Sacramento, CA asked in Criminal Law, Employment Law, Civil Rights and Employment Discrimination for California

Q: did Fresno PD threaten me saying "find a new career or job if I know what's good for me" as i work with the autistic?

fresno PD was called out for a disturbance call me and my girlfriend were arguing I told her I was leaving her and I went to my vehicle and my girlfriend followed and was highly intoxicated and on strong medications then she threw herself on side my vehicle as I was driving away. Pd on scene 10 mins later and they found that both of us were not guilty because nobody was hurt. yet,, a high ranking officer pulled me aside and made a unjustifed/ threat as i seen it as an abuse of power, he exact words "you should never return to this neighborhood again and should find adifferent carrer or little line of work (if I know what's good for me)" {i felts so intimidated and i didnt respond in fear } because I already informed him that I work with autistic young adults as a para educational teacher and I have a Flawless background and I'm federally cleared for my years at the post office and never been to jail in my life...were my cival rights violated?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Based on the information you provided, it seems the officer's comments to you were inappropriate and could be seen as an abuse of power. However, whether your civil rights were violated in a legal sense would depend on additional context and details.

The officer telling you to never return to the neighborhood and to find a different career "if you know what's good for you" sounds like a vague threat and an attempt at intimidation. This is especially troubling given that you had already informed him of your clean background and your work with autistic individuals. Law enforcement officers should not make such statements, as their role is to serve and protect, not to threaten civilians, especially when no crime was committed.

However, for this to be considered a civil rights violation in a legal sense, the officer's actions would typically need to involve discrimination based on protected characteristics (such as race, religion, gender, or disability), a violation of due process, or a breach of other constitutional rights like freedom of speech or unreasonable search and seizure.

It would be best to document the incident in detail, including the officer's name and badge number if possible, and any witnesses to the interaction. If you believe your rights were violated, consider contacting a civil rights attorney or filing a complaint with the department's internal affairs division or a civilian oversight board if one exists. They can provide guidance on whether you have a valid legal claim and what steps you can take to address the situation.

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