Police officers obviously have one of the hardest jobs in the world. Every day they face violent criminals, unreasonable people, and worse. And in the American justice system - as it should be - they aren't allowed to be Judge Dredd; they are not judge, jury and executioner. While they often are allowed to use their own judgement when dealing with the public, sometimes, their hands are tied and they are simply have no choice but to arrest someone. Even if it seems completely unjust, sometimes they simply are compelled to enforce the letter of the law. These heartbreaking stories highlight those times the police wish they didn't have to do what they had to do.
Liars Never Win
“As a probation agent, I was supervising Tim, early 20s on probation for possession. Tim lived in assisted-living apartments due to severe mental health issues. He was a great person who just needed help dealing more with his mental health.
I received a report that Tim started to like one of the staff members, Stacy. She worked 3rd shift at their main house and often handed out medication. I talked to Tim about healthy boundaries between client and staff.
Well, fast forward a couple days, Tim checked himself in the hospital because he tried to make a few advances with Stacy but it was denied. Stacy described it as ‘scary,’ as she was working in the main house and he followed her in a room and shut the door. Another staff member intervened. She then proceeds to make a report about other behaviors like he stares at her and tries to be around her. He was arrested and had a short term jail hold (4 days) and we placed a ‘no contact’ with her on his file.
Fast forward a few more weeks, I received another report from Stacy stating Tim continues to linger around the main building when she’s there at night. The night before, she was on med duty and he went to pick up his medication. She asked him to leave multiple times but he never did. He continued to try to make advances towards her. Finally, a staff member walked in and told him to leave. Which he did. Stacy felt extremely unsafe.
I issue a warrant and go to his apartment. I am waiting for police to arrive and I ask him about that contact. He kept repeated, ‘I shouldn’t have listened to her,’ however, he wouldn’t go in much depth. Police arrive and he goes to jail.
I staff with my supervisor if we should revoke his probation as Tim is engaging in this stalking behavior. I was finishing up my investigation and Tim adamantly denied Stacy ever telling him to leave that night. Finally, he breaks down and said they’ve been having a relationship for the past few months. Sure enough, I checked his Facebook account, and it is apparent they were dating. She assured him no one will find out. She was even arranging times to meet. The messages were extremely flirty and uh, ‘of an adult nature.’
Stacy told me he was stalking her so she wouldn’t lose her job. She reported the gestures as unwanted because other staff members caught them together.
I was angry that he went to jail, let alone we almost proceeded with revocation. I felt awful and apologized for the time he spent in jail.
This was reported to the supervisor. But the freaking witch didn’t lose her job! Anyone else would have their social work license revoked or face criminal charges.
She just kept on working there. The county moved Tim to a different program.”
A Simple Ruse That Simply Backfired
“I got a call to a barber shop at like 4:00 AM from a woman outside who wanted her boyfriend, who she stated was on the inside of the shop, to give her her house key back. She initially told me that she had no way to get into her house because her ex-boyfriend had the key and she needed it back. She also decided it was a good time to tell me he had a felony warrant. I ran him and sure enough he had one.
I felt bad for her so I started to pound on the front door of this barbershop. I knew he probably wasn’t going to answer so I yelled something about if he didn’t open up I would report the barbershop to our problem properties unit for having someone sleeping overnight in the business.
Sure enough, he comes to the door and opens it up. I immediately recognize him as a janitor at one of the grocery stores I frequented while working midnight’s, as it was the only thing open to get food. He was always really cool with me and seemed like a really hard working guy. He explains to me he has no key of hers and the only reason she is there is because she knows he has a warrant, and she just wants him to go to jail. He said he planned on turning himself in soon, but just wanted to get some things straightened out with his kids before he did.
Unfortunately, I had already run his information on my car computer, so I had no choice but to arrest him for the warrant. I felt so terrible, but he was very understanding. I sit him in my patrol car and while another officer watches him. I go and speak with her again. I tell her I wasn’t able to get a key, so she would have to find another way to get inside the house. She tells me that’s ok she has a spare key! I ask her for her information now and go run her and am praying to God that she also has any type of warrant, as I was going to arrest her too. But she does not and she gets to go on her merry way.
On the way down to intake, I ask the guy why he had to come to the door. He said it was his friend’s barbershop and he didn’t want him to get in trouble over the drama. I felt so bad because I had to tell him I was just bluffing and none of that would have happened.
I still feel terrible to this day.”
A Terrible Time To Arrest Someone
“This one isn’t my story. It’s a buddy of mine.
A woman calls 911 from hospital. Says she had been assaulted in our jurisdiction and was at the hospital awaiting an assault kit. My fellow officer responds and begins the preliminary investigation.
He’d been talking to this woman for a couple hours when dispatch raised him on the radio. The dispatcher decided it was a good idea to run a warrant check on the woman and discovered she was wanted through Kentucky (not the state we worked in) with full extradition, meaning if she were found in any state in the county, the state of KY wanted her shipped back to face their charges. I don’t recall what it actually was that she was wanted for but it wasn’t for anything I’d consider major enough to warrant full extradition.
At that point the officer didn’t really have a choice taking her into custody. It was done so obviously after being treated and released from the hospital, but nonetheless that was an awful moment, despite the magnitude of whatever she did in Kentucky.”
An Unreasonable Woman Should Be Ashamed
“One time, when I was first starting out on patrol in the NYPD, I was driving my lieutenant and we got called to a dispute. A lady let her dog stop to pee on the curb in front of a residence. The homeowner and his family didn’t want that because in the hot summer heat it made the whole patio smell like dog urine. He went and yanked the leash, causing the dog to yelp in pain (might have caused a scratch too, but I can’t remember too well). She called 911 because he hurt her dog. It obviously wasn’t animal cruelty, but since dogs are property it’s criminal mischief for damaging property. The woman wanted him arrested.
The man had a nonverbal autistic daughter around age 10 and no one to care for her because his parents (her grandparents) didn’t understand how to deal with an autistic child. We were pleading with her not to press charges, but she just wouldn’t budge, even while his daughter was freaking out and crying. We told the man we’d have to arrest him because she was pressing charges, but we’d get him out as soon as possible, he understood and was totally reasonable about it. We let calm his daughter, hug her, and tell her he’d be right back we handcuffed him out of sight of his daughter. The witch of a complainant watched him saying bye to his daughter completely unfazed.
My Lt. made somebody with a lot more time do the arrest and had him out within 2 hours, but it all still sucked for all of us.”
A Sad Tale Of Poverty
“I used to live with a cop.
She was called to a shoplifting incident and found a young, totally emaciated looking boy (couldn’t have been older than 12) who the shopkeeper had pinched stealing some bare essential, a loaf of bread or a can of beans or something.
She and her partner what they could to talk him out of pressing charges on the kid, but the shop keeper insisted and unfortunately her partner that day happened to be a superior or something and whether or not to follow through with the arrest was out of her hands. She had to take this crying, scared, starving boy to juvenile prison with teenagers who had committed real crimes.
She did everything she could to ensure he got immediate social services attention and lobbied to keep the charges from appearing on his record at all. But she still felt broken having to do that to a kid who needed help.”
He Didn’t Feel Good About Doing His Job
“Me and my partner respond to a domestic violence call.
A man called saying he was having an argument with his girlfriend and she hit him. Nothing too wild, but serious enough.
We park and walk up to the house. A man and woman are outside just chilling, obviously not fighting anymore. Before I can say anything the woman walks straight up to me and says, ‘Yeah, I hit him but…’ Then she launches into a long story, telling me about how they been dating for over a year and she’d just found out a few days ago that he was married with kids the whole time. He was there to pick up his things today and leave. He then said something really insensitive so she slapped him. Just once and not hard enough to leave a mark.
Unfortunately the way laws and policies are written in my state, that’s an automatic trip to jail for the night. I called my supervisor to see if there was a way out of it but he told me no. So this already heartbroken girl, who was trying to put herself through college, had to go to jail because of that prick.
I tried to be as nice as I could about it but I felt like such a prick myself.
That was one of many reasons I ended up leaving the job.”
A Sad Christmas For Everyone
“It was Christmas Eve at a super fancy hotel downtown in my city.
A lady drove her vehicle into a parking barrier and hotel security called it in. I got there and she had her daughter in the car with her. Mom had recently bought her a Christmas puppy, a tiny little corgi.
I called for one of our drinking and driving units to do the test because it’s a a felony for the child passenger. Mom fails and we have to handcuff her. She tried to run and my partner takes her to the ground slipping and falling in the process, in front of daughter and the Christmas puppy.
Mom goes to jail and I had to stay with the little girl until her aunt arrived. Later I learned that dad walked out on them earlier in month and mom was having a tough time dealing with it. Mom needed to go to jail, she was drinking and driving, but I felt for her and her daughter.”
When You Have To Take In The Wrong Person
“There was a couple that lived in my district that I knew from outside of work. I happened to know the man had cheated on his wife, and was all around a smarmy guy. The wife was a respected member of the community with a prominent job. The couple also had a young son, and were members of the local church.
One day, a domestic disturbance gets called out at their residence. Dude was being unreasonable and got into an argument with her. She gets frustrated enough that she punches him in the face and he calls 911. He says he doesn’t want to press charges, just wants us to separate everyone and keep the peace. Wife does what every good Christian is raised to do, and tells the truth. Our state has a mandatory arrest law If probable cause is found for any domestic violence crime. Unfortunately, that meant we had to take this sweet, otherwise law abiding lady to jail. At least the bad guys have the good sense to lie to us!”
He Was Wrong, But He Was Right
“I once got a call for domestic violence. Another officer and I park our cars halfway up the block (for safety reasons) and start walking up to the house when we’re approached by a man. He tells us that we’re there to arrest him, but he refuses to give a statement, he just says he’s sorry. We put him in handcuffs pending the investigation and I go inside.
The man, the dad in this situation, was wasted. He didn’t like the way the son #1 was talking to him and started beating him. Mom tried to step in and got pushed down. Son #2 tries to help, but dad attacks him and chases him out of the house. Mom and son #1 lock themselves in the bathroom and the daughter, who was frightened, runs to a neighbor’s house. Mom and two sons agree on what happened, so it’s an easy arrest.
But inside the house there was a door with a bunch of locks on it that piqued my curiosity. It was obviously used to lock someone inside. Mom and sons wouldn’t tell me what it was for, so I asked dad. He said that the door was their daughter’s room. His sons would assault her at night, so they locked her in to protect her. He said son #1 had been arrested for it in the past, but he wasn’t given any jail time and a judge said it was okay to have him continue to live there, as long as they locked the daughter in her room at night. He told me that when he drank he would get angry at his sons, but afterwards, felt guilty that he did.
I didn’t think he was lying, but no judge would let a little girl stay in the same house as her assaulters. I did some digging and found out the daughter reported being assaulted to a teacher also. After son #1’s arrest, prosecutors and CPS dealt only with the mom, who was entirely uncooperative and the case was eventually dropped due to lack of evidence. When I asked dad about it, he said that he had a hard time dealing with it at the time and left everything up to his wife.
CPS ended up doing an emergency removal on the daughter and another small child. I still had to arrest dad for attacking his family, but I felt bad for it. I have no idea what happened to any of them after that.”
Reversal Of Fortune
“I’m a 911 dispatcher.
One time I took a call from a woman who was yelling and screaming ‘get away from me.’ I hear a male in the background and she is hardly answering us. Through GPS, we get a location, and get a couple officers headed that way, then she starts to talk to us.
Long story short, her boyfriend was harassing her and stalking her. She didn’t say he hit her or anything, but he was being really aggressive with her and she was just trying to get him to leave her alone.
The guy ended up running away before officers got to her, and they never found him. But they did find out that she had a warrant out for her arrest for failure to appear for some previous charges. So she gets arrested.
Like, that’s a really bad day. Getting hassled by your piece of trash of a boyfriend, then call for help, then YOU get arrested and he’s free?”
On The Receiving End Of A Tough Arrest!
“My wife was a teacher in an inner city school.
Back in 2015, a fight broke out in her kindergarten classroom. She called for security and stepped in between the kids. As she did, she put her hand on their chests (as one does when they are holding people apart). The instigator goes to the principal’s office, gets reprimanded, and sent back to the classroom that same hour.
The same kid gets into a fight on the way home, gets a black eye, gets his shirt torn, and so on. He tells his mom about the fight at school and she calls a lawyer. Long story short: my wife gets charged with assault!
Weeks go by while my wife is home on administrative leave, they can’t have her in the classroom while the investigation is going, which I suppose I understand. I’m at the gym at like 6:00 am one morning when she calls me to tell me she’s being arrested. I dash home, and sure enough, two squad cars are at my house.
As I walk up the sidewalk, the officer in charge pulled me aside and apologized for having to arrest her. He said ‘someone’ is pushing the case hard, and he had explicit orders to serve the warrant at her home. Out of consideration for our two kids, he wouldn’t cuff her until she was outside.
And that was that. She got arrested that morning, spent the whole day at County, and was released around 2:00 am. I spent the day on the phone with her lawyers.
The case lasted a little more than a year, from April 2015 through June 2016. In the end, my wife had to surrender her teaching license, and the criminal charges were dropped. The DA did clarify the rules about teachers ‘making physical contact’ with students. The correct course of action would’ve been for her to watch the kids beat each other senselessly until security arrived. My state later amended the policies for this type of thing.
The kid who started the fight wound up stabbing a cop. He was with his brother when the brother shot someone, and the kid was taken to the station as a witness. While there, he took a pencil and stabbed a cop in the neck. He’s in state custody, as far as I know.
The mom had also sued the school for allowing ‘the assault’ to happen. She settled for an undisclosed amount. Rumor has it, the settlement was mid-6 figures.”
The Arrester Was Sorry To The Arrestee
“I wasn’t the cop in the scenario, but he said he was really sorry when he arrested me. I had a seatbelt ticket from 2-3 years ago that I’d forgotten to pay (and never received a summons for).
So one day, my car gets broken into: there’s glass in the seat, laptop and backpack are gone, all that mess. The cop who shows up on the scene writes up a report, takes some fingerprints, and asks me if I used to live in [one town over].
I say, ‘Yeah, back when I was fresh out of college, why?’
He says, ‘Their police department has a warrant for your arrest. I’m really sorry, you’ve obviously just had an awful day, but I have to cuff you.’
So…I spent a day and night in jail, my car sat there still unsecured, and they never found the burglar or my stuff.”
A Father Ruined Every In His Family’s Lives
“I’m a former immigration officer; we had a guy come in thinking he was doing his final interview for citizenship.
Well, it turns out he was knowingly using a stolen identity to sneak off back to Egypt recently because he had a second secret family there.
He brought his not-secret family with him that day he thought he was going for his interview. I had to order him arrested in front of his four kids.
You see, knowingly using a stolen identity to defraud the government carries a mandatory two-year federal prison sentence, so he was going to do time then get his lying butt deported back to Egypt. The problem was, he had brought this family over on family visas, and his wife, the mother of these kids, had zero education, spoke zero English, and had worked zero hours while in the States, which means she had zero chance of maintaining her or her kids permanent resident status.
Now, these kids were in their early to late teens and had spent seven years, the formative ones, growing up in America; they were fully Americanized, but since they legally entered the U.S., they didn’t qualify for DREAMER status. And since the oldest was just shy of applying for college, they couldn’t adjust to a student visa. So because of their piece of trash father, I had to essentially deport an entire family of decent people. I really hope he gets assaulted in prison for what he did to his family.”