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7 things you should never say to a police officer

“These ain’t my pants!”


Sometimes we hear things that leave us speechless and scratching our heads.

I have been a police officer for much of my adult life now. I love this profession. I love the ups and downs of a typical day. Cops can go from a barking dog call to a violent domestic in the matter of seconds. It is just the nature of the job.

We often hear things that makes us laugh. Sometimes we hear things that leave us speechless and scratching our heads.

I have compiled a list of some of the best from one police officer’s perspective. Share the worst excuses for bad behavior you’ve heard from civilians in the comment box below.

1. “I’ve only had two beers.”

Yeah, we know. Based on your field tests and driving, it appears those two beers were served in five-gallon buckets.

No matter what the occasion, most folks who are stopped for suspicion of impaired driving tell us they “had two beers.” I’ve even had people NOT drinking tell me “two beers” because they were worried about their passenger smelling like alcoholic beverages.

Here is an interesting honest. Police officers are trained observers.

2. “I don’t think so” or “probably not.”

When asked if there are drugs in your car, house, pants, purse or like locations, the answer should never be “I don’t think so” or “probably not.” Personally, I know what is in my car, house and wallet. Drugs are not on the list. If asked, I will definitely answer in the negative. There will be no hesitation or wavering. When you are uncertain, our spidey senses go off.

3. “I know my rights.”

We are thrilled. We know them, too. We are reminded of them constantly by drug dealers, rapists and others. We are further reminded by attorneys, judges, police leaders and the news media.

Here is the thing, if we arrest you and don’t ask you any questions, Miranda does not have to be read. You have the right to remain silent and we hope you do, so we can get this mountain of paperwork completed.

4. “I was grabbing for the phone (purse, car keys, TV remote, beer) and accidently hit her (him).”

Human beings have opposable thumbs. We can clutch things. When we reach for an item, we don’t typically use a closed fist. A black eye from a fist looks nothing like an area that has been “grabbed.”

Additionally, most people I know do not carry items – other than an eyeball – in their eye sockets. It’s a moronic excuse; however, seeing that you just struck a woman, we’re not surprised.

5. “My best friend (brother, sister, cousin) is a defense attorney.”

Super! If he or she happens to drive through town drunk, they will get arrested too. When we get back to the station, we will make sure you can call them. Yes, we know it’s 2 a.m. You can still call. Really.

6. “I know the chief. Call him.”

Yikes, that is one of my favorites. We have a pretty busy social media life at our department. It is likely, based on my interaction with the public around the United States, that hundreds of thousands may know me. The people who know me best, other than my family, are my officers and staff. They know that if they dial my number at dark o’clock, it had better not be to speak with an intoxicated person. Don’t poke the bear.

Last, but not least. The number one excuse I have heard in my career, by far…

7. “These ain’t my pants.”

Yep. It was said…and I heard it. We were called to a theft at a chain retailer and eventually made an arrest. As I was patting down the arrested person, I asked him if he had anything illegal on his person. His response was, “These ain’t my pants.” After an incredulous look and some back and forth, I asked him why he would tell me he was not wearing pants that belonged to him. His response was classic: “Because the crack cocaine in the front pocket ain’t mine either.”

This article, which was originally published 05/10/2014, has been updated.

Uniform Stories features a variety of contributors. These sources are experts and educators within their profession. Uniform Stories covers an array of subjects like field stories, entertaining anecdotes, and expert opinions.