Still from TikTok video that got police officer suspended
reddit | Jaamac2025

Police Officer Suspended Over Viral TikTok Saying 'We Can Find A Reason To Pull You Over'

Social media platforms enable us to say whatever we want, and have that message amplified to the whole world. Sometimes, we might say or show a little too much.

That appears to be what's happened with a police officer in Washington state who made an unforced error with a TikTok video. After the video went viral, the officer was suspended by her police force.

The video was a bad idea.

Hand holding phone displaying the TikTok logo
Unsplash | Solen Feyissa

Breanna Straus, who works as a police officer in Federal Way, Washington, released the problematic video earlier this summer. She's since deleted it for obvious reasons, but a copy of it was preserved by a Reddit user.

What did she say?

Police officer riding a motorcycle
Unsplash | Zac Ong

Well, kind of a lot.

"If we're driving on the freeway in our police car, get the [expletive] out of the way," Straus said as she waved her finger at the camera. "I can go 90 miles an hour, you can't. You can't do that."

So far, so good?

A police car
Unsplash | Alec Favale

The tone of the video is kind of unpleasant, but so far, she's correct: police can legally go fast if they have good reason, and civilians are legally obligated to get out of their way.

But the video goes sideways fast.

The next thing she said was a bit problematic.

Still from TikTok video that got police officer suspended
reddit | Jaamac2025

"If us officers stay behind you long enough, we can find a reason to pull you over," Straus said. It's this last part that got her in trouble with her force.

She needs to respect probable cause.

A police stop at night
Unsplash | Erik Mclean

Legally speaking, probable cause is necessary for a police officer to detain, search, or pull you over. In other words, if a police officer wants to pull you over, they need to have a good reason. They can't just pull you over and manufacture a cause later.

Straus got suspended.

"Suspended? Cool." gif
Giphy | Workaholics

The Federal Way Police Department launched an investigation following the release of the TikTok. Straus was eventually suspended — for just ten hours without pay. This effectively means that she was forced to stay home for one shift.

Is she a good cop?

A police officer viewed from behind
Unsplash | LOGAN WEAVER | @LGNWVR

To her credit, it sounds like Straus hasn't rubbed anyone the wrong way outside of this poorly thought out video.

"We had not received any complaints against Officer Straus regarding arrests, citations, or traffic stops," Commander Kurt Schwan of the Federal Way Police Department said.

It's always important to know your rights.

A police officer and police cars
Unsplash | Tito Texidor III

There's an old cliche of police officers pulling a person over, then busting their taillight or doing something similar in order to justify the detention. But the Straus TikTok video shows us that, in at least some cases, this culture still persists.

What do you think?

Lights on a police car
Unsplash | Michael Förtsch

On one hand, firing the officer for a TikTok video seems like a severe punishment — but on the other, the actual punishment she received feels very light. What do you think of this story? Do you have any police horror stories? Be sure to let us know in the comments.