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Hey Ron!

Hey Ron! - What Should I Say to a Cop?

Ron gives you some choice tips on how to interact with the po-pos so you don't have to worry about not dropping the soap.

by Ron Hemphill
Apr 27 2012, 12:55pm

Hey Ron,

The pigs won’t leave me alone. I get pulled over when I’m driving around town and randomly searched in the subway on a regular basis. I guess I look like a dirtbag? I always manage to make matters worse by saying stupid shit to the cops that lands me in cuffs. I’m not trying to spend all my free time in court and holding cells. Can you give me some tips on how to interact with the po-pos of the world? 

Thanks,
The Prisoner

I hate cops. But as a young kid—especially as a minority—no matter how rude the cops are to you, you should always show respect. If you’re rich, however, you can do whatever you want. I’ve seen white kids tell cops to go to hell. They can do that. If a cop pulls over a rich white kid who is driving a Mercedes or a BMW at the age of 16 or 17, that cop quickly realizes that this kid’s family has some money and he may not be a good one to mess with. But in general, all kids should obey the law and know their rights.

As an adult, however, I am always ready to step out of the car and punch a cop right in their face and break their jaw. I refuse to be disrespected by some 23-year-old chump who just came out of the academy with brand new shoes on and doesn’t know how to handle themselves in an urban environment. Those cops want to show everyone they’re tough, but they’re more scared of me than I am of them. Most of those cops were the kinds of nerds in school who used to get picked on and bullied. So, being a police officer and toting a gun is their way of getting back at the world. If one of those cops threatens my life, I’m going to act like a caged animal under attack. If only one of us is going home after an altercation, it is going to be me, not the police.

But I do have a lot of friends who are cops, too. I hang out with them after working out at the gym. Those guys are different than regular police officers, I call them “peace officers.” They’ve never even used their weapon. They just do their job and go home. They’re a different breed than these Rambo cops who are just pissed off that their wife boned a black guy. Now they want to be mad at all black men. The whole black community didn’t have sex with your wife, man. That was just one guy. There is no reason to be angry. If black people blamed one person’s actions on an entire community, we’d be killing cops on a daily basis.

When cops come at me the wrong way, I tell them to go back to their car, sit down, and think, and then come back and talk to me like a human being. I’ve seen cops go out of their way to mess with people. It’s even happened to me. One time I was pulled over on Thanksgiving with my daughter and my girlfriend in the car for no other reason than “driving while black.” I was so angry, I wanted to get out of the car and smash the cop's face in. But my girl held my hand and told me to let it go.

Another time, when cell phones were literally really big, some blind lady accused me of having a gun on the subway. When I sat down on the train all I saw were young cops with glocks pointed at me. They cursed me out and had me get off the train and then they searched me. Realizing I did nothing wrong they were going to let me go, but then they told me I had to completely leave the station. They said I was disturbing the peace. And I’m like, “You’re disturbing the peace, bastard. I was just minding my business until you came over here sticking guns in my face.”

This was before they had the unlimited subway cards, so I refused to get off the train because I didn’t want to spend the 90 cents or whatever it was to get back on. I snatched my cell phone out of the hands of the commanding officer and sat back down in a subway car. Then the officer came up to me and put his hand on my shoulder, so I cuffed him over and threw him to the ground. Immediately, cops started coming out of nowhere. I was smashing those guys left and right. (This was when I was really working out.) But I was also afraid because I thought I was going to die. I was convinced one of them was going to shoot me.

Eventually, I let them cuff me. When we got to the precinct, all the cops at the station had their guns drawn. I guess when the cops on the scene called the incident in they said I was 6’ 6” and nearly 300 pounds. In reality, I’m only 6’ 2” at about 190 pounds. They thought I was a killer. When I finally got to the front desk to get booked, I told the cops I wanted to file a complaint—that’s how you talk to the police.

Ron is VICE's accounts receivable manager. He also happens to be a master of mixed martial arts and a treasure trove of knowledge and advice. Even your sick perversions, dysfunctional predicaments, and anti-social thoughts don't surprise him. So go ahead, ask him something already. Email Ron your questions to  or tweet them to @Hey_Ron. Every person who gets their question answered in his column will receive their very own Hey Ron! t-shirt, three print issues of VICE magazine, and a personal note from Ron.