Unless you’ve dedicated a lot of time to breaking the law, most of what you know about the cops comes from movies and TV, and those may or may not be just the facts, ma’am. All month, Ken Jennings will be exploring the “thin blue line” between police fact and police fiction. If you actually thought this stuff was true—well, you have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in the comments section.
Police Myth #3: When You’re Arrested, You Get One Phone Call.
Police arrests in movies and TV shows are always followed by a phone call—for dramatic purposes, I assume. We need to see the ne’er-do-well tearily confessing his downfall to a parent or spouse or co-conspirator. (Or lawyer, I guess, but that seems to happen less often in the movies than it does in real life.) This cliché has become so deeply engrained in the popular imagination that arrestees—in movies and in real life as well—now know to ask for “my phone call,” as if they are entitled to exactly one.