Washington D.C. Police are incompetent assholes (long).


First, let me say that not all cops are assholes, as I’m sure a few of them are pretty nice guys, but Washington DC must be located in a valley because most of our cops are shitheads, and as we all know shit slides downhill.

About a month ago, I was cooking dinner, and decided to open my back door to get some air. My neighbor came running to my back door to tell me my parked car had been hit by a car that had left the scene. Apparently, the gentleman who hit my car, stumbled (he was shit-faced drunk) out of his car to survey the damage to my car and the car behind me, got back in his car, tried to do a K-turn (proceeding to hit my car and the car behind me again), and then left the scene. Thankfully, I was alerted (about 15 minutes later) by a handful of witnesses who were able to take down his tag number and call the police.

About 2.5 hours later, the cops show up, and begin to file an accident report. I give them my info, tell them that there are witnesses, and then have to go find all the people who saw the accident myself. They come back to the scene to tell the police what happened. They cops tell me that despite having the tag number and witnesses, they don’t know what can be done about it :confused: .

Then, they realize that the same drunk asshole who hit my car got into another accident a few blocks away, and that he is in custody, and has been charged with drunk driving, etc. They ask me if I know the other guy whose car had been hit. I didn’t know the person, so they run his plates. I assume they will contact him immediately seeing as his front fender was torn off and his car had been pushed up onto the curb. The cops leave, and give me a police report number that I can pick up at the station in a few days.

So, I wait a few days, then I call the police station to ask if the report has been filed. The officer rudely tells me that she won’t give me any info over the phone and that it should be here if they (the cops at the scene) said it would be because they do their jobs and that I shouldn’t assume they haven’t done what they said they should. Like most young people, I have worked in the service industry before, and have a pretty high tolerance for douchebaggery, so I don’t give her attitude a second thought. I go down to the police station, arriving about 15 minutes after I spoke to this lady over the phone. I wait in line until she is finished busting the balls of the guy in front of me. I tell her I am here to pick up a police report, give her the case number, etc. She goes to look for it in a file cabinet that is visible from where I am standing. She comes back and tells me I have obviously written the number down incorrectly because that number references another unrelated incident. Then I inform her that the paper I gave her was actually written by the officer, at the scene, and should be correct. She asks me, “who told me it would be here”, and that “[I’m] probably at the wrong station”. Now, this is the same lady I spoke to on the phone 20 minutes earlier who chastened me for suggesting that the report wouldn’t be there. I explain this fact to her, she tells me she didn’t talk to me, and that I need to call the central office.

So, I call the central office, beginning my conversation by explaining that I am at the police station, as I am speaking to her, looking for the report. I ask her if she would like to speak to the lovely woman at the front desk, she declines. She looks up the number, tells me I must have the number wrong, asks me if I am at the right precinct. We then try to locate the report by using the time/date the accident happened. Nothing comes up. She asks me if I am confused, and if I am sure of the date and location of the accident, because they usually don’t make mistakes. She tells me to hold on she will transfer me to someone who can give me additional help me. I drift toward the counter, explaining what just transpired to the cop at the station with the shitty attitude, when her phones starts ringing. The fucking lady transferred my call to the station I was standing in :smack: .

At this point, I am convinced they are all basically useless sacks of shit. Seeing as I can’t get the police report, she tells me to contact the officer at the scene to find out if he filed a report, and what the correct number is ("…in case I mis-wrote it"). I ask her when he will be in, she tells me he works the night shift (3pm). She tells me I can call back around then to talk to him. I call back multiple times over the course of several days only to be told he has already left, is in a meeting, etc. Eventually, after telling her my name, she tells me me the officer is on leave indefinitely.

During the intervening period, numerous things happened. About a week after the accident, I was awoken by the sound of a tow truck towing away the car behind me. I went out to meet the gentleman (who’d also been hit), only to find out the police had never contacted him, and that he’d been out of town, and had no idea what had happened. I was also able to obtain a copy of the police report which, as I suspected, has numerous errors. Among them, the fact that the driver who hit me has valid insurance (he does not). After calling the company on the police report, I was told that the driver hadn’t had insurance with them since 2003, and that the policy number was invalid because their policy numbers began with letters, not numbers. At this point, I don’t know if the cops actual saw an insurance card, or the guy just gave them monopoly money and some uno cards. I thought it couldn’t get worse, but I was wrong.

“To Protect and to Serve”?
Waiting for Part II. Good luck all the same.

“To Protect and to Serve*”?
Waiting for Part II. Good luck all the same.

Ahhh, I remember the good old days, when the D.C. Police Academy was enrolling convicted felon gangbangers, who used the badge to perform legally sanctioned drug raids on rival gangs. These fine graduates then sold all the confiscated contraband. Times change, but some things you can just count on through the ages.


Last night, while laying in bed, I get a knock on my door. It’s my roommate telling me the police were at my door, and that they had hit my car. THE FUCKING POLICE HIT MY CAR! I go outside and see that my back fender, the same place the drunk driver hit me, had been partially torn off, and dented to shit. The officer tells me his supervisor will be there shortly. Then he starts talking on his radio. No explanation, no apology, just that my car is damaged. He asks me if I want to fill out a report :confused: . Like I was really going to just let you fuck up my car, and leave.

The supervisor arrives and they go off to discuss the situation while another officer takes my info. As I hand him my stuff, I ask if him if that’s all he needs. He tells me, “[I’m] in his light”. The fact that this fucking asshole has the ball to say that after he hit my car is mind boggling. I’m sure he has a flashlight he could use. The supervision finishes meeting with the other cops. There are about 6 of them there, which indicates to me that deciding how to cover their ass is more important to them than actually investigating crimes. This is Washington DC, former murder capital of the USA, and they afford to call six cops to the scene to investigate how to resolve a car accident? The ranking cop comes over and starts questioning me.

Main Cop: Why are you parked here?

Me: On the street? (utterly confused)

MC: Yeah, you are too close to this alley, how are garbage trucks gonna get past you. How do you expect cars to pass you?

Aside: First, I was parked roughly 2 feet from the “entrance” of the alley, which really isn’t an entrance because of what I mention in the next paragraph.

Me: The isn’t an alley. There is clearly a “DO NOT ENTER” sign there, so no garbage trucks or vehicles would need to pass by. Not to mention that I am not blocking the alley, nor is there any sign, like there is near the alley farther up the street, that restricts parking near this particular alley.

MC: Signs!?!, this is an emergency vehicle. We can do what we want, we don’t have to follow signs. [Some of the other cops began cackling at this point]. You shouldn’t be parked here.

[He then turns around and starts looking over the police report.]

I was parked next to the entrance of what was formally an accessible alleyway. It is no longer accessible because a condo was built there, making it a dead end. Accordingly, a large “DO NOT ENTER” sign was placed near the entrance.

So there I am sitting on my neighbor’s stoop, next to the alley, while the cop who hit me is leaning on his patrol car with a shit-eating grin on his face. The ranking cop comes over to me and gives me a ticket for parking too close to an alley.

MC: This is a citation for parking too close to the alleyway. You shouldn’t have done that. As such, this violation indicates contributory negligence with regard to the accident. Doesn’t mean you are 100% responsible, but some of this mess is your fault. [walks away]

[I go up to the two cops who hit my car]

Me: I can’t believe you guys are actually giving me a ticket when you hit my car.

Bike Cop: We have to. It was partly your fault. Besides, I mean, if you want to be honest about it we could have given you other citations. You are parked on a hill [I AM NOT PARKED ON A HILL], you technically should have you wheels turned toward the curb. That’s a $25 fine right there. Also, you said you live in DC and you have NJ tags, you should have registered your car here. That a $75 fine there too.

Me: So I should be thankful that you only gave me one ticket.

Shit-eating grin cop: I ain’t saying you should be kissing our ass or anything, but if we wanted to be jerks about it, it could be a lot worse for you.

I haven’t been that mad in a long time. I just turned around and walked away as they were laughing and muttering things under their breath. It’s gonna be a long time before I trust the DC cops again, seeing as there’s a few of them that probably have it out for me. Just remember this story if I end up shot 41 times on my front porch with crack sprinkled all over my body.

Crack? Nah, they’ll used crystal meth.

I hope you’re going to take this one to court. With representation, too. This looks like to be one of those fights that could really screw you over if you don’t prepare. Good luck.

Did they handcuff you to a mailbox while awaiting a paddy wagon? Did they drive you across the river into Virginia like a herd of cattle? Back when I lived in the area, all these things happened.

Oh, for the days of Marion Barry! The Good Old Days!

It’s good to know that cops (and I’m sorry, but if you’re a cop, you really should look into going into a more honorable profession, such as prostitution or Scientology) are as useless, incompetent, and corrupt up north as they are here in the south.

I don’t think I will be able to get representation. I am a student, I have no money, I can barely afford insurance (not to mention the $500 deductible), and I have no way to differentiate between the damage the first accident did, and what the cops did (aside from my word). Which means nothing. I am royally fucked.

Is it possible that (and this may well be totally unrealistic) the guy who hit your car originally was a friend of these “so-called” (because no one who wears a badge should act this way) policemen? That might account for the incompetence and their attitude?

DC cops can be seriously corrupt fuckwits, or, more often, they just can’t be bothered. Whatever rosey notions you had about police officers have to be discarded when you adjust your expectations for these guys. I had somone threaten to “make <me> a statistic” one reads about in the obituaries because I got involved in helping a woman get her purse back from him. I called the police, and not only did they never go to the park where this alleged purse snatcher hung out openly every night, they said I had no complaint myself, as “making <me> a statistic” isn’t an explicit threat. Everybody who’s ever needed the law has a story like this if they’ve lived in DC for a few years. They’re worse than useless, too often than not.

Time to call a citizen review board, if you have one, and/or internal affairs. Calling a local news station wouldn’t hurt. If you haven’t moved the car, take lots of pictures.

Well, I doubt it because they did arrest him after his second car accident that day. My girlfriend was able to find out a little about the guy, and I doubt he’s a cop.

Quick question: Do I have to report this to my insurance company? How much should I expect my rates to go up? Is there any way to explain what happened to my insurance company, and ask what they would do about it before they file a claim to resolve the matter?

I second the “take it to the TV station” suggestion. Is there a Consumer Advocate show locally? Send it to the newspapers, send it to freaking everybody, complete with badge numbers.

Thirding the TV station. You are not alone. Get it out, get coverage, break the news. Only thing you can do.

If other’s like my idea, it can’t be that good. :cool:

That said, if you choose to go this route, document and notify whomever you talk to any reprisals. The more detail you can add to a log, the better - even if you can’t prove it.

Consider whether or not you will be murdered for taking this to the TV station.

Yeah, with the handcuffing-to-the-mailbox incident, there happened to be a reporter right there, photographing the whole thing. No reason to take revenge on the victim in that instance. They just threatened the reporter and confiscated his camera. Of coure they were later ordered to return it and the film, as that was, you know, unconstitutional and shit. I seriously would not put it past these fuckers to seek retribution.

For all D.C.'s faults, constituent service in this town is astoundingly good in most wards – because it’s just a way of making the log-rolling and cronyism work for you. Call you councilman’s office and, whatever else happens, at least they won’t usually give you the brush-off.

Also, you should be going to more parties. Any party I’ve ever been to in D.C., some of the guests are cops. You get to know a few of them, you’ve always got someone who you can call about stuff like this.


Do you have physical damage coverage on your car. If so, report the accident to your insurance company. Rather than paying out to fix your car, they’d much rather have the other party’s (police) insurance pay.

It’s worth a try.