Cop rear-ends me and I’m at fault!?!

Dailies -



JohnPaul was minding his own business, commuting to work, when a cop stopped paying attention for a second and hit him from behind. Was the officer in question apologetic? Of course not. Here’s JohnPaul’s story in his own words. — Ed.

It was a brisk February evening. I was headed to work at Planet Hollywood. Inside there is a dance club called Gallery Nightclub. My nightly route to work is usually smooth, but that night there were two events letting out and the other just getting started. So, as you can imagine, it was bumper to bumper traffic all the way into work. Moving at a crawl of 5mph to 15mph. No worries, luckly I head into work early and luck would have it the lights were greens. So traffic kept on crawling, until the last block of course. This is where the video come into play.

I was moving along between the sped of 5 to 15mph when I noticed the car on the left wanted to merge into my lane of travel. No biggie. I’m still making good time. So I take a defensive approach and move my bike to the far right near the white line. The car merging took a long time to merge. So I move back to the center lane and then slow to a stop. Not even a second goes by and bump…I turn my head and LVMPD cruiser gave me a love tap. Really!?!

I was like, “So much for getting to work on time…” I thought I’d have to wait for the road superviser to show and write up a report. I figured the cop would come up and go, “Hey, are you okay?” kind of thing. Not even close. He was on full on Judge Dredd mode.

That got me thinking, “Oh shit, he’s looking for a paid two weeks leave on me!” Why I was thinking that you ask?!? Well, the cops are on edge because of the Dorner event and he wouldn’t let me get in a word to save my life. So I stayed focussed and kept drinking my cup of SHUT THE FUCK UP and enjoyed it. I was so pissed, you can hear me in the video having trouble talking.

Now, I do know for sure what’s next. At first I was like, no harm no foul. But Judge Dredd wanted to dance and I learned a long time ago never go toe-to-toe with an angry cop and their gun. Now, I’ve got a meeting with an attorney later today. He even has a local news outlet setup for a brief interview. Stay tuned.

  • Mark Desrosiers

    Lawyers and publicity are kryptonite to bad cops.

    • 123456789

      Bad cops? you mean there are good cops?

      • Mirrory

        Good cops? Not in the LAPD. I live in SoCal. They’re a bunch of thugs that love pissing off the entire city since they know they can get away with it. Why not have the MPs from Pendelton police the city while we replace the entire force? Seriously…

    • Kin Ta

      What is kryptonite to bad lawyers?

      • Gabriel Torres

        The Truth

    • nightscout13

      You mean all cops.

  • Raphael Sassi

    F**k this makes me mad.

  • Aaron Trent

    Umm, that stick is lodged up there pretty far. Most of my 2-wheeled life has been on road bicycles (about 6 years now) and that’s exactly how I’d handle that situation on the pedal bike and by extension, on a moto. Not saying I like riding in thick traffic, but it happens and the key is to be accommodating and not get killed. I hope they destroy that cop for his behavior, unacceptable.

  • Troy Rank

    I’m wearing my GoPro all the time from now on. Good luck with everything, the cop clearly deserves to be fired. Also glad to see you weren’t hurt.

  • Strafer

    was expecting worse…
    if he had given a ticket or something now that would seem unfair but i doubt he would give a ticket after seeing your camera

  • trenchanting

    Not sure about the local traffic laws where this happened but here in Alberta JohnPaul would be at fault. Easing down to let somebody in is fine but he came to a complete stop while traffic was still flowing. If you then get hit from behind the first vehicle is at fault, not the vehicle hitting from behind.

    • thumpthump

      thank god we’re not Canadians, and the following vehicle has to maintain some semblance of a safe following distance.

    • Gavin Todd

      In IL the person behind is always at fault.

    • drivin98

      If true, another example of why Alberta is f*cked up.

      • trenchanting

        And that’s how we like it.

    • Aaron Berg

      yeah, I don’t think that is the law.

      • trenchanting

        That’s how it was explained to me by AMA.

    • Darek Miles

      He was in _stop_ and _go_ traffic, where the name itself implies, vehicles stop and go.

      I’d give this video to local tv stations to play it and berate this idiot in his precinct and where he lives. Any damages in court are simply paid out of the city coffers and the individual cop is never punished.

    • myopinion448

      I live in Alberta and my wife ran into someone who came to a complete stop on a 3 lane road(Memorial) for no reason, and SHE was completely at fault.

    • di0genes

      “at fault” is a term used by insurance companies when they decide who is going to pay the bills. Insurance companies decided a long time ago that the vehicle in the rear is pretty much always ‘at fault’ to save themselves time and bickering, the philosophy being ‘you win some you lose some, the customers are going to pay for it anyway, after we jack their premiums up’. Being “at fault” at an accident only affects your insurance.

      As far as traffic laws are concerned, they are not concerned with most accidents unless someone is charged. Traffic laws are local, but all of em probably have a statement along the lines that stops must be properly signalled with a brake light or other means, and that before a driver stops, the driver must check first to make sure stopping is safe etc. etc.. If it were not so, you could slam on the brakes doing 70 mph on the freeway in rush hour with no tail lights and the guy that hits you would be guilty. (unless of course it’s a cop :-)

  • garudablend

    I’d have been pissed too:

    1. It’d be a whole lot safer (you’d be more visible, and easier for other drivers to keep track of) if you simply held defensive position on the left side of the lane.

    2. With all other traffic moving, why’d you stop?

    • WanderingStranger

      Still just excuses and neither illegal.

      He can be pissed but in the end the officer was wrong for following too closely (illegal), not checking on the health and wellness of the other person in the accident (policy), threatening to write tickets (illegal. the color of law rule applies here), and finally not writing up an accident report (policy and possibly illegal, not sure about it locally)

      If you watch the video you see he moved over because the driver in the left lane was hesitantly trying to get over. As for why he stopped, traffic was stopped in front of him and if the panicky car chose that moment to get over he could have been hit.

      • Ratz Asstime

        Exactly what happened. Well said.

    • McH2099

      Being a rider in Vegas, I would say the rider was correct in staying nearest the edge of the road. It seems a high number of drivers in this town can’t drive and chew gum at the same time. I have NEVER seen so many cars upside down on 35-45 mile an hour streets as I have in this town and I lived in Miami which was ranked like 2nd for worst drivers some years ago. By being on the right, he likely won’t get run over from behind and not killed by someone crossing the line at speed and simply running him over. There is no reason why the person behind you will see you better whether it be the left or right side or the care and if you take into account that the cars from the left lane moving over into your lane might not see you, what’s the big deal? I ride like no one can see me anyway.

    • Scott

      They were obviously in heavy STOP and go traffic the bike had the right to stop for any reason especially on the right side of the road without expecting to get run to frig over Mabee just a bee sting would require such a stop, why couldn’t the poor excuse of a cop just drive past to the left of him? Because he wasn’t paying attention that’s why.

  • thumpthump

    in most states the aft vehicle in a collision like that is always presumed to be at fault. that said, discretion was prolly the better part of valor with a hyped-up judegedredd, and it sure wasn’t worth getting shot for. but it still makes my blood boil! how the fuck were you in the wrong? no-one should feel the need to kowtow to an asshat like that!

    so now, you have to decide between being shot/tazed/jailed or asserting your god-given rights? sickening.

    best of luck with the news show, not much you can do besides making this humiliating for that jagoff.

    still, why were you so far right in the lane?

  • gaudette

    This site was a lot cooler when comments weren’t moderated.

    We come for the content, but stay to chat with people of similar interests. Seems to be an extremely backwards approach considering gawker is rolling out a more interactive system to keep discussion alive.

    • Wes Siler

      No comments have been removed dude. What’s your beef?

      Read this:

      • gaudette

        Amazingly that one got through. In the past month I think I’ve gotten 1 out of 10 comments to work. Don’t know why nothing is working.

        • JB

          If you use swear words in your comment, you’re gonna have a bad time.

          They don’t mod all comments, only ones that have potentially offensive terms. You are, 9 times out of 10, an offensive person.

          • gaudette

            That is entirely possible. Ironic, that I can’t say sh*t yet it appears in the body and sometimes subjects of articles multiple times.

            • Wes Siler

              Rub the sand out of your vagina, then go read this:


              Like 750,000 other websites, we use Discus to power our comment system. It works for 99.9% of people, if you have a technical issue, it’s likely due to an outdated browser or similar.

              Comment with swear words or a bunch of links or several other parameters are automatically held by Discus in a moderation queue. We try to get to them in a timely manner, but do have lives away from the computer, particularly on weekends.

              • Wes Siler

                Again, there’s a number of automatic moderation parameters in place to prevent spam. Such comments go in a queue and are approved shortly thereafter. Just like happens on 750,000 other websites, including very large players like This is the best system out there.

                • Fizzy Fox

                  So, you want to be just like every other website. I get it. I’m sure you guys are getting a lot more traffic now and making more $.

                  It’s just too bad your product is getting watered down as you try to cater to a broader/less interesting audience. I liked this site initially because it was cool and different. The commentors were intelligent, insightful and real motorcycle enthusiasts. This is becoming less and less the case since you guys implemented this new system.

                  Again, it’s just my 2¢. I get you want to make as much $ as possible. Just be careful you don’t become too much like everybody else. You’ll lose your charm.

      • gaudette

        I also was getting more upset with every failed comment. The cop is an asshole but the biker is being a bitch too. He shouldn’t be on the white line. Being that far right and completely out of everyone’s view he’s lucky he drove away from that and didn’t have to get taken away in an ambulance.

      • MrMotoWise

        Mine was, and it contained nothing offensive, didn’t attack anyone. Care to explain?

    • grb

      i think whats happening is that they are moving down comments they dont like. Allot of comments that dont share the point of view with the article are way down, and it ha nothing to do with time of post or negative votes.

      • Wes Siler

        Nothing like that happens. Go up to the top of the thread and look at the drop down menu titled “discussion.” that allows you to organize the thread by “best” (up votes), newest or oldest. If you don’t like the way one displays comments, then chose another.

  • Susanna Schick

    I’m so glad you’re suing. fucking cops can all go fuck themselves. I hate them soooo much.

    • Kit Holz

      No, you pay up for the 100.000 USD a year pension after 15 years.

      Makes anybody laugh. How great or smart is that?

  • Jordan

    Didn’t watch the video, just because I’ve been in this position too many times in the past and I’m pretty sure I know how the dialogue goes.

    I know bikes are a great way to bolster infrastructure, but when it comes to commuting and doing the day-to-day, I just don’t see how it can be worth the frustration and shot nerves when situations like these arise. It’s a shame because the discontent I have sitting in a car during a nice day is probably catalyzing some slow-forming heart disease.

  • HoldenL

    It would be interesting to get his phone records, specifically his texts, and find out who he was texting to when he rear-ended you.

    You can see the wheels spinning in his head when he notices the helmet camera. Suddenly realizing that he’s not going to get away with what he originally planned to do. And yet, still he did the asshole-cop schtick.

  • Isambard

    I’d be pissed if a cop did that to me, too, but as a journalist in the non-moto media, I gotta say this is non-story. Nobody got hurt, and although the cop was a jerk, that’s all he was.

  • Michael Scofield

    dude, I live in Vegas too and the cops here are f*cking cowboys. He needs to be put in his place. The job is to protect and serve, not abuse and berate. Definitely get your attorney involved. It is a good thing you didn’t escalate the situation though. Things could’ve gotten really out of hand.

    Kudos to HFL for posting this and giving the situation some sorely needed attention.

  • Speedo007

    The motorcyclist should have slowed down instead of coming to a stop (that said camera is wide angle and distances are amplified). Also, I can understand riding in the middle of the lane, but on the far right like that you’re just inviting people to try and share your lane and push you off the road. On the other hand, had the police kept a safe distance, he would have stopped on time, as you should always keep the distance necessary to stop if something happens in front of you, in this case the officer was way too close if he wasn’t able to brake on time at those speeds.

    • Mitchell McAleer

      umm, when the cop hit him he was still rolling at the flow of traffic, which was under 5 mph, nearly stopped. No BS excuse works for anyone with some basic observational skills, rational thought processing, and a functioning brain.

    • Michael Bouchard

      you stay to the far right or far left on a motorcycle for two reasons, the center of the road is a hump from tires grooves, so you ride in the lower part of the groove.and to stay further away from the car in the left lane. If i’m in the left lane, I stay all the way to the left. And the center is usually oily and greasy from leaky cars, you dont want to ride in that.

      • Speedo007

        You stay in far right if you are about to turn right, but otherwise should always be in the left 1/3 of the road or in the middle when in traffic to keep buffers on both sides. By being in the far right cars simply don’t see you and you’re taking the chance of them going in your lane.

    • Kit Holz

      Let me guess? Cop?

  • Aaron Berg

    another reason lane splitting is awesome.

  • Nathan Wiley

    So basically the cop scared the rider into not making a beef and getting him in trouble. There is never a legitimate reason when the vehicle in back should run into the vehicle in front. The vehicle in back should ALWAYS allow enough stopping distance. This cop is a tool as are most cops… anyone really surprised by this scene.

    Act two: In fit of passive aggressive rage, rider posts video for all to see… nothing happens because cop and his cop buddies do crap like this all the time.

  • Mark Ryan Sallee

    FUCK THAT MAN. Please do whatever you can to remove him from a position of authority.

  • Paul Steven

    WTF did i just see?

  • Ooakoto Ootamaka

    yeah! teach those fuckers a lesson

  • Kr Tong

    I read this discussion on the local forum and some people/police brought up some interesting points:

    1. YES the cop was a jerk, but so are a lot of people. There’s no legal recourse in ANY situation for being a pussy/feeling verbally intimidated by anyone. It sucks I know but that’s the price of living in a free country that allows freedom of speech. If that was a MAC DONALD’S employee the most you can hope for is a long phone-call with their supervisor where he consoles you and tells exactly what you want to hear.

    2. No injury, AND no damage to either vehicles. No report will be written with or without a cop involved.

    So yeah. This was frustrating to have happened. This was frustrating to watch, and being intimidated by an “authority” is a rough spot to be in, but unless he draws a gun or gets physical, it’s not excessive force. Next time you gotta man up, assert yourself. Most you could’ve done would be ask him for his insurance, but then what, if there’s no damage?

    • Randy Singer

      I sat as a traffic court judge for several years (in CA, not NV), and I have to agree with what you’ve said. If there are no damages, there is no lawsuit. At least no civil lawsuit. I doubt that anyone is going to write a police officer up for a traffic accident either.

      I’m not an expert on NV traffic law, but the laws are similar in most states. While it is true that in most rear-ender cases the following vehicle is presumed to be at fault, most states also have laws covering un-safe lane changes and un-safe maneuvers. So I can’t say definitively from the video that the police officer was at fault.

      It’s just lucky that in this case that there was no physical injury or property damage. I do love the fact that both police cars and many bike riders have video cameras now. Hopefully they make people stop and *think* before they say and/or do stupid things. I hate that some states have laws (or say that they have laws) against them. Law enforcement should be completely transparent.

    • Ratz Asstime

      Traffic court judges are barely sentient, let alone “experts” at anything legal. Asserting his rights at that point would have resulted in trumped up charges, a disappearing helmet camera, and, probably, a beating.

      • Fizzy Fox

        Seriously. I once had a traffic court judge tell me that I was guilty until I could prove my innocence. I was laughing too hard to even be mad about the fact that the city basically extorted $300 from me for no reason.

        • Randy Singer

          A number of defendants come into traffic court thinking that if they act like Perry Mason that they will find a technicality and be let off. Traffic court isn’t like criminal court. It is what is known as a “court of equity,” it’s not a court of law. The judge does what seems right, with the law serving as a general guide. The Rules of Evidence aren’t used. Basically all that’s important is whether or not you did what you are accused of.

          That said, it’s true that in some jurisdictions the traffic court judges are volunteers who don’t have a clue. I wish that it weren’t so, but it is.

  • Toly

    Why did you hit the brakes so hard in the first place? The traffic situation ahead didn’t warrant it. It looks like the cop was watching the traffic ahead and what you did was counter-intuitive, and not safe. He has no right to harass you but you made a bad call in the first place.

    • john doe

      it’s a fisheye lens, look at the start of the video for some reference. there was about three quarters of a car length between him and the accord that was trying to merge

  • Lex

    I respect this man’s composure. I would have picked a fight right off the bat and probably got arrested.

  • Gonçalo Fernandes

    “What we do from here” is you get the fucking pig to pay for any damage to the bike.

  • Ratz Asstime

    LA cops. They haven’t learned a thing from decades of being monitored by the feds, from losing lawsuit after lawsuit, and from having the worst case resolution rate of any major city. At the dead least, this pig should spend a month or two suspended without pay.

  • mulderdog

    more like
    Indian, Beethoven and Seinfeld
    less like this one. no story here.

  • Impulsoren

    I am more worried about Dorner jr here going apeshit on his family, coworkers, or another citizen. This guy need mental health eval stat.

  • Joshua Tessier

    What a disgusting reaction form most of the commentators. No mater what happen’s everyone deserves to be treated respectfully. This rider has the right to ride where ever he chooses within his lane if he wants to ride on the line so be it it’s his right. Generalizing police and saying you hate them all isn’t helping anyone either. This officer should be relieved of his duties. He is clearly trying to use his position of authority to intimidate this rider and that should not be tolerated!

  • Slappy White

    You’re both wrong. You don’t slam on your brakes when someone wants to change lanes. Courtesy is wonderful, but that was an unsafe move.

  • Pete

    Go get the Judge Dredd cop

  • Thomas H.

    as a former leo, this display of attitude and intimidation makes me furious. what was a very simple accident and situation was blown out of proportion with empty threats. it is crap like this that makes people hate the police, and its often well deserved. unfortunately, most cops have to pay the price for the egos of the cops before them.

    had i been that rider, the conversation would have been much more interesting and the person stuttering would have been the officer.

  • grb

    sorry but you stopped so suddenly in the middle of the road! i even felt it coming before he hit you, you never do that, specially if you ride a bike you know not to stop so suddenly, worst if your in the middle of the road, and specially you dont come to a complete stop when traffic is still moving, its obvious youll end up getting rear ended. I hate when motorcyclist get in trouble or worst because of automobilists ignorance or incompetence, yet from the video i think this time its your fault, i would have never slammed on the brakes and halt like that in the middle of moving traffic

  • okto

    sigh. maybe a little yin-yang. it all goes around.

  • Fizzy Fox

    That cop was clearly drunk. That’s why he intimidated the rider into just riding away.

  • Kit Holz

    USA is a wonderful police state. With privately run prison and slave labor inside the prison.


    You people can’t even drink a beer in the open without the police is harassing you. It seems the Hollywood brainwashing pays of.

  • Afonso Mata

    That situation has all sorts of wrongs on everyone involved in this “happening”, the rider, the cop and the merging car.
    But the thing i really feel the need to state is this: “This wouldn’t ever happen if JohnPaul was able to split lanes”.

  • 200 Fathoms

    The police officer’s reaction was uncalled for, but I have to agree that it was pretty poor riding. I couldn’t understand why he was riding almost all the way over on the shoulder and why he came to a stop. I was waiting for the impact.

  • karlInSanDiego

    I believe, in retrospect, the appropriate parting words from JohnPaul should have been, “Can I have a get-out-of-jail-free card, for being cool and tolerating your belligerence when you caused the accident and then threatened me with multiple citations?” And to all of you who are faulting JohnPaul, while I agree that full right is a bad move and led to the lane changing car not seeing him giving room, stopping short is NO WAY a fault of his riding. Bikes do his ALL THE TIME when the car trying to merge into our lane is making us nervous and we need to give them enough berth to finally see us in rear view mirror and complete their damn lane change. The only way he’d be at fault for stopping in the middle of the road is if traffic was continuing to accelerate and wasn’t stopping again. Even so, it gives no license for a tailgating cop to hit you. Car directly in front of JohnPaul clearly had brake lights showing just as JohnPaul stopped and he was giving room for White Honda (tourist?) to make the lane change.

  • Ryan Manning

    Ya, I’m not feeling the whole “poor motorcycle rider” bit. I think the rider was the primary cause of the incident. The cop flexed his muscle a bit much but I think that the officer was in the right. Sure it’s the person’s responsibility behind to leave safe stopping distance but it’s also the lead person’s responsibility not to drive erratic. The best thing that could have happen did. They both went on their way, no harm no foul.

  • duke

    It was non-event, no one hurt, no damage why does this guy gotta lawyer up? AND he’s gotta make a media event out of it??

  • uberbox

    I agree with you–the way that Cop handled with was totally wrong, but at the same time who slams on their brakes like that in slow traffic? It was not necessary and clearly not the safe option. I probably would’ve been pretty pissed if I was the one driving behind JohnPaul. Difference is, I don’t have a Badge.

  • Scott Jameson

    Cop’s voice and demeanor remind me of an old SNL skit.
    Or, middle-age William Shatner.

    JohnPaul, congratulations, you present a cautious & composed citizen.
    Fighting with the past eats at your soul.
    Whatcha ridin’ in the video?

  • Travis King

    Why did he come to a stop though? That makes no sense.

  • Leslie Sofarelli

    I say this was the rider not changing lanes safely. Change and keep up especially in traffic…you only run the risk of being rear ended like this video if you brake

  • GP

    “Just drive normal” – ? Please define normal. This was an obvious attempt by the Officer to intimidate the rider into staying quiet about the event. Any “Normal” person will view this event that way.

  • Jackson Frost

    Intimidation under color of Law? Hang him out to dry.

  • Dave

    The only vehicle 100% in control of the distance needed to stop safely is the rearward vehicle. Simple as that. Following too closely – not adhering to the “3 second rule” to establish a safe braking distance – is 100% at fault of the rearward party in California. No if’s and’s or but’s. Other state laws may vary.

  • Greg Luce

    It would do some good to publicize the thug’s name. Anyone have it? Should be in the article. I would call his department and complain if I knew the details.


    The rider should have got off his bike and immediately dropped to the floor and done the crappy flop until his lawyer showed up.

  • Daxt3r

    I thought this was gonna be like “cops”, he’d be like “get on the gr. GET ON THE FU**** GROUND!!!”. But you did kinda keep too much to the right and you did have a liiitle too much space between you. BUT, that little piggy needs to calm down, sorry OP.

  • Mr Paynter

    Late to get in the convo…

    Regardless of how silly it was to stop as harshly as the rider did, law requires you maintain a safe following distance to avoid others’ mistakes as well as being alert for such things s brake lights, so the cop is still at fault!

  • Paul Keesing

    grow some balls man!…..” ababababa yes sir” for fuck’s sake

  • Jason Gerdon

    So what I gather from this is that police intimidation is completely acceptable. Also, you’d think cops, since their job is to serve the public, wouldn’t be cursing like that. This cop should be fired.

  • Kc Merrill

    As a motorcyclist I completely understand why one would drive on the side of the road like that. You have more visibility to the driver via the side mirrors, can avoid obstacles and if somebody does pull into your lane you have that much more time to react and avoid an accident.

    Also, the cops initial reaction to this was a bit intimidating. I felt a little intimidated just watching it! The cop did seem to relax a bit as it went on.

    A tricky situation for sure. At the end of the day though, no harm no foul. I probably would’ve mumbled under my breathe a bit but left it at that.

  • alohagirl

    Staying tuned….. is there any follow up on this?

  • PeterBelles

    I’m from NYC, and I noticed cops in Las Vegas like to give tickets to make money for the city, I learned if you go to court and lose, you have to pay like three times the original ticket.

    In NY, if you lose in court you just pay the original fine, and believe
    it or not, NYPD cops are a lot less nasty than cops in Vegas.
    This cop is typical of Las Vegas, he hits you, and blames you, BTW, why do you take Las Vegas Blvd to work ??

  • john

    he must have been too close… the onus would be on the cop… to stop in time!!!!