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I bought a new t-shirt that reads POLICE on the back

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I bought a new t-shirt that reads POLICE on the back

Old 07-07-11, 06:39 PM
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LJ325
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I bought a new t-shirt that reads POLICE on the back

It's black with white block lettering. People give me a wider berth on the road. No more close calls with sideview mirrors. Eleven rides so far, all between 20 and 50 miles. Funny how that works.

Also - perfectly legal to wear a police raid shirt in the U.S.
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Old 07-07-11, 06:44 PM
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You might to double check on that legality part. In many places, if not most, you can be charged with impersonating a police officer. I was a USAF security policeman, and one day I wore a shirt that just said POLICE on the back with a small USAF SF emblem on the front. I police friend of mine warned me that I might want to change and even cited the law.
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Old 07-07-11, 07:19 PM
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No disrespect intended but your police friend was wrong. However, if you claim to be a police officer, you can be in legal trouble. A T-shirt saying ANYTHING is protected by the 1st Amendment.
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Old 07-07-11, 11:30 PM
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Doesn't work on everyone, though. You also need to look like a police--not a teenager or a woman, or carrying a child on your bike
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Old 07-08-11, 12:31 AM
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And what are going to do if someone with an emergency comes to you believing you are the police. Grow up and think.
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Old 07-08-11, 12:34 AM
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how about US MARSHALLS
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Old 07-08-11, 01:22 AM
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I could see this tactic as getting the OP a little more respect on the roads, but I could also see it getting the OP into trouble. Anchorage has had two police shootings in the last two years where one or more people rolled up on cop and just unloaded on them, with no discernible motive beyond that they were uniformed officers with their guards down (the one officer who survived said he was distracted by his laptop, the other officer was killed; both were parked and idling in bad neighborhoods, and both crimes remain unsolved). I used to live in Fairview, where the non-lethal shooting occurred, and there is no way in hell that I would roll through there while self identifying as a cop unless I also had a gun, a radio, body armor, and a partner watching my back.

Originally Posted by Pippin View Post
And what are going to do if someone with an emergency comes to you believing you are the police. Grow up and think.
And then there's this, which would be awkward to say the least. On a lighter note, this reminded me of Dave Chappelle's "*****'s Uniform" bit, which is both hilarious and apropos. The following link is not safe for work, school, or daycare on account of cuss words and adult situations (which is why it isn't imbedded):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8K1KHqi9bXc
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Old 07-08-11, 01:28 AM
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I did consider the fact that there are some people who have severe disdain for the police - but I figured the hatred and disrespect for police was much, much less than that of cyclists.

I'm doing myself a favor with this t-shirt.

Also, I am a male with an average build and buzz cut. - To respond to the inquiring poster.
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Old 07-08-11, 02:58 AM
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I have a shirt that says SHERIFF on the back an I too noticed lots more respect. I only wore it once though. I began be wonder if I could be making my self a target, riding solo, to some cop hating criminal.
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Old 07-08-11, 05:33 AM
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You can likely make the argument that wearing a shirt that says "POLICE" all over it is not illegal and that you weren't trying to present yourself as an officer.

The problem is that you may have to make the argument in front of a judge.

I don't think you'd have a problem if it was something far out of your jurisdiction, e.g. if you're riding through Illinois wearing a t-shirt that says "NYPD." But something generic could end up being far more trouble than it's worth.

And, let's face it, the reason why you believe this works is precisely because you want drivers to think you're a cop. What do you do if someone takes that at face value...?
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Old 07-08-11, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by LJ325 View Post
No disrespect intended but your police friend was wrong. However, if you claim to be a police officer, you can be in legal trouble. A T-shirt saying ANYTHING is protected by the 1st Amendment.
Make sure that you cite your first amendment rights to the mutt who purposely runs you down because he hates cops.

Even when I was an LEO, I didn't advertise that fact when riding to work on my bike. On the flip side, wearing my USMC/POW/MIA/Veteran/American Flag t-shirts and jerseys seem to achieve the desired result without the potential negative consequences.
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Last edited by chipcom; 07-08-11 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 07-08-11, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by GriddleCakes View Post
On a lighter note, this reminded me of Dave Chappelle's "*****'s Uniform" bit, which is both hilarious and apropos. The following link is not safe for work, school, or daycare on account of cuss words and adult situations (which is why it isn't imbedded):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8K1KHqi9bXc
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Old 07-08-11, 06:41 AM
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From the last thread on police jerseys:

Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
To keep it legal, make it a shirt that says

Support your local
POLICE

But don't even give the perception that you are actually an LEO....you may get unintended consequences that could ruin your day, or worse.

Another idea I have seen

POLITE
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Old 07-08-11, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Pippin View Post
And what are going to do if someone with an emergency comes to you believing you are the police. Grow up and think.
"I'm not the police"?
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Old 07-08-11, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by sudo bike View Post
"I'm not the police"?
"I'm not the POLICE" would work better.
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Old 07-08-11, 07:39 AM
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How about:

Please stop throwing donuts at me. This isn't the
POLICE
CYCLE
PATROL
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Old 07-08-11, 07:45 AM
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Just my .02

When I'm out riding, I don't want anyone knowing I'm a police officer. I don't wear my police tshirt or anything that would make me stand out. Why don't I? I'd rather have the advantage if something goes down and not make myself an immediate target. I've been in law enforcement for 24 years and seen too many things go down and the bad guys single out anyone with a badge and take them out first because they're the greatest threat.

And if you think because you wear a shirt that says police on it will make people respect you more and go out of their way to accommodate you, well you're greatly mistaken. My good friend and fellow officer got run over while he was helping a stranded motorist on the shoulder of the highway. He was off duty but had put his hi-vis reflective "POLICE" vest on, badge and gun visable and still the woman just plowed into him. Now he's dead. Yeah he sure got a lot of respect from wearing his police stuff... NOT!
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Old 07-08-11, 07:57 AM
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SECURITY

would probably be just as effective but doesn't get into any of the legal questions.
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Old 07-08-11, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
"I'm not the POLICE" would work better.
Yeah, then the mutt who runs you down because he thinks you're a cop can feel guilty when he's standing over your body and can read what the shirt really says.
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Old 07-08-11, 08:22 AM
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I've thought about fining a shirt with the big number 3 on it or a Bush Beer jersey but the Police idea sounds like it works pretty well. I was on a team a few years back that had blue and black jerseys. We have bike cops in my town and sometimes I noticed that when I put my blinky light on people actually pulled over
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Old 07-08-11, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Brontide View Post
SECURITY
Depends on the state; impersonating a security officer is a Class A misdemeanor in Texas. (Occupations Code 1702.3875) I'd be surprised if any state that requires private security licensing didn't make it some sort of offense to falsely imply that one possesses such a license.
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Old 07-08-11, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by KD5NRH View Post
Depends on the state; impersonating a security officer is a Class A misdemeanor in Texas. (Occupations Code 1702.3875) I'd be surprised if any state that requires private security licensing didn't make it some sort of offense to falsely imply that one possesses such a license.
Even the TX statue seems to have some big loopholes.

impersonates a commissioned or noncommissioned security officer with the intent to induce another to submit to the person’s pretended authority or to rely on the person’s pretended acts of a security officer;
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Old 07-08-11, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Brontide View Post
Even the TX statue seems to have some big loopholes.
You missed the "or"

(2) knowingly purports to exercise any function that requires registration as a noncommissioned security officer or a security officer commission.
Patrolling is one of those functions. Implying that you're a security officer on patrol would be a violation.
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Old 07-08-11, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by LJ325 View Post
A T-shirt saying ANYTHING is protected by the 1st Amendment.
Now that's hardly true.

There's anti obscenity statutes.
You could be charged with disturbing the peace for some things under some conditions.
If there's something libelous on your shirt, you could be charged for that (this would be a civil charge, not a criminal charge, but your first amendment rights won't protect you against consequences for your speech.)
And if your shirt makes a false claim, you could be charged for that. Such as it claiming that you are police ...

Police get really touchy about people doing anything that makes them even appear that they might be a police officer, and they may very well harass you for simply wearing a shirt that says "POLICE". However, simply wearing a shirt that says "POLICE" is not quite the same as impersonating a police officer (after all, if I wear a NFL jersey, am I impersonating a football player?) and so I imagine you would not be convicted if it went to court (but it could happen, especially if you didn't immediately tell people who were confused that you're not a cop) but I can totally see the police arresting you for it.

And nevermind people who might want to screw with a defenseless cop -- the cop doesn't have a gun, he doesn't even have a car -- just a bike. Hit him! Shoot him!

Last edited by dougmc; 07-08-11 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 07-08-11, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
Doesn't work on everyone, though. You also need to look like a police--not a teenager or a woman, or carrying a child on your bike
I'm not so sure about the teenagers (19 is a bit young, but I'll bet there's some cops that young, but I'll bet you meant a lot younger), but I'm pretty sure some cops are women and some are parents. And some are cyclists.
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