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What has been your worst experience with the police?

Asked by Josh Board

April 16, 2008

Photo of Tamara Faye

Tamara Faye

From North County (Grant Writer)

It was really embarrassing. I went camping with a bunch of people, back when I was in college. And they were creating such a ruckus. They were singing, yelling loudly around the campfire, and even banging trash can lids together. So, all the campers around that area called the police. They didn’t show up until the morning, though, and all the people that were drunk and loud had left. I was with my boyfriend in a sleeping bag. We wake up and we’re lying there naked, and cops and rangers are standing there with flashlights, telling us to get up. It was really awkward.

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Diane Bosley

From Encinitas (Writer)

I have a few; one time circling Old Town looking for my son. He wasn’t answering his cell phone. Cops came over, yelling about me not seeing a stop sign. Once, when I was a flight attendant for Donald Trump, I got a call to work. I was six months pregnant and almost ready to go on leave. This was in Alexandria, on a Sunday morning. There was a car in the turn lane at a light, and I went around them, into the right-turn lane. The cop pulled me over and started yelling, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” He lectured me before giving me the ticket, and I saw the date to appear in court was my due date. I cried and tried to explain that, and he snapped, “Don’t get irate with me, lady!” And, there were no other people on the road.

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Don Atello

From Carlsbad (Accountant)

I was 15 and a passenger in my buddies’ Datsun B210. We had been drinking beer, which he had rolling around in his trunk for a few months. We decided to look for a party around our neighborhood. We accelerated around a corner where the party was, and it was being broken up by the police. We were forced to pull over, and my friend was given a DUI test, which he passed. They were upset he passed. The police asked him to get out of the vehicle again and then cuffed him. They then asked me to get out of the vehicle, slammed my head against the hood of the car, and slapped cuffs on me. We were shoved into the squad car. When asked what we were being arrested for, he said curfew, which was 11 p.m. and it was around midnight. Someone that evening had been driving on people’s lawns. They assumed it was us. I think because we were white.

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Javed Dakama

From Boston (Pediatric Allergist)

I was young and still going to medical school. I had heard that a cop doesn’t have the right to search you, and you can refuse to let them search your car. You always hear things and just assume they’re true. I got pulled over. The cop was doing what they all do, acting like a tough guy and I should be scared and kiss his butt. Sure, I was speeding, but just give me the ticket. He said he smelled smoke and asked if I had marijuana. I said no, of course. I really didn’t. He asked if he could search my car. I said something like, “No. And you don’t have probable cause.” I think that got him mad. He called another officer that brought out a dog to sniff around the car. It was a wasted hour, and they ended up searching my car. I think all they found was a dirty roll of Certs on the side of my seat.

Photo of Linda Brown

Linda Brown

From Clairemont (Unemployed)

I was with a friend. This was back in Mississippi. And they knew this cop. We called him and he came over, and I asked him to cuff me. I wanted to see what it was like. After he did that, he couldn’t find the key. I had to go back with him, in his car, while he drove back to his place to find the thing. I guess it could’ve been worse, since I was handcuffed for pleasure, not for doing something wrong.

Photo of Portia Smith

Portia Smith

From North Park (Consultant)

It was a time I was driving in P.B. This cop pulls me over and tried to give me a DUI. I told him I wasn’t drinking. He gave me a field sobriety test and said I failed it, which was a lie. I totally passed it with flying colors. He then made me blow into that thing. It said something like 0.00. He then said he was sorry, even though I was sitting in the back of his patrol car for, like, two hours while he did all this paperwork. And because of that, I’ve never been back to P.B.

Comments

Michael Hemmingson April 17, 2008 @ 1:56 p.m.

Escerpt from an essay I have written on the topic --

1992—My friend Jack came down from San Francisco to San Diego to take care of some business. He was staying at a hotel downtown. I went to see him and around one a.m. We decided to go out and get burritos. The Roberto’s on 8th and Market was still around then. Walking back, on Seventh Avenue and G Street, we were surrounded by several San Diego City Police cruisers and ordered to assume the position on the hood of one of the cars. Many flashlights were in our faces. There were eight of them, and they were all young, early twenties; also, they were oddly identical blonde men and women with hands hovering over their guns. I asked what this was about, why were we being hassled, and was told they got a tip at the arcade, three blocks away, that we were drug dealers. “That’s crazy,” Jack said, “we were getting food!” I knew this was a bogus excuse to rouse us, the same crapola cops use when they claim they thought they “heard a woman crying for help” as pretext to break down a door without a warrant. Our pockets were turned inside-out and the contents—lint, keys, and change—placed on the car’s hood.

“This is baloney,” I said, “you can’t do this without cause.” One of the tall, barrel-chested cops leaned his mouth next to my ear and said, almost a whisper: “We can do whatever we want, buddy. We could put a bullet in you,” and he placed his Glock 9 mm. to my temple4, “I could shoot you and get away with it. Where are the witnesses? My crew will back me up.” Crew. One of his fellow officers told him to put the gun away, now. He did, and told me: “Keep cool. We want your friend, not you.”

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rickeysays April 19, 2008 @ 1:13 p.m.

I've lived to the ripe old age of 42 without ever having a problem with a cop that wasn't justified. Peole need to take responsibility for their actions, and stop blaming the cops. Like the opening song to "Baretta" said, "don't do the crime if you can't do the time". Which he's now doing - and probably blaming the cops.

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Josh Board April 21, 2008 @ 12:43 a.m.

Actually, no. If Baretta is the show that had Robert ....dang, what's his last name? Anyway, he did his crime, and didn't have to do the crime. Because of the dumb jury system. He was found innocent. You see, even though he had motive for shooting his wife, his wonderful alibi of "I couldn't have shot my wife. She was in the car, and I went back into the restaurant to get my gun, where I had left it."

For the future, any murderers out there, might not want to use an alibi that includes phrases like "left my gun somewhere else, couldn't have done it."

mikeh...i have a hard time believing your cop story. Would a cop say "my crew"? This isn't D12 or some rap crew. They're cops. I could see a cop leaning in and saying "shut up," but seriously doubt anything beyond that.

That's why movies like Crash, are so ridiculous. Cops just don't act that way, or they aren't cops for very long.

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