A viral TikTok video has shed light on an interesting thing police officers do when they pull over a car – showing numerous examples of cops who firmly tap the boot as they approach.
In the clip, uploaded by user @mr.alexaa, a number of officers are filmed approaching vehicles from the left-hand side and in every instance, they tap the boot before speaking to the driver.
The clip was watched more than 30 million times since it was uploaded on July 5 and thousands of people commented, with many suggesting it was because of fingerprints.
One user said: "It's to leave fingerprint so that when something bad happens to the cops the car's owner would be questioned or suspected."
A second commented: "Is it to leave fingerprints in case something goes wrong?"
"Jokes on them mine is society prints can't transfer," joked a third.
Someone else suggested to was to check if "someone is in the boot".
Traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero appeared on News 6 and backed up the fingerprint theory proposed on TikTok and explained the reason behind it.
He said: "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."
The expert said touching the boot helps to "make sure that the trunk is closed".
He said: "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."
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