12 Police Officers Share Stories Of Arresting Their Own Friends And Family.
There's nothing easy about being a police officer. But what happens when the perp you're chasing turns around to reveal it's a friend, or even a family member?
Here are twelve stories that attempt to answer that question.
Many thanks to Reddit user Quenoquesoporque for posing this question. Check out more answers from the source at the end of this article!
1/12. I arrested my sister 2 years ago...
Two years ago I stopped by my parent's house while on duty to have a cup of coffee with my father. When I got there I heard screaming from the back yard and went out to see what was going on.
I saw that my sister had my mother pinned to the ground and was kicking her violently, multiple times, while screaming and swearing at the top of her lungs. I tackled her to stop the attack and she began to punch and kick me too.
The neighbors had come outside to see what was going on and my sister would not calm down. My mother was badly injured and it took my father and me both to get my sister under control. She was fighting like I've never seen someone fight before. She was biting, clawing, kicking, and tried to gouge out my eyes. I had no choice but to disengage and use pepper spray in an attempt to subdue her. It worked and we finally got her under control.
I called for an ambulance to evaluate my mother and my sister was transported to the station by another officer. The story, I found out later, was that my mother had found methamphetamine in my sister's car and when she confronted my sister about it my sister lost it and attacked her.
My sister was committed to a drug rehab facility and has been clean, as far as I know, ever since. We have a good relationship now, although we'll never be best friends or anything.
2/12. Pulled my mom over on the side of a busy highway. She totally did not know it was me and I let her go with a hug.
3/12. Michigan cop here. I got a call on July 5th from Alcohol Treatment Services stating that two guys who were out on bond blew hot due too partying from the night before. When I got there one of the guys was a good friend of mine. The hard part was his dad (who always took great care of me) was standing right there while I hooked him up. They were super cool about it but I still feel bad. On the way to the jail we caught up and talked about family.
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4/12. I spent around 2 years as a Special Constable for the Met Police. The unit I joined would mostly work night-time violence e.g. when pubs and clubs close, at any borough that requested our assistance, and so we could be in any borough that night.
One night shift we are in my home borough. I'm in the van and we're circling round near where I live which was a bit of a novelty: normally being anywhere in London means I have no clue where I am. A call comes down to reports of a burglary and I freeze as its my neighbour's address.
We arrive and speak to the family, a young muslim couple who have just gotten married a few days ago and they looked more surprised to see me than I them. They heard noises and came downstairs to find someone in a mask rooting through drawers, who scarpered out the back door when spotted. At around this time the door knocked, and it's my girlfriend (again surprised to see me) who says there's someone in our garden. Here we go, this could be a good job.
My garden at the time was pretty secure: unless you can scale walls you aren't getting out. My colleague goes in through the front door whilst I jump over the wall from the neighbours and immediately get jumped by someone. They were pretty weak and I easily overpower them as my colleague arrives baton drawn.
After arresting and cuffing we get the lights on and I find it's someone I've been friends with since school who we had just had round with his wife for dinner a few nights ago. Turns out he knew that our neighbours had gotten married and had planned to burgle them for their jewellery and wedding gifts.
Suffice to say I am no longer in contact. He got sent down for 2 years and only got released a few months ago.
5/12. When I was a freshman in high school we had an unusually aggressive group of seniors who would pick on us often. (NOTE: No I did not become a cop because I got picked on when I was 15. I didn't even decide I wanted to try LE until I was 25. Just sayin'.)
So out of the entire year there was ONE person who ever stuck up for me and I have always been thankful that one of their peers who was their size was willing to stand up to them.
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Anyway flash forward to my first week as a reserve police officer (volunteer police to learn the job and gain experience prior to applying full time. Uniform, gun, badge etc; just no paycheck). We go to a call of someone drunk falling through the window of a business. Show up for my FIRST arrest and guess who? THE GUY! The one person who ever stuck up for me and I had no ability to help him because I was brand new and had no clout at the time. Worst part was when he was in cuffs and looked at me repeating, "Really? Really?"
I haven't forgotten that moment and it actually played a large part on how I treated people when I was an officer (8 years and resigned now). I have since touched base with him and thanked him for what he did for me in high school.
He hasn't fallen through any windows since and he's doing well.
6/12. I was in the car with another constable. Check bonafides came over (just means find out what's going on, often due to horrible smells).
I arrive at the address in an industrial area. Clearly drugs being cooked because no one is burning that stuff at 3am unless it's illegal; it smelled horrible. Male comes outside to immediately give himself up. I secured him whilst my partner went in. Turns out the second one was my partners long time family friend. We both had to go on forced leave after while another LAC investigated to make sure there was no criminal activity on our behalf. They take that stuff pretty seriously in Australia.
Turn out the raw materials would have equated to around 10 million street value.
7/12. Not the perpetrator, but the victims...
Back in 2006, it was nearing the end of second shift and I was ready to get off. The call came in of a shooting, I was about a mile away tops so I was first on the scene by a lot. I head inside, check the bedrooms and find two men dead from shot gun wounds.
I knew them. Family friends from growing up. Good people, but sh*theads. You know what I mean? Always getting into trouble, never big things. Just drugs here, public intoxication there. Nothing huge. Well, they ate it that day. What got me, though, was I had seen their older sister earlier when I pulled over her friend. It's just weird how you can see someone and talk about the family quick and a few hours later know that she's about to find out how much she's just lost.
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They were still warm. So, I continued my search, fast, as I called in the ambulance. I check, find the back door ajar and head out. I get a call saying that the shooter was still in the neighborhood as someone just reported him. Not a block away within the last 2-3 minutes. Going through the backyards and across alleys, other officers are now in the area and we're hunting him.
I see movement. It's him. It's the guy. The shooter. No weapon to be seen, thankfully. I got him in my sights, yell to him to stop where he is. Thank God he does. Pistol still drawn on him, I get him on the ground, cuff him, and think for a moment, "Shoot him, he deserves it."
Another officer is now on the scene with me, gets me off the shooter's back and pushes me aside. I sit down next to his cruiser and cry. After, I end up smoking about a pack of cigarettes before I get home--I had quit in 1994 and this was the first and only time I broke down and smoked.
I put in my retirement papers two weeks later.
8/12. Police officer here.
Got called to a verbal domestic and quickly learned after speaking with the female that a an old friend's dad was cheating on his wife with her. I had my partner take over the investigation as I didn't want to be biased. Anyway, guy shows up, we have an awkward chat, and everyone is cautioned not to contact or communicate with each other anymore and both parties are in full agreement. Female doesn't want to ruin his life and he says he is done with his cheating ways.
Two hours later the female calls and tells us that he drove by her house a few times after we left. I call him and give him a second and very stern caution to give her some breathing room or he will be charged with domestic criminal harassment. I try to make him see reason and it seems to work. No more calls for the rest of our shift.
The next morning I am brushing my teeth before heading into work and I get a phone call from him saying that he screwed up and left a note on her car last night.
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She called a different cop who issued a warrant for his arrest after reading our reports that he had already been cautioned twice. He asked what to do...
I told him to report to the front desk as soon as I got to work and he complied. Then my partner from the previous day and I arrested and booked him for criminal harassment.
Some people just don't get the hint...
9/12. I was told to handle a domestic violence issue involving a female friend of mine and her significant other. I had contacting the sergeant and told him of my concern toward a possible conflict of interest. He advised me that if I was not sexually involved, wasn't trying to be sexually involved, and had never been sexually involved, with the friend, I was to handle the incident myself.
The arrested claimed he didn't do anything. The female victim claimed I lied about the whole situation (even though bruising was photographed and her text messages claiming she was hit were submitted). Arrested claimed he was going to sue the agency for false arrest.
I was investigated for all kinds of things included untruthfulness (for not specifying the depth of my friendship with the victim, because "friend" wasn't enough) and falsifying reports (found to be untrue). And, since I submitted my text messages from the victim as evidence to support my statements, the timing of them was called into question. The fact I was on duty, in my patrol car, in motion, was held against me. The fact I ran a wants/warrants check against her (and him) in the last was held against me, because I wasn't on a call at the time. Which, btw, EVERYONE is checked, but they focused on the fact that I checked her.
They made a huge issue that she had been to my house for a social gathering in the past, and I didn't disclose that (still no sex, I promise). They made a huge issue about what some guests at the party did, unbeknownst to me at the time, while I was away from the party masses...with a guest (not the victim).
Ultimately, my commanding officer claimed I failed to provide him with enough information to establish conflict of interest. And that if he "had known" he wouldn't have had me handle the call. I felt "friends" coupled with me clearly stating I felt it was a conflict of interest, was enough to go on.
It ultimately led to my termination from the agency and black-balling within the law enforcement community.
10/12. As a Military Police officer in Hawaii, I became really good friends with a guy in my unit... Babysat his 4 year old, was invited over for family dinners and everything.
Go into shift with him one day when I am told to relieve him of his weapon and cuff him. Ended up having to wake his wife up (who thought I just stopped by for breakfast) to investigate a domestic violence report that his mother in law called in from NC.. Ended up that she wanted to go home, he didn't want his kid to leave, they got in an argument, and she called home to tell her mom about the argument they had.
The military makes the service members leave their homes in these situations, but of course the barracks were full... So less than 12 hours after I handcuffed him, guess who's sleeping on the floor of my room? I think he stayed for a few weeks before we got on each other's nerves.
He wasn't mad at me about it, I was doing as I was ordered. But it was extremely difficult (though I think I stayed professional throughout) interviewing his wife/my friend to get evidence to convict him of a crime. It was also awkward with my buddy, because I obviously couldn't discuss the case with him... He understood & didn't ask me much about it.
I think the worst was, during and after the investigation, that I felt some guilt for not knowing what was going on and trying to help in some way. I also felt like I was tearing apart a four year-old's family, though it was obviously on the way out already.
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11/12. Last week I arrested a guy I went to high school with for misdemeanor Destruction of Property that myself and several other officers witnessed. I didn't know it was him until after we got to the station and I began getting his information. His driver's license had his old address on it and the city was where I went to high school. I immediately recognized him. He was two grades above me but had a sister who was my age.
He was very intoxicated and upset about the whole situation so in order to bridge the gap and get him to calm down I told him we went to the same high school and that I knew his sister. I thought he might get upset but it was a risk I needed to take. I started asking him how he'd been and we talked about the various mutual friends we had. He started to calm down which was nice and earlier he had been very tense, upset, and erratic. When we realized how many mutual friends we had, he asked me not to tell anyone out of embarrassment. Though what he did was a matter of public record, I promised that I wouldn't since part of good policing is the ability to have good discretion. I explained to him the arrest process as best I could and told him that he would be out in about 3 hours.
Once I was able to turn him over to the cell block technicians, I immediately looked him up on Facebook and blocked him. Prior to blocking him, I noticed his profile picture was that of him and his new bride. I offered him a phone call to get in touch with her, but he declined. As promised, I completed the paperwork as fast as I could and he was released on his own recognizance to return to court in a few weeks.
When I spoke with the Prosecutor's office, I had to disclose this relationship. The attorney said he was worried that the Defense might try to make the case that I arrested him because I might have had a grudge against him. I disagreed, I argued that it showed good judgement on my part and that I was able to do exactly as I had sworn to do, which was uphold the law equally. The case won't be resolved for a few more months, but I suspect he'll pay for the damages in exchange for having the charges dropped.
12/12. I work as a crime analyst for a police department, and it makes my parents and family friends insanely nervous.
My dad and all his friends are involved with drugs back home - mostly pot, but some other stuff... several of their friends died of overdoses before they turned 40.
Getting into law enforcement has been quite a struggle for me. My family was not supportive at first because they were certain I would narc them out given the chance. Police Departments and other agencies often wouldn't hire me after doing a background check on me and finding out I was affiliated with these people even though I never participated in anything.
My family has since relaxed about it and they're proud of the work I do, but it still raises issues with my employment, and I always have to question whether I am doing the right thing by continuing to spend time with them/not reporting them, especially since I know some of the kids I grew up with are into heroin and stuff like that now.
But I have to say it's also been really entertaining. A couple years ago my parents threw a party and a bunch of the people attending hadn't seen me in 10+ years. We were sitting around on the porch after the party, someone had a joint, etc when one of the guys (who was recently incarcerated for running a large grow operation) asked me who I was. I said, "I'm X and Y's daughter" and then once he recognized me he asked me what I was doing lately and I told him "Well, I'm in school getting a degree in criminal justice."
The double take he did was hilarious. X and Y's kid, all grown up, hanging at this party with a bunch of people who have been in the drug trade for decades... studying to be law enforcement.
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