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3 Ways Cops Can Support A Sociopath

Think street cops are better trained to deal with sociopathy than the rest of us? Think again. Here are three ways that cops—at least the small town variety I’m most familiar with—can get pulled into aiding a sociopath:

1. Cops are just as likely as anybody else in the world to be charmed by a sociopath on the spot.

In my case, I called for help when my ex threatened to leave my house with our children and not bring them back. At the time, he had also been actively stalking me and threatening my life. The local prosecutor had just sent an “official” letter to him, warning him to stay more than 100 feet away from me (or some similar distance). After our disagreement over his intent to keep our children, my ex wouldn’t leave my front porch. So I stayed inside and called the cops and told them about the letter and asked them to make him leave my property.

Were they charmed by him on the spot? Yes. Two squad cars pulled up to my curb and left their lights flashing for 45 minutes while they chatted and laughed with him on my lawn—all before they came inside to talk to me. And they told me starting off to wait inside. I lived in a nice, quiet neighborhood at the time, so I was horrified by the scene this created in front of my neighbors. I was even more horrified by the fact that my kids were there, experiencing all of this.

But my ex seemed delighted. He shook hands and shared big smiles and made broad gestures with his arms as he socialized in the spotlight. He strolled around my small lawn, laughing with them in the sunlight.

He set up their perspective of our situation. They let him.

2. Cops can be helpful. That means they can be helpful to a sociopath.

When they finally came inside to talk to me, I asked my children to stay upstairs for a moment while we talked. But I didn’t get to do much talking. Because when I showed my copy of the letter I had from the prosecutor (asking my ex to stay away), the cop actually scoffed at me and said that my ex wasn’t dangerous. When I started crying (even though I tried not to), the cop told me to stop being such a “crybaby.”

My ex couldn’t come inside to shame me, so he set up the cop to do it for him.

3. Cops can be seduced into supporting power dynamics that work against victims of violence.

My ex had been abusive toward me on many multiple levels for years and years before I ever left and got my own little house and that letter from the prosecutor, which turned out to be an ineffective, wobbly shield.

The way the story ended that afternoon is that the cops told me to gather my children and get them into the car with their father. Granted, they were in a difficult situation because of the he-said, she-said nature of the whole thing. But instead of choosing to remove him from my property (according to the letter from the prosecutor), they let him stay. They chose to talk to him first and for nearly an hour before talking to me. They allowed themselves to be drawn into his story of why he was lingering there instead of asking him to step away from my property. And then they took it further by supporting his request to leave with our children.

They undermined my sense of safety while putting my ex in charge of the entire situation. They became his believers. They were at his beck and call. They weren’t curious about our history, the letter from the prosecutor, or my own detailing of what was happening at that moment. After talking to him, they didn’t want to hear from me at all. And they felt no obligation to ask.

He was in control of all of us. He used the cops and the entire situation to his advantage.

And with that experience of power to boost him, he pulled away from my house with a smile.

My children watched me through his windows, waving goodbye.

 

 

H.G. Beverly is the author of The Other Side of Charm.

This post can also be found on hgbeverly.com.

 



49 Comments on "3 Ways Cops Can Support A Sociopath"

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  1. flicka says:

    Playing the mentally deranged card seems to be a favorite tactic used by psychopaths. Just before I went NC with both my ex and my 5 children, my youngest son (born 1974!) said the whole family would committ me! Having been alienated from most friends and in a new town, isolated me and made me afraid of what he threatened. A call to my attorney (he just laughed at the very thought) allayed my fears and he advised I go NC with all of them.But this isolation is not to my liking and “friends” believe ll their lies…the truth is just too incomprehensible!



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  2. stillstrong says:

    Thank you HGBeverly for posting this article. I am so sorry that you had to go through that. I know exactly how you feel…all too well. Recently, I was sitting in a court room after 3 long years of continuance after continuance to hear the judge’s ruling. I choked back tears when the Spath’s lawyer referred to this person as “one of the nicest, most credible people I’ve ever known”. It made me physically sick to hear those words. The court system has contributed mightily to my PTSD. As if the shock and realization that none of our relationship was genuine or true wasn’t enough! Naively, I thought I had the law on my side, and after three years and a boat load of lawyer’s fees, I too have come across the grim reality that our legal system just prolongs the agony and feeds the lawyers. Sadly, after three years, my legal battles with the Spath are only just beginning. I just want my life back!



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    • HGBeverly says:

      Stillstrong,

      Legal trauma is huge and debilitating. Not only in the form of psychological trauma but also in terms of siphoning off your income, life savings, and assets.

      My heart goes out to you. I would like to see these legal perpetrators held accountable.

      Stay strong,

      H.G. Beverly



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    • salvation2012 says:

      Agreed, the process is not about what is right, its about who is more believed/believable. I bowed out of what started out to be a costly divorce from the sociopath… financially, emotionally and physically… he had been found guilty in 2 separate hearings (criminal and civil)… but he was the victim… its laughable now, but terrifying at the time to think of going through another year of legal abuse until we were granted a decree… I ended it for peace of mind and to be absolutely NC…. it was worth any penny I “lost.” I actually ended up saving more money bowing out… thanks to Donna and her guidance on determining the “costs” I made the right choice 🙂



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  3. ZanaVan says:

    Great Post!!! I had a similar situation less then a month ago. The sociopath sent a total stranger to pick up my 19mo old son for his visitation. I refused to hand my son to him. Then few hours later my ex (who had just arrived back in town from a trip) called the police claiming custody interference. A cop called at around 10pm demanding I wake up my baby, get him dressed and ready for father to come pick him up and if I don’t do that I will get arrested. It all seemed too shady to me and I couldn’t believe the rudeness of this cop. I end up calling 911 explaining the situation. Later that evening the cop called apologizing. He asked for the court order. It was so shocking he dared to bully me without even know what the arrangement is. A week later I got an email from the cop asking why is there no specific language that other people cannot pick up my son. I was floored he actually asked that. Again when dealing with psychopaths we have to make sure the orders are very detailed and well spelled out. Unfortunately we rarely have control over that as I have experiencing it recently in my nightmare story with the court system.



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    • NotWhatHeSaidofMe says:

      ZanaVan
      Your child is 19 mos and the cop expected you to be okay with handing your son over to a stranger? I can’t imagine what I’d say! What was your reply to such a ludicrous query?

      (I bet he got in trouble for not following procedure and was trying to cover his ass by blaming your court order!)



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      • ZanaVan says:

        Hi NotWhatHeSaidofMe,

        Thank you for your comment. I just told the cop I would never hand my son to anyone but his father especially not to a total stranger. I need to go get the reports and see what the officer has put in there. And yes you called it right. My sons father constantly messes up or does harmful things. He even didnt bring my son back at all last week. He always blames me, his lawyer, everyone and anyone and of course he is constantly the poor victim. Unfortunately not having a well executed court order could lead to a lot of conflict. I just wish the judges try a little harder. What happens in these child custody cases determines our future.



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        • IAfraud says:

          ZanaVan,

          Always ask for copies of any statement or report from the police. In Iowa where I live, when you fill out a statement it’s on duplicate and the second copy is supposed to be given to you. I wasn’t aware of it in the beginning and wasn’t given all of my copies.

          Buy yourself a hanging file folder tote and keep every single document in it. Save everything. You will be glad you did.



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          • ZanaVan says:

            Thank you IAfraud. Don’t you find it so overwhelming with the documenting and keeping record of everything and anything? I bet you have piles of stuff as I have been going through it for 20 months and I have so much that I don’t even know how to organize it. Here in AZ you can go to the police station records department and get copies of reports of anyone. Police reports are public record. It makes it easy to keep track of other events that may had taken place and might be helpful in court.

          • IAfraud says:

            It is overwhelming to document every phone call, drive by and incident. Especially when it numbers in the thousands. My documentation and demands that something be done are what finally got him punished though, so it was worth it. I have thousands of documents from incidents that I started in a file folder and now have and overflowing tote of hanging file folders.

            If he ever hurts me, which I believe he will, my documents will tell the rest of my story. As will my posts on this web site and others, emails, recordings, copies of court transcripts from trials etc. There is no way he can hurt me and not be caught. The whole history is thoroughly documented and will also show how the judicial system fails to keep families safe. It will also bring to light how the sheriff and his deputies failed my family.

            In Iowa court records are also public. I have spent much time and money copying documents at the courthouse that I feel need to be part of the history of my case. I don’t trust them to be there if something does happen to me, so I have made sure there is record outside of that courthouse. I’ve also had hearings transcribed, especially the ones where he and his family members perjured themselves under oath.

            I can’t stress enough how important documentation is. Save documents you don’t feel you will need. You may be surprised in the future how important they can become.

            Take care.

    • HGBeverly says:

      Your statement that “when dealing with psychopaths, we have to make sure the orders are very detailed and well spelled out” is so, so true. Otherwise, they thwart everything. And my ex has found loopholes even when I thought I had it all taken care of.

      And here’s another catch—I’ve been ridiculed when I’ve asked for the inclusion of detailed language by the magistrate, several attorneys, a guardian ad litem, and the psychologists involved in my case. They say I should keep it very simple and that I’m a real headache for wanting specific language. But they don’t know that if the papers don’t state outright that my children can attend their grandmother’s funeral even if it’s during their dad’s parenting time, then their Spath dad won’t let them go. And they’re close with their grandmother. So I asked for that language, reciprocally. And they all scoffed at me for it. The examples go on.

      The bottom line is that I ask, anyway. Because I know it’s critical for stability, well-being, and peace.

      I’d recommend the same for anyone. Get a clearly detailed plan, and ignore anyone who tells you that you won’t need it. Every little gap or loophole will be exploited by an Spath for the “fun” game of creating chaos and hurt.

      Thanks for sharing!



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      • flicka says:

        Excellent advice for all victims to follow! I just gave my ex everything he demanded in court after he showed up accompanied by my young sons. Everyone knew I didn’t fundamentally believe in children having to testify against either of their parents! It cost me my financial future but at least I can hold my head high that I took the moral high ground!



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        • HGBeverly says:

          flicka,

          You know, I have to add as an addendum to my initial comment that my ex often doesn’t follow the plan at all. Sometimes my ex uses our plan as a hard rule (when it’s in his favor), sometimes he ignores it (when ignoring it benefits him), and sometimes he twists and manipulates and wants to argue over interpretations just to cause trouble.

          I think I’ve clung to the idea over the years that if it’s at least on paper, then I have a clear order to show the court or law enforcement.

          But then I have to admit that I’ve had trouble getting needed support from these “protective” systems, paper or no paper.

          So I’m going to study that dilemma along with others like it and do some upcoming posts on co-parenting with a sociopath. So look for some stronger, more certain answers and experiences on the topic.

          Thanks for sharing your experience. And keep holding your head high. That’s an unbearably hard thing to go through.

          Best,

          H.G.



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          • flicka says:

            My ex, in order to avoid his divorce mandated support of his children (5), claimed his recent IRS filing showed he was BROKE and therefore couldn’t pay for any support. But, in reality, the real estate Co. he worked for was paying him under the table in timeshares! At the time, I didn’t have the funds to also bring his employer to court and so he got his way. But, at the same time, he wasn’t paying much taxes and this came to hurt him when he finally went on Social Security! Also, due to having to pay associated timeshare costs, he ended up giving his 5 chilren those same timeshares, which turned out to be worthless, of course! But the kids were most impressed with his worthless “gifts” many years later. A legal fiasco and I ended up just giving him whatever he wanted, just to be free of him. But it left me financially devastated, of course. The courts MUST change!

    • IAfraud says:

      ZanaVan,

      You are so right about specific language.

      I have an Order of Protection (OP) against the stalker who pursues my family. He had several charges of violating the OP that we were dealing with back in 2009. When it was time to go to court, I found out that one of the charges was being dismissed. Why? The charge was for him violating the OP against one of my children. I was told that the OP didn’t have my children’s names listed, so they were dismissing it. I was furious. This was a violation against a child and they were dismissing it over a dumb technicality?! What made me even more angry is the first OP had the kids names included, but they were careless when preparing the second one.

      Fast forward to a time when they were yet again issuing a renewal of the OP, due to new charges he received. By this time there were close to 40 charges in all, including 5 stalking. I said I wanted my children’s names listed on the new OP. You won’t believe what I was told….the kids didn’t need to be named on the OP because anyone who lives in my home is automatically included in the OP! I was once again furious because now I know that the previous charge shouldn’t have been dismissed.

      He will be released from prison all too soon, and I will be demanding that every family member of mine be named on the OP that will be issued. I now have 2 kids gone to college who need to be protected. If they refuse, I will be documenting the situation for future proof of how the judicial system fails families, and especially children.



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      • ZanaVan says:

        IAfraud thank you for sharing. All I can say is It sounds like a nightmare. It is very unfortunate that law enforcement and the court system show so much lack of care and not to mention the lack of knowledge or capability to recognize the abuser/criminal. They should be specially trained and educated or at least just follow the procedure and try to do their job. However the sad fact is that there are a lot of laws and three times more loopholes. Plus nowadays the judges care only about the fathers and treat us women like some surrogate animals. I had my own nightmare experience with my OP.
        This might be a stupid question but can you move? Now I understand all these lifetime movies of women running away under different names.



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        • IAfraud says:

          ZanaVan,

          I have moved to a neighboring county. There is no way I could hide from him. He will always find me since my ex-husband lives in the area and my kids would have to come back to visit their dad. Too many people would know where we are and the stalker would find out. When I changed my phone number it took him 2 weeks to find out my new one and the calls started again. He was seen at the cell phone store trying to convince the salesperson to give him my number. He didn’t get it from them but it was chilling that someone who knew our situation witnessed his desperate attempt to obtain my cell phone number. I think about changing it again, but I know it won’t do any good. It’s a fun challenge for him to get it and show me that I can’t keep it from him.

          I don’t think there are any procedures in the county that dealt with my case. The sheriff is corrupt and he and his deputies are inept. When a stalker claims that he is actually having a behind-the-scenes relationship with his victim and that’s what the sheriff and his deputies believe and go along with, there is a serious lack of training involved. The claim of a relationship with the victim is textbook stalker behavior and should not be believed. I proved otherwise repeatedly and they still made the claim. I think it was just a copout since they had no clue how to handle the case. It was and is a complete failure on their part to protect my family. I give them no credit for the fact that I’m alive. I have kept myself alive, along with the help of only one member of law enforcement. That is the Chief of Police in the town I lived in.



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  4. lovefraudfan says:

    It is many institutions that do not believe the victim. I was chased out of the Kenneth Young Mental Health center after I broke up with a guy they all said was great. He turned out to be a sociopath. He stalked me and when I got the court order, the mental health supervisor shoved it back in my hand and said “don’t bring it in here.” As if I were the problem. They did not want to believe me and chased me out of the place. The sociopath even got other people at the center to stalk me. The councilors told my friends not to talk to me anymore. Nobody believed me and were all under the spell of the sociopath. I have to be very careful around a mental health center again. It is similar to domestic violence. I rushed to a domestic violence center for help. The stalking stopped when the court order expired.



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  5. pattywack says:

    Too bad the cops aren’t always mature themselves, so they don’t see past the superficial charm of Mr. Nice SpathGuy. What they fail to know is their HISTORY. And this is something women need to look into. The spath can always forget what didn’t work for him and start over, and over, and over, never learning or caring about his part in it. Good at starting up things, and leaving when it doesn’t go his way, then lying to the next victim.



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  6. IAfraud says:

    Reading these stories brings so much back to the surface for me. I had many situations with law enforcement when they pretty much sided with the stalker.

    One in particular was when the stalker supposedly wanted to retrieve some things of his from my home. He had his sheriff buddies call me to request that they come to my home that day. I replied that I had my kids and didn’t want them to be there and we could schedule a time when they would be at their dad’s. The female sheriff responded that she would rather get this over with and I should send my kids to the back yard while the stalker was there.

    I agreed to let them come, which I regret to this day. Protecting my kids has always been my greatest concern. Two sheriff’s deputies showed up with the stalker, who headed straight to my bedroom and started going through my things, looking for evidence of another man. Finally the deputies told him to quit going through my things and get his stuff or he would have to leave. He continued on and after they told him twice more they finally grabbed him and took him out of my home with his hands behind his back. Unfortunately my kids were there for the whole thing. He had retrieved nothing of his since he wasn’t looking for anything that belonged to him.

    To this day I regret that I didn’t stand up for myself and make them come on a different day. I felt that if I made them wait I would have been seen as being impossible and making up excuses not to let him get his things.

    The female deputy is the same one who put her arm around the stalker’s mom to comfort her during another situation where I was getting my things from the stalker’s camper. Later I asked since when did his mom become the victim? She had no explanation.

    She also followed my sons through town last year after a basketball game when they were driving to their dad’s (the only traffic ticket my son has ever had was from her). They were doing nothing wrong. I received a call from my son, who was being followed by her and was scared. I told him to just drive carefully and don’t speed and she shouldn’t pull him over. She finally quit following them but by then my son was in tears trying to figure out what he did to deserve it. I got off the phone with him, looked in my phone contacts for her number from past issues with stalker. I still had her number so I called her and asked her why she had been following my son, and told her how upset he was. This is one of the few times I’ve raised my voice, but I was outraged. Once again, she had no explanation. I was told later that she likes to follow people to intimidate them.

    Last fall my husband and I sold our home and moved our family to a different county. The sheriff in that county and his crony deputies don’t have a clue how to handle domestic violence and stalking situations.



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  7. BrandiAP says:

    Does anyone know how I would keep my name from showing up in public records? My husband and I will be purchasing a new home. I understand that the sale will show up on the public records site for tax purposes, but I want keep my name off of it. Is that possible?
    My sister is in prison currently, and I do not want her to know where I live when she gets out. It’s kind of the point of moving. My husband insists that she wouldn’t know to look there, but she could easily con someone who would. I am going to continue googling for the information, but if anyone here knows or knows where I should start looking that would be awesome. Thank You!



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    • AnnettePK says:

      You can put the real estate in a Land Trust, which would be owned by you and your husband. Only the name of the Land Trust is recorded in public records. This is a common method to own real estate anonymously, and it does not cost very much for an attorney to draw up the documents to create the land trust. A friend of mine wanted to remain anonymous when he purchased a piece of real estate and this is what he did. I own some property this way so that my minor son could be a part owner; in my state minors cannot own real estate directly.
      There may be other ways, an attorney in your state should be able to advise you.



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  8. Viewpoint says:

    The 4th Way that Cops Aid and Abet is by their indiscretion. These aren’t the brightest bulbs on the Xmas tree… Their cops; not detectives and they tend to like to talk.

    It would never occur to them to do this one appropriate thing: Tell the party who made the complaint privately that there’s nothing they can do, if that be so. (They can’t execute anything without a court order to execute.) Instead, they announce to both parties that their hands are tied… which just fuels the perpetrator. Stupid.



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  9. skyisgrey says:

    Very sad to read this story and even worse to realize it is true. I am not saying that all of the police force or legal system are pro-psychopath but there is a big lack of understanding of how psychopaths operate and too often, they are believed and their victims are discounted. I find that the courts are already so overwhelmed with crime that if a victim of slander, stalking, or even attempted murder comes into their offices, the police really don’t want to bother even writing up a report. I found the same to be true in the courts. My ex-fiancé who I broke up with 8 months ago has been stalking me, harassing me, and has been on an all out smear campaign, leaving no stone untouched. When he showed up on the doorstep of the new apartment I live in, telling me (which I have on tape) that he “can find me anywhere” I finally took my case to the courts. I told the judge how he had been verbally and emotionally abusive but I left out that he had a history of stalking and breaking restraining orders with other exes because the pro-bono lawyer I had had told me it would sound petty and complaining. My ex-p (ex-p= ex-psychopath) showed in the courts that I had been calling him. He had my name and phone number on his caller ID. The judge said that this was irrefutable evidence that I was engaging with him, and that I needed to leave him alone as well, and she denied my restraining order. I didn’t know at the time about spoof caller ID.

    http://www.spoofcard.com/

    http://thejournal.com/articles/2009/01/13/caller-id-spoofing-is-there-an-answer.aspx

    At the end of the whole ordeal, the judge told us to “just get along and leave each other alone.” Those words were a slap in the face to a woman who had been in fear of her safety for months, had left behind an apartment she loved, and who had to basically rethink her whole life because of this parasite. The day after our court session, my ex-p drove by my house, waved at me when I was leaving, circled around, and waved at me again. He had won.



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