My question involves police conduct in the State of: California
Here is my situation.
First the background:
* My ex-husband's brother is a Sheriff's Deputy in the same county that I live in, which is very large- 1,800 square miles.
* I live in a small middle-upper class, close-knit subdivision, and have not heard of a single crime occurring in our neighborhood in the three years that we have lived here.
* I have absolutely no criminal history- just a few minor traffic violations (cell phone use, registration fix-it ticket).
* I have absolutely no history of drug or alcohol use whatsoever (I am a very strongly religious Christian and I do not believe in using those substances).
* I am a practicing Registered Nurse at a respectable facility in the community.
* My ex-husband and I have been divorced for several years. We have both been remarried to other people for multiple years. However, he has chosen to be involved very minimally with our children until recently, presumablly because his poor behavioral choices have required that he have supervised visitation at a professional facility.
Now on to the present:
My ex-husband and I began a custody battle several months ago when he decided he wanted unsupervised visitation.
Since then, his deputy sheriff brother frequently parks a few houses down on my street, watching our comings and goings. He also parks on the street of my children's school, which is 20 minutes away on a tiny street on the outskirts of a tiny country town. The only thing on that particular street (or in close proximity to that freeway exit) is two elementary schools. He parks there at about the time that my children get out of school, and watches us.
I have complained about this harassment in my previous family law court documents. I have also complained to the Fire Chief, who suggested I report it to the internal affairs department. I have held off, expecting it to stop at some point.
Certainly given the enormity of our community and the lack of crime in my neighborhood, he does not need to be hanging out in his car on my street, a few houses down from my house, or on the kids' school street (which is virtually deserted- since there are not even any houses there, the elementary children can not even walk home). It has not stopped. I don't know if this is an intimidation tactic or why he gets off on doing this, but it is obnoxious and it scares my children.
Today, he was there yet again. I am sick of it and I wanted evidence. So that I could not be pulled over for a cell phone violation, I pulled over next to him and got out. I walked up to him and said "Stop harassing me" and then took a picture, and informed him that I now have evidence of his harassment.
I got back in my car and started to pull away. He jumped out of his car, put his hands on my car, and said "You're not going anywhere. You are not free to leave." He then ordered me out of my car. My daughters started screaming and saying "I'm scared!". I put my car in park and said "I am not getting out of my car, but I am calling 911." I promptly did so, and explained the situation. They transferred me to the Sheriff Department and then to the Sergeant's voicemail.
He stood outside my window ordering me out of the car, then told me I could not leave, and walked in front of my car and leaned on the hood. I heard him call for "back up" (against me and my scary camera, I guess). A highway patrol officer pulled up and started chatting with him. Because I had rolled up my window, I couldn't hear them but they were both laughing and making "crazy" motions with their fingers by their ears. Soon 3 more Sheriff cars pulled up.
Finally the Sergeant pulled up. I opened my door, he came up, and I explained the situation to him. He defended my ex-brother-in-law, saying "well we all have favorite places to do our paperwork because we do our paperwork in our cars". I asked him to advise his deputy that of the THOUSANDS of streets in this county, perhaps MY street and the street of MY children's school ought not be his "favorite places".
He told me that either A) He can talk to his deputy and get HIS side of the story, and then get back to me, or B) I can file a formal complaint, which will require me coming down to the station.
Because I was then late for an appointment (this whole experience took about 22 minutes), I told him that I would need to think about it and get back to him. He then told me I was free to go, and I left.
My family law attorney advised me to file a formal complaint. He will also be writing letters so that it is documented. He said that once he put his hands on my car and told me I couldn't leave, he believes that it became an "illegal stop" or "unlawful detention". I've been looking on the internet and cannot find a good definition of either of these terms. Is this true?