Believe it or not, the horrible neighbours are back to having screaming fights already! Even being investigated by Children’s Aid only shut them the fuck up for about two days (likewise the time when I complained to the landlord and the time when I called the cops).
Also, because I fear the female and far more psycho half of the awful neighbour couple will up the ante on her harassment, I went to the cops hoping to like…start a record or open a file or something. Like, I wanted it to be on record with them that this bitch is becoming an issue for me so that if I ever have to call the cops on her I can be like “check your records” and there will be some context there, y’know?
Turns out starting a record, in the way that I was hoping to do, is not a thing. The cops will not have anything on file stating that I went to them almost in tears telling them that I feel unsafe in my own home and that my neighbour has been harassing me.
Also though, I’m frustrated as shit because I feel like the officer I dealt with was coming from a place of male privilege and just not getting it. The first officer I spoke to was female. I showed her the email the harpy downstairs sent me (summary here) and said that the harpy was clearly trying to threaten/intimidate me and the officer was like “Yeah, totally.” But apparently this sort of dispute is handled by a specific person and that person is not her, it’s the guy she then brought out to help me.
He read the email and said “Yeeeeah I’m…not really seeing the issue. She’s just asking if you were the one who made the call, that’s all. I can’t really blame her for being curious.”
I said “She’s blatantly lying about how CAS conducts their investigations – if they wanted to talk to me, they’d call me themselves, not go through the person they’re investigating! She’s threatening to come to my house with someone, unexpectedly, so we can ‘discuss’ the report. She’s threatening to bring Animal Control over to check out my apartment – as in, ‘you’re trying to take my kid away so I’m gonna try to get your cats taken away.”
And dude seriously just stared at me blankly. Like none of this was registering with him at all.
Then I asked him what exactly I can call the police for. I told him how (and this was before the CAS incident!) a friend of mine had been helping me with a project (Mine, building the new bed) and the sound of the drill set the neighbour chick off and she began bellowing about how loud it was and we can’t do that and blah blah blah. Screaming and swearing loudly enough that Mine could clearly hear exactly what she was saying. I said if she does that again – yelling about me but not at me (it was technically Mine she was yelling about that time but she didn’t know that…) – does that count as harassment? He said no. I was like “So screaming and swearing about someone when you know they can hear you doesn’t strike you as passive-aggressive or threatening?” He shrugged and said that people are allowed to vent. He said if she talks about how she’s gonna do something to me, that might count for something. But otherwise no.
And, okay, if the law says that trash-talking me behind-my-back-but-not-really isn’t harassment then so be it. What’s really bothering me here is how fucking dismissive this cop was acting. Like I was being a crazy, hysterical woman for even finding any of the neighbour’s behaviour perturbing. Which is where I think the male privilege comes in. Or maybe cop privilege or I dunno. But I think a dude with a gun and training on how to overpower people might experience this shit a wee bit differently from an unarmed woman living alone. The dude-half of the neighbour couple is pretty stocky and powerful-looking, his stupid twatfaced harpy girlfriend is clearly batshit crazy and I don’t know how strong she is, and with the power drill incident she was actively trying to get him riled up about what a prick I was supposedly being. And these people live on the ground floor of my building; I have to pass right by them every time I enter or leave the house. Their door is right at the bottom of the stairs. If they ever heard me coming and decided to block my way and force a confrontation…
Also, can I just say I am so very pissed off that the laws on disturbing the peace or whatever all seem to be based around time of day. Here is a conversation I’ve had twice now: once with my landlady and then with this cop dude. Like basically the same verbatim conversation both times.
“So like I said, these neighbour get into screaming matches like all the time and it’s seriously disrupting my life. Can I call the police just over that? Like even if they’re not actually beating each other, that I can tell?”
“Absolutely. You have a reasonable expectation of enjoying your living space, and they’re violating that. When these two start screaming, you can totally call the cops and be like ‘hi so it’s 2am and my neighbours’ yelling woke me up so-‘”
“Yeah but they don’t do it at night. They usually start around 9am.”
“Oh. Then no.”
So apparently fifteen solid minutes of “IT’S ALL ABOUT YOUR DICK! EVERYTHING’S ABOUT YOUR DICK! I CAN’T DO THIS NO MORE! I FUCKING HATE YOU I HATE YOOOOOOOU!!!!! [long, wordless shriek-snarl of pure rage] GET THE FUCK OUT TAKE YOUR TWENTY THOUSAND BEERS AND JUST GET THE FUCK OUT! …NO! I DON’T WANT NOTHING FROM YOU! I DON’T WANT NOTHING FROM YOU! GET OUT!!!!” directly under my bedroom window at 9am is totally cool and does not interfere with my enjoyment of the apartment. But if the same exact convo happened 121 minutes earlier, that would be inappropriate, darn it!
My landlady and the officer dude both also dismissed the harpy’s screaming as her “just blowing off steam.” That…is not what I picture when I imagine someone “blowing off steam.” To me, “blowing off steam” means, like, snapping at someone briefly and then probably apologizing for it. Am I crazy here? I’m hearing this woman have screaming tantrums almost every single day, often loudly enough that I can hear her actual words, usually going on tirades lasting ten minutes or more.
Near the end of our conversation, cop dude stressed that I’d really need proof of harassment before the police could do anything. He said there would need to be proof of her screaming fights, too. I said “I’ve been recording their fights off and on for a year now. You can listen to one of them now if you want.” I also said that I obviously have that harassing email from her, as well as a text conversation with my friend from when he said “hey your neighbours are yelling about the drilling, should I stop?” Dude talked over me as I said these things. Just did not care at all. Incidentally, CAS also didn’t care that I have actual recordings of fights. They took the idea that the neighbours are fighting in front of their kid as SUPER SRS BSNS but when I offered proof they were like “Oh, that’s not relevant to the case yet.”
I’m seriously wondering what CAS even does when they investigate, aside from calling the alleged abusers and going “Hey, someone said you did X, Y, and Z. Did you?” Like you’d think they’d call other tenants and ask what they may have overheard, but I don’t think they have (they haven’t called me).
Oh also both of the cops I talked to – the chick who seemed to get what was going on and the dude who did not – both of them, when I started my story with “my awful neighbour is under investigation by CAS and she’s decided I must have been the one who reported her” said “well, did you?” Which I find unprofessional as fuck. To their credit, though, when I asked “does it matter?” both of them said “no” and dropped it.