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Thread: How to beef a cop.

  1. #1
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    I was just in the California forum and saw that one of the members there is in a tussle with the San Diego Sheriff over a CCW application. He posted a letter that he submitted to them to complain about how he was being treated. His letter got me thinking about how most folks haven't the foggiest clue about how to write a gripe to the cops. I've written plenty of police reports and read my share of complaint letters and I can tell you that there are certain things that will get your beef letter shared around the office for a good chuckle real fast.

    -Thing one. Let your emotions bleed onto the page. Do this and you sound like either a whiner or a wing nut.

    -Thing two. Write with a bigger vocabulary than you really have. Keep it simple, keep it clear, don't use words you don't normally use.

    -Thing three. Tell the cops you know your rights and how they should do their jobs. I don't like it when folks tell me how to flip burgers and cops don't like being told how to cop.

    -Thing four. Ramble. Cops don't like to spend countless hours trying to make sense out of some disjointed, convoluted thing.

    The best report writing advise I ever got was, "write it for your mom." Tell a neat, orderly story in chronological order, in the first person and save your citations, opinions, beliefs and analysis for the end. If you are a lawyer or a doctor, for Dog's sake, don't write like a doctor or a lawyer. Write like a person.

    Try it this way-

    (first of how ever many paragraphs it takes to say what happened)
    On such and such a time I was at such and such a place and I did this, that and the other. I met so and so and they did this that and the other. I said this. They said that.

    (paragraph on what you think went wrong)
    This is how so and so's behavior affected me. These are the rules as I understand them (briefly). This is how I think that their behavior violated the rules.

    (paragraph with supporting citations, etc.)
    Rule such and such says this. The law say that. The judges have said that the rules and law mean this.

    (Paragraph about what's next)
    This is what I have done so far. This is what I plan on doing next.

    (Paragraph on what you want them to do for you)
    Now I'm giving you a list of things you can do to make me happy. Give me my permit. Give me back my money. Be nice to small children and dogs. What ever tickles your fancy.

    Thank you for your time. I expect to hear from you in the soonly.

    Thanks,

    signed, Me (the dude with the beef)
    Here's how you can get in touch with me.

    I never liked getting beefed and I don't like the idea of beefing cops in general, but sometimes they deserve it. So if you've got to beef a cop at least have the decency to do it well. Keep it clear, keep it straightforward, keep it civil.

  2. #2
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    In other words...

    • Present facts only
    • Be yourself in writing
    • Leave out emotions
    • Do not tell people how to think
    • Do not make demands
    The purpose of filing a complaint letter should be to make the department aware of an alleged problem and have them take you serious enough to follow through.

    Remember one thing...

    What you believe or feel is some violation may in act not be!! I have seen MANY letters that were CLEARLY NOT A VIOLATION!!! And the people sounded like they were off their meds.

    So writing a letter where you express your emotions and make demands only to find out that what you are reporting is NOT a violation make you look like a crack pot.

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    IOW, be unemotional about your lost freedom.

    CLEO, the tyrant's false-teeth.

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    I vote for coconut to have a weekly editoral column on this site.

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    I prefer really acerbic sarcasm, but I'm that way normally, so I guess the advice still holds.

    -ljp

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    I prefer ranting like a madman.

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    Legba wrote:
    I prefer really acerbic sarcasm, but I'm that way normally, so I guess the advice still holds.

    -ljp
    I like Sir John Geilgud's style in the movie "Arthur". Excruciatingly polite while savagely demeaning. It worked to great effect for me in the Army when writing trainee discharge letters.

    You get extra points for making somebody look like an ass without them knowing it, because they're too big of an ass to realize it. That's always been a big winner for me in usenet talk.politics.guns and talk.politics.misc.
    --- Gun control: The theory that 110lb. women have the "right" to fistfight with 210lb. rapists.

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    Regular Member Deanimator's Avatar
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    Aran wrote:
    I prefer ranting like a misogynistic madman.
    There, fixed that for you.
    --- Gun control: The theory that 110lb. women have the "right" to fistfight with 210lb. rapists.

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    I might add:

    Close off avenues of evasion, and ways that an honest reader might come away with an incorrect understanding. Also, to help along these lines, include things that did not happen. For example, "Officer Uppity demanded my SSN, but did notdisclose the statute authorizingthedemand, nor tell me whatuse would be made of it." Or, "Officer Uppity demanded my gun to run the serial number,but for the preceding five minutes of conversation hedid not seize my gun forofficer safety."

    Just give the facts for the body of the report. But do give theemotion inone or two brief statements near the end where you let them know you are concerned, outraged, whatever is theemotional state you want to convey. Then tell them what redress you want--training, head-on-a-pike, for them to get back to you with what they did, whatever you think appropriate to the situation.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    AWDstylez wrote:
    I vote for coconut to have a weekly editoral column on this site.
    MY 2 CENTS: Dittos, oh and is "soonly" a word G C ? :P

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    SteveInAshand wrote:
    AWDstylez wrote:
    I vote for coconut to have a weekly editoral column on this site.
    MY 2 CENTS: Dittos, oh and is "soonly" a word G C ? :P
    "soonly" is a word cause I said it were.

    If you guys want to throw me some topics I might take a whack at 'em.

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    Doug Huffman wrote:
    IOW, be unemotional about your lost freedom.

    CLEO, the tyrant's false-teeth.
    Doug,

    I'm not saying don't be pissed. I'm saying that if you start ranting it's too easy to blow you off. If you want to rant that's cool as long as there is a civil and skillful writer to counter balance you.

    The movement needs Huey Newtons, Lewis Farakahns and Malcolm Xs too if for no other reason than to make dealing with the Martin Luther Kings that much more paletable.

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    In any complaint or such filed, ALWAYS include a timetable for action. Make it reasonable. For example: "I look forward to hearing from you by (fill-in the date). After that date, with or without your response, I will be considering my next action."

    You must give them a reasonable time to respond. If they don't, proceed as needed. Don't wait indefinitely.



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    grumpycoconut wrote:
    Doug Huffman wrote:
    IOW, be unemotional about your lost freedom.

    CLEO, the tyrant's false-teeth.
    Doug,

    I'm not saying don't be pissed. I'm saying that if you start ranting it's too easy to blow you off. If you want to rant that's cool as long as there is a civil and skillful writer to counter balance you.

    The movement needs Huey Newtons, Lewis Farakahns and Malcolm Xs too if for no other reason than to make dealing with the Martin Luther Kings that much more paletable.
    He posted here? I scanned right over it!!! :shock:

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    4armed Architect wrote:
    In any complaint or such filed, ALWAYS include a timetable for action. Make it reasonable. For example: "I look forward to hearing from you by (fill-in the date). After that date, with or without your response, I will be considering my next action."

    You must give them a reasonable time to respond. If they don't, proceed as needed. Don't wait indefinitely.

    I disagree. You are making a demand when you do that.

    Simply wait a period of time that is reasonable. Often times local governments have standards on when phone calls, emails, and other correspondence must be replied to. I think 3 days max.

    State that you look forward to a reply... to indicate you except to hear from them.

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    Deanimator wrote:
    Aran wrote:
    I prefer ranting like a misogynistic madman.
    There, fixed that for you.
    Do me a huge favor and suck some lead.

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    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    Aran wrote:
    Deanimator wrote:
    Aran wrote:
    I prefer ranting like a misogynistic madman.
    There, fixed that for you.
    Do me a huge favor and suck some lead.
    You're such a nice young man....do they teach you personal skills in your mall cop position? Cause it really shows.... :quirky

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    grumpycoconut wrote:
    I was just in the California forum and saw that one of the members there is in a tussle with the San Diego Sheriff over a CCW application. He posted a letter that he submitted to them to complain about how he was being treated. His letter got me thinking about how most folks haven't the foggiest clue about how to write a gripe to the cops.
    Can you share a link to the posted letter?



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    HankT wrote:
    you share a link to the posted letter?
    even a blind troll should be able to find a kerfluffle. back to your rock tool

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    compmanio365 wrote:
    Aran wrote:
    Deanimator wrote:
    Aran wrote:
    I prefer ranting like a misogynistic madman.
    There, fixed that for you.
    Do me a huge favor and suck some lead.
    You're such a nice young man....do they teach you personal skills in your mall cop position? Cause it really shows.... :quirky
    Excellent thread contribution.

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    Thanks Grumpy.

    HenriettaT is the most notorious of our disruptors back after a pleasant hiatus. I don't believe that (s)he has EVER made a substantive contribution. Luser=1225 has never committed to owning a gun.

  23. #23
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    No1 wrote:
    HankT wrote:
    you share a link to the posted letter?
    even a blind troll should be able to find a kerfluffle. back to your rock tool
    Hey, don't shun Hank! I miss him... Stick around HankT!!! :celebrate
    "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." Robert A. Heinlein

  24. #24
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Legba wrote:
    I prefer really acerbic sarcasm, but I'm that way normally, so I guess the advice still holds.

    -ljp
    Me too, but I like to couch it with the occasional Latin phrase...
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

  25. #25
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    grumpycoconut wrote: Ahhh, for some reason I thought the reference was to an external forum.

    My error.

    Having now looked at Edward's post, I do see your points now. And your suggested format in the OP is excellent, IMHO.

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