Once Again, Let’s Start With Definition.
Police impersonation is the act of falsely representing yourself as a member of the police force with the deliberate intent to deceive and cheat others. This illegal impersonation carries a custodian sentence a person is caught and convicted of the crime. Impersonating a police officer is usually undertaken to assert authority over the public while committing a deliberate crime. Posing as a police officer enables the offender to commit other illegal activities such as burglary, home invasion, kidnapping and auto thefts. The person may attempt to make false arrests, or may even commit murder in extreme cases. Some of the prohibited acts of posing as a police officer or a law enforcement official include:
- Verbally represents himself / herself as a police officer or a law enforcement official to the public.
- Wearing official articles of clothing such as a uniform, shield, ID, badge or patch that has been allocated to the Department of State Police.
- Placing decals, police lights, sirens or any other equipment on a personal vehicle to disguise it as a police car.
Over the years, there have been some cases of police impersonation across the world, most of them ultimately leading to a heinous crime.
Three Cases. Very Real.
- Likely, the most infamous case of a police impersonation occurred during the St. Valentine’s Day massacre that occurred way back in 1929. Led by the notorious Al Capone, two hit men disguised as ‘police officers’ pretended to arrest seven members of a rival Irish American gang and killed them, along with two other civilian clothed hit men. The police officers opened fire and shot their victims continuously, even after all seven fell to the floor.
- The Utøya Massacre that occurred in 2011 is another example of the dangers that accompany police impersonation. The offender, Anders Behring Breivik, dressed in a police uniform, portrayed himself as “Martin Nilsen” from the Oslo Police Department and boarded a ferry to the island of Utøya, Norway. The Norwegian Labor Party’s AUF youth camp is organized in Utøya every summer and was attended by over 500 teenagers. Breivik reportedly opened fire indiscriminately at people on the island, killing 69 of them, and physically injuring at least 110.
- Justin Ewert of Martinsville in the United States of America was arrested for driving a black and white car with a light bar. He reportedly used the light bar in an attempt to get through traffic more quickly. Justin is being helped in Tippecanoe County Jail with a $500 bond, according to jail records.
The Penalty Is Here.
As per the U. S. law, a person who deceptively feigns to be or assumes the role of a police officer or employee on the police force will be imprisoned or fined (or both) for a period not exceeding three years. This impersonation includes falsely using the authority of any department, agency or office of the United States government –– especially in cases related to unlawful monetary demands, papers, documents and other items of value. Depending on each state law in the United States, impersonating a police officer accompanies punishments which include:
- Imprisonment, depending on the extent of the crime.
- Hefty fines
- Permanent criminal record
Impersonation of a police officer is a crime in almost every country in the world and comes with different degrees of punishment.