Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Your Papers, please!

There's a story on Slashdot about a young man that was arrested as a result of his refusal to allow a Circuit City "Loss Prevention" person to inspect his bag on the way out of the store.

Due to the event happening in Brooklyn, Ohio, there are some aspects of the situation that put it in a rather 'unique' context (scroll down to the bit on Ohio's laws on personal identification).

There are those that might argue that Circuit City (and its parking lot) are private property, and thus subject to whatever rules or policies that CC wishes to implement. Others might say that he's a 'troublemaker' for refusing to comply with the request when doing so would be so easy and simple, and would have saved him all the trouble he now faces.

Personally, I think he should be applauded for what he did and the stand he's taking. From my own reading and experience, this type of 'intervention' by Circuit City, Best Buy, and even the "greeters" at Wal*Mart (that want to 'check your recipt' on the way out), is not intended so much to stop shoplifting as to impede someone from bringing an item to the register and having the cashier ring it up as something else (or for a lower price). In effect, these stores are using all of their customers as a tool against employee theft.

My position is that if Circuit City, Best Buy, Wal*Mart, or any other retailer wants to reduce or eliminate employee theft, then they need to take the matter up with the employees - NOT ME. Further, if one of these stores "thinks" that I maybe, might have shoplifted something, then they should be obliged to make the charge/accusation outright, rather than pretending they're not accusing me of anything by 'checking' me on the way out. That way, when their accusations are shown to be incorrect, they can be held accountable for their actions.

I'm also supportive of the kids position on refusing to cough up his drivers license - he wasn't operating a vehicle, he responded truthfully to the questions the police officer asked (whether the cop knew WHAT to ask for is should be HIS problem), and was the one that requested the police in the first place - because of the actions of two CC employees that followed him out of the store and physically prevented him (or his family) from leaving. Let's not lose sight of the fact that the kid was right about how he was obliged (under Ohio law) to identify himself - whether the cop(s) or anybody else likes it, or not.

It's my position that too many individuals have been turned into sheeple, ready to waive their freedom, rights, dignity, and liberty at the slightest provocation. Folks bitch and moan about cops and other officials abusing their power - but aren't willing to stand up and fight those abuses, and defend themselves. This young man IS ready to do so, and I think he deserves every bit of support we can give him.

1 comment:

aithne said...

Oh wow. I have shopped at that very store several times but now I have no desire to go back.