When you dress-up in costumes, do you go all out? Careful about the details? Super authentic? If your costume is a police uniform, don’t do what Percy Coleman did.
Coleman kitted himself out in his boys-in-blue best, complete with handgun. Seriously. A handgun. Coleman, through his previous job as a parole officer for the Illinois Department of Corrections, had an Illinois Parole Agent Concealed Carry Weapons Permit. Guessing on what happened to Coleman, it’s likely the Illinois Parole Agent Concealed Carry Weapons Permit does not contain a cosplay clause.
Once he was all dolled-up in his cop finery, Coleman heading to the cafe he owned for a comedy night. Later that night, real police officers showed up at Coleman’s cafe to shut it down for failure to have a business license. Cue the comedy of errors. Cue a lawsuit from Coleman.
Coleman says he identified himself as the owner of the business and told his son to retrieve the cafe’s business license.
…Defendant Officer Koseluh asked if Coleman was a police officer.
Coleman responded that he was a peace officer.
Defendant Officer Koseluh asked why Coleman was impersonating a police officer.
Coleman responded that he was a participant in the comedy show. [source]
What happened next depends on who you ask (fake cop or the real ones), but the cosplay cop was disarmed, then arrested for impersonating a police officer and for wearing body armor.
If you’re considering cop cosplay, don’t go for authenticity. Go absurd. Go Lt. Dangle.
Go Dangle and no real police officer would ever suspect you of impersonating the real thing. The real thing couldn’t get clearance to wear those non-regulation shoes.
3Top image from Party Fiesta Officer Dangle image from Comedy Central