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What Is Police Harassment?

By Felicia Dye
Updated May 16, 2024
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Across America, law enforcement agents are expected to uphold the sanctity of the law's while serving the community. However, a report by the Cato Institute's National Police Misconduct Reporting Project indicates that smaller agencies are not immune to instances of police harassment, with misconduct rates comparable to larger departments. These officers are mandated to enforce the law, yet they must do so within the bounds of legality and respect for civil liberties. 

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, when law enforcement officials step beyond their authority and engage in police harassment, they not only violate individual rights but also undermine public trust in the justice system. It is crucial for small-town police harassment to be addressed with the same rigor as in larger cities, ensuring accountability and the protection of citizens' rights.

There are numerous actions that can qualify as police harassment. Police have the authority and the duty to question people suspected of committing crimes. They also have the authority and duty to lawfully look for evidence regarding crimes and to arrest those they believe have committed crimes. There are some types of questioning, searches, and arrests, however, which may be considered harassment.

Questioning may qualify as harassment when it is arbitrary. Sometimes police officers will make a habit of stopping a certain person and demanding answers to random events, even when they do not suspect his involvement. This is often an abuse of power. The same type of situation can arise with search and seizure. An officer may act unlawfully by conducting an unwarranted search and confiscating items not used as part of an investigation.

An officer may have several reasons for harassing a person. For example, he may be trying to coerce the person to admit to his role in a crime or the officer be trying to get information regarding an event that he believed a person witnessed. In any event, it does not make police harassment acceptable.

Many people do not exercise their rights for justice in these situations because they believe the incidents are too minor. Harassment is not always harmless. Unjust police tactics can cause a person mental or physical harm. It can cause a person to lose his job, to be evicted from his place of residence, or to sustain unfair losses of property. When a person is harassed and does nothing about it, he may be acting against the best interests of society because a law officer who uses unjust tactics once is likely to use them again.

Police harassment is a situation that tends to be best handled by the judicial system. In many instances, police harassment may be found to be a violation of a person’s civil rights. It is not wise for a person who is being harassed to try to seek justice on the spot from the officer who is harassing him.

This means that person should not resist or become violent in such situations. If he does, he risks giving his harasser cause to continue to mistreat him or harm him. Instead, such misconduct should be handled in a calm and cooperative manner and the law should be used to reprimand the guilty parties.

How to Report Police Harassment

What happens if you experience some form of harassment from a cop? You may or may not understand what the motivations of an officer may be. There are proper ways to report police harassment. There are federal laws for protection from the misconduct of law officers, even federal agents. There are criminal and civil statutes that protect the rights of all people in the United States, whether they are citizens or not. These laws have jurisdiction over state, county, and local offices. How to report police misconduct depends on the nature of the incident and the law that was broken by the officer. 

Federal Enforcement of Police Misconduct

What happens if an officer violates a criminal versus a civil law? They are investigated as separate cases, even if part of the same incident. The Department of Justice ultimately has jurisdiction over criminal and civil cases, but there are a few differences between the two.

Criminal Cases

For criminal enforcement of police harassment, you first contact your local Federal Bureau of Investigation or United States Attorney's Office. The FBI or USAO starts the investigation, then involves the Department of Justice to try any legitimate cases.

  • The DOJ charges the accused individual. 
  • The evidence must "prove beyond a reasonable doubt."
  • The DOJ seeks prison and sanctions against the officer as punishment as an outcome.

Civil Cases

Civil enforcement of police harassment begins when you contact the Justice Department. They are the ones that investigate violations of the civil liberties protected by laws like the Police Misconduct Provision, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, or the Office of Justice Programs statutes.

  • The DOJ charges the presiding enforcement agency.
  • The proof has to meet a "preponderance of the evidence."
  • The DOJ wants to correct uncivil policies and provide restitution for victims as the outcome.

How to Protect Yourself from Police Harassment

There are a few best practices to protect yourself if an officer of the law acts in a way that violates your rights. 

Know Your Rights

Knowing your rights concerning the police will allow you to deal with law enforcement with more confidence. Civil liberty resources, including the American Civil Liberties Union, offer instruction on exercising your rights. There are some basics to remember.

  • You can choose not to consent to a search of you or your belongings. Law enforcement is allowed to do a pat-down if they suspect a weapon. 
  • You do not have to answer questions about citizenship or immigration.
  • You can choose to state out loud that you wish to exercise your right to remain silent. You do not have to answer questions about your destination, intent, or residence.
  • If arrested, you have the right to a lawyer and a local phone call. The police cannot listen to these conversations.

Document the Incident

Keeping a record of all you can remember about your encounter with police harassment is vital. The pertinent details include:

  • Witness contact info
  • Officer names
  • Badge numbers
  • Patrol car numbers
  • Photographs of injuries
  • Medical records
  • Cellphone images or video
  • Note any use of weapons

What is the Most Common Complaint Against Police?

The Bureau of Justice Statistics is a comprehensive resource for criminal justice statistics on crime, the justice system, offenders, and victims. They collect data on complaints received about the unnecessary use of force by police and law enforcement.

Types of Police Complaints

Aside from federal agencies, you should also file a report with the internal affairs department of the local office responsible for the harassing officer. There are several main types of police complaints that you may file depending on the infraction, including First Information Reports, Private Complaint Issued to Magistrate, and official Department Complaint filings. The complaint process can vary by state, as there are currently 44 state oversight agencies. 

Number of Police Complaints

In the last decade, people have made more than 200,000 police complaints in the United States. Approximately 110,000 of those led to an official internal affairs investigation. Most misconduct is only routine infractions. The largest category (roughly 15%) of officers that lose their certification do so from reported issues with drugs and alcohol. Some of the more serious charges include the following numbers in the U.S. over the last ten years.

  • Excessive force - 22,000+ reports
  • Rape, molestation or sexual misconduct - 3,000+ cases
  • Domestic violence - 2,300+ cases
  • Perjury, tampering with evidence, witnesses, or falsifying reports - 2,200+ cases
  • Obstruction of justice - 400+ cases

How to Report Police Harassment

One of the difficulties of reporting police harassment is that you may have been arrested during the altercation. If this is the case, your priority should be to get legally released on bail. This will allow you to get legal assistance, which will be invaluable to building your case. Make sure that you are following all of the rules associated with your release, such as being present and on time for all your court dates.

At the soonest possible time following the encounter, take notes on everything you remember. The more details you can record, the better. Make sure to take note of the date and time of the incident. If possible, save your notes in a digital format that includes a timestamp.

Information to Record

If you received any injuries as a result of the encounter, take pictures and consider seeing a doctor. If you get medical help, save all of the associated documentation. If taking pictures or getting medical help isn't possible, write down the details instead.

Take note of any witnesses who saw the incident occur. If there were any people in the area that may have seen or heard anything, they could be a valuable asset to your case.

If you have any physical evidence, such as damaged property, that occurred as a result of the police misconduct, you should keep it safe. If the damages were made to an item that absolutely has to be washed, altered, or replaced, make sure that you take plenty of photos before doing so.

Reporting the Incident

Once you have gathered all the information you can, your next move should be to contact a civil rights attorney. They can help you pursue legal compensation through a court case. Make sure to find an attorney that is a good fit for your case, and discuss details such as the costs of hiring them upfront so that you know what to expect. Having an attorney is key to winning a complex case such as a police harassment lawsuit.

How to Prove Police Harassment

The main goal of proving police harassment is often to win a lawsuit and receive financial compensation for the crimes against you. Since police officers are given a lot of discretion in how they operate, proving that you have been the victim of police harassment can be a difficult task.

You should not expect to get support from other members of the police force, as historically if one officer is accused of harassment, the others will support them in almost any circumstance. You will need strong proof that the officer in question has done something that specifically goes against the civil rights afforded to you as a US citizen.

While the difficulty of pursuing compensation can be intimidating, if you truly have been a victim of police harassment, it is worth trying to bring the guilty officer to justice. Police accountability is something that is becoming increasingly important in recent years, and you may be helping to improve law enforcement for everyone.

Use your notes and any evidence you have to strengthen your accusation. Your civil rights attorney will be able to help you use this information to build a case and increase your chances of succeeding in court.

What Are Examples of Police Harassment?

Before you can consider creating a case against a police officer, you need to be certain that what they did actually constitutes harassment. There are many different behaviors to watch for that can indicate harassment.

Illegal Actions

There are many things that police offers are not legally allowed to do. If you know that an officer has done something illegal, you should contact an attorney. This includes illegal searching of you or your belongings, illegally detaining you, or illegally stopping you on the street without reasonable suspicion or a warrant.

Police being overly violent or using excessive force is another action that citizens should be legally protected against. If a police officer is not currently on duty and they take any action against you, this may also be illegal.

Discriminatory Actions

Unfortunately, many cases of police harassment involve discrimination against a person for belonging to a minority group. If your case falls into this category, you may have the foundation for a successful lawsuit. One example of discrimination is racial profiling. A police officer can not stop, search, or detain anyone without reasonable suspicion, no matter what race or ethnicity they are. Sexual harassment of any kind is also completely unacceptable, as is the use of slurs regarding a person's race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or other personal traits.

FAQ on Police Harassment

What constitutes police harassment?

Police harassment involves unwarranted or illegal actions by police officers that can include intimidation, discrimination, physical assault, or the use of excessive force without just cause. It can also encompass repeated stops, searches, and questioning that go beyond the reasonable scope of law enforcement. The key factor is that the behavior must be persistent and not justified by any legitimate law enforcement activity.

How can I tell if I'm being harassed by the police?

You might be experiencing police harassment if you encounter repeated and unnecessary stops, searches, or questioning without probable cause. If you notice a pattern of targeted behavior towards you that feels excessive or abusive, especially if it's based on your race, ethnicity, gender, or another protected characteristic, this could be a sign of harassment. Documentation of these encounters can help determine if there's a pattern of harassment.

What should I do if I believe I'm a victim of police harassment?

If you believe you're a victim of police harassment, it's important to remain calm and avoid confrontation. Collect evidence by documenting each incident with as much detail as possible, including dates, times, locations, and officer badge numbers. Seek legal advice from an attorney who specializes in civil rights or police misconduct. You can also file a complaint with the police department's internal affairs division or a civilian complaint board, if available.

Are there any legal protections against police harassment?

Yes, there are legal protections against police harassment. The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures, while the Fourteenth Amendment ensures equal protection under the law. Federal laws like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also provide protections against discrimination. Victims of police harassment can file a lawsuit under Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act, which allows individuals to sue state government officials for civil rights violations.

Can I record my interactions with the police to protect myself from harassment?

Yes, in most jurisdictions, you have the right to record public interactions with the police as long as you do not interfere with their duties. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), openly recording officers performing their duties in public is typically protected by the First Amendment. However, it's important to know the specific laws in your state, as there may be varying regulations regarding recording audio and video.

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Discussion Comments

By anon991501 — On Jun 26, 2015

Every cop is a criminal because they don't arrest their fellow criminal officers. There's not a single cop that's not a criminal. They must be taught if a cop does it has to be legal. If a cop does it, it's probably illegal. They make me sick. Get a real job and stop hassling people for a living. Most likely poor people.

By anon989450 — On Mar 06, 2015

Is it legal for the police to threaten a person with arrest, try and strong arm me into letting them come into my home and do a search? My boyfriend was down by the street because he thought a cat got hit, so he was down looking.

A cop stopped him, ran his name and a 10 yea old warrant came up for SC. So they put him in cuffs and put him in back of car. Then they asked him when the last time he smoked meth. What? Then they come up to door, I go outside to find out what was going on. One cop asks to come in the house and talk to me, and I said no, we can talk outside. He asks why he can't come in. I told him the cats and dog would be all over us. Then he proceeds to ask me when the last last time I smoked meth. What again? I told him I never smoked meth. He then tells me he wants to search the house. I said no sir, you cannot.

He then tells me we can do this the hard way or the easy way. I say to him, you mean the legal way? He asks me me again to come inside and search, I said no. He says fine I'll go get a judge to sign a search warrant. I said go ahead, I have nothing to hide. He then says, don't make me arrest you. I said for what? I've never been treated like a criminal, in my own house.

This officer was very rude to me. When the other officer was down talking to John in the back of the car, as soon as the nicer cop came back to porch, the rude officer shut up. The nice cop then tells me that they are letting John go, they have nothing to arrest or hold him, SC doesn't want him for the 10 yea old warrant. They let him out of the car, then the rude cop says this isn't over and that GBI would be back. On what grounds? This isn't a meth den, we don't use meth, we don't make meth, we don't sell meth, etc. Why can they do this?

I have no criminal record, nothing, not even a tiny violation. Ever. In my whole life. Can cops just come up to your house and threaten you with searching, arrest, etc.? I just keep getting angrier and angrier the more I think about it.

By anon960431 — On Jul 10, 2014

Can I get your opinions on something? A kid my sons know came over a few days ago. Yesterday, I had the police at my house because I guess the kid had a stolen iPad and the last "ping" was from around our neighborhood.

I offered to allow the police to search our home for the iPad, but they declined because they say they knew it wasn't here, so my husband and sons said that they would try to help get the iPad back, but they don't know where this kid lives or anything like that.

The police showed back up at our house two more times to "put pressure" on us to find the iPad for them. Today, the police showed up again, and again they admitted that they knew that the iPad wasn't here but that they were going to come to our house every day and call our landlord every day until that iPad came back. Even the sergeant was threatening us with getting us evicted, and said that they would come every day even though they knew it wasn't here.

He started calling my son a punk and accusing him of doing home invasions. Even after I told him both my sons have been home all the time, he tells me that that's his opinion and he's entitled to it. Another officer told my son that if he got the iPad back that he promised he wouldn't arrest my son for being in possession of stolen property because my son isn't stupid and even told them. How did he know that they wouldn't arrest him for that? The officer was saying, “I give you my word,” but then proceeds to tell me that even if he did arrest my son for helping them, that he couldn't get in trouble for promising not to arrest my son for it and that cops are allowed to lie and not get in trouble for it.

Doesn’t this constitute police harassment if the police know the iPad isn't here and that my sons weren't involved, but they're going to come every day and call my landlord every day if we don't do their job for them?

By anon956660 — On Jun 15, 2014

I moved into my husband's home six months prior to our getting married. We are adults in our mid fifties, not young kids. Prior to this time period, my husband lived in the house for about six years. He only had a nodding relationship with the male neighbor who lives across the street. He knew the man was married but never really saw the wife.

After I moved in, the neighbor’s wife began a slowly escalating campaign of harassing us. She drags her husband, who is a policeman, into it. For the most part, he doesn't say much; he just kind of hangs his head down or turns away. Bur she is hell bent to have him "find something on us".

We are very quiet people. We mind our own business and we get up early, but are mindful of the fact that other people don't, and we go to bed early. I've seen the policeman on his roof looking into our backyard with binoculars. The wife will

occasionally go out of control, running in and out of her house, screaming at me and/or my husband and calling us white trash. She has verbally insulted me by calling me old, ugly, fat, a slave whom he keeps around to work for him and that he will never marry me. She finds it suspicious that we park curbside and not in the driveway. She sits on her curb while I garden in my yard so she can "keep an eye on me" -- you get the picture.

I tried to converse with her and she insulted my squeaky child's voice. She saw my husband push me in the snow (when we were having a bit of a snowball fight) and is saying I am being abused but I stay because I am stupid and desperate. My husband called the police department and he was advised to keep a journal of the incidents and call if things escalate. But he was also advised that unless we had proof, such as footage or a witness, it would be hard to get a grievance registered because the husband is a cop.

This is a total and unreasonable overreach of his position and deplorable because I pay his salary to protect me from people like them. Any further advice that anyone can give would be welcome. Thank you.

By anon945508 — On Apr 13, 2014

There's a lot of good advice here. First, be calm and respectful while the abuse is happening, even if the offender doesn't deserve either calmness or respect. Other than the selfish interest of not wanting to become the next Rodney King, I think most cops are decent people trying to do a good job, or at least, they start out that way. The career bullies are a problem that can only be solved by firing or jail time, but ones who go overboard because they don't know any better can be fixed with a bit of education and some corrective punishment. Escalating the situation when dealing with them will just reinforce their bad behavior.

Second, call the FBI or your top state law enforcement agency. Ever play the game Bully? What's the best way to beat a bully? Bring in an even bigger one. They might not be able to act on just one report if you don't have more evidence, but most bullies are serial offenders, especially if they've realized how much they can get away with it.

I worked over a decade for the FBI before becoming a federal prosecutor, and I can tell you there are two sorts of people working for the federal government who would be powerful allies. First, there are the crusading civil rights types. These are the guys who started working for the government specifically because they wanted to investigate things like violations of anti-discrimination laws, big companies stepping on the little guy, and police abuses.

Also, look for non-government organizations that do the same thing. This is a great time because those organizations are at the height of their power. Usually public support is split because conservatives tend to be very pro law enforcement, and they don't like the big civil rights organizations like the ACLU because these organizations don't fight for Second Amendment rights, and conservatives don't agree with defending a "criminal's rights". But today, the police are "Obama's police," and thanks to the PRISM scandal, even people on the right are starting to realize that it's not just criminals who get caught up in police investigations. The net result is that it's become easy to find an NGO that is non-partisan or at least matches your politics that is willing to help hold the police to account, and they enjoy more widespread support.

Finally, look online for popular free apps for your phone that turn them into an instant recorder. What these apps do is allow you to set your phone to start video/audio recording with just one or two quick touches of a button, and then they either broadcast live to a server, or automatically upload when the phone is turned off, when the camera is turned off, or when it gets an internet connection. Most of these apps also put a display on your screen to make it look like it's not recording. Before you use these apps, make sure you check your local laws about recordings, especially audio recordings. In general, if you're in public you can be photographed or videoed, but laws on audio recordings on stricter in some states.

Most states have single party consent laws, which means if one of the people having a conversation knows about and consents to the recording, it's legal, but some require all parties to know. Also, plan to turn on your camera before the stop happens, as soon as you see a potential abuser. Reaching for anything in your pocket once the officer is in front of you is never a good idea.

By anon941858 — On Mar 24, 2014

I begin my work shift at 6 a.m. I drive 26 miles to work each way every day. Recently I was asked to start at 5 a.m. In my 20-plus years at my company, when I have been asked to come in early, I've often encountered an older man on my route driving a constant 45 mph per hour on a 55 mph road. I pass him every time I see him. He always leaves his lights on bright and never dims them.

In the 90s, I drove a Bronco II and in the 2000's, until six months ago when I started driving a Ford Escape. I used to laugh to myself. I'd think, "Here we go again" when I'd see him because I knew if I didn't pass him at some point I would be late for work.

Last August I bought a 2005 Jeep Wrangler with a lift kit and larger tires. Last Friday about 4:45 a.m., while driving to work, lo and behold, I got behind the old man again. While looking for a safe spot to pass (on a country road) I noticed a car approaching both of us. As it passed by, I saw a state trooper decal on the side. Seconds later, I saw headlights coming up behind me at a rapid speed until they were riding my bumper. I knew deep down it was the trooper.

As we approached a safe spot in the road, I passed the old man at 50 - 55 mph. Within seconds, I saw the trooper do the same thing in my rearview mirror. As we approached a stop sign, I slowed down and came to what I thought was a complete stop. Apparently it wasn't long enough for the trooper, because the lights went on as soon as I crossed the intersection.

I asked him what I did when he pulled me over. He said I didn't come to a complete stop and took my information. When he came back and issued the ticket, he told me that he had received "several" complaints about me passing on a double solid line. He also said they had a description of the vehicle and a partial license plate number. I know it was the old man who complained. Because I drive a more distinct vehicle it was easier for him to give a description. We are the only two on the road at that hour of the morning.

I feel I was convicted, tried and sentenced all in one instant. The ticket states I was "Going 7 mph through the stop sign verified by visual and radar." I feel I was not guilty, that I was stalked. Is it possible for radar to get you from behind like that?

By anon941056 — On Mar 21, 2014

I can tell you this: I've seen it done and were public safety was not a issue, and there was no threat to anyone. This completely changes after the harassment. Getting the public involved is a big mistake because you can't watch someone for their entire lives.

By anon359334 — On Dec 16, 2013

"Sometimes police officers will make a habit of stopping a certain person and demanding answers to random events, even when they do not suspect his involvement. "

This is exactly what the Oregon City Police have been doing to me for years!

By Daggeth — On Dec 12, 2013

Let me start off first by saying that this police officer is my wife's ex-boyfriend and the father of her firstborn child. Unit 269 was following her at close range -- what I would consider tailgating. In addition to following her at close range, she witnessed him swerve into the emergency lane quickly and dangerously. Now there is no recording of this because the dash camera was not recording. So it's his word against my wife's. I do not believe the police officer who was on duty in his police unit was following her by coincidence, but by choice, and was following her at close range intentionally.

In another incident, this police officer contacted a sergeant on his cell phone to contact my wife. This police officer did this while he was off duty, while the sergeant was on duty, and outside contacting dispatch. The court order specifies all communication is to be done through email. The police officer's actions were a direct violation of the court order and were designed to intimidate my wife.

This officer is also involved in a federal lawsuit against the police department and him personally concerning him killing a fellow citizen by sitting on him and suffocating the man to death.

I have brought this attention to the police department and there was no response. I than contacted the mayor's office and than sent an email with my concerns. The city manager contacted me back via email to let me know he copied the email to the Chief. I received a letter in the mail stating Disposition: Not Sustained.

At this point, I question the integrity of the Police department and it leaves me to believe if an officer can get away with this, how many others are doing the same thing?

What else can I do? I have no idea If he was reprimanded, but I do know he is still on duty carrying a badge and gun. I do not feel myself or my family are safe.

By anon355842 — On Nov 19, 2013

So I'm driving out of an A&W waiting for my chance to get onto the main road to head home when I see this cop car off to my left making a right from another street onto the road I want on. Mind you, he didn't stop; just rolled through even though it was a red light for him, and once he passed me I got on the road driving behind him.

We got to an intersection and the cop in front of me made a right onto the intersecting street and I continued down the road to make the next right onto a different street. After turning, I noticed him again, but this time he was behind me so we drove for a while until we got to another intersection. The light turned green and we started driving and then five or 10 seconds later, he turns his lights on me and starts telling me to pull over on his loudspeakers! I pulled over and his excuse was this: "I'm stopping you because I couldn't see the temperance label on your window meaning your front side windows are tinted which in the state of California is illegal."

He was wrong because one, tinted or not, you can't see the temperance label from a distance and two, the law was changed so that front side windows could be tinted in California at most 70 percent VLT, which mine were. Third, he waited to pull me over and was behind me the whole time, never near the sides of my car to even see them, four, it was raining and cloudy so it was dark out anyway and finally five, it was the same cop who pulled me over a few months back, although for a real and my very first violation. Ever since then, he's been targeting me for violations and crimes I haven't committed and I know he knows that I know he's out to get me.

By Cheekygal51 — On Nov 17, 2013

By anon352603 — On Oct 23, 2013

@anon152317: I suggest you look into a program that will let you hide your privacy on the Internet. A VPN might work. There are ways to surf the web anonymously and to post on social networking sites while hiding your true identity. It's important not to isolate yourself. And I think this is true for all of us here. Bullies try to isolate their victims. I've been harassed by the police since the Patriot Act was passed, and I think anyone who's different or doing unusual things will just automatically raise suspicion in this fear-based climate.

It will cost a little money, but I don't think it's too expensive to use privacy software that enables you to surf the web, login to social networking sites, etc., anonymously. Don't use your real name on social sites and don't just add anyone as a "friend." Check them out first to make sure they are who they say they are. Don't tell people you know in real life what your Internet name is. Maybe set up a separate site for friends you know in real life and friends you only know via the Internet so that no one you meet on the Internet knows your real name.

Personally, I don't think you're crazy; I just dealt with an online stalker myself. You can get your privacy back while still making friends online. It's just a matter of being careful. Don't let them bully you. Most of it is just mind games. They won't really hurt you.

Also, you might want to bring a small tape recorder with you to work. You can keep it by your phone and record the conversation when one of these harassing calls come in so that you have proof. (Don't let your boss or coworkers see the tape recorder though, as they might not believe you and you might get into trouble.) Write down the date and time of each call, what the caller says, etc. Keep a record of what's happening. If you can get tape recordings, you'll have evidence you could show to a lawyer.

By anon352602 — On Oct 23, 2013

Ever since the Patriot Act was passed, I've been harassed by the police. (I'm not a criminal, don't do drugs, don't even smoke. But I am very opinionated. Maybe I said something that offended someone in power? Or maybe I just look like a criminal or a terrorist?)

Anyway, I get followed by the police. They seem to be watching me on a regular basis, and I'm not aware of having done anything wrong. They're particularly interested in where I work. Sometimes they conveniently park near where I work and as soon as I leave the building, they drive past me, as if they want me to know they're keeping tabs on me. (I do freelance work, so sometimes my work location changes. Maybe they think that's suspicious? That I'm a drug dealer or something?)

Then when I arrive home, the police conveniently just happen to show up within a block of my home and drive past me or right behind me. Tonight they followed me as I drove several blocks to my home. And the police car drove very close behind me as though the officer was trying to get a look inside my car. It was creepy and intimidating but the officer didn't stop me -- just seemed to want to bully me as I drove home!

This doesn't happen every day but frequently enough. I've been stopped for stupid things like jaywalking, not wearing my seatbelt properly, etc. I was even handcuffed once, threatened, bullied and intimidated, told I resembled a criminal, etc., because I forgot my bus pass expired that day and boarded a subway.

A couple times I was walking down the street and a police car drove right up to me, as though the cop wanted to talk to me, then abruptly drove off just when I thought the officer was going to stop the car and say something to me.

Now that we're all under surveillance, the police can follow us without our knowing it so they must really want me to know they're watching me, as they make it pretty obvious. It seems they're trying to bully me.

Like I said, I'm very opinionated, so I wonder if I'm being harassed because I said something? For example, when I got my first jaywalking ticket, I thought it was ridiculous and I told the officer so. I told him I waited for the light to change, it didn't change, and it wasn't regulated properly. When I went to court, the judge threw the ticket out. He thought it was ridiculous too. So maybe to retaliate, the officer put me on some sort of suspicious person list so that other officers would keep me under watch?

I don't know. But this only started happening after the Patriot Act was passed, so maybe I've been labeled a terrorist? Or maybe the police are just being encouraged to be more aggressive?

I just wish there was a way to stop this but it seems we have no rights anymore. Technically, we have the right to refuse a search, to ask for the officer's badge number, to video tape the incident, etc., but the police can retaliate if we do, taser us, arrest us, etc. They can break the law then just lie about it later. It'll be our word against theirs. So what can we do? I believe we live in a police state. I wish more Americans would protest the Patriot Act. If we repealed it much of this police harassment would go away.

By anon338656 — On Jun 16, 2013

Can an officer in Ontario ask my 7 year old niece to come in the house? This happened this morning. Thank God she said, "Ummm no," and ran upstairs to get me and I answered and refused entry. This to me seems illegal, but I don't know. A child should not have the right to invite a police officer in my house.

By anon337487 — On Jun 05, 2013

My son is constantly getting harassed by a police officer. He's not hanging out with the wrong crowd of people and he works every day. But the police always seems to stop him for some strange reason. He drives the speed limit and he wears his seat belt at all times. We stay in a little town where we feel that there is prejudice going on, and the police officers really show it.

They are always watching my house and everything that has to do with my house. There's no strange activity going on at my house of any kind. We say no to things that can have us be watched. We just want them to let us live and leave us alone and my son, too. I need someone to get them off of our back. We're citizens so just let us live like citizens, please.

By anon335568 — On May 21, 2013

I was with some friends during lunch off campus, and they went down an alley, so I went a few minutes later. They were smoking and supposedly the person called the cops. I did not know that this was private property because I was under the impression that my friends were allowed to be there. Well, I sat down and city employees pulled up and asked us to clean up. I helped because my friends were there.

After we left, a cop stopped us and asked our names, the standard procedure. Well after asking our information. He asked what we had in our pockets, and we said nothing. I was clean so I emptied my pockets. He then said, "You all need to grow a pair of balls and admit to it already. Because I know you did it." Only one of my friends had cigarettes (all of us are 17). Why did I get a mip if I was only considered an associate? When I asked a simple question because the school bell rang, he yelled at me, even though it was just a simple question.

Would this be considered police harassment? Please let me know. I have to go to court in a few days and I'd like to be able to properly defend myself.

By anon331760 — On Apr 24, 2013

So about six months ago, I had met someone who had similar interests and I started hanging out with him. After two weeks of knowing him and hanging at his house three times, one morning I came over and within 15 minutes of being there, there was loud banging on the doors and a DEA SWAT team stormed in, yelling at everyone to get on the ground. We all did, and it turned out this new friend of mine was a drug dealer and I had no idea.

They arrested me and him and a buddy of mine and held us at the police station for eight hours until the detectives interviewed me and my friend. Keep in mind, my buddy and I had no drugs, and no money on us, and didn't even use drugs, but in the interview room, the detectives told us that we had two choices, we could bust three drug dealers for them by doing controlled buys, and maybe they could make this all go away, or take four years in prison for distribution and manufacture of a class three felony controlled substance. We kept telling them we had no idea what was going on and we didn't know any drug dealers, but they didn't care. The detectives said because we were in his house we are getting charged with it as well.

So during the next six months, these detectives followed us, threatened us and harassed us trying to get us to bust people we couldn't, and then one morning, SWAT appeared at my door and arrested me, took me to jail, and I had a $50,000 bond. I managed to get bailed out a week later, and now I have a lawyer and we are fighting the case. Then today, two months after I was released from jail, I was awoken by a DEA SWAT team breaking my door down and arresting me.

I watched as they tore apart my house, breaking and throwing everything in sight, and they found nothing. I argued with the detectives as he was laughing at me, asking why did you do this, and what the hell is going on? He claimed he had reasonable evidence to search based on the arrest at my old friend's house, and that I had a warrant for my arrest issued a month and a half ago for possession.

First, I have gone to court three times since this warrant was supposedly issued, and my lawyer even checked if I had any warrants two weeks ago at my last court date and I don't. Second, I have never been caught possessing a controlled substance, ever, but no one would explain to me what was happening, or why I had been charged with this new felony.

I bailed out a couple hours ago, and I'm now $3,000 poorer, and confused as all hell. I tried to issue a complaint, but no one will listen to me; they just treat me like a hardened criminal even though I am innocent of everything. I don't even know what to do anymore. I just thought I'd share my story of police harassment.

By anon331348 — On Apr 22, 2013

Can a cop text a person they "suspect" of wrong doing and threaten to press charges and arrest them if they do not talk?

By anon329040 — On Apr 07, 2013

I'm a 36 year old stay at home mom who works from home doing remote data entry. About a month ago, I had to spank my son because he did something very dangerous. Ever since then, I have had police at my home night and day interviewing me, my son, friends, neighbors. My son is 10 and I gave him five swats on his bottom. He was in tears and that's all. What do I do to stop the police from treating me and my son this way?

By anon325376 — On Mar 15, 2013

I was recently charged and arrested for something I never did. I live in a small town with almost no violence. Honestly, the only real crime here is drunk driving. Anyway, I just got let off house arrest even though my false charges are still pending in district court (after being rejected or nulled whatever it is called by a grand juror of the supreme court).

Each day since being released from house arrest, I have noticed the police following me. After about a week of this I took a chance and walked down a path that led to a road about two miles driving distance away (the path was walkable in two minutes and is also a very common shortcut for walkers and bikers). When I came out on the other side, I hadn't been on the road more then 10 seconds when the cop came flying down the road – no lights or anything – and pulled up beside me asking what I was doing on the path, where was I going and where was I coming from. He said I was free to go, but I had better watch myself.

About a week went by and today, I was at the local stop and shop with some friends when the cop came up to the group and took all our names and ages, then he said there was a report of us trying to buy booze (we hadn't tried, and were all under 21). We told him that we were just there because the building blocked the wind and it was cold out. He let us go, but he sat in his car watching us. After about 10 minutes, we decided to leave and walked around the corner out of his sight and out of nowhere, another cruiser pulled up to us, blocking both lanes of traffic. He got out and asked us the exact same thing as the other cop who came around and joined him. Then they asked if they could search us, and we said why? You have no reason because we are doing nothing wrong. They said either we get searched here or we can be arrested and searched at the station. After finding nothing on us, they left and we all went home.

Now there is a cruiser on my street and about 30 minutes ago I caught a glimpse of a cop in the woods just off my property. Is this harassment? I'm afraid to even leave my house now after already being arrested and held for two weeks on a charge that I never did! I've already tried to file a harassment report but the receptionist at the station wouldn't let me. I've applied at seven stores for a job and five of them told me the same or next day that they couldn't hire me for "legal reasons" but, I think its a load of bull because the cop who follows me would go into the store after I left.

I'm sick of this and I'm having trouble sleeping, and my stress levels are through the roof. Every time I leave my house, I'm paranoid.

By anon319161 — On Feb 11, 2013

@anon152317: I am having similar problems and I am also half Turkish. Can this be a coincidence?

By anon305663 — On Nov 26, 2012

@anon263320: Entrapment or extortion? I think you were the person forced to entrap a person, via extortion.

By anon305661 — On Nov 26, 2012

Don't consent, per se. Consider this as a training exercise. It's not exactly bad, other than the fact that it builds more assertive people and eliminates a reason to go outside.

1. If you are required to see a therapist, I suggest you do so when scheduled. Learn to make yourself accountable both under and away from supervision.

2. Don't blame external influences. Do something to help you work under those situations. If you need to take medication, do so.

3. Who cares if they know what you know? Don't you follow the media? Big brother.

4. If you consider it a problem, then it will be.

5. Let them do their job, even if it means parroting you to gratify their ego. Trust me: they wouldn't be jerks unless required to be.

6. React calmly, compliantly and positively unless the request is illegal.

By anon305003 — On Nov 23, 2012

So I got pulled over a few months ago and the officers busted me for drug position and position of drug paraphernalia, but in the course of the search they messed up somewhere and were unable to charge me with any of it.

Since then, I have been pulled over three times by the same officer and he has searched my car each time, which I have consented to each time. It's not a huge deal to me personally, because I am clean now and have no fear of being charged, but it is getting very old. The last time said officer pulled me over, he was noticeably angered at not finding anything, and he made the comment, "I'm going to nail you one day." Is there a way for me to keep this from keep happening?

By anon300394 — On Oct 30, 2012

I need some assistance. A friend of mine wrote on his niece's facebook 'wall' that 'if her new boyfriend hurts her, [he] will make him eat his own balls". He could have meant cheeseballs, for all anyone knows.

A friend of the new boyfriend or the boyfriend himself, not sure, has a father who's a deputy here locally with the sheriff's department. Apparently, that deputy has taken it upon himself to search out everything having to do with my friend and even drive by his brother's house regularly (where my friend has been staying for the past few weeks).

My friend didn't know the boyfriend was a minor. My friend doesn't think it was an actual crime, anyhow, since nobody was actually threatened and it was extremely vague. How do we find out who is harassing my friend's brother and make it stop permanently?

By elvistcb56 — On Oct 26, 2012

I am being watched by police or some other law enforcement. What can I or how can I find out why they are following me?

By anon296963 — On Oct 14, 2012

My son was arrested about a month ago and plead guilty to misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. The cops in this town have pulled him over just to "check to see who was driving the car" to tell my son "he should have gone to jail" and now tonight they locked his car in the park, which they never do, but because his car was parked at the public city park, they locked it in the park. There are no posted signs as to when or if the park closes.

Anyway, they let him get his car and as he was leaving, they turned on their blue lights, but did not pull him over.

By anon295152 — On Oct 04, 2012

Last October on a Thursday afternoon about 3 p.m., police with guns drawn regarding to my registration searched my boat and were very rude. I have witnesses. I have tried to file a normal police report that two men came on the boat, one with a gun drawn.

They used an electronic key to get in the locked dock gate and these fobs will identify who is using it or who it belongs to. When I tried to file a report at the downtown police station, the desk officer would not let me file it.

By anon291155 — On Sep 12, 2012

Recently, I was standing at an intersection, waiting for a walk signal, for a crosswalk. I noticed a police car signaling a left turn. This would place the squad car into my crosswalk. Once the light turned green and the crosswalk sign went white, I proceeded into the crosswalk.

As I was nearing the middle of the crosswalk, the squad turned into the crosswalk, nearly hitting me. I literally had to stop and jump backward to avoid being struck by the right front corner of the squad car. As the officer drove past me, he raised both hands in the air and cocked his head, as if to say, "Oh well." By this time, the adrenalin rush hit me and I yelled out to the officer to watch what he was doing. He heard me, as his windows were rolled down. He then slammed on his brakes, turned on his overhead lights and got out of the squad car. He the proceeded toward me as I was nearing the opposite corner. He walked up to me and asked what my problem was. I told him, in a not so pleasant tone, that he had no right to get out of his car and detain me for exercising my First Amendment rights.

I then got my driver's license out and handed it to him. He then contacted dispatch and told them that he was out with a "suspicious subject." I started laughing at him and told him he was full of crap. He then asked for backup, because I was becoming unruly. Of course, I was upset. By now, my adrenalin was in full gear. However, I made no threats or provocation toward him, even as he attempted to bait me a few times. I just simply told him what an idiot he was, and the only reason he should have got out of his squad was to apologize to me. He then said he was considering charging me with disorderly conduct. At that time, I told him that if he did so, he had better get a supervisor out to the scene, as there were zero citizens standing near the area. He then continued to run my name for warrants.

When no warrants came back, he asked if I still wanted a supervisor. I told him that if he handed my license back to me and sent me on my way, there would be no need, at that time, to call a supervisor. He handed me my license and told me to go.

At one point during our conversation, I told him that I had been a police officer for eight years. He asked me why I was no longer a cop. I told him I had quit. He then stated, "Yeah right. You were probably fired.” I just ignored him, as I still carry my retired police ID card. Just thought you might get a kick out that last part. This happened in one of the larger cities, in Illinois, between Chicago and St. Louis.

By anon283548 — On Aug 05, 2012

I believe I am harassed by cops because I am a small, shy woman. I had another incident recently. I went to visit friends out of state. I got lost when I got to town, and my friend was giving me directions.

I was pulled over and asked for my license. The cop didn't identify himself. I told him I was lost. After he ran my license, he came back, threw the ticket in my car and said I was speeding. I told him I was lost and I was in panic by that time. He just sped off.

I am afraid of cops and feel it's more about making arrests and revenue than protecting people anymore. The cops are more criminal than the criminals they are supposed to arrest. They get away with crimes that put regular people away for years.

I do have what I call post traumatic cop disorder. Cops give me anxiety attacks, and I have nightmares. I am scared to ask a cop for help.

By anon278519 — On Jul 07, 2012

I had previously stayed at a friend's house for a couple of weeks and I had told her I would contribute something towards her bills for letting me stay. However, now she has received the bills and emailed me this ridiculous amount that her bill is and a calculation of what all she thinks I should pay.

I gave her some of the money and told her the amount was ridiculous and I told her from the start what I could have afforded to give her. Now she calls, Facebooks and texts constantly for the rest of the money. She emailed my family members about the money. She calls and texts my boyfriend for the money.

When I see her in public places she makes a scene about the money. Me and my boyfriend both deleted her from Facebook blocked her from whatsapp and told her to leave us alone and she still continues. She even threaten to ruin our relationship if I don't give her the money she wants. What can I do?

By anon277421 — On Jun 29, 2012

Everyone on these posts need to start making notes of the harassment, including dates and times it happened. Record with a cell phone if at all possible. Wait until you have several instances of the harassment and then go to an attorney. I am almost at the point where we are going to hire an attorney for harassment against our son. I generally have a lot of respect for the police however, I will not tolerate harassment by them, as we are all paying their salaries.

By anon277168 — On Jun 28, 2012

I'm a 27 year old disabled veteran. Long story short, my son's (20 months old ) mother had gotten into a disagreement about child support and child visitation.

I informed her that I wasn't giving her any more money out of my own pocket because she was already receiving over $900 per month in child support. She got angry about this and that I hired a female lawyer who specialized in child custody/support laws and told my baby's mother that the payments would be reduced to $500/month.

Within days of letting her know that I wasn't going to pay her bills and child support was going to be lowered, she filed a bogus charge of domestic violence.

So here I am on house arrest while charge after charge is being put against me. All together, they are saying I burglarized her home, killed her dog, kicked in her car fenders and harassed her. We just received the "discovery packet" and there isn't a single thing but her statements alone saying I did any of this.

The police department charging me with all of this is a small township that just within the last year lost two lawsuits against them for harassment and misuse of public means. I've been on house arrest for over two months now with no problems whatsoever.

I went to court yesterday for a preliminary hearing and I rejected their offer and told them I'd see them at trial. So this morning at 9:30 a.m., a police officer has been parked outside my house about four houses down. Every time I go outside, he turns his headlights on to let me know he's sitting there. Then he drives to my house and slows to a creep (about 1-2 mph ) and takes off. After the third time of this, I got out my camera with a time/date stamp and started videotaping them doing this. I have one officer doing this twice within 15 minutes and a different officer doing this another time. Do I have any grounds for harassment? Thanks to anyone who reads this. Any advice is appreciated.

By amypollick — On May 12, 2012

@anon268002: I'm not in law enforcement, but I do know a fair bit about how law enforcement operates.

I suggest you get your doctor to write a letter fully describing your condition and disability status. Then, make an appointment with the chief of police in your city and show it to him or her.

Here's a caution, as I've said elsewhere: Don't go in there with the attitude of "you're a bunch of ignorant cops and I'm tired of the harassment from you inferior life forms." You won't get anywhere, I guarantee. Just say, "I've been pulled over several times and I'd like you to read this so you can tell your officers why I may be out later than many people. I always want to cooperate with law enforcement, but it is distressing to be followed or pulled over for no reason. Thank you for your cooperation."

If this tactic doesn't work, then make an appointment with the police reporter at your local newspaper and tell him or her what's been going on. Do *not* just show up and ask to talk to the "investigative reporter." That labels you as the local kook, right off the bat. Make an appointment and take along the letter from your doctor to show the reporter. Sometimes, a little good, old-fashioned embarrassment works when nothing else does. Good luck.

By anon268002 — On May 12, 2012

I'm a disabled 57 year old man (almost 58) and I've been unemployed since 1981 due to my disability. In fact, I never held down a real job as I was deemed disabled and unemployable not long after I began looking for work when I was younger.

I was diagnosed for years as bipolar but more recently have been re-diagnosed as having delayed sleep phase disorder syndrome (dspd). It's an invisible condition since it's a sleep disorder and my case is severe as it renders me unemployable. I had to move a year ago. The local police in that city (population over 233,000) were stopping me constantly, wanting to search my car for drugs and indeed did at one point with my permission. I explained to them why I was out late at nights and why I was unemployed the very first time I was ever stopped and questioned, but they continued for five years to follow me at nights and harass me anyway, so I moved to a smaller city a few miles away (population 15, 000 approximately) hoping this would end.

I've lived here now almost two years, and just this week, the local PD has been following me around at nights and it's making me angry. I live in a senior living community (retirement) and am a loner but it's obvious that I'm not a kid! I'm wondering why the police waste their time harassing people like me!

Due to the fact that I've been unemployed for so long and have so much time on my hands, I've had time to study both online and otherwise and am an ordained minister as well as very PC savvy and even studied psychology. In other words, I'm a bit more highly educated than a lot of people my age. I don't come off in public as a doper or an under educated person of any sort. I'm wondering why, with other people being out late at night, other than myself, is there a reason that a man my age would attract the attention of the police to the degree that they believe that I'm selling and, or using drugs! And if they do believe it, then why wouldn't they simply investigate it, find nothing and just come to the conclusion that I'm not doing either, instead of continuously following or stopping me.

It can't be that difficult to investigate someone like me and figure out that I'm not what they suspect!

By amypollick — On Apr 27, 2012

@Anon264185: You "may" have consented? Then you probably did. And there are many, many different kinds of pink pills out there. My blood pressure pills are pink.

What did the cop say he found? If you had something illegal in your car, then he had you dead to rights.

Your best hope is to get a decent attorney and, provided this is your first offense, plead it down to a misdemeanor.

By anon264185 — On Apr 27, 2012

So hopefully I will check back in a day or two if I'm not arrested. I'm coming home from work, and was pulled over for "failing to use proper turning signal.” I already plead guilty to that because I wasn't thinking, but if I can get the conviction changed to a not guilty somehow...

Anyway, the cop asks me what I'm doing. I had been at work for 12 hours lifting 30-40 pound boxes. He wants to search my car. I tell him no, and he insists. I tell him I really just want to go home and sleep. He continues to ask and I may have consented. At this point I don't really remember. Either way, he finds an allergy pill in the wrong bottle and places me in handcuffs "until he can verify that it's just an allergy pill.” Its small and pink. The only pills out there that are pink are allergy pills. Anyway, he found something and I'm looking at a Class C felony now. Can this be beat in court as illegal search and seizure or am I stuck with a drug charge?

By anon263320 — On Apr 23, 2012

I got pulled over on a stolen bike and they also found meth on me. I didn't go to jail. Instead they told me that I was to set some other people up and buy stolen stuff from them and if I didn't do this then I would be taken to jail. Is that legal?

By anon260180 — On Apr 10, 2012

Carry a cell phone with video recording. If a cop gives you trouble, start filming. It is the only way to prove it. The camera doesn't lie.

By anon256917 — On Mar 23, 2012

As a victim of an organized harassment campaign, I would suggest that anyone who is being harassed by police or anyone else look up freedom from covert harassment and surveillance.

By anon255301 — On Mar 16, 2012

Sadly enough, there is very little that anybody can do about harassment. I live in a town of about 20,000 people, and I'd say there are at least 2,000 cars around here with loud ricer exhaust. I, too, have a "fart pipe" - but mine is quiet, especially compared to any truck with pipes or any of the other local ricers. Yet I get pulled over, accused of doing and having drugs, because my "exhaust is illegal". I do not do drugs, I work two jobs to support my wife who has cancer and can't work much at all, so somebody has to pay the bills.

I have since bought a silencer to put in my muffler, which has made it almost-stock quiet, so now I'm just waiting for the next time I get pulled. It's awfully nice to know that my tax dollars are going to cops badgering people with 100 percent clean records, and have done nothing wrong, yet get accused of doing and having drugs.

I would ask "what can I do", but I already know the answer is "nothing".

By anon246769 — On Feb 10, 2012

My husband and I are being harassed by the police in our small town. An incident occurred around Christmas time when our neighbors, who rarely check their mail, had a package stolen from them that was a christmas present for their child. However, just before Christmas, their Christmas present was returned.

It just so happened to be in a box that had both my husband's and my names on it. We always order stuff from Amazon and put the boxes in our hallway until trash day so they don't clutter our house.

I can understand why the questioned us at first, seeing as it was our box that was stolen and then used, but now after almost two months of leaving us alone, they are calling us constantly, asking us to come in and are following us. I ended up getting fired because of this and it is getting hard for me to even find a job because they seem to follow my car and pull me over at every turn. They do the same to my husband.

Neither of us have anything on our records, nothing to make us suspects as we answered all of their questions the first time. But now, they feel as if that constantly harassing us will make as admit to something that we never did.

I am pregnant and a high risk pregnancy and this is stressing me out beyond belief to the point where I don't want to leave my house just because I don't want to deal with them. My friend's father is part of the sheriff's department and says that if the harassment continues, that we should start documenting it. We are and we are giving it all to him. But other than that, I can't think of anything else to do but sit and wait. This is absolutely ridiculous.

By anon185366 — On Jun 11, 2011

In Wheat Ridge, Colorado, I was minding my own business on a Sunday afternoon, just looking at automobiles at a dealership.

The dealership is closed on Sundays, but they welcome people to come on their lot to look around. (Even have a big sign that says "Welcome Sunday Shoppers" with a slot for people to slip their names into if they are interested in a certain vehicle.) So, as I'm looking, two Wheat Ridge police officers yell "Let's see your hands!". I turned and saw them coming at me with their pistols drawn!

They pushed me on the ground, and started asking me questions regarding why I was there. They asked to look in my car. When I declined, they said I could either open the car and let them look inside, or refuse, and they would arrest me and search my car anyway. They chuckled with each other. I relented, and they ransacked my car, tossing everything inside, including the glove box, trunk, spare tire, the floor mats and even my Bible onto the ground.

They of course found nothing illegal. They then said, "OK, today's your lucky day bleep. Get the bleep out of here". I complied.

By anon185311 — On Jun 11, 2011

Police and SI used to come to my house in daytime as well as at night after 10PM in civil dress without any complaint proofs, even though we hadn't done anything criminal and they are trying to arrest my brother. I still don't know what is the reason they are coming to my house and i asked them many times, but they are not ready to tell. The SI is using very abusive language. because of this, we frustrated.

By shyjones123 — On May 05, 2011

I own a head shop in a town of about 10,000 people. I've been "informed" by many people my little town is very conservative. Either way, I have a right to own and run my business as long as I am paying taxes and running a good company, which I am doing.

My issue is, the local police started pulling people over randomly in front of our building. When I had the chance to ask them why they're doing it, they call it "community policing" so that the speeders will slow down. People being pulled over in front of our business has now turned into people -- our customers -- being pulled over in our parking lot, in our driveway and the police coming into our shop whenever they feel like it.

We as business owners have nothing to worry about, but my concern is this harassment happening has a way of affecting our business. I want everyone who comes into our shop to feel comfortable, enjoy shopping there and not be worried if they're too going to be pulled over for "a headlight not working" because let's face it, even if our customers don't have anything to be worried about legally, no one likes the presence of the police force if there's no direct reason for it.

I am going to be speaking with our attorney to find out how we can deal with this situation so it doesn't harm our revenue, but any advice would be wonderful.

By anon163750 — On Mar 29, 2011

@anon122310: I sympathize with you. I hope you are all right. There is only one post from you.

Police tend to be very conservative in their views and go by the popular opinion of the moment.

Right now, even with all these shows about the supernatural, the belief is that is all fantasy, something to dabble in but not take seriously. So they will think you're 'nuts' there. But they can come to that conclusion on social reasons too: being alone, you know, flaky. None of those things automatically mean you are mentally ill, but you are vulnerable to that labeling, so you have to tread carefully.

I'm glad you have a daughter living with you, but they may try to take her away (that would be hard for you).

All you can do really is to do your best as you know how.

I agree that they can turn your life upside down, and I'm sorry that has happened to you. And mental health care should be what you do for yourself, or a loved one, and that's it!

You and your daughter may now have to go together and separately, to deal with this situation, while still trying to manage your lives. I hope you can find some means of support like peer drop-ins.

The library can also be helpful for both of you (go together). Maybe her school can help too. Good luck. I'll pray for you. Take care.

Look for spiritual websites, too. I hope things will be better for you, and thank you for reporting this! this also encourages people (like me and others) who are going through the same thing. It can be tough to find understanding people out there sometimes. -beenthere

By amypollick — On Feb 13, 2011

@anon152317: I know it probably seems like it's the law to you, but I suspect it's someone who knows you personally, scary as it sounds.

This kind of harassment sounds like a ticked off ex-boyfriend, or maybe even someone you wouldn't go out with.

In general, police officers don't have the resources to find out this kind of information, without a warrant, and if they had a warrant, you'd know about it.

There are nutcases everywhere, and the fact this individual found you at your workplace tells me he knows you.

Here are a couple of suggestions. Get your phone numbers changed and do *not* give them out to anyone except your family and an emergency friend contact whom you trust implicitly. Next, delete all your social networking profiles. Look around and make sure your e-mail and phone numbers are posted nowhere on the Internet, as far as you can determine.

Third, if this turkey calls you at work, hang up on him. Immediately. If you can get a phone number through your Caller ID, do a reverse lookup online. If you can get a name, swear out a restraining order for him. If not, call the phone company and have them start a harassing call file on him. Also, register his number with the FCC as an annoyance call number. You can do this for free, online. Also, tell your supervisor about the harassing calls, and see if the company can have them blocked.

It's certainly not fair that you should be the one who has to do all this since you are the one being harassed, but for your mental well-being, this is what you need to start with.

I've worked for a newspaper for nearly 20 years and one thing I've learned is that most police officers don't have the time or inclination to do something like this. To be blunt, there's nothing in it for them to harass a half-Turkish girl who works in a call center. No benefit. That almost certainly means this is someone you know, or have had some contact with in some way.

If you will act on some of these suggestions, I think you will see some good results. Good luck.

By anon152317 — On Feb 13, 2011

I am an alien (green card holder) being harassed by some sort of authorities via the web and have never committed a crime in my life. I'll say upfront that I'm not crazy either. I'm a female too, and wasn't aware that they targeted females when they go after terror suspects. I'm only guessing on the reasons for my dilemma and all the terrorism stuff after 9-11 seems to be the only reason I can find that I would be a target, since I am an educated, law-abiding individual who happens to be half Turkish.

At first, I noticed that my e-mail was being interfered with as were the people who I interacted with on social web sites etc., and was a victim of nasty messages both direct and indirect in my mail and on social sites. I thought it might be one of those hackers that you hear about, you know people who are "breaking the law". But, after a long time of unemployment, I recently found a job in a call center doing remote tech. support, and I'm not mad by the way, but these people are on the phones to me harassing me there, being very angry with me, and repeating the same messages that I hear on the internet. So this can only be the law, no ifs ands or buts.

I am complaining anonymously for now because the story sounds crazy and I'll probably get locked up in a mental hospital for complaining. But the nastiness is so bad that I can no longer use social sites and am not native to the area, so I live in social isolation, a sort of pseudo-prison without trial. This is hell for me and I can't stick it.

The loneliness, the hatred, the anger, the aggression, the humiliation, the belittling, everything, it's all torture and hell for me. Today on the phones at work, one of them was trying to tell me what justifies harassing someone and enables them to steal my life away and torture me with no way out other than suicide. I didn't catch the reason why, but it doesn't matter. I have committed no crime so they are acting illegally as far as I'm concerned and if I did commit a crime, isn't there some sort of law dictating acceptable behavior? I mean, these people have never brought me to a police station or anything. I think they are bullies and enjoy harassing me and making my life hell. Bullies with a cause, a very dangerous combination.

I can't even run and leave the country as I got into debt during my unemployment and have to pay that off before I can leave, and this is supposed to be the USA, "the home of the free"? and the "land of the brave?", or am I missing out on something here, is this not the country that lectures the world on ethics and morality and starts wars in the "name of human rights?" The world I live in most certainly is not like the America they portray to the world, that's for sure.

Sadly, I can't even complain without looking crazy, and who in the hell has ever heard of someone seeking refuge in another country from America?

By anon148943 — On Feb 02, 2011

I am a 52 year old disabled male with zero problems on my record and am constantly being stopped or detained in the outer banks of North Carolina for no reason. The last time they searched my vehicle with a drug dog. My worst offense is cigarette smoking. What can I do?

By anon148136 — On Jan 31, 2011

I've been pulled over in my town several times and not been given a reason for it. also have had the local police of my small town come to my house asking if I was smoking in my hallway? don't they have something better to do? Since when is it illegal to smoke cigarettes when you're over the age of 18? I don't know what to do now. they know where I live and I'm really stuck. What should I do?

By submariner — On Nov 14, 2010

@ Anon122310- Alchemy is right; file every instance with the USAO or the DOJ. These agencies have the duty to police the police, and their authority trumps all state, local or regional authority. Harassment is a violation of your civil liberties so reporting every instance is the patriotic thing to do. You are protecting your liberties as well as those of others.

If you decide that you want to take the harassment complaints to court, then you should contact a harassment lawyer, and the American Civil Liberties Union. Good luck with finding a solution.

By Alchemy — On Nov 14, 2010

@ Anon122310- Sadly police harassment is hard to prove, yet it is all too common. I have been a victim of police harassment in multiple states. Police in Florida, Vermont, and California have harassed me on numerous occasions. Most cases the harassment is minor, but in all cases I make sure to quietly observe as much about the offending officer as possible. I get their name, identifying information on their police cruiser, and I immediately write down what happened so as not to mince the facts.

I have never sued the police, nor tried to, for their actions, but I do call in every instance of harassment. I usually file a complaint with the FBI, which acts on behalf of the Department of Justice, or the US States Attorney’s Office in my state. These offices do not necessarily aid in filing a lawsuit, but they will investigate the agencies and persons involved in the harassment. If enough people file complaints on that officer/s, then eventually that person will be fined, fired, or imprisoned. In the end, this will encourage police departments to institute policies that discourage mistreatment of others.

By anon122310 — On Oct 27, 2010

i had the police first interview my ten year old on her second day of school, on whether her mom believes in aliens or ghosts. They came to my apartment, and went through my stuff. then again they came to the school. I was in tears. i called my attorney who asked what was the problem, and the cop then backed off.

then yesterday, they came to my door because i missed my therapist's appointment. They wouldn't leave, until they talked to my 14 year old daughter. She had nightmares all last night. i am so sick of these idiots harassing me. what can i do?

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