Police Officers Explain Which Laws They Hate Enforcing

Nobody likes every aspect of their job. Even those who wake up before their alarm, rush out of bed, jump into the shower, and sing while they make themselves breakfast, can find that one odd quirk that slows down their day, making them go, "Ugh."

Yes, that list does include the men and women of law enforcement.

Reddit user, potatryan, wanted to know:

Police officers of Reddit, what are some laws that you feel uncomfortable enforcing because you disagree with them?

It's Not Always So Black and White


My best bud (known him 20 years) and his ENTIRE FAMILY are cops. Dad, mom, sister, and 2 brothers: ALL COPS.

Anyways, I have dinner with them from time to time and I recall one time his brother discussing having to go monitor a protest, with all the other cops in their riot gear.

I was fascinated that every person (cops) at the table had the same reaction of hating protests, for different reasons.

One person said it was boring and you have to stand all day. One person said it sucks when the people youre protecting start yelling at you, his mom (who was a dispatcher) said it diminishes response ability because all the cops were tied up at the protest and that means less patrols elsewhere. etc.

Bottomline is found out cops hate protests.


But Do You Sit There Watching Them?

Not letting pedestrians cross an empty road when there are no cars, they just have to stand there akwardly staring at each other until the right turns green, the worst way to waste of time


Everyone's Walking Around With One...

Dad's a cop, feels very uncomfortable enforcing our newer law stating that anyone can carry a concealed weapon with them


If I Don't Have To, I Won't

Cannabis/marijuana laws. Literally all my friends smoke somewhat regularly, and unlike many drugs that either pose a significant health risk or make you a belligerent a--hole, cannabis makes you calm, docile, and I can win your compliance and love with a bag of cookies.

If I'm put in a position where someone's asking me to do something about it my nose suddenly becomes stuffed and not being a botanist I can't identify that particular bit of plant matter


Burn, Baby, Burn

Burn bans. My city has a full burn ban and I find it ridiculous. The fine is insane too, like $400.

So most of the time I act like I dont see anything unless it's safety issue or just give them a heads up to finish up what they need to burn quickly and put it out so we dont keep gettung calls on it. People in my town call for petty crap alot.


Just A Big Waste Of Time

Former cop.

I worked in an area almost exclusively populated by illegal immigrants. While I did see some horrible sh-t (nature of the job) the vast majority of those folks were decent people just living and working and trying to raise their kids.

Department policy at the time made arrest mandatory for driving with no license (otherwise a ticketable misdemeanor).

One dumb-ss lieutenant decided it would be a good idea to put up a safety checkpoint (roadblock) on the only major road through the neighborhood. Like 95% of the vehicles on that road were driven by immigrants who can't get a license no matter how much they want to. There were two paddy wagons driving back and forth to the jail constantly with all these people. The wrecker service didn't have enough trucks to clear the roadway of cars left there with no one to drive them.

I thought this was bullsh-t and served only to make life more difficult for people that imo hadn't done anything wrong.

We Protect Our Own?

Not making a report on another officer who is committing crimes, seems to be standard operating procedure in every police dept I have ever heard of.


Buckle Up

LEO here

My state has a seatbelt law. I mean, I get it...it's the law. But you not wearing it effects me ( or others ) in absolutely no way whatsoever. It's a victim-less crime. I feel if you're an adult, 18 or older, you can make adult decisions. We all know the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt, if you don't want to wear one than don't wear one. Won't change my day a bit.

On a side note. Wear the seatbelt people. That's just common sense.


Just Give Them A Chance

The city that I was formerly a LEO in had an ordinance that you couldn't buy alcohol after 8pm on Saturday and before 4pm Sunday. Mom and pop liquor stores would clearly want the best bang for their buck, and people aren't going to stop drinking at 8pm. I wouldn't enforce it but I also wouldn't give them until midnight to close. If you're having fun and supporting your family or someone else's family, so be it.


They Were Only In There For A Minute!

Not too long ago I rolled into a parking lot and was sitting behind an empty vehicle parked in the fire lane. Got out and was about to write a ticket for it when the owner walked out in his pizza delivery uniform with his hot bag. Told me he just ran inside to make his delivery. As a former pizza delivery driver I decided to leave it at that and let him on his way. Someone saw that I let him go and called the department to Lodge a complaint. I didn't get yelled at but I was told to be more careful when making decisions like that.


On Wednesdays, We Fight Back

Cops in my town carry nickels and feed the meters instead of taking the time to write tickets.


LET THEM DRINK....responsibly...

Open liquor laws.

You wanna have a beer while you float down the river? Have at 'er.

Gonna throw that beer bottle over the side into the stream? Damn right I'm gonna write you up for littering. And then the open liquor ticket as a F-CK YOU for being a selfish a--.

Edit: As was pointed out I should clarify. Floating down stream ON AN INFLATABLE TUBE. Not drinking while operating a boat, that still gets you charges.


The Times Are A' Changin'

A buddy of mine used to be a cop and said he never got anyone for weed because 'it's too much hassle and it'll be legal soon anyway.'


They Might Need A Different Kind Of Help

I haven't been a cop for awhile, but I had a (very brief) stint as a Deputy Sheriff a handful of years ago. I struggled a lot with situations in which addicts were criminalized.

There was one man who I remember who had been out on parol but got caught with drugs in his system. Because of the failed drug test he was getting sent back to jail (and unfortunately, I was the one who had to take him there). It crushed me. It was an older dude who clearly didn't mean to cause trouble and clearly didn't want to be in this situation. He needed treatment, not jail time.

We also had a lot of people come through who were using synthetic drugs (like bath salts when nobody knew what they were and Bath & Bodyworks took their bath salts off the shelves). It was frightening to see some of our "frequent flyers" come back to us more and more incoherent because of these drugs and the permanent damage they were causing. But the truly heartbreaking moment was when I was transporting a young black man who was in for marijuana possession and he said, "The next time I'm just using that synthetic sh-t, your tests can't see that in my system." I went full on mama bear and told him - basically begged him - not to mess with that stuff and relayed some of the things that I had seen. I have no way of knowing if he ever listened to me, but I really, really hope he did.

Ultimately, my experience in this job changed my intended career path. I had been planning on staying in law enforcement for a chunk of time and then going to law school. I even had judges ready to write recommendation letters and a solid LSAT practice test score. But to see so many stupid and morally debase laws being upheld simply because that was the precedent didn't sit well with me. So I left that job and became a documentary filmmaker instead. Much less lucrative, but a more immediate way to work for justice.


You Ask Yourself: Does It Really Need To Be This Way?

A friend of mine is a cop in Rhode Island, this is what he said: Sadly DUI's, because in Rhode Island its a huge process and time consuming hassle.

Sometimes you just want to go home. I would ask them to call a friend or family member to pick them up. One time a dude argued with me and I kept trying to convince him to get a ride. He's like I'm fine to drive. He got back in his car so I had to bust him for a DUI after trying to give him so many chances.


People Can Sidestep Easy Enough

Riding bikes on pavements. If there's pedestrians on it then yes, use the road, but if its completely empty, why not use it? Its a lot safer than riding on the road.


Turn It Back Around

Before I was a police officer, I was put in a sort of "catch all"position (police service officer). Duties included evidence custodian, animal control, court bailiff, code enforcement, and part-time police work. This was 2012-2013, Kansas had a rather wet season. For about a month and a half straight we had rain almost everyday. No one had a chance to mow their grass. City manager saw it as a grand opportunity for me to start writing people tickets for their grass being too high. I told him I didn't feel comfortable doing that. When asked why, I told him I didn't think it was right for me to write people tickets for tall grass when there are city owned properties all over the city that had grass just as tall. We went back and forth, he got my Captain involved and threw a fit. Before he stomped out of Captains office he made the comment "this is my city, you work for me and what I say is law". Captain agreed he was an a--hole but ultimately said I should just write the tickets.

So I went back to the evidence locker, what everyone called my office because I was the only one who had access, and did some research. An hour later, I walked over to the city managers office (which happened to be right across the street) and handed the city manager about 14 tickets. He asked what those were, I told him I was doing exactly what he told me to do, I was writing tickets for grass being too tall. The first 14 tickets were for the 14 city owned properties that had grass over 12-inches high. He said those weren't his responsibility. I calmly reminded him of his previous comment about him "owning" the city, and he called the chief. He insisted I be fired for insubordination. A month later, I was promoted to full time patrol officer.


It's Not A Lot. Just All The Little.


Most town/city ordinances. Things like not being able to park on the street in front of your house between certain hours of the night.

F-----ck that. You want me to ticket some dad's car because he moved it out of the driveway so his five year old son could bike around the driveway? Yeah, sh-ts not happening.

Also, certain traffic violations in the middle of the night. You forgot to signal your merge when you're the only vehicle on a two lane road at 3 am? God help us all.

Recently expired DLs and plates. A neighboring city wrote a car who's plates expired 11 minutes prior. <que bewildered Jacksonville Jaguars fan gif>. He said the person should have known it was about to expire and taken care of it ahead of time. Oh f-ck right off. We have all had life interfer with things.

Theres a huge difference between letter of the law and spirit of the law.

I would say I'm probably just a terrible cop, but my coffee mug says I'm the world's best policeman, so it's definitely not that.


We have to agree with many of these. Why are some of these laws even on the books!

Do you have similar stories to share? Please comment below!

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