Weird Policeman Experience

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cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,113
459
I drive to a couple of different jewelry stores that had rather trade out the repair work to me than hire their own bench jeweler, which means that I do some driving daily. So, this morning, before they opened, I drive to this little city where the store is in a strip mall on a busy road. It’s a small town, and I don’t remember ever seeing a police officer here, ever.
I do my business, and get back in my truck, fill and fire up my pipe, and maneuver right onto the main road. The car in front of me decides to make a last minute right turn off the road without signaling, where I stomp my break. Seconds later, red and blues are swirling behind me, so I pull off at the next store.
Now, my mind is spinning with what I could have done wrong. But…
The officer approaches my truck, and I keep my hands on the wheel. I am already thinking over how I will handle revealing to the officer that I am carrying a pistol because of the type of work I do, but…
“Sir, can you extinguish your smoking apparatus?”
“Sure!” I respond, and I tamp the pipe.
“Sir, fully extinguish your pipe in your ashtray.”
“But…” my mind which was spinning on so many things just didn’t compute… “I don’t have an ashtray.” I know from experience years ago as a cigarette smoker that they don’t like it when you flick them out the window, so I figure dumping the bowl on the road was out of the question.
With more anger… “Sir, one more time, dump out your pipe right now.” Meanwhile I can see in the rearview that he is putting his hand on his gun. He is obviously upset and probably not very well trained.
“The pipe is its own ashtray….” But, swift thinking, I just dump the pipe out in my hand, and toss the ashes into the pipe rest, which spread ashes all over my dashboard.
“License and proof of insurance please.”
“Why am I being pulled over, officer?”
“You made a right hand turn off of the highway without signaling.”
“Ummm… if I made a right-hand turn off of the highway, why was I still on the highway when you pulled me over?” I knew there must be something I am missing in this conversation. “Do you mean the car in front of me made a turn without signaling?”
He was busy writing my ticket or something that involved writing.
He goes back to his car and takes about ten, fifteen minutes. Meanwhile I repack my pipe for when this moron lets me go, wiping the ashes off of my dashboard. And, that was the last of my FVF that I dumped. What an idiot this guy is. But, I also have no idea why this cop pulled me over. Maybe my pipe? Maybe he thought it was pot? But, I am wearing a suit and tie, and the truck is brand new, almost brand new. ..
He comes back to my window and he tells me that he is letting me off with a warning. I am not to do that turn without signaling that I didn’t do, again. And, he tells me that next time an officer asks me extinguish my smoking apparatus, that I should not argue. Ha ha!
“Yes sir, thank you.” Ha, thank you? Why did I say that? I have friends and family that are police officers, and one of my daughters wants to be an officer. I have great respects for the law and those who serve, but… some of these guys are idiots. What a weird morning. So, if a policeman asks you to extinguish your pipe… how would you have handled it?

 

bassbug

Preferred Member
Dec 29, 2016
867
1
I think you handled it perfectly.
I've handled a few cases where the driver decided to be an A-hole and believe me, it made the defence much more difficult.

 

bnichols23

Preferred Member
Mar 13, 2018
2,762
104
SC Piedmont
Hmm, good question. I usually have 3-4 pipes lying in various places in the console & don't have an ashtray or even ash-*cup* (Sheesh, the names they give things.), but I do have a dual cup-holder built in so I'd probably put it there. And if he asked me to "fully" extinguish I'd probably just empty the bowl into the cup & hope it didn't have any embers left to keep it going. I've gotten tickets I didn't deserve sometimes, but I've also *not* gotten tickets for times I really really DID deserve it, so....
B

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
13,879
801
Monterey Peninsula
After reading your lovely experience, I think I'd place my hand over the bowl which would in fact extinguish the ember faster than just putting it down.
Anyway, congrats on beating a rap that wasn't there.

 

ashdigger

Preferred Member
Jul 30, 2016
5,271
32
When I get pulled over I set my pipe down. Roll all my windows down and tell the officer that I have a firearm in my cupholder while keeping my hands on the steering wheel.
Individual experiences may vary.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,113
459
I never even got to tell him about my firearm. That might have taken some of the focus off of my pipe. But, with the way this guys was bunking everything up, I may have gotten shot in taking it to that point.

 

lightmybriar

Preferred Member
Mar 11, 2014
681
73
What a wacky experience! Unfortunately, police officers are humans just like the rest of us...and that means that more of them than we'd like to think are idiots. Same with our military. We'd like to think that once the uniform goes on, then the idiocy shuts off, but then there's that whole saying of "lipstick on a pig." I have had some WONDERFUL experiences with officers that made me feel like I was in Mayberry interacting with Andy Griffith...and I have had other experiences where I was actually in fear for my life. Humans are humans, unfortunately...no matter what organization they belong to, or what outfit they're wearing. I would have been just as confused as you in your situation.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,429
179
Pre-employment screening surely isn't a science. But, you did good Michael! Some would have determinedly exacerbated the situation.

 

tbradsim1

Preferred Member
Jan 14, 2012
7,468
84
Yep, got stopped a while back by a State Trooper, opened my door to truck, had my .45 clipped to btm of Door tray, he says hand me that firearm, I say while moving slowly away Sir you get the firearm while holding my arms way up. He pulled pistol out and went in his car, checked seriel# , I had it registered in East Baton Rouge parish. As he put it back in holster he asked why I didn’t hand it to him, I told him, you may not have liked my looks, had an arguement with wife, Boss piss you off, good excuse to shoot me.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,237
435
I wouldn't want to be a police officer. It is an almost impossible task, like being a minister but with lethal force involved, and so dependent on cues and miscues. So many killings by police of citizens are based on basic misunderstandings, miscues and misperceptions. Is it a cell phone or a firearm? A bag of candy or a knife, etc. Since law enforcement is anticipating lethal attacks against them, anxiety can make then hyper-vigilant. Then these turn-signal and lack of probable cause stops can turn into killings which are, except for the legal consideration, murders. I'm a senior white guy, but I don't for a nanosecond think I am immune from this kind of mistake. It's a death sentence pulled out of the lottery of life. Training on use of lethal force should be an ongoing training session for anyone who legally carries "heat."

 

hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
2,025
157
In most states, your vehicle is considered an extension of your home and afforded the same rights of privacy. If a police officer comes to your home, he has no right to ask you to extinguish your pipe. What would I do? Depends on my mood and the situation. If I were in a pragmatic mood, I'd dump it in my car ashtray. If I were in my "Crazy Mark" mood, I'd tell him something less friendly. So it is about 50/50. So it is also 50/50 my Attorney and I would meet him in court some day in the future.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,429
179
your vehicle is considered an extension of your home and afforded the same rights of privacy.
A very general statement to put your life on the line for. Your "legal advise", freely offered as it is, is very general and each situation is different and each is judged individually. Your "right" to privacy is well defined in most courts and "your right to privacy" is totally dependent on the circumstances of each confrontation. Under many circumstances "your right to privacy" can be disregarded. I won't go into the "when" as jurisdictions differ. Even the Supreme Court has made exceptions to "right to privacy" considerations. The professionals, attorneys (Well, at least their clerks.), cops, judges (Again, usually their clerks.) etc. stay very current on the law and recent judicial decisions.
This site, is not on my list for current legal decision information. Nor, should it be for anyone else.

 

trouttimes

Preferred Member
Nov 26, 2018
1,337
761
First let me say you handled it well. Most of the LEOs in my area know me, have worked with me and have bent an elbow with me. I often pull security for special people that come into town. From my experience I can tell you 95% of LEOs are just like you and me and are really good guys in a crappy job. There is always a few who are on a power trip for what ever reason that decide to try and put you in your place. Fortunately, they usually are weeded out quickly. Saying that, officers are people who can have a bad day just like any of us. The time to straighten things out is NOT on the side of the road. That can and will make an uncomfortable situation worse.

 

hawky454

Preferred Member
Feb 11, 2016
3,041
281
Wow, what a trip! I’ve always worried that I would be mistaken for another driver and it appears that my thoughts are not just paranoid mumble jumble, well, yeah I’m sure they still are. But, damn how strange! I’m glad you cooperated with him as surely FVF isn’t worth going to jail for, lol. There are many good cops out there but just like anything else there’s always a few bad apples. I always get very nervous when I’m pulled over, even when I’m pretty sure I didn’t do anything illegal. I was handcuffed and threatened with going to jail because a cop found a seed in my car, the funny thing was, it wasn’t even a pot seed, but he kept insisting that it was.
I wouldn't want to be a police officer. It is an almost impossible task, like being a minister but with lethal force involved, and so dependent on cues and miscues. So many killings by police of citizens are based on basic misunderstandings, miscues and misperceptions. Is it a cell phone or a firearm? A bag of candy or a knife, etc. Since law enforcement is anticipating lethal attacks against them, anxiety can make then hyper-vigilant. Then these turn-signal and lack of probable cause stops can turn into killings which are, except for the legal consideration, murders. I'm a senior white guy, but I don't for a nanosecond think I am immune from this kind of mistake. It's a death sentence pulled out of the lottery of life. Training on use of lethal force should be an ongoing training session for anyone who legally carries "heat."
Very well said, mso

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
13,879
801
Monterey Peninsula
Timing! I was just stopped two miles from my home, first time in many years. I had made a left hand turn from the straight ahead lane, and a quarter mile later, lights on. Signalled right turn, then another, then into a parking stall at a supermarket. All during which I was thinking how I was going to explain how there was no traffic in any direction; I signaled; I'd use less gas than sitting idling waiting for the light to change to to straight across, (which is patriotic!!) and.... So he pulls into a spot across the way and it looked like he was turning around, going on another mission. But no, he pointed to me, so I wait next to the car, pipe smoldering. I smile wanly. He brightly walks up, and says....."Say, I see you have paper plates." So it was about not having the plates on a newish car. WHEW! I thought briefly about saying "Glad you didn't see me at 60 through the 30 zone and the three stop signs I ran"- nice humor! But thought better of that. I showed him the plates in their envelop in the trunk, and said I'd go right home and put them on as the dealer failed to do so. He smiled and asked "Do you want a ticket today?" Thank heavens he was joking..... And he didn't care one bit about the pipe, but I was ready to extinguish it promptly.....

 

voorhees

Preferred Member
May 30, 2012
3,583
100
Gonadistan
Sorry to hear of your experience. I know I would have quickly placed my pipe in the nearest bin or door pocket. That's just me, but I know you forget you even have it clenched in your teeth. The guy was wrong and I think he figured it out, but kept up the "tough guy" routine as to not appear the dipshit he was.

 

paulie66scandinavian

Preferred Member
Jul 28, 2016
3,391
193
Finland-Scandinavia-EU
Meanwhile here, no police officer would not ask you to extinguish Your pipe or cigarette because of a vehicle is considered an extension of Your home or private businesses, and if they do act strictly by rules law enforcement does not have a right to execute a search in private or business owned vehicles if they don't have to present search warrants, an exclusion to this rule is Customs authorities they can examine vehicles whenever they might want no matter the location.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,237
435
In a tribute to police I'd say, it is a wise thing if response time is sufficiently low, to call 911 and have a professional handle a problem if possible. The local police know their frequent offenders, but they also know the local people with mental health problems or intellectual handicaps who could look dangerous but likely aren't, before they get killed by some householder defending the property and residents. You might get off, but I for one wouldn't want to make the decision and be wrong. A question: Why are the police so interested in having cigarettes and pipes put out? Why is that a first request? Seems a little irrelevant, whatever else is going on. Clearly, it is often the beginning of a bad result. Besides which, it puts you in motion and something in your hand, neither of which seems like a good idea at that moment. A reason I'm glad I don't smoke and drive generally, except for a cigar when I drive after lunch on a long road trip to boost my staying awake.

 

bnichols23

Preferred Member
Mar 13, 2018
2,762
104
SC Piedmont
Not being an LEO I obviously don't know for sure, but I'm betting part of their training is that once you've elevated a situation never back down, since it makes you look indecisive. Me, I'll do whatever the guy says, especially if I see the keeper strap undone. Don't need no high-speed lead therapy today, thankyouverymuch. :)
B