said it was fair enough because he didn't just leave, but I was seriously considering reporting them.

I don't know what to make of this, what do you think?

09-09-2003, 05:53 AM
hi alex, do u know why the guy was kicked out? could this be part of why trouble escalated for him? even when we see police in near proximity on scene dealing with people we don't have all the situation information(probably), so don't assume,because you know what that does right? let me give u a for-example; i am a white male with swiss blood,but if you drove by me on duty and saw me stopped with a man of african descent, and lets say you were black,what would go through your head? i can only guess what your thoughts might be and i can speculate they wuld not be positive. but there can literally be hundreds of various resons why i am stopped there, and many times my friend, i am being flagged down for directions or changing a flat. take care.gotta call.

Neil Mick
09-09-2003, 03:38 PM
I was in Sacramento during the WTO (World Trade Organization) "Ministerial" last June. The police decided to make a full show of force (with a 1:1 ratio of police to protestors), with three organizations of police: regular (outfitted with heavy riot gear); Sheriff's Dept; and Hwy Patrol.

Two helicopters constantly patrolled the City day and night, often using the spotlight to follow protestors for many blocks, who were simply trying to get home. Observers described it as turning Sacramento into a "police state" (of course, the media described it as "just doing a good job, amongst the disorganized rabble"). A group of portestors were stopped and had their truck impounded for fictitious reasons, and I personally saw one of my own students surrounded by 6 cops, simply because he looked "suspicious."

I also saw 6 cops on bikes and 6 on horses chase down one man for mouthing off. I saw armoured vehicles, motorcycles aplenty, and threats of tickets issued for the most minor offenses.

I also heard of a naked man (there were a group of them) dragged across the pavement and forced into a compliance hold, simply because he was naked. The "mud ppl" were harassed by a group of motorcyclists when they tried to get to home base.

In general, the atmosphere was chilling and sent a message to peaceful protestors: you want freedom to assemble? Prepare to pay the price.

Understand, that I still have much respect for the policeman. His job is tough, and necessary. One of my closest and oldest friends is a policeman, and I value his perspectives. I just wish that the chief's who decide upon the level of armaments, etc at protests would tone it all down.

I engaged in an interesting thread in aikidojournal ( on the various issues between protestors and police.

09-09-2003, 06:13 PM
thanks neil, i agree with you on the managers of p.d.s who set precedent. remember i am just a beat cop and am at the low end of the totem pole. i feel that the farther up the food chain you go-the more insulated from (REALITY) they are(the administrators). that is a major complaint most cops have-supervisor, to me that is really defined as super-vision, or super-eyesight. i will still do what i think is right in a given situation. and if i feel an order is unlawful, then i wont do it, i will cover and protect myself my friend. i have to assume that no one else will. take care and keep training. also sometimes the best action to take is no action. especially in police work.

09-10-2003, 02:35 AM
Daniel, while I agree with you that often the "top-down" orders are often the cause of problems, particularly where politics becomes an issue, I found your willingess to qeury orders rather atypical. The officers I've spoken to not only have no thought of even protesting illegal orders, the idea that such a possibility exists has often never even occured to them (yes, lots of pub discussions with friends of mine).

Perhaps what is needed is something similar to the recent corporate law where senior managers are held responsible for the actions taken under orders, at least it might make people think twice...

09-10-2003, 08:08 AM
i agree with that suggestion ian. but now i am interested in what illegal orders your pub pals have discussed,that they would obey? again i will cover myself and protect myself as best as possible under my circumstances. in the u.s. the society is seriously litigious(everyone is eager to sue for anything), so many times i will tape record the conversation or blackbook it and secure it for a rainy day(in case my actions are ever questioned). and again i can understand why you would question me on the order issue,because police departments are generally para-military in structure and there is policy and order and standard operating procedures as our guidelines. the beauty of these things is that they are written in vague,and opaque language terms and can be interpreted in a myriad of ways(good and bad). it is all about cya and i am taking care of mine as long as i am on patrol. please believe it. take care and thank you again.

09-10-2003, 08:57 AM
Hiya Daniel, totally understand your concern over specifics.

Two particular stories come to mind. The first involved an anti-globalisation demo where officers were ordered to stand down from arresting demonstrators defacing public property (despite having the numbers to deal with the situation) as no members of the national press were present. Once the TV crews arrived, the order was given. This one is hazy I admit (possible tactical reasons?).

However, the second is more clear cut. A peaceful demo against a visit by the Chinese delegation was illeaglly evicted from a public park by officers. One of my acquaintences involved admitted they knew this was not legal, but orders were direct from "on high" and would carry penalties if refused.

On the plus side, a high ranking officer who ordered his wife to be removed from a police station as she was waiting to make a formal complaint against him was refused, so not all bad...

Ron Tisdale
09-29-2003, 11:26 AM
Hi Lynn,
Lets be grateful and compassionate to them and not gripe about it.
Well, I can be gratefull and compassionate, and still express my dissatisfaction with certain incidents, right? Take for instance that town in texas, where the LE establishment empowered a known bad apple to do undercover work. Clear abuse of power, and many people spent up to 3 years of their lives in prison, for something bogus. That officer should be sent to prison for a total of the years he cost others, plus 10 for good measure.

Here's the link to what I'm talking about...

If good men are silent, evil triumphs. Or something like that.


Alan Lomax
09-30-2003, 01:27 AM
Again i have been in police work approximately 10yrs in a patrol capacity and consider my time so far a very colorful and educational ride.

street situation with aggro-dude (Post #1)

hi all,i just had a street encounter i want to share with you all. first, i have been a police officer for 7yrs Daniel
I am confused:confused:

10-11-2003, 04:29 PM
alan, hi and i am sorry for the discrepancy- i have been in law enforcement chronologically as follows=custody officer two yrs 93-94 snohomish county jail, washington state, at that time i also worked at a drug/alcohol treatment facility(court appointed jail alternative)as a professional babysitter(Sarcasm), then entered the usarmy 94-96 ft.benning ga and worked at the pmo(provost marshals office)as staff,driver,cid,and roving patrol in garrison on base,columbus ga. next was the (marta p.d.) atlant transit authority police, and i served as a bicycle patrolman for most of my time(3yrs) i currently work at roswell pd,a mid sized pd,just north of atlanta and have been here approximately 4.5 yrs. sorry again for the mistake alan, i guess some of us just cant add too well, my bad.

10-11-2003, 04:48 PM
to ron, i guess selling crack is ok with you, and buying it too? yeah,drugs are'nt a problem especially crack or crystal meth,and boo-hoo,the suspects are mostly black and the uc is white. it is very easy to point the finger ron. have you ever been a cop or worked uc anywhere?i'm guessing you havent by the tone u take. and yes it is your constitutional right to whine,no problem. but at least these officers are trying to do their best with what they have been mandated to do(and the negative always gets the press-thats america for ya). by the way ron, do you always believe everything you see on tv and read in the paper? do you think what you are being spoonfed is 100% accurate?? and your crazy if you think the game is always played by the book,within boundaries-get real. i hope i did'nt offend anyones fragile sensibilities, if so i welcome you to actually do police work and see for yourself what the real deal is. then one day ,you might look in that mirror and realize what you thought you knew was nothing like what it really is. wake up.ps "bad apples" lol.

Kevin Leavitt
10-18-2003, 04:18 AM
I have been envolved in several events throughout my life that the media slanted totally wrong because it wanted to sell papers and stories.

I was really shocked each time that they only told one side of the story. Therefore, I read and listen, but make my own opinions when I can. When I can't I try to be patient and not jump to conclusions.

Don't believe everything you hear or see!

Neil Mick
10-20-2003, 01:15 AM
to ron, i guess selling crack is ok with you, and buying it too? yeah,drugs are'nt a problem especially crack or crystal meth,and boo-hoo,the suspects are mostly black and the uc is white.

and yes it is your constitutional right to whine,no problem.

these officers are trying to do their best with what they have been mandated to do(and the negative always gets the press-thats america for ya).

i welcome you to actually do police work and see for yourself what the real deal is.
With all due respect, Daniel: Ron is making a point not about being a police officer in general, but the abuse of power, by one man. I heard about the incident in Tulia from other sources, not just this one. It seemed pretty clear that the guy was trumping up the charges to get a "collar," but again: Kevin has a point. Who knows? None of us were there. Certainly, though: if the guy did it, he should be punished for abusing his authority, don't you think?

Consider: if a man in some other profession (say--a tax auditor) was responsible for ruining the lives of 46 ppl, using doctored tax returns or legal information, shouldn't he go to jail?

I have a lot of respect for police officers. It's a difficult job. But, I've also seen the police abuse their power, as well.

Alan Lomax
10-20-2003, 02:37 AM
Current Civilian Casualties, in Iraq

MIN: 7395 MAX: 9198

media death toll: 17

Umm...Niel, what does this have to do with anything in this forum?

Neil Mick
10-20-2003, 02:42 AM
Umm...Niel, what does this have to do with anything in this forum?
It has nothing to do with this forum. It's in my signature, because I think it's important. If you like, think of it as a virtual "T-shirt."

Kevin Leavitt
10-20-2003, 10:18 AM
People that have the best intentions sometimes make mistakes.

We have all been victims at one time or another by our own prejudice, paradigms, and even group think.

I can remember back when I was a park ranger dealing with bad people in the park. A certain group would come into my park to play loud music and drink. They would litter and be disruptive. It was hard to catch them actually doing anything wrong because they hid the alcohol and would cut the music down when they got wind we were coming. Paper cups and trash scattered everywhere, but you couldn't pin it on them...they said it was there when they got there. They would smirk and be smart asses...but they knew they were in charge and there was nothing we could do.

It was tempting to break the law and "frame" them for sure. I can certainly see how a police officer would be tempted to take the law into his own hands.