Unacceptable: “Out of Town Cops Catcalling Me”


A reader writes:

“As I was walking home from work yesterday along Swann Street NW between 16th and 15th Streets, a cop car drove up slowly next me and yelled ‘Hey Neighbor!’ I looked at the car and there were 2 young-ish looking cops and I replied ‘Are you talking to me?’ and they said ‘Yeah, good looking’ well I continued to keep walking ignoring that idiot remark, shaking my head as I went and could hear them laughing. This was a little too creepy especially for cops (in uniform), and I definitely did not appreciate it. I took photos of their car (which is now parked on Swann Street NW) – see the attached, Kentucky license plates, and it says Richmond. Why are Richmond, Kentucky cops doing here? And why are they being obnoxious? Idiots…”

Ed. Note: This week is police week.”Currently, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events which honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.”

OP has written the Richmond, KY police department about this incident as well.

195 Comment

  • Unsurprising given the behavior of many of the cops that take over the area during Police Week.

  • I hate hate HATE Police Week. There’s never a better time for cops from all across the country to come and somehow break every single traffic law with impunity, not to mention more serious crimes like harassment.

    You wanna know why nobody respects police any more? The culture of this week is a good place to start.

    • Agree 100%. Police should be setting examples for our country, not breaking laws because they show up en masse and decide to have a big old party. The double standard of how police treat each other versus how they treat citizens is so blatant during police week. Ugh.

  • Oh yeah, that’s happened to me too. This morning I had to jump out of the crosswalk when a group of out-of-state officers on motorcycles ran a red light while pedestrians were already in the crosswalk. I also asked some officers to stand on the right on metro and missed my train because they said “they didn’t have to” and blocked the left of the escalator. I wish governments would ban spending on this trip. It’s wasteful and is just a perk for officers, who are not on their best behavior and make cops look bad.

    • Well, I also don’t always stand to the right if i’m talking with someone, or have a rolling suitcase. And i take the metro everyday.

      It may be courteous to do so, and i try when i can, but it’s not like it’s actually illegal or anything.

      • It’s not illegal but when someone asks to pass and you refuse, it’s rude.

        • It is not illegal, but it is a posted rule. In my book that elevates it a notch above courtesy. A person could resonably argue that using the metro obligates you to follow the posted rules of use.
          +For shame to Cops cat calling. If anyone should be setting a positive example it is you!

      • If you have a rolling suitcase, put it on the step in front of you or behind you.
        If you’re talking to someone, you both stand on the right, one or two steps apart, and one of you faces sideways or backwards to accommodate your conversation.

        • Seriously. This isn’t rocket science. Don’t block up the left side with your luggage or conversation!

      • It is common courtesy to not block people from moving in public space. You aren’t out in the world all by yourself, after all. Conversations and suitcases don’t require blocking moving stairs, er, escalators.

  • jburka

    Because nothing says “I’m commemorating my fallen comrades” like catcalling. Ugh.

  • I hope they’re reprimanded like any other municipal employees in town for a networking junket who reflect badly on their taxpayer-funded employer.

  • I had to dodge 3 cops riding bikeshare bikes downtown on the sidewalks ringing their bells telling people to get out of the way. I’m so ready for them to leave.

  • At least they didn’t shoot you.

  • palisades

    Plenty of threads on Reddit as well about these fine individuals. Drunkenly carrying concealed firearms, disobeying traffic laws, starting fights, etc.

  • Ugggghhh police week is the worst. Bunch of overgrown frat boys on a power trip. I saw bunch open carrying coming out of bars in chinatown last night too

    Good for you for calling them out OP

    • I can’t believe cops who are out of jurisdiction would be allowed to carry firearms in the District of Columbia, especially in bars. But this event has unfortunately turned into Spring Break for Cops.

      • I was trying to explain why Police Week is so awful in DC and was failing. “Spring Break for Cops” really puts a finger on it. The word “entitled” gets thrown around on this blog quite a lot, but here’s somewhere it really fits.

    • Open carrying firearms or drinks??

  • This happened to me, too, as I was walking past the law enforcement memorial. Two guys cat-calling and being weird. I also love how the FOP van driving these folks around is running red lights and ignoring pedestrians. Sigh.

  • And, they are the worse offenders about eating and drinking on Metro…

  • So inappropriate – good for OP contacting their police department!

  • Wow… everybody is so against the police. This happens all the time but a policeman does it and all of sudden he is a horrible person that should be shamed on the internet. I’m sorry but I agree with more stringent accountability from the police department. But people need to stop making them out to the scum of the earth. You wouldn’t want their job.

    • They apparently don’t want their jobs. You put on a uniform, you agree to be held to a higher standard. It’s part and parcel of the police gig. If they want to act like frat boys on spring break, they can do it out of uniform. Oh, but then they wouldn’t get away with as much harassment and intimidation? They might get arrested for it like normals? What a predicament!

      • +5000 I’m so tired of seeing crap behavior being excused because they have a tough job. They chose the job, and it comes with responsibilities. There are good cops out there, to be sure. And I can guarantee that none of them are behaving like such drunk idiots or abusing the power entrusted to them like these disrespectful jokers are.

      • justinbc

        Yes, they should definitely be held to a higher standard, but you would never be arrested for calling someone “good looking”.

        • Actually, a zealous prosecutor could probably fit an act of sexual harassment under disturbing the peace. Whether you would get arrested for it initially depends on the discretion of the police officer on the scene.

    • palisades

      You’re right. I don’t want their job. They’re supposed to be held to a higher standard. They’re also supposedly representing these police districts from all over the country. Act like adults. It would definitely do good for law enforcement as a whole to see these people making positive examples.

    • the difference being that they are supposed to uphold the law and hold themselves up as an example to society

    • What’s so distasteful to me is tourists using their police uniforms to lord over district residents and break the law without any accountability. Forget a higher standard—I’d just like them to meet the same standard required of everyone else.

      • This has nothing to do with Police bashing, LoganG, and everything to do with these folks acting like idiots EVERY SINGLE YEAR. And you’re right, I don’t want their jobs. I also don’t want people to be able to take photos of me acting like an ass while on a business trip. So I guess I’ll revoke my academy application this afternoon.

    • Don’t be dense. If a large group of tourists (and make no mistake, that’s what they are in this instance), acts like irresponsible, lawbreaking, classless assholes, they can, and should, be called out on it, and yes, shamed for it. Their occupation makes no difference – unless your position is that while on vacation, cops are exempt from local laws and have the right to be dicks?

    • This does NOT “happen all the time.” There are conventions almost every weekend and there is not a single one that is so disruptive and violent.

      • I prefer Rolling Thunder to Police Week. On the whole, the attendees are much more pleasant to deal with. I don’t imagine I’m along on this point. You’d think that would shame the cops.

  • Probably wouldn’t hurt to contact the event organizers to report the harassment. Also, are there laws about this. The events that occurred could possibly meet the definition for verbal harassment or stalking (http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/SSH-KYR-DC.pdf)

  • Ally

    Every DC cop and DA I know dreads police week in DC. While the purpose of it may be noble, the drinking ends up resulting in a ton of cops getting in trouble and often arrested.

    • Interesting but sad. Considering how many “courtesies” the MPD and other local forces must grant to these folks, the level of stupid you’d have to achieve to actually get arrested must be mind-boggling.

    • I have to say, this event makes me appreciate DC cops more. Compared to cops in other jurisdictions they’re a lot less power hungry and ridiculous.

      • Agree. The more I have dealt with cops outside of DC, the more I appreciate DC Cops.

      • +1. MPD isn’t perfect, but thank god they seem better than 99% of cops out there.

      • Got to agree with this. DC cops are the most chill cops I’ve ever encountered.
        Then again, I’m a white male (so I understand my privileged position)

      • Agree as well. DC cops may have their problems but on the whole do a good job, are there when you need them, and seem to treat the city with a generally decent level of respect.

      • +1. It’s especially admirable given all of the extra craziness they have to deal with given that this is D.C. (conventions, people protesting everything and everyone, etc.)

    • I’d love to know how each jurisdiction chooses who gets to come here each year. I can only assume it’s the winners of some sort of obstacle course of beer bongs and finding the hidden video on PornHub.

      • I think it’s the local leadership + their hand-chosen favorites. So yeah, this entitlement starts at the top.

        • Over the years I have never seen a single female officer in uniform visiting for police week. There must be some in attendance but it feels like a bunch of good old boys with guns living it up in DC.

          • I saw a few women in uniform today, but they’re definitely in the minority as they are in the general career.

    • justinbc

      Well at least they are getting arrested, that should quiet some of the outrage here from people claiming that they’re not being held accountable.

  • I’m not even remotely surprised given what else I’ve seen them do here.

    To serve and protect (and do whatever the hell they please because they’re above the law)

    They make me miss the regular tourists who just stand on the left of the escalator

  • Gross. I’ve made it a point to blatantly ignore these guys when they’re cruising around on their motorcycles or whatever else they think is so cool. Their egos really need to be knocked down a notch.

  • bbhart113


  • On Tuesday I was walking down H between 11 and 12 Sts., where I passed two out of town cops “tailgating” with their police trailer. One was set up in a folding camping chair on the sidewalk, Miller Lite in hand. I was too nervous to take a picture of him. I think they were from Maryland or Pennsylvania; I can’t remember. Wish I could crack open a cold one on the street, too.

  • I’ve been harboring my resentment for this week because I though expressing it would make me a horrible person so I’m glad I’m not alone! Let’s see, this week I’ve experienced: a freakin’ Expedition from GA with police tags driving the middle of 2 lanes of Pennsylvania Ave during rush hour traffic (until they pulled a Uturn across the bike lanes of course), all of the other obnoxiously large SUVs illegally parked too close to every intersection in Capitol Hill making it very difficult to see pedestrians/bikes/cars, and yes the bikes running pedestrians off the sidewalks in the middle of Downtown DC.
    I want to be completely supportive of all our men & women in uniform but we’re already at our limit with inconsiderate & entitled behavior in this town. This week it has more than toppled over the edge! Thanks for your service, I wish you safety and good health, now please take your frat party back home!

  • Out of curiosity, what is the law for police officers, out of their jurisdiction, off duty, to open carry in the District? I saw a group on the Metro the other day, with their badges around their necks, but out of uniform and traveling with their kids, all carrying guns. I just don’t understand the need to bring guns with you to a memorial or dinner while on vacation.

    • My Ex boyfriend is a MPD officer and its really frowned upon to leave your gun anywhere. I know that you are asking about other jurisdictions but most officers carry their guns because they don’t want anyone to get a hold of it. If they traveled all the way to DC with their guns, they probably don’t feel safe storing it anywhere but on their person. My ex took his gun EVERYWHERE smh most of the time we were in Northern MD which is out of jurisdiction.

      On the other hand, I don’t condone this AT ALL! If i was the OP I would have loss my s#it. I hate cat calling. Regardless of who you are or your profession. I demand respect, your badge does not make you more important then me as a law abiding citizen and a human being.

    • There is a federal law that was passed in 2004 that allows all qualified law enforcement officers to carry firearms off-duty in nearly every jurisdiction, regardless of state (or DC) law. There are some exceptions, but what you saw was not illegal.

    • My boss just told me a story about going out with co-workers during Police Week a few years back and one of them accidentally picking up and leaving the bar with a brief case that wasn’t any of theirs. When he brought it to the office the next day, thinking it was a colleagues, they were all stunned to find out it contained a loaded gun and ammo.

    • The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004 (LEOSA) makes it legal. This federal law prevents DC from being able to impose its firearm restrictions on out of state officers while they’re here.

      • Even if they are drunk?

        • No, the federal law doesn’t apply if the officer is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It also doesn’t keep states from allowing private business owners to refuse entry to people carrying guns.

  • Eh, it gives metro police a break from their catcalling BS.

  • The sense of entitlement is sickening. They all seem to expect to ride Metro for free; they park illegally; drink out on the street; and otherwise act like frat boys with guns.

    • Metro encourages police to ride for free. The flip side is that if they’re riding for free Metro expects them to be alert and aware and be an extra set of eyes and hands if needed. All they have to do is show their badge to get into the system.

  • Funny, I was talking about this with a cabbie on Wednesday. A nightmare congestion on Connecticut from Farragut all the way just past the Hilton north of Dupont. Some out of town cops decided to triple park and on make 1 lane available. Cabbie told me he had seen fights, public drunkenness, and open carry all week.

  • Here is contact info for the organizers: http://www.policeweek.org/contact.html
    I’m not holding my breath, but it could be worth while for future years if people emailed them asking for a little more respect for their host city and its citizens.

    • For the OP, it would probably be more effective to contact the local TV station or newspaper from their jurisdiction with this information. Nothing may come of it, but being shamed for their actions in their home town while acting as representatives of their local government while on a taxpayer funded junket would have more of an impact. Lord knows they don’t give a sh*t about what people in this town think of them!

  • I would bet my life they were drunk, too. Cop Week is the absolute worst. It should be abolished, along with about 99% of the police departments in this country.

  • First of all, if you see police doing something illegal call 911. The only way MPD will deal with it is if citizens force them to.
    Second, the level of abuse by these cops is completely beyond anything reasonable. Prostitutes come from all over the region for this weekend as it is well known to be the most busy (and most dangerous as many are beaten). They fight in bars, carry weapons, park illegally, harass residents, and more. Even if most of the worst activity is conducted by a minority, it is the responsibility of the organization to control them. All attendees are complicit in this behavior.
    I’d urge everyone to document the abuses as best you can and try to alert national media. It’s a national embarrassment that this is our law enforcement community. There are conferences here every weekend. People from many professions invade DC for a few days and yet the only time this happens is police week.

  • Ugh! I feel your pain…

  • “Ed Note…OP has written the Richmond, KY police department about this incident as well.”

    This is entirely worthless, since cops never hold cops accountable. Write to the Mayor and Commissioners of Richmond.

    Jim Barnes
    Position: Mayor
    Email: [email protected]
    Mobile : 859.661.6000

    Donna Baird
    Position: Commissioner, Mayor Pro-Tem
    Email: [email protected]
    Mobile : 859.582.6950

    Jim Newby
    Position: Commissioner
    Email: [email protected]
    Mobile : 859.358.2304

    Robert Blythe
    Position: Commissioner
    Email: [email protected]
    Mobile : 859.661.0289

    Jason Morgan
    Position: Commissioner
    Email: [email protected]
    Mobile : 859.200.2736

  • Anastasia Beaverhausen

    Police week = when Ferguson comes to DC.

  • I’m sorry- some cops greeted you, kind of complimented you, and you are upset?

    This doesn’t sound offensive- nor does it sound like cat calling to me (unless you left out the part where they whistled or said something to you that was more inappropriate than “yeah, good looking.” This comment being solicited after you asked if they were talking to you when they *gasp* called you “neighbor”). This is ridiculous and I can’t believe the comments are all against the out-of-town cops. You shook your head and kept walking- which is the totally appropriate action for something like this- but why are you publicly shaming them for something this innocuous? Holy moly.

    • I take it you’re a man?

    • For a second I thought you were serious.

    • bbhart113

      Clearly you miss the point, when it feels creepy, unsolicited and unwanted then its harassment. Just leave me alone, let me walk home and there’s no need to introduce conversation, if they needed help or had an actual question about where to park etc. then cool, but if its solely for the purpose to get attention and ‘compliment’ me (laughable), then I’m good, no thanks. Also, I don’t need random dudes to say ‘Good-looking’ to me to feel better, more confident etc. Just let me live my life, I’m respectful of people most of time except when trolls like you comment..oh I’m sure you don’t understand though, you’re probably someone who has never warranted someone to pay any attention to, I get it…poor guy

      • justinbc

        Personally insulting someone just because they express some bit of disagreement with your actions? Way to class up the joint.

        • +1. Personal attacks are inappropriate.

          • bbhart113

            I was hoping JF was a guy in the first post, but now I feel a little bad about my rude replies since JF is indeed a woman, still don’t agree with the opinion that… ‘some cops greeted you, kind of complimented you, and you are upset? This doesn’t sound offensive- nor does it sound like cat calling to me’ …no one else was there, I am the only judge of how it felt and heard their tone etc., I have been catcalled much worse, but never by cops (at least that I actually heard), so yes this was on the lesser scale/spectrum of catcalling, but still felt gross. I wouldn’t have been as harsh/rude in my replies since I feel only ladies (and gay men) who have experienced this know what its like, but again maybe JF doesn’t mind getting catcalled, IDK, IDC. I’ll have to work on injecting my ‘snark’ with a modicum of wit instead of being straight up rude, until next time… Apologies fellow woman, JF!

          • justinbc

            Appreciate the tone of reason. FWIW, men might not receive the daily harassment that is catcalling, but we almost all have mothers, sisters, girlfriends, wives, friends, etc, so we absolutely can be empathetic to it. I’ve heard numerous stories from my partner about the stuff she used to get when I lived in Logan Circle (thankfully that never really happens since we moved to Cap Hill), it used to make me sick. I’ve stood up for her on multiple occasions in the street, ready to throw down on any man who takes it too far. Guys do a lot of terrible stuff to women that goes totally unnoticed, but when you’ve seen the scale, somethings may fall on vastly different points on it. Point taken about these being police, and presumably being held to a different standard (even if outside their jurisdiction). And of course, nobody else was there, so your impression of the tone is all that matters, but my reading of the account is that even though they may have started (questionably) out of line, they seemed to at least properly disengage, even if it wasn’t in the most respectful manner (re: laughing). And I’ll leave it at that with hopefully a mutual understanding of positions.

          • bbhart113

            Agreed wholeheartedly Justin! And thank you for sticking up for your lady in worse accounts of catcalling, not a lot of people do as they understandably don’t want it to escalate. I’m glad nothing happened/escalated, they were probably just messing with me (hence the laughing) and that it went no further…I’ve had much worse catcalling, but I couldn’t take photos of them (high up in a construction tower or there were 10 of them around and I didn’t want to take any chances), so at least I’ve one account declared/accounted for, even if it was completely small and on the lower side of the spectrum

        • I agree with Justin. Brittany’s comments (this and others) seem petty and mean.

    • Are you for real? Men hollering at her from a car – is creepy enough. Let alone while “representing” their city in a city-issued car? Let alone the fact that this is beyond unprofessional, especially for someone who should be holding themselves to a higher standard – at least while in their company car.

      It’s such a shame that something that should be about honoring fallen officers has been turned into Spring Break.

    • nope, I’m a woman.

      I understand that the OP didn’t want to be bothered and that’s fine. People in this city never want to be bothered or distracted from their electronics (I’m not saying this is the case here). I do not think that men should be catcalling ladies, saying stupid sh*t like, “can I get some,” “smile honey,” and the like. I witness this often and I just ignore it or do as the OP did- shake my head as I walk away. Whatever, people deal with things differently. That’s fine. I do, however, think that the OP got overly offended for something fairly innocuous (barely warranting the “catcall” remark), and publicly shaming them on a website and opening up the comments to the bigger discussion that police are terrible and abuse their power (duh) is not productive at all.

      I honestly was surprised to see everyone siding with her and wanted to put in my two cents as they were unrepresented. The cops are out of towners- they could have just been trying to be friendly- it was evening time (maybe night) so perhaps they wanted to just make their presence known to make the OP feel safer. I have no flipping idea what they were thinking, but this sounds more friendly than offensive and the need to publicly shame them is unnecessary. That’s all I’m saying.

      • I have to admit that this struck me as pretty low-grade catcalling… but it’s still catcalling, and those cops should know better.

        • bbhart113

          Agreed, I never said it was super horrendous, but its still inappropriate and unwanted/unsolicited and doesn’t need to happen, especially by cops!

          • I think it’s scarier when a cop does it, knowing they could arrest or assault you (and probably get away with it) if you don’t smile and play along.

          • Sassy, that’s exactly what I was thinking. As a woman, at night I’m hyper aware of my surroundings, and something like this–which is how a dangerous situation or assault can begin–would make me nervous. Coming from cops–the guys I’m supposed to go to in a threatening situation–would make me scared.

      • bbhart113

        I feel so sad for you…

        • Oh please don’t. That’s a waste of emotions and would ruin such a lovely Friday. I live a very happy, live-and-let-live, open-minded life.

          • bbhart113

            Haha clearly you do not, but hey ignorance is bliss! ‘LIve and let live’ what poop…My day is still lovely, even more so now that I get to call out lame-os like these cops and now you! Woo cheers for the daft!

          • – 2 for Brittany’s uncalled for snark.

          • justinbc

            When you post something in a public forum, no matter what the subject, expect some people to disagree with you, or at the very least question the situation at hand (and guess what, some might even be female!). Repeatedly insulting anyone who is on the other side of the fence from your perspective might get a laugh from some, but it will most certainly cause you to lose favor with others who might view your initial actions and reactions in a different light afterward.

          • bbhart113

            See my latest above ^^ feel bad about my snark/rudeness, ladies gotta stick together!

      • I don’t think the OP’s concern was that they were distracting her from texting…

        • bbhart113

          Exactly, I wasn’t on my phone, I never am on my phone or listen to music when I walk so I can be aware of say crossing the street and fire truck/ambulance alarms, plus I like being ‘present’ when I walk and its nice out, thanks for ruining it cops 😛

      • The issue generally is that we, as women, deserve the same amount of respect as men walking around the street. When was the last time you saw a man catcalled by someone of authority, even mildly? There are so many better ways for someone to open up a conversation. For example: “Hey, are you from around here, could you suggest…” or “Beautiful day today, isn’t it?” would be some great alternatives to “good looking.'” Probably would get them some better results, too.

      • They are Cops, in uniform, in a police cruiser, all paid for by tax-payers. They are representing their department and their city. May be this behavior is okay in Richmond and tax-payers are okay with their tax dollars being spent this way… but I doubt it.

      • “The cops are out of towners- they could have just been trying to be friendly- it was evening time (maybe night) so perhaps they wanted to just make their presence known to make the OP feel safer.”
        I’m sorry, this is speculative rationalization on the level of the New England Patriots. What BS.

        • bbhart113

          It was at 5:15pm perfectly sunny out no other people around, if they meant well their tone would not have been creepy and they wouldn’t have laughed after I kept walking shaking my head, they knew what they were doing. Period.

      • justinbc

        The “smile honey” nonsense that men do is one of the stupidest things our gender has created to get around the more obvious way of saying “nice ass”, and annoys me to no end. This however, sounds relatively harmless as described, and the OP’s reaction to blast this type of thing publicly, and for everyone to spin that into “cops are the worst” dialogue is just so over the top, but I honestly can’t say I’m at all surprised.

        • bbhart113

          Why? People can take offense, who are you to say it wasn’t worth being offended, it made me feel uncomfortable. Did I state I despise all cops? No. Did I say it was overly offensive? No. But as you stupidly point out above, its a an opinion, way to class it up with your useless comments.

          • justinbc

            “Did I state I despise all cops? No. Did I say it was overly offensive? No.”
            I don’t see anywhere in my post where I made either of those claims, so perhaps you should reevaluate who here is making useless comments.

        • Prince Of Petworth

          MPD does not agree with you Justin.

          • justinbc

            MPD does not agree with what, exactly? Are you saying it’s now illegal to tell people they are good looking unless it’s specifically solicited by them?

          • Prince Of Petworth

            “the OP’s reaction to blast this type of thing publicly…is just so over the top”

            MPD is not happy with this behavior or the other behavior mentioned by commenters and is investigating. So the OP’s reaction is not over the top. It was spot on. Let’s continue this at the happy hour tonight and I can explain to you in greater detail why you are wrong 🙂

          • justinbc

            The other behaviors that have been mentioned do sound quite troubling, however if they are going to start policing things like this it does not bode well for practically half the conversations at any given bar in DC on any night. If there’s some policy about how non-MPD employees are supposed to speak to citizens while in our District, then I’ll happily concede, I’m just always really wary to put a leash on freedom of speech. We will try to make it to the HH tonight, it will likely be rather late as we have an appointment out in VA around 5ish.

          • Prince Of Petworth

            I think the disconnect is that officers, and particularly officers in uniform are, and should be, held to a higher standard. I’ll be there till 9pm so hope traffic isn’t too bad!

          • “Let’s continue this at the happy hour tonight and I can explain to you in greater detail why you are wrong :)”
            I hope Acre 121 has A LOT of beer stocked for this lengthy discussion 😀

        • As a woman, I find the idea of two men in a car following me in a car, at night, down a secluded street (which this part of Swann is) and “complimenting” me extremely creepy. ESPECIALLY when they’re in uniform, armed, and will likely be given the benefit of the doubt if something happens to me (I was “resisting arrest,” right?). I’ll give the OP the benefit of the doubt as to exactly HOW creepy the guys were.
          Cops are supposed to “protect and serve,” not go around hitting on random women walking alone.

          • Oh – and the laughing afterwards suggest to me that they knew that they were making this woman uncomfortable, and that they found it incredibly amusing. Disgusting.

          • No, you don’t understand: some anonymous people were “blasted publicly,” that’s much worse than having those people meant to protect you fill you with terror while you walk down the street.

          • justinbc

            I don’t believe she said the car followed her down the street, just that it pulled up next to her. After they spoke to her, and she showed no interest then they disengaged. Isn’t that what they should do? If they had continued to follow her, provoking her, then I would be right on board with you that she expressed disinterest and they were harassing her knowing that fact.

          • Crap. Just as I posted, “I don’t think anyone is spinning Brittany’s experience into “cops are the worst ever” dialogue,”, someone else posted:
            “those people meant to protect you fill you with terror while you walk down the street.”
            Way to make a liar our of me. Please check your hyperbole at the door.

          • So, cops are not meant to protect you, or she was not filled with terror? If you think “terror” is hyperbolic replace it with “fright” and either way has little to do with whether or not I think “cops are the worst ever.”

          • Justin, ANY time a random guy comes up to me randomly on any street at any time and starts commenting on my appearance right off the bat, I feel threatened.
            Why? It NEVER ends well. I’ve been in situations where I politely acknowledge the person and then go on my way… and he usually escalates. I’ve been in situations where I ignore him… and he usually escalates. I’ve been groped on the street in this city in broad daylight and then laughed at when I get upset. I’ve been followed and forced to change my routes home. And most women I know (if not all!) have very similar stories. So when OP says she felt harassed or threatened, understand the context.
            The worst thing is, the men in this instance are supposed to be the ones you GO TO FOR HELP if you’re being harassed. So even if the words used were on the mild end of the scale here, it’s especially scary, shocking, and disgusting because of who it’s coming from.

          • bbhart113

            Thanks! I feel like you have dealt with much worse reading your below comments, it is really scary when you try to be polite and it escalates! You never know with cops either, they have the law on their side and can (as evidenced by many recent issues) get away with many things. Also, why are people getting so upset on here about blasting/shaming these cops on a website? Their faces, names, badge #s and license # aren’t being displayed? Palm…to…face

          • Eponymous, thanks for mentioning context because context is what makes this stuff suck so much. I get that “you look nice” or other pretty tame statements don’t sound bad, but in the context of our lives, women living in cities where this sh!t happens every day, where we or women we know have been groped, have had these men escalate, and especially in the context of this coming from people it’s not supposed to come from, it almost always feels bad, shameful, unwanted, aggressive, unwelcoming on your own street, etc.
            I don’t even care about the “higher standard” stuff, it’s the context it puts the woman’s experience in that is the problem.

          • justinbc

            @Eponymous, I can totally understand the feeling of anxiety about escalation. What I’m saying is these men in question actually seemed not to escalate at all. By the account above they did exactly what they should do and disengage. I’m not going to assume their motives anymore than I will about the OP’s personality, so I’m going to refrain from judging either. But the point is, when she made it clear she didn’t want to speak to them, they didn’t push the issue. Everyone is entitled to their own “danger zone” if you will, but the people excoriating these men for something that never escalated beyond simply referring to someone as “good looking” (and given where their from, I’m not exactly hesitant to believe this is a common somewhat friendly gesture), just seems a bit over the top to me. There are so many worse accounts on this site daily.

          • Yep. And I realize this all sucks for guys who don’t mean any harm too, but… we all observe certain context-specific etiquette. There are scores of things that all of us do/say that we would NOT do/say at work. Telling a strange women walking along that you like the way she looks (by whistling, saying “nice arse,” or “hey good-looking”) is, most of the time, going to be perceived as creepy if not threatening.

          • No, Justin, you can’t “totally understand.” You’re certainly entitled to your opinion, but unless you’ve lived with frequent street harassment you have a very limited understanding of this.

        • My opinion on Police Week is unchanged. However, with each post Brittany is making herself less sympathetic.
          Also, I don’t think anyone is spinning Brittany’s experience into “cops are the worst ever” dialogue. Her post led others to recount their own bad experiences with Police Week. There’s no denying that many people have observed behavior on the part of visiting cops that ranges from rude and discourteous to flat out illegal. You have to try really hard to view that as people “spin[ning] that into “cops are the worst” dialogue.”

          • Definitely agree with your first point!

          • justinbc

            It’s all been rather anecdotal though, by any account I’ve witnessed here. “I saw some cops not pay for Metro.” or “I saw some cops drunk.” to “I saw a whole group of cops fighting!” but there are no photos sent in, no video, some of them might not even be cops, as many say they are out of uniform. In the age where everything is digitally captured, it just seems rather odd that this rather innocuous remark is what acts as the firestarter for everyone to pile on about how bad a group of people are, unsubstantiated by any evidence. PoP says MPD is looking into all of the reported incidences from this week, so I’ll be eagerly awaiting the results of that report.

          • bbhart113

            Yawn…I’m not trying to gain sympathy, just telling a story that happened to me, that is all, and decided to be snarky to comments on here that I found annoying, big deal.

          • Snark implies a modicum of wit, not just being rude and dismissive. You’ve got ways to go before you hit snark.

          • Justin, how safe do YOU feel shooting video of cops behaving badly? I wouldn’t risk it.

          • +1 to dcd’s comment.

          • It’s not that new either:
            The Washington Post (pre-1997 Fulltext) – Washington, D.C.
            Author:Miller, Bill; Bowles, Scott
            Date: May 20, 1995
            Saying that National Police Week should not be an occasion for a “spring fling or Fort Lauderdale celebration,” D.C. Police Chief Fred Thomas vowed yesterday to pursue allegations that out-of-town police officers mooned guests, groped women and damaged property at hotels.
            Thomas acknowledged that drinking had been a problem for years at a police week gathering sponsored by the D.C. Fraternal Order of Police in a mall area outside police headquarters. But he said that in past years, nothing happened there — or at any hotels — approaching the magnitude of this week’s disturbances.
            Hundreds of officers occupied several downtown hotels during police week, a time to remember and mourn slain colleagues. Hotel security guards and guests told of officers in uniform with holstered guns who appeared intoxicated, ran through hallways and harassed women.

          • djdc

            Apologies if this posts twice. It’s not that new either:
            The Washington Post (pre-1997 Fulltext) – Washington, D.C.
            Author:Miller, Bill; Bowles, Scott
            Date: May 20, 1995
            Saying that National Police Week should not be an occasion for a “spring fling or Fort Lauderdale celebration,” D.C. Police Chief Fred Thomas vowed yesterday to pursue allegations that out-of-town police officers mooned guests, groped women and damaged property at hotels.
            Thomas acknowledged that drinking had been a problem for years at a police week gathering sponsored by the D.C. Fraternal Order of Police in a mall area outside police headquarters. But he said that in past years, nothing happened there — or at any hotels — approaching the magnitude of this week’s disturbances.
            Hundreds of officers occupied several downtown hotels during police week, a time to remember and mourn slain colleagues. Hotel security guards and guests told of officers in uniform with holstered guns who appeared intoxicated, ran through hallways and harassed women.

    • Thank you! I agree these comments are ridiculous!

  • My best friend is married to a CT State Trooper and he says that he avoids the week at all costs. He and his fellow troopers want nothing to do with Police Week. Apparently it has a bad reputation even among law enforcement!

  • The thing that really gets me is the streams of armed out-of-town cops+their families breezing through Metro emergency gates to evade paying their fare. If MTPD or MPD do that, fine — it’s their territory. But having armed Sheriff Rosco (and Mrs. Rosco) from bumblefuck on the train isn’t exactly providing any benefit to our broke-ass transit system.

  • How can we bring this to the attention of Muriel Bowser? Anyone have an address we can just send this link to and tell here to read the comments?

  • This is INSANE. Last night, I rode my bike past two out of town cop cars parked in bike lanes and one out of town police van was driving half in the bike lane, half in the road, for about 5 blocks as it followed me from 5th St NW towards Union Station. Crazy.

  • I would love to see the council pass legislation to create a special budget to handle this annual situation: 1. Create a special hotline to take complaints, so as to distinguish it from standard 911 calls; 2. Advertise the hotline during the week and the weeks leading up to it, and include special warnings to let people know these officers may be armed; 3. Set aside extra MPD budget to respond to hotline/911 reports, as well as to provide training to MPD officers on how to handle “situation” week.

    Just a pipe dream, but I would strongly support this if it were possible

  • I almost wrote in about a Police Week complaint: why are out of jurisdiction cops allowed to use their lights and sirens and mess up rush hour traffic, drive on the wrong side of the road, stop traffic so they can line their bikes up perfectly, park in a bus stop, etc.? I was always taught sirens are for use of an emergency (or presidential motorcade, but that’s another situation). Last time I checked getting the perfect parking spot on E Street so you can grab a beer then head to an event wasn’t an emergency.

    • because at least for police week some of those who come here abuse their authority and nobody holds them accountable for it.

  • On a positive note, In the cap south metro I saw about 15 burly tough guys (Probably Drill Team) walking through the metro wearing tap shoes. The juxtaposition was delightful. clickity-clickity-clickity-clickity-clickity. repeat.

  • This happened to me, too! Except they weren’t in uniform and there were about 10 of them. Very unsettling.

  • Sounds like police week is a great week to dust off the GoPro and cell phone cameras.

  • In law school in the late 90s I was a regular at the Irish Times (don’t judge me). After my first Police Week experience at that bar I made it a point to avoid the place during that clusterf— of a week. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen some pretty messed up stuff) — all these off-duty cops, some of whom were so drunk they could barely stand, in a crowded bar and most of them had their guns with them.
    A similar thing happens in Boston when the Yankees are in town. NYPD officers show up in droves and behave very poorly, expecting professional courtesy from Boston cops. Little do they know that Boston cops (the ones I knew back in the day, anyway) actually enjoy arresting NY cops.

  • Wow. I feel for the OP here. I agree it wasn’t the worst catcall in the world, but it still was a catcall.

    Some other posters mentioned they hate that men treat women this way, but as a gay guy, I had it happen from officers last year during Police Week. I went out on a Friday night to a local gay bar. It was chock full of gay officers visiting from out of town. I had two officers keep twisting my nipples, and it really hurt. I asked them numerous times to stop, but they kept doing it. They were drunk and didn’t seem to care. They also were getting drink specials with their badge, so they were wearing them, but they had carefully changed their badge holders to have a black band cover their badge numbers so you couldn’t identify them.

    When I couldn’t get them to stop, I left with my boyfriend. On the way out, I talked to one of the doormen, and they told me that Police Week has some of the worst fights and problems. And yes, I had bruises the next day.

    • bbhart113

      That sounds much worse, and I’m not even sure how I would’ve reacted, bottom line cops are useful and a necessity in our society *at times, but I wish they could get it together and act less disparagingly towards their citizens, its depressing sometimes.

    • That’s awful. Were the officers gay, or didn’t realize they were in a gay bar, or were they there to make fun of gay people? That seems like an odd choice of hangout.

  • Amazing the amount of Police Week complaints this year compared to previous years.

    • Yeah, I don’t recall it being characterized as such a sh*t show in prior years.

      • Is it really any surprise? The past year has been filled with awful stories of police brutality, and then Police Week comes, and the cops are acting badly in public. Combine stories of deaths with poor behavior, and it makes people more frustrated, and makes them think “oh yeah, it was bad the past x years as well, I remember when I saw y.”

  • The local newspaper wrote a story about it


    “Asked if the officer would be reprimanded, Gregg replied, “For what? For saying ‛Hi, neighbor? We look into things when we receive a complaint, but we don’t have anything to go on when one says they did and another says they didn’t.””

    Cop Week is the absolute worst.

    • Wow. So many things wrong with that. First, “neighborhood blog” is in quotes? Because they haven’t heard of such newfangled inventions in Richmond, KY? Second, the spokesman apparently can’t decide between, (i) the cop didn’t do it, and (ii) yeah, they did it exactly that, but it’s no big deal. Kinda makes you think they don’t; really give a crap, and just want to pass over the story. Third, nice shot at DC – “That’s what we do. Maybe that’s not how they do it in D.C.” Yeah, yeah, we all know that people in the big city suck, and people from bum-f**k USA are real ‘Murikans. Give it a rest. Finally, the martyrdom – ” one must realize that sometimes people just have an ax to grind with the police. I’m sure the other side of the story is quite different, but now days it doesn’t seem to matter.”

      • I agree that their use of the quotation marks seems a little suspect, but to be fair, the “About” page (http://www.popville.com/about/ ) begins with the sentence “PoPville chronicles the happenings in Washington DC’s neighborhoods.” The page also uses the phrase “neighborhood blog” a few times when describing awards that the blog has received.
        I think maybe the T-shirts say “Washington, DC’s neighborhood blog” — can’t remember.

      • bbhart113

        And I’d also like to point out, there definitely were 2 cops/guys whatever you want to call them in the police car, not sure who the 2nd one was, but there were 2, so not sure why the local PD there is stating otherwise, maybe he picked up his buddy from some police week party? IDK

        • Yeah, my impression from the article was that the non-Richmond cop must’ve been one from a neighboring town/area (Berea?).

    • Wow, that was fast.

    • “We look into things when we receive a complaint, but we don’t have anything to go on when one says they did and another says they didn’t.”
      Isn’t this just the typical protocol of taking the cop’s word over the victim’s? Of course Officer Kentucky doesn’t think he did anything wrong.

    • I’m a little troubled by the statement from the police major in the article — “We look into things when we receive a complaint, but we don’t have anything to go on when one says they did and another says they didn’t”… not so much for this particular case, but in general.
      When someone is alleging improper conduct by a police officer, isn’t it almost always that person’s word against the cop’s word? And is it surprising that one cop would back up another cop’s account?

    • I’m sorry, but what exactly would this guy be reprimanded for?
      I understand the OP was creeped out by the guy’s conduct. She has a right to be. But if the officer is asked what happened and he says, “I said hello to a woman I found to be attractive,” what does his supervisor do with that?

      • It’s not the fact that he found her attractive — it’s the fact that he addressed her as “good-looking.” Being in your car and calling out to a woman you don’t know, commenting on her looks, is catcalling. Pretty low-grade catcalling in this case, but catcalling nonetheless.

        • But I guess he’s telling his boss that he just addressed her as “neighbor,” omitting the subsequent “good-looking.”

  • I don’t understand why they were saying “Hi, neighbor” in the first place. You don’t address someone as “neighbor” unless both you and the other party live in the neighborhood. And they were just visiting.

    • bbhart113

      Good point! I was somewhat confused when they first said it and I probably sounded confused when I responded with ‘Are you talking to me?’ looking around and no one else was near me

    • They’re from Kentucky. It’s a harmless hick thing.

  • Another vote for how comparatively responsible DC cops are. I’ve got to give a “props to the cops” for the officers who responded to my call the other night about a group of about 30-40 teens to early twenties guys who were hanging out on my building stoop and closed playground next door; having some shoving matches, drinking and throwing their bottles around, intimidating neighbors trying to walk by, etc. Generally being jerks. I wanted to call the cops but was worried that they would escalate the situation and possibly hurt the kids. Finally called since the group was getting bigger and rowdier then was so relieved to see the responding officers calmly disperse the crowd.

  • I’m dreaming of a comic book type scene where there’s a ray gun you can point at cat callers and they just vaporize. Threat gone, woman smiles and goes happily on her way. Not going to happen for real in my lifetime, unfortunately, but how cool would that be?

    • As long as we can all agree on what exactly constitutes “catcalling.” I’m envisioning a comic book type scene where a man looks at a woman, says “Excuse me, but…”, and then gets vaporized. In the next panel is a pile of ash with a word balloon containing “I was just going to ask what time it was.”

    • Not cool. As lousy and scumbag as catcalling is, vaporizing aka murdering someone is not the appropriate response.

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