Did Oklahoma State Patrol Captain George Brown advise women that if you don't want to get raped by a cop, 'then follow the law in the first place so you don't get pulled over'? No, that's not true: It is a false quote taken from a real TV interview Captain Brown did advising women on what to do if pulled over by an officer for a traffic stop. He was not referring to how to avoid being raped.
The misleading reports about what Captain Brown said began in 2014 after a Tulsa television station aired a clip of the interview, and they are still being shared on social media, including a post (archived here) published with a meme featuring a photo of Brown on March 23, 2019 under the title "PSA". It opened:
Ladies, if you don't want to get raped by a cop, 'then follow the law in the first place so you don't get pulled over.'
OK Patrol Captain George Brown
This is what social media users saw:
This is what Captain Brown actually said:
"Many times people want to know what to do, simply what do I do on a traffic stop? It's an uncomfortable situation for everyone involved, for the officer who has to worry about officer safety and for the person, many times female, who are stopped. So, what we do, we suggest they first and foremost do your part and do what it takes to obey the traffic laws, not get stopped."
View the video of the interview here:
Radio station KRMG published an explanation about how the false quote spread in a story published on September 25, 2014. Read it here. The story explains that the quote was first taken out of context by a Tulsa TV news anchor after playing the clip of Brown:
Then the anchor who read the story on air followed with what is called a "tag" in the news business.
She said: "He says the best tip that he can give is to follow the law in the first place so you don't get pulled over."
National websites, including the Huffington Post went with the story put out that Brown had advised women not to get pulled over if they didn't want to be raped.
Watch the video of the misleading Tulsa TV report here:
The Huffington Post later updated their story to reflect what Brown really said and why he said it. Read that here.