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Man Arrested for Refusing to Show Drivers License

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the living-your-life-with-principles dept.

News 1972

NMerriam writes "Michael Righi was arrested in Ohio over the weekend after refusing to show his receipt when leaving Circuit City. When the manger and 'loss prevention' employee physically prevented the vehicle he was a passenger in from leaving the parking lot, he called the police, who arrived, searched his bag and found he hadn't stolen anything. The officer then asked for Michael's driver's license, which he declined to provide since he wasn't operating a motor vehicle. The officer then arrested him, and upon finding out Michael was legally right about not having to provide a license, went ahead and charged him with 'obstructing official business' anyways."

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1972 comments

I smell something... (4, Insightful)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#20452861)

And it smells like a lawsuit. I don't think either the police or the store is going to go unscathed.

Re:I smell something... (0)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#20452923)

Oh yea this is going to be expensive.
1. They have no just cause to search the bag since when they did the search they found nothing.
2. The prevented him from leavening without just cause.
For the police this is going to cost as well.
I see at least seven figures.

Re:I smell something... (4, Insightful)

Bob Gelumph (715872) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453177)

1. They have no just cause to search the bag since when they did the search they found nothing.
Not finding anything has nothing to do with them not having just cause. They didn't have it. They may have had a suspicion, because people who don't want to be searched often have something to hide (because the other reason means the person is in the minority of society that thinks about a request to give up their privacy), but this is not a rule, and it is not good enough. Even if the police officer found something, the exact same lawsuit could exist, as anything found would be inadmissible (IANAL) due it being found in the illegal search.

Re:I smell something... (5, Funny)

Wandering Wombat (531833) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453203)

2. The prevented him from leavening without just cause.

I hate it when stores prevent me from foaming and rising.

Re:I smell something... (0, Flamebait)

Lane.exe (672783) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453225)

(1) That's the thing. It's a private establishment. They don't have to have any sort of cause to search your bag in their store. The 4th Amendment only applies to governmental industries. Now, when they directed the police to search there, I'm going to say that the police, relying on the sworn statements of store employees, had probable cause to conduct a search, even though they found nothing.

(2) Now this sounds a lot more like a tort. I am unaware of the Ohio false imprisonment law, but generally it involves being held in a place against your will where a person, exercising reasonable care, could not escape or leave. I think both the police and the store owners might be liable on a false imprisonment charge... but damages would be comparatively low, because our plaintiff hasn't really suffered anything other than the indignity of having people falsely accuse him of stealing.

Re:I smell something... (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 6 years ago | (#20452943)

lol That's the very first thing that came to my mind as I read the description. If there is one, hopefully the lawyers won't walk away with most of the "award".

Re:I smell something... (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453187)

If there is one, hopefully the lawyers won't walk away with most of the "award".

That's class action lawsuits. This is a one on one. The lawyers will probably get 10-20%

Re:I smell something... (1)

BalanceOfJudgement (962905) | more than 6 years ago | (#20452957)

What shocks me is that the cop instantly took Circuit City's side without even bothering to figure out if there was any reason he SHOULD.

I'm not sure what that says about the cop but that was his fatal mistake and I suspect it's going to be a very, very expensive one.

Re:I smell something... (2, Insightful)

dtml-try MyNick (453562) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453001)

Ok, call me ignorant, stupid, dumb, whatever. But why, whenever someone makes a mistake or fucks up is the very first thought (or post in this matter) always down the line of lawsuits, cash, court, lawyers etc?

It may be common practice in the U.S. but every time it stuns me that whenever people make a mistake the very first thought is how to get maximum profit out of it and obliterate someone or something.
Whatever happend to "sorry man, I fucked up, my mistake" "oh, ok, shit happens, have a good day, watch it next time" and simply get on with your life?

Re:I smell something... (5, Insightful)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453029)

This was a little beyond a mistake. This was a deliberate violation of civil rights, in the face of multiple laws to the contrary of the officers actions. Pretty much the biggest reason we have a court system, frankly.

Re:I smell something... (5, Insightful)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453079)

usually because the ones that caused the problem in the first place (in this case CC and the police) will usually not apologize or admit any kind of wrongdoing. Leaving the court system the only option in teaching them that it is not acceptable behavour.

Re:I smell something... (2, Insightful)

T-Ranger (10520) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453173)

Well, the reason why apologies and admissions of fault never happen is because of the tort system. See game theory/MAD.

Re:I smell something... (1)

feed_me_cereal (452042) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453105)

I'd agree with you if it was a mistake. This was intentional, and because it was intentional, the only way to prevent future offenses is to detur them with some sort of punishment. In most cases involving the police, that comes in the form of a civil suit.

Re:I smell something... (3, Insightful)

The Anarchist Avenge (1004563) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453115)

Because in this case, we're dealing with an officer of the law, someone who is given legal rights beyond everyday citizens. Simply put, police officers should never be allowed to say "I'm sorry, I fucked up, have a nice day". People with that much power should be watched and punished if they try to abuse it, and in this case, it seems as if the cop just decided to exercise their power for no reason, and then punish the victim when it became apparent that the cop was in the wrong.

Re:I smell something... (4, Interesting)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453179)

Whatever happend to "sorry man, I fucked up, my mistake" "oh, ok, shit happens, have a good day, watch it next time" and simply get on with your life?

Well, according to the summary (TFA being dead now), no one said "sorry man", instead the cop looked for another pretext to charge and arrest him. So lawyers are already in the picture.

Re:I smell something... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20453181)

> Whatever happend to "sorry man, I fucked up, my mistake"

That happens every day. However, you never read about it in Slashdot since the next day, the people just go on with their lives and never think about it again. This is a function of the way news works. You hear about the cases where the police are idiots. Rightly so.

Re:I smell something... (1)

BalanceOfJudgement (962905) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453211)

Whatever happend to "sorry man, I fucked up, my mistake" "oh, ok, shit happens, have a good day, watch it next time" and simply get on with your life?


Look at how often government entities have ever released formal apologies. Then ask your question again.

Not to mention, there is little that will deter this sort of behavior more than the threat of being sued for all you're worth.

But particularly, because a police officer was involved in this case, the courts must explicitly say that what Righi did was perfectly within his rights - otherwise we'll continue to see it. Since they are apparently incapable of figuring it out on their own, police must be told what people's rights actually are.

I only wish (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453061)

I only wish you could do that here in the UK. The courts never seem to come down on the cops for anything and the police complaints commission is a joke.

Open and Shut Case of Police Harrasment (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 6 years ago | (#20452871)

This guy has a big payday coming soon - open and shut case of false arrest and police harassment. Circuit City looks doomed too.

Re:Open and Shut Case of Police Harrasment (3, Insightful)

Arceliar (895609) | more than 6 years ago | (#20452919)

Open and shut if there's a mentally competent judge presiding. But given the kind of stuff that's been getting posted lately, I wouldn't want to underestimate the idiocy of some people in the legal system.

Re:Open and Shut Case of Police Harrasment (1, Informative)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453081)

Like what? You're pretty obviously basing your judgement in this matter on sensationalized, overblown reports.

Of course, you were modded up. Most likely by someone who doesn't even like in the US and has zero understanding of the court system here, beyond what he reads on Slashdot, bless his heart.

No, the system seems to work pretty well, overall. Things go wrong, certainly, but as it's a human endeavor, that's completely unavoidable.

Re:Open and Shut Case of Police Harrasment (1, Troll)

This_Is_My_Happening (1151393) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453201)

But given the kind of stuff that's been getting posted lately, I wouldn't want to underestimate the idiocy of some people in the legal system.
If your source for news about legal matters is Slashdot, then I agree things look pretty bleak. Try checking out some sources that don't profit from blatant sensationalism however, and things look a bit better.

Re:Open and Shut Case of Police Harrasment (4, Interesting)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | more than 6 years ago | (#20452967)

This brings up a question. Is a store legally allowed to make you show your receipt or look through your bags? I mean, once you buy an item, it is yours and is officially your property, isn't it? If stores can look through a shopping bag does that mean that stores can look into personal bags, and even search your pockets and such?

Re:Open and Shut Case of Police Harrasment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20453015)

If the store is allowed to legally search me as a customer, then shouldn't I, as an equal party in the transaction, be allowed to search them for cash I might not have given them in their registers? If they don't trust me in capitalist exchange, neither should I.

Re:Open and Shut Case of Police Harrasment (2, Interesting)

Splab (574204) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453087)

I don't know what the law says in the land of the free, but here in Denmark they definitely are not allowed to search you - they can ask if they may see the content, you can refuse and if they have enough to suspect you (ie. seeing you putting something in the bag or setting off the alarm) they can call the police and have them search you.

Re:Open and Shut Case of Police Harrasment (3, Interesting)

ClayJar (126217) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453111)

This brings up a question. Is a store legally allowed to make you show your receipt or look through your bags?
From what I've read (which is by no means authoritative), a normal store can only ask; you are free to refuse. A "club" on the other hand (like Sam's, Costco, or whatever) where you are a member and have a membership agreement *can* require it, as they'll have that permission written into the membership agreement, which you accepted as a condition of shopping there.

Re:Open and Shut Case of Police Harrasment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20453169)

This brings up a question. Is a store legally allowed to make you show your receipt or look through your bags?

No, but they can ban you from entering the store for life. Your choice.

Re:Open and Shut Case of Police Harrasment (1)

Stanislav_J (947290) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453239)

Is a store legally allowed to make you show your receipt or look through your bags?

Dunno about the legality, but it's a pretty useless practice. I've been in stores where it is about 10-12 feet from register to exit, they see you paying at the register, they see you walk directly from the register to the exit, and then they still want to see your receipt. And most of the time, no one is matching up the receipt to the merchandise anyway -- they just look it over and then send you on. And some of them use that ubiquitous yellow highlighter to make a little mark on it -- how THAT accomplishes anything, I don't know. (Boy, that's a pretty complicated job -- standing at the door making little yellow marks on receipts -- don't imagine you need an advanced degree for that one...)

Re:Open and Shut Case of Police Harrasment (2, Interesting)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453053)

"open and shut"? I'd love to see the Ohio laws quoted here.

I own a retail store in California, and have made it my business to know the law. Here the store would win any lawsuit hands down. It wouldn't even make it to a trial; the defending attorney would quote all the case law that has already decide the issue and the judge would throw the suit out in pre-trial motions.

Perhaps Ohio is radically different, but I doubt it.

Re:Open and Shut Case of Police Harrasment (3, Insightful)

PJ1216 (1063738) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453107)

what laws though exactly? at least state the California laws since you already know them. I'm curious as well to the exact rights a store has to search a customer.

Can't resist urge to make puns (4, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#20452881)

Maybe the man was just ARRESTED by Circuit City's low low Labor Day sale prices and considered them to be a STEAL!

Feel free to pummel this post and/or me(or add your own!)

Re:Can't resist urge to make puns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20453073)

DOUGHNOT make fun of this...
(Get it? ha! ha!. Ouch...)

I smell a lawsuit on its way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20452893)

To the local police department.
I would like to know what grounds the police officer had for arresting him. Since he was not going to drive he didn't need to carry his license. A smart alec cop who needed to make an arrest, any trumped up charge will do...
 

Re:I smell a lawsuit on its way (3, Interesting)

shawn443 (882648) | more than 6 years ago | (#20452983)

According to the article, it was for obstructing official business or some such nonsense. Later, the blogger cites a law saying he only has to inform the officer of his name, date of birth, and address. It won't matter much though. It reminds me of the time I tried to fight a traffic ticket. The judge didn't want to hear anything I said. I lost. I swear to god, when I was leaving the courthouse, I saw the same judge and same cop outside smoking a cigarette. Judge says to cop "Congratulations on the promotion Bob".

Re:I smell a lawsuit on its way (1)

the unbeliever (201915) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453097)

You should have called a lawyer and sued the judge for not recusing himself from the case due to conflict of interest.

Required to show? (1)

twifosp (532320) | more than 6 years ago | (#20452897)

I wonder if it would be better to say that you don't have your drivers license? Then what can the officer do? Is there anything the officer could do if he found out that you did have it? Clearly this is what happens when you decline to show an id, so what is the best course of action in this situation?

Re:Required to show? (1)

German_Dupree (1099089) | more than 6 years ago | (#20452935)

If the guy lied and said he didn't have his license, the police could charge him for perjury.

Re:Required to show? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20453057)

You can only perjure under oath. Public servants (police) are the only people who can perjure on the fly like that because of their oaths of office, individual citizens can pretty much lie out the ass as long as they admit it in court and don't break any other laws (like slander, etc).

Re:Required to show? (1)

ClayJar (126217) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453075)

If the guy lied and said he didn't have his license, the police could charge him for perjury.
No, they couldn't. Perjury is lying under oath, and nobody can claim that he was giving sworn testimony.

Obstruction? Lying to an officer? Something else? Sure. Just not perjury.

Re:Required to show? (1)

shdowhawk (940841) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453083)

What would he do then, after lying to a police officer, saying that he doesn't have a license... Get in his car and drive away in front of the cop?

Nono, this is one of those situations where you need to send letters to your senators to help this guy, and cheer him on as he rides the money wave (think scrooge mcduck surfing in that big bank of his).

If the guy is able to outsmart a cop over a law that should have been well know, then i really say huzzah to him. On the other hand, he's obviously a dick for refusing to show any of his information. But, that was his prerogative... I know that i never saw a sign or signed a paper saying that MY PRODUCTS (They are officially yours after purchase) could be allowed to be 1. searched, and 2. Publicly searched no less.

Blame the training (4, Insightful)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453141)

Someone on fark posted a good summary of why stuff like this happens. Cops no longer use discretion when dealing with people. They will arrest and charge and let the courts sort it out later. Nevermind that simply being arrested and not charged will appear on your record and any background check. You are then responsible for court costs and attorney fees all to defend yourself against the cop being wrong. So you win in court, big deal. The damage has been done. Nothing will happen to the office who made the mistake. He could shoot you dead and be put on administrative leave WITH pay and still be cleared because you didn't act like the rest of the sheep. I used to feel bad for police but after seeing the corruption and amount of lies they tell first hand my opinion has swayed the other direction.

YOUR PAPERS, PLEEZE!! (0, Redundant)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 6 years ago | (#20452901)

The police state has arrived here in the Corporate States of America!

Re:YOUR PAPERS, PLEEZE!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20452955)

The downward spiral of this country has begun. Read about the Reichstag fire then think 9/11

When you must show your identification (0, Offtopic)

bloatboy (170414) | more than 6 years ago | (#20452925)

As far as I recall (IANAL), you are only required to show your identification to law enforcement when pulled over while operating a motor vehicle, or entering the country from another country.

Re:When you must show your identification (1)

SB5 (165464) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453009)

Another way you are required is if you match the description of an actor that committed a crime nearby and they are looking for that subject.

He will be fouhd guilty of the charge (2, Insightful)

Snowtide (989191) | more than 6 years ago | (#20452933)

He said no to the police. Unless you have enough money or friends you always pay when you do that. Especially these days. Remember, most law enforcement know the rest of us are lower life forms than they are. The law does not matter, being right does not matter, nearly as much as money or power. Get used to it, it's going to keep getting worse before, if, it gets better. There are rapidly getting to be enough broad laws out there that everyone is guilty of something. You might just not know you have done anything wrong.

money can work both ways (1)

feed_me_cereal (452042) | more than 6 years ago | (#20452985)

You're forgetting the "legal fees" part of the lawsuit. Anyone can hire a lawyer who is willing to work for them, and in this case, IMHO, it seems like a good bet.

Re:He will be fouhd guilty of the charge (2, Informative)

Fox_1 (128616) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453025)

From the story - He is making a good case for himself. Miranda wasn't done properly, and the law doesn't explicitly state he has to show his "Drivers License"

September 1st, 2007 @ 10:50PM EST Update:The police officer never read me my Miranda rights. I've heard differing opinions on how much this really matters and will certainly be bringing this up with my attorney.
September 1st, 2007 @11:34PM EST Update:I found the detail on Ohio's "stop and identify" law. I encourage you to read it in its entirety, but I will spell out the important part:
2921.29 (C) Nothing in this section requires a person to answer any questions beyond that person's name, address, or date of birth. Nothing in this section authorizes a law enforcement officer to arrest a person for not providing any information beyond that person's name, address, or date of birth or for refusing to describe the offense observed.
I stated my name to the police officer, and if he had asked me for my address and date of birth I would have provided that as well. The officer specifically asked for my driver's license and this is what I was unwilling to provide. If I'm reading this correctly it would appear that Ohio's law specifically protects citizens from having to hand over driver's licenses unless they are operating a motor vehicle. This is what I always believed, but it's nice to see it in writing.

Re:He will be fouhd guilty of the charge (5, Insightful)

BalanceOfJudgement (962905) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453089)

He said no to the police. Unless you have enough money or friends you always pay when you do that. Especially these days. Remember, most law enforcement know the rest of us are lower life forms than they are. The law does not matter, being right does not matter, nearly as much as money or power. Get used to it, it's going to keep getting worse before, if, it gets better. There are rapidly getting to be enough broad laws out there that everyone is guilty of something. You might just not know you have done anything wrong.


You might want to read his blog. He IS such a person.

Oh, they chose the wrong man to mess with..

Re:He will be fouhd guilty of the charge (2)

kupo255 (666541) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453221)

That's exactly why this man is my own personal hero. More people ought to take part in this brand of civil disobediance, evven if he doesn't win a lawsuit. With enough numbers, the costs would overwhelm our system and it just wouldn't be profitable to do this sort of thing to people.

I don't care (1)

peipas (809350) | more than 6 years ago | (#20452945)

I don't care if somebody at the door asks me for a receipt. But if I'm walking through the security sensors and they go off I just keep on walking. I'm not going to turn around and look around aimlessly like a lost puppy looking for approval. I know I paid for what I'm walking out with and I have no responsibility to waste my time responding their broken security system. Just calmly walk on through.

Re:I don't care (1)

hxnwix (652290) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453049)

I'm not going to turn around and look around aimlessly like a lost puppy looking for approval.
Or, you could look around angrily like a wolf looking for dinner.

Go ahead, bite somebody's head off. You're less likely to get arrested if you come on strong.

Re:I don't care (1)

tulare (244053) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453139)

Depends. Many years ago, I was moonlighting at [insert name of big chain variety store here]. This big ol dude comes up to my lane, buys a box of condoms, which I failed to properly demagnetize. It was totally accidental, and the look on his face was one of betrayal and anger when he had to take them back to be rechecked. I felt terrible for the guy, to be honest.

Re:I don't care (1)

stoicfaux (466273) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453219)

Or you could just find the nearest cashier and have them remove the exploding ink/inventory control tag that the original cashier accidentally left on. Personally, I have no desire to find a pair of wire/bolt cutters to remove them myself and risk damaging my recent purchase.

Did he expect different? (1)

mtraskos35826 (880419) | more than 6 years ago | (#20452951)

How dare he not obey the officer. Where the heck does he think he lives? Next he'll say that I don't need to take off my pants when I go through airport security, or that I have some sort of legal right not to be arrested when all I'm doing is walking down the street with the body last night's date.

Some people just make me sick.

has a right not to show a drivers license? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#20452965)

I have been charged with that before. I didn't have the drivers license on me.

The charges were dropped later and I could never find a lawyer who would say enough of something was wrong that I could sue over the ordeal. Personally, I'm almost to the point with the cops in ohio that I am willing to just shoot them instead of having to put up with their BS any more. I have the cops in one town threaten me in a way that I ended up getting the feds involved.

There is some ordinance in Ohio that says if you don't identify yourself to a police officer when asked, you are obstructing official business. The not presenting an ID and the obstruction of official business is the same charge. There aren't two separate charges or a charge specifically saying not showing an ID. So the summery of the article is wrong.

Re:has a right not to show a drivers license? (1)

s4m7 (519684) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453223)

I am willing to just shoot them instead of having to put up with their BS any more
wow, your name really hits the mark doesn't it.

There is some ordinance in Ohio that says if you don't identify yourself to a police officer when asked, you are obstructing official business.
He did identify himself, he's not required by law to prove he is who he says he is. Showing your identification != identifying yourself.

You Acty Like an Ass, Your treated like one. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20452973)

This guy was an idiot. He could'nt just show the receipt? What was so hard about that?

Then, just to be more obnoxious, he can't take the time to dig out his DL, after the cop decided he hadn't done anything wrong?

Some people get what they deserve.

Re:You Acty Like an Ass, Your treated like one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20453119)

Yeah, he deserved to be detained unlawfully for not complying with a request he was under no legal or moral obligation to honor. And you're not retarded for suggesting it. Also, pigs fly and the sun is cold.

Disturbing (1, Troll)

Treskin (555947) | more than 6 years ago | (#20452977)

Well, the story is a bit disturbing, but what I found really disturbing as I was reading the comments people left on this guy's blog. Most of them called him an idiot, and said you should always comply when someone asks to see your search your property as you're leaving their store - and even worse, that if a police officer asks for your license, you should always provide it, even if you're just walking down the sidewalk doing nothing illegal. This is why I'm thankful we have the ACLU. Even if they're sometimes over-the-top, it's threads like these that make it evident the average US citizen is not aware of, or at least is not willing to stand up for, their rights.

Easy Solution (1)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 6 years ago | (#20452979)

The police officer in question gets fired, he didn't know the law, when questioned he was too proud to ask for another opinion, and then maliciously prosecutes (correct term?).

Re:Easy Solution (1)

nate nice (672391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453217)

Officers don't prosecute. DA's prosecute. An officer only sites suspects with charges. They are the peons of the legal system. Little machines sent out to gather suspects for the state to try in court for suspected crimes.

RTFA (5, Insightful)

CrashPoint (564165) | more than 6 years ago | (#20452981)

Every time one of these stories comes up, there's always a bunch of idiots who claim something to the effect of "But the store has the RIGHT to ask for your receipt". This is true but entirely beside the point. The point of contention is that the guy also had the RIGHT to refuse to show the receipt, and to walk right the fuck out of the store with his newly purchased property. The store did NOT have any right whatsoever to detain the guy.

If you're going to argue against this guy, do yourself a favor: Don't argue the store was within their rights to ask for the receipt. Nobody's arguing with that, and you're a moron who can't fucking read if you think they are. Instead you need to make a case for why they were right to prevent him from leaving, because that, and only that, is what is being contended here.

Re:RTFA (2, Interesting)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453129)

Well, that's great! Stores have the right to ask for your receipt, but you don't have to show it. Kind of an empty right, but whatever. A determined thief could then just take whatever he wanted and walk out of the store and there's nothing they can do. They can't detain him or stop him. If they touch him at all, they're violating his inalienable rights.

Any thoughts on how to keep goods from leaving the store unauthorized, without violating someone's rights?

Re:RTFA (1)

orlanz (882574) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453233)

Actually, in almost all jurisdictions in the United States, merchants are allowed to detain suspected shoplifters. They can't tackle the guy or anything as that could mean counter suit in terms of assault and battery, but they have the right to detain them in other ways.

it is even more orewellian (1)

cinnamon colbert (732724) | more than 6 years ago | (#20452987)

There was an important case, about a year ago, which went to the supreme court, where a man refused to show his ID, or to identify himself to a police officer.
As I remember the court's analysis, you only have to show your ID if you are a suspect or have comitted a crime

Re:it is even more orewellian (1)

Marc_Hawke (130338) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453045)

Well, he was suspected of committing a crime. Of course, it was more like, "It was suspected that a crime was committed by him." Is that good enough?

Re:it is even more orewellian (1)

Speare (84249) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453145)

There was an important case, about a year ago, which went to the supreme court, where a man refused to show his ID, or to identify himself to a police officer. As I remember the court's analysis, you only have to show your ID if you are a suspect or have comitted a crime

The ruling is that you must identify yourself if you are suspected of having been involved in a crime, even if you are not in operation of, nor in the operator's seat of a motor vehicle. Verbal identification is okay unless you are in operation of a license-class motor vehicle, in which case you must show the license when asked. This is in itself a HUGE step down from the previous state of law: if you were not in operation or being arrested, you could remain anonymous. Your mangled wording implies several entirely different things, including being presumed guilty.

I smell something else... (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 6 years ago | (#20452991)

I'd suggest that it's smoke from the server choking on the onslaught of slashdot readers, but everyone knows that nobody reads the articles. So I don't know what that smell is.

Full text since site is down: (5, Informative)

RandyOo (61821) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453019)

A few people contacted me wanting to know if I was accepting donations for my legal fund. Donations would be greatly appreciated. If more
funds are raised than are actually needed I will donate the excess to the ACLU. Donations can be made via PayPal to: paypal@michaelrighi.com.

Today was an eventful day. I drove to Cleveland, reunited with my father's side of the family and got arrested. More on that arrested part to come.

For the labor day weekend my father decided to host a small family reunion. My sister flew in from California and I drove in from Pittsburgh to visit my father, his wife and my little brother and sister. Shortly after arriving we packed the whole family into my father's Buick and headed off to the grocery store to buy some ingredients to make monkeybread. (It's my little sister's birthday today and that was her cute/bizare birthday request.)

Next to the grocery store was a Circuit City. (The Brooklyn, Ohio Circuit City to be exact.) Having forgotten that it was my sister's birthday I decided to run in and buy her a last minute gift. I settled on Disney's "Cars" game for the Nintendo Wii. I also needed to purchase a Power Squid surge protector which I paid for separately with my business credit card. As I headed towards the exit doors I passed a gentleman whose name I would later learn is Santura. As I began to walk towards the doors Santura said, "Sir, I need to examine your receipt." I responded by continuing to walk past him while saying, "No thank you."

As I walked through the double doors I heard Santura yelling for his manager behind me. My father and the family had the Buick pulled up waiting for me outside the doors to Circuit City. I opened the door and got into the back seat while Santura and his manager, whose name I have since learned is Joe Atha, came running up to the vehicle. I closed the door and as my father was just about to pull away the manager, Joe, yelled for us to stop. Of course I knew what this was about, but I played dumb and pretended that I didn't know what the problem was. I wanted to give Joe the chance to explain what all the fuss was for.

I reopened the door to talk with Joe and at this point Joe positioned his body between the open car door and myself. (I was still seated in the Buick.) Joe placed his left hand on the roof of the car and his right hand on the open car door. I asked Joe if there was a problem. The conversation went something like this:

        Me: "Is there a problem?"
        Joe: "I need to examine your bag and receipt before letting you leave this parking lot."
        Me: "I paid for the contents in this bag. Are you accusing me of stealing?"
        Joe: "I'm not accusing you of anything, but I'm allowed by law to look through your bag when you leave."
        Me: "Which law states that? Name the law that gives you the right to examine my bag when I leave a Circuit City."

Of course Joe wasn't able to name the law that gives him, a U.S. citizen and Circuit City employee the right to examine anything that I, a U.S. citizen and Circuit City customer am carrying out of the store. I've dealt with these scare tactics at other stores in the past including other Circuit Cities, Best Buys and Guitar Centers. I've always taken the stance that retail stores shouldn't treat their loyal customers as criminals and that customers shouldn't so willingly give up their rights along with their money. Theft sucks and I wish that shoplifters were treated more harshly than they are, but the fact is that I am not a shiplifter shoplifter and shouldn't have to forfeit my civil rights when leaving a store.

I twice asked Joe to back away from the car so that I could close the door. Joe refused. On three occasions I tried to pull the door closed but Joe pushed back on the door with his hip and hands. I then gave Joe three options:

      1. "Accuse me of shoplifting and call the police. I will gladly wait for them to arrive."
      2. "Back away from the car so that I can close the door and drive away."
      3. "If you refuse to let me leave I will be forced to call the police."

Joe didn't budge. At this point I pushed my way past Joe and walked onto the sidewalk next to the building. I pulled out my phone and dialed 911.

Two minutes later Brooklyn, Ohio police officer Ernie Arroyo arrived on the scene. As I began to explain the story leading up to Joe Atha preventing my egress from the parking lot, officer Arroyo began to question why I refused to show my receipt in the first place. I explained that I lawfully purchased the contents in the bag and didn't feel that it was necessary for me to let a Circuit City employee inspect the bag as I left. Officer Arroyo disagreed. He claimed that stores have the right to inspect all receipts and all bags upon leaving their store.

At this point Officer Arroyo asked to see my receipt and driver's license. I handed over the receipt, and stated that my name is Michael Righi. Again, Officer Arroyo asked to see my driver's license. The conversation went something like this:

        Me: "I'm required by law to state that my name is Michael Righi, but I do not have to provide you with my driver's license since I am not operating a vehicle."
        Officer Arroyo: "Give me your driver's license or I will place you under arrest."
        Me: "My name is Michael Righi. I am not willing to provide you with my driver's license."
        Officer Arroyo: "Turn around and up against the wall."

At this point I was placed in handcuffs, patted down, had my wallet removed from my back pocket and was placed in the back of Officer Arroyo's police car. My three siblings sat in the back of the Buick crying their eyes out, which is the only part of today that I regret. I wish my little brother and sisters didn't have to watch this, but I knew exactly what I was doing and was very careful with my words. Other than putting my family through a little scare I don't regret anything that happened today.

Officer Arroyo ran my father's license plate, my driver's license and inspected my two receipts along with the contents of my bag. He also handed over my Circuit City bag to Joe Atha and allowed him to ensure that in fact I stole nothing from the store.

While being driven down to the station in the back of the police car I struck up a conversation with Officer Arroyo. I asked him if he was surprised that my receipts matched the contents in the bag and in a surprise moment of honesty he admitted that he was. I then asked Officer Arroyo what charges were going to be brought against me. He explained that I had been arrested for failure to produce my driver's license. I asked him what would happen if I never learned to drive and didn't have a driver's license. After all, at the time that he arrested me I was standing on a sidewalk outside a Circuit City. I wasn't driving a car, and even when I was seated in the Buick I was a back seat passenger. The officer never gave me a satisfactory answer to this question, but promised to explain the law to me after I was booked.

This morning I slept through my alarm clock and was in a hurry to drive to Cleveland. I didn't have time to iron my shirt, and this is what I regretted while my mugshot was being taken. Listen up kids. Always press your clothes because you never know when you'll be unlawfully arrested.

Shortly after being booked, fingerprints and all, Officer Arroyo presented me with my charges:

        ORD:525.07: Obstructing Official Business (M-2)
        (a) No person, without privilege to do so and with purpose to prevent, obstruct or delay the performance by a public official of any authorized act within the public official's offical capacity shall do any act that hampers or impedes a public official in the performance of the public official's lawful duties.

Not being able to find the law in the books that states that a citizen must provide a driver's license while walking through a parking lot, Officer Arroyo had to settle for "obstructing official business." Keep in mind that the official business that I was supposedly obstructing was business that I initiated by calling the police. I called for help and I got arrested.

My father posted the $300 bail that was needed to get me out of jail and back on my way to Park Avenue Place. (Sorry for the lame Monopoly joke, but it's my first time being arrested. Cut me some humor slack.) After being released I stuck around the police station for a little while to fill out the necessary paper work to press charges against the Circuit City manager who physically prevented me from leaving the parking lot. I'm most interested in seeing my charges dropped for refusing to present identification, but I view that as a completely separate issue from the store manager interfering with my egress.

I understand that my day would have gone a lot smoother if I had agreed to let loss prevention inspect my bag. I understand that my day would have gone a lot smoother if I had agreed to hand over my driver's license when asked by Officer Arroyo. However, I am not interested in living my life smoothly. I am interested in living my life on strong principles and standing up for my rights as a consumer, a U.S. citizen and a human being. Allowing stores to inspect our bags at will might seem like a trivial matter, but it creates an atmosphere of obedience which is a dangerous thing. Allowing police officers to see our papers at will might seem like a trivial matter, but it creates a fear-of-authority atmosphere which can be all too easily abused.

I can reluctantly understand having to show a permit to fish, a permit to drive and a permit to carry a weapon. Having to show a permit to exist is a scary idea which I got a strong taste of today.

My hearing is scheduled for September 20th, 2007. I will be contacting the ACLU and the IDP on Tuesday (the next business day), and I plan to fight these charges no matter what it takes. I will provide updates on this page as events unfold.

Re:Full text since site is down: (1)

TheGreatHegemon (956058) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453235)

You know, this article has really surprised me... Myself, I've always viewed myself as being a bit stubborn when it comes to what I view as illegal searches. Yet, I've always let the store search my bags when I leave frys, etc. I suddenly NOW realize that this is also, in a sense, an illegal search. Damn, the US really DOES indoctrinate you well. Anyone know the relevant laws in the United States? Are we required to show a driver's license to a police officer, or show the contents of the bag as we leave the store?

Article Text (0, Redundant)

BenFranske (646563) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453033)

Papers Please: Arrested At Circuit City September 2nd, 2007 @ 4:15PM EST Update A few people contacted me wanting to know if I was accepting donations for my legal fund. Donations would be greatly appreciated. If more funds are raised than are actually needed I will donate the excess to the ACLU. Donations can be made via PayPal to: paypal@michaelrighi.com. Today was an eventful day. I drove to Cleveland, reunited with my father's side of the family and got arrested. More on that arrested part to come. For the labor day weekend my father decided to host a small family reunion. My sister flew in from California and I drove in from Pittsburgh to visit my father, his wife and my little brother and sister. Shortly after arriving we packed the whole family into my father's Buick and headed off to the grocery store to buy some ingredients to make monkeybread. (It's my little sister's birthday today and that was her cute/bizare birthday request.) Next to the grocery store was a Circuit City. (The Brooklyn, Ohio Circuit City to be exact.) Having forgotten that it was my sister's birthday I decided to run in and buy her a last minute gift. I settled on Disney's "Cars" game for the Nintendo Wii. I also needed to purchase a Power Squid surge protector which I paid for separately with my business credit card. As I headed towards the exit doors I passed a gentleman whose name I would later learn is Santura. As I began to walk towards the doors Santura said, "Sir, I need to examine your receipt." I responded by continuing to walk past him while saying, "No thank you." As I walked through the double doors I heard Santura yelling for his manager behind me. My father and the family had the Buick pulled up waiting for me outside the doors to Circuit City. I opened the door and got into the back seat while Santura and his manager, whose name I have since learned is Joe Atha, came running up to the vehicle. I closed the door and as my father was just about to pull away the manager, Joe, yelled for us to stop. Of course I knew what this was about, but I played dumb and pretended that I didn't know what the problem was. I wanted to give Joe the chance to explain what all the fuss was for. I reopened the door to talk with Joe and at this point Joe positioned his body between the open car door and myself. (I was still seated in the Buick.) Joe placed his left hand on the roof of the car and his right hand on the open car door. I asked Joe if there was a problem. The conversation went something like this: Me: "Is there a problem?" Joe: "I need to examine your bag and receipt before letting you leave this parking lot." Me: "I paid for the contents in this bag. Are you accusing me of stealing?" Joe: "I'm not accusing you of anything, but I'm allowed by law to look through your bag when you leave." Me: "Which law states that? Name the law that gives you the right to examine my bag when I leave a Circuit City." Of course Joe wasn't able to name the law that gives him, a U.S. citizen and Circuit City employee the right to examine anything that I, a U.S. citizen and Circuit City customer am carrying out of the store. I've dealt with these scare tactics at other stores in the past including other Circuit Cities, Best Buys and Guitar Centers. I've always taken the stance that retail stores shouldn't treat their loyal customers as criminals and that customers shouldn't so willingly give up their rights along with their money. Theft sucks and I wish that shoplifters were treated more harshly than they are, but the fact is that I am not a shiplifter shoplifter and shouldn't have to forfeit my civil rights when leaving a store. I twice asked Joe to back away from the car so that I could close the door. Joe refused. On three occasions I tried to pull the door closed but Joe pushed back on the door with his hip and hands. I then gave Joe three options: 1. "Accuse me of shoplifting and call the police. I will gladly wait for them to arrive." 2. "Back away from the car so that I can close the door and drive away." 3. "If you refuse to let me leave I will be forced to call the police." Joe didn't budge. At this point I pushed my way past Joe and walked onto the sidewalk next to the building. I pulled out my phone and dialed 911. Two minutes later Brooklyn, Ohio police officer Ernie Arroyo arrived on the scene. As I began to explain the story leading up to Joe Atha preventing my egress from the parking lot, officer Arroyo began to question why I refused to show my receipt in the first place. I explained that I lawfully purchased the contents in the bag and didn't feel that it was necessary for me to let a Circuit City employee inspect the bag as I left. Officer Arroyo disagreed. He claimed that stores have the right to inspect all receipts and all bags upon leaving their store. At this point Officer Arroyo asked to see my receipt and driver's license. I handed over the receipt, and stated that my name is Michael Righi. Again, Officer Arroyo asked to see my driver's license. The conversation went something like this: Me: "I'm required by law to state that my name is Michael Righi, but I do not have to provide you with my driver's license since I am not operating a vehicle." Officer Arroyo: "Give me your driver's license or I will place you under arrest." Me: "My name is Michael Righi. I am not willing to provide you with my driver's license." Officer Arroyo: "Turn around and up against the wall." At this point I was placed in handcuffs, patted down, had my wallet removed from my back pocket and was placed in the back of Officer Arroyo's police car. My three siblings sat in the back of the Buick crying their eyes out, which is the only part of today that I regret. I wish my little brother and sisters didn't have to watch this, but I knew exactly what I was doing and was very careful with my words. Other than putting my family through a little scare I don't regret anything that happened today. Officer Arroyo ran my father's license plate, my driver's license and inspected my two receipts along with the contents of my bag. He also handed over my Circuit City bag to Joe Atha and allowed him to ensure that in fact I stole nothing from the store. While being driven down to the station in the back of the police car I struck up a conversation with Officer Arroyo. I asked him if he was surprised that my receipts matched the contents in the bag and in a surprise moment of honesty he admitted that he was. I then asked Officer Arroyo what charges were going to be brought against me. He explained that I had been arrested for failure to produce my driver's license. I asked him what would happen if I never learned to drive and didn't have a driver's license. After all, at the time that he arrested me I was standing on a sidewalk outside a Circuit City. I wasn't driving a car, and even when I was seated in the Buick I was a back seat passenger. The officer never gave me a satisfactory answer to this question, but promised to explain the law to me after I was booked. This morning I slept through my alarm clock and was in a hurry to drive to Cleveland. I didn't have time to iron my shirt, and this is what I regretted while my mugshot was being taken. Listen up kids. Always press your clothes because you never know when you'll be unlawfully arrested. Shortly after being booked, fingerprints and all, Officer Arroyo presented me with my charges: ORD:525.07: Obstructing Official Business (M-2) (a) No person, without privilege to do so and with purpose to prevent, obstruct or delay the performance by a public official of any authorized act within the public official's offical capacity shall do any act that hampers or impedes a public official in the performance of the public official's lawful duties. Not being able to find the law in the books that states that a citizen must provide a driver's license while walking through a parking lot, Officer Arroyo had to settle for "obstructing official business." Keep in mind that the official business that I was supposedly obstructing was business that I initiated by calling the police. I called for help and I got arrested. My father posted the $300 bail that was needed to get me out of jail and back on my way to Park Avenue Place. (Sorry for the lame Monopoly joke, but it's my first time being arrested. Cut me some humor slack.) After being released I stuck around the police station for a little while to fill out the necessary paper work to press charges against the Circuit City manager who physically prevented me from leaving the parking lot. I'm most interested in seeing my charges dropped for refusing to present identification, but I view that as a completely separate issue from the store manager interfering with my egress. I understand that my day would have gone a lot smoother if I had agreed to let loss prevention inspect my bag. I understand that my day would have gone a lot smoother if I had agreed to hand over my driver's license when asked by Officer Arroyo. However, I am not interested in living my life smoothly. I am interested in living my life on strong principles and standing up for my rights as a consumer, a U.S. citizen and a human being. Allowing stores to inspect our bags at will might seem like a trivial matter, but it creates an atmosphere of obedience which is a dangerous thing. Allowing police officers to see our papers at will might seem like a trivial matter, but it creates a fear-of-authority atmosphere which can be all too easily abused. I can reluctantly understand having to show a permit to fish, a permit to drive and a permit to carry a weapon. Having to show a permit to exist is a scary idea which I got a strong taste of today. My hearing is scheduled for September 20th, 2007. I will be contacting the ACLU and the IDP on Tuesday (the next business day), and I plan to fight these charges no matter what it takes. I will provide updates on this page as events unfold. September 1st, 2007 @ 10:50PM EST Update:The police officer never read me my Miranda rights. I've heard differing opinions on how much this really matters and will certainly be bringing this up with my attorney. September 1st, 2007 @11:34PM EST Update:I found the detail on Ohio's "stop and identify" law. I encourage you to read it in its entirety, but I will spell out the important part: 2921.29 (C) Nothing in this section requires a person to answer any questions beyond that person's name, address, or date of birth. Nothing in this section authorizes a law enforcement officer to arrest a person for not providing any information beyond that person's name, address, or date of birth or for refusing to describe the offense observed. I stated my name to the police officer, and if he had asked me for my address and date of birth I would have provided that as well. The officer specifically asked for my driver's license and this is what I was unwilling to provide. If I'm reading this correctly it would appear that Ohio's law specifically protects citizens from having to hand over driver's licenses unless they are operating a motor vehicle. This is what I always believed, but it's nice to see it in writing. September 2nd, 2007 @10:01AM EST Update: I was speaking to my father this morning about what unfolded yesterday, and he told me something that I was not aware of until this point. While I was speaking to Joe Atha from the back seat of the car, Santura stood in front of my father's vehicle with his hands out to the side as a way of preventing him from driving forward. My father would not have been able to drive forward because Santura stood in the way, and he would not have been able to drive backwards because the open door would have hit Joe who was leaning into the car. September 2nd, 2007 @ 4:15PM EST Update A few people contacted me wanting to know if I was accepting donations for my legal fund. Donations would be greatly appreciated. If more funds are raised than are actually needed I will donate the excess to the ACLU. Donations can be made via PayPal to: paypal@michaelrighi.com. September 2nd, 2007 @ 5:05PM EST UpdateThank you for those of you who have submitted donations to help me fight these charges. I have been overwhelmed with the response that this story has received in the past twelve hours. A few people contacted me wanting more information about the case before they felt comfortable making a donation. Here are some answers to your questions: Q: Which police department arrested you? A: I was a arrested by a police officer working for the City of Brooklyn, Ohio located at 7619 Memphis Avenue Brooklyn, Ohio 44144. This is in Cuyahoga County. Q: What is your case number? A: I don't know if my case number is the same thing as my ticket number, but the officer gave me a summons with the following across the top: "Ticket Number: A10514 Q: Did you get Officer Ernie Arroyo's badge number? A: Yes, his badge number is #49. His surpervisor is Sgt. Knapp, whose badge number is #36. Q: How do I know this isn't a scam to raise money? A: You don't. However, I urge you to learn about my reputation by reading these articles. Article #1, Article #2, Article #3. Q: Should I be boycotting Circuit City? A: At this time I am not recommending a boycott of Circuit City because Circuit City has yet to respond to my complaint. I want to give them a chance to respond to this incident before determining whether or not it makes sense for me to endorse a boycott. Q: Should I be contacting the Brooklyn, Ohio Police Department? A: Thank you for expressing an interest in taking this matter up personally, and thank you to those of you who already contacted the Brooklyn, Ohio police department. However, I urge you to please not tie up their emergency services with complaints. If you would like to voice a complaint I think it would be more appropriate to do so with the mayor or city council. Their contact information is available at the Brooklyn, Ohio City Government web site. Q: What is the best way to reach you? A: I can be reached by email at michael dot righi at field expert dot com.

According to the law, (1)

martinelli (1082609) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453035)

"(a) No person, without privilege to do so and with purpose to prevent, obstruct or delay the performance by a public official of any authorized act within the public official's official capacity, shall do any act that hampers or impedes a public official in the performance of the public official's lawful duties."

I'm quoting Ohio's state laws [ohio.gov] . How exactly can one prove he had the purpose to prevent, obstruct, or delay the officer's performance?

No Surprise (1)

Dr. Smoove (1099425) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453039)

This is normal behavior for cops around here. I've been stopped, frisked, and forced to take a ride home from a cop when someone called the police on me for walking through a rich neighborhood with shorts and a t shirt on during cold weather. I can definitely picture myself getting arrested for this, possibly even getting my house raided and a free anal cavity search.

A nice thing about the internet... (1)

PJ1216 (1063738) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453047)

If you get pushed around, you can always count on the internet to voice your oppression so to speak. If this guy wasn't computer literate or what not and couldn't get his story out there through the internet, I doubt he'd have such backing from a huge amount of people. I also doubt the story would get spread so quickly. The police station and the store in question are probably both kicking themselves because this is bad PR and it didn't just go away. All those on the other side of the story probably expected this to go smoothly and to have no backlash. They most likely expected him to accept the obstruction charge and everyone will go on with their lives. Obviously they were mistaken. I think this is a good example to people in any kind of authority (store managers, police officers, etc.) that you gotta watch out who you push around because it can come back and bite you.

Circuit City and the Officer F'd up big time (5, Informative)

VidEdit (703021) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453069)

First, he didn't have to show his receipt or open the bag containing **his** property for the Circuit City door monitor. Unless you are shopping in a membership store where you signed a contract allowing such searches they are **voluntary**

Security consultant Chris E. McGoey notes:
"A customer can refuse to have their bag checked and simply walk out the door past the bag checker. Hopefully the bag checker has been trained to know that they cannot force anyone to submit to a bag search without cause. This is important because the expectation of the bag checker is that all bag contents have been purchased. The worst thing that could happen is that an aggressive bag checker would forcibly detain or threaten a customer who refused to comply with the voluntary search."
http://www.crimedoctor.com/loss_prevention_3.htm [crimedoctor.com]

Sure, it would have been easier to submit to a search, but stores use the force of conformity as a method of social engineering to get you to comply. A voluntary search isn't voluntary unless you can say no without negative consequences, otherwise the search is **coerced**. The effectiveness of this social engineering will be seen in the comments of people who will say he should have just shown his receipt. These people show their receipts and, based on innate human behavior, think that everyone should behave as they do and that not to do so is to be unreasonable. But where should it stop? If you think the store had a right to make him show a receipt and have his bags searched--contrary to law--why not make him take his shoes off and let them inspect his wallet? They have **just as much right** do do that as search his bags, which is to say, "none."

Not showing your receipt when you don't have to may seem like a trivial gesture but clearly it is not. The OP was within his legal rights and as a result was arrested. Most of us are unwilling to face those kind of consequences to stand up to our everyday rights. He was not. I hope he brings awareness to the over zealous use of searches by private business acting like they are the government with police powers.

As to the arrest for failing to show his license. The OP was the one who called the cops and they arrested **him**, not the store personnel who were unlawfully detaining him in the parking lot! Idaho state law specifically says he just has to identify himself to the officer not show ID, and he isn't required to have an ID on him! To all of those who say he should have been arrested for not showing ID do you think that would also apply if he hadn't been carrying one? If not, why is it any different to arrest him just because he did?

Identify yourself (2, Interesting)

uncleO (769165) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453085)

Here in Canada, the police can arrest you for refusing to identify yourself. A driver's license does that, but any other way would work. You must have a similar law down there, too. It sounds like the guy was being a jerk, and the cop used that excuse.

Guess he learned (1, Flamebait)

sauge (930823) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453091)

I guess he learned the difference between what they say the United States of America is about and what it really is about. Fortunately, more and more people are beginning to understand the reality of things instead of the flag waving we see in John Wayne movies.

What a moron (-1, Flamebait)

HappyUserPerson (954699) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453109)

Dear Douche,

You go to the store and refuse to show your receipt on the way out. Why does Circuit City check the receipt on the way out? Because people steal things! Why protest something that prevents people from just taking what you just spent your hard earned money on? What are you protesting exactly?

A police officer asks for your drivers license for the safety of everyone around you. Sure you look like a nice guy, but you could have an arrest warrant, be a felon escapee, or who knows. What's the problem with protecting the people around you by showing your drivers license? Let the real criminals refuse to show their license. Leave your petty little selfish conspiratorial crap at home.

I hope you do not get away with this asinine behavior.

Why was the guy being so difficult? (1)

profzoom (177901) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453121)

The store asks for a receipt. If he in fact paid for his items, why not show them the receipt? They're entitled to make sure no one is shoplifting.

The cop asks for a driver's license. If he in fact has it on him, why not show it to him other than to continue his streak of being a dick?

I have a hard time sympathizing (3, Insightful)

DeBattell (460265) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453143)


I must say I have a hard time sympathizing here. This falls under the heading of something my old boss used to refer to as "you'd be right, but you'd be dead". The usual analogy was crossing at a crosswalk in front of an oncoming truck; you're be right but you'd be dead. Is it really an essential liberty to not have to show your receipt as you exit a store? I think not. Is it a currently granted liberty according to the law? It would appear so. Am I going to loose sleep over trying to retain this liberty? Nope, sorry. Bigger fish to fry.

the moral of the story: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20453149)

If you're planning on defending your private rights as a citizen against megacorporations, don't make the police your enemy.

The trouble began when Joe Schmoe here decided to throw attitude at the cop and not show him his license. Everything else after that is a product of that one positively stupid mistake.

Looking for trouble? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20453155)

He could not show the store the receipt. Had he not ever bought anything big in any major electronics store before? But, he could show it to the police. Because the cop would be force to arrest him otherwise. But he got brave again when the cop ask for ID.
Sounds like "This is America, I have the right to: enter any rant here". The store has rules he does not have to shop there. As far as rights they are not limited. In the end he was arrested for wasting the cops time. He will have to waste his time going to court, and possibly paying a lawyer to have his record "cleaned". Then maybe he can find another lawyer to sue the store and police.
I hope it will be worth it in the end.

The city is dying (0, Offtopic)

prakslash (681585) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453167)

Things just keep getting worse for CC.

First there was the fiasco of laying off experienced sales staff.
Then they closed 62 stores in Canada and a bunch in the US.
Their stock has dropped 50% from a high of about $20 in Jan/Feb to about $10 now.
Then, there was the NYTimes article recently how retailers like CC are overstocked on Flat-Panel HDTVs that they can't get rid off - a problem that will only get worse as prices drop even more for Christmas-time sales.

Now, there's news like this about customers geting into trouble ouside their store.

Looks like the devil has 'em tagged and their days are numbered.

Administration of the law (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453197)

There is 3 important notions in laws. The spirit, the letter, and the application. All police forces and other legal administration employees work in the third category. The way things work out, we sometimes see abuse in the application and sometimes, on the contrary, law enforcement agencies do not care to enforce a given law.

I assume both the police and the store reps though they were doing the right thing. That's why there is movements defending citizen rights and things like YRO. If it wasn't for them, the people responsible to apply and administer the law could basically do whatever they seem suited for them.

One thing people that apply the law do not like, it's a normal citizen remembering them that what they do is illegal. It's the old mentality where if you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear, so you should be willing to allow any people responsible to apply the law to search you, ask for your receipt, your ID, etc..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_and_spirit_of_ the_law [wikipedia.org]

Arrested for being a dickhead (0)

joe_n_bloe (244407) | more than 6 years ago | (#20453229)

Just show them what's in the bag. Some battles are not worth fighting. I'm sure the various family members he has inconvenienced and embarrassed would agree. If this big box store's policies offend him, he can avoid shopping there. That was his first mistake.

The big mistake he made was giving the cop a hard time. When you call the police, you should be prepared to cooperate with them. Did he really think a police officer was going to take instructions from him? If you want a cop to help you, make it easy for him to be helpful.
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