Police Officers: How long can somone keep driving after you've flashed your lights for a pullover before it is considered a chase?

First, I want to thank you for your service.

I have never posted on a cop related issue, but I will now. The variables you mention are defined by the person with the gun and the power to impact your life, the citizen reacts in a way that fits their defined variables. These defined variables inherently will not match. This is where problems can and do happen.

I am not some young kid, but I have never trusted cops. A cop have never helped me for anything. Even when I called 911 once. What a waste of time that was. They would not even respond to me even tho I told them that if this crazy guy attacks me, I will take my axe and strike him. I have been profiled in my late teens and early 20's. I got pulled over all the time. I drove a cheap car with tinted windows and I am a dark skinned white guy. I rarely got tickets, but they pull me over and make up some BS about robberies in the area or my car matching some description.

I have had a drug dog "hit" on my car during a stop. The officers proceeded to let him jump all over my car (scratching my paint), climb inside (scratching my interior), the cops found nothing except zig zags. He took these zig zags as evidence that I was holding, despite finding nothing. What do the cops do? They pull my door panels off, they pull panels out of my trunk, they pull my vents out of my dash board. They broke clips when they did this, they busted two of my vents, they disrupted my wiring going to my brake lights and those no longer worked. They found nothing and left me on the side of the road with parts of my car on the curb, scratches on my paint job, broken clips, damaged electrical wires, and one pissed off 22 year old. I went straight to the police station to file a complaint and they told me that unless I could prove the cops did the damage, there was nothing I could do. They told me something like lawyers and court costs would exceed the damage to my car and that I am welcome to do as I please, but the process would be expensive. So, I had to buff my car (some scratches were still visible), I had to buy new interior clips, I could not figure out why my lights were not working, so I had pay a shop to figure that out. Two of my vent were broken and stayed that way. I mean what a fucking joke. Every time I drove that car, the damage reminded of that stop. This was Whitewater WI in the late 90's.

I got pulled over for speeding. I was speeding. 67 in a 55. Should not have been a big deal. The cop lit me up on part of the freeway that was 3 lanes and had other lanes splitting off to the right and the left for merging onto other freeways. I am familiar with this area and it is a mess. Accidents all the time. I slowed and waved to the cop to let him know that I was complying. I drive through that part of the freeway and as soon as I had the opportunity to do so safely, I pulled over. I had travelled less than a mile. He just sits there. Does not come to my car. I think this is strange and immediately know something is up. He waits for 2 other cars to back him up. The cops talk for bit, then 4 of them approach my car. All had their had on their weapons. Ask me to step out of the vehicle and spread my legs. They pat me down and cuff me. Once I was secured, they ask me why I was running. I said I wasn't running and I explained my position. They are pissed at me and threaten me with other charges. Now I am pissed. I start asking if I am being arrested or if they can just give me my ticket and let me go. More threats and statements about how lucky I am that I do not have other charges. They tell me to shut up or they will take me in. I am like, for what? They go into more charges they could hit me with. End result? I got a speeding ticket. I was afraid these jokers would shoot me. They were ready. I was afraid that these jokers would charge me with things I could not afford to fight. I was about 28 when this happened and this was Milwaukee WI.

I was driving my dads 1978 Toyota Corola when I was like 19 years old. I grew up in Milwaukee and I was taking the long way home from Waukesha which took me through New Berlin. My dads car had an out headlight. It was about 1am. Cop pulls me over. Talks to me and looks in my car. It was a hatch back so you could see in the back. My dad paints cars, he had a boombox in back that was all beat up and full of paint. It was my dads car, I had no idea what the hell was back there. He asks me about it. I say I do not know what he is taling about, so I turn around to look and he freaks out. HANDS WHERE I CAN SEE THEM! GET OUT OF THE CAR! Another officer pulls up. They sit me on the side of the road and tell me that is a good way to "get shot". I asked what I did. He says I reached in back for something. I did not. I only turned to look. They ask to search the car. I say fine, if that makes you feel better. He says I am being a smart ass and to keep it up. I will see how bad my day can get. He then says "Milwaukee, hey? What are you doing out here?" This question pissed me off. Like I don't have a right to drive on New Berlin roads because I come from a worse neighborhood or some shit. I respond with "Driving on the public roads. Last I checked this was America." This pisses him off. He yells at me more. More threats and again statements about how lucky I am and he tells me if I keep it up, they will take me in. I ask for what? he says "My book is big, I will find something". They search my dads car. Find nothing. They give me a notice to fix the light and explain that there are robberies in the area and the vehicle fit the description. That's BS. In 1995 there were not too many bright orange 1978 Corola's on the road. The whole stop took over an hour.

I have many more cop experiences that were not pleasant at all. I only covered a few of the traffic related ones. Like I said, I have never had a cop help me in any way. I grew up in a lower middle class neighborhood and police contact was a regular thing. So was police corruption and strong armed tactics. Milwaukee was not exactly a clean department in the 90's. Problem is that many people do not trust the cops as default because of so many bad experiences, and many cops also do not trust the citizens as default. It is no wonder there are so many problems. No trust, subjective variables, questionable hiring practices, limited training, cowboy mentality. I don't know maybe before someone is armed and legally able to kill you or ruin your life, you should be properly screened for metal disorders? Maybe the training process should be more extensive? It can be longer to be an apprentice in a trade than it is to be armed to legally kill the public.

Your profession has a very real image problem. This is not something that is new because of the internet or anything like that. This is problem that has grown in recent decades. Our parents had issues with bad cops. We had issues with bad cops. and now our kids are dealing with it. Your profession caused this over decades of BS. The internet only spreads stories quicker now. You would think this would be a damn good reason to clean up this profession, but no. Many cities just continue to do the same old shit. Like the police as a whole are not smart enough to address these issues.

I know not all cops are bad. I have friends that are cops. Unfortunately, my life experiences have lead me to not trust any of you. I expect the worst every time any of you come near me. How am I supposed to know if you are a rational cop or if you are a schoolyard bully with a gun and a badge? I do not want to talk to you. I do not want to ask you for help. I do not want to be a witness to any crime. I do not even want to look in your direction. I get nervous every time any of you are near me.

My experiences also tell me that the police are very good at writing tickets for stupid things but the minute any real police work is involved, the police don't do shit. Hey, everyone in a 2 mile radius knows that this is a crack house? These crack heads openly sell drugs right on the street? Well then, lets just pull this speeder over right in front of the house and let the crack heads do their thing. Oh, here is kid smoking a joint at the park? Lets get him and let the LK's over there continue to their thing. See, its an easy ticket vs actually doing police work. These are the perceptions your profession should be trying to correct.

I know I kind of ranted here. I just do not understand the mentality. So, thank you once again for your service, but I will never trust any of you.

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