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by Prince Of Petworth July 20, 2011 at 1:30 pm 60 Comments

“Dear PoP,

What’s the protocol for traffic stops? This police officer blocked an exit with this traffic stop in Georgetown in front of 2208 wisconsin ave. We had to call 311 to call the district office to ask her to move after the officer refused to move up when we asked her nicely. The 2nd district and 1st district offices could not decide whose jurisdiction it was when we called 311 to ask for assistance!

We were in a Georgetown university GUTS bus and there were 10 cars behind us. It took 30 mins to get through.”

Anyone ever experience a situation like this? Unless there was a fear that the driver was a threat, seems like the right thing to do would’ve been to just have the car move up 5 feet.

  • TaylorStreetMan

    Is it the silver car that had been pulled over? Seems like it would have been easy enough for the officer (assuming, as you say, it was just a routine situation) to ask the driver to back up enough to allow traffic to pass.

    In fact, on the driver’s test, isn’t there a question about getting pulled over and that a driver should move out of the flow of traffic (so as not to impede)?

    • TaylorStreetMan

      But, what part of this is “Brutal”, by the way? Was that title tongue in cheek (I hope)?

      Does a minor (however irritating) traffic inconvenience rise to the level of brutality?

      • Anon

        I’d agree that “brutal” is overstating it. But being stuck for a half-hour is a lot more than a “minor traffic inconvenience.”

        • Tres

          Experience that and you’ve earned the right to exclaim “brutal” along with a string of more choice words. I think brutal’s a nice way to express one’s sentiments.

        • Anonymous

          Especially for buses that need to stay on schedule. Imagine if an elderly person was stuck out in this heat for an extra 30 minutes because her bus was delayed by this nonsense.

          • TaylorStreetMan

            Yes, that would qualify as ‘brutal’ – to the elderly person. Sitting in traffic for 30 minutes? I still say not brutal. I doubt the title was meant as a tip of the hat to some old lady waiting for the bus.

            I was recently stuck on the D1 in the Czech Republic at a complete standstill for about that long and I couldn’t even turn on the radio to find out the reason (my Czech is non-existent). It sucked big time, but brutal it wasn’t.

            Let’s keep this in perspective.

          • even here

            Well yeah. When I lived in VA being stuck in traffic for 30 minutes was a normal everyday experience.

          • Maestrobe


            Spare us your semantics. “Brutal” does not always connote “brutality” in the sense you mean. A two-run homerun by your opponent in baseball (when the game is tied) can be “brutal” in modern parlance. And, in any event, have you never head of “literary license” or “hyperbole”?

          • TaylorStreetMan

            @ Maestrobe
            Point taken, despite your snark and sarcasm.

      • PG

        “Y’all are brutalizin’ me!”

        -Ronnie Dobbs

    • Anonymous

      I’ve gotten ticketed for not pulling over for a police officer (which I tried to get appealed with no luck) because I went ONE extra block to avoid blocking the street. Unfortunately, being considerate to other drivers can cost you.

  • Mike

    Please, DC cops being thoughtful???!!! that will NEVER happen. Worst cops in the entire metro area>

    • Anonymous


      Any good cops on the DC force leave for other jurisdictions.

    • Elaine

      So true!

  • Native American JD in DC

    “Anyone ever experience anything like this?”

    Police stupidity? Routinely. It stems from police not knowing the laws they’re charged to enforce. And it happens everyday.


    • Austin DC

      “Okay, you just bought yourself a 317, pointing out police stupidity… Or is that a 314? Nah, 314 is a dog, uh, in… no or is that a 315?…”

      • TaylorStreetMan

        Whatever you do, DO NOT video tape that 317! Or the 314, for that matter.

      • Anonymous

        420…oh wait.

    • Elaine

      Excellent point!

  • anon

    We’ve hit a new low. #entitledwhining

    • Tres

      Officer is at fault. I challenge anyone to not be extremely pissed off at having to wait 30 minutes behind a police car when an officer can’t be bothered to move their car forward to avoid blocking traffic.

    • anon(2)

      not really. this is a pretty reasonable thing to be annoyed with.

    • Anon

      You think this is entitled whining? I hope YOU get stuck for a half-hour.


      • Anon

        Upon further reflection, I think I probably just fed a troll…

    • anon

      I seriously doubt that a “routine” traffic stop lasted a half-hour. Am calling BS.

      • Anon

        And you’re still trolling…

      • Anonymous

        I’ve only gotten pulled over twice, but both times it took 25-35 minutes. And one was just a warning for a headlight being out. I don’t know what they do back in that car but it takes a while.

        • dreas

          I’d bet good money that they’re talking on their cell phones, maybe watching part of a DVD–was it South Park that the one guy got caught watching near the Target in CH?–and generally screwing around to make you squirm while sitting there.

          • Anonymous

            or jerking off..

    • ah

      The low is when the person pulled over complains that a cop pulled them for not fully stopping for a right on red, and then took 30 minutes to run the plates, registration and license in this brutal heat.

  • Cornholio

    This seems to be the fault of the idiot getting pulled over for a traffic stop, not the officer.

    • TaylorStreetMan

      Yes, but the officer could have *easily* rectified it – and shouldn’t have needed to be asked to do it.

  • Anonymous

    This sort of thing happens all the time. When I lived in Fairfax County there was usually a cop parked at the end of my street trying to catch speeders. The crossstreet was dangerous enough to turn onto (hilly so you can’t see who’s coming) without him blocking my view and forcing me to manuever around him when making a right turn. Or they’d do it on my residential street late at night so I’d be treated to flashing blue lights in my window at 3am.

  • A

    Yeah, a couple cops pulled this same lame move on S St. the other day on my way home. I think 30 mins would have caused me to lose my mind though – way to keep it together.

  • Austin DC

    My friend and I once got pulled over on the highway and my idiot friend pulled over on the left for some reason. The cop walked up, looked in the window, and said, “Okay, we’re going to try this again, and this time you’re going to pull over on the right.” Sure enough, we had to start driving and then get pulled over again.

    So yes, the person should have pulled over in a better spot, but the cop could probably have told them to move too.

    That being said, do we have the whole story? Maybe there was some safety issue or temporary mechanical failure where they couldn’t move the car.

    • Anonymous

      If there was don’t you think the cop would have said that?

      • Graham

        From the cops perspective, a car stop is one of the two most dangerous calls/runs that a cop does. And so they are hyper-sensitive about people walking up to them and asking them to move their car, because it distracts them from the driver, who could be a real threat.

        So my guess is the cop got bent and made the kid in the GUTS bus wait, figuring they were entitled liberals. Because you can knock out a summons in 5 minutes if you wanted to. And yes, I’ve also told the vehicle I pulled over to move somewhere so we’re not blocking the street.

        • Anonymous

          Well, I assumed it was the bus driver who took the initiative to ask. Regardless, thinking someone is an entitled liberal is an idiotic reason to not answer their question.

          • Graham

            I’m just telling you how it works. Not how it’s supposed to work.

        • Anonymous

          I wish I could ignore my customers if I thought they might be racist rednecks. :)

          • greent

            We are not customers of the police.

            Cops serve the system not the people.

  • anon

    I was on the 52 going north around L Street. When the light turned green, we couldn’t proceed because of cars blocking the intersection. A cop in his cruiser decides to stop right in the middle of the intersection and motions to the cars blocking the box to stay put as he proceeded to write them both tickets for presumably blocking the box. We had about 10 minutes to chuckle about the irony. Of course, once the cars and the cop cleared the intersection, there were more cars blocking the box and we were stuck at the light for another cycle.

  • Patrick

    What a jerk of a cop.

  • Tim

    That’s definitely in the second district. Maybe they were disagreeing over what PSA it was in? It looks as if north of W Place around there is PSA 204, while south of it is PSA 206.

    • Tim

      Err. Not W Place. Whitehaven Parkway. In which case, it’s definitely PSA 204.

  • Veronika

    this is not brutal. this is being held up for 30 minutes. it’s just not that deep. move on.

    • TaylorStreetMan

      Watch out, V. You’ll get burned too, talking like that.

      • troll

        Shoulda biked, you wouldn’t have had to wait!

      • Veronika

        I’m used to it! :)

  • Austin DC

    “Meow, I’m gonna have to give you a ticket on this one.”

    • GDopplerXT


      LOL. Maybe the cop was a little distracted by someone doing the repeater.

  • anon. gardener

    Here is the story: that GUTS bus was trying to turn left out of a parking lot onto Wisconsin Avenue. there is a parking lot behind the building where the GUTS bus turns around. was it a pain in the ass for the people trying to get out of the lot? yes. was the cop and the perp car impeding traffic on the road? no. that’s the piece of the story that was missing. the cars probably could have backed up, one by one, and gone out the other parking lot exit. I don’t think it’s one way, but even if it is, i think they could have worked it out.

  • MJ

    Yep. Had a cop sitting eating a sandwich at the corner of 14th and Newton, on Newton, blocking traffic from turning onto Newton. Hey, regular people are a-holes sometimes. And sometimes cops are a-holes.

  • anon. gardener

    PLUS: that GUTS bus line runs between that point on Wisconsin Ave and the main campus. Doesn’t go anywhere else. Yeah, it’s hot, but in 30 minutes you coulda walked and had time left over to wipe your sweaty brow.

    I hope I wasn’t that lazy when I was at G’town, but I probably was.

  • RnR

    Yeah, I recognized this picture. It’s like 5 blocks back to gtown at this point.

  • your johhson

    I regularly go that way to take my kids to G’town hospital when one of them has an appointment or has a semi-emergency (high fevers or bad cuts but not enough to wait for an ambulance). If I had to wait 30 minutes for some lazy-ass cop to move while my kids freakout, I’d be pretty pissed.

    If I’d been by myself, I would have pulled out a book.

    • Anonymous

      Me too.

      Being stuck on a bus (assuming you have a seat) is a million times than being stuck behind the wheel of car.

      • Anonymous

        *better than

  • Anonymous

    Honestly I think some people are too scared to continue driving to a safer/more preferable place to stop out of fear. I once was pulled over for speeding on the freeway and once I saw the cop I slowed down but because there was construction I continued to drive another half mile until the construction zone ended and there was a margin on which to park. I was immediately accused by the officer of trying to evade him and almost had criminal charges pressed against me- all for trying to do the *right* thing.

    • Anonymous

      Me too. I even waved to the cop and told him where I’d be pulling over… and he still gave me a ticket for “evading” him.


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