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Unmarked police cars

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I had an interesting experience, and wanted to see what you would do. It turned out ok, but still I can't stop thinking about it...

First let me preface with that I have been pulled over a few times by cops, always the same, a marked car and a uniformed cop. He identifies himself, and tells me what he says I did etc. Very simple and clean actually. Well yesterday was different. I was driving about 3 blocks from my home and I was at a stop sign in an intersection, I see a motorcylist go by the other direction and when I see he is exiting the intersection I think I am in the clear and start to go into the intersection, when the motorcyclist starts to turn left into my lane and I abruptly stop. Motorcylist swears at me, but we move on, moments later I hear a quick siren sound, see the red light go on inside a white car. At first I just keep going cause I wasn't sure what was going on. Then the siren again, I pull over and a man in a suit gets out. He *doesn't* identify himself, and starts to yell at me "Well that was close" I say I sincerely didn't see the motorcyclist signal. The guy asks for my ID, still not idenitfying himself. Asks me if it's a "valid drivers license" I mean of course it is, but he doesn't call it in. Then he says "Well be more careful" and I apologize. We move on.

So no harm done. But then it hits me, who was this guy? Is he a cop? I mean he had a siren but shouldn't he identify himself? Especially if he is going to yell at me? I hear stories about women getting abducted by men pretending to be plain clothes cops, so shouldn't this guy be more consciencious? I mean it wasn't dark, and I was near home so I felt safe, but I don't feel right about what happened. Should I call the police station to complain?
Or at least ask if that was normal?
post #2 of 20
I would check with your local police department to see if it is normal at least, that would freak me out too!
post #3 of 20
I would call, just to be on the safe side. You NEVER know in a situation like that. You would even have been in the right to not stop until you were at a public place with people around. That's scary!
post #4 of 20
I've been through our local citizen's police academy and we were told an officer should always identify his/herself. I'd definitely report this to your police department. If he really was an officer, fine, if not, it's something they should know about.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks, yeah I am going to call. I am sort of ashamed at myself for handing over the drivers lisence like that without asking for his ID, but you know being a good girl and all. Yuck.
post #6 of 20
Report it. An officer should always approach the car, and identify themself they also have to inform you as to why you were pulled over. I know since we got the jeep weh ave had trouble with getting pulled over. Its red. and several cops have not stated why we have been pulled over. So i noted the car number and reported it.

Of course I have also had issues with getting pulled over and the cops asking me if i would like to sell them my basset hound for use in sniffing...
post #7 of 20
In what jurisdiction do you live in? Here by law a cop must show his badge or badge number to identify himself. Specially the badge number because upon that number you can file a complaint on him.

Here the police does have unmarked cars (which are mostly acquired through confiscated vehicles), but the guy not identifying himself is VERY sneaky. I can imagine a policeman who is not normally involved in patrolling (such as a detective or from homicide or other division) getting involved in that, and being around in an unmarked car and in a business suit... its the fact that he doesn't show a badge or ID what is creepy.
post #8 of 20
Also, I don't know about your state, but in this one the plainclothes cars will have the PD shield on the passenger side, with none on the driver's side. Again it may vary state to state, but I would also question a red light rather than a blue one. You can pick those things up rather easily.

We are always advised that as a woman alone, if a "plainclothes" car attempts to pull you over and you're at ALL unsure --- DON'T DO IT. If they absolutely have to they can follow you to a well populated area, or they can call a squad car.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
We are always advised that as a woman alone, if a "plainclothes" car attempts to pull you over and you're at ALL unsure --- DON'T DO IT. If they absolutely have to they can follow you to a well populated area, or they can call a squad car.[/quote]

I agree, if it was dark, I would have driven to the main downtown. I did feel safe, it was a close to home and I pulled up near a group of people.
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by yoviher
In what jurisdiction do you live in? Here by law a cop must show his badge or badge number to identify himself. Specially the badge number because upon that number you can file a complaint on him.

Here the police does have unmarked cars (which are mostly acquired through confiscated vehicles), but the guy not identifying himself is VERY sneaky. I can imagine a policeman who is not normally involved in patrolling (such as a detective or from homicide or other division) getting involved in that, and being around in an unmarked car and in a business suit... its the fact that he doesn't show a badge or ID what is creepy.
I agree it's the not identifying himself that is creepy.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Well I called the non emergency number. didn't get much help but the woman listened. Apparently there is no rule about identifying yourself that she was aware of. I told her in this day and age, with all women aware that there are men impersonating cops, that there really should be for unmarked vehicles. She didn't agree nor disagree, but interestingly she did say they should have blue and red lights, this one only had red. Great, so I may have been duped. Well I have good locks on my doors.
post #12 of 20
This kinda put the TV show "The Law Firm" to mind. Anyone watch that? On the very first night, some of the lawyers had to try a case against a coroner that acted like a cop. He chased (with lights flashing, he had one of those blue or red lights, as well) after a woman for speeding, and then cited her. (Could be wrong that he cited her), but anyway, here he was found in the wrong, since he was not actually a police officer.
Here, in my neck of the woods, fire chiefs can use red lights to get people to pull over when they are responding to a fire call. So, I would definitely report it to the police and describe the vehicle. They should know if that matches the description of one of their unmarked vehicles or not.
Let us know what happens!
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmysamson
This kinda put the TV show "The Law Firm" to mind. Anyone watch that? On the very first night, some of the lawyers had to try a case against a coroner that acted like a cop. He chased (with lights flashing, he had one of those blue or red lights, as well) after a woman for speeding, and then cited her. (Could be wrong that he cited her), but anyway, here he was found in the wrong, since he was not actually a police officer.
Here, in my neck of the woods, fire chiefs can use red lights to get people to pull over when they are responding to a fire call. So, I would definitely report it to the police and describe the vehicle. They should know if that matches the description of one of their unmarked vehicles or not.
Let us know what happens!
I called, didn't get a great response but the non emergeny number person did listen. My gut is what you said is similar to what happened, it was some off duty cop or fireman, he had no intention of citing me I think but wanted to intimidate me.
post #14 of 20
I've also been told that if you're pulled over by an unmarked car, you can request a marked car to respond before you show I.D. or anything. Does anyone know if that's true? And how do you do that without appearing that you're resisting? Guess I have a call to make to my own P.D.
I'm lucky to live in a dinky town, that we know all the cops by first name, and some of them, either I went to school with them, or they have kids in school with mine, or both.
post #15 of 20
I've heard some really scary stories about unmarked "police cars". The advice I've heard is to stop in a populated, busy area when they try and pull you over. If you're far away from one, you call the local police station and say something to the effect of "I'm located in this place - can you tell the cop behind me that I'm going to stop at the next gas station/whatever". In one story, the dispatch officer said "We don't have anyone out at that location, but there will be shortly - keep driving." Scary! I'm glad it came out alright for you!
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmysamson
I've also been told that if you're pulled over by an unmarked car, you can request a marked car to respond before you show I.D. or anything. Does anyone know if that's true? And how do you do that without appearing that you're resisting? Guess I have a call to make to my own P.D.
I'm lucky to live in a dinky town, that we know all the cops by first name, and some of them, either I went to school with them, or they have kids in school with mine, or both.
You know if people do have time, it would be great to know what other communities do about this. I suspect my call to my police department fell on deaf ears, I doubt she will even say anthing to anybody. So I am considering writing a letter and cc-ing it to the city counsel and the mayor.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marge
You know if people do have time, it would be great to know what other communities do about this. I suspect my call to my police department fell on deaf ears, I doubt she will even say anthing to anybody. So I am considering writing a letter and cc-ing it to the city counsel and the mayor.
you really need to write a letter, that story is so scary.

i'm so glad your ok!

even if it was someone trying to intimidate you, thats still not right.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marge
So I am considering writing a letter and cc-ing it to the city counsel and the mayor.
Sounds like a definite plan!! Maybe send it certified, so you know definitely when they recieved it, so if you don't get a response in an appropriate amount of time, maybe you could make it more public, by letter to the editor, or even going to the media....though that may be a bit extreme, but, if this is being done by a member of the public, they could be dangerous. And the public should be made aware of it.
post #19 of 20
post #20 of 20
Hi!

That was scary!
Please be careful and keep your doors locked. I had an experience when I was younger, not with an unmaked police car but any way, you don't want any one to hurt you so just keep your eyes and ears open.

I talked to an LAPD officer I know from my forum, and he said that in Los Angeles all unmarked police officers must identify themselfs as police officers unless they are undercover.

Max ( the cop ) also told me to tell you to be careful, because the person can find out alot about you from reading your ID.

Be careful!
Good luck!
Good Bye!
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