12-year-old calls out cop for illegal parking, cop refuses to provide badge number

In this short video, a young man who identifies himself as a 12-year-old named Jeremy approaches a Las Vegas Metro motorcycle cop who has illegally parked his motorcycle on a sidewalk, apparently in order to get a soft drink. The young man politely asks the cop if he had any emergency reason to park, and then requests his badge number. The cop refuses to answer either question, and asks Jeremy if he is a lawyer. Jeremy avows again that he is a 12-year-old, and reiterates his request for a badge number. The cop continues to refuse, and eventually drives off. Perhaps the officer can be identified through this footage and reported to a superior who can work with him to correct his misunderstandings about his relationship to the law and his obligations to the public.

Cop called out by a 12 year old for illegally parking his motorcycle. Refuses to give his badge number. (youtube.com)


    1. Parents in the ACLU, more likely. I agree with RachaelHD; this is highly admirable but not implausible behavior for a 12 year old.

      1. Yeah, it’s mainly the use of the term “motorized vehicle” being used so naturally that struck me – people outside of various branches of the law seldom tend to use such roundabout manners of speaking. 

    2.  FWIW, I routinely did stuff like this (minus the pocket supercomputer) when I was 12. Got in a lot of trouble for it too.

      1. I got into an argument with a teacher over whether or not “ovoviviparous” was a word.  I lost the argument but won the war.

        1.  I once had to fight with a creative writing teacher over the word tintinnabulation. She swore I made it up.  The dictionary proved me wrong.  I also had a teacher mark me down for a sloth fact in a paper I wrote in 4th grade (that some eat their fur algae) – which was then written up the next month in NatGeo. That bitch never gave me points back, but I learned that I can prove I’m right with research, sources, and tenacity.

          1. Yep! I learned to question authority & that life isn’t fair. Two important things to know, & interestingly enough I think practicing the first will decrease the second.

          2. I was once able to publicly shame my evil, German accented English teacher by pointing out that the word epitome is not pronounced as “epi-tome”, but rather as “epitomee”.  I can still see her grimace in my mind.  I won that battle, but lost that war. Doesn’t matter though, because the taste of victory was sweet.

          3. Did the German accent make her more evil, or would she have been just as evil without it?

          4. A creative writing teacher didn’t know that?  I’ve only seen the word used in one context (Edgar Allan Poe), but you’d think the teacher would have read that poem, and it’s highly memorable.

          5.  I’m not sure how she became a creative writing teacher, she was fresh
            out of school with a degree in art history and a minor in education. She
            had never read “Catcher in the Rye”. I had signed up because the
            professor who previously taught it was amazing, and I wanted to work
            with him, but I got this broad instead. She was also extremely nervous
            around the kids, and regularly sent people to the school psychiatrist.
            (I got sent down twice.) Granted, this was post Columbine, but she was
            overly nervous.

          6. @wendyblackheart:disqus :  Catcher in the Rye was required reading in one of my high school english classes.  I’m confused how someone could get a teaching certificate in English without having to read a big stack of classics.

          7. You don’t necessarily need a teaching certificate to teach. I know several people who got teaching jobs without any particular qualifications because they needed a job and the school was desperate. They then had to get the appropriate education while they were in the job, taking five years or so to complete it.

          8.  @IronEdithKidd:disqus Maybe she was Canadian. The American “classics” are not as good as Americans think they are (and thus are not mandatory reading up here.)

          9. @boingboing-f8ed3d1d7286038c033fefc5d3efbb5f:disqus :  The label of “classic” doesn’t ncessarily convey level of quality.  I realized that while reading a slew of American “classics” as a teenager back in the day.  BTW – Catcher in the Rye is not required reading at most high schools.   I grew up in “liberal” Minnesota.  Most of those “classics” we read were on the American Library Association’s Challenged Books list.

        2. I once had a high school physics teacher not believe me when I mentioned Lagrange points. He seemed skeptical even after I brought in some diagrams with math from some science website.

          1. While you were right— there are a lot of “science” websites out there that claim to be about science but that are complete bunk.  Sometimes the bunk is obvious, but sometimes it’s pretty compelling to somebody who doesn’t know what they’re reading.  So, I don’t blame the teacher for not being convinced by something you found on the web.

            I’ve had students come to me with crap about the Electric Universe, or “scientific” evidence for Creationism.  All of that is very well handled and debunked by science, but if one isn’t familiar with it, all you have is a student coming with some plausible-sounding website, and it may not always be immediately obvious why it’s wrong.

          2. Well, OK…  just as long as you don’t fall into the trap of teaching children  “don’t look outside the mainstream”…  there’s too much science catholicism going on already.

          3. Excuse me? You don’t blame a PHYSICS TEACHER for doubting the existence of Lagrange Points? Because the evidence he was offered the next day was even less reliable than his own miseducation? Seriously? I can’t believe that asshat is still claiming to be a physics teacher. If he is, he’s a liar.

          4. Woody, I had a biology teacher in high school who took a week vacation to avoid teaching about evolution.  Schools can get stuck with shitty teachers at all levels.

          5. Pity you didn’t just work up the equations for the Lagrange points.  They’re not too complicated, if you can handle a rotating frame of reference.  Not sure if that’s high school or college physics, it’s been a while.

            Doing the math beats the hell out of relying on an authority.

          6.  However, you’d think someone with at least degree-level physics ought to know what a Lagrange point is.

          7. I had a high school physics teacher who, even when I did the math, flat out refused to understand that the time to impact of dropping a bowling ball versus a basketball (ignoring atmosphere) is minutely different because the Earth is also pulled toward the immeasurably small gravity of the ball, yet that they impacted simultaneously when dropped together because the Earth is pulled towards both balls’ gravities (or, more accurately, toward the barycenter between the Earth and the ball or balls. Someone had told him about Galileo’s experiment at the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and his brain had no room for the fact that that experiment ignored the pull of the dropped objects on the Earth because it was immeasurable, and that Newton, born the year Galileo died, demonstrated that even dropped objects have a gravitational pull.

            A physics teacher that doesn’t understand Newton’s universal law of gravity is bad enough. A physics teacher that can’t accept a mathematical proof based on an equation he taught is an inertial obstacle.

            I later asked him if he thought I had what it took to be a physicist. He equivocated in order to avoid answering the question. When I suggested that I might look into other majors, he nodded and smiled. Well, I’m in one of the best doctoral programs for physics in the country and he is probably still miseducating high school students.

          8. ” I’m in one of the best doctoral programs for physics in the country”

            So, technically, you aren’t a physicist yet..? :)

          9. @TheKaz1969

            So, technically, you aren’t a physicist yet..? :)

            Good point; I have a year to go. It’s possible he knew of some arcane curse against would-be physicists that correct thier high-school physics teachers. I’ll have to read the rest of the Harry Potter books to be sure.

          10. I had a high-school biology teacher who said covalently-bonded carbon atoms don’t exist naturally. I guess he didn’t know about fullerenes. 

      2. MY first day in first grade, my teacher wouldn’t let one of the students go to lunch because of some minor infraction. When we all headed off to the cafeteria, I went to the principal’s office to complain that the punishment was unfair.

        1. You must not have been in a Catholic school. That or you made several trips a day to the principal’s office to complain about ridiculous punishments. Nuns were nothing if not creative about punishment for ridiculous non-crimes.

          1. You must not have been in a Catholic school.

            No, I wasn’t raised by the delusional.

          2. In my defense, after 3rd grade I asked to switch to a public school, and my parents agreed.

          3. Most of my immediate neighbors went to St. Tarcisius. When they transferred to public school, they thought that they were in heaven.

    3.  There *are* intelligent children out there.  Ones who can think logically and reason well and express themselves with a “yo” or “dude”.

      There should be a unit number on the motorcycle somewhere and last I looked, it was not proper procedure and possibly even illegal for an officer to refuse to provide his badge number so someone ought to take this to the mayor’s office and ask him or her just what’s going on down at the PD.

      Or maybe enough people can write the Mayor’s office and demand an explanation.

        1. I learned at a young age to keep those musings to myself so I could fit in and the other kids would let me play flag football with them. Not saying passing for non-geek is the right thing to do; just saying that I feel for what this kid is probably in for.

      1.  All you need is the license plate.  Even if the cop changes rides, he’s on the squad logs for that vehicle, that day.

  1. I’m hopeful this is a sign future generations will keep questioning authority’s assumption that they are above the rules the rest of us live by.

  2. I agree that not every 12 year old is this calm and articulate, but many are.  I am a middle school teacher, and I would say a good third of my students could have pulled that off.  Which is not to diminish in any way my admiration for Jeremy.  Jeremy, you were clear, calm, well spoken, and brave for standing up to an unfair act.  Citizens should hold police officers to the law and encourage high standards of behavior in our public officers.  Keep fighting the good fight.  

  3. Good work, Jeremy. Does anyone know a good way to check whether police are required to give their badge number on request in a given place? Is there any national law about this? (I hope there is.)

    1. Most states do not have a legal requirement, but most departments require it as policy. I know some cops got in some degree of hot water at Occupy Oakland for covering their badge numbers. That is uniformed cops, of course.

      1. And to chime in, though don’t quote me on this, is that they are required to proof that they are an officer of the law (unless undercover) by providing some form of identification – which could be in the form of a badge and badge number.

        Which would have required the young boy to rephrase his question and request, of course.

        But I’m no lawyer. I’m just a young man.

        Edit: In case I wasn’t clear – what I’ve read and found myself is the same as Ronald. They’re departmental regulations/policies to provide badge IDs (or not) and not a specific law.

      2. Someone on the reddit thread linked to the Las Vegas dept. policy which seems to show that officer must identify themselves to citizens unless they are undercover.

    2.  Not all jurisdictions use badge numbers to identify officers, and whether or not they are required to give you the number varies from place to place.  HOWEVER: unless they’re undercover, law enforcement officers are generally obligated to render identification proving that they are who they say they are, which might include badge number, and will definitely include a name.  Also, in all the jurisdictions I’m familiar with, law enforcement officers are prohibited from obscuring their nameplates (again, unless working undercover).

    3. If a cop is trying to order you to do something, based on their authority as a cop, you’ve got a legitimate case to demand that they identify themselves and prove they’re a real cop.  (Good luck with that; how effective it will be depends on the jurisdiction, and whether they arrest you, charge you with anything, or just order you around.)

      But if they’re not out exerting authority, it’s not clear that the legal principle is as strong (which is a separate question from whether the local jurisdiction has rules about it.)  The kid should have gotten the license plate of the bike, though good luck getting the cops to give their misbehaving bro a ticket even if he was just abusing his position to park on the sidewalk while buying donuts.

  4. Sometimes, sousveillance is good; it will sometimes protect, sometimes allow for justice.  On the other hand, sometimes it’s just more ‘veillance; more panopticon.

  5. I think it’s important to question authority whenever possible, and generally do not trust the police to protect and serve me. This officer also should have provided a badge number and been a friendlier person to the 12-year-old.

    However, I’m okay with police officers parking illegally, on sidewalks, in fire-zones, etc. They really should avoid places reserved for handicap parking. But, if there’s an emergency three blocks away, I don’t want that officer slowed down by having to run 3 blocks or find their car in a nearby parking lot. If there’s a fire right there, that officer will be the first to know and can move their vehicle minutes before any fire truck arrives and needs that space.

    1.  I’m ok with law enforcement officers parking more or less where ever they need to to do their jobs, but I’m more iffy about them–or anyone–parking illegally for things that aren’t work-related.  Just like I have no problem with law enforcement officers breaking traffic laws when necessary to the work, but expect them to be otherwise lawful in their actions.

      1. I used to get bothered by police speeding on the highway with their  flashers off.  Then I realized that was actually a good thing because if they did go the speed limit you ended up with a traffic jam building  because no one wanted to pass the cop.  More cars would come in from behind and you end up with a huge mess.  Better if the cop speeds off.

    2. I completely agree. Unless his bike was in the way and inconveniencing others, which was difficult to tell from the video, I don’t really have a problem with his parking job. He should definitely learn better interaction with the public though. 

      I do however hate when police use their privileges to selfishly inconvenience others. I once saw saw two motorcycle cops approach a light that had just turned red, turn on their sirens, and cruise through to immediately park in front of the WaWA on the opposite corner. I happened to be heading in there myself and found them getting snacks, not responding to a call. That situation was also potentially dangerous for the cross traffic with the green light because they couldn’t wait a minute.

      I also really, really hate seeing parking enforcement leave their vehicles wherever they want. I used to see a van in my friend’s neighborhood frequently parked in various no parking and disabled spaces for hours. They used to double park for 30+ minutes during lunch around the corner from where I worked. I’d understand them not feeding the meter if legally parked, but straight up sitting on a corner making it difficult to see oncoming cars or blocking someone? That’s not okay. That was the Philadelphia Parking Authority who have (had?) the reality show where they want you to sympathize with them because of how hard their job is. It’s doesn’t surprise me that they don’t get respect.

      1. Strange logic. So you are okay with parking in the handicapped lot? Because, statistically, you are probably not inconveniencing anyone most of the time?

        The point of parking prohibitions is to  make sure that the way is free all of the time. So it’s save to use for people with disabilities (think wheelchair), small children on bikes (legally required to use the sidewalk until the age of 8 over here, allowed to use until the age of 10), elderly people with walkers. Oh yes, and for people with strollers, too.

        Unless there is a genuine emergency, of course.

        And yes, in a quarter century of driving, I managed to avoid parking illegally except in two cases. One was a genuine mistake – I misunderstood the parking prohibition – , the other was on private property, when I overused the allowed time because I missed a train.  It’s really not that hard to avoid parking illegally, if you remember that people have feet or pack some cash for a paid lot.

        1. There’s a difference between parking to go walk away for an indeterminate amount of time, and parking briefly while you remain in the immediate vicinity (buying coffee, in this case.) In the latter case if you do wind up blocking someone, you can promptly move your vehicle out of the way.

          1.  That’s the same logic used by people getting ticketed or towed though and i don’t buy it.

            You can’t safely drink a cup of coffee while riding a motorcycle so I do not think he was only there for a minute or two.

            Equal protection under law requires those who enforce the law to obey the law in non-emergency situations.

            Parking on the sidewalk is inherently blocking the passage of the citizenry for the convenience of the officer, not a valid argument from my point of view and his refusal to identify himself to a citizen’s request is very troubling.  It implies he just might not have moved his vehicle if asked or if someone was indeed being blocked since he seemed to be more than a little full of himself and his authority.

          2. Sure, the person wanting to park is going to be on the lookout for someone to run out and move the car. What will really happen is that the person will see the spot taken and drive on, looking for a spot. You’re just telling yourself a nice fiction to justify taking something that has not been reserved for you but has been reserved for someone who needs it more than you do. 

          3. I wasn’t talking about handicapped spots, I was talking about places no one is allowed to park. Loading zones, the sidewalk, like that.

    3.  I think law enforcement officers should set an example by following the laws that they themselves are supposed to enforce, so I’m really not OK with law enforcement officers ignoring laws for their convenience unless and until the law allows private citizens to ignore the law for their own convenience.

    4.  Or he could’ve explained why he did it (maybe he had a good reason?) or he could’ve said “You’re right, I’m sorry.  I’ll park correctly next time.” and defused it while leaving a good impression at the same time.

  6. I’m wondering why he didn’t simply capture the plate number on the motorcycle as the cop drove off – surely the department keeps track of which bikes are assigned to which cops on which shifts…

      1. They don’t have real license plate numbers on them?  That’s surprising; you’d think state law would require that.

        Kid might have gotten distracted from it because the cop showed up when he did, though.

  7. I park my cab illegally to get coffee all the time. I also park illegally across the sidewalk behind my landlord to check on my 15 year old cat during my 12 hour shift if I can’t find a legal space on my block.

    Looks like sometimes a cop will take some slack for himself as I do.

    1. It’s people like you that make me not want to live on this planet anymore. 

      1. Oh please. If someone parking illegally every now and again makes you want to give up on humanity, you’ve already given up, and parking habits are the least of your worries.

        1. “If someone parking illegally every now and again…” != “…illegally to get coffee all the time” + “…during my 12 hour shift if I can’t find a legal space”

        2. Sunday metering is great actually. They should be discouraging people from driving in such urban areas and they’re should be tax revenues made from such obviously desirable spaces, which ideally would be put to use to offset the negative impacts of driving/congestion.

          1. Yay! Squeeze more cash out of the cleaning people who come in on the weekends!

          2. Maybe you can explain what you mean. Free urban parking is regressive any way you slice it.

          3. And yet, the (relatively) wealthy can afford to live in the city, but the people who have to travel there (often with a lot of supplies and equipment) to clean their houses and offices can’t. It sounds like a privileged and anti-worker viewpoint.

          4.  @Antinous_Moderator:disqus

            It sounds like a privileged and anti-worker viewpoint.

            Thanks for laffs. Your crocodile tears are hilarious. All because you guys are bummed you can’t drive into the city and park in front of your favorite restaurant or boutique.

            “The cleaning people” hahahahaha!!!

          5. Um… I know you are but what am I?

            Have you ever had a cleaning job? Have you ever carried a vacuum cleaner on the bus?

          6. Um… I know you are but what am I?

            Ha, well you set the tone man…

            It’s hilarious to see you double down on this “cleaner” bit with no evidence, no coherent argument, no nothing.

            If you’re worried about your maid having to pay more to park to clean your condo on Sunday maybe you should increase her salary….

            We really know this is all about you guys just being annoyed that you’re being discouraged to drive to congested urban business districts. The rest of us are riding the bus. That’s how I get to my working class job, the one that’s too far too bike too.

            You deserve an Oscar for the “vacuum on the bus” bit.

          7. If you’re worried about your maid having to pay more to park to clean your condo on Sunday maybe you should increase her salary….

            I’ve been the maid. And I understand entirely what it means to be a lowly paid worker, because that’s what I’ve been my whole life, except for the parts where I was unemployed. Your argument in favor of charging poorer people who have to live in outlying areas to come to their jobs really lends credence to the term “limousine liberal”, which I had previously thought to be entirely apocryphal.

          8. Maids who clean offices are typically employed by a cleaning/janitorial company that provides their equipment, which is usually stored on-site at larger businesses, or brought in a company-owned minivan.

            Independent maids who clean private houses and apartments, bringing their own equipment, should be able to write off parking as a business expense and adjust their rates accordingly.

          9. Independent maids who clean private houses and apartments, bringing their own equipment, should be able to write off parking as a business expense and adjust their rates accordingly.

            Sure. They can just call their financial people to get right on that. Except that they don’t make enough money to have financial people. Or to need business deductions.

          10. It doesn’t take a CPA to file a Schedule C as a sole proprietor. Hell, give H&R Block an envelope full of receipts and a hundo and let them deal with it.

            Just because someone scrubs toilets for a living and maybe isn’t fluent in English doesn’t mean they’re innumerate or incapable of basic bookkeeping. It’s more than a little condescending to suggest so.

          11.  Right, because there is always public transportation from where you are coming from to where you need to go.  Discouraging drivers is great for local businesses.

          12.  In metro areas there usually is. All this kind of regressive policy making does is ensure that public transportation alternatives will be slower to arrive. It punishes the actual people trying to make their way around metro areas without cars, not some imagined group of impoverished “cleaners”…

          13. …not some imagined group of impoverished “cleaners”…

            Do you never descend to street level?

          14. Do you never descend to street level?

            Palm Springs? Silicon Valley? No.

            Chicago? Yes, every day.

          15. The median income in 2000 in PS was $35,973 and $45,318 for a family. Chicago’s was $38,625 and $46,748 for a family. The recent average sold home price in PS is $471K; Chicago’s is $322K. Palms Springs is a tourist hole full of people with low paid service jobs.

            You have a distorted view of what it means to be a worker or to be working class.

    2.  Ah, but for you that simply makes you a petty criminal in the same vein most of us are. It’s one thing to break the law, it’s another to do something like that when it’s your job to prevent people from breaking the law.

      If a police officer can’t even stop HIMSELF from breaking the law, he doesn’t belong on the force.

  8. Hmmm…this new generation of humans is looking pretty interesting.  I see some hope.

  9. We need more of this. As long as police are being dicks, they need to be called on it. On camera. And posted on the internet (with a copy emailed to the police department they work for).
    Oh, and would someone please teach Jeremy how to rotate a video on YouTube?

    1. Why doesn’t youtube have a ‘rotate video’ button on every video? Since many can’t seem to figure it out when uploading, they should at least give us the option to rotate it after the fact.

      1. The button needn’t be an actual rotator but just a ‘like to rotate’, aka a likor. Garnered likors would have the video rotated by that number of right angles, modulo 4. You could also have other buttons such as flippor, reversor, huor, ….

        I may be over-thinking this.

  10. Anyone who has ever dealt with the LVMPD will recognize that attitude, and probably be surprised the kid wasn’t beaten & his phone smashed for his efforts. Parking illegally, driving with lights & sirens on to get to lunch faster, harassing or beating anyone who couldn’t prove they weren’t homeless, acting as casino muscle to intimidate or beat suspected cheaters, these are all pretty much expected of Vegas Cops.

    1.  I’ve had dealings with LVMPD and in all my personal dealings with them they have always been polite and easy to deal with. Now, that isn’t to say that there isn’t an officer in LV that I wouldn’t mind seeing run over by a semi (Officer Edward Jones).

      1. Since you haven’t provided a link to contact you for payment, I’ll assume either you’re not serious, or you expect someone to do it for free.

  11. I’m all for kids calling out cops for abusing their powers. But one of the main benefits to owning a motorcycle in an urban environment is you can get away with parking on the sidewalk! It’s not much bigger than a bicycle, which we of course allow to park along the sidewalks. So, as long as one isn’t blocking the way, what’s wrong with parking a motorcycle on the sidewalk? (Typical configuration is walking part of the sidewalk, then a strip lined with trees, then the street: tucking motorcycles into the gaps between the trees doesn’t block pedestrians).

    1.  kinda beside the point though, if it were anyone who WASN’T a cop, they would be ticketed for that. but this guy won’t be because he is a cop and cop’s think themselves above the law.

    2.  That’s a great point, and is actually the law in certain parts of Oddstralia.

      However, AIUI, it is NOT the law where this video was taken. It is also my understanding that the Police are required to identify themselves when requested to do so.

      You can wish for, and work towards, different laws. But in the meantime I think it’d be swell if the police obeyed the actual laws.

    3. It blocks SOME pedestrians. The ones going faster, or slower, than everyone else. It’s not OK to leave anything as large as a motorcycle sitting on the sidewalk. It’s not your way to block. It’s not fair to take that space for yourself. Let people walk on it, stop on the sides for conversation, etc. Maybe the business right next to the sidewalk can put a small sign outside on the sidewalk. A bicycle is very narrow. A motorcycle isn’t anywhere near the same size, even a little one. It’s not even OK to lock a bicycle anywhere you please. The potential inconvenience is enough ‘wrong’ with doing that with a motorcycle. The advantage of having a motorcyle in urban environments? You can go through traffic, park in tiny spaces between cars, lots of completely legal things! Why do you need to park on the sidewalk too?

    4. Even it’s totally legal to park like, that, I’m still annoyed by the fact the dude wouldn’t give up his badge number.

  12. The kid obviously isn’t playing with a full deck or he’d have figured out how to take a video with his phone by now.
    Turn the phone 90° !

  13. It’s great that some in the younger generation are standing up for the law in the face of some who think they’re above the law.

    My experience with police:
    I’ve seen police turn without giving a signal much more often than giving a signal — makes me wonder whether they are told in their training that they do not need to, or even that they shouldn’t.

    I almost got kareemed once. I was at a red light waiting to turn left onto the crossbar of a T.  The light turned green. Luckily I looked right.  If I hadn’t I would have been plowed into by a cop running his red light at about 90 in a 40 zone, no flashing lights, no siren.  As it was I had to stomp on the brakes.

    And then there was the time a cop was turning left across traffic. Turned on his signal and siren then pulled into a fast food restaurant, turned off the lights and siren, and went in and ordered his dinner (didn’t even have a digestive emergency).

    1. If these are the worst of your interactions with police, go buy some lottery tickets becuase you are one lucky SOB.

  14. Maybe that cop and the Vegas cop in this video should start a club on how not to interact with the public: http://youtu.be/7uvyYzjaiyE

  15. Even if the officer is identified nothing will happen to him. Or he’ll be “officially reprimanded” and then given a promotion in two months.
    Pigs cover for their own, that’s why we call them pigs.

  16. I detest all the cop-hating on BoingBoing. The events related to the Boston Marathon bombing again demonstrated law enforcement’s willingness to both protect the public and die for the public. If someone who’ll be risking his life during his shift wants to park on the sidewalk to get a soda, that’s fine by me. There have been 40 line of duty deaths by law enforcement officers so far this year in the US.

    1. Perhaps the cop haters on BB should call the 12 year old with the camera the next time they need help.  Better still, call his parents.

      1. Nobody knows if they’re going to get home alive every time they leave for work.  

        There are reasons to park a motorcycle on the sidewalk vs. parking on the pavement — like if the pavement is new enough to still be relatively soft in the warm sunlight which can lead to the bike tipping over because the kickstand sinks into the road surface.  
        It also may be prudent for the officer to park closer to where he’s going so he can get back to the bike quickly in case of being dispatched to a call. 

        That being said, he could have explained his reasoning to the kid.

    2. There’s no shortage of rah-rah-all-cops-are-heroes stories just about anywhere in the media, whereas stories of police misconduct are obstructed and swept under the rug except in extreme circumstances (Oscar Grant, Amadou Diallo, Abner Louima.)

      I don’t think this example even qualifies as misconduct, except for refusing to identify himself. The story is about the kid knowing the cop’s obligations to the public and not being afraid of him.

      1. The cop would stand in front of that kid to take a bullet if he needed to.

        It’s startling to think that you regard law enforcement heroism as mindless “rah-rah-rah” media propaganda

        1. We don’t have any proof to substantiate your conjecture that he would put his body in the way of an errant bullet to save a kid, but we DO have proof that he would park his motorcycle in the way of a pedestrian walkway to buy a coffee, which is kind of…not heroic in the least?

          So, yes, according to the fiction your have created about this officer in your head, he is a true hero. According to all of the actual evidence we have before us he is kind of an asshole, he abuses his position, and he has no qualms about inconveniencing or being rude to the public he is meant to protect and serve.

        2. The cop would stand in front of that kid to take a bullet if he needed to.

          Plenty of people would, and we’re even not wearing vests or getting paid. Do we get to run red lights and park wherever we want now?

        3. The cop would stand in front of that kid to take a bullet if he needed to.

          You’re delusional. Why don’t you provide some citations comparing the number of times in the last decade that a police officer has “taken a bullet” for a citizen with the number of times that police officers have killed or maimed disabled, acutely ill, demented senior, etc. citizens because they were terrified of getting hurt themselves.

        4. You don’t know what that cop would do.  It’s no different to claim he’s automatically a hero than it is to claim he’s an automatic villain.

          Either way, he handled the situation really poorly.

      2. Swept under the rug?? I don’t think you know the constant scrutiny police are under, at least in NYC, from Internal Affairs, the CCRB, the NYCLU, and the media. How much more scrutiny does a group of civil servants require??

        1. How much more scrutiny does a group of civil servants require??

          When they carry guns and have the full force of the state backing them, there cannot be too much scrutiny. Why don’t you provide us with some citations comparing the number of times that the police have unlawfully killed or maimed citizens compared with the number of times that they’ve been charged, tried, convicted and punished.

        2. Are you kidding?  There aren’t enough regulators in the country to keep NYC cops honest if they don’t want to be, any more than there are enough cops in NYC to stop illegal marijuana smoking or even double-parking.

          (Having been an occasional New Yorker, I consider double-parking to be an offense that should be punished immediately, with explosives or at least sledgehammers, no need for court proceedings until after the fact.  But I still understand why people do it, and why a cop might want to park on the sidewalk even if he’s not a total jerk.)

      3. My problem is the fact the guy just kinda sneered at the kid and copped attitude. Besides police are not above the law and should be setting examples to follow. Higher standards and all.

        I’ve no doubt he’s actually a nice enough guy and would be more than willing to do any number of dangerous things in the line of work. Just the whole incident makes him look like a dick (slightly) abusing his being a cop to park wherever he likes for a snack.

      1. Risking their lives for the public, not merely engaging in dangerous labor. When a cop dies by being willfully shot or stabbed, that’s different from a job with a high percentage of on-site unintended accidents

        1.  Who do you think those fisherman are fishing for, if not to deliver fish to the public? Who do you think the garbage men are serving, if not the public?

          Why does it matter what the /source/ of the danger is? The fact remains that being a police officer is less dangerous than quite a few other jobs, but danger doesn’t give you the right to ignore the law, and when someone who’s job it is to uphold the law decides to ignore it, you are undermining the very institution you are supposedly working to support.

          The cops I’ve met are not generally heroic. They are generally quite willing to put the public in additional danger if they think it will reduce their chances of injury. In fact, that seems to be growing standard policy in many police offices, that the life of an officer is worth more than the life of a civilian, as a justification for a variety of dangerous activities like no-knock raids.

          How is that heroic?

          The police are just people. People, working jobs, who get good pay and lots of respect in many areas and plenty of legitimate perks for the risks they take.

          How is it a good thing to let them give the force a bad name by abusing that position?

    3. The events after the bombing demonstrate SOMETHING all right.
      Videos of people forced from their homes at gunpoint by your all-protective cops.
      Videos of fucking god damned tanks rolling down the street and sweeping the occupied apartment buildings with their military rifles.
      Videos of little old ladies’ purses searched while the “willing” cops pointed guns at them in the streets.

      THAT is not the nation I grew up in.
      Fuck the police.

      1. Yes because it’s the police officers that have taken upon themselves to make these decisions, they were in no way directives from those higher up the food chain, like the government the majority voted in.  Blame yourself, asshole.

      2. I live a few miles from where all that was going on.

        Given that there was literally a mad bomber on the loose who was last seen chucking homemade bombs at police before driving over his own brother, I’m damn glad that the cops were out in force to find the guy. And yes, with armored cars. Let’s not exaggerate the facts.

        1. Unpopular opinion but boston, where there is a clear present IDENTIFIABLE threat that isn’t just OMG TERRURSS and is instead a very real person who’s threatening people’s lives and safety I can understand going in full bore. 

          Were it all guns and boots and stuff on a half-there idea that someone MIGHT show up at some future time then I’d have problems.

      3. I love how it’s ok for this guy to say “Fuck the police” but say anything negative about him and the comment is deleted.  Pretty sad, BoingBoing.

    4.  To be fair, civilians rushed toward the carnage too, and it was a random homeowner who found that shithead hiding in his boat, not the authorities.

      Personally I don’t really give a shit if the cop parks on the sidewalk to grab a quick soda on duty. Especially considering it’s sprawly Vegas and there’s probably no way that he’s blocking anybody from doing anything. His refusal to give the kid his info is troubling though, even if the kid was likely put up to this by a manipulative parent.

      1. Civilians rush toward carnage but law enforcement officers have to risk their lives every day. My husband is an NYPD detective and was a first responder to 9/11. Being part of a cop family is stressful and cops generally are just trying to do the best they can. They’re not the caricatures they are so often depicted as. I usually let BBs attitude toward the police roll off my back. I like just looking at the Bananas.

        1. So being a first responder gives you the right to disregard the law when you like?  Not sure I understand your argument is.

          Maybe you should just ask people not to judge all police by bad cops actions instead of using these kind of fallacious arguments about saving lives, you could also quit being so dishonest as to suggest that there aren’t a ton of bad cops out there, as well as good ones of course. I live in Chicago, so yeah…. that kind of makes me laugh…


        2. If your husband is a good cop, that’s fantastic and you should be proud.  But just as it’s a fact that there are lots of good cops out there, it’s also a fact that there are lots of bad cops out there.

          It’s important to point out when a cop is being a bad cop.  Cops should value this more than others.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

        1. Where should the perks you’re advocating for cops stop? They risk their lives for us, right, so they should have free access to your property without a warrant, right? What if they’re in a bad mood and pull you over, and no one’s around, and you’re being kind of a jerk in their opinion, what’s a little nightstick to the head?

          See where I’m going with this?

    5. The cop-hate is less tiresome when it’s from people who actually try to do something about it, even if it’s just march in an anti-brutality parade.  It’s quite tedious from the average couch-potato Internet forum commentator, though.

      1. I always imagine that the worst of these commentators have never gotten off their ass to protest anything in their lives.

      2. I’d say talking about it openly isn’t tedious at all. Unless you’re stopping on the sidewalk at Starbucks to pick up your iced double Mochachino, while refusing to follow the laws you’re sworn to uphold, and trying to intimidate a 12 year old.

        I’d bet that would get tedious quickly.

    6. Boston PD, specifically, have done a great job redeeming themselves in the face of tragedy. Let’s not pretend they have a sterling past or unimpeachable reputation. They – as many other PDs – have put the public in danger through cowardice and malice in the past. 

      We should expect that LEOs have a higher regard for the law, not a lower one. 

    7. What “cop-hating?”  I see lots of “bad cop-hating,” and that’s a good and necessary thing in a free society.

      As far as “risking his life,” that’s what they sign up for and they should feel lucky they aren’t roofers or garbage collectors.


      EDIT: I see the same point was made below. Pretending that cops are heroes because they’re cops is no different than pretending that they’re villains because they’re cops.

    8. Cop-criticizing is not cop-hating.

      Farmers average x2 the annual death-on-the-job rate per 100,000. They feed you. But if one of them were a scoff-law, yo’d advocate that they all can be scoff-laws, because they die and provide a benefit to society?

      Roofers shelter you, they have almost precisely a x2 death-on-the-job rate per 100,000. But if one of them spat on you from up there, it’s okay because they might fall and they put a roof over your head?

      Steel-workers die at a rate x4 that of cops, they built something of everything about our infrastructure, which provides you a standard of living only dreamed of in most places. So I gather one of them could slap you upside the head with a crowbar and it’d be cool, cause danger and benefit provided.

      You don’t even want to know what aircraft pilots & aircraft engineeers & loggers should be able to do to you based on your criteria, they die x6 on the job, compared to cops.

      God help you if a fisheries industry worker decide they like yo pretty lips. They die -a lot- and give us fish.

      Tens of millions of Americans do work far more dangerous than police & provide the society that too many Americans recognized is over-policed. Get over it.

  17. And that is what you can call them the next time something really bad happens to you or your loved ones. 

    And god help them if they don’t arrive on the scene fast enough, right?

    1. Wait, you actually call the cops when you’re in trouble?  My son did that once, and it was one of the ten most terrifying experiences of my life.

    2. Unfortunately, they won’t be able to come because all their cars and motorcycles are in the impound lot for unpaid tickets.

      saaaad faaaace

  18. Along these lines @PPAwatch (on Twitter) is exposing Philly’s infamous PPA (featured in ‘Parking Wars’) for the casual scofflaw nature of their own PEOs. Hard to say if it’s making an impact yet, but it’s nice to see someone pushing back. Several instances where there’s enough info for PPA to ticket their own PEOs, and pretty funny back and forth too.

  19. I’d love to see what Willie Wonka would make of such an officious little boy.

  20. Personally, I’m pro law enforcement.  But I also detest bad cop behavior, as do my relatives who are on the job.

    My brother was shot on the job during a call to store robbery. (NYC)
    My first cousin was stabbed in the chest on a 911 call from a wife during a domestic dispute.  (LA)

    That said, this story of the little officious kid galls me to no end.
    The cop parked on the sidewalk. So what? Why is everyone so bent out (their civil rights) shape about it?

    1. Because some people equate Questioning Authority — whether it needs to be questioned or not — with being a proper Boing Boing reader.

    2.  So the cop broke the law. The law should apply to everyone equally. That’s one of the most basic, fundamental values of justice and human rights. This particular lawbreaker didn’t do more than inconvenience people, but where do you draw the line? If you still can’t grasp the inequality here, how about YOU park on the sidewalk and see what happens? I’m guessing your “what’s the big deal?” defense won’t get you out of a ticket.

  21. This reminds me of my first ever traffic ticket. I was 16, and it was my first day riding my motorcycle to school. I was the last cycle out and followed the crowd. They cut across a vacant lot and I followed. Then I saw a cop stopping them, and I stopped. He waved me over and directed me to cross the sidewalk and park behind his car. Then he ticketed me for riding on the sidewalk.

    I have never liked or trusted cops since, and have seen further abuses by cops since that time. They do indeed think themselves above the law. I’m proud of this young man for holding this cop to account for his actions.

  22. This is typical of police abuse of power.  The young man should be commended for his bravery and actions. 
    The motorcycle cop should be suspended without pay.  He should make a formal apology to the young man, the young man’s parents and to the community in general.  He should also be stripped of all motorcycle duty and be remanded to a desk job until retirement (hopefully in the basement of the police station)

    This video should be made mandatory viewing for all police as to not how to act with the public.

    1. Overreact much?

      That officer isn’t endangering anyone. He’s getting a fucking soda.

      Your contempt for authority sickens me.

        1.  Blind obedience to the police state of thugs like this motorcycle cop sickens all of us as you can read from just about every person on this thread.

    2. He should be suspended without pay and his job destroyed because… he didn’t show his badge to a random 12-year old?

      1. If he acts this way to a 12 year old who asks uncomfortable questions, I can only imagine what he’d do if he actually felt threatened, insulted or otherwise maligned.

        1. Well, yes, but you’re “only imagining” that. For all we know, he’s an incredibly professional and polite cop when he’s not being filmed by a 12-year old.

      2. If you can’t follow the rules of your job, why should you be allowed to keep it?

        1. The problem there is that, as others have pointed out, he wasn’t necessarily breaking any rules at all.

          We don’t know the legality of him parking his bike on the sidewalk, despite what Jeremy says in his video, and we also don’t know the actual rules around divulging badge numbers.

          “Being a bit curt to a 12-year old with an iPhone” isn’t really grounds for losing your job, in my opinion.

          1. The problem there is that, as others have pointed out, he wasn’t necessarily breaking any rules at all.

            What tin-pot dictatorship do you live in where police aren’t required to provide proof that they’re really police?

          2. There’s a very big difference between a policeman breaking a law and just being brusque to a kid. Jumping to that sort of hyperbole is silly.

      3.  Honestly, for this I think a warning to shape up and a firm reprimand for being an asshole and making the force look bad would be more than enough.

  23. Jesus. That kid is a dick.

    If a police officer saw a motorcycle parked on the sidewalk, the proper response would be to ask its owner to move it. If he immediately asked for the owner’s license and registration while filming the discussion, he’d be a jackass.

    By the same reason, that kid is acting like a dick.

    1.  The young man is a brave freedom fighter.  Fighting for our rights when most of us cower away.  He is much braver than ANY cop becuase he doesn’t have a badge.  Don’t believe those fake stories about police heroism. None of them.  It’s all political lies created by the government to hide the illegal activities of the police.

      1.  Calling this kid a “freedom fighter” and then talking conspiracy theories. I don’t really want you on my side…

  24. The kid made a mistake. Laws don’t apply to cops..

    The best pot in my old neighborhood came from the son of a cop.

    I’ve never trusted a cop since some poor hard working immigrant got his ass shot up forty plus times by some scaredy-cat cops and they got off.

    I’ll say it again: Laws don’t apply to cops..

    Who you gonna call? The cops?


  25. In spite of the officer’s being wrong in this case, I don’t really hold it against him to not take this kid seriously. I wouldn’t have. I find it doubtful that this kid acted on his own feelings about police abusing authority, and knew for himself that he had a right to ask for a badge number. It’s possible, but it seems more likely he was put up to the whole thing by an offended parent watching nearby. Either that or he learned that he could ask for a badge number and simply waited for the first offending officer to try it out.

    If the point of the video is to demonstrate police abuse of power, I think this video would have had more effect and less entertainment value were the kid replaced with an adult. But even so, what would the point be of showing a minor, incidental case of abuse of power like this?

    This video seems like a low-blow, it superficially presents a subject matter that will get people riled-up, but its main effect and point seem to be the novelty of watching a ballsy and (probably untruly) precocious kid. 

  26. Seriously, folks. By appearances this was a very minor offense on the officer’s part. If it was anything at all. Look at all the harm to the public that he did by parking his bike on the empty sidewalk for a few minutes! My trust in law enforcement is forever undermined by this egregious abuse of power!

    While the kid had a right to ask for the badge number (and the cop probably should have given it), it seems totally unnecessary to force a confrontation like this. I’m assuming the kid’s parents put him up to it. If so, I guess good for them for trying to teach their child to know his rights and call out authority figures when they do something wrong. Great, more people should know that stuff. But I don’t think they’re teaching him what they think they are. This was not a healthy interaction between a citizen and an officer of the law. You end up with both sides distrusting each other, and there shouldn’t be “both sides” here.

    Also, mark me down as not cool with the vigorous cop-hating that always seems to come out after these kinds of posts. Yes, troubling incidents do happen that call into question the accountability and transparency of certain police departments. But saying all pigs are fucking assholes doesn’t exactly elevate the conversation. Grow up.

    1.  I have much respect for police and the work that they do. In general, I trust police (the RCMP, in my case) to work in the best interest of the public. They’re dedicated and vital public servants.

      But they should not be above the law. It is, if anything, more important that they be servants of the law, not masters of it.

    2. While the kid had a right to ask for the badge number (and the cop probably should have given it), it seems totally unnecessary to force a confrontation like this.

      Who´s forcing the confrontation then? I´d say both. The cop could have played it cool and just showed him his badge number as he is required to or god forbid admitted that he shouldn´t have parked there. I´d say no one at his department would have given a shit if Jeremy had called in with the badge number.

      While parking on the sidewalk just because you can is douchey, it didn´t harm anyone. The refusal of American cops to identify themselves as required on the other hand seems to be a wide spread bad habit and certainly does have dangerous implications.

    3. This was not a healthy interaction between a citizen and an officer of the law.

      It would have been healthy if the officer had given his badge number, and explained that it was common for cops to park in ways that don’t inconvenience others when they want to stop for a quick drink.  He could have then said that if the kid thinks cops shouldn’t do that, he should report the incident, maybe even talk to his local representative.

      But this cop didn’t do that.  He treated the kid the way most cops treat people who question their behavior.

      People are not supposed to “trust” cops.  That’s the entire point of due process and the bill of rights.


      This doesn’t mean that all cops are bad.  But many are, and they couldn’t do it if “good” ones didn’t turn a blind eye to it.  I do believe, however, that police departments are less corrupt than they used to be.

  27.  Don’t feel bad. I had a 10th grade chemistry teacher tell us ‘there are more brain cells in the brain than atoms in the universe’. I knew what she meant, that there were more combinations of connections between brain cells, and while I didn’t know if this were true or not I certainly knew what she said was physically impossible. I pointed it out to her in  class. She told me I was incorrect as she knows more about science than I do. I told her what she said was completely impossible no matter how much you know, and I got detention for it. sigh.

    1. I had an art teacher who insisted that the eyes are ¾ of the way up a human head. She was pretty embarrassed when I went up to the chalkboard and drew a correctly-proportioned face next to misshapen thing she’d drawn but she didn’t discipline me for proving her wrong (come on, an art teacher disciplining?)

      In hindsight I wish I’d been less of a shit about it, but I suppose that’s what the mid-teen years are for.

    2. Am I the only child who got several teachers fired for incompetence?

      1. Apparently you were only lucky enough to have a principal or school board that would have listened to your story.

  28. In the case of a emergency most likely a fire, vehicles on the sidewalk block the path of the first responders,those  responsible for saving lives, we have laws for a good and logical purpose for the most part. Those who endanger others, so that they can get sugary confections should be held to task. even if it is a patriotic law loving 12 year old doing the whipping. 

  29. I love Boing Boing and would never miss an episode of Gweek, but when you guys go flopping over into these bits of BS socio-political flotsam, it’s pathetic. Tell me how to make a police motorcycle using a 3-D printer and I’m interested, but a motorcycle cop parking on a sidewalk and some 12 year-old, blah-blah-blah, whatever.

    1.  The “BS socio-political flotsam” is more important than tech.  It’s about how we conduct ourselves in society, how we maintain our tenuous grasp on “civilization” and how we keep from sliding into a police state.  Indeed, without all that “BS” we wouldn’t even have tech.  You may not be interested in all that but a great many people are, and I’m glad for that.

    2. So, you’re saying it’s pathetic because you’re not interested.  And then you make the salient point of, “…blah-blah-blah, whatever.”

      Were you the captain of your high school debate team, by chance?

  30. This reminds me…

    I wonder what the happy mutants around here would feel if it was an ambulance vehicle which was parking illegally?

    Short story long: I once lived near to an ice cream shop situated at crossroads, in the vicinity of a hospital. Emergency physician’s vehicles and ambulances used to stop there, sometimes even blocking traffic in a one-lane road. Usually, the front-seat passenger would get out, grab some cones, and get back into the car.

    If they parked, they parked in front of a designated fire brigade access gate of a public building. Absolutely no parking allowed there, not even stopping for getting of the passenger seat. Some of the staff sometimes warned them, but only one time they had a row. Usually they would say something in the line of “We’ll be gone in a couple of seconds. Keep cool, try an ice cone.”

    However: they NEVER got tickets. I am fine with that. Additionally, I often observed other people (usually driving Mercedes convertibles, for some reason) parked right beside the ambulance van – and getting told off by the staff in a very different way. That was always really classy entertainment.

    Even more fun were the cases when the ambulance already was on the move again within a minute, and the convertible stayed until it got towed. Once or twice a year, this happened, usually when it was really crowded and the driver went of to a nearby bar and didn’t notice the staff searching for the owner of that outrageously parked car. Euro and World Cup were best, because the towing got cheers on end, with The Wave.

    The police was always involved before towing.

    They usually also grabbed a cone, afterwards.
    Ah, the sweet satisfaction temptation…

  31. Good for him.  Cops always break the law themselves (illegally parking, using sirens just to cut through traffic and turn them off after they pass the light, etc.).  I really hope this video gets to the cop’s superiors.  It is against the law for a uniformed officer to withhold his/her badge number or identification.

  32.  Every Citizen should be as educated as Jeremy. Police officers are public servants, yet everyone gets nervous when they see one and feels like they need to walk on eggshells around them. Laws apply to them as well as they do us. “TAKE THE POWER BACK”

  33. Cop had to park on the sidewalk as he was too fat to walk from the street.  Way to go kid.  I get sick of seeing cops routinely doing things that anyone else would get a ticket or arrested for.  

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