Police cars on a street
Unsplash | Mika Baumeister

Ex-Cop Shares Why He Quit After Just 10 Days

There's been something of an unofficial public referendum on policing in recent years, spurred by numerous high-profile incidents of police brutality and the "defund the police" movement.

While there can be no doubt that many police officers do good, it's also apparent that the overall institution of policing could use some work.

One former police officer recently shared his experience on Twitter.

Justin Brown-Woods is a teacher.

Twitter user and former police officer Justin Brown-Woods
twitter | @jbrownwoods

Justin was looking for something a little more reliable than his substitute teaching job, so he decided to enter the police academy.

After just 10 days, he was done. Now, he's teaching again and doesn't regret quitting the force.

Here's why.

He'd already dabbled in the field.

We're not going to share ever single one of Justin's tweets here, so be sure to check out the full thread for even more context.

Justin's motivations for getting into policing made sense, as he already had experience with criminology and juvenile probation and felt he could make a difference.

Things started out just fine.

Like so many of us, Justin watched real-world police shows to aid in his understanding of typical police work.

Shows like Live PD and Cops typically show police officers in a very positive light, so Justin had no big concerns as he started police academy.

Things started to sour.

Justin details a culture of a police force that prides itself on pulling people over on flimsy pretexts. One chief of police even told him that, since owning a milk crate is a misdemeanor, seeing someone with a milk crate is probable cause for questioning that person.

He graduated.

It wasn't without some noteworthy struggles, however. "A local cop is screaming in my face, putting hands on me, etc.," Justin wrote of a training exercise. "First sign of, 'oh, I never want to be like that guy."

In the end, though, Justin graduated from police academy and says he was voted as the kindest and most respectful recruit.

Day one: violence.

No, Justin wasn't directly involved in any violence. But he does explain that a culture of violence appeared to exist within the department.

"Day one we're working on being violent," he wrote. "How do I know? The trainer told us 'every action has a more violent reaction. Whew...okie dokie."

Some of the talk was just plain strange.

Continuing the violent theme, Justin says that a sergeant threatened his fellow officers with death should anything happen to his family under their watch.

Needless to say, we all love our families — but threatening your colleagues is a bad look.

According to Justin, that sergeant did eventually get his just desserts.

It just got worse and worse.

To add to this example of casual racism, Justin detailed another experience that dealt with casual transphobia.

After one police officer saw two people (who he referred to as "trannies") make an illegal turn, he pulled them over.

"[The officers] brag about using the birth assigned pronouns for both of them," wrote Justin. "They call the woman 'dude/man' and the male 'lady.'"

After 10 days, Justin was done.

After the racism and transphobia, and a further incident in which police officers mocked a couple with addictions, Justin decided to call it quits.

Justin's thread has brought a lot of comments, from supporters and haters alike. For what it's worth, he doesn't care about the haters.

"I have to be authentic to who I am," he concluded.

Policing can be a contentious issue.

Police cars on a street
Unsplash | Mika Baumeister

Whether you agree with Justin's assessment of policing or not, it's undeniable that issues exist within police work, particularly in the United States.

Check out the full thread, and then let us know your thoughts. Have you had experiences with police, good or bad? Share your stories in the comments.