I used to appreciate cops. I thought they were so brave for putting their lives on the line for the community.

Then I dated a guy whose brother was a cop in South Carolina. A lot of my schoolmates became cops too. My ex's brother would always have a fresh story about YOs (young offenders) or just some other people in the poorer part of town that he always told in a very condescending tone.

One story that especially bothered me was when he popped in to a house about child support and saw a nice TV in there, so on his way out, he broke it. "What are they going to do?" was his comment on his actions. I was pretty disgusted with him from that point on.

My next bad interaction I had with him was when I found out that my then-boyfriend had cheated on me and his response to his brother's actions was that his brother had every right to do so. He was bragging about how he had four girls that he was seeing. Two of them knew about at least one other but the other two thought they were exclusive. Good to know where your morals lie.

My next bad interaction was on the other side of the law. I finally decided to never see my then-boyfriend again. We met up and I said good-bye. He seemed rushed, so I guessed that he had a date with a "friend" he had recently made. If you had seen the pictures and knew this guy, you'd know he was trying to date her. I told him when we parted ways, that it was fine if he was going out with a new girl, just be honest at this point. He insisted that he wasn't. Even so, I didn't want to know that he was lying to me yet again, so I told him where I was heading to next so that I wouldn't have to witness being disrespected again after nearly three years of it.

Lo and behold, he was doing exactly what I expected him to be doing right where I said I'd be and I went berserk. It took some effort to remember what happened, but I know my body was mostly controlled by wrath. I'd never felt that way before or since. No one was hurt. I ended up getting arrested. His brother was not on-duty, but his buddies were. My ex didn't press charges, but I overheard his brother's buddies talking on the phone. Parts of the conversation were "she's always crazy" and "he (ex's brother) said don't let her get away with it." The arresting officer didn't seem to be a friend of my ex's brother, but when my ex's brother's buddies finished talking to him, he started changing his report to make it sound much more malicious than it had originally been. So much for reporting the facts.

Another bad South Carolina cop was before I had a car. I had taken a taxi to a fair because I thought I could catch a ride back with a friend. It turns out that he was on a date, so I told him that I'd just take a taxi back to campus instead of intruding anymore. Taxis wouldn't drive out to the fair to pick me up (what?!) so I started walking back to be "in range". I tried calling other people but in the meantime, a strange guy started walking with me and I was very uncomfortable. He could easily overpower me. I decided to stop in a well-lit place in good view of a busy bar where I could be seen but it would still be quiet enough to try to call friends. A cop pulled up and started aggressively demanding that we keep on moving. I tried to ask him for help but got as far as "Sir, please" before he interrupted with a rude "You need to get out of here now!" Rather than risking arrest, I kept walking and the strange guy followed. I felt so abandoned and unsafe.

Here's a simple traffic story with a South Carolina cop. We were driving the same speed. He was leading, then my then-boyfriend, then me. The cop started driving faster so I was getting left behind. All of a sudden, he changes lanes, lets my then-boyfriend get in front, then pulls him over. When I catch up, I pull over to wait for my then-boyfriend and end up getting a ticket. At court, the cop says, "I didn't want to get greedy, but if she pulled over for me, what could I do?" All of this after he "couldn't get the video" evidence to play. I don't understand how his radar could have pinpointed TWO vehicles speeding. He said that he judged that we were speeding based on his speed. When asked how fast he was going, he said, "About the speed limit." (Good choice of words, I've kept that line in the back of my mind if I ever get pulled over.) I couldn't figure out how I could have been speeding if I had to catch up to him while he was going "about the speed limit". The judge didn't bother thinking about the case and just made me pay a fine and called it a day. They're buddies, you have to remember, and they'll believe each other's stories before doing the right thing and actually putting real effort into their jobs. That's human nature, I guess, to get the most for as little effort.

Not all cops are bad. Just South Carolina cops in my experience. My one interaction with a Virginia cop is as follows: we ran into a nail or something on the road. We were pulled over on the side trying to take care of it. A cop pulls up to help. He was very polite and kind and kept his lights on to make sure no one ran into us while we were changing the tire. It's too bad there's not more to tell, but I really appreciated the whole interaction and wish I could say the same for the personalities of South Carolina cops.

In addition, I've never had a bad interaction with a Louisiana cop either. They're pretty easy-going. It seems like they're more focused on dealing with bad guys than acting like they're above the law and all-powerful. Oh, and Florida was about the same.

I think I should specify that I hate South Carolina cops, but cops anywhere else seem like normal people. They don't seem to think that having a badge means they're above the law instead of there to uphold the law. So if you ever visit South Carolina, or just drive through it, just stay under the radar. To be honest, if you aren't white, you're already a criminal in a South Carolina cop's mind.
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Apr 21, 2016