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The police. So called because you look one time at them, as doing a double-take might attract attention.
See Sir Mix-a-Lot's song "One Time's Got No Case".
by Anonymous December 31, 2002
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The cops. It's correct that it means looking more than once can draw attention. But the actual phrase comes from someone saying "one time" to let the other passengers or friends know that they have now seen the cops and are claiming the first look, and no one else should now turn around because two or more people looking increase your odds of being stopped by more than 50%.
"One time, man. Don't turn around!"
by PhatLladi October 03, 2006
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Amongst other terms, the polite thing to yell when you see a cop cruising around, especially slowly.
"One-time! One-time!" (Then walk briskly in the opposite direction.)
by Trendon January 25, 2006
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police officer(s)

primarily used in west

see five-o jake the law
Yo! One up holmes, it's the one-time!
by Johnny Twoguns August 13, 2004
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Police. See #1. You look at them one time. If you double take or look too long you might attract their attention. In doing so, with a cop with nothing better to do and if in their minds they suspect an ounce of fishy shit going on with you, expect to get followed for a bit so they can check your plates, pull you over and/or get talked to to see what's up with you.
From the movie Street Kings

Coates: Man, we got the one time up in here. Motherfucking po-po. Is there any square cops out there? Or is everybody out for theirs?
by Freeloading Will July 19, 2010
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The police. Contrary to a popularly accepted best guess, this North American black / hip-hop slang term did not derive from the idea that one should only look once and not double-take at the police (arousing suspicion). Instead, it derives from the first few words of personal anecdotes involving the police, often shared while socializing at BBQs etc: "One Time, I was just comin out the Korean store, and the five-oh seen me..." It became a fun slang device to simply refer to police encounters as "one times," as in "that was close! we almost had a one time." which simply evolved into calling the police "one time." This was very early 90s and only really persists among fans of rap produced in that era.
nigga yo ass bess get yo shit up out here nigga! one time straight flossin this hood f' yo ass. and that's only real, on my life nigga.
by THYLTH August 09, 2017
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