You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, or so the saying goes.
The same can be said for your interactions with cops, most of whom are perfectly happy to let minor infractions slide––When was the last time you were actually ticketed for jaywalking?––provided you're not a total Karen should you interact them.
Your local police officer likely doesn't care about jaywalking or the fact that you went five miles over the speed limit unless you give him a reason to, as we learned when Redditor Takdel asked police officers: "What stupid law have you enforced just because someone was an a-hole?"
"I was driving..."Giphy
I was driving on the interstate at speed limit (70 mph) when a vehicle overtook me at about 75 mph. This is no big deal except the driver smiled arrogantly and waved as he did it.
I had nothing better to do so I pulled him over with the intention of warning him for going 5 mph over. The driver then proceeds to tell me that it is illegal for me to issue a ticket for 5 mph over the limit due to blah blah blah. I tried to explain that I could, in fact, write the ticket and he remained ADAMANT that I couldn't.
Needless to say that was the first and only time I wrote a ticket for 5 mph over.
"Was at the end of my night shift..."
Cop here. Was at the end of my night shift, about to head home when i heard a crash near the detachment. Went to investigate and saw a couple of guys walking away from a local homeless feeding shelter, and a shopping cart that was thrown at the building nearly breaking the window.
Went to go have what was supposed to be a 5 minute chat about not breaking stuff on your way home from the bar, but one of the guys kept walking away from me. Just said "nope" and "i don't have to stop for you" after i formally detained him. Wouldn't give a name or anything.
Eventually told him its an obstruction charge (which i rarely do because people are kinda jerks a lot of the time) but he kept not saying.
Ended up being arrested for mischief, held overnight in the drunk tank and a $250 ticket for obstructing a peace officer. Because he didn't want to have a 5 minute talk about not being a jerk when drunk.
"How petty are you?"
Former police officer here. there was a law where I worked that banned spitting in public. I only wrote two or three people for it, and it was because the people were huge jerk. Even the prosecutors were like "Really? Expectorating in public? How petty are you?"
"I work in a town..."
I work in a town of 4000 roughly. We have two main Streets that run the entire length of town. One is in the middle of town and is small businesses and residential. The other is main traffic and the road you take if you need to pass through fairly quickly.
Well in ten years I have only written one jaywalking ticket. Just strutted out into traffic without even looking. Car 4 up from me locked them up to avoid hitting her. Chick that jaywalked flipped her the bird. She got the ticket. Plus we have a disorderly conduct ticket that loosely applies to flipping the bird. She got that one to. No traffic control either btw. (lights or stop signs).
Once saw a fellow officer write a ticket for "bald tires" (among several other things) because the driver decided to use his First Amendment right to call the officer a slang racial slur.
"I just finished..."
Excessive noise from a vehicle. I never give that ticket because it's kind of a waste of time compared to what I could be doing, but also most people have the common sense not to be blasting their sh!t at 150 decibels around the fuzz.
I just finished a call at Walmart. It's Walmart so the parking lot is PACKED. people, kids, families everywhere. This truck starts rolling through super slow. Dude had the power stone hooked up to his sound system. Pure dick move.
Pulled him over just have the conversation about respecting others. Guy was a dick.
He got 1100 dollars worth of tickets where he could have gotten a warning if not for the attitude.
"Best case I can think of..."
Best case I can think of is how a guy turned a DUI into a 50k bond. He decided tear my interior door handles off while sitting in my back seat and trying to reassemble the lock so it will work and open the door. Except I was staring at him, telling him to stop, while he said he wasn't doing it. He tried it with both of them. So its two felony counts of damaging government property. Then I couldn't find a spring from the door handle so tampering with evidence which is another felony. Then the car he drove there in was a car he was supposed to be fixing at his job and he wasn't authorized to drive it, especially since it was taken to his shop for an oil change. he worked at a dealership and repaired cars. So he had a felony vehicle theft charge for trying to drive a customers 100k car to his ex-girlfriends house.
My call was from his ex-girlfriend (and two neighbors called) because he was screaming outside her door. He got public drunk and disorderly conduct for that. He was trying to hide when I got there but he was on the second floor of the apartment so he got another charge of obstruction. He also got the DUI charge so his license was pretty much gone because it was his 3 or 4th DUI.
Only charge that got dropped was tampering with evidence because it was too petty. I figured most of it would be dismissed, but his lawyer was horrible. He stayed in jail for like a month because his wealthy parents were tired of it and he drove that 100k car through their closed garage before he drove it to his ex-girlfriends house.
"I pulled a car over..."
I pulled a car over because he had a cover over his license plate that used to be clear (clear covers are legal), but had been damaged by the sun and weather to the point that you could barely read the plate under it (that's not legal). I stopped him with the intent of just letting him know of the problem and writing him a warning. When I told him why I stopped him, he picked up a book from his passenger seat with our state code of laws in it and asked me to show him where in the book it said he couldn't have a faded cover.
He was a real @ss about it too. I told him I wasn't going to go through his book looking for the statute but that I would go back to my car and write down the statute number for him and that he could look it up for himself. Well guess what, our warning tickets don't have a space for the statute number, but our real tickets do. So he got a ticket with the statute number on it. He paid his $100 fine without coming to court.
"We have a small children's..."
We have a small children's garden/park in our city. I was walking through one day and saw a guy picking cherry tomatoes off the plant and eating them. They're for looks and not eating and there's a sign at the entrance that says that. I politely told him to stop eating the tomatoes and pointed out the sign to him, explaining that the fruiting plants were there for the kids to see and that any food that comes from them will he picked and given to a homeless shelter. He didn't agree and picked another tomato and ate it right in front of me. I remembered that our city has an ordinance called "Intentional damage to city owned shrubs and trees" which carries around a $450 fine. He got a ticket for it that day. It's the only time anyone can ever remember that statute being used.
"It was a busy night..."
Firsthand patrol story here:
It was a busy night a few years back, and some idiot was running around lighting anything flammable on fire (dumpsters, couches, mattresses, you name it). We ended up with guys escorting fire trucks through the neighborhood just soaking down anything that could conceivably be ignited because nobody could find this guy. I was part of the group searching for him.
I passed by an apartment complex and heard a solid "thud" against the side of my patrol car. I looked over and saw a shirtless, curly haired drunk guy standing in his doorway laughing. I stopped the car to inspect for damage and planned to have a little chat with the guy if there wasn't any damage, mostly to advise him that he should (1) probably stay inside because he is drunk and (2) not throw footballs at police vehicles. He was an absolute jerk from start to finish.
Long story short, we have a city ordinance entitled "throwing missiles into a street," which is usually used to get people to stop blocking a street if they're playing ball in it. He is the only person I know of to actually be charged under that ordinance.