Dear PoP

ignorance, originally uploaded by yosita_82.


“So, PoP, what do you do when you see one of DC’s finest throw his trash out of his squad-car window?”

Yikes, I would be very angry. Obviously unacceptable, especially from one who should be leading by example. I suppose if the car was moving you wouldn’t be able to approach the officer to voice your dismay. Hmm. I may be crazy but if it were me and the car was stopped I would go talk to the officer in a very respectful manner explaining why I was upset. If that wasn’t possible, I guess I would take down their license plate or squad car number and then contact my Council member. You can also email me the information and I’d be happy to pursue the matter. I think cops happen to have a really difficult job but this behavior is unacceptable. I’m sorry to hear about this – that is for sure.What would you guys do in this situation?

9 Comment

  • An anonymous complaint to the DC Internal Affairs division will at least get the officer’s attention, maybe more. Send your complaint (no name required) to [email protected] . Include as much information as possible: car number, date, time, and (if you’re feeling gutsy) your contact info and the names of any other witnesses.

    And, if your complaint isn’t anonymous, when the inevitable retaliation occurs, you can bring *that* to the attention of the Office of Police complaints (an independent agency of DC government).

    Full details on all of the above at:,a,1241,q,548649,mpdcNav_GID,1523,mpdcNav,|.asp

  • Well….it’s not like this is a double standard type of situation. Through some hilarious [read: sad] quirk of DC law, MPD is not allowed to enforce the current littering law.

    Your best bet would be to post the date/time and cruiser number [written on the rear bumper and door] on whichever district’s yahoo list serv. The officer’s buddies will give him a harder time than DC’s citizen complaint board ever could. Oh, and obviously use an annonomized email account – that retaliation thing is no joke.

  • Littering is such a cultural institution in DC, like killing over hard looks, that its possible the guy just didn’t think. Where I am from, blowing snot out a nostril is common, and I confess I do that occasionally as well. Not to say that its not wrong and / or disgusting, but the intent is relatively innocent (and misguided, yes). Face it, we live among the most ignorant and pathetic people on earth….

  • I say sentence him to full-time litter cleanup in the neighborhood in which he littered, for one year.

    Seriously, cars on fire is one thing, but the whole litter thing has got to fucking stop.

  • Dear Anonymous,

    Worry not, for snot is highly biodegradable and contains proteins and water that benefit flowers and grasses. I throw the occasional banana peel or apple core out of the car window with the knowledge that it can serve as fertilizer for road-side foliage. If there’s a sidewalk, I always refrain out of fear of a miss-throw or the possibility that someone could slip on the banana peel and fall. I don’t think, however, that a person could slip and fall on a booger.

  • Snots Landing! you totally beat me to the punch. Snot Rockets are natural, hygienic, entertaining, and environmentally friendly; Save a tissue – Spackle a sidewalk. That being said, littering drives me to the brink of insanity and regularly lands me middle of a red faced screaming match or an impressively lyrical series of death threats in this neighborhood (Say what you will about the DC educational system, but these kids are in no need of a thesaurus). As for the cop, I echo CB’s suggestion and many others frustration… this has gotta stop (perhaps a Delewaresque recycling policy, bottles & cans for cash?)

  • Marc Fisher of the Post had an interesting article last year on DC’s failures to pass a bottle return/refund bill. As with damn near everything else in the city it comes down to racial bs:

  • God, I’m feeling cynical this morning, but I have to say: what do you expect?? For whatever reason littering does seem to be tacitly accepted in DC, and it’s not as if we’re only hiring cops from outside the District who weren’t raised just a little bit desensitized to littering. Last time I was at the Giant, I saw a guy parked right next to a trash can open his car door and just throw a soda bottle on the street — in the middle of dozens of pedestrians — and no one said a word. It would be nice if there was some leadership within the department that said everybody who wears the blue will be a model citizen and lead by example, but I’m sure they’ve got bigger fish to fry when they go into work. I’d report the guy, then let out a long sigh on the assumption that it won’t go any further.

  • Check out the science and technology section of The Economist from two weeks ago. They had an article on a study undertaken in The Netherlands that confirmed the ideas about dis-order leading to larger problems.

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