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Old 08-15-05, 09:46 AM   #1
oboeguy
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Good cop experiences?

I've had very limited interaction with The Law in my bike-riding life. The only time I got called-out by a cop he was correct (it was a college campus cop so no ticket, hehe). It's pretty clear in NYC that there's a strong anti-bike bias culture among cops, but I doubt it applies to every cop on a personal level. However, I keep reading about these awful experiences here. Anybody have good stories about cops?
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Old 08-15-05, 09:54 AM   #2
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Old 08-15-05, 10:04 AM   #3
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Several good cop stories. I'll just go with the bike ones and one other for fun.

When Reardon was mayor of Los Angeles there were often Mayers bike rides with police escorts. The motor officers assigned to this were good. They did a much better job of staying in the right place to lead the way without influencing the ride.

My other was where Winnetka Blvd goes under the Ventura Freeway. I was almost home from an evening ride (summer so still plenty of daylight left). I go under the freeway and then turn right just after the offramp. A tricky turn in a way since cars often want to turn right from the offramp and often cut it close, strarting to turn when a car (let alone a bike) is barely past them.

There was some police activity on the other sire of Winnetka. I never saw what it was. I was concentrating on the car on the offramp that I did not trust. I was right. He turned against the read and forced me into the fast lane. I was breaking and clipping out as I started yelling something like you F***** A****. I am loud. I managed to make my turn afterwards, but not before I saw a motor officer take off from whatever it was that I never got to look at after the guy.

OK I lied I'll give two others in card. One time a drunk almost took me out on the freeway (5 and 14 interchange going to Palmdale). There is a CHP weigh station a coule of miles up the road. I stopped there and they called it in. A piece of advice, don't even think of outrunning a CHP persuit car. I was back up to 80 and he passed me like a was standing still. The final one was when I was going about 105 on my way to Arizona. Instead of 'Sir do you know how fast you were going?' he said 'Sir do you know how long it took me to catch you?'. Now this was a highway with almost no traffic. He didn't let me off, but only wrote me up for 65 (back in the days of 55 speed limits).
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Old 08-15-05, 10:23 AM   #4
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I had a cop compliment me for stopping at a stop sign just the other day. I thought it was silly of him to do that since it was actually just a poorly executed left turn that I did.
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Old 08-15-05, 12:18 PM   #5
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1. I had a Plattsburgh City police officer point his side spot light for me to change out a tube at 3:00am. Way to go Plattsburgh, Ny.

2. I had a New York state trooper flash his spot light and rang the siren, freaked me right out. We both had good laugh.You see it was my cousin Tom, I work out with at the gmy.
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Old 08-15-05, 12:53 PM   #6
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I bet there are a lot more good cops than bad cops, but you don't notice the good ones as much because a good cop is fairly transparent to a non-lawbreaker, unless myou're having a conversation with him when on foot.
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Old 08-15-05, 01:46 PM   #7
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I've posted this before in an over-the-handlebars thread, but the cop comes off looking good, so…

Street riding, pacing city traffic, 55 clicks (33 mph) or so, coming down a long hill approaching a bridge. I need to be on the sidewalk to navigate the bridge deck, so I shoot into the driveway of a little riverside park and have only three-tenths of a second to say, "Sh." before my front wheel blasts into the brand new raised curb that now helps to organize this little parking lot.

Woke up to a little knot of kids who had been getting high at one of the picnic tables. "Holy sh**, man, are you okay?" "You were FLYING!" "We saw it all. Unreal, dude."

Slight damage to my helmetless head (young and foolish), broken bone in my foot from whipping it down onto the pavement. My bike bounced across the parking lot and over the edge of the hill into the blackberries. Heck of a time getting it out, dizzy, limping and nauseous. The stoners gave me a hand.

A cop was parked in the gas station across the street. He saw the whole misadventure, wheeled across and gave me and my bike a ride home. He didn't bother to get after the kids for getting high, and didn't give me any grief about my unsafe riding; even offered to take me to the hospital. I politely declined. (After I got home and my foot started swelling badly, so my roomies took me to emergency.)
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Old 08-15-05, 02:12 PM   #8
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Never met a cop who wasn't a major league a--hole.
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Old 08-15-05, 02:15 PM   #9
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Cycling related:

At this month's Brooklyn Critical Mass (gasp! good cop experience at a CM!) while waiting at Grand Army Plaza for more people to show up, this car entered the park after hours (the park closes to traffic at 7pm). A couple of the cops who were on motor scooters chased after it (I don't know if they ticketed the driver or not as they were out of eyesight). Also at a previous Brooklyn CM they yelled at a guy parked in a bike lane.

Non-cycling related:

I was playing hackey sack after school (hey, it was high school, give me a break!) and my bag was leaning against a fence a few feet away. These two kids walked by and picked up my bag and my friends bag and started to walk away. I followed the guys for a few feet telling them to give it back, they threatened me, and the next thing I know four guys are jumping out of this car and chasing the kids who took my stuff. Turns out they were plainclothes cops who witnessed the whole thing. They tackled the guy who took my bag in a field (and he ended up spending 2 years in jail - he was on probation when he took my bag). The other kid actually gave my friend his bag back before the cops started chasing them, and since he didn't run he was able to just sneak away (of course he was caught later because his friend ratted on him).
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Old 08-15-05, 02:26 PM   #10
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I got ran off the road once and called the police (they don't like being called cops ) and they sent two cruisers out immediately. I had gotten the car's license plate and gave it to them. I didn't expect much and told them I didn't want to press charges or anything. So the officer suggests that he goes down with the other car and give the driver a 'reminder' (wink and a nod) that there are bicycles on the road too. I thought that was pretty cool. This was in a very bike friendly town, so I wasn't too surprised.
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Old 08-15-05, 04:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruentus
Never met a cop who wasn't a major league a--hole.
Were you by any chance breaking the law every time you met one?
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Old 08-15-05, 05:28 PM   #12
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I hardly ever have interactions with cops, on my bike or elsewhere. Usually when I'm out on the road, they just keep cruising along, I doubt they even notice me.

Sometimes when I'm out at the park or at some event with my kids, they'll spot a cop and they always want to go talk to them. Of course when we get within 5 feet of them, the kids get all shy and don't actually talk. Sometimes the cops give the kids little "Junior Cop" or "Say No To Drugs" stickers, and they like that even though they have no idea what it is. I like to check out all the cool equipment like SCMODS, and the guns they have in their cars.
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Old 08-15-05, 05:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruentus
Never met a cop who wasn't a major league a--hole.
Pretty much the same here - and what's the deal with cops and moustaches?

Anyway, I know this is supposed to be a "good cop" thread, so here's my one friendly cop experience, and it was during a moment where I deserved the full measure of the law: I had one state trooper let me off the hook on a speeding charge.

I will also say that I've met random coppers over the years at weddings and such who seemed pretty nice.

Otherwise...

-When I used to bartend, they'd sometimes come in looking for favors, loudly and repeatedly announcing that they were cops and asking for freebies and "professional courtesy." I think it sucks to be put on the spot like this, and these cheap jerks should have shut their mouths and paid when asked, like everybody else. Our policy was to give away back-ups to people who we wanted to frequent the bar, not to people who expected special treatment.

-I was once driving down a street in [a suburb of Buffalo], NY, when I heard the siren. I pulled over, let the cop speed by, then followed him about only a quarter mile, where he pulled into... a pizza joint. I parked and watched, admittedly curious about what crime was committed, but sure enough, he came out with two big pizza boxes and some pepsi and roared back the way he came.

-There was one infraction that I witnessed that I won't even mention in detail, but it was the worst of all of these and involved my friend being thrown to the ground for stupidly dishing sarcasm back to a cop who crashed a party asking for IDs. The victim of the cop's handy-work complained at the Buffalo precinct, and was sent the predictable form letter: "We're sorry. We do not know what happened...etcetera"

-When my apartment was broken into in 1995, the first cops on-scene walked in like they owned the place. The first thing out of the one cop's mouth was, "Oh, smells like you guys were having a little pot party in here!" I smoked cigarettes at the time, but not one of us smoked pot except on rare occasions when it was handed around at a big party or something. We were all three of us summa-c u m-laude students and serious nerds. The cop was just dangling that BS in front of us to get a reaction. They couldn't have been less interested in our property, and they were haughty and insulting about everything, including the hindsight-obvious: "You should always lock your windows. Sheesh, college kids..." Yea, thanks for the advice. And of course, I've never had anything returned that was stolen. I won't even bother calling them if it happens again. Useless waste of time.

-One other thing springs to mind: Every single person I knew in school who went on to a career in law enforcement was just about the biggest thug bully or troublemaker around.


Anyway, I'm sure I'll get some cop apologist in here arguing point-by-point about what cops have to deal with every day, etcetera, and I can dig it, but I have to say that there's not one point they could make that will erase any of these images from my mind.
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Old 08-15-05, 06:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Tommy C
Were you by any chance breaking the law every time you met one?
Except for traffic stuff, no. I've had a number of experiences where I witnessed cops breaking the law -- much more serious than traffic infractions, including perjury, harassment, assault and making terroristic threats. I've witnessed cops perjure themselves in court on four separate occasions. Perjury is taught in the police academy -- Testi-Lying 101 to Advanced Testi-Lying.
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Old 08-15-05, 07:21 PM   #15
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In the 25 years or so since cops have become part of my world, I have had exactly two "bad" cop experiences. Both with the same cop. I've certainly had my share of tickets, but not once that I didn't desperately deserve, and none in the last...12+ years? Related to bikes...nothing really out of the ordinary, I've had cops wave me through intersections and ride block for me in heavy traffic once, nothing bad though.

I think a lot of it is where you are. On a daily basis I am exposed to two small "city" police forces and a county police force. Both have good reputations, with the county having come under some scrutiny with the Mohammad/Malvo "sniper" case. I'm sure in large cities, the attitudes of cops on a large scale are different because they tend to see more of the bad side of people daily.
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Old 08-15-05, 10:59 PM   #16
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My neighbor was having a BBQ at his house and I come over.

Neighbor: "Hey, how's it goin? Want a beer?"
Me: "Sure, whatcha got?"
Neighbor: "Labatt's, in the cooler next to Jim"
Jim [the cop]: *reaches in cooler* "You 21?"
Me: "How old is close enough?"
Jim: "How old are you?"
Me: "19... legal in Canada"
Jim: "Well... it's Canadian Beer, here ya go"

Other than that.. nope.
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Old 08-15-05, 11:55 PM   #17
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Wow weird, in my 4 months or so of cycling out on the roads every single cop has been nice and polite. Mosto f the time the cops usually give me a quick wave especially when they are out on foot. Haha..I guess the county police are nice around here.

(to be honest, the county police around here are nice to everybody, drive 15mph over the speed limit and they don't seem to care )
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Old 08-16-05, 01:16 AM   #18
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I consider myself lucky here. I know several cops personally and they're good guys. I used to go to school with a couple of kids that became cops, one was a bit aggro but definitely not a bully, the other was your typical bully. The aggro guy developed into a tough but fair sort of guy and a good cop, the bully was weede out before he finished his rookiew year. From what I've seen, the cops here take their professionalism very seriosly and don't tolerate 'bad' cops.

Our last CM ride was large - it was Sydney's 10th anniversary CM. I spotted a familiar face amongst the velocops and sure enough it was a guy that rode regularly in our CM's I went over and said hi and it turns out that he was on his way to the ride as a civilian (as usual) and was called in to work - to cover the CM! All the cops covering that CM were really good to us, they corked with us, didn't try to direct the route the CM took and were very friendly. They pulled up a couple of drivers that hurled the usual abuse at us and gave them a little education. Can't ask for too much more than that.

My only other encounter with a cop while riding was when one almost doored me one morning during my commute - I came to a screeching halt just in time and he apologised profusely. I made a mental note to not stray into the door zone again.
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Old 08-16-05, 07:35 AM   #19
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One of the local weekly rides for A/B riders (14-17mph/+17) was started and is hosted by the local police chief who is an A rider. Needless to say, all his staff are courteous and polite to all cyclists.
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Old 08-16-05, 09:10 AM   #20
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Riding in Stone Mountain Park with my 10 year-old daughter, she being inexperienced at unusual intersections (right lane was right only, left lane was through lane,) a Stone Mountain Park policeman saw her difficulty and came and assisted us through the intersection by stopping traffic all ways.
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Old 08-16-05, 09:27 AM   #21
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had one good experieince...kind of.

Was around 16 at the time, riding home from work during the summer. stopped at a stop sign and was taking a drink of water. a cop who was going very slowly looking at the houses very carefully rolled into me at around 5-8 miles an hr. i was thrown off my bike into the grass and my rear wheel was bent. Cop got out, asked me if I was alright and If i needed an ambulance. I said I didn't, he then proceeded to drive me to the closest bike shop, pay for my rear wheel to be replaced and bike tuned up and then drove me home (should of seen my mother's face when i came home a hr late in a police car.) Next day couple of different officers come by the house to make sure I was ok and ask if I wanted to file a complaint...I declined, but very courteous police officers.
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Old 08-16-05, 09:56 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphodbeeblebro
had one good experieince...kind of.

Was around 16 at the time, riding home from work during the summer. stopped at a stop sign and was taking a drink of water. a cop who was going very slowly looking at the houses very carefully rolled into me at around 5-8 miles an hr. i was thrown off my bike into the grass and my rear wheel was bent. Cop got out, asked me if I was alright and If i needed an ambulance. I said I didn't, he then proceeded to drive me to the closest bike shop, pay for my rear wheel to be replaced and bike tuned up and then drove me home (should of seen my mother's face when i came home a hr late in a police car.) Next day couple of different officers come by the house to make sure I was ok and ask if I wanted to file a complaint...I declined, but very courteous police officers.
Did you live in NYC at the time?
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Old 08-16-05, 10:07 AM   #23
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no, this happened in Eugene, OR...hahaha, a NYC cop probably would have looked around to see if there were any witnesses, then kicked me, cited me for something, and driven off
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Old 08-16-05, 10:13 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Tommy C
Were you by any chance breaking the law every time you met one?
If he was, is that an excuse for the behavior?
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Old 08-16-05, 10:24 AM   #25
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We always give a five finger wave to all police/policecars, never know if you ever will need 'em on your side.
Have had numerous good experiences with help from police, inluding a lift home when we cracked a rim on our tandem.
Also had a squad car go on the bullhorn telling us we we're doing 30-some odd miles per hour on a good downhill.
Hey, they've got a job to do and the majority do it quite well!
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