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Man Wins Partial Victory In Circuit City Arrest

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the this-is-why-online-shopping-exists dept.

The Courts 788

JeremyDuffy writes "Michael Righi, the man who was arrested at Circuit City for failing to show his reciept/driver's license, has fought a moral battle against the city for almost a month now. The case has already been settled and he emerged victorious... sort of. It turns out that he's already spent almost $7500 and would have kept fighting them too, but because his family would have been dragged into it, he was forced to take a deal. They've expunged his record and dropped all charges, but he had to give up his right to sue the city to do it."

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788 comments

wrong? (4, Insightful)

Nishal (636649) | more than 6 years ago | (#20696913)

Guess it is cheaper this way, than for the city to actually admit it screwed up..

Re:wrong? (3, Insightful)

djasbestos (1035410) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697101)

Well, if a city can get away with not admitting it screwed up with colorful Mooninites giving obscene gestures NOT being bombs (who'da thunk?), then another city can certainly get away with I-pulled-this-charge-out-of-my-ass-so-I-don't-look-incompetent with one cop and one "offender".

Re:wrong? (3, Insightful)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697503)

Why provide a money pit for Lawyers to wallow in? The true victory is this: the name of the store is "Circuit City" make a note of that "Circuit City". Got that? Now you out there, oh slash dot geek buing public: know the name of this -soon-to-hurt-badly retailer and...... DO NOT BUY THEIR PRODUCTS! go to PC Club or Best Buy or whatever but shop ELSEWHERE. -THAT is the true way to get back at this sort of situation.

One question... (1, Insightful)

faloi (738831) | more than 6 years ago | (#20696921)

Where's the ACLU when you need 'em? I would think a case like this would be right up their alley. I know it's not as "hot" as some of the stuff they've been trying to keep to lately, but c'mon.

Re:One question... (-1, Flamebait)

Duffy13 (1135411) | more than 6 years ago | (#20696957)

They're down in Jena trying to relate two separate incidents so they can let criminals go free.

Re:One question... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20697005)

American Criminals Liberty Union. It's no longer about minority rights, or civil rights at all, it's about money and power for the ACLU.

It's o.k. tho... (1)

rhombic (140326) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697225)

American Criminals Liberty Union

Since the current administration has produced laws that make every one of us a criminal, it pretty much reduces back to being about our civil rights ';)

Re:It's o.k. tho... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20697319)

American confessed violent felons didn't quite fit, but they've got more civil liberties then those who want to pack a 9 to stay free. Fuck the ACLU.

As long as the positive side effects still occur.. (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697391)

...you know, wining cases against un-constitutional douchebags. They can get a little rich, after all, America is Capitalism.

Haliburton profits from destroying WMDs..I mean from stopping Saddam's nuke plans..I mean from luring Al-Quieda to Iraq, I mean they profit from bringing Iraq Democracy and Peace.

Why can't the ACLU profit from securing our rights as citizens by wining precedent-setting court cases?

Re:One question... (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697499)

They're defending Sen. Craig, not exactly a card-carrying member.

Knowing that people like you who aren't just pathetic trolls and actually think this way make me feel good about the hundred bucks I send the ACLU every year. Because all you most likely do is bitch about the people who are at least trying to do something to keep us from being disappeared on the president's whim.

Re:One question... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20697097)

so they can let criminals go free.

The city already let the first set of criminals go free, all they're doing is asking for equal treatment.

Re:One question... (2, Insightful)

Duffy13 (1135411) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697205)

Separate incidents (by almost 5 months), one of which did not end with a 6 on 1 beating until the victim was unconscious.

Re:One question... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20697273)

Hanging a noose in a tree, while despicable, is not a crime. However, assault is a crime. Unequal incidents, unequal treatment. It's really that simple. This is just another case of the Justice Brothers Jackson and Sharpton trolling America for opportunities to be in front of a camera. Why doesn't Sharpton apologize for the Tawana Brawley incident, or to the Duke lacrosse team?

Attempted Murder for a beating? Not cool. (2, Insightful)

FatSean (18753) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697455)

No, please stop apologizing for bigots. Would you feel the same way if the white kids had hung up swastikas and some jewish kids had beaten up the ring-leader? Would those jewish kids deserve 'attempted murder' when the bigot walked out of the hospitol hours later with less damage than most people involved in a car crash?

equal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20697475)

What is equal treatment for someone who has 2 prior battery convictions?
Should he be "let free"?

Re:One question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20697621)

I thought they were busy saying it's ok to solicit sex in a public restroom.

Re:One question... (0)

eli pabst (948845) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697169)

Where's the ACLU when you need 'em? I would think a case like this would be right up their alley. I know it's not as "hot" as some of the stuff they've been trying to keep to lately, but c'mon.
Busy writing amicus curiae briefs for hypocrite ex-Sen Larry Craig so that "the man" doesn't infringe on his right to peak into stalls in the airport mens room. Apparently that gets sexier headlines than looking out for the rights of the average joe.

Re:One question... (2, Funny)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697313)

hypocrite ex-Sen Larry Craig

What's "hypocrite" about Larry Craig? Did he ask the undercover officer to (same-sex) marry him?

Re:One question... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20697349)

It's somewhat humorous, and rather sad, that whenever your sort wants to attack the ACLU without exposing your own authoritarian leanings... all you can do is criticize them for not doing enough.

Looking through your other posts, you're obviously no friend of civil liberties. A cursory glance shows you arguing in favor trial-free detention of non-Americans. Why your thinly veiled propaganda gets modded up is a mystery to me.

"I know it's not as "hot" as some of the stuff they've been trying to keep to lately, but c'mon."

What a piss-poor attempt at slander. You try to pass off things like the right to a trial, or the right not to be tortured, as "hot" issues -- as if they're not serious. What else can be said?

Perhaps, but he does have a good point. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697441)

This is one that should have been taken to the ACLU. I wish that he would have continued with suing the city or at the least made the city pay his costs. I have been the object of police before and am now aware that police AND gov can target an individual/group and make life absolutely miserable. RIght now, it is the white house that hates the ACLU. But it should all gov. that re-thinks what they do to their citizens. After all, gov should fear us, not the other way around.

Re:Perhaps, but he does have a good point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20697587)

While I agree a better outcome would involve the police being forced to apologize (and experience penalties to deter them from repeating the incident), faloi is merely using this as a smokescreen for the main message of his post.

He states things as if the people fighting for our civil liberties are at fault -- when the man involved has stated straight out that the reason for not pursuing it legally is to avoid drawing his family into it. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the ACLU "not being there for him."

Working hard (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20697427)

How much have YOU donated to the ACLU?

They are simultaneously fighting many cases on many fronts. They only have so many people on staff, with so many hours in the day. If they are to fight more cases, they need to hire more people, which costs money.

So, they can only do as much good as they are paid to do, and they have to pick the biggest issues (like challenges to the PATRIOT act itself, over specific infringements for specific individuals).

If you want them to do more, pay them more.

Why Would ACLU Take This? (2, Informative)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697445)

Where's the ACLU when you need 'em? I would think a case like this would be right up their alley.
Why should they agree take up his case?

Read the blog post. The guy claims to have the resources to pay for his own defense, and more importantly, the case would establish no new legal precedent (there are already two Ohio precedents that cover this situation).

The ACLU has zero reason to waste their limited resources on this case.

Re:Why Would ACLU Take This? (0, Troll)

nate nice (672391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697629)

Especially since it involves a guy who was basically being a prick.

I'd rather the ACLU spend its time assisting the poor and disenfranchised in this country who are exploited form all angles. Bot some selfish, rich kid, prick who wanted to waste a lot of peoples time and money to pursue something as unimportant as this matter was.

Can you imagine... (5, Funny)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 6 years ago | (#20696969)

...can you imagine fifty people a day,I said fifty people a day walking in to Circuit City, buying something, and refusing to show ID? My friends, they may think it's a movement [arlo.net] .

Re:Can you imagine... (4, Funny)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697065)

Fifty people a day walking into Circuit City and buying something and the shareholders would wet their pants with glee.

Re:Can you imagine... (2, Informative)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697167)

nice Alice ref ;)

I never - never ever - show my receipt to the door nazis (they really are called that!) at frys, CC, BB, etc. I keep on walking and never have I been stopped. I look the other way, I ignore them - they ask 'for my papers' and I keep walking. never an issue.

you HAVE the right to just leave and ignore the pimply teenagers at the door. they're a joke and have no real authority.

just keep walking. it works. (and its almost fun, in a way).

Re:Can you imagine... Yes I can! (1)

Zymergy (803632) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697285)

My roommate in college signed everything from his check card for over a year: "Check My ID", or "Bill Gates", or "Bill Clinton" and/or "Jack Meoff" or something funny along those lines. Only got caught at it a few times. LOL

Re:Can you imagine... (1)

zenyu (248067) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697525)

can you imagine fifty people a day,I said fifty people a day walking in to Circuit City, buying something, and refusing to show ID?

Um, I never show ID at Circuit City nor do they ask for it and CC doesn't have receipt checkers in NYC either. If a few people in stand up for thier rights in a particular store, CC and others will back down immediately in that store. The millions of dollars in revenue are worth more to them than that sweet feeling of undeserved power your employees get from being pricks to your customers.

Well they did silence you... (5, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#20696979)

In the days that followed a few things changed. First, I learned that the prosecutor was more interested in protecting the city against a civil law suit than she was in silencing my speech.

And by doing so she effectively did silence you and the Brooklyn, OH police department and city will not have a blemish on their record because one of their officers acted like an uninformed dick.

It's an unfortunate situation where you still have to pay out when you are completely in the right.

Re:Well they did silence you... (1, Interesting)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697421)

It's an unfortunate situation where you still have to pay out when you are completely in the right.

So true. I heard the other day where someone on welfare and her 6 year old kid accumilated something like $20k in lawyer costs from an RIAA suit. Some info here. http://www.afterdawn.com/news/archive/6873.cfm [afterdawn.com] here http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005294.php [eff.org]

I think she is like computer illeterate and whatnot, and the RIAA admitted that "oops, we meant to go after this person, or bad, sorry" and she has accumilated like 10s of thousands of debt to fight this.

Other countries have a better system where if the initiator of a lawsuit was completely wrong, then they have to pay or something like that. I think that is a better system. Because otherwise its advantagous for a lawyer just to blindly sue whenever they feel like it, and they get paid win or lose.

This guy is an idiot (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20697023)

Really, this guy needs to learn to pick his battles. $7500 because he didn't want to show ID to a cop. Well, I hope it was worth it. I'm sure his poor wife doesn't think so, but she's probably too afraid of getting punched in the face to say anything to him about it. Being a cop and dealing with the garbage of society every day is hard enough without people like this guy going out of his way to be a jerk.

Re:This guy is an idiot (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697089)

well, sometimes the cops ARE the, as you put it, 'garbage of society'.

sorry if that offends you, but cops and the whole LE racket stopped existing to 'protect and serve' decades ago ;(

they're now their own power-force and one that intends to keep growing in power. read up on the 'dont taser me, bro!' news story if you doubt the police state we now live in.

Re:This guy is an idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20697157)

And you'd throw away a barrel because it has a couple of bad apples.

Sorry, for the most part, the police do improve society. There are cases like you say, but they are not the rule, nor are they the majority. If they were, the US would be a lot worse place than it already is.

Re:This guy is an idiot (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697297)

Yeah, because all the police are in one big power conspiracy. Jack ass.

Here is a clue: When asked to leave, leave. When the police show up and ask you to leave, leave. Don't resist arrest.
Please, do not give me some example that is way off in left field. Yes, there is a time for social disobedience, this was not it, nor was this the way to do it.

There is a reason the best forms of social disobedience is public and involve people just sitting and needing to be physical dragged away, without fighting.

I don't know if campus police at this university are university employees or not.

Re:This guy is an idiot (2, Insightful)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697581)

> When the police show up and ask you to leave, leave. Don't resist arrest.

And if he does resist arrest, taser him over and over. Make sure you order him to stand up, at the same time you're leaning on him, especially since the function of tasers is to make your muscles not obey you.

It's not the jackbooted thugs that bother me so much as their cheerleaders.

Re:This guy is an idiot (1)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697373)

read up on the 'dont taser me, bro!' news story if you doubt the police state we now live in.

Oh please, that kid was a dick who was asking to get tasered by his behavior and actions. It only seems outrageous when you look at it on the surface. When you look into the background / detailed information, he had it coming. Hell, if I was there, I would have volunteered to taser the a-hole myself! That's not saying that the police handled the situation well (the entire incident was handled poorly IMHO,) but this is NOT a case of "police state" behavior. In fact, the there is a fair amount of evidence indicating that he PLANNED for that confrontation as a stunt.

The CC case is COMPLETELY different and has no similarities to the taser case AT ALL.

Re:This guy is an idiot (4, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697091)

He didn't show the cop his ID. That's not being a jerk. He agreed to a search when he had no obligation to do so. He gave his name. He just decided to draw the line at providing his driving licence when he wasn't driving. The cop was asking way too much.

Re:This guy is an idiot (4, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697129)

we now call freedom fighters 'idoits'?

the guy had balls to stand up for WHAT IS RIGHT and you criticize him for doing what is right over a few dollars (that won't matter in a couple of years)?

when we put money and personal comfort up against all other Rights of society, we are phucked, truly.

I'm proud of that guy. I would call him 'friend' if I knew him.

Re:This guy is an idiot (1, Informative)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697379)

He isn't a freedom fighter. In fact, he lost one of his own freedoms in the process. Now if the same incident happens again, he can't sue the city.

Circuit city still asks to see your receipt, and cops still ask for you identification, and still take you to jail when you aren't being cooperative. This guy has done nothing for our freedoms, except reminded us that we have the freedom to start flame wars over unimportant stories like this.

Re:This guy is an idiot (4, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697575)

He isn't a freedom fighter. In fact, he lost one of his own freedoms in the process. Now if the same incident happens again, he can't sue the city.


Checking the PDF version of the release [michaelrighi.com] that he uploaded, it specifically mentions that incident. It also includes some vague "anything before this" text. Likely to make sure all legal loopholes are closed. (For example, if Righi claimed that the officer had verbally threatened him with arrest the previous day.) It doesn't, however, say anything about subsequent incidents. Even if the same officer were to arrest him outside of the same Circuit City under similar circumstances in the future, this agreement wouldn't prevent him from suing the city.

Re:This guy is an idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20697211)

The guy is an idiot
dealing with the garbage of society...

You sound a bit bitter. And as far as picking his battles...not everything worthwhile can be measured in dollars.

Re:This guy is an idiot (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697395)

I noticed you posted as an AC. The guy in the article gave his name, which (along with address and DOB) is all he was required to give.

You didn't even give THAT much and you're calling him a jerk?

Screw you, coward (2, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697437)

The cops have no right to ask for our papers. We are citizens, not sheep. Insinuating that the man beats his wife because he refused an unlawful order from the police is beyond low.

Re:This guy is an idiot (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697603)

From the article ...

I've dealt with these scare tactics at other stores in the past including other Circuit Cities, Best Buys and Guitar Centers.

I bet he has got one of those faces that just cries "Search me".

Your Credit Score (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20697049)


U.S.A. Communist Party First Post !

Read Karl Marx instead of listening to war criminal George W. Bush.

As my old mate said... (5, Insightful)

gowen (141411) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697071)

"One more such victory and we will be undone."
This headline needs rewriting as "Man wins Pyrrhic Victory". $7500 worse off and he didn't even get an apology. Hell, if he'd actually been shoplifting he'd have got a smaller fine than that.

Re:As my old mate said... (1)

NFN_NLN (633283) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697135)

"This headline needs rewriting as "Man wins Pyrrhic Victory". $7500 worse off and he didn't even get an apology. Hell, if he'd actually been shoplifting he'd have got a smaller fine than that."

I hadn't even thought of that. What would the fine have been for shoplifting???

Citizen Review Boards (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20697107)

I think every city/county/state with a reasonable sized police force needs to have citizen review boards with the power to punish/fire officers. It's the ultimate solution.

It will solve many problems and make cops stop and think before doing something stupid - especially with all the news lately about abuses of power and authority.

Internal reviews are useless and don't change a thing. If some kind of "policing for police" isn't done soon, it's only going to get much worse.

Re:Citizen Review Boards (1)

ChefInnocent (667809) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697423)

Many cities have gone on to hire an Ombudsman. The role of the ombudsman is to be a liason between the people and the police. In some cities, these seats are "voted" upon. However, some cities, like the city of Boise, will have unscrupulous mayors (e.g. former mayor Brent Cole), who remove the elected official and replace them with puppets. Thus giving no more than a mere appearance of a review, rather than a serious review.

I'm not sure the people will ever actually get a proper group to review the police actions. Inappropriate shootings, taserings, arrests will continue for some time to come. Police are little more than a group of hoodlums organized against the people and ordained by the government.

I'm not normally a tin-foil hat type, but my experience has shown the police don't really care about protecting the people. They only care to feed their egos while bullying the average Joe.

Being anal (1, Troll)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697121)

Ok, I can understand wanting to fight for your rights, but come on. This whole thing could have been avoided had he just showed his receipt. He must have a lot of time on his hands if he can pick small fights like this just to make a statement.

To each their own I guess, but sounds like a waste of time to me and snobbish.

Re:Being anal (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20697243)

you always lose the battle you don't fight

apathetic people are allowing these battle to occur in the first place, if everyone fought, victory would be assured

Re:Being anal (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697619)

you always lose the battle you don't fight

apathetic people are allowing these battle to occur in the first place, if everyone fought, victory would be assured

"For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill."
-Sun Tsu

/P

Re:Being anal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20697335)

This whole thing could have been avoided had he just showed his receipt.

This whole thing can be avoided the next time if you just drop your shorts, grab your ankles and open your sweet bottom to long, slow thrusts from my syphilitic dick.

You pitiful sheep, you don't have the self respect of a pissant. You deserve whatever the jack-booted bastards throw your way.

People didn't die in past wars so snot-nosed, bed-wetters like you can turn over to corporate dickbites what we deny to the federal and state governments.

Re:Being anal (2, Insightful)

berashith (222128) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697389)

This was a resistance to a random person walking up to you and asking you to prove that what you are holding is yours. The property was his after the purchase, and the store has zero rights to challenge him. He offered to let them officially charge him and to call the police, or let him go. They did neither. At that point, the store has broken the law and is falsely imprisoning this man. The fact the the police then arrested him for calling them is a huge problem.

I really hope that there aren't many people like you who think that random searches by other citizens, and false imprisonment is OK. Standing up for your own rights under the law is far from a waste of time. If you do not protect your own freedom, you will not have any.

Re:Being anal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20697487)

The deepest sense of outrage over the smallest infringement by those in power is absolutely necessary to the preservation of liberty.

Ben Franklin said better over 200 years ago but these are my words.

Re:Being anal (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697493)

This whole thing could have been avoided had he just showed his receipt.

But WHY does he need to show his receipt? Answer that. There's no law requiring it, hence you are well within your rights to walk by. I do on MANY occassions and have even been followed out by one being rather curt that he 'had to check my receipt.'

Only one though, and I've walked by em a couple dozen times. Rather depressing actually, on a personal level.

Frankly though, they're not law enforcement, there's no law on the books, they have no right to detain me even to check my receipt.

Re:Being anal (1)

CrashPoint (564165) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697595)

Ok, I can understand wanting to fight for your rights, but come on. This whole thing could have been avoided had he just showed his receipt.
It also could have been avoided if the store manager had refrained from committing a crime.

He raised 5000$ with no evidence (0, Troll)

cpt.hugenstein (1025183) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697141)

Am I the only one who was suspicious of this. On his blog some guy said he was wrongfully arrested and that he was going to fight the city. He provided no links (at the time) to any news sites supporting his claim just. With no evidence he managed to get 52xx$ from the intertube community. This could have been a scam. He did in the end provide a link to the local newspaper saying that he has settled with the city. That article is the only evidence I saw that anything took place.

Re:He raised 5000$ with no evidence (1)

filterban (916724) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697569)

Well, he ended up donating all of the money to the ACLU of Ohio.

I applaud this man, and the newspaper article certainly backs him up (although it paints him in a poor light).

hey folks (-1, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697143)

people shop lift

so you may be asked for your receipt

tangential scenarios:
1. the store rent-a-cop is a dick on a power trip
2. you're a vicitm of ageist/ racist/ religious/ cultural profiling
3. OMG! the usa is becoming a fascist state, because of what a rent-a-cop does, blah blah blah...

all of which may or may not be true, but could happen

and yet still, you may be asked for your receipt, even if all of those mitigating enraging situations were some how miraculously made to never happen

so what should you do when confronted with such an egregious outrageous assault upon your person as a rent-a-cop asking for a receipt?

gee, i dunno, maybe just show your damn receipt? and get on with your day?

i know, i know, far better to start up battle hymn of the republic and declare high holy morally outraged ideological war on such a horrible assault on your character

(rolls eyes)

Re:hey folks (4, Insightful)

taustin (171655) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697339)

You may be asked for your receipt. You cannot be forced to show it. That's the law. The store employees should be in jail for assault and unlawful imprisonment. What the cop did was not only not allowed by law, but specifcially prohibited by state law. He belongs in prison. But instead, people like you have made it absolutely clear that he will not be punished in any way for abusing his authority.

You, personally, are what's wrong with the world today.

so how do you stop a shoplifter? (0, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697609)

i know, the common sense in that question is too much for you

but don't mind me, i'm just the advance guard for the coming fascist thinking right?

i mean, it couldn't be that i'm just thinking about common sense. obviously, i'm the personal advance guard of emperor palpatine and agent smith with my words, right? i'm a goosestepping shocktrooper right?

(smacks forehead)

no, i am most definitely not what is wrong with the world today

what is wrong with the world today is self-involved hysterical twits who's delicatef lower nature is deeply affronted and go apeshit, because... drum roll please... are you ready for the massive assault on rights and personal liberties?: SOME RENT-A-COP JUST ASKS YOU FOR A RECEIPT

omg! it's like the gulag!

maybe, gee, i dunno, i'm going to go way out on a limb here: HE COULD HAVE JUST SHOWED THE RECIPT AND HAD A NICE DAY

i know, that's some really wacky fascist thinking on my part, right?

pffffffffft

I don't think you understand. (1)

bruins01 (992422) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697393)

Why should this man relinquish ANY rights that he has to Circuit freaking City? What's more annoying, Circuit City systematically demanding all of its paying customers show their receipts as conditions for receiving permission to leave, or one man complaining about it?

I'm 100% sure Circuit City and Best Buy and all the other stores that have this policy are capable of thinking of a solution to shoplifting that doesn't require its customers to give up basic rights.

And that basic right is, of course, the right to leave THEIR store, that they just gave money to, without having to show some 22-year-old a list of everything you bought!

People in this country need to be more adamant about keeping our rights. It's not like the government has historically given back rights it has taken from its citizens.

Re:hey folks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20697543)

Half the time the receipt checkers are standing where they can see you pay for the items, walk directly from the counter to the door. They can see that everything in that bag was put there by the cashier. If you're carrying anything stolen it's hidden where the cashier couldn't see it, and the receipt checker won't see it either.

Re:hey folks (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697599)

maybe just show your damn receipt? and get on with your day?

Why should I let myself be treated like a criminal? They have no suspicion of illegal activity. They're illegally detaining me. If I want to walk out, I am.

If you submit to receipt checking, what's next? Metal detectors? The wand? "Secondary inspection?" It only takes a small earthquake to make a major avalanche.

nice (1, Informative)

svendsen (1029716) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697149)

Don't sure us for screwing your rights over and we promise we won;t take you to court on those same made up charges. WTF?!?!?!?

He caved and basically has done nothing to prove the system wrong. he was so gung ho about not showing his licensee because it was a law and his right YET he has no spine to follow through cause his family might suffer?

News break: Your family is already suffering from it. Do you believe in what you did? Then sue the city. Oh it was all show, just wanted your 15 mins, and when push comes to shove you are a coward now? Go away.

THe money you would get would A) show the city it can;t mess around B) help your family (invest, emergancy funds, etc) and C) feed the poor lawyers.

Re:nice (1)

irving47 (73147) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697261)

Are you kidding? His family probably started suffering the moment he was born.
Rights are nice to have. It's even nicer to exercise them. When it really counts.
Has anyone ever heard the phrase, "Cut off your nose to spite your face?"

so what was the victory? (4, Interesting)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697151)

Since he didn't actually force the city to admit any wrongdoing... all they did was drop the case. Seems to me like he wasted a lot of time and money for nothing.

The PhoneDot effect (5, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697175)

Many years ago, when the web was still quiet and tiny, we had a little group of friends who promised to follow through with customer service and govenrment issues for one another. Since we all had various newsletters, writing gigs, and other media-style connections, we had the ability to contact people giving bad service via the phone and inquire to the service issues from a media perspective.

Of course it was more a joke than a reality, but as time grew, we found that hundreds of people calling businesses and police departments inquiring about "Any new information?" was a great way to get things fixed. I can recall one incident with Circuit City (of all places!) where the managers on duty received nearly 200 phone calls a day from "media inquiries" relating to a direct lie from a sales person to one of our group. It only took 2 weeks of "Any new information" for the company to back down and repair the situation, at which point there was no more news to cover.

Now I know harassment is a "crime," but why isn't there a site like phonedot.org? Instead of the slashdot effect, you can have the phonedot effect. Give it digg like capabilities so bloggers and other media contributors can vote up or down various customer service issues, and then let these thousands or hundreds of thousands of bloggers make their calls to see if there is "Any new information?" until the issue is settled.

When my previous city refused to get rid of the city sticker for vehicles, I typed up a newsletter and printed 30,000 of them to distribute. The newsletter had every phone number of every city official (home, work, cell). It only took 2 months of massive phone inquiries for the city council to end the city sticker harassment, and I think it was a net gain for those who called to inquire. Fight idiotic harassment with idiotic harassment.

Re:The PhoneDot effect (1)

jtroutman (121577) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697509)

How's The Service [howstheservice.com] looks close, but anything like that requires that people use it. Slashdot wields power, not because of what it intrinsically is (a tech news aggregation site), but because of the people who come here.

The real lesson here (2, Insightful)

Exp315 (851386) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697227)

Thank you Michael Righi for attempting to stick up for everyone's rights. But unfortunately the real lesson that everyone who reads this story will learn is that you don't really have any rights, you should just shut up and comply with authority if you don't want to be punished. Be honest now, if you find yourself in a similar situation and you think back on this story, what will you really do?

How is it a partial victory? (3, Insightful)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697229)

The guy spent $7500 on the case and forfeited the right to pursue further legal action against the city for being wrongfully arrested, but hey at least his criminal record is clean now? His record should have been clean the whole time, so there's no victory there either...

He should have held out for legal fees. (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697237)

It sounds like the city pressured his family members to get him to sign. Where were they in this story before they called him to sign? Why didn't he hold out for not sueing but having the city pay for his legal fees? Paying the small legal fees now, would have been much cheaper for the city vs. going to trial.

Re:He should have held out for legal fees. (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697565)

His answer is a cop out. He did not, in any situation, need his family to testify on his behalf. That's ridiculous.

The cop, and the store manager, and the security person, all need to take an oath to tell the truth. If, and only if, they tell lies on the stand, THEN he might need his family to counter their testimony. The threat of having the available is all he needs to keep the others truthful.

He won nothing. He gained nothing. The precedent he said was already set was NOT set because it is obvious that no one learned from the previous precedents. Even if a precedent is set that would win you a case in court, we need precedents set that remind the thugs of their limited powers.

It seems to me that this case would be a quick one in court. If he believes there are judicial precedents, brings those up and let the judge consider them to end the trial quickly.

Here's the downside: By dropping the case, the People lose because their rights are hampered by extended government powers. By winning the case, the People lose because they will be taxed to pay for the thug who violated Righi's rights.

What we need are direct penalties for all individuals if they violate the rights of another. Police should not be able to hide behind corporate liability limitations (neither should Circuit City employees, or any employees or manager). We also need to make sure that public officials (anyone on the public dole) should have to face 3X the penalties for a crime as if committed by a non-public individual.

What a jackass (-1, Troll)

Kohath (38547) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697239)

Jackass: Stop being a whiny little child and just don't go to Circuit City if you don't like their policies.

Circuit City: Just kick the jackass out of your store and tell him not to come back. Don't arrest him. He just wants attention, like a 4-year-old throwing a fit.

Slashdot editors: Is there any story about a whiny loser you won't highlight? Boo-fricken-hoo, they asked to see his receipt on leaving the store. He wants sympathy for that?

This guy needs his mom to come and spank him to teach him not to throw a tantrum in a store. Grow up for God's sake.

Re:What a jackass (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697459)

If there is a jackass, it's Konath who apparently is a tool as he advocates caving-in to the "surrender your civil rights for cheap merchandise" crowd. Civil rights were hard-won by our ancestors and are far more important than big-box stores anti-shrinkage policies.

Re:What a jackass (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697591)

Who is this "Konath" person?

Our ancestors wanted to live in a society. Anti-social losers like this whiner were treated at least as bad by our ancestors as this guy was treated. There were certain minimum standards of behavior in adult civilization back then.

he has a bigger problem now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20697245)

Not that he would willing do so, but if he ever needs to call a cop in that town again, they are going to let him die rather than help him. Scandals like that come out in the news every so often, so you have to believe the attitude is fairly common.

I am not sure why Slashdot supports this guy (0)

brkello (642429) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697259)

I doubt he is out that much money. He had a pay pal site up and I know he had at least some donations.

The thing that drives me nuts about this is that it all could have been avoided if he just showed his receipt. What is wrong with this guy? These stores are victims of constant theft. In order to prevent this, they add a little bit of security. Think if you owned a store and had people stealing things out of it...wouldn't you want this? And then this prick comes along and tries to rush out without showing that he purchased the item. What are you going to think? I know I would think he was trying to steal something.

The guy is a jerk and completely unreasonable. He wasted the time and money of his own and of others just to satisfy his own ego. But Slashdot has some sort of anti-authority sentiment and don't like being told what to do even if it is reasonable.

Victory? (5, Insightful)

pcgamez (40751) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697271)

I fail to see where the victory is in this. The only thing he gained was that the charges were dropped. Considering that the charges were baseless to begin with, that is not much. On the other hand, the city won by making him pay $10k to fight a baseless charge and by getting away with no punishment for the city or the officer involved. Seems to be a weak victory to me...

4 wrongs (1)

fumanchu32 (671324) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697289)

Sounds to me like four wrongs don't make a right. The story here is there are four a$$holes that have nothing better to do than be pricks. If you don't want to show your receipt when you leave a store, don't shop there. If someone doesn't show their receipt, don't illegally detain them. If you are a police officer, know the law you are supposed to uphold. These four idiots deserve each other.

Re:4 wrongs (1)

jtroutman (121577) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697573)

I'm having difficulty here, you mentioned four pricks:
1. The customer
2. The store
3. The officer
4. ?????
Who's the fourth? It's not me, is it? Aw, dammit...

Good- Attention Whore gets his Just Deserts (0, Flamebait)

gadlaw (562280) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697295)

This guy is like the Florida taser idiot - attention whores who create a big problem for attention. There are plenty of options available to you if you don't like the way a store choses to enforce it's security policies. I won't walk into a Guitar Center because of their ignorant and over the top 'security check' at the door. Go to Sam's they check your receipt, go to Best Buy and they check your receipt. Those last two places have been polite about it. I get it - people steal stuff and some of that theft if actually through the cash registers so to stay in business some businesses decide to have receipt checkers. When they are obnoxious like at Guitar Center I complain to the manager and never shop there again. I don't go cause a scene at the door while I'm with family members, involve the police and act like a complete ass as this guy did. Like the 'Don't taser me Bro' guy, this guy knew he was causing trouble and decided to push it until he was arrested. Good, and I'm glad it cost him some money, perhaps this clown will find better ways to 'fight the man' if he wants.

Giving up rights (1)

Monoman (8745) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697321)

I haven't fully thought this out but I wonder how different these things would go if it were illegal to ever give up your rights.

Probably Still Has Cause Against Circuit City (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697357)

He probably could still sue Circuit City. They detained him with no reason to believe that he was shoplifting.

It would depend on the shoplifting laws in Ohio, of course, but he should at least ask his attorney about it.

Tow things are clear to me (1)

taustin (171655) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697371)

First, his family is more important to him than his principles. No problem with that. It's even admirable, in a way.

Second, his family's convenience is more important to them than he is. That's not admirable at all.

Now, sue (1)

mbstone (457308) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697453)

Of course he can still sue Circuit City.

He should also sue the city under 42 USC 1983 for violating his civil rights. The agreement he was forced to sign, putporting to waive his right to sue the city in exchange for not being criminally prosecuted, is unconscionable and is tantamount to extortion.

He loses (2, Insightful)

nate nice (672391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697471)

They dropped the charges, after $7000.00 in fees, headaches for his parents and a waste of civil resources in a DA, judge and officer.

And what did he end up doing? He admitted the officer did nothing wrong (by virtue of signing his agreement, he admits this) and a lawyer made some money off of him. Now he's parading around like he's a champion. He's not. He's a loser.

The cop and all his buddies are probably laughing about this one and they all clearly know his name, car, etc. He will catch no breaks with law enforcement anywhere around that place. The courts know he's a trouble maker and he won't catch any breaks with them. There's quite a few agencies waiting to nail him.

His family was put through all types of stress and duress and were desperate enough to call him late at night and tell him to stop being a jerk. His family is likely embarrassed their son and brother is a borderline lunatic obsessed with unimportant civil law.

I sympathize with the kid who was tazered. The police used unneeded force to punish someone when it isn't the cops jobs to punish people. This guy though got what he deserved: A $7000.00 bill, lots of wasted time, stressed out and humiliated family and a fat target on his ass for cops and courts to nail one day.

I Salute Him (5, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697477)

Ya know, I had in my head that this guy was some sort of a punk just looking for attention or money. Having read his blog about the case, I must admit that I am thoroughly impressed with this man and his principaled stand. I was blown away by the calm but strong tone of his wrap up, and his desire to put his family first, in the end. For this right winger, this man is everything that there is to be admired about the left wing, and the United States is better off for his citizen ship.

And reality sets in.. (4, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697519)

It's great to yell and scream about your rights.

It's great to be able to have the ready cash to spend to help defend your rights when they're infringed upon.

Unfortunately, there are other pain-points that can be hit by authorities to make you comply with their wishes.

Lengthy court battles are the root of it. Sure, YOU may not mind taking all that time off work, and spending all that money.

But what about the people you have to drag into it (witnesses, family, etc)?

Moreover, they rely on apathy.

At the time, the anger and outrage are hot enough to barbecue whole cattle.

But, as time goes on, that anger cools. And it becomes harder and harder to keep oneself motivated.

The authorities know this. And time is on their side, ESPECIALLY since they've got the deep pockets to back it up.

Proud (1)

Silentknyght (1042778) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697527)

This gentleman makes me proud. If it didn't cost everyone $7,500 to stand up to injustice, I guarantee there would be less injustice. I can't afford that, and I wager most others cannot either, so we tolerate the injustice because fighting it means we can't also "live."

Dragging his family along (2, Insightful)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697567)

See, this is why the bad guys will always win. Because the good guys care and have something to lose. The bad guys don't. This is how rogues operate. So, the guy "won" a tiny victory. Society lost to malignant authority.

I respectfully disagree (0, Troll)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#20697583)

Although exposing the police stupidity and incompetence is a good thing, and I do respect Michael for his stance regarding the police/city on this matter, I disagree with his views on the loss-prevention's right to inspect customers' bags:

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.

No, while you are on their property, they are entitled to inspect stuff. If you don't want them to, don't go into the store — their intent to inspect your bag is prominently posted at the entrance.

Now, you can refuse whatever search you find unreasonable, of course (theirs was not unreasonable, IMO). In that case they can try to prevent you from leaving their property (store, parking lot) — see Citizen Arrest [wikipedia.org] , and take all responsibility for the wrongful arrest.

Or they can call police, who — armed with the probable cause presented by the store — will inspect your bag for them... Upon inspection they can either let you go, or try to inconvenience you for inconveniencing them. There are many laws in their stinky books to do that. The one used by these cops — "interfering with official business" is one example. "Disturbing peace" is another, and it can be topped with "resisting arrest" at the first word of your indignant objection.

Another prominent moral of the story, is don't go on a moral crusade while your family is nearby... To them your high horse is just a stinky farm animal, unfortunately. Siblings will cry, parents will bail you out of jail, but your wife will simply call you an idiot.

interesting (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20697613)

I understand his argument, but I wonder if the police are allowed to ask for identification if you call them. He called the police, I wonder if that makes the circumstances any different. I understand this is to keep people from being harassed, but if you call the police out it seems reasonable that they would need to be able to document their call and know for sure whom called them out.
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