A TikToker has recently explained exactly why police officers touch the back of the car they’ve pulled over.
Now, if you’ve ever been pulled over here in the US, you may have noticed the officer usually taps the rear of your car before approaching the side and getting you to roll your window down.
But why is that?
Well, police officer Tony Messer has posted a TikTok video explaining all…
Messer shared that he gets asked this question a lot, claiming it’s “probably one of the top three questions” people ask him.
And it turns out it’s all about leaving “fingerprints.”
In the event something unexpected happens.
But that’s not all…
“These fingerprints are just in case the worst of the worst happens when you approach the driver.
“If a driver was to flee after committing a crime, this would link the vehicle and your fingerprints together to give the detectives another piece of evidence,” he said.
However, Messer also highlighted that might not be the same reason as other officials “around the nation.”
So he urged other officers around the globe to share their reasons in the comments section.
And it quickly filled up…
One said: “I do it for fingerprints and to be sure the trunk is closed to avoid a possible ambush.”
“As a retired LEO, I touched the truck if it was a car to insure that it was not unlatched. The DC sniper case is a good example. Fingerprints were 2nd,” another said.
A third commented: “I’ve been trained in military law enforcement we touch it to feel for kidnapped victims from them moving around in the trunk on top of what you said.”
This isn’t the first time a TikToker has explained the reason why…
Last year, TikTok user @mr.alexaa shared a video of a series of cops touching the back of a vehicle, usually on the trunk, before heading towards the driver-side door.
The video then went on to him explaining that it was all part of the standard policing procedure and was put in place to help protect both the people in the car and the police officer from potential harm.
According to the majority of people in the comments sections, it’s so the officer’s fingerprints are on the car in case anything goes wrong, just like Messer said.
Traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero has backed up this theory, explaining that it’s an essential part of policing.
Speaking to News 6, he said there are 2 reasons behind it…
He explained: “When law enforcement officers conduct a traffic stop, there are plenty of procedures that need to be done, not only for the safety of the violator but for the safety of that officer.”
“One of those things is proving that that officer was with that car, so when officers approach a vehicle, they touch the rear of it.”
He went on: “The first reason is to make sure that the trunk is closed. It may sound a little crazy, but you want to make sure that no one is about to jump out of the trunk and that it’s properly secured.”
“Touching the rear of the vehicle puts the officer’s fingerprints on that car, showing that he or she was there with it. In case the driver decided to flee the scene, or if something happened to that officer, it ties both the vehicle and the officer together.”
He added: “This is just one of the many things that take place during traffic stops to ensure everyone’s safety.”
Since Messer’s video was posted, it has been watched over 300k times, with thousands also hitting the comments to share their thoughts on it.
One commenter questioned whether the move was necessary if the officer has “already called in the tag, description, etc.”
Another also echoed the comment, writing: “Outdated practice. Body camera/dash camera already links the vehicle. You have a higher chance of being struck by lightning than a trunk ambush.”
Messer replied: “You ever stopped a vehicle with improper plates?”
However, one TikTok user commended the method, writing: “Great thing to do… never know about cameras not working or anything. Nothing better than old-school things to do… stay safe out there.”
So there you have it!
You can watch his viral video here.