Fake Cop Trying to Get People to Respect His Authority
Some people do not have any power in their life, and they sometimes search for it in other ways. In some cases, they become Internet trolls. Other times, they dress up like cops so they can impersonate the police and try to get a little more respect. Of course, most of the time, they are also going to try to abuse their perceived power. Oliver James, of California, did more than just dress up like a cop. He went the whole nine yards.
What Did Oliver James Do?
The Ventura PD received a call of several suspicious people standing around a police car. The police went out to the scene, which is where they found James.
He was dressed up like an LAPD officer and standing next to what looked like a police vehicle with the three other people when several actual officers approached him. James was wearing full LAPD regalia including a badge, nameplate, a police patrol duty belt, and a pistol. The police car he was standing next to was his – he had bought it from the LAPD several years earlier. It was unregistered at the time of his arrest.
When the Ventura officers spoke to him, he said that he was from the LAPD. However, when they investigated, they discovered that he was not a police officer, and he never had been. They arrested him and charged him with carrying a firearm, and for impersonating a police officer. The others who were with him were let go.
It is not illegal to dress up as a cop in CA. However, it is illegal to dress as an officer and to attempt to get others to believe that you are a cop and that you have authority. The fact that he lied to the police officers that approached him, and the fact that he was carrying a firearm, were the reasons he was arrested.
If James receives a conviction on these charges, he could have to pay a $2,000 fine and spent up to a year in jail.
Other Cases of People Impersonating Cops
This is certainly not an isolated incident. In fact, you can find quite a few cases each year of people being arrested for impersonating police officers. In the last year alone, there have been dozens (and possibly more) cases similar to this. A man in Indianapolis was arrested for dressing up as a cop and attending the funeral of a police officer who died. A man in NJ was recently arrested for impersonating a police officer. This man happened to be on probation at the time for (you guessed it) impersonating a police officer. These are just a couple of the impersonation cases to hit the news in recent months.
Unless you are going to a costume party, it’s never a good idea to dress up like a cop, and it is never a good idea to tell someone you are a police officer … unless you actually are a police officer.
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