It goes without saying that just because someone is a police officer, it doesn't mean they are the most upstanding person. Even good cops have bad days though. If someone catches a cop in a bad mood, odds are that they're going to get the short end of the stick and a mountain of tickets, or worse, jail time.
Some people on Reddit shared their most messed up encounters with a dumb cop. After reading their stories, it's plain to see that there's nothing more frustrating than an officer who can't admit when they're wrong. Content has been edited for clarity.
He “Forgot” To Notify The Owner
“This didn’t happen to me but to my friend’s dad. Their car got stolen and they immediately reported it to the police. The cops found the car a bit later and it was promptly impounded. Apparently, there’s a ‘storage’ fee for every day a car is in the impound lot. The trouble is, the cops didn’t inform the him that the car was found until it had already been in the impound lot for a week, but they still tried to charge him for the ‘storage fee.’
He argued with the cops about it for over two hours until finally my friend’s dad gave in and paid since he needed the car back. Makes me want to puke.”
He Was Fired For Stereotyping
“I was headed over to my parent’s house after work one night and got pulled over for allegedly running a stop sign. The cop asked for my license and registration, then came back to my car and asked me to step out. He gave me a sobriety test and based on that, said he had reason to believe I was on something. I’m a 26-year-old male with long hair.
He arrested me and took me to the hospital to get my blood drawn. I was completely cooperative the whole time, because I knew I was clean. I don’t do anything illegal like that, and only drink occasionally. After waiting six weeks for the results from the blood test to come back, I showed up to court and got my results. Negative. The case was dropped. I found out six months later that this cop had done this to hundreds of people over his career and he was fired.”
He Just Didn’t Want To Admit He Was Wrong
“My mom and I were sitting at a busy intersection, waiting to turn left. In all four directions, there were double left turn lanes, a single straight lane, and a single right turn lane. We were in the rightmost left turn lane, just waiting, blinker on. My mom remarked that there was a cop behind us, but neither of us thought much of it.
The light turned green with the arrow, so we turned left. The cop behind us instantly flashed his lights and pulled us over. When he came up to the car, we were confused as heck.
‘You made an illegal turn,’ he said.
‘From the turn lane?’ my mom asked.
‘That wasn’t a turn lane. That was a straight lane. You were in the straight lane but turned left.’
Mom and I just looked at each other. ‘Umm, that was a double left turn lane… Just like in all the other directions…’
The cop got testy. ‘No, it was a single left turn lane, and you messed up.’ I think he was starting to doubt himself a bit, though, as we kept staring at him with bewilderment and looking at each other. He ended up letting my mom off with a warning.
I drove back to that intersection the next day, and of course, it was a double left turn in every direction. Not sure what burr was up the cop’s butt that day…. At least he didn’t write us a ticket.”
A Huge Waste Of Time
“I saw a police officer take a left in a ‘straight only’ lane. He nearly hit my car because I was turning left. He said there were two left turn lanes and he gave me a $450 ticket for failure to stop, unnecessary acceleration, improper lane change, and driving while distracted.
I took the ticket to trial. In all, the trial was about 30 minutes of my lawyer taking, and 10 minutes for the ‘people’s’ lawyer. I showed the judge the pictures of the intersection and said it was a sunny day and the officer must have mistaken the breakdown lane for a full traffic lane. Case was dismissed. I had to take six days off of work just to freaking prove a dumb cop turned in the wrong lane.”
By “Take Care Of It” He Meant Write A Ticket
“My stepdad is diabetic so me and my mom were somewhat trained to deal with diabetic emergencies. One night, he goes into hypoglycemia and isn’t responsive. There’s blood everywhere (later on we found out he’d bit his tongue during the episode) and he’s just generally seizing and scaring the bejesus out of us.
Naturally, we called an ambulance. I had to stay home, my mom took the car and followed the ambulance.
As she arrives at the hospital, she frantically tries to find a parking spot. She sees a cop and asks him if parking at the spot she’s at is alright. The cop says no, it’s a no-parking zone, but since it’s an emergency and she’s just trailing the ambulance, she can park there and he’ll ‘take care of it’.
After the returns to the vehicle a few hours later: ticketed for a parking violation by the same cop who told her to park there.
As for my stepdad, he got better.”
“Like Something Out Of A Benny Hill Tape”
“After a night of hanging out playing video games in my parent’s garage at the ripe age of 18, I decide to take about seven of my friends home since I was the only one who could drive. It’s about 3 am, I am literally pulling my old eurovan out of my own driveway when two squad cars charge up both sides of my street, block me in, and then 4 more cars two for each side of the street roll down and further block any ‘traffic’ from entering the street. A cop walks up casually demands to know where I live and what I’m doing out so late. I hand him my license, point to my house, and then gestured to the crowd of teenage boys cowering in the back of my van. They had gotten a noise complaint about two hours back, so they staked out ‘the site.’
One thing to point out was street cleaning had been there that day so the gutters were cleaned. The cop accuses us of smoking pot and that he can tell because it has a sort of ‘sweet smell.’ Let me tell you, I hadn’t started smoking pot yet but when I did I tried to identify that ‘sweet smell’ 9 years of medicinal pot later and I still haven’t smelt anything ‘sweet’.
The cop even went as far to say I am lying and picks up a burnt cig butt out of the gutter and threatens to have me charged with littering. This was what broke the camel’s back, at once all the friends in the back start cracking up with loud laughter. My one straight edge friend wipes his tears away long enough to say, ‘Sir, you can do that but you’ll lose. My friend here has never smoked a cig in his life.’ Red-faced the cop walks away and we spend the next 15 minutes laughing our butts off at all the cops who tried to back out the street they’d so ‘expertly’ blocked. I swear it looked like something out of a Benny Hill tape. We have a saying in San Clemente, California; It’s illegal to be 18-22 in San Clemente. Cops are so bored in that town, it seems fitting. The cop who pulled me over in my own driveway was well known for harassing people.”
The Dog Only Found Peanut Butter
“My brother and I both had nice cars when we were in high school. The deal with my parents was that if we worked and had good grades, they would buy us each a nice car. My brother had an older Corvette which he took great care of.
One night, he and some friends are hanging out at Sonic eating ice cream and shakes and just shooting the breeze. They’re leaning against the hood of my brother’s care and one of the girls spills her peanut butter ice cream shake on his car, so they all decide to drive to the car wash about three blocks away and wash it off. Little did they know, two police officers had been watching them because they assumed that a high school kid with a nice car absolutely must be a dealer (my brother did not do anything like that).
When they get to the car wash, the cops pull in all FBI raid style and handcuff my brother and his friends and then break out the police dog. The dog commences to lick the peanut butter ice cream which has been clearly spilled on the hood. This causes the two officers to get excited because they classify that as a hit, meaning that illegal substances are in the car. They proceed to search his car and call my parents informing them that my brother is going to be arrested for possession of illegal substances.
There was one little problem…they didn’t find any freaking illegal substances. My mom and dad jump in their car and head to the car wash, ready to beat the living daylights out of my brother for being so stupid. They arrive and are informed of the situation. My dad immediately begins to attempt to strangle the officer in charge for being such a ‘imbecile.’ My dad did not assault the officer responsible. He tried to get at him and grab him, but my mom and another cop were between them. They had a nice yelling match where my dad had his finger in the cop’s face the entire time and called him a variety of things. How my dad didn’t get arrested for trying to kick that cop’s butt is a mystery to me. The cops finally release my brother and his friends after my mom points out that there is ice cream on the hood and the cops refuse to demonstrate that the dog was signaling for illegal substance possession and not just licking some delicious peanut butter ice cream. Not even an apology was given.”
Guilty Until Proven Innocent
“I live in Manhattan. I parked my car legally on a street. The next day I go to retrieve my car only to find that it’s not there. I call 311 (NYC parking/info line) and ask them if they know where my car is. 311 operator says they have no record of my car on file. I start to panic. ‘My car has been stolen.’ I call up the nearest police station to file a report. I tell them that I think my car has been stolen and would like an officer to come so I can file a police report. Officer on the phone asks me about my car, where it was parked, make, model, etc. I am told that they (the police) have moved it because of construction. They moved it to a nearby street.
Relieved, I hang up the phone and head to the location where they said they left it. I get there – no car. I call the officer back up, tell them the car is not where they said they left it. They tell me to call 311, stating that perhaps it was towed. I tell them I got off the phone with 311 a bit ago and they have no record of my car. After 10 minutes of being put on hold, the officer comes back on and tells me that the car has been towed. I ask them why? They said it was parked illegally. ‘I’m sorry, what?’ I ask. I was told they have no other info but that I can pick up the car at the impound. I take a cab over to the pound and wait for another hour until the tow people can collect my car and hand it over to me (obviously after I pay the tow fee). I ask the tow person why the car was towed in the first place. They tell me that I parked the car in a bus stop. I almost lost it. The cops moved my vehicle into an illegal parking spot only to be towed by them a few hours later. Anyway, some justice has been served. 9 months later and countless trips to the police station to get proof of their negligence, I received a notice in the mail informing me that I was found ‘Not Guilty.'”
Dude, Where’s My Car?
“I was visiting my girlfriend at her college her freshman year and during those times we would stay at the nearby Marriott because I really did not like dorms and I had had my fill of them when I was younger ( I am a few years older than her). But I always parked my car in the same lot, every weekend, with out fail. One weekend, the lot was closed for a football game, but the entrance where I had entered the lot did not have a sign on it stating that the lot would be closed for the football game the next day.
So the next day we’re walking to get some lunch and I pass by where my car should be, there are almost no cars in the lot even though it was packed when I parked. I tell my girlfriend, ‘Hey, I think my car was right here yesterday, now its not.’ So instead of going to lunch, I call the police to report my car stolen. They quickly inform me the car was not stolen but they had towed it. I ask nicely where they put it and they respond to me that it is at the police station a mile away. I have to walk there and I do.
The problem? The car is not there, so they give me another location as to where the car MIGHT be, so I walk there (another mile) and no, car is not there, so I ask the person there, ‘Do you know where my car is?’ and they inform me that if it’s not here, it’s in a non-numbered spot in ‘Lot 1.’ I am quick to inform them that is where my car started! So I walk all the way back to Lot 1 and it is not there. Finally, I find it in an offshoot parking lot off of Lot 1.
The car is slightly damaged (I was meticulous about the car, so I knew it was not that way before). I drive it over to the police station and I want to file a report about the car having had damage on the car. The police officer will not look at the car, or even talk to me about it. He is convinced I drove the car down there knowing it was scratched and was trying to blame his department for it.
A few weeks later, I had not paid the ticket because I was still fighting it, I get a letter in the mail stating that my car is banned from Maryland until I pay the ticket. But I continued to fight it and eventually won.”
All Of This For A $15 Sticker
“I spent four days partying over the course of New Years and on the fourth day, I was in a medium-sized town (around 50k) visiting friends and family before I drove home.
I took a left turn at a green light and got pulled over. The cop says that I’m not allowed to take a left turn there because of construction, but they are just giving out warnings so that people will be careful. Asks about any warrants, etc, and goes back to his car.
Comes back, asks me to step out, and practically tackles me into his car while putting handcuffs on. Says I have a warrant for my arrest over an expired inspection sticker from a year before. I was confused because I remember being pulled over, but the cop told me it was just a warning and that I wouldn’t need to pay for anything. I was totally stupid and didn’t read what he printed out for me, but it was an actual ticket. Totally my fault.
So I’m on the way to the jail over a $15 sticker (which I replaced immediately after realizing it was expired). When I get to the jail, they search me and find an Adderall pill in my pocket. I keep my medicine in a tin when I travel and I just got back from Lights All Night in Dallas. They get all up in my face and start accusing me of having illegal substances, but I explain that I have a prescription and it’s just a low dose of Adderall.
They bring a nurse over who starts screaming in my face about how she’s going to catch me in a lie and that I should confess. I keep telling them the truth. The police officer is filling out paperwork and asking me questions when he tells me, ‘I have no reason to believe you’re lying to me because you’ve been very polite and you have nothing on your record. My supervisor left it up to me to decide if you get charged, but I don’t think that’s necessary.’
They put me back in the holding cell with one dude who burned down a house and another who’s tried to kill someone. I’m in there for a $15 sticker.
It’s about 40 degrees outside and this cell isn’t much higher. They take my shoes and I’m in short sleeve/shorts. They basically leave me in there for 3-4 hours on a cold metal floor the first time (I spent around 9 hours total in the cell). The other guys stuff their clothes full of toilet paper because they are so cold even though they are wearing long sleeves and pants. No one will tell me anything or how I’m supposed to get out.
Finally someone comes by to tell me that the police officer charged me with Possession of a Dangerous Substance, a Class A misdemeanor. They say they need to book me and my bail has now gone up from $400 (the cost of the ticket) to $4,000. Unfortunately, you can’t get a money order over $1,000 in that area and it’s 3 am, so my girlfriend had to go to a Bail Bonds place and pay around $700 down (which I never get back) for them to take care of it.
Their system mysteriously ‘goes down’ and the guards harass me for the next few hours because they can’t book me. I spend all night in jail even though I’ve been bailed out. By the time I get out, I’ve caught a cold from laying on a cold, dirty, metal floor and they lock me out of the jail in 40 degree weather with a dead iPhone. Luckily my girlfriend was coming back by to ask questions and picked me up within 5 minutes.
I was treated like a terrorist over a $15 sticker and a single pill of a legal substance.
I’ve been to court four times, spent around $900, fought with prosecutors who tried to catch me in lies every 30 seconds, and missed out on an apartment and a job due to the charges on my record. I finally got it dismissed last week after bringing so much evidence of my LEGAL prescription that they couldn’t possibly harass me any more. Forget the system and its stupid bull.”
Pizza Guy Was A Hero
“I was waiting out side my friends dorm building at 2 am waiting for pizza that we ordered. The pizza guy came gave me my pizza and I tried to go back in the building but the door was locked and I didn’t have an id that could get me into the building. So I knocked on the glass door to try and get the person’s attention who was on the phone inside.
Then, I just got tackled to the ground and someone is yelling calm down. I replied okay then they put handcuffs on me. I was completely confused because I was wasted and I thought it was a friend who tackled me, not a cop. This cop kept screaming at me to calm down while I was just sitting on the ground not doing anything or saying anything. Then the pizza guy goes over to cop and says he saw the whole thing and this is unjustified. He started asking the cop for his badge number so he can report him for tackling and handcuffing me for no reason. Eventually, after they had a yelling battle, the cop let me go but I lost a pizza.”
Happy Birthday! Here’s A Ticket
“I got pulled over in Louisiana. First question out of his mouth is, ‘Do you have any large amounts of money anywhere in the car?’ I said yes, I have $100 in the glovebox. This was 1995 and I was a broke college student, that was real money then. He goes in the glove box, pulls the cash (out of the envelope that said ‘Happy birthday, love Gramma’) and walks off.
He then gives me a ticket for ‘excessive acceleration.’ Mind you, I wasn’t speeding, I wasn’t redlining. He takes my license, says, ‘We’re keeping it until you pay up. I can drive with you to the station.’ Mind you, I have no license, just a receipt for it he gave me. He does so at 80 mph, where I’m forced to pay up.
Turns out, it’s perfectly legal to seize any and all cash in a car. The standard is ‘suspicion of illegal substance activity.’ You do not have to be guilty of anything for them to take all the cash you have.
“My cousin was on a highway entrance ramp when a cop came speeding up behind him. It looked like the cop was going to barrel into him, so he assumed it was an emergency and pulled over to let the cop pass. Said cop immediately pulled him over and ticketed him for reckless driving.
My uncle works for the city government and had a friend with access to the highway camera footage. There was a camera with perfect view of the entrance ramp. My cousin and his friends spent a day looking over all the footage to try to find the incident. They did, took it to court, and got the cop suspended. Justice!”
He Wasn’t Drinking OR Driving
“One time I was visiting a friend of mine who lived about an hour from where I live. When I was walking back to where I parked my car, there were two police officers in my backseat tearing my car apart for illegal substances. As I approached and asked why this was happening their response was, ‘We got a call that you are here drinking and are planning on driving home wasted.’ I had not had one sip of anything but officers refused to breathalyze me using, ‘You’re destroyed, just look at you,’ as their response. Apparently, I always look wasted. They didn’t find anything incriminating in my car…or so I thought.
A young officer walked up to me with a blue rag he found (used to open my oil tank) and said, ‘Oh, so you’re a crip? Why don’t you throw up some gang signs and maybe if you do them right we’ll let you go!’ I told him he was being ridiculous. I am far from a gang member and he was just trying to set me off. I was told that I had 45 minutes to get a ride home (an hour away at 1 am) or I’d be arrested. Luckily I got the ride but my car was towed and a 12 hour hold was put on it. I ended up paying $280 for not drinking or driving, but felt really cool because the receipt says I was endangering the public. I haven’t been back to that town since.”
A Bit Of An Overreaction
“On the night my college won a sports championship, every house on my street was going absolutely nuts – thousands of people screaming up and down the street. At about 2 am, the raging had subsided and me and a few friends were just sitting on the couch, have some drinks and enjoying the sweet taste of victory when, all of a sudden, about three cops bust through the front door demanding everyone leave immediately. Caught off guard, me and my friends kind of chuckle to ourselves at how ridiculous this cop looks and he sees me and screams, ‘YOU’RE NOT 21, GET OUTTA HERE!’ I’m 22. But seeing as the night was pretty much over, I reluctantly comply with the officer’s request and leave the house.
I walk down to the sidewalk and begin telling a couple friends who happened to be there what had just gone down when all of a sudden the cop storms back out of the house and starts yelling at me to leave again. ‘Where do you propose I go? My apartment is on the opposite side of the city and you kicked me out of where I was sleeping,’ I replied. Then he and 2 other cops then spear me to the ground, smashing my face against the dirt with their elbow, wielding batons to anyone else who dare help me out while I’m getting the absolute snot beat out of me. Then they arrest me and take me to jail. Sweet.”