Papers Please: Arrested At Circuit City

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 @ 5:05PM EST Update:Thank 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. 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: 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.

September 4th, 2007 @ 2:53PM EST Update:Thank you to everybody who left a comment on this page. My web server has been taking a beating from all the traffic and I’m afraid I had to turn commenting off in order to keep the site alive. If you would like to read the comments that people left you can do so here.

If you would like to keep the discussion going I urge you to do so on one of the following message boards:

September 5th, 2007 @ 7:08PM EST Update:Additional updates to this story will appears as new entries at http://www.michaelrighi.com/.

540 Comments on "Papers Please: Arrested At Circuit City"

  1. Jesse says:

    I’ve always understood that your driver’s license is not actually “yours,” but is the property of the state in which it is issued. I think that you are required to surrender it if asked by a police officer or other authorized agent of the state. I could be wrong about that. The law you’re citing, though, is worded in such a way that it prevents an officer from arresting you for refusing to answer questions or provide information (an extension of your Fifth Amendment rights, as enunciated in the Miranda decision). However, I don’t think that refusing to hand over your driver’s license can be considered “answer(ing) any questions beyond (your) name, address or date of birth,” or, “not providing any information…etc.”

    Still, those Circuit City people were real assholes.

  2. Charles B says:

    I would certainly discuss with your lawyer the possibility of filing suit against Officer Arroyo, the police department, and the City (or State, I didn’t see if you mentioned which the officer was with) for unlawful arrest and anything else you might be able to press against them. Push for the maximum relief allowed by State law.

    My father was unlawfully arrested some years ago – on his own property – on the charge of criminal tresspass. Our lawyer bailed on us, leaving us without any opportunity to continue with the suit. I only hope that your lawyer isn’t so fickle – you deserve restitution for the crime that Arroyo committed against you. Officers of the law need to be held accountable to the very laws they are sworn to uphold. Don’t let him get away with this.

  3. GH says:

    I teach Social studies, and this is something I know I will use in the classroom. Glad to see someone who is aware of our natural rights.

  4. Rob says:

    Well, I guess since you want to make it harder and harder for stores to prevent shoplifting, the only alternative is for stores to raise prices to cover the cost of shoplifted goods.

    Thanks!

  5. Adam C says:

    Hey there…just wanted to say thanks for taking one for the team, and cheers to you for having balls when most of us (many times myself included) just relent and let stores treat us with this guilty until proven innocent mentality. Best of luck.

  6. mike says:

    You are wrong Jesse. How did the officer even know he had a license. Most people in the big Brooklyn, NYC, do not have a license. The charges will surely be dropped and record expunged. I am curious to see what happens against Circuit City. Nothing I imagine, but he will have a case in civil court since he ended up being arrested.

  7. Euan says:

    Recently I have been asked to open my bag by a police officer while boarding a train (in the UK). A few years ago I would have thought this illegal without providing grounds, but with all these anti terror laws now I have no idea. Perhaps I should have refused to submit, but I just don’t have the time for such hassles!

    Good luck with your hearing.

  8. J.H. says:

    Kudos to you. You’ve done what I’ve thought about doing every time I’ve stood in line to have my receipt glanced at and marked with a highlighter. It is no wonder that I do most of my shopping online. The question I have now is that now stores know they can get away with examining rightfully purchased property, (as though shoplifters haven’t already figured out not to hide their ill gotten goods in the shopping bag) is there any way to repeal this trend? It seems like, at least lately, alterations in civil rights go one way and one way only – they are diminishing.

  9. Required says:

    I’m not going to candy coat this. You are am idiot. You’re on PRIVATE PROPERTY in a store which sells lots of expensive stuff. They didn’t demand a strip search, they wanted to SEE YOUR RECEIPT AND LOOK IN YOUR BAG.

    But it gets BETTER! You’ve got to go an get uppity with a cop! YOU MORON! You called 911 (which is for EMERGENCIES ONLY you tool!) and then got snippy with the cop who has better things to do than listen to some whiny tool with a chip on his shoulder complain about how the security guard treated him!

    The thing is, it doesn’t MATTER IF YOU’RE RIGHT. You wasted taxpayer dollars with your little crusade here, idiot. Now you’re going to have a criminal record (because I guarantee you the judge won’t be sympathetic) and you’ll STILL have Circuit City employees asking for your receipt.

  10. Kevin Burton says:

    Awesome. Sue them for false arrest!

    Seriously. Not only is standing up for your rights fun and exciting (makes for a good story) but it’s also profitable!

    http://feedblog.org/2007/08/17/protest-the-war-and-make-80k-in-cash/

  11. mike says:

    and Rob, except for Costco (which you agree to when you become a member), I have never been in a store that checks receipts and that includes stores in NYC. So the idea that they have to raise prices is nonsense. Why this one Circuit City pulls this crap is beyond me. But then given how well they run their business into the ground, no surprise.

  12. jimworm says:

    It’s sad that things like this happen, but they’re bound to happen and it’s great to know that there’s at least one person out there who won’t just give up and let it slide.

    The system is broken, not just the individuals, and it’s up to the citizens to show them who’s the real boss.

  13. Kevin Burton says:

    Required:

    “I’m not going to candy coat this. You are am idiot. You’re on PRIVATE PROPERTY in a store which sells lots of expensive stuff. They didn’t demand a strip search, they wanted to SEE YOUR RECEIPT AND LOOK IN YOUR BAG.”

    I totally agree with you. If you want to live in a totalitarian police state feel free to move to China. This is what they’re good at.

    Until them please stop voting.

    Kevin

  14. AV says:

    Well I admire what you did initially but it’s going to be an expensive process both emotionally and financially to defend yourself like this. It’s far from over – if you feel screwed now, just wait until you are in front of a judge who doesn’t give a darn about “right and wrong” and fines you anyway and makes you pay court costs for “wasting his time”.

    You’ll probably get hundreds of hours of community service too, you’ll be fuming by that point but there’s little you can do. I went through a similar process several years ago.

    If you’ve never been hassled by cops and never had an experience like this before, it’s always an eye opening lesson to learn that basically law enforcement can find any reason at any given time to arrest you, regardless of the previous events that brought them to you. They will lie to your face and write down things that never happened or things that were never said. It’s your word against theirs and no judge will never, ever take your word over theirs.

    In my case they read me the miranda rights AFTER they talked to me for 15 minutes and took me from my home in the middle of the night in my pyjamas! They trumpped up charges as a felony, then the DA reduced them to a misdomeaner and then were dropped months later but wow they messed up my life! There is an arrest record that any employer can now find and turn you down for, regardless what the outcome was. To this day I will never, ever call a cop, even if it was life-and-death. And essentially, that must be what they want.

    Police probably have a unwritten policy to “teach you a lesson” about calling the police when it’s not life-and-death as they’d rather sit in a corner somewhere and talk to each other while making double-digits per hour – typically the only other friends cops have are other cops because they realize most people can’t stand their never-turn-it-off corrupt attitude. Law enforcement is an industry like any other and everyone slacks and wants to get paid while appearing to accomplish something.

    IANAL (thank goodness) but the person that prevented you from leaving is probably bonded (at least they better be) for liability. In theory you could sue circuit city and try to settle out of court because if it goes to court you’ll never be able to afford the costs and they will drag it out for years. (I suspect you’ll never get ACLU to defend you – they only take up huge causes – another lesson to learn.)

    Meanwhile, all you can try to do is get press attention and I guess being on Boing-Boing (and probably Digg at this point) is somewhat helpful to your cause. However it’s going to be hard to get momentum. I see stories like this every few months.

  15. Andrew says:

    Rob:

    Nice to hear you are willing to trade your rights for lower prices.

    Keep it up and pretty soon you’ll only have the right to do as you’re told.

  16. Required says:

    “I totally agree with you. If you want to live in a totalitarian police state feel free to move to China. This is what they’re good at.”

    Kevin, I’m not sure what you mean here… My point is that Circuit City has a reasonable right to be able to take non-invasive steps to make sure someone isn’t walking out of the store with products he didn’t pay for. How the hell does that equate to demanding a totalitarian police state?

  17. EH says:

    I’m on your side about the whole bag search thing, but you’d have been better off approaching it as an illegal search rather than a battle over your receipt. Basically, have them take it from you. Walk off the property and get your car later if you want to.

    Not giving your ID to a cop when they ask is dumb, though. It’s been ages since courts held that this is not an illegal search or anything. Just hand it over.

  18. William says:

    There are matters of principle that are worth fighting for. This one doesn’t seem like one of them. Having a security guard inspect bags and receipts on the way out of stores is hardly about creating an atmosphere of obedience — it is a quick, unobtrusive procedure that helps prevent theft and keep costs down. In large stores, if the security check system was not in place, anyone could walk out of the store with a bag filled with all the stolen goods they wanted.

    In Israel, security guards check your bags for explosives on your way into any establishment. Would you protest this procedure because you and your family and friends know you are a law abiding citizen? Is it okay to prevent explosions by inspecting bags, but not okay to prevent theft by checking receipts?

  19. Jeff says:

    So, to help prevent shoplifting, they actually wanted to see if your merchandise matched your receipt? Those unreasonable bastards!

    C’mon, you were inside their store where they have a lot of compact and expensive merchandise. When I bought an I-Pod there I wasn’t allowed to hold it (I could hold the display model) until it was paid for, but I understand why. Because they have trouble with people darting out of the store with unpaid merchandise. And what you did gave them the appearance of something dishonest. And then you wasted the police officers time as well. Grow up!

    Gees, can’t you find something a little more worthwhile to stand up for?

  20. [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiibel_v._Sixth_Judicial_District_Court_of_Nevada]Hiibel vs. Nevada[/url] may have some bearing on this.

  21. Saskatchewan Lad says:

    We have several stores in Saskatchewan which check purchases and receipts as you exit. Best Buy is the biggest offender, so I boycott the joint. Some youngster is essentially accusing an old geezer like me of stealing when he searches your bag. As a former, long-term retail manager I can state two things: most merchandise theft is perped by employees and the rest is the result of having too few, inattentive employees spread around the store. I’ve spent 45 minutes in a Best Buy without hearing from a single employee.

    I also dispute them checking bags, because they’re really checking the honesty of their staff … not you. Did young Bill give his friend three CDs for the price of one? Did Wanda slip an extra digital camera in her cousin’s purchases? If you were the one doing the stealing and didn’t have an in-store accomplice, would you put the ill-gotten loot in the most obvious place?

  22. Jacob Bartle says:

    Mike, while I applaud your desire to stand up for your rights as an individual, your BIG mistake was calling 911, which is an emergency number.

    Re-opening the car door was another mistake, which allowed the Circuit City manager to frame the social interaction in a way that would cause an unfortunate escalation of the matter on your part.

    Driving off very slowly would have been more entertaining and probably less confrontational.

    Firefighters and police officers that I know personally have limitless supplies of anecdotes regarding nonessential 911 calls.

    Still, I have to say that 2 minute response time is pretty good for Ohio.

    I ran across this interesting interpretation of Hiibel, the case that provided the federal standard for Stop & Identify laws:

    http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/crcl/vol40_1/calland.php

    Things are even worse than they should be, but it’s good to know you didn’t need to provide your driver’s license, isn’t it?

  23. Tim says:

    Could you please quote for us the law that states the store doesn’t have the rights to look in your bag? It would make this a bit more interesting, not to mention give ammo to others interested in doing the same thing.

  24. Kevin Burton says:

    Required Said:

    “Kevin, I’m not sure what you mean here… My point is that Circuit City has a reasonable right to be able to take non-invasive steps to make sure someone isn’t walking out of the store with products he didn’t pay for. How the hell does that equate to demanding a totalitarian police state?”

    If you’re a paying customer and haven’t committed a crime you do NOT have to prove your innocence.

  25. sambo says:

    The best part is tha most of the time when checking reciepts, they don’t bother going through the bags to match up item for item.

    Where I live, some supermarkets do this on the way out. I just hand the guy my receipt and keep walking unless I have something that needs it for warranty.

  26. John Sullivan says:

    Thanks for taking one for the team. I agree with you wholeheartedly, and am sorry you had to go through all that crap to uphold your rights. Hopefully your jury agrees with you.

  27. DP says:

    Ohio Revised Code 2935.041 Detention and arrest of shoplifters – detention of persons in library, museum, or archival institution:

    “(E) The officer, agent, or employee of the library, museum, or archival institution, the merchant or employee or agent of a merchant, or the owner, lessee, employee, or agent of the facility acting under division (A) , (B), or (D) of this section shall not search the person detained, search or seize any property belonging to the person detained without the person’s consent, or use undue restraint upon the person detained.”

    Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada also notes that during a Terry stop that only the name of a person in a stop-and-identify state is required for identification. Photo ID is not required.

    If I were you I would strongly look into a civil lawsuit for false arrest (both the company and the police department).

  28. paul says:

    I feel like a lot of people opposed to you are missing the your point; by the LAW, you were right. The problem is people of “authority” (frankly, an assistant manager at a Circuit City is on a crazy power trip if he actually considers himself authority) feel that they can make up laws to bully people. This has huge ramifications for the future rights of citizens. While it might not seem worth it to go to jail because you didn’t want to show your receipt it is about the larger idea of following laws and not letting people bully you against your rights. The laws are the laws, and the fact that cops can get around them (I was arrested for underage drinking and, even though I cooperated at all times, was NOT read my rights and was basically threatened to be beaten unconscious and was blamed for 9/11) is crap, and the people who are supposed to uphold the laws need to know them and to be held accountable for not following them. So, in the end, I am sorry our legal system failed another citizen WHO DID NOT BRAKE THE LAW. That is the issue people. Whether you think it is dumb to not play it easy and show your receipt or your license is irrelevant, cops are getting away with breaking the law. Good luck. Please keep posting about what happens.

  29. Ricardo says:

    Was this struggle worth the effort?
    I don’t “fight the power” just for the idea of it anymore. I guess showing my receipt to an employee and my ID to a cop just gets me home faster, utilitarian-wise.
    Okay, full disclosure = I used to assist in detaining suspected shoplifters and I saw there are triggers that alert the security team and if you did something that merited further surveillance and detention and then refuse to show a receipt (because you’re in the Rebel Alliance) the red meat of suspicion stimulates the security boys to put the bite on you.
    Well, you showed ‘em!

  30. Required says:

    “If you’re a paying customer and haven’t committed a crime you do NOT have to prove your innocence.”

    Was he accused of a crime? Did I miss that part? I don’t remember the part where the guy at the door said, “Okay, we know you were up to something. Up against the wall for a pat down.”

    HE ASKED TO SEE HIS RECEIPT. How you can equate that with totalitarianism is quite beyond me. Maybe I’m stupid. In fact, I know I am. But this is a real stumper here, a head-scratcher supreme. Please explain it to me, and be sure to use little words because I need all the help I can get here.

  31. DP says:

    Here is a quote from Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada:

    “As we understand it, the statute does not require a suspect to give the officer a driver’s license or any other document. Provided that the suspect either states his name or communicates it to the officer by other means—a choice, we assume, that the suspect may make—the statute is satisfied and no violation occurs.”

  32. Ben says:

    What a bunch of “good Germans” we have here, always willing to make excuses for whoever’s in authority!

    As DP cited above, according to the LAW, the electronics store guy is not allowed to demand to search your stuff or prevent you from leaving the store.

    So, it’s against the law, it’s insulting besides, but let them search your stuff anyway?

  33. Shane says:

    How rude of you. I’ve worked in customer service at retail stores for too long, and it’s people like you who at times keep the job interesting, but usually just make it worse. The job is hard enough getting paid crap money to have to keep vigilant watch for theft, it’s only worse when you’re hassled for it. The store has the right to ask you to show a receipt, and you have the right to not shop there again. I think the best thing to do, assuming you don’t want to just comply with the store’s rules, is to speak with a manager, return the products, and not shop there again. However I think you owe those associates an apology for your immature actions.

  34. mrgoodbar says:

    News flash: cops and Circuit City employess aren’t always the sharpest knives in the drawer… but this is just asinine. Taking a stand against the MAN at Circuit City? Maybe you’re trying to cast yourself as some freedom loving hero, bravely taking one for the rest of us out here in la-la land, but you really come across as just a run of the mill crank.

    Sure there have been (and will continue to be) plenty of court battles regarding when and how and why cops can and can’t ask for id, but this is just stupid.

    What’s next for you? Refusing to show your parking stub the next time you try to exit a garage? Denying the cashier a glance at your id when you buy beer? Oh the oppression! zOMG! 1984 iz real!!!!11

    If you want to make a scene which could potentially result in unfounded arrest I’m sure there are plenty of MEANINGFUL opportunities for you to take a stand in your community which don’t stem from your banal consumerism. Why don’t you pick an issue and go barricade yourself in the office of a elected official with whom you’re in opposition with?

    Please get a life and stop wasting the tax payer’s money on this idiotic crusade against clueless clerks and cops…

  35. Ken says:

    Do not listen to those who say “just go along” – I appreciate you fighting for your, and thus our, rights.

  36. Dogknot says:

    The asshole who asked for the receipt watched him walk from the checkout to the door. Sam’s club does this too. Where are you going to find something to steal in that 15-20′ walk? At least at Sam’s club the gentlepersons who ask for you receipt PRETEND to look at it. They hate their employers as much as we do. Google Ron Paul.

  37. Jordan Lund says:

    Must be a local thing… Circuit City in Portland, OR doesn’t check receipts. Neither does Best Buy. The only places I’ve encountered it up here are Fry’s Electronics and CompUSA.

    Typically they ask “May I see your receipt?” and I answer “No.” and keep walking. It’s not a demand, it’s a request and I’m entitled to deny any request.

    p.s. In Oregon there used to be a law “failing to cooperate with a police officer”, that has since been struck down as unconstitutional.

    p.p.s. There are only 7 states where you are required to present ID on demand. IIRC Ohio is not one of them.

  38. Erik says:

    Required,

    You just don’t get the law and you are, quite honestly, an idiot. The fact that it was “private property” changes nothing. Civil rights don’t disappear when you cross the threshold onto someone’s private property. If I invite you into my house can I then hold you there until you show me your ID or wallet or whatever condition I want? No.

    The fact is once he purchased the items a LEGAL transaction occurred. The items become his and the money becomes property of the store. They have no right to search his bag just as he has no right to search their cash register.

    Bad on the store for not knowing the law. Worse on the cop for not informing the store they were wrong and allowing the situation to escalate.

    It makes me sad how quickly people will shuffle into line and do what they’re told just because a man with a name tag tells them so.

    Good luck….

    The store wasted a customer’s time, wasted the police’s time, and wasted the taxpayers’ money by breaking the law.

  39. Sam says:

    Required said:

    “Kevin, I’m not sure what you mean here… My point is that Circuit City has a reasonable right to be able to take non-invasive steps to make sure someone isn’t walking out of the store with products he didn’t pay for. How the hell does that equate to demanding a totalitarian police state?:

    No, they don’t have a “reasonable right” to be able to take non-invasive steps when those non-invasive steps infringe your privacy.

    A store has two rights concerning you: They can deny you entrance, and they can ask you to leave. That’s about it. If you are STEALING, then they can try to detain you and call the police. If any store stops you from leaving based on a rule that allows them to look at and inspect your private property (remember, you bought it), that store is in the wrong.

    Of course, most cops are not immediately familiar with the fourth amendment, nor are most citizens – I guess we can blame the education system or the entertainment industry for that. People assume cops can do whatever they want – hell, even THEY assume they can do whatever they want – and as long as people let them they will continue.

    Do a little research – you will find that Michael acted completely appropriately and that the Circuit City manager and the Cop acted on assumptions, while Michael is the only one who knew what he was doing.

    I do agree that this will probably turn into a big mess, the first judge won’t give a shit about the 4th amendment either, and if you want it to go anywhere you’ll need to appeal.

    I hope you stick with it. We need to stand up for our rights even if it’s is hard.

    By the way, I never show my receipt unless I’m at Costco or if it’s a cute girl asking (I won’t give up my rights for much, but definitely a pretty face). Even at Costco I first try to walk out the door without stopping.

  40. sgudgen says:

    Good Job!

    I’m not impressed by the “you should just roll over and take it crowd.” Legally, you were right. The store screwed up. Unless they actually suspected you of shoplifting–and not just on general principles–they had no legal right to detain you.

    Be sure to try and go the extra mile and get your arrest expunged based on actual innocence. It will cost you and be a hassle, but the officer clearly broke the law.

  41. Jorge says:

    I totally agree with not giving in to these requests. You paid for the merchandise and that should be the end of it.

    My reason for not doing this at that point in time is simply this: you’re there with your family, you’re going to have a great afternoon, everything’s going to be just fine. Now that experience is tainted and an important part of your family has been inconvenienced by this experience.

    I don’t think that particular occasion was the right one to take a stand. If this happens a lot, you would have had ample opportunity to demonstrate good citizenship. As it stands now a good part of what would have been a great worry free weekend has now been shot. It would have been considerate of you to think of -all- of the family.

    You only live n days. You never relive the same day. The moment has passed.

    However, I do think you’re right and the action of the police officer shows that there is something dreadfully wrong in the United States when officials go off on power trips and invent laws for convenience-sake.

    Now that you’re going to face the courts: defend your rights fiercely!

  42. Robert says:

    For all those who disagreed with you, consider those opinions noted.

    I, however, am impressed with the idealism practiced in real life. The result of this will probably won’t end well for you, court costs at the very least. But I admire you holding on that the rule of law is supposed to benefit citizens first and foremost, and not just be a means of enforcing arbitrary and convenient behavior.

    I haven’t, and probably will never, have the nerve to disrupt my life to uphold the law in the way you did. Thank you for doing it and know there are quite a few that think it was simply the right thing to do.

  43. Erik says:

    Shane, clearly you weren’t very good at your job in customer service as you’re misinformed about the law. The store has the right to ask for the receipt. They don’t have the right to demand it.

    Stop treating customers like criminals… we all know the real reason for the receipt checks: to stop thieves who are working in collusion with cashiers, paying for one item but getting more for free. Maybe if they didn’t pay their employees “crap money” they wouldn’t have to distrust them.

  44. John Galt says:

    I am heartbroken by the comments you have received.
    Has no one read any history?
    Does no one know what is going on in the world?

  45. Mike says:

    Just a quick note of support… No good deed goes unpunished in the short term, but maybe if enough people stand up for their rights, one day the conventional wisdom in America will turn, and on that day people who are happy to live without freedom and privacy for themselves will respect other people’s right to live free.

  46. fir says:

    mrgoodbar, I know one should not feed the trolls, but why don’t the police stop wasting tax payer’s money on such idiotic activity? And circuit city too? It does appear to happen in such a way that the erosion of privacy and individual rights occurs slowly so you don’t catch on. Thankfully the law is still gives you a number of rights, but if you don’t use them, they will disappear.

    This is basically a form of civil disobedience, except that it is only not obeying ad hoc laws, rather than real ones, so it’s not actually illegal.

  47. scaryice says:

    In my book, you’re a hero. I wish everyone had the guts that you do.

  48. Ex-Security. says:

    Mr GoodBar(and others), Are you to say to me that someone LAWFULLY leaving a store, without ANYONE(much less a Security guard) actually witnessing a crime is subjected to a physical search of ones possessions is OK?

    What you dont seem to understand this is one of the US basic RIGHTS. Freedom from Undue Search and Seizure.

    He was ASKED to stop, and within his rights he refused and left the store.(HIS CHOICE)

    He was Chased and ASKED to STOP. He Did(his CHOICE), well within his rights to do so.

    He was blocked 3 TIMES from re-entering the Car. He gave FAIR warning(which he doesn’t have to do) and was detained(which I i believe is still called Kidnapping, NOT his CHOICE).

    Regardless of what happened afterwards. No one at the store followed the rules which have been in place.

    1: You must see the shoplifter approach your merchandise
    2: You must see the shoplifter select your merchandise
    3: You must see the shoplifter conceal, carry away or convert your merchandise
    4: You must maintain continuous observation the shoplifter
    5: You must see the shoplifter fail to pay for the merchandise
    6: You must approach the shoplifter outside of the store

    Not one of 6 rules had come to pass, so be default no one can stop him(or YOU) from leaving a store. This is what keeps people from just ACCUSING you of a crime.

    Now, go and get some education of your rights.

  49. Poit says:

    Great job! As others have noted, the company’s request to search your property is just that: a request. Thanks for pushing back when they push too hard.

  50. Mike D says:

    Welcome to your 15 minutes of fame. You get it without regard to your sister you were going to the store for in the first place or to the rest of you family you embarrassed with your tantrum.

  51. Tosh says:

    Thank you!

    I am a US citizen and lived the first 25 years of my life in the states. I went to do some overseas work and in the ten years that I have been living abroad I have had no desire to live in the USA.

    When I do go back to visit family the thing that shocks me most is how willing everyone is to roll over for ANYONE in a position of “authority” be it the 18 year old girl at the register or an over-eager cop.

    We get to a police state mostly through small steps, people!

    I know what you have put yourself through (and will have to further endure) is tough, but I for one really appreciate it. I will be watching for updates.

  52. Anon says:

    As others have stated… thanks for taking one for the team. I too get upset when treated like a criminal when leaving a store. I too do not have the guts to stand up like you did. I applaud your actions. Good luck to you in the times ahead. Please continue to keep us updated. Consider bringing as much media attention to this as possible. When/if Circuit City realizes the negative press with this and the Peace-officer(s) realize they’ve misinterpreted the law, I would hope the judge is pressured to side with you. I also applaud (from what it sounds like in your re-telling the story) your non-confrontational and calm demeanor.

  53. Alpha says:

    A thought exercise, if you will.

    You go to the tech retailer of your choice, and purchase some relatively small items at tremendous cost.

    After you have given the clerk your money (however you choose to do so) what do they do? The look at the receipt to ensure that the transaction is correct, and hand it to you. Maybe you check it, maybe you were watching it all get rung up, but at this point, you have the stuff you’ve paid for, you have the receipt. They are yours. The little plastic bag it all gets handed to you in is yours, too.

    I will not dispute the right of the loss prevention worker to ask to see my receipt, look in my bag, backpack, inspect my colon or whatever other requests they want to make. I will, however, reserve the right to suggest that they take a flying leap, because the stuff I just bought is mine, and unless they suspect me of a crime, they can bugger off.

    And the funny thing here is that that’s pretty much exactly what the law says.

    Keep it up, and don’t let the man get you down.

  54. Alex says:

    i hope you can make a mint off of the police department and the store. It’s the only way to stop this sort of behavior.

    I had a similar experience at a BJ’s wholesale club. I showed them my receipt because a NJ cop was standing next to the store person but refused to open my back pack. The cop got so angry that he started yelling at me and calling me names. i asked him if he would arrest me, he said no, i left and then he ran out after me shouting “Never come back!!!” It’s not easy to refuse unreasonable searches.

    NYC libraries do this searching too, twice, when you enter and leave the library, always fun to walk past them and have them yelling at you to come back. They never do more than yell.

  55. joshua says:

    There are very real reasons why someone might not want this invasion of privacy. For example, imagine you are shopping at an in store pharmacy (Costco, K-mart, etc). You have a certain level of trust when discussing your prescription with the pharmacist that doesn’t apply to the flunky at the door.

  56. Damien says:

    Thank you, as others have said, for taking one for the team. I am another customer who is sick and tired of being treated like criminal.

    I have decided that from now on, I’m going to bring my camcorder with me every time I shop at one of these stores. I will immediately start filming every encounter I have with these bag checkers, I will not allow them to search my bags, and I will not stop filming until the issue is resolved.

    I encourage other customers to do the same

  57. Sal Salio says:

    I’m so shocked by comments like ‘mr.goodbar’ and ‘Required’ that I’m starting to wonder if they’re part of a professional effort to undermine outrage about this affront. You’re clearly right: I wish I had your courage.

  58. Euan says:

    Damien:

    They will most likely attempt to detain you on suspicion of stealing the camcorder ;)

  59. DP says:

    Don’t be outraged for Michael Righi. Be happy for him. He is going to make a lot of money after he sues Circuit City and the police department. Think of it as a public service. It will provide a much needed education to the police department on identification requirements (IAW Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court) and to Circuit City on what constitutes an unlawful search and unlawful detainment. The level of education will be directly proportional to the amount of money that he receives.

    I have a feeling that that if the prosecutor is familiar with the Hiibel case (and he or she should be since it made national news and hit all of the major legal journals) then this case will be dropped immediately after the prosecutor yells a couple profanities about overzealous police officers.

  60. Craig says:

    Everyone is missing the point – it;s not about showing the receipt, it\’s about detaining the shopper. They can\’t do that without accusing you of shoplifting, and even then they can\’t restrain you. So unless the store is willing to accuse you, they can\’t stop you from walking out. Period. We wasn\’t accused, he didn\’t have to stop. Dad shoudl have just driven away and that would have been the end of it.

  61. Me says:

    Maybe they were crying BECAUSE YOU WERE WASTING EVERYONES TIME!!!

    Show your fucking receipt and stop being a douche.

  62. Me says:

    “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.”

    Your attorney will laugh at the little child playing lawyer.

    The law is not a game for children like you to play.

  63. don hersey says:

    I’d congratulate you, but you have only done the right and natural thing. Anyone who pretends to think otherwise is either cavil or a meretrix. You have no greater, more important nor more fundamental duty than to stand up for your natural rights in any circumstance.
    The notion that you should feel hostaged by the presence of your family is particularly odious.
    Doing right is an opportunity to be shared with one’s family, their ‘blood and iron’ should be (presumed to be) right behind you. Your rights are your sacred birthright, to fail to seek to defend them at every possible turn would be to shirk the maintenance of your inheritance, qualifying you

  64. jay says:

    what a bunch of lemmings. “oh, just show the receipt.” that’s so not the point. once he left the store, the circuit city manager lost any rights he had whatsoever — he becomes a citzen detaining another one. you don’t have to listen to him. i would have simply driven away. i NEVER stop when stores (costco excepted since i signed an agreement) “require” me to show a receipt. i don’t steal and we used to be innocent until proven otherwise. don’t treat me like a criminal. this cop is a tool. u should press charges against him as well.

  65. Steve Parker says:

    I don\’t know about local law, but wasn\’t using 911 for this an abuse of the emergency number? Here in the UK, it is taken very seriously (eg, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/bristol/somerset/3282735.stm)

  66. Tomas says:

    I work in security, and I tell you, NO ONE knows the law. “Me” up there is absolutely wrong. Law is, and should be, a game everyone knows the rules to.

    Educate yourself. Even if you disagree with Mr. Righi. Know what you are allowed and what not allowed to do.

    Next time someone does this, I certainly suggest quoting the Ohio Revised Code. Quote “According to ORC 2921.29, I am not required by law to show my ID to you.” and when Security tries to treat you like a criminal (hey! real life copy-protection!) read off the other one quoted above. Heck, print them out and cary them with you, if you wish to make a stand.

    As well, I think, but am not certain, in Ohio you have to sign a paper when Miranda’d. But it’s been so long, I am not sure.

    And if you agree with the idea of invasive searches and “guilty before innocent”, then work to change the laws, because as of right now they aren’t in your favor.

  67. Non says:

    “BECAUSE YOU WERE WASTING EVERYONES TIME!!!”

    No they were wasting his time. So to save other people’s time he has to submit himself to an illegal detention, and when he expects the police to impartially assert his rights, he gets arrested?

    No, what he did was brave and proper and its people like him that keep people like you free.

    Calling 911 when someone is illegally detaining him is the proper thing to do.

    Circuit City will be destroyed by this.

  68. Dan says:

    Thanks for doing the right thing. It’s a shame the law enforcement officers in your situation didn’t know the law. Please, don’t give up.

  69. Tomas says:

    And, no, false arrest or detainment or possibly disorderly conduct (look up the ORC) warrants Mr. Righi’s usage of 911. If it was illegal or unwarranted, he’d have been cited for that.

    It’s not like he called them because they skipped the ketchup on his burger. There was a dispute, and the cop was the mediator.

  70. What’s with the “Stop wasting everybody’s time!” comments? Do you really think cops and loss prevention officers have anything better to be doing with their time? If they weren’t dealing with Mr. Righi they’d be dealing with some other useless shit that didn’t need to be done.

    I congratulate you Michael not just for standing up for your rights, but for doing it in front of your family. “What,” you ask? While I don’t know anything about the political views of your family members, I can assure you that watching these powertripping jerkoffs abuse you can only help your family to become more aware of how much of a police state the USA is becoming. Maybe one of them will help do something about it someday, inspired by the scene they witnessed that day.

  71. Me says:

    “don\’t know about local law, but wasn\’t using 911 for this an abuse of the emergency number?”

    Yes. Definitely a non emergency brought on by a fucking douche bag that wanted to waste a lot of peoples time and taxpayer money on nothing.

    Please for god sakes don’t also start thinking your some rosa parks like that other douche bag who did the same thing last week. You’re no MLK or Gandhi. You’re an annoying douchebag being saluted by DVD discount shoppers everywhere.

  72. diego says:

    You’re a fool. why would anyone putthemselves through an arrest just to be able to go “nah, nah, nah, you’re wrong. I’m right” to the police? It’s assholes like you that make the world such a shit pit. I hope the judge just laughs at your dumb ass. It’s what you deserve. Hell, I hope he locks your dumb ass up for a few days.

  73. Me says:

    “I work in security, and I tell you, NO ONE knows the law. “Me” up there is absolutely wrong. Law is, and should be, a game everyone knows the rules to.”

    So… you’re a security guard at the local walmart? I’m doubting you’re anything above that because your too vapid to recognize what I said was an insult. I called the loser a child, and not that he shouldn’t know the law. If he is going to play the game he better know how to play it, in this case he didn’t.

    He’s going to waste a lot of time and money on a something stupid. As a tax payer I hope they throw his ass in jail for a week or two.

  74. JD says:

    While I think the reaction was a little bit excessive, too many people have no idea of the dangers that blind/passive obedience represents. Soon, we’ll get RFID chips implanted by force so they won’t need driver’s licenses anymore…

    For the skeptics, just look up how Hitler set up his Nazi regime… It was not a coup; it was a slow but steady process of eroding people’s rights and intensify people’s fear…

  75. Michael says:

    So, you think all Americans should be willing at able to present their papers to authorities at whim? Not to Godwin the thread, but theres a reason people get worried about being obliged to present papers at any time…

  76. Me says:

    “So, to help prevent shoplifting, they actually wanted to see if your merchandise matched your receipt? Those unreasonable bastards!”

    Another moron in the crowd. Fuck, you guys are everywhere.

    Security guards checking receipts are not about preventing shoplifters. They are about preventing theft from the cashiers and possibly collusion with you as you check out (running it past the anti-theft device but ‘forgetting’ to ring it up).

    Congratulations, you now know at least one thing.

  77. Me says:

    You need to provide your name, address and birth date.

    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 official capacity shall do any act that hampers or impedes a public official in the performance of the public official’s lawful duties.

    I can almost write out the transcript of the trial for you now…

    Judge “What happened”
    Cop: “I asked for his ID and he didn’t give it to me.”
    Idiot: “I told him my name. I don’t have to give him my ID. What if I didn’t have one?”
    Judge “I ask the questions here. Why didn’t you give your ID”
    Idiot “I dont have to.”
    Judge “You have to give your name, address, and birth date.”
    Idiot “He didn’t ask for that”
    Judge “He asked for your ID”
    Idiot “Thats not the same thing”
    Judge “Well since you know the law so well, then you should have also known that you are required to provide your name, address, and birthdate.”
    Idiot “Uhhh”
    Judge “Ignorance of the law does not excuse you. $150 fine and stop wasting our time.”

    Judge:

  78. Me says:

    Oh one more thing for this DOUCHE BAG IDIOT….

    Did your lawyer review this blog posting first or did he/she say you should just go type it up and say whatever you thought was good to post. Especially include real names of the people, because thats always a good idea.

  79. Rebort says:

    I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.

    Understand that the Bill of Rights only gives US citizens protection from the government. It doesn’t extend any special rights in private situations. This is why you can’t protest on private property and why you have no right to free speech when you enter your workplace. It’s also (partly) why you can be searched (think pre-9/11 here) for no real reason at airports.

    I’m not sure the 4th amendment comes to play here, regardless. Because of that bit about *unreasonable* search and seizures. Neither Circuit City nor the police were making unreasonable requests on Michael.

    The clerk was doing his job, and Michael’s behavior threw out a whole slew of red flags.

    The cop probably had no idea who placed the 911 call. He gets to the scene and sees a private citizen in an altercation with a shop employee. Shop employees, for all their other faults, don’t usually detain or hassle people at random. So something has got to be up with the citizen.

    My guess — and I’m neither copy nor lawyer — is that Michael was asked for ID to prove his identity (did you pay by credit card? Was there your name on the receipt?) and establish local residency. He also might have wanted to run a warrant check (because maybe you’ve been running shoplifting scams in Kentucky recently, and there are warrants out for your arrest there). And a driver’s license has become defacto ID for adults in America, which has little to nothing to do with whether you were driving a car.

    Sure, you’re not required to produce “papers” — but as you found out, if you give the cops a headache, they’ll give you one right back.

    If Michael has no previous record, the DA will most likely drop the charges. And Circuit City will not be “destroyed” by any lawsuit. Even if Michael can find a lawyer who will take this case (which I doubt), Circuit City has been enforcing this policy for *years* in their stores across the nation. So another offhand guess: I’m sure their army of lawyers has figured out a way to keep their liability to a minimum as a result of having this policy.

    If you don’t like being treated “like a criminal” — and I agree Circuit City’s bag and receipt checking policy is awful — *stop shopping at their stores*.

  80. DP says:

    ‘Me,’ you need to look up Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada. The US Supreme Court clearly stated that if you state your name in a stop-and-identify state then no violation of statue occurs. It doesn’t matter how much you like or dislike this case, the law is on his side and the police department is going to lose bigtime.

    542 U.S. 177. Read it and eat crow.

  81. Alex says:

    Why do people feel obliged to side with and protect the government (municipal, state, or federal)? People’s willingness to relinquish their rights is beyond me.

    Thomas Jefferson put it eloquently: “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”

    And for those who say, “Oh, you just made it harder on yourself, you should have just given up the receipt”, once the powers to be have cleared this level of intrusion into our civil liberties, they will be poised to encroach onto other civil liberties.

    Kudos on standing up!

  82. Flying Dutchman says:

    From the Netherlands, I applaud your stance on this, Michael!

    On this side of the ocean (we’re the tiny country west of Germany, Amsterdam is our capital) we don’t have these bag-checking fools (yet), other then at the airports. Then again, I doubt they’d be effective here … Dutch people are too rude to cooperate with some 18y/o shop clerk ;-)

    Keep on the good work, it’s inspiring to read that some people still *do* step up for their beliefs and don’t take the easy way, just to get out of stupid situations like this! Keep us posted on any progress.

  83. Jim says:

    Slightly off topic, but just to clear a point… In response to Euan’s comment (about being [stopped and] searched in the UK whilst boarding a train) this has been permitted in England since the Terrorism Act 2000 was passed.

    Since then, an officer of the law is permitted to stop and search vehicles and their contents, and pedestrians and their possessions, etc – with pretty much no ‘real’ reason needed, just as a ‘routine check’.

    At some (larger) railway stations they regularly perform random stop and searches of (for example) every 10th person with a rucksack, under Section 44(2) of the Terrorism Act 2000.

    They don’t do this everyday, only on days where there is an (apparently) higher than normal security risk, and, notably, they don’t ask for any means of identification beyond verbally providing a name and address (which, whilst being captured on their paperwork was not confirmed/checked on their radio at the moment of stop/search).

    (UK) Terrorism Act 2000
    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts2000/00011–f.htm

    (UK) Terrorism Act 2000 Section 44
    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts2000/ukpga_20000011_en_5#pt5-pb2-l1g44

    (Make your own decision as to whether ’1984′ is coming closer to being a reality for some countries… one small step at a time)

  84. Powlette says:

    Michael, I salute you! I’ve always wanted to walk right past those bag checkers, but never do because of the hassle. I’m glad you did and I’m glad you stood up for your rights when interacting with the police.

    But this isn’t about the store at all. The big story here is your interaction with the police.

    For the people here who think you should have just shown your bag to the manager and license to the officer: too many people today are willing to roll over and allow any invasion of their rights until they won’t have any rights left. It’s not about shoplifting, bag checking, or being a trouble-maker. It’s about knowing your rights and asserting them because if you don’t know and assert your rights, you’ll lose them. The only thing that keeps police power in check is citizens exercising and defending their rights. It is a game – the police want to be able to search anything and detain anyone so they can solve crimes. The 4th and 5th amendments were designed to keep police power in check. Yes, it may make a police officer’s job harder, but in the long wrong this wouldn’t be a free country if the police could use any methods they felt like to close cases.

    I’m worried the judge in your case may not be as idealistic as she should be, but if she follows the law you’re sure to get off and hopefully following a civil suit, recoup some money from the police department for your trouble.

    Good luck

  85. ParanoiaKilledUsAll says:

    Letting a retail store conduct business under their own SOP creates an atmosphere of obedience? You think THAT’S a dangerous thing? Why don’t you let them do their job and you can both get on with your lives. You’re not creating an “atmosphere of obediance,” you’re just letting them do their job. Seriously, get over yourself and your paranoias. Maybe once the Government implants all of us with RFID tags and monitors our every move throughout the course of a day- THAT is a dangerous thing. THAT is an atmosphere of obedience.

    Checking bags is like walking passed the detectors in any grocery store, Walmart, or retail store. Do you perform a flying leap over the sensors every time you shop somewhere?

    People… What is this world coming to?

  86. William says:

    Bravo! I didn’t have time to read all the comments, but don’t let the idiots get you down. Somebody’s got to stand up for our rights, and especially the right not to be pushed around by petty authorities. Both of those guys work for us, and don’t you forget it.

    If you end up having to start a legal fund, don’t hesitate to drop me a line at the address I gave when leaving this comment.

  87. ParanoiaKilledUsAll says:

    Sorry for the double-post, but what is with this random number and letter set I have to put in before I can post here? You’re saying if I don’t put that number in I can’t post in your comments? I’m paying for my Internet connection, I navigated to your website, you don’t believe that I’m not an auto-spammer? I’m sorry, but it seems you’re adding to the atmosphere of obedience as much as Circuit City.

  88. Brian says:

    You people saying “Oh stop wasting everyone’s time” and so on, are really missing the point.

    The point is NOT that CC asked him to show a receipt. The point is that their response to his demurral was not only disproportionate, but illegal. The point is that a cop didn’t know the law, and had to make up something to charge him with. The point is that someone who doesn’t follow made-up “rules” that have nothing to do with the law is treated as a criminal.

    Being a consumer shouldn’t amount to a game of Calvinball where the retailer always gets to define the rules, you ignoramuses.

  89. Bob says:

    Member clubs like Costco may revoke your membership, but non-member shops can only tell you not to come back. If you really want to test the system, have friends video you while you go through the process. Be sure to inform others they are being video taped.

  90. Malikah says:

    You are an ass.. Serves you right for trying to be a hero. Any one with maturity and common-sense would have just shown him the receipt and forgotten about it 5 minutes later. Now your siblings are upset and you will probably end up with a record of some kind. When you’re in someones store AKA private property, you have to respect their authority. You certainly won’t be getting any sympathy from me. I hope you learn a big lesson from this.

  91. builder Bo says:

    I think you should have weighed the options you had, before embarking on such a fruitless campaign- is it worth so much time and effort and expense on your part, to prove just to yourself that you possible were right? Or do you think that making your family watch you participate in yet another “stand for freedom”- selfishly taking up their time on your sister’s birthday, causing your father to scrape up the money to bail you out of jail- was more important? I think a smart person would rationalize that yes, showing a receipt for all of 5 seconds to a store manager is a nuisance, but putting yourself and your family through all this isnt worth the hassle.

  92. Len says:

    DP: In Hiibel, the SCOTUS actually explicitly *did not* rule on the issue of whether a state law compelling citizens to show physical ID would be constitutional or not; it only ruled that *state laws* requiring that citizens “identify themselves” were not unconstitutional.

    So, yes, “ME” is an idiot, but things are still up in the air as far as the physical ID issue. The SCOTUS made clear that its ruling was not to be used to support physical ID requirement laws, but it didn’t explicitly negate them, either. (Such is the way of the SCOTUS — it likes to issue as narrow an opinion as possible).

    However, to my knowledge no states actually have laws that allow their police officers to arrest an individual for not showing physical ID, and the state in question doesn’t have such a statute, so it’s moot. This is a state law issue, and there is no law that says he has to show physical ID, and Hiibel, as you pointed out, clearly shows that the SCOTUS interprets “identify yourself” as being an obligation to do so *verbally*, and not with papers.

    Michael — if you need contacts with the legal team that represented Hiibel, I can put you in touch with them.

    And, as a personal note, thanks.

  93. DillDoe says:

    Those saying CC has the right to check receipt and bags to prevent thief are bigger idiots than CC.

    1st they have detectors at the doors.
    2nd what shoplifter would put stolen goods in a bag knowing full well the detector and dude at the door.
    3rd paying someone $6 and hr to stand at the door cost more than a stolen cd or dvd.

    Being smarter than a cop is never a good thing. Their egos can’t handle it.

  94. Craig says:

    Good for you. Lots of comments have been left here saying that you should have just showed them the receipt. No way! That’s a slippery slope I’d rather not go down. You were well within your rights and did nothing illegal. It’s unbelievable to me that there are people who are upset at you for standing up for your rights. If the judge at your hearing isn’t sensible, push it further and further up.

    I won’t be shopping at Circuit City again. Stick it to them where it hurts!

  95. Rosey says:

    Considering one just walks away from the cashier and is getting asked to show what they bought is disrespectful. They are letting one know that they think you are a potential thief and can not be trusted, though they want your money.

    You should at least quit buying from stores like this because it is just another act of bad faith. If you sue Circuit City than good for you: they deserve it.

  96. Blue7 says:

    Many sheep think that the insignificant, minor inconveniences should be ignored – that a stand should be taken only for the big issues of civil liberties. Save your fight for something that matters they say. – This advice is like saying “go to the doctor only after your cancer has gotten really really bad.” Standing up for your rights on smaller issues actually helps nudge the system without provoking major violent situations like a federal showdown. I’m a little older now… I remember a different time in America when everyone knew these things.

  97. John Hascall says:

    If you are going to do this to make a point at least prepare so you do it properly.

    One, seek the advice of a qualified attorney in your state.

    But, since you aren’t driving, it would seem there is no reason to even have a DL on your person.

    Also, if had said “My name is ____, my address is __, my dob is ____, then you would seem to have headed off that possible line of questioning at your trial.

    Second, ignore all the worms here who would seem to relish groveling under the boot of a police-state.

  98. Tammy says:

    Not like I shop at Circuit City, but now I will never set foot in that place. My mental check list of what stores NOT to shop in is getting longer.

    You did the right thing. Their Loss prevention went too far, for your safety and theirs. My God, we live in such a police state, it’s ridiculous.

  99. latisha says:

    ::claps::

    Please keep us updated. I’m sorry for ALL your trouble, but it was a good thing you did!!

  100. Bob says:

    Hmmm – this is great – i love the discussion – something i think is missing a little, is that even if Michael took a wrong step here or there, a point could be argued that even that is his right to do so – nobody like theft, nobody has time to do what he is – but think carefully at what you are saying – i don’t have time to stand up for my rights.

    This may be about retail but who hasn’t heard stories along this line, pushing fear, tow the line or we will make it difficult for you – that kind of thinking worked we for the Nazi’s and they had it at all levels, playground to high court. Thank you Michael – win, lose or draw – i am sure it is the inconvenient but right thing to pursue

  101. Tusaint says:

    Sue them all. Now call the media and start the circus.

  102. Colin says:

    Did anybody else notice that he wrote “shoplifter” as “shiplifter”?

  103. Michael R says:

    Good work. Many people would have caved to save the family disruption. Have you set up a legal defense fund?

  104. Kevin Furlong says:

    A Police officer does not need to read you Miranda rights under certain arresting conditions.

    The officer not reading you your Miranda rights only means that any conversation that took place between the two of you, or at the station, can’t be used in court.

    It doesn’t nullify the arrest like so many people would wish =)

    Also, you’re not required by law the carry ANY sort of ID when you’re out and about in public. It is the property of the state, but you’re not required to have it on you unless you’re driving.

    Also, just my opinion, Santura the “security” man didn’t seem to do anything wrong. He probably thought you were stealing something, and called for the manager.

    The manager was definitely a dick though, and certainly isn’t allowed to keep you from leaving the store.

    If some guy put his body between my car and door like that, he’s going for a ride.

  105. KipEsquire says:

    See Hiibel v. Nevada, 542 U.S. 177 (2004), reaffirming the right not to provide ID if one provides an accurate pedigree instead.

  106. James Cates says:

    1) I am always amazed (when reading this kind of article) that so many people have the patience to put up with this sort of thing. I would hope that I do, but I probably don’t and should probably avoid this sort of thing – I’d prolly’ get testy and say something that would really piss off the police officer.

    2) I uphold a store’s right to ASK to see my bag and receipt (hey, worth a shot…). I also uphold by right to walk right past them once I’ve paid for my merchandise. Once again, I respect their right to accuse me of theft and call authorities. I suppose they can attempt to detain me, but if I for a moment construe it to be assault, I’ll defend myself and make sure I have witnesses.

    3) As for the Police…I think it is a wee bit like talking to strangers in a bar. Sure, you have every right to approach someone and try to strike up a conversation. Of course, they have every right to tell you to buzz off. If you pester them, you may be in trouble. If you, say, grab their arm when they try to walk away from you then you have likely just committed assault. A Police Officer only has the right to detain you if they intend to arrest you and then they must state the charge. Refusing to allow another private citizen to search your property is not illegal.

    4) The whole point of this issue, as I see it, is that this country was founded on very profound principles of personal freedom. I’ve been to many countries and in most of them the Police ARE allowed to demand identification and are allowed to search you without much cause. Sure, these rights have been abused many times here in the US, but they ARE rights that we have and YES we must fight for them otherwise we’ll just be weakly *giving* them away to those in power. Why not just toss the Government and revert to a Monarchy then? What the hell? If we don’t care any longer about our very special right to NOT have to prove who we are and what we are doing to any official or clerk who feels like asking then we really don’t deserve these rights.

  107. It’s been a long time since I worked retail… about 15+ years. But I do remember that we could confront a customer who had items stuffed in their bags, baby carriers, etc. as long as they were still in the store. (I personally have no problem with this. Hell, if I had a store, I wouldn’t stand around with my fingers crossed, hoping that my customers would pay for their items.) However, if they made it outside the store, then all we could do was call the police with a description. Granted, we never confronted them unless we saw them hide something. If we just had suspicion, then we called the police to watch them.

    I realize this story is a bit different. The whole receipt checking thing is quite the joke, as most of them don’t even look at your items. To me it’s the same thing as fake cameras. The suggestion of extra security cuts down on theft.

    As one who complies with all of this corralling, it’s nice to come across a story like this, if for no other reason than to learn the law. Interesting how we automatically assume that we will end up in the slammer if we don’t comply with the authority figure on a mission.

    I’ll be interested to hear the outcome, as I fear that the court will not uphold the law that is absolutely in your favor.

  108. Phil says:

    This probably won’t help with the actual reason for your arrest, but there is some information about bag searches here that certainly pertains to your situation: http://www.crimedoctor.com/loss_prevention_3.htm

    Check the section: Are Door Bag Searches Legal?

  109. Zach says:

    How much do you want to bet that the name-calling retards, telling you to just be a good boy and show your receipt, are the same people who drive around with giant pictures of flags and bald eagles on the back windows of their pickup trucks? You know, the ones who spout words like “freedom” and “patriot”? But ironically, they are the ones who cannot tolerate freedom. They gladly submit to authority at every opportunity. They act and think only as they are instructed by their party or their priest. By standing up for your rights as outlined by the law, you are fighting for Freedom. By standing up for your rights as outlined by the Constitution, you are the Patriot. The boneheads who claim those words as their own probably do so to hide their shame for not living by the principles behind the words.

  110. Matthew says:

    Wow…

    I have to say that I am shocked and appalled at how willing people are to simply lie down, give up, and let the government/authority tell them what to do/say/think.

    Yes, I am an American, born and raised here and my family has been here for generations. I am truly what you would call an American. I have some questions for those who would dare call themselves American while at the same time saying that “you should comply with our request comrade” Do you dare to actually think and answer?

    Do you think that we would have an America if our founding fathers decided that it was easier to just submit to the British rule and just take it on the cheek?

    Do you think we would have an America if president Madison decided that the British could board any ship they wanted and kidnap of citizens, arresting them in 1812?

    Do you think we would have an America if the north decided that it was easier to let the south have slaves or if they decided to let the south split off from the union?

    Do you think we would still have an America if we decided that it was far easier to just let the Japanese bomb us and to do nothing, after all they must of had a good reason?

    Do you think that this would still be America, land of the free, if we decided that fighting the Nazis, stopping Hitler, helping to save Europe, and saving all those people in the concentration camps who were being tortured to death was just too hard and besides, why would we want to stand up to authority and fight for our rights anyway?

    It’s thinking like this that allowed to major dictators and fascists to take power over the decades. I mean, christ, pick up a damn history book or something. This is high school level knowledge folks. Educate yourself. At this rate America will end up becoming just like Nazi Germany or the USSR or China, or even worse, our own brand of tyranny upon this world. Our founding fathers must be appalled at us for what we have done to their free country, because I know that I am.

  111. Tony says:

    It seems you can all stop talking about Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, as that case is only germane if the state has a “Stop and Identify” law. Ohio is no ton the list of states with a “Stop and Identify” law, if that’s true the Hiibel doesn’t apply.

    I’m astounded that people are supporting the cops and the store on this. The stuff in your bag belongs to you. What right do they have to “search” you? Where is the boundary in your mind? If they can open your bag, can they open a bag from another store? Can they open your clothing, require you to undress to leave the store? How about body cavities?
    I paid, the stuff is mine, want to arrest me, accuse me of a crime, if not let me leave.

  112. Zack says:

    I heard Ohio passed a law that requires showing an ID, but that would surely be un-Constitutional. Question is, has the ACLU taken that on yet and if not, why not.

    USA is becoming a police state:

    http://home.comcast.net/~plutarch/PoliceState.html

  113. tulip says:

    What is really scary to me is that the idiots who post here (“Just show the receipt. etc…) are probably VOTING. Please for the love of God lets get out the vote in 2008. An informed citizen is a protected citizen.
    Way to go Mike!

  114. Einstein says:

    I AGREE WITH YOU 100%

    Unless they saw you stealing something they should not demand anything of you. Private property or not, you are an innocent man and deserve to be treated as such until proven different. Unfortunately that crap flew out the window before I was born.

    Now-a-days you are:
    Guilty until proven innocent,
    treated as a criminal no matter your actions,
    controlled to the very depths by constant fear brainwashing,
    no longer truly free, but instead almost completely controlled by the very laws put in place to protect you.

    Regardless of your refusal to show the sales slip, when the officer arrived you showed him you were correct and paid for the items. You also stated your name and were fully within your rights. It is very clear that it was the officers power hungry attitude and not your actions that got you arrested. Once the officer saw the contents of the bag and slip that should have been the end of it. Instead your refusal to comply with his wishes got you arrested and not any law breaking or wrong doings.

    It is a sad state of affairs when not only things like this happen but moronic sheep follow behind saying things like you deserved it.

    Does anyone but me notice the sheer number of right stealing laws made yearly? Anyone else notice that thousands of new laws come into affect every year yet almost none are removed? Anyone else think that the police are more there for revenue purposes rather than to protect the rights of individuals? Why is it that I fear ignorant police actions and right stealing laws more than I even fear the supposed terrorists that lurk around every corner? Whats the color code today? pink/red? I know the police were put in place for a reason but judging from my dealings with them they have long since forgot their purpose.

    I think we are far past a time of needing complete control and deep into needing law reform. The law needs to be firmly structured to spend more time on actual crimes like murder and rape and much less time on revenue seeking ventures like seatbelt tickets or 10mph over the speed limit at 3am in the middle of nowhere.

    PS seatbelt tickets save nobody. They are merely an easy way for an officer to pull someone over for no reason. Since the law went into affect in my area I have been stopped 2 times for no seatbelt while wearing one! one of the times I was asked if there was anything illegal in the car, I firmly told him no, he then asked for a search, I again firmly told him no and added, I just told you there is no reason. He then threatened me with literal torture at the hands of inmates where he would be taking me, I again said no and asked for his name and badge number, I also asked if he had a video camera with audio in his vehicle. He didnt do either, instead he told me he was calling in the dogs and then he would search it. I just chuckled to myself. We sat on the highway for almost an hour when a van arrived with another car. A k9 unit walks up as Im removed from my car. I tell him this is a joke and I cant wait until the dog tells him the same as I have. THEN TO MY GOD DAMN AMAZEMENT THE DOG ALERTED TO MY TRUNK. What bullshit, I had heard of dogs being trained to do just that but I assumed it was all BS. It seems its so common I had a chance to observe it. The cop then walked over to me and said see I told you I would search your car. They proceeded to tear my car apart, leaving everything from my owners manual to my spare tire and jack sitting on the road. They managed to pull a wire loose or break something behind my dash because my radio stopped working as well as my interior lights and glovebox light! I would like to point out that that dog had to be trained to false alert, because I had just bought the car the week before, literally 4 days before. It sat in my garage after it was delivered and only had 140 miles on it. I dont do drugs or come in contact with them, I hadnt come in contact with any weapons in months, I also dont drink, smoke, or anything else.

    I stood my ground and was still abused by the system, as for man hours wasted it was entirely on their part. I was unlawfully stopped for supposedly no seatbelt when I had it on, I was left on the side of the road for over an hour and a half total, making me very late for work. I was treated like a criminal, handcuffed, pushed around, my property was damaged as well as violated, my time wasted, all for what? A cops ego.

    Another time I was taking pictures of a murder that happened very near my house, I was standing in my best friends yard taking pictures. I was told to stop by another neighbor who already doesnt like me, I told her to mind her business. She promptly went into the house and called the police which were already there, saying I threatened her. They came immediately around the house and asked for my identification, I gave it to him, then he asked what I was doing, I told him. Then he asked me to come out front to his car, I did. He ran my name talked to me and was just about to let me go, when the lady pops out and says thats him, I want to press charges, I think he has a gun. The cop give me a funny look, searches me, arrests me and takes me to the station for supposed threats of bodily harm. On the way there I converse with him and he realizes im one of the good ones. Here is where it gets even more fishy. We arrive at the tiny jail and the cop likes me so he lets me use my cell phone uncuffed to call for a ride for my wife. He even leaves the room and goes into the sarges office. Heres how that convo between them went basically. Sarge:Well whatcha got out there? Cop: ah just some guy that was taking pictures of that crimescene. Sarge: Ah well then what else can we slap on there, trespassing, obstrucing an officer in his duties, or… Cop: Nah he seems alright.

    I almost couldnt believe the way the sarge spoke, with a snob attitude, contempt, and corruption, even thought he hadnt even seen me yet. I spent 3 hours in a stinkhole, and after all that everything was dropped.

    Yet again, I was harrassed by the police. I had 3 large guys try to jump me in my own yard, after getting them to leave, I call the police to report it. while waiting 2 hours on my porch for them to arrive the group came back with a few more. Luckily when it was about to get ugly the cop arrived, I said Im the one who called, so the cop walks right over to the group and starts talking, I look back at my wife and see her face light up with fear. I turn back to find an officer with his weapon pointed at my head from about 10 paces, he starts barking commands, turn around, interlace your fingers, get on your knees, flat on your stomach, now dont you fuckin move or the last thing through your mind will be my bullet.

  115. FormerCCCustomer says:

    Good for you.
    All those people that are suggesting boycotting CC – I have a better idea.
    Go to CC. Buy some piddly little thing. Show a receipt or not. (Hey – pay with a $2 bill – Best Buy arrests people who use legal tender! http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/138/ripoff0138027.htm)
    But then fill out the survey listed on the bottom of your receipt. Tell CC how you feel about this.

  116. SomeGuy says:

    Wow, it’s nice to see someone standing up for their rights. And too everyone on here who says its not worth fighting over, he should have handed his ID to the cop, the store has a right to search him just in case, ect, the problem is that… well they don’t. For a long time one of our fundamental freedoms was protection from unlawful search and seizure because it is a form of harassment and should only be used when there is actually a reason to suspect a crime rather than on everyone. This like many of our rights has eroded. It’s just as important to fight small infringements of our rights as large ones because enough small infringements can take our rights away without contest otherwise. Today it seems reasonable because it’s common place, then it’ll be no big deal when they want to search your person in addition to the bag “Well people do steal” and then what’s next? Step by step we get to a place where saying they didn’t ask for a body cavity search isn’t a joke anymore or where the, now armed, security guard, or the cop for that matter, shoots you for “failure to cooperate” Now it’s a big deal, but it’s already too late.

  117. Paul says:

    Michael, I am going to donate $1,000 to the ACLU with a note saying I read about your case, and I hope they use my donation towards defending your cause.

    I love your points about the creation of an atmosphere which allows abuse. And as for the folks who claim you are not supporting necessary enforcement to prevent crime or terrorism– this attitude is precisely what got us into Iraq– strike before looking. Be so focused on striking that we ignore or lie about the facts.

    Thank you for doing what you do. And good luck on the legal case.

  118. Einstein says:

    Continued-

    now dont you fuckin move or the last thing through your mind will be my bullet.

  119. Einstein says:

    now dont you fuckin move or the last thing through your mind will be my bullet.

  120. DP says:

    Tony:

    You are wrong. Ohio is a stop-and-identify state. The stop-and-identify law has been cited in the comments.

  121. Jad says:

    You are a good man. Thank you for sticking up for our rights.

  122. Paqza says:

    To be honest, I don\’t think what you did made sense. I think there are sometimes when you just suck it up and deal, despite knowing that you\’re right. Maybe I just try avoiding trouble because as a US Muslim, I feel like I am examined extra-closely. I have nothing to hide but I fear the authorities because they can falsify charges and throw you in jail.

  123. Einstein says:

    direct quotes. I asked what the hell was going on and he said Im doing this for my safety, they said you have a gun. I repeated, damnit im in my yard, there are five large guys starting shit with me and I called you for help. I dont have a gun, and you saw me holding my bat. That is my only weapon. He then apologized and released me after a searching, saying well you know I just want to make it home to my family tonight. I promptly went into the house because I couldnt breath from him kneeling on my neck, and I threw up from the stress of both the impending brawl and the police actions.

    Guess what? The god damn guy who said I had a gun, was the one with the gun. While they were concentrating on me he attempted to stash it, but was seen by a neighbor and pointed out. Promptly tackled and tossed into a car.

    A month later another one of the guys was shot dead just up the street. He was with 15-20 others and they were all beating on the house for the young child to come out to be beaten by the mob, the mother walked outside and told them to leave the property, the most ignorant of them removed his shirt and started up the driveway at her in a threatening manner. She pulled a pistol and shot him dead. He was only 17 and had a pregnant girlfriend, sad indeed. But it was his actions that day that removed him from this earth.

    I swear to you its enough to drive an honest man to do things he shouldnt. You are damned if you do and if you dont. If you dont live in the right neihborhood then this may all sound like a fairy tale. But this is unfortunately sad but true.

    You did nothing wrong!
    As for your situation, I will have to agree with some, you may have over done it a biT, BUT AS A FREE MAN IN A FREE COUNTRY THAT IS YOUR RIGHT!

  124. Carlos says:

    Kind of like this event :http://www.boingboing.net/2007/08/24/tigerdirect-check-in.html
    where the stop loss guy watched all the contents go in to the bag, so how could you shop lift? Sensors in the door would go off

  125. bill says:

    Next time
    Seal your bag with a contract with terms to the effect
    “by opening this bag you are agreeing to pay the owner a sum of $XXX.XX for the privilege of viewing the contents”
    Use some kind of adhesive label that they must leave physical evidence of having opened.
    Of course they won’t pay, but you can sue them for breach of contract later.

  126. David Richter says:

    There is a Supreme Court case which is almost precisely on point: Kolender v. Lawson. Edward Lawson is a black man who liked to stroll around wealthy San Diego suburbs at night. When the cops were called and he refused to show ID, he was arrested. The Supreme Court upheld his right to NOT show identification. It dates back to 1978 or so, and it’s one of my favorite cases.

  127. tintar says:

    Freedom, privileges, options must constantly be exercised, even at the risk of inconvenience. Otherwise they fall into desuetude and become unfashionable, unorthodox — finally irregulationary. Sometimes the person who insists upon his prerogatives seems shrill and contentious — but actually he performs a service for all. Freedom naturally should never become license; but regulation should never become
    restriction.

    – from Emphyrio, by Jack Vance

  128. Jeff says:

    Good on you, Mike. I hope this all works out well for you.

  129. Brian says:

    Any time a store ask to inspect the packages I have just bought, I ask them if they suspect me of being a thief. I let them inspect, then I carry the package back in and get a refund. I remind them I am a customer, and I will not be treated as a thief.

  130. dave says:

    I commend you. Our government was founded on these very same principals. Most of those who looked down on your actions don’t understand why many of us have fought and gave their lives.

    It’s too bad you have to teach the ignorant and power guided individuals.

  131. ven says:

    Hey,
    I really want to say why did you go through all this trouble, you are trying to bring problems for yourself.

    But you did exactly what the founding fathers of this country wanted, you are a true American. A true patriot. It takes a lot of guts to do what you did with your family watching. Your family must be proud of you.

    Again, thank you for really showing us why this is called land of the free, Home of the brave.

    Ven

  132. Karl Hungus says:

    All of the people saying this is not worth fighting for are cowards and sheep waiting for the state to take over their lives. The principal of liberty is what matters, not caving in each time it’s practical. Terror code orange! bend over and spread your anus for Dick Cheney! Thomas Jefferson is rolling in his grave.

  133. doggo says:

    They do this is the Chicago area at Best Buy too. The thing that pisses me off is the guy checking receipts is about 50 ft from the checkout, and there is no merchandise displayed in this cattle chute. So between the point where you paid for your merchandise and the point you’re checked for having shoplifted, you have no opportunity to shoplift, and are in the sight-line of the guy doing the checking (if he can bother to stop chatting with his female co-workers, or his friends that have stopped by for a visit while he’s on the clock). Not to mention the sensor gates they have up to detect anti-theft tags.

    So what’s the point? If you’re going to shoplift, you’re going to place whatever you’re stealing on your person at some point while you’re in the store. And unless you’re really, really dumb, you’re not going to shift it at the checkout counter to your bag in plain sight of the checkers and “theft prevention” personnel.

  134. justaguy says:

    Colorado’s stop and identify requires written identification if it is available.

    Print your pic, and any info required by your state on one side of a small card, and the applicable statute on the reverse. Laminate it and carry it loose in your pocket so you dont have to draw your wallet.

    The first time I handed it to a Colorado statie he laughed and said “yeah that will do” when he came back and handed it to me he laughingly said “you should get that notarized”

    I did

  135. Einstein says:

    I would like to add.

    Its just great that a person can be harrassed, controlled, illegally detained, charged with a crime he didnt do, arrested, and later brought to trial all for a security guard and a cops ego.

    Then when you do prove your innocent, you pay court costs?

    I think its exactly the reverse of how it should be. They take your time, and a nice piece of your life for nothing. WHEN YOU PROVE YOUR INNOCENT, SHOULDNT THEY PAY YOU FOR THE INCONVENIENCE? It just makes sense, they charge you for their time when you are wrong, they should pay you for wasting your time.

    They take an innocent man, treat him like shit, show him no respect, rob him of his rights, then charge him a lot to prove his innocent.

    If it was reversed they would be forced to spend more time doing the right thing and less time harrassing good honest people living their lives.

    I once got a ticket that was 7mph over the limit and a $75 fine, and a no insurance ticket $200 fine. I went to court, proved I did have insurance, and when it came time to find out the total I owed it was way off. I assumed $75 for speeding still stood and then $65 court costs, so I was amazed to see the judge jokingly say to the man to his right, sooo what are speeding tickets going for today. to which he replied $200 and laughed. I knew I was innocent of no insurance since the officer wouldnt let me off my bike to get it from under the seat. I only brought $145 with me for the $75 speeding and $65 court costs. The bill instead came to $265. I spent hours of my time to prove I was innocent only to be charged the same amount I would if I had just paid. Again enforcing the its easier to just give up theory.

    I love America, Im not leaving. I too will not stand for anymore bullshit authority abusing crap ever again. Although I have no clue what I can do about it, besides stand my ground and be abused like every other good man.

    Do me a favor, go over to YouTube and pop POLICE BRUTALITY into the search. You will find a cop beating and macing an innocent 16 year old drive thru girl, a peaceful protesting lawyer being shot with a bean bag at close range in the back and again later directly in the forehead, right through her sign saying FEAR TOTALITARIANISM! Etc.

    This mans one account is just the tip of the iceberg, it can only get worse from here.

  136. deebeeburlap says:

    Y’know I really think you’re out of line here. If you disagree so vehemently with the policy of showing a receipt after making a purchase while still in store – don’t shop at said store. You were still on store property which is a private business. There are other alternatives. Way to make a mountain out of a molehill.

  137. joe says:

    Way up at the top some guy said:

    (I suspect you’ll never get ACLU to defend you – they only take up huge causes – another lesson to learn.)

    This is not true. If they see an opportunity to make a difference and they can find a cooperating attorney – they will help you. They help far more small cases than huge causes. I urge you to contact your state’s chapter.

  138. Rodney says:

    sue the hell out of them.

  139. Arseny says:

    Hey Michael. Can you provide any relevant mailing addresses so that readers of your blog can send a letter to local officials. You should also get the Circuit City headquarters address and give us the store number. Since you’re getting a lot of press, this should be interesting !

  140. Evan says:

    I have no problem with what you did, but I think you chose an odd moment to do it. You chose to create this scene during a family reunion — on your little sister’s birthday — while she was in the back seat watching?

  141. mmhnto says:

    Thanks for standing up for your rights. I hope if I’m in the same situation I can handle it as cooly as you did.

  142. mdhatter says:

    Enjoy the very large TV, speakers, satellite nav system, car speakers, and ‘get out of jail free card’.

    They will settle this, CALL THE ACLU NOW.

    As to Circuit City, they should know better.

  143. mdhatter says:

    Someone above: “You chose to create this scene during a family reunion”

    I’m pretty confident you did not choose this time and place to be harrassed and have your civil right abused.

    This is America, you are right.

  144. Scott says:

    Hopefully someday you will grow up and have the ability to make better decisions. Otherwise, you will go through life with your me vs the world and I know my rights attitude. You might even be right occassionally but look at the cost you will pay and you will never be happy or successful. But in your little mind you will be able to justify things and feel good about standing up for yourself. Good luck.

  145. Andrew H says:

    I worked in loss prevention for a major retailer for about a year here in Iowa. You were totally in your right to just smile and be on your merry way. Receipt checks are nothing more than a deterrent to shoplifting, and by asking a person to see their receipt you are well within your rights to keep on walking. I say kudos to you for standing up for your rights. Those cowboys at that Circuit City should have swallowed their pride a bit and understand that their is something more important than Circuit City. Had this happened at my previous employer, I would likely have been terminated on the spot. Best of luck to you.

  146. Quinn DuPont says:

    Blogged and will be sending a letter to Circuit City, in support of your argument, and suggesting that they change their polices.

  147. Mike D says:

    There are people on this board who are surprised by peoples willingness to lay down for the government. That is not what happened here. This is:

    1) A store we have all gone into at some point protecting itself from being ripped off. Circuit City was not unreasonable at all.

    2) A police officer trying to collect information so they can handle in the best manner possible. He was not unreasonable.

    3) A blogger going overboard. He was unreasonable in both cases.

    a) He willing went into Circuit City knowing that they have this policy. They only asked to see the recipt and check his bag before he left. He wasn’t asked to submit to a personal serch. If he had been then I’d be agreeing with him.

    b) The officer wanted to collect reasonable information on both parties involved a situation. He was not on Circuit Cities or Michael Righis side. He was behaving as the neutral party he was at that point called to the scene.

    Here’s a clue. If you don’t like places that ask to check your reciept don’t shop there. That is a proper protest.

    As for the police, they are here to serve and protect all of us. They put their lives on the line daily to protect us and people there are this many people acting as if they are the enemy. That makes me sad.

    This is a case of a blogger who’s gotten his 15 minutes. That’s what he wanted and what he’s received.

  148. Einstein says:

    To all those saying, why do it at that moment during a family reunion. BECAUSE THATS WHEN THE SITUATION PRESENTED ITSELF. Why not just do whatever anyone tells you…

    I for one am glad his family saw him protecting his rights, I can assure you those children will not forget the lesson they learned that day, and they may rise up one day and be a part of the solution instead of the problem. It is however unfortunate that it happened when/where it did. But he didnt choose the moment it chose him.

  149. RobT says:

    Good luck with this.

    For everyone who is accusing him of abusing 911 for a non-emergency — in most locations, there is no other number to call to get a response. When I had some items stolen off my porch, I tried calling all the non-911 police phone numbers, because it wasn’t an emergency. Everyone who answered said I had to call 911 to get a police responder to come take a report. Abusing 911 is like calling 911 and ordering a pizza.

    Michael was being physically restrained from leaving Circuit City, and calling a police office was an appropriate action. Unfortunately the office didn’t agree — he clearly thought Michael was guilty from the start. Michael, you should have shown your receipt and bag contents to the cop, first of all, to establish you weren’t a criminal. Think of the situation from the perspective of the police officer, who is usually only called to these situations when someone is actually stealing: you were going through all the motions of a typical shoplifter. Remember, the cop doesn’t take your call. He doesn’t know YOU called them, he’ll just assume the store did, and try to fit the situation into a narrative he expects (i.e. typical shoplifter).

  150. jeffdavis says:

    You are right, this kind of stuff is a slippery slope. We slowly begin to think things are ok- taking shoes off at airport, emptying liquids, evacuating an ika because of flour arrows in the parking lot and arresting people for making those drawings.

    Thats one of the thing the nazi’s did- SHOW US YOUR PAPERS and with their big IBM database of people and their religions. That is literally how it all starts.

  151. Beeb says:

    Ignore any of these people finding fault with how you acted. You absolutely did the right thing every step of the way. The store checker assumed he had the right to do as he pleased and the policeman assumed he had the right to brace you for the same reason. I’m glad some other people understand that you have to flex your rights in order for everybody to continue having them.

  152. Dude says:

    Thank You!

    This type of store behavior should be illegal.

    It really scares me that some people see no problem with this illegal search and seisure.

    Everyone should write to the CEOs of Fry’s, Best Buy, Wal*Mart and Circuit City to complain about this. Maybe if they got millions of complaint letters they would change their ways.

    I think this would be a great opportunity for some politician to propose a law to make this illegal. I would vote for that person.

  153. Aaron says:

    I just wanted to add a word of support. I don’t understand critics who don’t understand the implications of cowtowing to illegitimate authorities like Circuit City when they detain customers for not relinquishing their personal property. The amount of time this takes is irrelevant. I think you simply got unlucky with the police officer, as in similar situations, when officers are aware of the law, they have sided with the customer and also taken the store to task for overstepping their bounds.

    False detainment by a store is always worth fighting. Best wishes as you work through the legal issues.

  154. Ken says:

    My suggestion and the only recourse that will have what I believe is the desired effect is to write a letter to the main office where the officer in question works. In the letter complain about the officers abuse of power and wrongful arrest as you did above. If you win any part of this you should site the number for that winning case in the letter. Then request that letter be permanently placed in his or her personal employment record.

    If the system still works and that office is not corrupt, then it’s the proper course of action. That officer will reap the consequences of his actions appropriately in the future.

    This has been suggested to me while standing up for my own personal rights. It was suggested by state authorities while I was complaining about local authorities. As you might have already guessed, that was the only helpful advice I received while all other law authorities refused to help and in many cases even listen.

  155. Wesley says:

    I see words like “illegal search and seizure” and “giving up rights” and it’s all complete nonsense.

    Circuit City is a private business. It is not subject to the provisions of the Constitution – you do not have the right to free speech, the right against unreasonable search and seizures, or anything else. The business has the right to set its own policy.

    While you may be against such a business from treating its “loyal customers” in that way (which I personally am to), you cannot say that private businesses CANNOT do that.

    You broke the rules the store sets (and is allowed to set) for itself, you were punished. End of this non-story.

  156. C-Dub says:

    Good for you, man.
    If you let people assume more authority than they really have, you’re on a slippery slope.
    interested to hear how this one plays out.

  157. ozoner says:

    Why is everyone freaking out about him calling 911 and it being an “abuse”??? Here in our town, you are required to call 911 for everything – there is NO non-emergency number. Everything goes through one dispatch center. Yes, years ago 911 was for emergencies only, but now in most areas that have a comprehensive dispatch 911 is for virtually any contact with police, fire, or other emergency agencies.

  158. Einstein says:

    I almost cannot believe what mike d just above me wrote.

    Are you serious?

    1. he was within his rights to refuse an unlawful search by a security guard. He also is within his rights to refuse them looking at his contents of the bag unless they had reasonable suspicion he actually commited a crime. He paid for them.

    2. the cop got all the information he needed or he could have asked for more info, the fact is he had already proven his innocence to the cop with the bag and sales slip, but that wasnt good enough for officer ego. What would his license help? He was in the right it was a moot point.

    3. a blogger doing whats right and standing for what he believes in.
    You call that going overboard? I call it standing for your rights. There is law for a reason and when the people who make and enforce them dont have to follow them everything goes to shit.

    You are missing the point, a man was arrested for obeying the law to the fullest. You shouldnt have to fight for your rights as a FREE AMERICAN, thats what the police are for. Is that what they do?

    You just go on being sheep but for fucks sake be quite about it. We will go on proudly being free men. (or at least enjoying the illusion while it lasts.)

    If that doesnt work, here ill put on a nice uniform and weapon to tell you in a very firm voice to shut up, because your freedom and rights do not matter to you anyways, so your opinion is useless.

  159. Kevin says:

    Grow the fuck up. Circuit City has every right to inspect any bag at any time while you are in that store. You are on their property. Likewise, you got smart with a cop and wasted his time.

    I’m sick of crybaby faggots who cry “rape” because they feel their rights have been violated. no one did you any wrong, you chose to ignore them when they asked you to check your reciept and bag, that didnt make you look innocent, and you knew that. you have some chip on your shoulder and wanted to prove something, man up and deal with it.

    faggot

  160. Chris Tucker says:

    I find it interesting that all the people calling him a “douche” for not just submitting to an unlawful search or otherwise deriding him for not going along, aren’t even using their names, just things like “Me” and “Required”.

    Mike, thank you for living up the ideals of the Founders, and deciding that an Idea is more important than convenience.

    And to the trolls who think he should have “just gone along”, there is a word for you and your ilk:
    “Collaborators”. The lowest of the low, beneath contempt.

  161. Rick Klaw says:

    Michael,

    You have clearly never worked in a retail environment because you wouldn’t had given the poor making-barely-more-than-minimum-wage door checker any shit. Obviously, the guy was just doing his job.

    Nor do you understand that shoplifting is rampant in all retail and that it is virtually impossible to determine from just looking at person who is stealing and who isn’t. In twenty years in bookstores, I’ve seen women with small babies stopped, baby carriages stuffed with stolen merchandise. I’ve seen friendly wealthy older gentlemen with items stuck down their pants. I’ve seen well dressed yuppie-types caught changing stickers so they could save a few bucks on an item. IT IS VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO IDENTIFY A SHOPLIFTER, because there is no TYPICAL shoplifter. Prevention is the best and really only option. It’s the reason that many establishments ask for your backpack or shopping bag when you enter and why Circuit City asked to see your receipt on the way out. What do you suggest that Circuit City do to combat shoplifting? If you have a better idea, I’m sure they will be all ears. Asking to see your receipt is a small thing for them to do so they can literally save billions of dollars a year. And as you know, that loss is passed on to the consumer.

    Several years back, I wrote a column about bookstore theft. Perhaps you should read it and learn a thing or two about the realities of retail.
    http://www.sfsite.com/columns/geeks125.htm

    As for the police.. well they certainly overreacted, but it should have never gotten to that point. You behaved poorly at Circuit City.

  162. Adam says:

    Someone attempts to accost me outside (or inside) any store. I would not hesitate to break their arm, or nose, and leave.

  163. jack rabbit says:

    The Police are losing the support of their true masters – don’t forget that they are government workers, ‘public servants’ and don’t seem to be acting as such.

    Why do I have to show some dumbass at Circuit City anything when I just walked through the cash register ? Why am I submitting to someone who takes a job as a guard at the door of Circuit City.

    Click on my url and type ‘CONSTITUTION’ in the search window and watch Bednarik video on subject.

  164. Kilroy Was Here says:

    Michael,

    You have behaved inconsistently and childishly. Let me tell you why.

    1) Not every interaction between human beings can be codified into law. By attempting to do so, you end up with inconsistently enforced laws and more power to the police state. We should all look to interact cooperatively where we can as it increased efficiency and decreases the costs of our social interactions. (You should look at Hume regarding the rise of social conventions).

    2) When you chose to purchase from Circuit City, you chose them because of their convenience, pricing, etc. One way that Circuit City can provide the convenience and pricing is by implementing loss prevention strategies. A legalistic way of thinking about that is by saying that when you entered the store for the convenience, choice of product, or price, you agreed to help that store deliver that product effectively.

    3) By not following social convention, you forced a situation where people didn’t know how to react. Think of this from Joe’s point of view. He goes to work 40 hours a week, and every hour, tens of people show him their receipt. All of the sudden this one person does not show him their receipt and demands to know the law. Whenever people don’t follow social conventions and our behaving in a confrontational manner, we don’t know how to react, and, often, will call on our law enforcement. This is a good, because it often prevents violence from occurring between 2 people.

    3a) Let me give you an example of 3 above to illustrate what I mean. When you purchased your product from Circuit City, you probably had to wait in a line. Imagine what would happen if you went to the front of the line and cut in. You would probably be confronted by others in the line and by store staff. If you responded to this with, “Produce the law that says I must go to the back of the line. Show me the written Circuit City policy.” , people are not going to know how to react. Furthermore, if you continue to protest against these employees, rather than physically removing you, they will probably call the police, who will probably cite you for “disorderly conduct”.

    4) Finally, it is not as if you entered the building and didn’t know the policy. You foresaw this happening. If you disagreed with the policy at the point you were leaving, the correct way to protest is to ask for a refund and refuse to do business there.

    In summary, you behaved childishly. You thought simply and without nuance. You wanted to prove a point, and, I think, the only point you proved was if there was no law allowing retail employees to check bags and match receipts, there should be.

    Kilroy Was Here

    “Custom is the great guide to human life.” — David Hume.

  165. Einstein says:

    GET IT STRAIGHT WESLEY.

    He was “punished” by the egotistical cop, for exercising his right to not show identification, and not because of store policy.

    So you are saying once a man enters an establishment suddently he no longer has rights? I think you need a refresher course in law.

    Well I need to get right on making a business so that I can trample all over the constitution and every Americans rights. They have the right to ask you to leave and to refuse entry, thats about it. If they catch you stealing they have a few more, but they do not have the right to remove your rights as a US citizen. Last time I checked you couldnt simply make the rules because you have a business license and own the property. A mans rights extend to everywhere he is in the USA, you dont lose them simply because you enter someone else property, or a business. They have to follow strict rules as well, but Im sure you will find that out once he wins the settlement(s).

    He was “punished” for doing whats right and standing for what he believed in which is the law and justice. The officer clearly broke the law, yet you are too stupid to even see that. Like I told the last fellow, you are but confused sheep.

    Its obvious to anyone there was an easy way out of it, but a real man does whats right even if its not whats easy.

  166. Dude says:

    To Wesley:

    Circuit City would not let him leave the parking lot. That doesn’t bother you? Please don’t vote during the next election. Thanks.

  167. Chris Tucker says:

    Forgot to add, that IS my real name and that IS my real website. I have an email address on that website.

    Unlike “Required”, “AV”, “Mrgoodbar”, “Me”, et al.

    But then, they ARE collaborators, and are, by definition, cowards.

  168. The best thing to do in these cases is to say, I will allow you to search my bag, but I expect a full refund on this purchase immediately, and I will never shop in your stores, again, as I don’t appreciate being treated like a criminal.”
    .

  169. Michaelk says:

    Rick Klaw:

    You should know that “Just doing their job” is right up there with “just following orders.” It’s no excuse to break the law or infringe on rights.

    And it also doesn’t matter that shoplifting is a problem, as that doesn’t rate a suspension of our rights last time I checked. I’m sure the stores would love all sorts of police powers in order to stop shoplifting. That doesn’t mean they should get them.

    As for idiots like Wesley, Kevin and Mike D.: Please go live in another country where you have no rights. You don’t deserve the rights we have here.

  170. Erin says:

    I find it hard to get up in arms about a privileged upper middle class male deliberately and needlessly disobeying rules that everyone has to follow when there are millions who are homeless, being shot at, having their genitals mutilated, etc. in other parts of the world.

    Take that intelligence and go-getter attitude and apply it toward something with a more important, universal impact.

    Right now you sound like a whiny yuppie. I’m sad my taxes are going toward this.

    I’m also sad for the security guards. I’m sure they make a lot less money than you do. This is gong to be a hardship for them personally and financially.

  171. Ryan says:

    The lame thing is that Best Buy’s idea of ‘fighting shoplifting’ is paying some twit $8 an hour to harass customers, instead of having cameras, real security guards, employees on the floor. (all the ones I’ve gone into are the same..unless you are an older white dude looking to drop $4k on a home theater system, they ignore you).

    I understand your wanting to make a point with the situation, but I would have pushed that twit away from the car and told your dad to drive off.

  172. Ralph says:

    You’re a fucking douchebag. Did you read the other story about a guy who did the same thing a few weeks ago, and decide to give it a shot yourself? Gain some internet fame? Congratulations. You’ve succeeded.

  173. Bob says:

    Why was it so hard to show your receipt?

    Let me guess, you’re above everyone at circuit city?

    These people were doing their job and most of the time they just glance at your items. YOU took a 10 second task and turned into a huge dilemma, moron.

  174. Grant says:

    The worst part of this entire story is the number of people here who think it’s okay to give up their rights rather than be inconvenienced. I hope you win an unlawful arrest suit against the police department and an unlawful detainment suit against the Circuit City.

    To paraphrase Ben Franklin: Those who would sacrifice liberty for a temporary convenience deserve neither.

  175. dave says:

    your a dumbass lets waste taxpayers money and time. you should never leave home.

  176. Mike D says:

    Einstein

    1) Was he within his rights, possibly. I am not a lawyer so I cannot say with abolut certinty. He was still unreasonable. Circuit City was not unreasonable in asking.

    2) What would the lisence have helped? It would have given him correct information and not an opportuinity to lie. You really want police just believing what someone they are questioning says when their is a reasonable way to prove it?

    3) If the blogger didn’t believe in the policy of Circuit City then he shouldn’t have shoped there. I don’t buy for one second that he was standing up for any righteous cause. He was looking for trouble and he made sure he got it.

    I am not missing the point. The real point is that Michael did not want to work with Circuit City and the policy he knew they had before he went into the store. He wanted to cause trouble. He was arrested for not working with the police. I will be interested to see what the courts say in this manner. I don’t think it is wrong for a police officer to ask for ID. I think that is reasonable. I am a free American and stand up for my rights. I also work with those that fight everyday to make sure I keep those rights.

    Now in your last paragraph you are getting into real rights worth discussing and fighting for. People are trying to take away your rights to keep arms for just the case if the government does go overboard. I hope you are fighting to keep the second amendment in tact.

    I do like how you use the word sheep. Original. Also how you are able to say since I disagree with you I must not believe in freedom and as such my opinion doesn’t matter. That’s interesting. It is also ignorant to not want to listen to and discuss opinions with people you do not agree with.

  177. Look up section 1983. It’s a federal statute that lets you sue the police officer personally for violating your rights.

  178. Martin says:

    IDIOT. Now you will have the right to bend over and take it in the pooper! Show your receipt and be done with it. Life is too short to deal with this shit. You just wasted a day of your life.

  179. S says:

    I live in the area this occurred so I’ll add my two cents.

    1) I sometimes shop at the Best Buy that is located 2 blocks away. They also have the receipt checker at their door. Do they check to see the receipt of every person leaving? Not at all. They do it randomly or when they have suspicions.

    2) Body language says a hell of a lot. Perhaps Michael, you were putting out weird vibes because you intended to cause a scene. Don’t pretend you weren’t. The words are right there in your blog.

    3) It’s a holiday weekend with a hell of a lot of people out shopping. If your job was to ask to see the receipts of people leaving the store, wouldn’t you ask to see receipt of the person with the weird body language? Your job is loss prevention. If somebody had a very different demeanor than most of the shoppers leaving the stores then that causes suspicion.

    4) We only have your words to go on here. I don’t buy for a second that you were completely calm throughout this. I would put money that you were being a cocky little shit based on what you wrote. I’ve seen it many times from those “fighting authority”. You know some of your rights so by golly you’re going to stand up for them! But what was the result:

    A) You ruined your sister’s birthday. Now she’s going to associate her birthday with your getting arrested.

    B) You ruined your family’s holiday weekend. Time is incredibly valuable when you’re an adult. You want to spend as little time as possible doing errands, chores, or work and just want to effing relax and enjoy life. Especially when you have a family and you hardly get any time at all for your own life. You at the very least owe your dad an apology for this one.

    5) You called 911. A phone line reserved for emergencies which this was not. Why didn’t you ask for the police station’s number? It always ends in 1234 in NE-Ohio.

    6) I agree with you in principal. But you need to learn to choose your battles. If this was so important for you then you should have returned the merchandise and gone around the corner to Best Buy. If the same thing happened then you can buy the items online and let your sister wait a few days for something she knows she is getting.

    The lesson you taught those kids was not that they need to stand up for their rights. The lesson you taught was authority is to be feared. They saw you getting arrested for not complying. What will they do when they are adults now? Comply.

    You are obviously a young adult so you haven’t learned a very important lesson. Pick your battles. 1) You don’t live in this state. Now you need to come back to Ohio at least one more time for your court date. 2) You did this on your father’s time. Not your own. He was driving you. You put him out. Not only on the day it happened but now spending time with your lawyer and at court if he has to go on the witness stand. 3) Circuit City has a hell of a lot more money than you. You could just have easily had the state’s law rewritten so that you really do have to show the receipt when you leave the store.

    Pick your battles, Michael. There was no reason at all to take your stand when you took it.

  180. S says:

    I live in the area this occurred so I’ll add my two cents.

    1) I sometimes shop at the Best Buy that is located 2 blocks away. They also have the receipt checker at their door. Do they check to see the receipt of every person leaving? Not at all. They do it randomly or when they have suspicions.

    2) Body language says a hell of a lot. Perhaps Michael, you were putting out weird vibes because you intended to cause a scene. Don’t pretend you weren’t. The words are right there in your blog.

    3) It’s a holiday weekend with a hell of a lot of people out shopping. If your job was to ask to see the receipts of people leaving the store, wouldn’t you ask to see receipt of the person with the weird body language? Your job is loss prevention. If somebody had a very different demeanor than most of the shoppers leaving the stores then that causes suspicion.

    4) We only have your words to go on here. I don’t buy for a second that you were completely calm throughout this. I would put money that you were being a cocky little shit based on what you wrote. I’ve seen it many times from those “fighting authority”. You know some of your rights so by golly you’re going to stand up for them! But what was the result:

    A) You ruined your sister’s birthday. Now she’s going to associate her birthday with your getting arrested.

    B) You ruined your family’s holiday weekend. Time is incredibly valuable when you’re an adult. You want to spend as little time as possible doing errands, chores, or work and just want to effing relax and enjoy life. Especially when you have a family and you hardly get any time at all for your own life. You at the very least owe your dad an apology for this one.

    5) You called 911. A phone line reserved for emergencies which this was not. Why didn’t you ask for the police station’s number? It always ends in 1234 in NE-Ohio.

    6) I agree with you in principal. But you need to learn to choose your battles. If this was so important for you then you should have returned the merchandise and gone around the corner to Best Buy. If the same thing happened then you can buy the items online and let your sister wait a few days for something she knows she is getting.

    The lesson you taught those kids was not that they need to stand up for their rights. The lesson you taught was authority is to be feared. They saw you getting arrested for not complying. What will they do when they are adults now? Comply.

    You are obviously a young adult so you haven’t learned a very important lesson. Pick your battles. 1) You don’t live in this state. Now you need to come back to Ohio at least one more time for your court date. 2) You did this on your father’s time. Not your own. He was driving you. You put him out. Not only on the day it happened but now spending time with your lawyer and at court if he has to go on the witness stand. 3) Circuit City has a hell of a lot more money than you. You could just have easily had the state’s law rewritten so that you really do have to show the receipt when you leave the store.

    Pick your battles, Michael. There was no reason at all to take your stand when you took it.

  181. AeroSquid says:

    I have to think you would hae a better chance at defending yourself if you had recorded all this with a video cam. Good for you standing up for yourself, this is what America should be not what it has become =)

  182. Rupunzel says:

    Vote with your money. Granted I’m not as brash as you, but rather than trying to leave or playing dump, I would have explained to the manager if they insist on looking at your receipt and the contents of your bag, that you would return what you purchased immediately and take your business elsewhere. Dealing with the law is time consuming and tricky and full of loop holes. Hitting their pocket book gives them a different incentive. Vote with your money.

  183. Lucky says:

    I have to say this. His call to 911 WAS an essential call. He was being unlawfully detained. His car was being blocked by one employee, while the door was held open by another. Take this out of the retail context, and that is called UNLAWFUL DETAINMENT. Just because it is in the context of a retail store does not make it right. 90% of the commenters are fucking morons. Pardon my use of language. But have none of you learned nothing from the Tiger Direct incident? You talk about precedence, well, there you go. Michael, you were totally in the right. And as a fellow Pittsburgher, good for you.

    Plain and simple people, he has sited all the laws, and was in the right. The TigerDirect incident last weeks shows precedence. And to the first commenter, he is a resident of Pennsylvania, out of state, NO ONE (save for federal) has the right to require him to surrender his license. It is property of the state, and as such, cannot be seized on anyone that is lateral or below on the power structure.

    Good for you. You’re in the right, morally and legally.

  184. Lucky says:

    PS – Dear Wesley. You’re an idiot. I’m sorry, but the Constitution doesn’t apply on private property, or in private enterprise? Pull your head out of your ass.

  185. DBG says:

    What is overwhelmingly obvious from the comments is how ignorant Michael actually is about his constitutional and civil rights, and how the same is true for virtually all of the people commenting as well.

    In a nutshell, the store is completely and totally empowered under the law to search any and all packages coming in and out of their store. They can post the policy–and most retail places do–and thereby imply the consent of the shopper, or they can make an argument that they are protecting their private property on their real property, which they have a near absolute right to do.

    Likewise, even in states without explicit statutes requiring the production of ID (the “Hiibel” cases referred to in the comments, and generally misconstrued therein), the police have generally been held to be empowered to require ID of everyone involved in a dispute to which the police have been called.

    If you really give a crap about these issues, rather than spend your time harassing some people who are legitimately exercising their current rights under the law (that is, the Circuit City folks) and wasting the time of law enforcement officers (who are not required to be constitutional law scholars, but just to act reasonably, which it sounds like they did), spend that same energy supporting the ACLU, working for political change, and oh, yes–spend a little time actually learning about your rights (and how they exist in a dynamic tension with other interests).

    Otherwise, you just sound like a privileged asshat who would inconvenience his whole family on his poor little sister’s birthday. It is guys like you who make it harder for those of us who are ACTUALLY fighting for people’s rights day in and day out in the courts.

  186. MR says:

    Here’s a little tactic that’s worked great for me: When the clerk asks if I want the receipt in the bag I always say no. As I walk toward the door with the bag in one hand and the receipt in the other, I wait to make eye contact with the door checker and then slowly stuff the receipt down the front of my pants, making sure the checker sees what I’ve done. I make sure I’m several steps away so my action doesn’t seem confrontational, just weird. In fact, I always smile at them in a harmless, semi-retarded kind of way. The look of horror is priceless. I’ve only been stopped once in the last several years and when I explained to the guy I keep receipts and money in my underpants for safety reasons, he too waived me on.

  187. Impressed says:

    Rock on, Michael! Ignore the comments made by the Vichy French – they are all too eager to lick the boots of their masters. You have law and reason on your side. Thank you for standing tall like a man.

  188. Required says:

    I’m not going to candy coat this. You are am idiot. You’re on PRIVATE PROPERTY in a store which sells lots of expensive stuff. They didn’t demand a strip search, they wanted to SEE YOUR RECEIPT AND LOOK IN YOUR BAG.

    But it gets BETTER! You’ve got to go an get uppity with a cop! YOU MORON! You called 911 (which is for EMERGENCIES ONLY you tool!) and then got snippy with the cop who has better things to do than listen to some whiny tool with a chip on his shoulder complain about how the security guard treated him!

    The thing is, it doesn’t MATTER IF YOU’RE RIGHT. You wasted taxpayer dollars with your little crusade here, idiot. Now you’re going to have a criminal record (because I guarantee you the judge won’t be sympathetic) and you’ll STILL have Circuit City employees asking for your receipt.

    100% agree

    We live in a world of terrorism, if you don’t want to show your license to a police officer when you have it on you, you deserve to be arrested. good luck with your fight against though but I don’t see the judge going your way as its you against a police officer.

  189. IANAL says:

    State v. McCrone, 63 Ohio App. 3d 831 (1989) and City of Middletown, v. Hollon, 156 Ohio App.3d 565 (2004) have held that not providing a driver’s license is not obstructing official business, because it’s not an affirmative overt act.

    As for any 42 USC 1983 actions, a police officer may still have qualified immunity. Talk to your lawyer.

  190. Bob says:

    Jesus christ. Talk about making shit hard for yourself, I can understand busting the balls of Circuit City. But do you really think fucking with the cops, whom you called in the first fucking place, is worth all the hassle?

  191. David Newman says:

    Though I found this somewhat entertaining to read,I find your perception of what you consider your rights troubling,if not dangerous.There are so many”what ifs” to this story that I won’t even going in to listing them,but the bottom line is someone could have been hurt & it would have been your fault.You read almost daily of someone being injured or killed because of their actions being mistaken as unlawful,of innocent bystanders being involved, overreaction by police or security guards,etc.
    Standing up for your rights is one thing,but it sounds like you went out of your way to be annoying. My 1rst question was, are your parents divorced or did your mother pass away? Because you sound like you’re acting out for attention. If that’s the case, you have gotten your wish,because this is far from over. Judges take a dim view of spoiled brats tying up their courtroom with petty grievances.You start spouting your perception of your rights & the law in their courtroom, you’ll be slapped with contempt quicker than you can say “No Thank-you”.
    My 2nd question was,how did your family enjoy their get together & how was your little sister’s birthday? Memorable? Probably. Enjoyable? I doubt it. But, I would guess they’re probably use to this kind of behavior from you. As they say,”there’s one in every family”.
    It’s very apparent that your an intelligent young man & that you have a lot of passion about what you believe in. But if you want a cause, find something worthwhile, not just a petty personal crusade to get attention. If you want a battle, choose wisely.
    And apologize to your sister for ruining her birthday.

  192. Rob says:

    I’m not certain I quite understand the venomous rebukes in so many of these comments.

    For what it is worth, though 911 is intended for emergencies only, the police are not. If that were the case, they would not be available for basic traffic control, parade duty, and other non-emergency actions. As enforcers of law and protectors of the community, they are meant to assist with such disputes.

    For those who don’t understand taking a stand, it is something many of us strive for in every action. Freedom within a governed society depends upon principled integrity.

    Personally, I’d like to say I’m surprised that so many comments are angry at the misuse of their tax dollars in Michael’s taking a stand, but few seem to think that punishing citizens and curtailing freedoms is not more of a misuse. Unfortunately, I’m not surprised.

    Here’s to big picture thinking. If all it ever gave us was a Constistution and the ability to squander it…where will we end up?

  193. sh@sh.com says:

    Sheep. That’s what the idiots are in this thread that say “why don’t you just show your receipt”.

    More power to you Mr. Righi.

    I stiff-armed a CompUSA employee about 7 years ago as he tried to accost me after I told him I was not going to stand for his search. This, right after he stood there and watched me pay at the register 15′ away. He ended up on his backside on the pavement, I ended up in my car driving home.

    He didn’t understand that once he touched me I was defending myself.

  194. sh@sh.com says:

    Sheep. That’s what the idiots are in this thread that say “why don’t you just show your receipt”.

    More power to you Mr. Righi.

    I stiff-armed a CompUSA employee about 7 years ago as he tried to accost me after I told him I was not going to stand for his search. This, right after he stood there and watched me pay at the register 15′ away. He ended up on his backside on the pavement, I ended up in my car driving home.

    He didn’t understand that once he touched me I was defending myself.

  195. Al American says:

    So many of these posters are right…

    I mean, shit, you should have submitted to an unlawful search by the employees of a company outside of their premises. You should have allowed them to detain you without evidence. You should have taken an extra 5 minutes to call Information and get a direct line for a police station. You should have given the officer your licence even though you were not driving at the time. You should have also submitted to a body search, a credit history report, and a hearing test whilst you were at it…

    Stuff them.
    You were righteous.
    And sometimes, the righteous have to pick these fights in a way they cannot be ignored or hidden away in order to ensure that everyone else, even those who may condemn you for your actions, continue to live in, what they always call (but rarely do anything to help maintain) a free country.

    Keep fighting the good fight.

  196. Rick Klaw says:

    Michaelk:

    Actually by asking for his receipt, Circuit City did NOT infringe on anyone’s rights. A store, like your house, is private property and ergo they make the rules. Long as an internal rules does not directly injure someone, it is allowed. Shopping is NOT a right, but a choice. And if you don’t like a store’s policies, don’t shop there. But if you do, you play by their rules.

    I’m amazed how many of you don’t understand this. Micheal’s rights were not infringed until he was held and the cops came up. Showing the receipt is NOT a rights infringement issue.

    The poor minimum wage schmo wasn’t infringing on Michael’s rights since none had been removed. So lay off the poor door guy.

    If I was the store manager, I would have informed Michael that if he didn’t want to show his receipt that his business was no longer wanted and then called the police. If Michael was still around when they showed up, I would have issued what they call a Criminal Trespass Warrant to Michael. Basically, it is a legal document that informs Michael that if he ever steps on the premises, he will be arrested. Stores have a right to deny service for almost any legitimate reason. Disregarding story policies is very legitimate. It’s like not allowing someone in your house because they keep putting their feet up on your coffee table. They may think you’re being stupid (after all there is no law against it), but its your house and you can be all the stupid you want on your own private property.

  197. Been There says:

    BEEN THERE. I went through nearly the same situation on a similar crusade for “the good fight”. I was walking home from a pub, and my buddy hopped a fence while I was standing next to him. Cops pulled up and demanded to see ID. I said I hadn’t done anything (my feet were on the ground the whole time) so I didn’t have to show them my ID.

    Long story short, they arrested us both and gave us a $70 ticket for ‘trespassing’. I’m fighting it in Dec because I didn’t actually hop or touch the fence. “Conspiracy to trespass” is not a crime.

    However, in hindsight, I agree with what most people are saying here: you were asking for it. You COULD have just shown them your receipt, but instead, you just had to take the road of self-righteousness and write a big blog post about it.

    Bottom line: if you didn’t do anything wrong, why did you have to make a big deal about it and waste everyone’s time?

    Also, to clarify: if a police officers ASKS to see your ID, you do not have to give it. However, if they DEMAND to see it, you do (“or else”). How do you know if they are “asking” or “demanding”? No idea… I guess you could ask. Chances are, they’ll always say they are demanding.

  198. Lucky says:

    In response to S, he did not put his father out. He did not ask the security guard to stand in front of the car, or the manager to hold the door open. He did not initiate contact, or do anything to warrant such contact. No shoplifting occurred, and what it boils down to, is that the entire car was illegally detained by the employees of circuit city. That’s FIVE PEOPLE who were illegally detained by the security guard and the manager, not just Michael.
    When citizens become complacent, the government has complete control. When the citizens stand up for their rights, they control their own fate, and their own country. This country was set up to defend the rights of the individual (yes, at the time, this did not include women or blacks, but the principal is still there). To say that any time a person’s civil rights are violated, that one should just give in because it is easier is negating the entire principal of the United States. Go on and on about taxpayer dollars, please, but remember, your senators, your congressmen, your president, your public servants, all are supposed to work for YOU, that’s how it works. I don’t hear anyone crying wolf for a girl that’s called the fire department or police to get her kitty out of the tree. Why? Because it’s cute. Is it essential, or a matter for anyone but the peoples involved and possibly animal control, no, its not. But its okay because its cute.
    This last statement is really stretching it, and said entirely for dramatic effect. So please, before anyone flames me for it, I am well aware of my intent in saying it. I remember a time when people were required to identify themselves, or face arrest. They had to wear little yellow stars. Hmmm, wonder what that could have been?
    Good day.

  199. John says:

    I completely agree with this story, do not back down. This is more than just about receipts, it’s about exactly what you stated: not needing identification to exist.

  200. lol says:

    “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.”

    God, you are a cocky little shit.

    “Joe” is running a business, and you’re potentially jeopardizing it. You don’t think Joe deals with assholes and thieves trying to rip him off every day? What makes you so different? You think it’s so appalling that he assumed you could have stolen something, but guess what, precious? It happens all the time. How dare you antagonize someone that’s just trying to make his buck. Get off your self-righteous throne and get a real job… then you might understand what it’s like to have to fight against pricks and wankers like you to make it in this world.

    Thanks for writing about how big an asshole you are.

  201. Chris B says:

    That cop sounds like the one I dealt with a couple years ago. My truck window was shot out by a couple guys in a car. I watched them do it and called the police. When the officer arrived, he took one glance at the window and told me I did it from inside the truck in order to collect insurance money. I asked him if he knew anything about basic ballistics, since the glass had shattered into the truck, not out of it. He then told me that if I didn\’t drop it, he would file the report stating I had done it for insurance fraud. Funny thing was that later that day 13 other people reported the same car and guys shooting out car windows. They were arrested, but the cops still thought I wasn\’t one of the victims.

  202. S Says:

    3) It’s a holiday weekend with a hell of a lot of people out shopping. If your job was to ask to see the receipts of people leaving the store, wouldn’t you ask to see receipt of the person with the weird body language? Your job is loss prevention. If somebody had a very different demeanor than most of the shoppers leaving the stores then that causes suspicion.

    Your job as a loss prevention employee is to use any lawful means necessary to prevent the company from losing money to thieves. Preventing Michael from leaving is, under law, False Imprisonment, a FELONY. Moreover, the cost of defending the uninformed manager in court will cost more than whatever was in the bag. Way to go.

    4) We only have your words to go on here. I don’t buy for a second that you were completely calm throughout this. I would put money that you were being a cocky little shit based on what you wrote. I’ve seen it many times from those “fighting authority”. You know some of your rights so by golly you’re going to stand up for them! But what was the result:

    Even if he “looked like” the devil himself, last time I checked we were a nation of laws and it doesn’t matter what the blazes you presume he looked like at the time. It only matters what each of us is allowed to do with the law.

    A) You ruined your sister’s birthday. Now she’s going to associate her birthday with your getting arrested.

    B) You ruined your family’s holiday weekend. Time is incredibly valuable when you’re an adult. You want to spend as little time as possible doing errands, chores, or work and just want to effing relax and enjoy life. Especially when you have a family and you hardly get any time at all for your own life. You at the very least owe your dad an apology for this one.

    Maybe they’ll gain an appreciation for the sad state of affairs in this country. It’s shameful that some Americans are so willing to part with their civil liberties because it can be a hassle to protect your own rights. I guess it’s much easier to sit back and let other people fight for your rights than it is to do it for yourself.

    5) You called 911. A phone line reserved for emergencies which this was not. Why didn’t you ask for the police station’s number? It always ends in 1234 in NE-Ohio.

    The emergency was the felony in progress known as False Imprisonment, look it up.

    6) I agree with you in principal. But you need to learn to choose your battles.

    This is the saddest part of all. Principles only mean something if you stick to them when they’re *inconvenient*. Anybody can be a fair-weather freedom lover.

    Actually I take that back. The saddest part of this whole affair is that half a world away we have hundreds of thousands of American soldiers fighting for freedom (or some such thing – who knows why we’re over there anymore) yet right here at home we’re perfectly willing to toss all the principles they fight and die for every day right out the window because of such deep moral principles as 1. it’s too much of a hassle to stand up for your constitutional rights 2. it might ruin an employees day (Shane above) or 3. it might make the next mindless movie you buy at Circuit City a few cents more expensive.

    What an indictment of the sad, sad state of our Civics education in this country.

    diego Says:
    September 2nd, 2007 at 7:32 am
    You’re a fool. why would anyone putthemselves through an arrest just to be able to go “nah, nah, nah, you’re wrong. I’m right” to the police? It’s assholes like you that make the world such a shit pit. I hope the judge just laughs at your dumb ass. It’s what you deserve. Hell, I hope he locks your dumb ass up for a few days.

    Well maybe you hope a judge ignores the constitution and the laws of the state of Ohio, but (call me crazy) I actually depend on them to uphold the law. And I don’t think it’s “assholes like [Michael]” that make the world a shit pit, to use your words. It’s people like you who will ill on others and who are disgustingly ignorant of their own rights who require people like Michael to take a stand on our behalf. If we had more Michaels in the world, this sort of thing would happen less. Like I said it’s much easier to sit here and use your freedom of speech to attack someone since you’re not the one that had to fight for that liberty.

    Me says:
    Yes. Definitely a non emergency brought on by a fucking douche bag that wanted to waste a lot of peoples time and taxpayer money on nothing.

    Please for god sakes don’t also start thinking your some rosa parks like that other douche bag who did the same thing last week. You’re no MLK or Gandhi.

    Actually, the commission of a felony is perfect grounds for calling 911. Inform yourself. He’s not claiming to be MLK, Ghandi or Rosa Parks, but why wouldn’t you applaud him for standing up for the very rights that those people fought for? The people on the bus that day in Alabama felt the same way you do now.

    Shane says:
    However I think you owe those associates an apology for your immature actions.

    You’ve forgotten something. If it weren’t for the customer, you wouldn’t have a job. You’ve got it twisted. The associates owe him an apology for being ignorant of the law and for detaining him illegally. And if you really haven’t caught on to this by now the ones you should be upset at are Circuit City management. They’d much rather pay someone maybe $15/hour and provide them with sub-standard training than spend their money on better loss-prevention technology.

  203. S Says:

    3) It’s a holiday weekend with a hell of a lot of people out shopping. If your job was to ask to see the receipts of people leaving the store, wouldn’t you ask to see receipt of the person with the weird body language? Your job is loss prevention. If somebody had a very different demeanor than most of the shoppers leaving the stores then that causes suspicion.

    Your job as a loss prevention employee is to use any lawful means necessary to prevent the company from losing money to thieves. Preventing Michael from leaving is, under law, False Imprisonment, a FELONY. Moreover, the cost of defending the uninformed manager in court will cost more than whatever was in the bag. Way to go.

    4) We only have your words to go on here. I don’t buy for a second that you were completely calm throughout this. I would put money that you were being a cocky little shit based on what you wrote. I’ve seen it many times from those “fighting authority”. You know some of your rights so by golly you’re going to stand up for them! But what was the result:

    Even if he “looked like” the devil himself, last time I checked we were a nation of laws and it doesn’t matter what the blazes you presume he looked like at the time. It only matters what each of us is allowed to do with the law.

    A) You ruined your sister’s birthday. Now she’s going to associate her birthday with your getting arrested.

    B) You ruined your family’s holiday weekend. Time is incredibly valuable when you’re an adult. You want to spend as little time as possible doing errands, chores, or work and just want to effing relax and enjoy life. Especially when you have a family and you hardly get any time at all for your own life. You at the very least owe your dad an apology for this one.

    Maybe they’ll gain an appreciation for the sad state of affairs in this country. It’s shameful that some Americans are so willing to part with their civil liberties because it can be a hassle to protect your own rights. I guess it’s much easier to sit back and let other people fight for your rights than it is to do it for yourself.

    5) You called 911. A phone line reserved for emergencies which this was not. Why didn’t you ask for the police station’s number? It always ends in 1234 in NE-Ohio.

    The emergency was the felony in progress known as False Imprisonment, look it up.

    6) I agree with you in principal. But you need to learn to choose your battles.

    This is the saddest part of all. Principles only mean something if you stick to them when they’re *inconvenient*. Anybody can be a fair-weather freedom lover.

    Actually I take that back. The saddest part of this whole affair is that half a world away we have hundreds of thousands of American soldiers fighting for freedom (or some such thing – who knows why we’re over there anymore) yet right here at home we’re perfectly willing to toss all the principles they fight and die for every day right out the window because of such deep moral principles as 1. it’s too much of a hassle to stand up for your constitutional rights 2. it might ruin an employees day (Shane above) or 3. it might make the next mindless movie you buy at Circuit City a few cents more expensive.

    What an indictment of the sad, sad state of our Civics education in this country.

    diego Says:
    September 2nd, 2007 at 7:32 am
    You’re a fool. why would anyone putthemselves through an arrest just to be able to go “nah, nah, nah, you’re wrong. I’m right” to the police? It’s assholes like you that make the world such a shit pit. I hope the judge just laughs at your dumb ass. It’s what you deserve. Hell, I hope he locks your dumb ass up for a few days.

    Well maybe you hope a judge ignores the constitution and the laws of the state of Ohio, but (call me crazy) I actually depend on them to uphold the law. And I don’t think it’s “assholes like [Michael]” that make the world a shit pit, to use your words. It’s people like you who will ill on others and who are disgustingly ignorant of their own rights who require people like Michael to take a stand on our behalf. If we had more Michaels in the world, this sort of thing would happen less. Like I said it’s much easier to sit here and use your freedom of speech to attack someone since you’re not the one that had to fight for that liberty.

    Me says:
    Yes. Definitely a non emergency brought on by a fucking douche bag that wanted to waste a lot of peoples time and taxpayer money on nothing.

    Please for god sakes don’t also start thinking your some rosa parks like that other douche bag who did the same thing last week. You’re no MLK or Gandhi.

    Actually, the commission of a felony is perfect grounds for calling 911. Inform yourself. He’s not claiming to be MLK, Ghandi or Rosa Parks, but why wouldn’t you applaud him for standing up for the very rights that those people fought for? The people on the bus that day in Alabama felt the same way you do now.

    Shane says:
    However I think you owe those associates an apology for your immature actions.

    You’ve forgotten something. If it weren’t for the customer, you wouldn’t have a job. You’ve got it twisted. The associates owe him an apology for being ignorant of the law and for detaining him illegally. And if you really haven’t caught on to this by now the ones you should be upset at are Circuit City management. They’d much rather pay someone maybe $15/hour and provide them with sub-standard training than spend their money on better loss-prevention technology.

  204. Bob says:

    Some people need to get over the idea that every little thing that goes on in their lives is some type of personal infringement upon their freedoms.

    Quite simply, if you don’t like the idea of having your purchases checked before you leave a store, don’t shop there. For a store such as Circuit City, they face a high level of shoplifting as hi-tch items are in demand and carry high prices. If you would prefer to shop at an alternative establishment that does not have any sort of shoplifting prevention thus leading to higher rates of theft, then by all means do so. The loss of the store will be passed on to you the consumer in the form of higher prices.

    Quite simply, what do you have to hide from having a store employee verify that the contents of your bag match what has been printed on the receipt? What do you have to hide from an officer of the law by refusing to show your drivers license, or any form of identification for that matter?

    I’ll continue to show at Circuit City. I will continue to show the security guard at the door my sales receipt. I will continue to present identification to an officer of the law when asked for it. Why? Because I have nothing to hide. Apparently many of the people here do.

  205. Michaelk says:

    Rick Klaw:

    I didn’t say asking to see the receipt infringed his rights. Detaining him, however, did.

    Demanding to see the receipt and searching the bag to check against it, however, would be an illegal search. Store policy doesn’t matter in that case.

  206. Bro Babylon says:

    My mother gets stopped by these people occasionally, and she quite literally tells them to go fuck themselves, and threatens them with physical violence if they lay a hand on her. Once you pay for it, it’s your property. They can no more search your bag than search your wallet. There is a word for people letting you onto private property, but not letting you leave, “kidnapping.” If they’re so concerned about YOUR property as it passes through their store, they should get clear bags. These kinds of people SHOULD be met with indignation whenever possible.

  207. Thanatos says:

    In Virginia, obstructing the movement of a motor vehicle is a misdemeanor.

  208. Thanatos says:

    I’ve decided that, should I be met with this level of idiocy, my first reaction will be to go to the returns counter, get my money back and leave.

  209. Dan says:

    Thank you Michael for your story, courage and ideas. Thank you and the other readers/commenters for reminding me that I don’t _yet_ live in a totalitarian state.

  210. Anonymous says:

    Great Story!

    Good luck with your legal battle and I hope you win.

    Personally, I think if these stores wish to search your bag they should post a sign before you enter the store or before you buy your items. Not only a sign, but the cashier should tell you before you purchase. Just my opinion of course.

    Good Luck!

  211. Punisher says:

    Hey Bone head.
    I saw you steal and you should be punished for being a prick

  212. Frank Lau says:

    Congrats man for standing up! Seriously, I’m tired of morons being fed up and obeying whatever they say. GOOD LUCK IN COURT AND WIN THIS.

  213. Jamie says:

    Since so many people have already commented–including an 8-year-old named ‘Punisher’–I will just leave a note: well done, and I hope your rights are upheld. In my opinion, civil disobedience is one of the greatest (and unfortunately waning) displays of patriotism.

  214. hrumphgrumble says:

    Read: Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, 542 U.S. 177 (2004),

  215. Adam says:

    Kilroy Was Here: Your statements are well spoken and seem logical at first blush. However, I think its clear that the police would not come to the store unless you were reported to be doing something unlawful. For example, cutting in line would result in being asked to leave the store, which is the store’s right, so refusing to do so would be unlawful.

    Leaving the store without submitting to being searched is not, on the face of it, disorderly or unlawful in any way.

    You’re right when you say, “Not every interaction between human beings can be codified into law”. But you seem to think that those interactions not codified into law should be punished if they don’t fit expectations. That is contrary to the American view of liberty, which is that you are free to do anything which is not illegal (essentially those things which cause no harm to others).

  216. paul wall says:

    Everyone keeps saying how Micheal should have layed off the doorman. It didn’t sound like Michael was harassing or bothering him at all. It is unfortunate that the doorman was put in the position he was, and yes he was doing his job, but so was Michael. Crappy jobs suck, no one will argue that, but pitying someone who has a crappy job is no reason not to follow the law.

    Everyone who is saying it wasn’t worth it – You are probably right. Sucks fighting the government and big business, very hard to win.

    Everyone who is congratulating Michael on fighting the good fight – keep it up

    Everyone who is calling Michael a douche bag and a faggot – grow up? Name calling just makes you sound ignorant.

    Everyone who claims Michael wasted taxpayers money -there was an altercation, the police were called, it is their job.

    And Everyone who is missing the big point here – MICHAEL WAS ILLEGALLY ARRESTED. He didn’t break any law, and he was arrested. This is a problem. I think a lot of the laws in place right now are rather stupid and even scary, and it amazes me that Michael actually got away with this without breaking any laws.

    Don’t be concerned with Michaels family or sister. Even if you think it is stupid to waste your time for something so “irrelevant”, just realize the facts:

    To be arrested you have to break a law. Michael didn’t. He was still arrested.

  217. Scott Lloyd says:

    you sound like a pretty stubborn guy :-/

  218. kyle says:

    its all good and everything about protecting your rights, but honestly im sure the security guard has seen all this stuff before, a guy steals something and just walks by thinking the guard won’t do anything, you didnt exactly make it seem like you were’nt shoplifting, not like he knows you personally or anything. The only way to stop it is by checking people and if everyone like you just walked by and was like “nah” how are they going to do that?

    i mean im in no way saying that it was really that cool how far they went, your reason for arrest was a bit odd. gl with everything though.

  219. Eek says:

    Though I’m not a lawyer, I think legally you can successfully argue that the arrest was unlawful and also sue the Circuit City employees based on the laws you posted.

    Here’s the thing though… I think you’re not picking your battles wisely. If this had all started because you were racially profiled, or because there was some unreasonable unjustic perpetrated against you, I’d understand your attitude, but I disagree with being this litigious over the old receipt issue. It is perfectly reasonable in my opinion for a store, which is private property, to ensure that you paid for the thing you’re walking out with as long as the process is relatively speedy and not an unreasonable nuisance. But as some mentioned above, all litigious beligerance does is force the stores to increase prices to cover more advanced electronic tagging systems or the cost of theft.

    While the law is on your side based on the way the situation was poorly handled by the CC people and police, maybe the law needs to be revised a little.

    But hey, even if you do read my message here, you’ll likely be soon convinced out of much self-analysis by all the “way to go bro – stick it to ‘em” comments by the others. But here’s hoping… :-)

  220. Tony Clifton says:

    Microchipping people is obviously the only solution to problems like this. (This is sarcasm kids)

  221. retired defense lawyer says:

    Nope, as noted above, he’s an idiot (or maybe in need of therapy). As a defense lawyer with legal aid, I (with my legal aid colleagues) always hated it when some asshole like this guy waltzed in and asserted that he was preserving sacred human rights. Society and the legal system itself depend on common sense, common courtesy, and tolerance of inconsequential intrusions.

    I also note that my wife is a business owner who every once in awhile has to deal with folks who don’t seem to understand that she has a right to institute loss-prevention steps. Like the once used by big box retailers, hers is courteous and quick. Those who get miffed are courteously invited never to return.

  222. Cody Mays says:

    Good luck with the case man! I got held at walmart like this. :/

  223. Electraglide says:

    How did the Monkey Bread taste ?

  224. Sick of morons says:

    “My mother gets stopped by these people occasionally, and she quite literally tells them to go fuck themselves, and threatens them with physical violence if they lay a hand on her.”

    Great! Threatening people with violence is always a good way to get the cops involved. Maybe when the cops come, they’ll take her out and prevent her from reproducing further.

    Back on topic…sorry man wtf do you expect? Yeah it sucks the US has become a police state, it’s been going on for a while with no signs of slowing. But wtf do expect from an Ohio cop? And now you’re asking for paypal donations? I hope you’re not expecting a payout, or any sympthy for that matter.

  225. Marc says:

    Everything will be dropped if any charges were filed by Circuit City but the local courts will not drop the police charges filed which were not part of the circuit city fiasco.

    Unless of course the receipt or checkout area says “we reserve the right to inspect all packages.”

    I do agree it makes you feel like a criminal.

  226. Stopharian says:

    # retired defense lawyer Says:
    September 2nd, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    Nope, as noted above, he’s an idiot (or maybe in need of therapy). As a defense lawyer with legal aid, I (with my legal aid colleagues) always hated it when some asshole like this guy waltzed in and asserted that he was preserving sacred human rights. Society and the legal system itself depend on com……………………………………………..

    It sounds like it’s quite lucky for many people that you decided to get out of the business.

  227. Terry says:

    While the store manager has a right to set store policy regarding bag searches on the premises, he had no right to prevent you from leaving absent probable cause that you had, in fact, stolen something.

    Similarly, the cop falsely arrested you for failing to provide a driver’s license.

    For those confused on the matter, an individual is only required to a have a valid driver’s license on their person when that individual is driving a motor vehicle on a public street. Further, a driver is only required to show a license when a stopping police officer has reason to believe that driver has committed a traffic violation.

    Given that Michael wasn’t driving a motor vehicle on a public street, he had no legal obligation whatsoever to have a drivers license on his person, let alone present it to an overbearing police officer on demand.

    As such, I wish you the best of luck in defeating the bogus charges against you and hope you will consider bringing suit against the police officer/department for false arrest.

    Given your experience, I’ll also be writing Circuit City Corporate Headquarters to inform them why I will no longer be doing business with them and will be encouraging others to shop elsewhere as well.

    Terry
    http://www.checkpointusa.org

  228. Jack says:

    If there is any justice, you will be jailed or fined for wasting everybody’s time. God I hate geeks and nerds. Get a life.

  229. Jim says:

    amazing how many people seem to think you’re in the wrong for wanting to stand up for your civil rights.

    Kind of scary that there are that many retards that don’t understand if we don’t fight for our rights, we lose them.

    Or maybe they don’t like those rights anyway, and believe it’s perfectly ok to have to show our papers everywhere.

    I hope you sue the crap out of of the police department and the circuit city. I hope you are willing to appeal if the judge turns out to not be willing to listen. Get a good lawyer and demand lawyer fees in the suit.

  230. Rod says:

    What an ass. A property owner has the right to make any damn rule he wants that is legal. It is perfectly legal to require you to show a receipt when you leave his property with merchandise he supplied. It is up to you to prove what he did is illegal, which you can not do, since it is not. The police officer also had the right to demand proof of purchase since you were being accused of shoplifting, and as such had the right to demand proof of your identity prior to your arrest. You sir are an ass and I hope you do jail time.

  231. Alex W says:

    Required:

    Its quite obvious that your the kinda guy that could easilly become employed by these shops, and security firms. You really do seem to missing the point completely, if we all thought like you then i could stop you in the street and search through all your belongings to see if any of them might belong to me. And better still, if you say no, i can have you arrested.

    Retired defense lawyer, your the idiot. This story proves that the Police and store employees had no common sense, courtesy or education. I own a business, in fact if you want to split it into stores, i have 4 stores and yes we have loss-prevention methods. All my employees know whats right and whats wrong, if we followed your allowance of ‘intrusions’ i can guarantee many of my customers would never return. This is a case of the employer being too profit orientated to employ high quality staff and the police not monitoring thier own officers to a high enough standard.
    I would love to try an “inconsequential intrusion” on one of your female family members and see how it makes you feel. Im sure they wouldnt mind me checking there bags because im interested in seeing what money/ipod i can jump them for later in the day. Get real.

  232. Rod says:

    Also, you are correct he had no right to detain you but he had every right to confiscate the merchandise since you would not provide proof of purchase, but you refused to stop when questioned about it. Don’t spend to much money on this because you are screwed.

  233. Jen Larkin says:

    One thing that you should consider, and I don’t know if this has been brought up before because the comments are too big, but the Circuit City employees did not only illegally detain *you*. By standing in front of the car and inside the door to prevent backing up, they illegally detained your entire family because you refused to show them your receipt. Your family did not even enter the store yet they were physically restrained from leaving the premises. Your rights have obviously been trampled on but even if you had been a shoplifter, it would be illegal for them to physically detain your family. I would encourage your father to join you in filling out the paperwork for their illegal detention, on behalf of himself and your siblings, who were obviously terrified by the encounter.

    In California, where I live, businesses often try to tell you on the way out that if you refuse to show your receipt that you will not be eligible for returning any items. Every so often someone at Fry’s tells me that and I inform them that such a policy is illegal in California. If they call their manager over, I loudly offer to call my lawyer to have him clarify my rights to them, at which point they get very apologetic. My lawyer is actually a housing attorney and I don’t have his number, but calling your lawyer for an illegal detention is probably better than calling the police, since the police will sometimes arrest you just to diffuse the situation. I would not be surprised if the officer in question deliberately did not read you your rights so that you would have an easy to exploit and well-known legal loophole. His action ended the confrontation, ended the illegal detention of your and your family, and ended the situation in the front of the store that caused the store management distress.

    Anyway, people know that they might be able to convince the police to arrest you but that they will not be able to convince your lawyer that you are wrong or convince the police to arrest you while your lawyer is there defending you. This is why I threaten to call a lawyer instead of the cops. They probably also assume that if you have a lawyer on speed dial that you will sue them if they continue. I do have a lawyer on retainer– I bought him a very nice bottle of scotch and he gives me occasional legal advice in exchange. I suspect that businesses in California know the law and are only trying to intimidate you into showing your receipt but in your case it sounds like the store employees do not know that they can not legally search you without consent.

  234. Stopharian says:

    It seems like a lot of people are deriding Michael for being unreasonably stubborn and wasting taxpayer money, but what about the cop in this case?

    At the time he arrived he would have had reasonable suspicion to search the shopping bag. He could have then determined that no crime was committed and sent everyone on their way after expounding upon his personal view of the situattion by scolding whomever he thought was a bigger idiot.

    Instead he decided to arrest a pedestrian for refusing to show his drivers license. The job of the officer is to “protect and serve” ostensibly to promote peaceful relations in the community.

    Who is being pig headed here

  235. Alex W says:

    Rod.

    Your the ass.

    I own property. Its got big signs asking you to come on in. Come in and ill kill you because i can make my own rules.

    Somehow your ‘law’ has a flaw.

  236. You have to identify yourself to a police officer. If you don’t, it both makes you look suspicious and may be a crime (depending on the state.)

    As for the store… screw em’… Once you are off their property they have to call the cops to handle you (you can’t police outside of your own property, that isn’t your job.) Odds are you were in their parking lot, so that is still their property.

    Just a FYI of what is probably going to happen to you if you do this to a store: The store will most likely grab a screenshot of you on a camera and post it near the front where the front security guys are. If you are caught in the store again, they would either throw you out (which is their right, and if you don’t leave you are trespassing) or have their security people in the back put every camera the store has on you the entire time you are in the store. If you pull anything stupid that next time you are in the store they will detain you before you leave (also within their rights.)

    Or you could just not come back to that store again and continue to whine on the internet about it.

  237. oshkoshjohn says:

    That was a great tantrum. The store guy was doing his job. What was the harm in your obliging his request, instead of acting as if you were a self-absorbed yuppie cocksmoker?

    Now that you ruined the family party and got fined, are you done?

  238. Steven R. says:

    Hi my name is Steven. Actually it isn’t, but you don’t know that. I can give you any name I want and you will never know what it is. How would you know I’m telling the truth, check Photo ID. Also, you knew what would happen when you didn’t show your receipt on the way out, so you were already pushing the buttons of the CC employee. Then you knew what the cop wanted and you played with him. Thats delaying an officer. Remember that next time your house is being broken into and the cop thats responding cant because hes dealing with a little prick like you somewhere.

  239. Alex W says:

    oshkoshjohn:

    But think carefully, does performing illegal acts to the general public come into the job description at your local circuit city.

  240. Kevin says:

    Way to go!
    It’s refreshing to find someone who will actually adhere to the principles they claim to believe in.

  241. zack luye says:

    dude. way to stick it. ahahah. greatly done. welllll. omg. good one.

  242. Wait, let me get this straight. You didn’t want to comply with a a voluntary receipt checking policy? Fine. So be it. But then, you leave the store, and when the manager gets huffy and puffy with you, you left the car you’d already entered to confront him and be a general dick and further inflame the situation, and then YOU called a policeman to sort out the mess YOU made, then continued to be a dick by not identifying yourself to the police officer YOU called whose time YOU were wasting? Yeah, legally, you’re in the right, but grow the fuck up and stop being such an asshole. You win the wanker of the year award. Congratulations.

  243. Ex-Security. says:

    Oh my dear god? Can you people get your head around somethings here..

    Asking to show receipt – Legal because they ASKED.

    Refusing to Show Receipt – Legal because you do NOT have to comply with these kinds of rules.

    Asked to stop by Manager and Security Guard – Nothing Wrong with ASKING.

    Stopping because they asked – Your CHOICE, you don’t have to stop for a request like this. He did and it was his choice.

    Holding the car door open after you requested them to NOT hold the door open – ILLEGAL. Not Right, Not his Choice, and most defiantly Not legal. This is where the alleged CRIMINAL OFFENSE happened. YOU CAN NOT HOLD SOMEONE AGAINST THEIR WILL. This is a CRIME.

    The only thing they could do is BAN him from the Store.

    Got it? Understand yet? Your rights of free movement can not be impeded unless you have been WITNESSED doing a Crime.. And those eyes can not leave you until you leave the store.

    ‘ Rod Says:
    September 2nd, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    Also, you are correct he had no right to detain you but he had every right to confiscate the merchandise since you would not provide proof of purchase, but you refused to stop when questioned about it. Don’t spend to much money on this because you are screwed.’

    He can not take anything from him(or anyone) because he thinks he might have stole it. The Security Officer would have to SEE him Steal something and leave. If the Security Officer did take the merchandise he would be guilty of stealing.

    All these Laws and Legal Rules have been put in place to PROTECT you from being stopped and arrested because someone feels like it. Micheal Righi is on the RIGHT side of the law on this one and he should very well stand up for his(and YOUR) rights.

  244. Daniel says:

    While I understand what you did, and applaud you for your principles, may I suggest that you leave the ACLU out of the equation. They have done more to damage the atmosphere of justice than help it. Please use any legal resource necessary to help you win your case, but I just don’t think the ACLU appropriately represents positive justice.

  245. Steve Hannah says:

    I’m sorry to say that this seems like a sequence of childish choices on your part, Michael. It seems evident at every turn that you were interested in being smug and cheeky with anyone you came into contact with because you have some sort of Axe to grind.

    Another note that you may not be aware of is that the bag check when you are leaving the store is also a means of keeping the sales people honest. I used to work at Futureshop in Canada, and I remember when we made the decision to start checking bags. This decision was made partly because of customer theft – but also to keep sales people honest. Sales people had been known to throw in extra accessories for free for their customers to try to make more sales. Adding this verification process at the door, we were able to weed out quite a few sales people who were doing this. In addition our store losses from theft were reduced by an order of magnitude.

    In the future, if you want to “stand up for your rights”, I would at least suggest being respectful to those individuals to whom you are proving your point. Don’t just ignore the guy at the door who wants to check your receipt. Make your stand there. Treat him like a human being and tell him why you don’t want to show him the receipt. Don’t be cheeky and walk past him saying “No thankyou”. That type of behavior is typical of 15 year olds. But not adults. (I apologize if you actually are 15. In which case, I’m sure you’ll grow up and recognize the childishness of your actions).

  246. Roger Wilson says:

    Best of luck with your case. I can’t seem to go into a store and walk out with out being branded as an “eminent threat” or “teenage/punk thief.”

    Firstly I’m an adult and I don’t appreciate people assuming that myself or any one who is a young adult as “punks/thiefs.” I might as well wear my receipt on my chest and having my social security number ready and be willing to provide to the people at Wal-Mart when I leave.

    I’ve heard too many of these stories and I do condone people fighting the store on this. People need to stand up for their individual rights before they’re encroached upon. However, standing up for your “rights” needs to be done responsibly and with respect to any law that there might be out there. Stores don’t have the right to harass you nor does anyone else.

    Everyone once in a while do they ever search my bags, but, it still makes me angry because I legally purchased the item. I don’t know where I’m going with my rambling but I hope you find solace in the fact that others condone what you did and will fight for the termination of this hinderance.

  247. Necronomikron says:

    @retired defense lawyer:

    The problem is that these loss prevention methods must be voluntary. The point in which he was illegally detained by the store owner was the point in which the manager’s went overboard. Asking to see the receipt wasn’t a problem, the problem is that they can only ASK.

    If we throw away a right for convenience, at some point we will have thrown away all rights, and thus will have none, and be a complete sheep and slave to the government.

  248. Larry says:

    I would like to know the official policy of Circuity City on how employees are to handle such an event. Whatever the law and procedure is, it should be posted at the entrance to the store. I might choose to shop elsewhere if I don’t like the policy. I don’t think you should of been arrested for not showing a drivers license, but days of such freedoms are going, going, gone. This is not the USA I used to live in. However, with brave and knowledgable people some of what has been lost might someday be restored. This is certainly a good case for mail order shopping.

  249. Andy says:

    I appreciate your principled position, and wish you the best in acheiving a satisfactory conclusion.

  250. Joe says:

    Michael,

    Thank you for standing up for your rights, and ours. Give ‘em hell!

  251. jeff k says:

    Frederick Douglass: ‘Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them.’”

    “Remember, the final measure of your life won’t be how well you live, but how well others live, because of you,” Bill Gates

    these are the two best quotes for this modern age we live in that i know of, both fit in rather well with the events.

  252. “I don’t think you should of been arrested for not showing a drivers license, but days of such freedoms are going, going, gone.”

    They’re not gone by any means. As cited, Ohio law does not require you to provide photo ID, but does require you give your name and a few other identifying details. People seem to forget that police officers are human beings that do get annoyed, angry, and on occasion also make mistakes. The OP called the police HIMSELF then didn’t want to cooperate them on the most basic level. Given a cop on a bad day, this would have happened at any time, past or present. In fact, considering the vast majority of civil rights case law was established in the second half of the 20th century, the cops of earlier years probably would have done much worse and gotten away with it. The bottom line is, don’t act like a fucking dick to the people you call to help you.

  253. Steve says:

    This is complete idiocy.

    Why cause all this trouble for yourself?

    Sir – you are an IDIOT!

  254. Chris says:

    I have started a page to list all of the stores that check receipt when you leave. Let me know if you know of any that I’m missing (I am sure I am).

    http://www.anothergreatlist.com/stores-that-check-your-receipt/

  255. Chris says:

    Wow, just wow. I hope this was all worth it. You have just gone to prove that you are aware of your legal rights and now have to incur court fees to prove it. This must leave a great impression on your family and what they had to witness all because you felt offended that some rent-a-cop asked to see your receipt. Are you the kind of person that would sue McDonalds because your coffee is too hot? You are a complete douche and have brought all this attention upon yourself for what? So that Circuit City will not require your receipt to be checked? I hope you don’t shop at Costco or Best Buy as well. Dumbass, I hope Karma bites you in the ass.

  256. Amy says:

    While I commend the fact that you wish to stand up for your rights, I am dismayed that you have to make a police officers life even more difficult by possibly bring charges against him. Its fairly disgusting that you would want to screw up someone life over something so trivial and idiotic. Both the police officer and the security guard were doing their jobs, and did nothing so offensive that justifies this kind of retaliation.

  257. retailer says:

    You are an asshole. A little shit, who has to show that he has some power over the poor guard working the door. Just show him the damn receipt. Tactics like that prevent shoplifters from costing retailers billions of dollars a year in lost merchandise and raising prices even higher. Fuck you for being a stubborn asshole

  258. anon says:

    I see alot of comments like “your an indiot” and so forth… when I saw the title… i sort of agreed with that statement with his initial step, however, he was not an idiot with the steps after that.

    (although, doing this without the others in the car might have been a better move)

    Have some minimum wage power hungry door man, keep you from leaving the parking lot with no proof of any crime being committed, doesn’t give them the right to hold him against his will.

    Do they have the right to detain him with force? Hold him to the ground if he tried to WALK AWAY from the store? Or maybe if he ran? Did he break the law? What would the police do if he didn’t choose to wait for the police and co-operate (yes, I know some are going to argue about co-operate).

    I understand stores wanting to keep an eye on ‘big bags and purses’, but they don’t check those at the door… they only check the bag you just got from the cashier, 10 feet from the door.

    I’m willing to bet, there is more internal employee theft, than thier is with public theft.

  259. Paul says:

    Michael, I believe you were in the wrong. It’s not as if you were unaware that stores like this do bag checks. You went ahead and bought stuff anyway, so at that point you surrendered any right to complain about them checking your bag. If you have a problem with bag checks, don’t shop in stores that do them! Although to me it is pretty silly to complain about a store employee checking what you bought, when you just got done with another employee doing the same thing.

    They did not violate your privacy rights since you were aware of their policy. You violated *their* property rights. They have the right to implement any policy they want in their store. If for some strange reason you were not aware of this policy, you should simply have demanded your money back if it was that important to you.

    Nope, it was not you that was wronged, in the initial encounter. It was the store owners.

  260. PossibleFutures says:

    All the comments on Authority and Obiedence reminded me af a video installation I saw in Prague.

    The Czech people openly distrust obiedence ever since the 1989 Velvet Revolution when they overthrew the residing communist government. The sentiment I found in many of them was a dislike of authority and it’s symbols. A kind of fuck you rebel attitude. “We won’t be fooled again!” This is background to the piece.

    The art installation was a video piece. It showed the two artists dressed in vaguely authoritarian clothes (big boots/flap jacket/ gun). They set up department store electromagnetic detectors (metal detectors that stand either side of the exit) in a subway station walkway. They then forced people to show them identification papers as they passed through the metal detectors.

    Almost everybody filmed capitulated. Some looked confused as they had taken that journey before and they had not been asked for papers. Some looked pissed due to the delay and queues. Some were quite happy to show papers. Some had there bags checked, some had there clothes checked.

    Although every person had the option to try to avoid the dectectors by simply walking around them, very few tried. Those that did try to avoid the detectors the artists stopped. They then fairly gruffly forced them to show identification and forced them to walk through the detectors. Nobody stopped to help, ask, enquire… most people walked a little faster.

    The symbols of authority are powerful.

    RESIST!

    On the case at hand. I wish you every good luck.

  261. Necronomikron says:

    @everyone commenting and stating that the store did no wrong, read the following:

    http://www.crimedoctor.com/loss_prevention_3.htm

    Especially this part:
    “[...]Are Door Bag Searches Legal?

    Yes, as long as the inspection is voluntary. No, if the bag check is involuntary or coerced. This is a rather fine legal distinction that is subject to misunderstanding and abuse. Basically, nothing in the law gives the merchant the right to detain a customer for the purpose of searching a shopping bag unless there is a reasonable suspicion of retail theft.[...] “

  262. Necronomikron says:

    And this part, sorry for double post:

    “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”

  263. Wes says:

    Even though the store is private property, you have purchased something making it legally yours. They don’t have a right to search it on your way out.

    As for requesting, DL the cop can’t do that either.

    I’m a cyclist and I have gotten stopped by cops and they FREAK if I don’t have a DL, which I refuse to carry while riding.

    This link discusses the legal issues a little bit from a cyclists stand point:

    http://www.velonews.com/news/fea/13038.0.html

    -Wes

  264. A J says:

    Michael: THANK YOU for sticking up for your (nay, OUR) rights and doing what IS RIGHT! Thank you, thank you and THANK YOU.

    To all the people who’re saying he caused “trouble for himself” and should have just rolled over: go choke on your own vomit, you filthy spineless cowards! The shit on Michael’s soles has more self-esteem than you scumbags. This country is in the state it is in because of filth like you.

    And YES, it was RIGHT for him to call 911, because HE WAS BEING DETAINED IN A PARKING LOT by some asshole on a power trip.

    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots”
    – Jefferson

  265. Scott A says:

    If the business had posted that packages are subject to search (usually posted at the entrance), then you were wrong.

    You acted very suspicious. Walking past the security guard and getting into a car parked right in front of the door. SOUNDS like someone who was shoplifting and their getaway car was right there so they could escape quickly (if you notice, I am not saying you are a theif, I am just saying that it looks suspicious).

    The fact that you called 911 does not mean that you are blameless. Suspects will call 911 in an attempt to look like they were the wronged one in the incident.

    So the cops arrive and everything you have done up to this time is VERY suspicious. They demand your drivers license. While you would have to identify yourself so they could determine that you are who you say you are (after all criminals NEVER lie about their name and family members NEVER cover for them!), the police can conduct an investigation based on the circumstances so far. Regarding demanding the license, depends on what happened at the scene, after all we are just getting your very biased side of this incident.

    I don’t see a favorable outcome for you on this (according to my cystal ball, the same one it looks like you consulted for you legal advice).

  266. Anon says:

    My goodness. Women are being abused, children are being molested, innocent men killed for stepping in to help a stranger – and you – YOU dare to think it acceptable to pull resources from the police force because you were [i]asked to show a receipt and proof of identification[/i]???

    Here’s a novel concept: Until you show the receipt, the security guard has no idea whether or not the items in your bag were lawfully purchased. Perhaps the way you acted could have been perceived as an indication of your guilt, rather than as someone standing up for their rights. Grow some balls. Seriously.

    Perhaps as I come from a different country, I don’t have a thorough understanding of your concept of ‘rights’, however I do know that the right to not show a receipt or ID is well on the bottom of my list of importance.

  267. TML says:

    Good for you. Ignore these morons who keep harping on you about this. Quite obviously they are the ones that do not deserve their rights as they are 1. unwilling to stand up for their own and 2. unwilling to stand up for others.

    I myself would have done one thing differently. Once I was out of the store and they attempted to physically detain me I would have explained to them that they were breaking the law and I was legally allowed to defend myself. If they still didn’t back off I would have done so. True, I may have been arrested for assault but also true those two would have never tried doing the same again. In addition the assault charges would most likely have been dropped at some level, especially after explaining to the judge that I told them they were physically detaining me and I had the right to physically defend myself. As was mentioned above it is, in essence, kidnapping.

    Anyhow Kudos to you, like many others I shop at a wholesale store where I signed an agreement saying they get to check receipts on the way out but aside from that store I cannot recall ever even being asked for a receipt. I am surprised that anyone does so in this day and age and truly don’t know how I would respond to the initial request myself if I were asked.

    Ignore the Sheeple encouraging you to ignore your rights for other’s convenience. You did the right thing, it certainly was not an illegal thing so if nothing else you should be able to get the charges dropped and have either the police and/or the store pay your court costs.

  268. Rick Bennett says:

    To hell with boycotting Circuit City, Title18, sec 241 of the US Code clearely states that it’s a felony for two or more persons to conspire in any way to deprive someone of their Constitutional rights. It also opens the matter up to a suit in Civil Court, Nail their asses to the Court House wall.

    Look at–> http://uscode.house.gov/uscode-cgi/fastweb.exe?getdoc+uscview+t17t20+273+0++%28%29%20%20AND%20%28%2818%29%20ADJ%20USC%29%3ACITE%20AND%20%28USC%20w%2F10%20%28241%29%29%3ACITE%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20

  269. Joe says:

    Donate? Everyone is a victim, and all want donations… Try working for a living!

  270. Rod says:

    To Ex-Security:

    “Refusing to Show Receipt – Legal because you do NOT have to comply with these kinds of rules.”

    Absolutely incorrect. When you are leaving a store and you are suspected of shoplifitng, you must provide proof of purchase if questioned or you may be arrested until you provide such proof. Your statement is easily disproven since it were true, there would never be a way to detain a shoplifter. They could just ignore every detective and keep on walking. Every store has the right to detain a suspected shop lifter if they refuse to provide a proof of purchase and refuse to give back the merchandise. If I want to make a rule that every customer must dye their hair green to be served, I can do that. It is my store, I can make any damn rule I want as long as it is not illegal. Refusing to show a receipt is more then enough evidence to warrant detaining you on suspicion of shoplifting since a reasonable person would have provided such proof.

  271. GBlansten says:

    Best of luck with this. I think that this is a case worth pursuing and that you are in the right.

  272. JP says:

    This is why I just shop online now.

  273. Kai says:

    First off, Cops only read you miranda if your going to be questioned. You attorney should have told you that by now.
    Second, if you called the cops to be on your side, you sure picked a hell of a way of showing them that. Sorry, its the truth.
    Thirdly, Drivers License, or I.D. he wanted to see identification. He wasnt being a dick about this. When you refused, you became a hostile victim. I dont blame him.

    If you want justice, like it or not, you have to play some cards.
    I bet in hindsight you wished you had shown that ID now, huh?

    Fourth, I do this all the time when I go to Wal Mart, Frys, or any place that insists I show them my receipt. I paid for ITS MINE. No, you cant look at it.
    I had one chick at Wal Mart stop me on the way stop me and tell me I couldnt take my bag with me into the restroom because Merchandise wasnt allowed in there. I said “Its not Merchandise, anymore, I paid for it. Its now Property.” That shut her up.

    Honestly if you had been a little less uppity and snitty about it, you wouldve gotten results. Instead you have a headache. I’m not trying to be a dick, just learn the message here. Yeah Circuit City was wrong, but it may be because they had a bad man on the camera or whatever. But now youll never know.

  274. Jz4p says:

    “DP Says:
    September 2nd, 2007 at 3:52 am ”

    I was legitimately skeptical of this entire thing until I saw the statute.

    Good work, I hope you get something for this.

    I’m not sure that California will let me get away with it, though.

  275. Ex-Security. says:

    Rod Says:
    September 2nd, 2007 at 8:47 pm

    ‘Absolutely incorrect. When you are leaving a store and you are suspected of shoplifting, you must provide proof of purchase if questioned or you may be arrested until you provide such proof.’

    Sorry, but your wrong. You have to have SEEN the crime happen and keep your eyes on the person to make a civilian arrest. you can not investigate and arrest unless you are a peace officer

    ‘If I want to make a rule that every customer must dye their hair green to be served, I can do that. It is my store, I can make any damn rule I want as long as it is not illegal.’

    All I can say about that is Slippery Slope. Don’t be the one who doesn’t remember what happens when you ban someone from your establishment.

  276. tim says:

    Way to go, all you did was prove that you have some sort of pride complex. Why the hell didn’t you just show the guy your reciept, you act like he did something OUTRAGEOUS like ask to see your penis. You sound like a bratty twat to me. Then you refuse to show the officer your license? You could have easily avoided all of this trouble by just showing the dude your receipt, I’m sure your sitting there with your ” Loose Change” poster behind you steaming at comments like these because you think that having to show your receipt is giving up some unalienable right, but in reality, it’s what stores have to do to nowadays.

    Don’t be such a fag.

  277. Justin H. says:

    Since Circuit City is not a government agency they are obviously not hindered by out constitution. Lawfully anyone private group can require a search of bags as A CONDITION OF ENTRY. IE, Disneyland can require your bags be searched before you enter, and you have the right to say no, you just are no longer allowed into Disneyland.

    There is nothing that says bags can be searched as you exit. I really enjoyed your story. I will be returning to the site to keep up to date with the progress. Good luck!

    PS: Miranda Rights are only if you were being questioned about a crime they suspect you of.

  278. Ex-Security. says:

    that should have read ‘some people from your establishment.’

    Thanks

  279. Rupert says:

    Thank you,

    I applied to become a police officer in the UK. Two weeks after application I was asked to go to a police station. When I arrived I was arrested.

    It turned out that my finger prints that I submitted on my application were found at a crime scene. After a night in jail and when a lawyer arrived the next day I was interrogated for a robbery seven years ago.

    What was stolen? A shampoo bottle!

    Where were my finger prints? On a surface outside the house!

    Now I have a record saying that I was arrested for Burglary.

    When the police said I could go I asked for some paperwork to document my arrest or anything. I was not given anything and told to leave.

    Two weeks later London was bombed and they called me up and asked me to re apply.

  280. James says:

    So you obviously have a problem with authority. Pretty much instead of being a complete idiot, you could have shown your receipt and drove away. Then after calling the police yourself you were uncooperative with them, and arrested. Now you think your making a big deal out of the situation you caused by not being a respectful citizen.

    What an IDIOT!!

    1 ) Don’t call the police then not cooperate with them…

    2 ) Don’t act like a criminal and walk out of a store without showing your receipt.

    3 ) Don’t believe you were violated in any way because you chose to be aggressive rather
    than cooperative.

    4 ) JUST SHUT UP!

  281. Mike W says:

    If you would have simply allowed Circuit City to check your bag, your siblings would not have had to be traumatized, that is your choice and your fault.
    Don’t you have more productive things to do than to “prove your rights” in a Circuit City store?
    It was your sisters birthday, but you demanded all the attention to yourself,
    pretty selfish if you ask me.
    Boy I wish I had a brother like you. NOT!

  282. Paul says:

    Well, there are a lot of ad hominems being thrown around here. “Choke on own vomit”, etc. Usually when people resort to that, it’s because they don’t have any real arguments. Let’s stick to the case at hand.

    I am not going to address what happened when Michael walked out of the store. The real issue is that he knew they had this policy, and yet he went ahead and violated it anyway.

    Do store owners have the right to set such policy? Yes, it is part of their property rights. You must abide by it if you do business with them. If you do not, you are being fraudulent.

    In a completely free society, there still would be stores that did bag checks. It is their right. Your only reasonable and non-aggressive avenue is to refuse to do business with them. Michael, you were wrong.

  283. Rob says:

    James, do you even live in America? Thank God our founding fathers were more brave than you.

  284. xam says:

    A cops job is not to interpret the law, a cops job is to enforce the law. In their eyes you’re all guilty. It’s the courts job to interpret the law and find you guilty or innocent. Our local cops have a notebook with laws referenced by keywords because there’s way too many to remember. They’re usually pretty vague on the law you broke until they have a chance to classify it and give you the specific civil code.

    Someone posted above about the people checking being bonded. Nope, they’re either regular employees who drew ‘the door nazi’ station, or salespeople who have been promoted to the ‘security team’ position. Fry’s checks reciepts, BB has a person at the door (they have you check in backpacks), and CC has no one near the door (or most of the floor it seams).

  285. MeSaysMeSaysSux says:

    MESAYS

    You are ignorant and the exact reason that USA is so nazi like now.

  286. Ex-Security. says:

    ‘Paul Says:
    September 2nd, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    Do store owners have the right to set such policy? Yes, it is part of their property rights. You must abide by it if you do business with them. If you do not, you are being fraudulent.’

    Your making a mistake on ASKING someone to following and DEMANDING someone follow your rules. There is no problem with someone asking you to follow your rules. There is something wrong with DEMANDING someone follow your rules. The only recourse for the store is to BAN the person from coming back.

  287. Stopharian says:

    Are you people for real?

    Where does anyone come up with the notion that a store has a right to search your bag?

    Why in the name of God would their company policy or the fact that you are on private property have any effect on your constitutional liberties?

    The companies have a right to ask to look in your bag, but if you say no, they then have 2 options, hold you for the police to come and accuse you of shoplifting and risk making a false accusation or let you walk away.

    EVEN A POLICE OFFICER HAS NO RIGHT TO RANDOMLY CHECK PEOPLES BELONGINGS WITHOUT REASONABLE SUSPICION.

    The fact that so many people on here already believe that a store has the right to look through your things is reason enough to stand up for your rights. When enough people bend over and “take it” therse types of abuses become common place and then they are voted into law and little by little your civil liberties are eroded.

  288. Ally says:

    Though I am all for defending your rights and whatnot, what you did was really really selfish. It was your sister’s birthday and you decided that getting arrested and making a point is more important than ensuring that your sister’s birthday was a happy occasion. You may get points for standing up for your rights, but you suck as a brother.

  289. Wes says:

    Actually, in Ohio the law states that a store HAS the legal authority to detain you and inspect your belongings. (It’s NOT part of their property rights since what is in the bag is legally yours.)

    However, you are not required to carry ID, but you are legally required to identify yourself to an officer of the law.

    The cop was not legal the store was legal.

  290. Wes says:

    References:
    According to the Brooklyn Ohio ordinances, as I read them, one can be detained but not restrained.
    There is also an ordinance stating that a person must disclose their name, address, and DOB to any cop that “suspects” them, though I do not see an explicit mention of physical ID.

    The law for stores:
    http://www.conwaygreene.com/Brooklyn/lpext.dll/Brooklyn/153e/2449/24be?f=templates&fn=document-frame.htm&2.0#JD_54504

    The law for id:
    http://www.conwaygreene.com/Brooklyn/lpext.dll/Brooklyn/153e/1da8/1eeb?f=templates&fn=document-frame.htm&2.0#JD_52517

  291. Sara says:

    You are a grade a moron. I seriously hope they screw you up for wasting police time.

    All you had to do is show the receipts to the guys at Ciruit City and this would not be going to court. You are wasting tax payers money while asking for donations to pay your fees. God you are an arsehole.

    I bet you are the type of guy who would be very quick to accuse someone and are probably highly self righteous.

    Thanks for wasting our tax dollars you prick.

  292. Nitelite says:

    If its an item I know I will be keeping, I tear my receipt up right when its given to me or I refuse to take it.

    Stick it to them. Power hungry punks want to trample our civil liberties? Not in my backyard! Yee Haw!

  293. CockBallHairy says:

    Honestly, what the fuck is wrong with you? All this I’m standing up for my rights bullshit. Just show them the fucking reciept and leave the store with your packages. How’d the whole standing up for your principles go? All this bullshit for you and your family just because you wanted to prove a point. Are you right about it? Of course, but you’re still a fucking tool.

  294. Ben says:

    I think you cleared it up for me with your answers at the end of your story. You stated to people to not call the police dept. with their complaints. You said: (However, I urge you to please not tie up their emergency services with complaints.) You were wrong by what you did, but right by making this statement. Because of you the police have another useless case to deal with instead of helping out an EMERGENCY.

  295. Cecilsaxon says:

    I would love to see some links to state specific laws regarding shoplifter detention and receipt checking. I think Michael is 100% correct on this one- and I am saddened to see so many folks willing to do whatever is asked of them by a retail establishment. Unless its Sam’s club, I Always refuse the request to review my receipt or check my bags. It is after all a request- you deny, and they have to escalate to an accusation of theft. Other wise they can pound sand and I will not comply with the request.

  296. Scot says:

    Good for you, Michael. You aren’t alone in refusing to comply with this sort of extralegal search.

    Several years ago I had an almost word-for-word identical experience with Costco. The only difference was that, when I told the manager to call the police or stop detaining me, I began slowly moving my car. He decided to get out of the way before I had to stop.

    As I told that manager, I am not a criminal, and I refuse to be treated like one. I won’t do business anywhere that _assumes_ that I’m a thief.

    I’ll be keeping an eye on your website. I’ll send a donation if it looks like you’ll need it.

  297. The U.S. Constitution says:

    Hi, everyone! Just here to let you know that apparently most of you have no clue what I’m all about. As the framing legal document of our nation, I protect you against *government* abuses of rights protected under my provisions. Unfortunately for those who would apparently like to believe otherwise, I offer no such protections against actions taken by private parties, individual or corporate. So, while it is apparently odious to you that Circuit City (or any other store) might require that you allow them to check your receipt and purchases as a condition of using their store, it is not an illegal violation of the Fourth, or any other, Amendment. Your recourse, should you decide that the practice is unacceptable, would be to not frequent the offending store.

    Now, there are certainly other issues in this overblown incident that might have legal implications. Mr. Righi may have a cause to have criminal charges brought against the two Circuit City employees who detained him and his family members against their will. With an admittedly limited knowledge of the incident coming only from Mr. Righi’s post here, it sounds like he may have cause for action against the police officer for unlawful arrest, as it does not appear that Mr. Righi violated any laws by refusing to provide his driver’s license. Without a more thorough understanding of the facts of the situation, no competent attorney would rush to offer an opinion on those issues, but the information provided certainly warrants further investigation of the facts.

  298. Joe Friday says:

    1/ you dont have to show the receipt
    2/ He can detain you if he reasonably believes you shoplifted, but that could be an illegal detention ( UNLAWFUL RESTRAINT) if he has no PC to do so.
    3/ You dont have to identify yourself upon arrest, you can be arrested and fingerprinted as a john Doe. You do have to submit to fingerprinting on arrest, or face additional charges. They can set cash bond if you dont have ID. Bond has to be reasonable for the charges. If you are taken into custody on false charges, and its found to be unreasonable, you can sue the PD for 1983 civil rights violation.
    4/ Get an attorney, you will own Circuit City and you may also cash in on Mayberry PD. Sue CC for negligent failure to train their employees, and whatever damages were caused by your arrest and detention.
    5/ Shop on the internet. Prices are better, its more convenient and you may not have to pay sales tax.

  299. Sara says:

    Actually one more thing, you say you are standing up for your rights? What about the rights of Circuit City to try to prevent theft?

    You have ruined your sisters birthday, miss used the emergency service, wasted police time and are now going to waste courts time.

    Congratulations you are number one idiot of the week!

    Seriously grow up and commit suicide before you breed.

  300. Joseph Conrad says:

    Well, sir, you have been ‘NIGGERIZED’ BY A HISPANIC ‘NIGGER’!
    It’s unfortunate, but you experienced what African-American men experience everyday. And with Mexican-Americans pouring into the nation unimpeded, they have become the European-American’s ‘Niggerizing Surrogate’. That is, they treat African Americans as ‘less’ than they’ but are still considered ‘Niggers’ by European Americans!

    Consider this. Every time Republicans get into power, Civil Liberties suffer, Racism & Sexism appears like genies and Internation Human Rights dissolve.

    Get thos suckas and nail ‘em ALL FOR MILLIONS!

  301. dave says:

    Here’s the bottom line, if I ever get hassled by Circuit City in this manner, I will never shop in a Circuit City again. My time is worth money… if the store wants to bother me and reimburse me, fine, otherwise I will turn around, return the product, complain to the manager and go to Staples or somewhere the staff doesn’t treat customers like ghetto mugs.

  302. Anthony says:

    you are a troublemaker. be nice and maybe you wont get arrested. you know circuit’s policy before you shop there. people like you frustrate me. maybe you will learn your lesson now. or you will just sue and be a jerk.

  303. Sara says:

    Q: Should I be boycotting Circuit City?

    As if people would boycott Circuit City due to a retard like you requesting it. God you are full of yourself.

    I am going to write to Circuit City and the two security guys there and offer my support.

  304. yoi says:

    Checking receipts is used to reduce shrinkage while not violating civil rights by profiling. Everyone gets it and in exchange the cost of business is lowered. That seems like a fair trade. Had you finished school at Pitt you might have grasped that.

    Doubtless you will continue as a professional martyr. Please consider doing so elsewhere. You are embarrassing the city.

  305. Gene says:

    Wow , what a little asshole you are… you really fought the power dude… nice going. I do not respect officers that abuse thier powers but i do respect the clerks that stopped you. they have a job to do and you (with the intention of being a little basterd) were just interested in making thier life harder. what the hell is wrong with you? your a sour, selfish and self centered little man. I myself work in retail, and its customers like you that make me want to rip my face off with a steel rake and go on a murderous rampage with you being the very first victim. seriously, i cant stress to you enough, that you are a little faggot. You probably will win in court, but what a worthless victory. You single handedly ruined your family reunion and your sisters birthday just to prove a point. way to go asshole.

  306. Gen-Xer says:

    It’s amazing how much of a generational difference exists in regards to personal privacy and rights.

    I work with many young(er) people…19-25…and it never ceases to amaze me at how quick they are to give away their rights without questioning the system. I’d wager a large part of the “U r so stupid 2 do this” messages posted here come from this age group.

    Why? Well, take a 20 year old, for instance. He’s only truly been conscious of the real world for 6-8 years at most. To him, the world begain somewhere around the year 2000. His entire map of society has been created in a time of red-light enforcement cameras, public transportation bag searches, and anti-smoking laws that infringe on the rights of business owners (No, I’m not a smoker). Ever increasing surveillance and oppressive authority figures, both governmental and not, are not scary to them. They are not new. They are not unfamiliar. This is what the world *is* to them, and they have no frame of reference otherwise. They’ve been trained to think that any sort of non-compliance is incriminating behavior…is behavior that subverts the safety of us all…is *bad* in a moral sense.

    Authority always seeks to take rights from those they believe to be under them. In the past, this was usually by force. In today’s world it is much more efficient to convince the sheep that they WANT to give away their rights. The effectiveness of this technique is all to apparent in the comments above.

    Bravo to you, Mr. Sighi. I’m seriously considering a drive to Brooklyn, Ohio with 6 or 8 friends. That Circuit City manager’s head might explode with frustration as all 8 of us walk past the receipt checker in unison.

  307. CircuitCityEmployee! says:

    Hello, I am an employee of Circuit City in Illinois. First of all, I want to say that I highly value my job. I am not LP though.

    I just wanted to say that I’m on your side as far as dealing with the Circuit City employees goes. Don’t get me wrong, I hate it when we find out that merchandise is stolen (by the way in my store, this is a daily occurrence and I don’t just mean once a day…). But here’s where my point comes in to show you that I believe Joe and Santura were wrong in this situation:

    At my store, our LP department is a fucking joke. Only one of them actually does their job right. Not only that, most of the time we don’t even HAVE an LP person scheduled (or just plain in attendance). Even the one LP employee who does their job right knows that there’s nothing she can do if someone walks out without letting her see the receipt.

    Actually, we’re all trained to know that even if someone RUNS OUT OF THE STORE WITH A DAMN TV IN THEIR HANDS…we are NOT allowed NOR encouraged to pursue them.

    This whole situation is ridiculous, and it all starts with those Circuit City employees.

    The only reason I can see them escalating this the way they did is if you had any items that were of high loss as of recently. I highly doubt, though, that those Power Squids (or even any kind of surge protector/battery backup in general) are at a high loss level.

    Our store did in fact have (for a substantial period of time) a sign in the front of our store stating that we have the right to inspect your bags upon your departure of our building. By “bags,” we mean Circuit City shopping bags. We are not allowed to search anything else of yours, as far as I know.

    Shit like this really bothers me, and I see it even in my own store. I need my job though, so there’s nothing I can do about it. Nobody has ever gotten arrested (to my knowledge) for the entire 3 years that I’ve been employed at this store.

    There was one incident where a handful of young girls were caught at Target (next door to us) with CDs that they had stolen from OUR store. TARGET called the police, not us. I know we got our CDs back, but I’m not sure Circuit City even pressed any kind of charges against them.

    We once had two “alcoholically influenced” men try to pick up a 42″ LG LCD TV (in the box) off of the floor in our camera department and walk it across the store to the door. Needless to say they didn’t get out with it, but as far as I know NOTHING was done about this either.

    As for the police thing…I don’t know about very many laws so I just do what I’m told and try not to talk much at all (I don’t have many run-ins with the authorities anyway). By the way, I’m one of those people who doesn’t drive and doesn’t have a license. So I’d be pretty fuckin’ pissed if he arrested me for showing him my State ID!! :-p

    I think that’s all I have to say, with the exception of one last (and most important) thing:

    BEST BUY SUCKS!!!

    :)

  308. Gen-Xer says:

    Here’s a fun exercise…

    1. Take all the comments from above and group them into 2 equally sized categories based upon their general writing and debate skills. Top 50% most articulate responses in one pile…bottom 50% in the other.

    2. Now, go through each pile and tally the number that agree with the poster, and those that disagree.

    It’s quite revealing. Those quick to bash Mr. Righi may want to consider why they are in such bad company.

  309. john says:

    michael – you are in the right, but you are an idiot. don’t waste your time this way. now that it’s over, sue circuit city with your father.

  310. Joe says:

    Gen-Xer: Very nice post. I agree with you that we must defend our precious civil liberties because they have been trampled of late.

    If you are correct that the “Michael’s a hoser, stop causing problems, don’t ruin your sister’s birthday” crowd are, in fact, the 20-something crowd, I hope they catch on quick. It saddens me to see so many willing to bow down and give up their rights so quickly.

    Yes, it would have been easy to simply have shown the contents of his bag. But what next? Let some authority figure into your house to have a look around? Be taken away because someone thinks you did something wrong?

    Our rights and freedoms are all we have as Americans. Don’t give them up so easily or soon they’ll be taken away one by one.

  311. just me says:

    Okay, so you didn’t want to show a receipt because you got this principle thing going on. You want to fight fascism right here in America. Great. This isn’t the way to do that. What Circuit City did was okay when they were in their store. What they did outside their store is a different matter. However, you caused the problem. I shop at SAMS Club a lot. I have always had to show my receipt. Do I consider that caving in or giving up my rights? No. If I don’t like their policy, I’ll shop somewhere else.

    I read the laws quoted. The officer was in the right, legally. You may think it’s a crap law but it’s on the books and that is all that matters.

    You created this problem, not CC. You escalated the situation intentionally. You wasted the responding officer’s time, caused your family anguish, and now you want people to donate money to you to “fight the good fight”?

    You sir, are a narcissist. This is far more about your wanting your way despite what anyone else may feel. I hope the judge makes an example of you for wasting the court’s time on something so stupid.

  312. Randy Tatham says:

    In response to those who think that he should sue the cop, the cops mom, the city, officer that actually booked him etc.. I do not believe that thats the purpose of this entire endeavor.

    I agree with making the stand here Michael and I wish you luck in your trials.

    I do beg you not to turn this into a money seeking opportunity.

    If you do end up winning a law suit against circuit city I hope that the money will be spent to help out the ACLU or other charity orginizations.

  313. Dan says:

    About 3 years ago, August 04, 2004, I posted an entry entitled: No, You CANNOT Check My Receipt. And They Shouldn’t Check Yours discussing why you should not show your receipt at the door when you leave a store. . .

    http://www.danielcurran.com/2004/08/no-you-cannot-check-my-receipt-and.php

    Unless you signed a contract (CostCo, Sam’s Club, etc) you do not have to nor should you show your receipt to the door monkeys. Why? Once you have purchased the item it is your property. The bag it is in is your property. To allow an “official” of the store to check your bag and receipt is consenting to a search of your property.

    Why? Why are you giving up a civil liberty? You are consenting to a search without probable cause. Sure there are all sorts of excuses the store manager will give you. “We are looking out for employee theft” – Great, I’m not your employee. “We are ensuring you weren’t overcharged” – Bullshit. “We are . . . ” – Lying?

    I was amazed to read your story as there are a lot of similarities. I have reposted to http://www.FatherDan.com and put your donation button there.

    Good Luck!

    Oddly enough I grew up in Rocky River, my Great Grandparents lived in Brooklyn Ohio . . .

  314. Dan says:

    and I messed up my email address. Its correct now

  315. patchallel says:

    I congratulate you on your willingness to risk arrest to validate your civil liberties. While I agree that retail outlets are endeavoring to prevent loss, those efforts must not infringe on our basic rights.

    If I was in your position, being asked to prove that I bought something, I would simply get a refund. My response to the loss prevention employee: “I did not steal what is in the bag; I purchased it. If you think I may have stolen the contents of this bag, my response must be that your inference of my guilt will result in me returning my lawfully purchased item and my refusal to shop here again.”

    Get ‘em where it hurts. They must be told that we refuse to relinquish our civil liberties just to buy something.

    If they think that the cashier is in on something with us, confront the cashier. How can insulting a customer be an acceptable means of finding a bad employee?

  316. Wrong says:

    Basically you are a stubborn person who thinks they are above the law. This is the problem with America and its “rights”. I will certainly not be donating to your legal fees because:

    a) you will lose anyway as you are wrong
    b) you brought this on yourself
    c) The last thing the US courts need is yet another stupid petty law suit.

    Grow up and get on with life.

  317. John says:

    “Hi, everyone! Just here to let you know that apparently most of you have no clue what I’m all about. As the framing legal document of our nation, I protect you against *government* abuses of rights protected under my provisions. Unfortunately for those who would apparently like to believe otherwise, I offer no such protections against actions taken by private parties, individual or corporate. So, while it is apparently odious to you that Circuit City (or any other store) might require that you allow them to check your receipt and purchases as a condition of using their store, it is not an illegal violation of the Fourth, or any other, Amendment. Your recourse, should you decide that the practice is unacceptable, would be to not frequent the offending store.”

    Yeah because the constitution doesn’t apply in private property they could just kill you for stealing because that stuff doesn’t count when you step into Circuit City.

    You paid for the goods. Technically, they are yours now, and if the store tries to stop you and force you to let them search you, guess what, Fourth Amendment violation.

    Now shut up forever, retard.

  318. Mike says:

    I’ve been in a similar situation in CompUSA. All I did was get my credit card information because I needed to set up automatic bill pay since I was deploying to Iraq. I went to the front desk, then out the door, and the door beeped. A manager told me to come back in the store. I said no. I didn’t have anything, nor did I buy anything. I walked away and back to my car. People looked at me like I was a thief.

    I called when I got home and asked to talk to the manager. I then asked why she wanted me to go to the store, and she told me she could search my jacket. I said I don’t think so, you’re not the police. She did nothing to make me happy.

    I will never shop at CompUSA for that. That store went out of business, too. Good.

  319. Dave says:

    I really would have to commend you for your actions.

    I agree and support your actions regarding the Police, however I do not fully support your actions with Circuit City.

    If you are as protective and outspoken about your civil liberties and freedom, then you must be able to at least consider the fact that you were on private property. Private property is certainly one of the most prominent ideas seen in the American Revolution and the Constitution, and as far as I am concerned, Circuit City has every right to inspect your bags and stuff, so far as it doesn’t violate laws such as assault, violence, abuse. Since you made it out of the building, you weren’t really under Circuit City jurisdiction at that point and the proper thing for CC to do would have been to write down your license plate and call the police.

    I would imagine it must be unlawful to some degree for a CC employee to block your automobile with his body and hold your doors open, regardless of the circumstances.

    I don’t shop at CC or Best Buy. I don’t support businesses who inspect your stuff and make you feel like a criminal. But its not my place or anyones to try to actively get out of the rules of a private business on private property.
    I buy everything I own from the internet, or Mom and Pop stores. And the convenience that is CC (or for some people walmart) or the ‘only place in town’ quality is certainly not good enough justification to force private property owners to run their businesses certain ways. That is not freedom, and when you restrict freedom for a store, its just as bad if not worse as restricting freedom on citizens.

    Good luck with your legal battle, I hope something good comes out of this. What the PD did was wrong if not a crime, the way CC handled the situation was wrong if not a crime.

    However, I must say to you that what you did **initially** to CC was wrong as well, but certainly not a crime.

  320. lotu says:

    Hey congrats on sticking up for peoples rights; specifically the right to be a jerk. From what I can tell what you did was legal to the letter, and it really is important that some people take on the burden of being jerks in a legal manner, so that our rights do not get encroached upon. It also provides entertainment for every one else.
    Though personally I have always felt that being extra nice to police officers is a good idea, because usually that means they will be nice back. (I’ve gotten out of tickets this way) If you had cooperated with the police officer you could of smugly stood next to the manger while he learned the finer nuance of constitutional law.

  321. James Andrix says:

    Somebody asked about the legality of subway searches.

    http://flexyourrights.org

    has a section devoted to this, and other police search situations.

    Good Luck

  322. Jake says:

    This story is so bad ass. You are such an inspiration to not let these psuedo quasi authority types get what they crave… more authority.

  323. Leon says:

    I have never had my bags inspected after purchasing something (I’ve lived in Australia and Japan), the only time I’ve ever had someone ask is if I am carrying my own bag or bags from a different store through the electronic gates and they have gone off, usually because someone at the last store I went to didn’t deactivate the tags.

    Let’s face it, asking to check someones shopping bag and receipt is retarded. When are you supposed to have slipped something in?

  324. Wesley says:

    I support you whole-heartedly and commend anyone who knows enough about their rights to stand up for them.

    It doesn’t seem that any of the people condemning Michael here have noticed that the Circuit City employee refused to accuse Michael of shoplifting, if he isn’t suspected of shoplifting what is the reason to search his bag?

  325. pdg45acp says:

    $6000 in legal fees later the charges will be dropped..

    Those are your personal resources you have squandered..

    You have also squandered public resources by dragging the cops into a petty, self centered act of stupidity..

    A man needs to choose his battles wisely..

  326. “You paid for the goods. Technically, they are yours now, and if the store tries to stop you and force you to let them search you, guess what, Fourth Amendment violation.

    Now shut up forever, retard.”

    Is this the kind of eloquent response you were talking about Gen-Xer?

    Take a civics class. Yes, your Constitutional rights apply on private property, but those rights only apply to actions taken by the government. The actions of private parties have nothing to do with your Constitutional rights. When Circuit City tried to force compliance with their policies, they violated the law. CC’s only legal recourse was to bar this douche from entering their private property in the future or call the police if they had evidence he was shop lifting. And, FYI, had they not attempted to force a search, they would have violated no law by simply asking you to show your receipt and search your bags. They can ask all they like, but that doesn’t mean you have to comply, just as if you don’t want to follow their policies they can simply bar you from entering their store.

  327. Greetings from Belgium, dude. Not sure if you even know where that is, it’s the small country crammed between the Netherlands, France and Germany.

    Wish to show my support to you, and if things come to the worst, we could always hold a solidarity protest outside the American Embassy in Brussels. By now they already know my face there anyway, think I been there a few dozen times this year. :D

    Seriously, if everyone was like you, the problems of this world would be solved. We need more people willing to fight for their rights, and less retards who just roll over because a person in authority says so.

    Welcome to 1930s Germany!

  328. cp says:

    I would have done the same thing as Circuit City or The police would have. Why wouldn’t you show them the receipt? That looks even more suspicious. Why wouldn’t you show them your license? It’s just a license! Get over it. What is there to prove? That was just really stubborn. You made a big deal about nothing. Basically what i’m trying to say is that the world doesn’t revolve around you and retail stores should suck your dick just to make you happy. If life was like that I would be putting everything in a bag and saying I paid for it all. Good job Circuit City & the police station. Everyone else that is donating is wasting their money.

  329. AJ says:

    Wow, you sure showed “the man” who is boss.

    You’re my hero.

  330. Jonathan says:

    C’mon, aren’t there more important issues to fight? Your behavior show that you are inexperienced, stubborn, immature, and lacking perspective. You should put your energies into something that is really worth making a stink about.

  331. Reston Quill says:

    This site will help you, it is a generalized instructional video crom the ACLU.

  332. mac says:

    What an amazing expose you have created here. I am astonished by the number of people who can trouble themselves to post, but can’t be bothered to think. I guess there really is a substantial portion of the population who really don’t deserve liberty.

  333. Aaron says:

    Donations to the 2002 Federal Election Candidates

    PAC Name Total Dems Repubs
    Circuit City Stores $102,500 $11,000 $91,500

    from http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/industry.asp?txt=N03&cycle=2002

    Go figure.

  334. forstand says:

    I believe Circuit City was wrong in this case for one simple reason: They failed to post their requirements to enter the store, to wit, a condition to enter the store requires the individual to agree to a search of purchase package contents with verification against the receipt. Absent this notification then they are wrong.

    It won’t be long before there is a statement posted at the door in addition to the statement that surveillance cameras are being used. If you don’t like your picture taken then don’t enter the store. It is a given that backpacks and other store bags can be searched or required to be stored at the door. Likewise if you do not want your purchase verified against the packaging then don’t enter the store.

    You might win on this one until the stores wise up and add the condition to enter their premises. Now that I think of it I will add it to my business terms on conditions and requirements to enter my store.

  335. Webdoc says:

    Im no law expert, but I thought the US Constitution protected citizens from unlawful search and seizure?

    I’ll just remember not to shop at CC in da future, don’t feel like getting arrested when shopping.

    I can’t believe how many ppl will give up their privacy and integrity just for shopping or their ID to get into a club.

  336. John A says:

    I have a question on the matter of “seeing whats in the bag”. I live in England, UK and have never been asked to see into my purchase bag and see my receipt, they have to actually feel you have stolen something and have proof of doing so (the alarms of the shop go off).

    So when they ask to check your bag, is this only the bag you put your items in, or can they also mean a handbag if a women puts her purchase in her handbag. If it can be any bag you have then I 100% agree with the fact they shouldnt be allowed to look in any bag.

    I agree he shouldnt have asked for your drivers license but instead asked for some form of ID. I think the officer messed up there and assumed you drove.

    Sadly its only your word against his, I’m not saying he will lie and say that he did 100% the correct thing but the law might be on the officers side as he is a city official. We can just hope it gets thrown out of court and all charges get dropped.

    :) Good luck

  337. samdu says:

    I’d have arrested you on suspicion of shoplifting. I’d have arrested you for calling 911 for a non-emergency. And I’d have wished I could have arrested you for being an arrogant ass. But that’s not against the law.

  338. Patrick says:

    I haven’t read one good argument why you shouldn’t stand up for your rights:

    You’re wasting people’s time – exercising your rights, and in turn for all of our rights is not a waste of time it is a duty of citizenship.

    There are more important things to protest – there are few things more important than our individual rights. Exercising your rights was a great service to all of us, including the kids in the car – and the need doesn’t lessen because it’s someone’s birthday.

    Don’t shop there if you don’t like it – we live in a country of laws, not corporations. Those who make this argument clearly don’t even know what a right is.

    And for those who have commented that the customer brought it on himself. Think about that. I am argue that you, therefore that are willing to give your rights because you have a piercing, long hair, look like a student, are dressed poorly, drive a beater, are wearing a coat, were loud, were quiet – whatever anyone else defines as suspicious behavior.

  339. Jorge says:

    Please stop spreading all the FUD.

    1) THE OHIO LAW YOU PEOPLE KEEP CITING DOES NOT APPLY.
    That law only applies to *shoplifters* and to permissible *rights* of the officers and store employees in regards to suspected shoplifters.
    Dude here wasn’t accused of shoplifting, he was only asked for his receipt. (His brusque refusal to show the receipt then gave them reason to believe that he was shoplifting.

    2) THIS IS NOT FALSE IMPRISONMENT, NOR IS FALSE IMPRISONMENT A FELONY.
    Please back that up with a reference to *Ohio* law. False imprisonment is a *tort*, which gives rise to a civil action between private individuals.
    Dude here was not falsely imprisoned. He acted like a shoplifter, and once probable cause was established justifying a search, he then failed to provide his identification or the receipt. IOW, employee and cop were justified.

    3) YOU FUCKING PRICK, 911 IS FOR EMERGENCIES. Being forced to pull out your receipt is not an emergency. You better thank your lucky stars that the cops responding to your little bullshit drama weren’t kept away from something important, because if they were, you could have been brought up on misdemeanor charges for making a false 911 call.

    4) THIS IS NOT AN UNLAWFUL SEARCH AND SEIZURE, NOR IS IT A VIOLATION OF THE 4TH AMENDMENT.
    See #2, above. You act like a shoplifter, then you open the door to probable cause for a search.

    5) CIRCUIT CITY IS NOT REQUIRED TO TELL YOU ABOUT THE RECEIPT-CHECK IN ADVANCE.
    There’s no law or right requiring this. It’s their property, and their rules. The only rights you have are the right to safe premises, established under tort law. Contract law has no role in this, except for any contractual terms established by the receipt (and accepted by your purchase).

    Jorge has spoken.

  340. Michael, your situation, along with Shaneal Manek’s case in my home state of Illinois is quite inspiring. Good luck and God bless you in your efforts.

    As for you folks who are insulting Mr. Righi and claiming that he is wasting time, remember those words when an injustice happens to you. Just shut up and let yourself be screwed over and take some comfort in the fact that you are not wasting anyone’s time by standing up for your rights.

    By the way, how many of you have ever been detained for “fitting the description” or pulled over for DWB (driving while black)? I’m sure that you guys are the same people who claim that racial profiling is a myth, the CIA was not involved in bringing drugs into the US in the 1960′s, that there were “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq, and that six million Jewish people did not die in concentration camps during WWII.

    Get your head out of the sand, people.

    If we let the “little rights” be taken away, we erode the support that holds aloft the “BIG RIGHTS.”

    But then again, history has shown that the favorite dishes of all tyrants have always been made with lamb and mutton….

  341. Profits will be donated to the Michael Righi legal defense fund.

  342. David Newman says:

    Though I found this somewhat entertaining to read,I find your perception of what you consider your rights troubling,if not dangerous.There are so many”what ifs” to this story that I won’t even going in to listing them,but the bottom line is someone could have been hurt & it would have been your fault.You read almost daily of someone being injured or killed because of their actions being mistaken as unlawful,of innocent bystanders being involved, overreaction by police or security guards,etc.
    Standing up for your rights is one thing,but it sounds like you went out of your way to be annoying. My 1rst question is, are your parents divorced or did your mother pass away? Because you sound like you’re acting out for attention. If that’s the case, you have gotten your wish,because this is far from over. Judges take a dim view of spoiled brats tying up their courtroom with petty grievances.You start spouting your perception of your rights & the law in their courtroom, you’ll be slapped with contempt quicker than you can say “No Thank-you”.
    My 2nd question is,how did your family enjoy their get together & how was your little sister’s birthday? Memorable? Probably. Enjoyable? I doubt it. But, I would guess they’re probably use to this kind of behavior from you. As they say,”there’s one in every family”.
    It’s very apparent that your an intelligent young man & that you have a lot of passion about what you believe in, but it seems you lack common sense. If you want a cause, find something worthwhile, not just a petty personal crusade to get attention. As far as giving you a donation, give us a break! Your arrogance got you in to this, get yourself out of it.
    And apologize to your sister for ruining her birthday.

  343. Dave says:

    lmao @ anyone calling this jerk’s story “inspiring”.

    I hope the Social Studies professor noted above will also make an emphasis on pointing out that this whole situation could have been avoided if this idiot had simply complied with the rules or requests of the business he chose to do business with.

  344. Joe says:

    Circuit City is private property. When you enter the store there is a very large sign at the entrance that among other things states that Circuit City reserves the right to inspect any bags.

    Circuit City is not the Federal Government. Circuit City is not the State Government. Circuit City is not the City Government. Owners of private property have quite extensive rights (as they should). If you don’t agree with the store’s policies, do not enter. Nobody is forcing you to shop at Circuit City.

  345. Me... says:

    I think Mike is a douche…you should have shown them your recepit…geez…what’s the big deal…you DIDN’T actually steal anything…so what was the point in getting all uppity?

  346. Jason says:

    I do agree with you completely about your choice at the store(not to give your reciept in a respectfull manor). the store has broken a law of unlawfull detainment. the second law was broken when the officer arrested you for not providing information not required. and the third law was broken when the police officer gave your bag to the security at circuit city. that is illegal search and seizer. you definetly have a case although by pressing the issue with the cop i do believe unless you have the funds to fight this to a supreme court level you have only created a mess for yourself. because if convicted it will only hurt your case against the store. if you can make it through the gruleing task of getting this dropped and expunged not only will you have a case against the store but also the state which will result in/if done right your money back. i do not really understand why such a big deal to give id and waste an innocent persons time in this however it is your choice and your right to challenge unlawful action by anyone at any time and i hope it works out for you. good luck

    Jason

  347. Me... says:

    **receipt

  348. Joe says:

    @Webdoc and other budding legal theorists:

    The US Constitution protects citizens from unlawful search and seizure BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT (and other GOVERNMENT ENTITIES via interpretations of post Civil War amendments by the SCOTUS)

    Last time I checked, Circuit City wasn’t a government entity.

  349. maryw says:

    After your Sept.2 experience, which took you by suprised,and left you with a feeling of utter amazement,of various ….laws and restrictions,,That is so ,,,, how I would had felt, if had happen to me. But this happens all the time to very large populations of citizens all over the country ,everyday. It has been stated : You have to stand up for something, or you will lay-down for anything. Everyone is not a Thief, Robber, we still have some rights,;not as many as we use to, but……

  350. Bryan says:

    Dude, get the hell over yourself. And all of you losers that agree with him, Canada is looking for some loss citizens.

  351. Rufus says:

    dipshit.

  352. Gen-Xer says:

    Quoting Jorge: “Dude here wasn’t accused of shoplifting, he was only asked for his receipt. (His brusque refusal to show the receipt then gave them reason to believe that he was shoplifting.”

    Oh, my good Lord. Your statement is depressing.

    If a police officer shows up at your front door and asks your permission to search your home and you refuse, should that be grounds for obtaining a search warrant?

    This is the mentality I spoke of in a post above. For some reason, a large part of American society has been conditioned to believe that ANY refusal to comply with an authority figure is an admission of guilt. It’s ludicrous.

    Probably cause be damned.
    We should be patted down after they search our shopping bags.
    But maybe I slipped a CD into my underwear…better strip search me.
    What if I swallowed something? Better x-ray me, too.
    Or maybe I just vandalized something while in the store…maybe a blood test to look for elevated adrenaline levels, eh? Might knock $.15 off the cost of that shiny new TV.
    Ya know what…just in case, let’s get a DNA swab of everyone as they enter the store. Can’t be too safe, can we?
    Polygraph might be helpful, too.

    What? That sounds intrusive? If so, WHAT ARE YOU HIDING, CRIMINAL?

  353. Barborak says:

    Huh. You gave them reason to believe you were stealing something. You called 911 for a mild inconvenience. You decided to make a stand in a situation where you had family waiting for you and watching you. You upset your young siblings and got arrested because you wanted to flex your I HATE THE MAN muscle? Great. You’ve made some great decisions. Have fun in court.

  354. Still Fighting says:

    What a bunch of sheep. “oh, just show the receipt.” that’s not the point. Once he paid for the goods the receipt, the bag, and the goods inside were his property. We still have some rights left. You sheep need to understand that our liberties/rights is what this country was founded on and anyone that willingly gives them up so easily does not deserve to live here.

  355. jim says:

    I don’t like showing my receipt as much as the next guy, but calling 911, watching your siblings cry and putting your father out $300? You’re a douche.

  356. Canadian says:

    Hey bryan, why the ignorance? I do agree that this jerk was an @$$, but what have you got against Canada? I would actually be imbarassed to call myself Canadian if this jerkoff was from here. But because he stood up for himself, inside the law, he will have to pay… and he is doing it out of principle. But you dont need to be a jerk as well. Get a life, and put your head back in your arse.

  357. Captain Chaos says:

    What an arrogant Fucktard you are. I hope they throw the fucking boot at you, tool.

  358. Captain Chaos says:

    And I’m a non typing fucktard. I meant I hope they throw the BOOK at you….and they don’t need a receipt to do that.

  359. KatK says:

    You might find the discussion here of interest, if you haven’t already found it via Trackback.

    http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=435143

    Post number 49 mentions State of Ohio vs. Zefi: Thus, the mere refusal to produce identification upon request by a police officer will not support a finding of obstructing official business. id. at 4

    Good luck!

  360. tomvale13 says:

    *blah blah blah, additional I hate you comment blah blah blah*

    But seriously Michael, I cant believe people are giving you a hard time for this. In Australia you would be on a Current Affairs program the following night and the whole country would know of this ridiculous and over-zealous abuse of “power”.

    In America half the people see the wrong in it and the others keep blindly supporting acts like this and of a similar nature, for reasons unfathomable by most creatures on all fours let alone people of a reasonable and understanding nature.

    Terrorism cant be used as any sort of mitigating factor; that blankets been cold for years now

    Keep bowing to your pathetic leader as he takes you into hell, lemmings.

    Al Gore ftw.

    P.S Any Americans that do not believe in what is happening or who are not aware, I support you and do not judge those who may be ignorant to the facts.

    Fox ftl.

  361. tomvale13 says:

    Oh and to Captain Chaos:
    yeah thats fully understandable, the T being right next to the K and all.

    I’m still looking into the effectiveness of a receipted book throwing but I’m sure that statement is riddled with foibles as well.

    Take care, fag.

  362. Travis says:

    Since when did we all become such whiny little bitches? I swear to God, dick heads like this one do stupid shit like this for a living just so they have legal foundation to try and sue people. Civil lawsuits have become a fucking profession lately. Ooh, I want to be a douche bag and give people who really have better shit to do than deal with my spoiled ass a hard time and turn a molehill into a fucking mountain. Better yet, I’ll post it on a blog and throw a ‘donate here’ button so people will pay me to be a whiny little bitch. Your daddy was in the car, maybe he should have gotten out and handled the situation like a mature adult since your punk ass couldn’t.

    Sure, the cop and the clods at Best Buy could be construed as asshats, but I’m pretty sure they don’t wake up in the morning and think “Hrm, let’s see how I can flout my authority today”. It takes 5 seconds to whip out a receipt show it to the sap in the yellow polo shirt who has to sit next to the door for 8 hours a day doing the same shit over and over again, put it back in your pocket and walk out the door. I’m willing to wager you spent a shit load more time than that flapping your little fingers all over your keyboard spilling out your sad little sob story here. 5 seconds and you wouldn’t look like such a pompous prick. But then again, all this time is going to pay off in the long run, right? Sue here, sue there. That’s what freedom’s all about, no?

    So line up you little ‘freedom fighters’. Stand behind your poor victimized martyr as he stands defiantly before the fascist machine as they strike him down with the Hammer of Oppression wielded in the Iron Fist of Tyranny. And when the judge looks at the docket, sighs dejectedly at having to deal with his petty tantrum, dismisses the stupid thing, you can smile knowing that he can now cash in, and you’ll never hear from him again. That is, of course, until he sues Cold Stone because the teenie-boppers behind the counter sang a copyrighted song without dispensing royalties when he threw a nickle into their tip jar.

    Tell me it’s not about the money and you’re a filthy whore of a liar.

  363. Zach says:

    Great job! Thanks for standing up like this… this kind of receipt checking and having to prove yourself innocent things will continue if we don’t stand up to it. Pretty soon getting out of a bigbox store will be like boarding a plane.

    You should sue the police officer personally for violating your civil rights.

  364. Tim Wilson says:

    Michael, you did the right thing and you have your family as witnesses. What concerns me are the number of people here who can’t seem to get their heads around the idea that Circuit City and the police officer in effect commited crimes against you. What was violated was the issue of your personal sovereignty within the law as defined by the Constitution. But then again, probably all of the people condemming you think that authority is something that belongs to governments and corporations. It’s doesn’t. Authority begins within the individual who then grants it to the government we create. That’s why government is called “public service”. It’s supposed to serve We the People.

    To all of you 20-somethings out there, maybe you need another 20 or 30 years to appreciate the liberties and rights defined in the Constitution. Hopefully you’ll decide to defend yourselves by having Micheal’s kind of courage to stand up for your rights.

  365. Wanderer says:

    Once upon a time, in the days when animals could speak as men, there was a Man who owned a camel. Nights in the desert can be bitterly cold, and on one such night the camel looked with envy upon the Man snug in a warm tent.

    “O Master, it is a cold night,” the camel said. “Might I share your tent with you?”

    “No,” answered the Man. “It is not large enough for both of us.”

    “Then might I have leave to poke my nose through the flap of your tent, so that it does not freeze? I do not ask for much, only room for my nose” The Man thought about it, and thought to himself, yes, it is not much, only the camel’s nose. A nose is not a big thing. So he allowed the camel to put its nose into the tent.

    “O generous Master,” the camel said some time later, “the night is growing colder. Might I have leave to put my head inside your tent? It is not much more than my head.” The Man thought about it once more, and thought to himself, The camel’s head is not all that much more than its nose, so that is not a big thing, So he allowed the camel to put its head into his tent.

    The night grew colder still. “O wise Master, might I have leave to put my neck into your tent? It is senseless to have only my head inside while my neck is freezing. My head has caused you no problems, so my neck will be only a little more.” Again the Man considered, and though to himself, It is true, I have permitted the camel’s head in here, so why should I not permit the neck? So he allowed the camel to put its whole neck into his tent.

    “O most worthy Master,” the camel said in time, “the night is bitter cold indeed. You will suffer no harm from allowing my front legs into this tent.” The Man was becoming somewhat concerned, but he thought to himself I have allowed his nose, and his head, and his neck inside, so why should I not accept his front legs? So he allowed the camel to put its front legs inside the tent.

    The Man was feeling most uncomfortable now. It was quite a small tent, and now he was sharing it with half a camel. That, however, did not last.

    “Man, I will bring my back legs as well into my tent,” the camel said.

    Your tent?” the Man asked.

    “It is now,” the camel replied as he pushed his former master out into the bitterly cold desert night.

    ————————————–

    It is rare indeed that a population loses their rights in one fell swoop. There would be resistance, even rioting in the streets, if that was tried. Instead, they drain away — as they have throughout history — bit by bit, inch by inch, drop by drop. We trade them away for “security” or “convenience” or “tranquility”. People accept that because it’s nothing much. Nothing major. Nothing important. Nothing big. Just a camel’s nose.

    Whether you believe that one private citizen should have the right to search the personal property of another (if you come to my house, does that give me the right to go through your wallet?) or whether that ability should be granted only to public officials, “it’s no big thing” is not a valid argument. Nor is “it’s easier to obey” or “don’t make waves.” Attitudes like that are the moral equivalent of stale oatmeal.

    If you think Circuit City should have the right to search someone’s possessions (and where does that right stop?) then stand up on your hind legs and say so: “Private citizens should have the right to go through the belongings of other citizens if the latter are on their property.” People who tell others to obey, obey, obey, because it’s easier are not the noble defenders of authoritarianism they believe themselves to be; they are merely lazy.

    And as for his sister’s birthday being “ruined”: She’ll be telling the story for years about how her crazy brother got himself arrested buying her a birthday present. “Trauma” is highly overrated, and a good story about one’s siblings is currency that can be spent at a lifetime of family gatherings.

  366. rizla says:

    I always have guards check-out my friends on the door, when leaving my house …. can’t trust anyone …. Michael, that was a joke…. hope you get thro. this…

  367. SLIM says:

    Im beginning to wonder about all these “Big Box store screwed me stories.” They are completely genius if some of them are fake. But seriously, just give them a look at your bag, i’m not going to cry myself to sleep about how my liberties were violated when a manager searched my bags.

    Who really cares? There are more important things to worry about in life than really STICKING it to the man! Just my two cents. A large waste of time and money in my opinion.

  368. Someone still shops at Circuit City?

  369. patsy says:

    I hope they bust you for being a pain in the ass. I don’t feel sorry for you and I feel sorry for the Police for having do deal with the crack pot fools who will complain about how they treated you.

  370. Jeßus says:

    Good on ya, you’ve done the right thing… if only more people stood up this sort of needless CRAP.

  371. Kenny says:

    Had to read this through a couple of times before I could come to an opinion. First, Michael I salute you. You kept your head and did all the right things. The store employee should have detained you and accused you of shoplifting and called the police. They, by not accusing you of anything yet demanding to see your personal belongings and then also have the audacity to impinge your freedom of movement is blatantly unlawful. The question that arises when reading what you’ve been charged by the police officer is “what official duty was he doing that you are accused of impeding?” I see this as a case of “false arrest” and abuse of police authority. I hope you win and sue the bejeezus out of them. Go get’em. We need more champions like you to protect us from authoritarianism.

  372. Red says:

    THIS DOUCHEBAGS ACTIONS WERE NOT COURAGEOUS. How the hell do you morons get off on resisting authority?

  373. Michael Studman says:

    I’m Australian and lived there for 30 years but now live in the UK. I must say, shop employees are just as aggressive in Australia about such things and I always felt I was being labeled a thief by the request to check my bag (although they always wheel out their mangled doublespeak to the contrary).

    I just assumed that’s the way all stores operated in the western world until I arrived in the UK where it’s considered too impolite and improper to impose these requirements on customers.

    I’d like to be able to say police officers on a power trip arresting you on trumped up charges couldn’t happen in the UK, but alas that would be a fairy tale.

    Good luck.

  374. Red says:

    You rednecks call it “needless crap”.. it’s called FUCKING PROTOCOL. Follow it for the sake of ALL of our conveniences. Fuck your attempt at a political statement, you didn’t do SHIT but piss a cop off. The judge is going to have an absolute field day with this one

  375. lumberjack says:

    Thank goodness there are courageous young men like you. Because in Amerika you shouldn’t have to, you know, hold up a piece of paper.

    I bet if someone got a paper-cut, and it got infected, well then they’d be sorry. And what if maybe the person, say it’s someone’s poor dear grandmother, what if she loses her arm from the infection and can’t make her grandkids sticky-buns or pies any more, huh? Bet they’d be sorry then. Yeah you corporate pigs! You stomp on our rights and now we’ve got a tripod grandma who can’t make pies! Thanks alot A-holes! They were REALLY GOOD pies!

    This is how revolutions get started.

  376. Speechless says:

    I am speechless at those who are saying that he shouldn’t have called 911.
    What part of the “he was being detained and stopped from leaving the parking lot” did you not get? His liberty had been taken away from him. IT WAS AN EMERGENCY, you nitwits!

    Jeez… what a bunch of sheep you are. Actually, even sheep have more sense than you numbskulls.

  377. Jeff says:

    Rod, the moron who said that property owners can make any rules they want, is partially right. They can. What this genius does not understand is what remedies the property owner has if you do not comply. It’s simple — they can kick you off their property. They can bar you from ever entering their property again. But they CAN NOT detain you. According to Rod’s logic, it would be just fine if Circuit City made a rule that every 15th customer got anally raped. Their property, their rules. Ain’t that right you frickin’ morons.

  378. Speechless says:

    “Red” : you should change your name to “Yellow” (or “Yeller”, take your pick), because you are as yellow as they come.

    You’re on a private blog; now lick Michael’s boots.

  379. Barry says:

    I think that the initial refusal to show a receipt and the products is kind of stupid. There are logical reasons why the store asks to do it, and it has nothing to do with tryint to take away a persons rights. As someone said before, if you dont like the stores policy regarding your shopping bag, dont shop there. Basic common sense tells you why they do it though, even if you dont have to legally do it.

    HOWEVER the cop in this case was completely wrong, and there is no justification for it. It is his actions that are most troubling and most disgusting. He obviously did not know the laws regarding showing a license, and did anything he could to arrest this guy.

    The cop and that city need to be educated that we as AMERICAN citizens are not required to have or show identification. Its pure facism to think otherwise. I dont care how overworked and underappreciated a policeman is, he is not allowed to create laws, and decide for himself what is right or wrong in a community. He is strictly there to enforce policy NOT create it.

  380. Jim says:

    Bravo! I applaud you for standing up for your rights.

    You should try to get your experience published in a local newspaper if you haven’t already. Great negative PR for CC!

  381. Pat says:

    Yes, having rights is one thing, being a smartarse is another and will get you grief at some stage. I’m sure if you had been the shop owner and suspected someone of theft and the theif used his rights to the letter like this to drive away you would have sung a different tune. Your trying to successfully prove and support that you can’t stop a shoplifter without seeing them in the act.
    You’re not a regular shopper there,when asked show your stuff, they say thanks and it’s all over, if you feel legally violated by this your an idiot.
    You could have backed down when the cop arrived and shown the goods, what the real worry is the lesson you are teaching your younger siblings.
    The stores also have the right to not serve you in future too.
    If you get off please make a big fuss about it in the media so all the local shoplifters know their rights too.
    I don’t really care, it’s your country you’re f^*king not mine.

  382. Grey Hodge says:

    While I Agree with your stand and I feel you were in the right morally, you should check out the Patriot Act, that wonderful law that protects our freedom by taking it away. The great state of Ohio’s own Patriot Act, section 2921.29 makes it a crime to not show you papers when the gestapo ask. As a fellow resident of PA (and the Burgh!) be careful in PA about the whole ID thing. There are conflicting rulings from the Commonwealth an State Supreme courts on this issue.

    Like I said, I Agree with you morally however.

  383. personally, I think application of laws relating to shoplifting (or allegations thereof) is so widely varying that it can hardly be called ‘law’. I guess that here in Australia the situation isn’t as bad as it is in the USA, but you should at least be expected to fair and lawful treatment ON THE SAME PLAYING FIELD as everyone else. That’s where the problems come from.

    Good luck fighting the charges. We’ve got Mr Fscking Bush coming here for APEC this weekand personally I’d like to see a significant terrorist action target his ‘entourage’. The sort of stuff you’re facing will get a lot worse over here since Australia signed up to the Free Trade Agreement last year and now the APEC group will probably push for more draconion industrial relations reforms which will further-erode civil liberties.

  384. sh says:

    @”retired defense lawyer”

    Retired defense lawyer my ass.

    Translation: I got fired from McDonald’s and I am posting from my mom’s computer.

  385. David says:

    I don’t understand why you had to make a big deal, they do this to make sure thieves don’t steal their expensive equipment. Jesus, it’s 10 seconds of your time, and you get the feeling of being a good citizen after they thank you and bid you good day afterward. It’s people like you that make people like them hate their jobs. Completely ridiculous. I wouldn’t give you one penny, especially because this is something you could avoid. Pretentious lunatic. My email is fake.

  386. Nathaniel says:

    Just another note of support. I don’t ever show my receipt to some idiot at the door, because I don’t feel like wasting my time. They say “May I check your receipt?” and I say “No, thanks, but have a nice day!” and have never had anyone do more than simply ask me a second time.

    Really this is simply a failure of Circuit City properly training the manager and the “loss prevention” person at the door — most national chain stores are quite good about training employees how limited their authority is on compelling people to do anything. Unless a security guard actually witnesses you stealing something, the company is risking a serious ass-raping in civil court if they detain you.

    Of course I’m also a Costco member and do show my receipt, because that was in my membership agreement that allows me to enter the store — THAT’S how private rules work, for all the idiots above who seem to think anyone, anywhere, in any store can just start barking commands to customers and detain them if they don’t comply. If you want people to follow crazy rules, you tell them BEFORE they enter, not after they’ve already completed their shopping and are leaving.

    I’m simultaneously hearted at the number of people upset by the abuse of authority shown in this situation, and disheartened by the number of commentators who are clearly willing to roll over and do anything someone asks them to do. Though I suppose the world does need followers.

  387. babozor says:

    Hey, I’ve had quite the same experience in Paris, France in an electronic shop. The main difference is that french cops hate private security guys and save me from a real trap.
    I always find it really disturbing having to prove you’re not a thief… if they know you stole something, then they call cops, but let the standard customers alone.
    Anyway i wish you luck and hope everything will be ok for you (on a legal point of view) and i think you made the right choice, no one should sacrifice his rights for convenience.

  388. Luke Hall says:

    What a story! Good luck with your case, i’ll be following it here.
    It may be trivial to some people, BUT YOU WERE RIGHT!
    All the best!

  389. Bucky says:

    I’m not really a pro-ACLU guy, but I do stand up for your case. Sometimes, police officers don’t understand the law, and this one clearly didn’t.

  390. Wanderer says:

    I don’t understand why you had to make a big deal, they do this to make sure thieves don’t steal their expensive equipment.

    There is very little, if any, opportunity for a person to stuff something into their bag between the cash register and the door. As a matter of personal experience (me being the person trying to catch the thieves) I know there are many effective ways to shoplift, and that is none of them. One of the most common is concealing items under clothing. Would you be equally eager to justify it if the store insisted on routinely strip-searching you before they would let you leave, because, y’know, you might have “their expensive equipment” stuffed in your shorts?

    Jesus, it’s 10 seconds of your time, and you get the feeling of being a good citizen after they thank you and bid you good day afterward.

    You may get a good feeling if you’re given a pat on the head by an authority figure, but as an adult, I do not. Being required to submit to a search to prove that I am innocent of a crime does not give me anything resembling a good feeling.

    It’s people like you that make people like them hate their jobs.

    And it’s people like them that make people like me hate their stores.

    I would suggest that the stores in question could solve both problems at once by stopping the utterly useless, in shoplifting prevention terms, harassment of innocent customers, thereby making both the customers and the employees happier, and putting their effort into loss prevention techniques that actually do some good.

    Of course, this is Circuit City we’re talking about … the company whose new management team decided the best way to increase their profits was to fire their highest-paid (i.e., most experienced and skilled) salespeople, then wondered why their sales dropped like a rock. The logic behind that move boggles the mind.

  391. Leo Bricker says:

    You are wrong and very possibly you are also a thief. You’ve cost the taxpayers a very large amount of money for no useful or logical purpose. You’ve helped further enable the criminals who also cost us all money. Your refusal to allow the door checker a 3 second look to confirm you had 2 items in your bag to go along with 2 items on your receipt was just stupid. Hopefully you will mature sooner rather than later. Hopefully you will actually learn and grow and perhaps truly “know something” rather than just think you do as most young people do. The $64,000 question is, what did you steal in the bag?

  392. JM says:

    My brother said it best:
    “…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.”

    This guy is a patriot.

  393. NOSACTIVATED says:

    You are a complete idiot like someone else posted here before. I have no problem with standing up for your rights but what you did was stupid. First of all, in my experiences with cops. Whether if you call or someone else calls, it is not a good thing to have them involved at all. The best thing you could of done was to keep them out of it. And now you are going to pay the price for thinking you were going to win in this situation. WRONG!! Trying to be a wise ass with the cop was not a good thing. Did you think you are in a WAR type situation of only having to give your name, SS#, and address? You are a MORON! The judge is going to have a field day with you on court day and your attorney is going to make a few quick bucks from your stupidity. More than likely you will get and A.C.D., basically you will have all charges against you dropped if you stay out of trouble for a certain amount of time like 6 months of a year. Then the guys a Circuit City will continue to do there job as usual. Asking people they suspect for stealing something. I bet you left out the part that you did something in the store to make them feel like you did steal something. Like make it look like you took something to bring this on to try and make them look foolish. And this whole idea backfired on you. As far as the maranda rights, you have been watching to much TV cop shows. The police do not have to read them to you when you area arrested. Anyone who tells you different is an asshole. Plus with the whole terrorist thing going on in this country as well as others. Just play the game and not try to buck the system with such a zealous idiotic game you were trying to play and lost at. YOU will not have a leg to stand on for a lawsuit either. They were doing there job and you refused a simple request. Any lawyer will not even look at this case. But then some will because you will be paying for their time, I hope you have a large bank account for the bill they will supply you when you loose that also. Let this go and take it on the chin as a lesson learned for being an idiot. Plus you put your brothers and sisters through all of that for your stupidity. Did I mention you were and IDIOT? Cops are not there to play games with people like you, he asked you a simple question for I.D. in the drivers license. If you did not drive you would just say I do not have one. But NO!!! YOU refuse to show it to him. So you got arrested. LMAO!!!!! I wish he would of beaten you down for your ignorance. Grow the fuck up and find a deserving action to fight for. Like join the military and fight for this country you are trying to keep your civil rights for. DO that and maybe I will be a little more understanding. And if you have served in the military, you must have missed the whole course on the Geneva convention course and your rights in capture. This is America, acted like it!!!!! If I were the cop, after I left with you to take you in. I would of smacked your ass in the cell.

    I would love to know how old you are???

  394. Nathaniel says:

    I’m not sure what’s more sad, the people who do whatever anyone tells them to, or the people who can’t even comprehend what it’s like to stand up for a principle (and the law!) when you know you’re right and everyone around you is wrong.

  395. Bob Dole says:

    Oh god. You people act as if it takes some amount of courage to stand up to these injustices in society. Give me a fucking break. Just because you think you need to martyr yourself for everyone on the interwebs, doesn’t give you the right to act like a jackass. You say you didn’t steal anything. Tough shit, don’t be such a baby. How can they know that you weren’t in cahoots with the cashiers? They were checking your receipt against what you had in your bag, not stripping you down for a cavity search.

    Don’t be such a damn pussy.

  396. Nathaniel says:

    If they’re worried about him being in cahoots with the cashier, then monitor the cashier better — she’s an employee! She has to put up with it as a condition of employment!

    But I suppose that makes entirely too much sense when people like Bob are willing to roll over and perform tricks for anyone making more than $7.50 an hour.

  397. Name - I aint got not friggin name says:

    I think this all started with “membership clubs” like Costco and Sam’s Club. I believe (though not 100% sure about this one) that they have a “we check your receipt and bags” clause in the contract you sign to become a “purchase club member” or whatever.

    I’m actually ok with *that*, because people have freedom to contract, and if they want to have extra requirements for some purchase club, so be it. If they say “You have to whistle a jaunty tune in order to receive 5% off your purchase”, ok then.

    But from seeing that happen, it seems that a lot of stores thought “Oh! Now we can search anybody for no damn reason, because Costco (etc) does it!”

    If you were Sam’s or Costco, you could put all kinds of nonsense in your contract. You could put in a clause saying “this is a Christian club, and you have to praise Jesus out loud in order to purchase from us”. (I’m surprised that Sam’s hasn’t done that already, BTW). But ordinary stores and shopping malls, etc, can’t just let you purchase, and then notify you that you have to submit to their erosion of your rights. They need probable cause to search you.

    Another funny thing that has ALWAYS struck me is this: You pass through their [electronic] sensor detectors to detect merchandise which has not been paid for. Plus you just CAME from the checkouts. I mean, you were probably just 10 feet from your checkout when they demanded to search you to see if your receipt matches your purchase.

    It sounds to me like they’re trying to make sure their EMPLOYEE (cashier) isn’t giving away free stuff. They could accomplish this by watching their employees more closely. How come we all have to submit to an ass-search so they can fee better that their drone isn’t stealing (or helping their friends to steal)? Damn.

  398. Damon says:

    This is outrageous! That cop is so screwed, as is CC. And you are NOT screwed in calling 911 because the person wouldn’t let you leave, which is criminal false imprisonment. Unless they are making a citizens arrest, no person has the right to hold you against your will. You were correct in calling the police and he was an asshole for filing other charges against you, not the original one. You should ALWAYS stand up for your rights because you are standing up for the rest of our rights as well. Good luck! Damon

  399. Greg says:

    Holy shit, you are enormous tool. Way to “stand up for your rights”. Fucking hippie.

  400. Dave says:

    No wonder my taxes are so high. Don’t you think the police and the courts have better things to do? Would it have killed you to co-operate? Idiot.

  401. Will says:

    Hey man I feel the same way about gun control

  402. ladyredspider says:

    Kudos to you doing smth I wish I had the balls to do!! Good luck!! And to all those ppl who keeps saying he’s in NY, LEARN TO READ!!! He’s in OHIO. BIG difference.

  403. Kap says:

    I applaud the stance that you have taken, and hope that justice will prevail.
    We all need to stop acting like we need to permission to exist.
    In Spain we have Carre Four ,a very big company, who insist on placing any bags that you have upon entering their store, inside a large see through plastic bag which is then heat sealed. Even a large handbag has to go in. they view all of their customers as potential criminals and make no secret of it.

  404. Robert says:

    Unfortunately for you, the US Supreme Court has upheld the rights of Police Officers to request identification from person(s) they are interviewing in the course of an investigation. The fact that the officer said driver’s license is trivial. Since you apparently look to be over the age of 16, it is assumed you possess a driver’s license, which is legal identification provided by and property of the state in which you reside. Would it have made any difference to you if he had simply asked for ID? Saying driver’s license is the same as asking for a Tylenol when we want acetaminophin or i-pod for any MP3 player. A common practice of criminals is to refuse to present ID and to give false information. In a day and age where crime proliferates and criminals now use the tactic of calling police first to try to get away with their crimes, a request for ID is very reasonable and your refusal to give it is hampering the officer from doing their job. If you have given your ID and the manager or security person refused to give theirs, wouldn’t you be a bit angry to try to press your claims against Circuit City and find you are unable because the names given don’t exist? Or to hit home a little more, how about the pedophiles who may someday approach one of your sisters and give a false name to police when questioned to avoid being identified?
    As far as inspecting your bag, I’m sure if you look really close, you will see a sign at the entrance saying the establishment has the right to inspect all packages. Again, the US Supreme Court has upheld this practice. Shoplifting is one of the reasons we pay higher prices in stores and the merchandise in the store is their property which they have the right to protect. Before you get on a rant about the store being open to the public, yes it is. But you are an invitee who only has the right to enter and peruse the offerings and, if you wish to make something in that store yours, you must pay the asking price. The store is permitted to check that you are only leaving with what you paid for when you try to exit.
    The Courts have ruled tat though we have certain rights as citizens of te US, we also have certain obligations and provided the intrusion on those rights is minimal to ensure compliance with our obligations, there is nothing preventing it. Showing your receipt and opening your bag is minimal. Showing ID whether driver’s license or other acceptable ID is minimal.
    Instead of taking the defensive posture of “I have my rights” perhaps you should look into why we have rights and how do we keep them. And never forget, if you don’t have anything to hide, what are you worried about? You have stated you have nothing to hide and did nothing wrong, then why are you making it hard for these people to do their job? Would you be supportive of someone trying to prevent you from doing your job??? Two wrongs don’t make a right. They were wrong in their suspicions and you were wrong in your response.
    Consider next time, openly show your bag and receipt proving your innocense and, in a nice way, point out that you don’t like being questioned when you did nothing wrong. Your compliance with these minimal intrusions will keep the others off the defense and stating your position will probably get you a smile and some acknowledgement that they don’t really want to be accusatory but they have a job to do and you will be on your way with a smile and a thank you in no time.

  405. bill board says:

    You my young friend are a dumbass.

    I’ll bet you are the pride of your family for “standing” your ground.

    Let us know when Law Review publishes your next case study.

    Idiot.

  406. WTF you dumb mother fucker says:

    Do you also not allow the people to search your baggage at the airport?why the fuck didn’t you just let him see the dam receipt. Was it that hard just to say “sure here is my receipt I am not shop lifting”.We are all not terrorist but we all let the airport do their thing for >>THE GREATER GOOD

  407. Dug Fresh says:

    I don’t know what the problem is. No one is forcing you to shop there, no one is forcing you to buy anything. If you don’t like it, turn around and walk over to customer service counter and return the item! That will teach these businesses by affecting their bottom lines, which is the only thing they understand anyway…

    And btw, why does freedom of speach not include the right to privacy? Why can’t I give an opinion anonymously? Why has it become a choice of one or the other???

  408. christian says:

    you are a prick, the only thing you proved is that you are a whiney bitch

  409. Joe says:

    What is so wrong about refusing to give up our civil liberties and basic rights, “bill board”? Maybe you should look in the mirror before calling another person a ‘dumbass’.

    The Circuit City guy probably was not very smart anyway. He should be checking unbagged merchandise. And if Circuit City wanted to better protect themselves from shoplifters, have different colored bags from other areas of the store and keep them behind the counters where they are not accessible by shoppers. Video games should be kept in a locked glass case anyway, where only the employee has access to the games.

    A further note, they cannot hold a person or keep a person from leaving unless they can prove that that person actually stole something. Whether it be an employee physically observing a person stealing or having it on camera. Some companies are just better with handling Loss Prevention. Circuit City, it seems, unfortunately is not.

  410. Goobah says:

    I can only hope someday that you have to work as a manager in retail and have to deal with an obnoxious asshole such as yourself. Stores have a hard enough time keeping shrinkage in control due to shoplifting, and your actions only make that situation worse. I wish there was a law against being a tool, because you would most certainly be guilty.

  411. James Harvey says:

    You are an idiot! If you want to change the world, why not put your energy into something other than self promoting blog posts that will only gather the support of 15 year old kid diggers? Need attention much?

    I seriously hope you’re charged with tying up a 911 line for your ridiculous stupidity!!

  412. Chuck says:

    I firmly believe you had every right as a citizen not to provide the receipt and not provide a drivers license when asked by the officer. The police officer could have merely asked for an ID, that I could understand. In today’s age, it’s hard to tell whom your talking to. So I can fully understand if the officer would have worded his request differently. As far as the employee(s) and manager go at Circuit City, I think they just screwed themselves. Especially after they came after you in the parking lot to embarrass you and your family in front of people coming in and out of the store knowing that you just bought the merchandise. Don’t forget to ask for their security camera tape for proof in court. By law I believe the attorney can summons for the security tape for both in-store and parking lot. I hope there is an attorney that will take on this case for you, and you win. My side is with you, go get ‘em!! Keep us updated on the progress, I’m curious to hear. And use the media against them! They’ll settle out of court for not wanting bad publicity.

  413. Chuck says:

    ***Message to James Harvey, posted above my comment @ 9:10am***

    If you are that kind of a person to call this innocent person an idiot, and that he’s wasting his time and energy posting a well written article and blog about this matter. Then I ask why did you read it and waste your time and energy posting a comment? Isn’t that being a hypocrite? Sounds like it to me.

  414. Katy says:

    Michael –
    Whether you’ll continue reading this far down the line, I don’t know. I’m encouraged almost to laugh at the people here who believe it is a store’s right to inspect your bags to prevent shoplifting, and how many people willingly give in to it.
    I’ve always known I had the right to say no when they asked, but mostly, I said yes for the simplicity. I’ve been on a personal crusade for a longtime to stop letting rights be taken away just because its easier.
    I had a similar incident today at a BestBuy. No arrest or police, but I was followed out into the parking lot and harrassed. After insisting they were in the right course of the law, I asked them to cite the law under which they operated. When they couldn’t answer, I was allowed into my car and I left.

    Thank you for giving the encouragement necessary to stop giving in just for simplicity’s sake.

  415. The Greater Good says:

    Yes, WTF, absolutely! Also, right on Robert!

    We shouldn’t just assume that people are obeying the law. Criminals try all sorts of things to get out of punishment, so they’ll try their best to look innocent. The only solution is for everybody to have to prove they’re innocent anytime a cop asks. Or a manager, too, as long as it’s from a large company. Or an assistant manager, like in this story.

    Because they’re all interested in the greater good we should be able to trust those authority figures completely. I mean, why would they have a badge (or a name badge) if they weren’t 100% reliable?

  416. Jerry says:

    You are wasting your time if you try to sue in state court. Your issues are United States Constitutional Violations. So, your case needs to be brought to a federal district court under 42 USC 1983. Here is your problem. the federal district court is going to dismiss the case for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. FedR.Civ.P. 12 (b) (6). Qualified immunity will be given to the officer, and you will probably be ordered to pay for his attorney fees. Don’t lose heart. The appellate courts are becoming our strongest defense against violations of our righs. Your case is weak on the surface. So you are going to need to go to findlaw.com, click on U.S. Supreme Court cases and type in key words like right to privacy. Probably, 250 cases have been addressed concerning that issue over the years. At the bottom of the page, you will see a row of numbers, click on 25, and that will take you to the oldest case, usually, to the beginning of the 1800′s. Just start reading what the Honorable Justices have written over the years. It’s not easy, but the case I filed is now awaiting a finally ruling, and, for all intents and purposes, I defeated even the District Court Judge’s arguments with United States Supreme Court opinions. Try to stay away from using circuit court cases, because they will keep you in court forever. Keep it simple, and powerful.

    I’m not an attorney, but I have learned a few things.

    Any questions please feel free to email me:

    Jerry

    rigged_traffic_tickets@yahoo.com

  417. MIchael, you are completely right. The police do indeed have too much power and we comply with it too easily.

    Frex, I have been taken in for standing on a sidewalk by somebody’s house. I wasn’t on their property; I told the police this was a free country. They said, “Yes, this is a free country, BUT…we still have toke you in.”

    I have had an acquiantance arrested for STARING at a woman in a library. Not touching, not swearing at….STARING.

    I have been thrown into a damn INSANE ASYLUM by the NYPD for EXPOSING MY UNDERWEAR at a Disney store. They brought me in on charges of “child molestation,” put me under interrogation, and slapped me in because I WOULDN”T TALK TO THE QUESTIONER IN THE EYE! (Why? She was ugly. I mean, painfully ugly. I simply couldn’t look at her.)

    AND they took my stuff (my most treasured martial arts books), and claimed I would get it back, AND claimed I would only spend ONE HOUR in the hospital.

    I was there for a MONTH. And I never saw my stuff again.

    Michael, one sentence for you:

    KICK ASS AND TAKE NAMES.

  418. I'm Opening A Store says:

    I’m delighted! Thanks commenters!

    I never knew that once somebody was on my private property I could make them do whatever I wanted,. That’s awesome! Some of you say I have to have a store or post a sign, but that’s fine.

    I think I’m going to start with a bunch of boring stuff about “valuing our customers” and “keeping prices low”, and then put this in the middle:

    BY ENTERING THE PREMISES ALL PATRONS CONSENT TO MANDATORY PROCTOLOGICAL AND/OR VAGINAL EXAMS. ESPECIALLY THE PATRONS WITH PRETTY MOUTHS. FURTHER, BECAUSE OUR LOSS PREVENTION POLICIES ARE IMPLEMENTED ON A COST RECOVERY BASIS, ALL EXAMS WILL BE VIDEOTAPED AND POSTED ON THE INTERNET. PATRONS WHO FAIL TO COOPERATE OR OBJECT AT ANY TIME WILL RECEIVE COMPLIMENTARY COPIES OF THEIR EXAMS, MAILED TO ALL THEIR NEIGHBORS.

    But I’ll have to make sure to sell some small items. Diamond rings, maybe. Then who knows where those naughty, naughty customers might have hidden something!

  419. flotsam says:

    Good for you, Michael, and good luck. Complacency is easy. I trust you’re smart enough to ignore all the lemmings here deriding you for not just showing the receipt. Though I think you would’ve done better to have fought one battle at a time by presenting a driver’s license to the cop. Then again, I can easily envision a pompous cop siding with the store manager. Good work.

  420. I guess I’m more intimidating.

    A Costco here tried to inspect my bag, I refused the inspection, he (the door goon) followed me into the parking lot and continued to harass me. I suggested that he arrest me and accuse me of shoplifting if he believed that it was what I had done in his store and I would cooperate fully with the police, but reminded him that if they did so and it turned out that I had not been shoplifting, that my lawyers would be seeking appropriate compensation from the store and from him personally. I also suggested that following people by himself out to the back of the parking lot was unwise and unsafe in general and he should review his store procedures.

    After a short debate, they allowed me to leave, bags unsearched.

    I have never shopped at a Costco since. They can kiss my arse, and any other store that expects to search my bags on the way out can pucker up right behind them. A merchant gets to search my bags and check the receipt at the cash when I am claiming “this is what I wish to pay for.” Not before, not after.

    It is worth noting that the Costco drone did explain to me that the reason he believed that they search bags even though there’s no way of stealing anything between the cash and the door is to keep tabs on the checkout folks, to be sure they’re actually ringing things up correctly. He claimed that it isn’t me they’re worried about having stolen stuff, it’s the cashier cutting me slack. yeah.

    It’s also worth noting that most retail loss is slippage due to employees.

  421. John Danenbarger says:

    The dopes that support you should read the comments of the people who do not support you for purposes of reality. The dopes theoretical support come from a lack of age, I believe.

  422. jimmyb says:

    Well done, Michael.
    Thank you.

    And to you “roll over for your masters” folks, I pity you, and despise where you are taking our country.

  423. In Israel, security guards check your bags for explosives on your way into any establishment. Would you protest this procedure because you and your family and friends know you are a law abiding citizen?

    It wouldn’t bother me at all. If I don’t want the search, I don’t have to enter.

    That’s not the same as “we will imprison you if you shop here.”

  424. UncleMatt says:

    While I understand that, in this day and age, many of our rights to privacy are getting whittled away, piece by piece, and it is up to the public to take steps in order for us to keep that right to privacy, that doesn’t make your foolish and combative actions justified.

    It would have taken you 4 seconds, if that, to show your receipt to the LP “Joe” in Circuit City. It would have taken you 30 seconds to show your license, receipt, and stated your complaint to the arresting officer. Instead, you chose to be a wanker. This isn’t standing up for your “nay, our” rights. This is simply pointless.

    All that said, if you were not read your Miranda rights, you’re going to walk in and out of the court. He should have been reading you your rights while he pat frisked you. Second, the officer ONLY had the right to request name, address and DOB, call that in and run an NCIC to see if you had priors for shoplifting, then check your bag to ensure you hadn’t shoplifted. That’s it.

    In other words, you’re going to walk away. Personally I think a night in jail is perfect punishment for being a peckerhead. Considering the millions of dollars stolen from retail stores on a daily basis, I think a simple 4 second stop to check a receipt is perfectly reasonable. Get over it.

  425. Scott says:

    I believe in the 1970s there was a case that actually went to the Supreme Court regarding this issue. There was a protest at one of the embassies in San Francisco. A photog for the Examiner was taking photos of of the way the police were attempting to disperse the crowd. He was asked to leave and go across the street which he did. He was then ordered to stop taking photos altogether, which he refused to do. He was then ordered to produce he ID for the officer, which he also refused. He was arrested for failing to give the officer his ID.

    The Examiner I believe backed him up on this, and I think the court case was called The San Francisco Examiner v the City and County of San Francisco.

    The Examiner won, as the court ruled at that time that you cannot arrest someone engaged in non-criminal activity for simply refusing to show ID and nothing else.

    No, I am not a lawyer, but I am a photographer, I and remember paying very close attention to the media coverage of this case at the time, since it would in the future affect me rather directly.

    Just my 2 cents worth -

  426. Adrian says:

    Dude – you’re 100% right, the cop and CC is 100% flipping on some Jack Bauer paramilitary killer ninja commando ego-tripping bs. You might have been in the store, but the bag is technically yours once they give it to you with your paid merchandise, and in any case they don’t have the right to strip search you or your property no matter what they say. Personally I’m sick of these two-bit wannabe fbi-types popping up all over the place and making me and who knows how many shoppers feel like criminals until proven otherwise. STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS – IF YOU USED A CREDIT CARD, BY ALL MEANS CALL THE COMPANY AND TELL THEM OF YOUR TREATMENT AS A CARDMEMBER. I had an experience where I shopped at a Coconuts and Virgin megastore and they asked me for 2 forms of ID for using a credit card to buy $20-40 worth of stuff. When I called VISA I got a letter explicitly stating that ALL MERCHANTS in the US are stricly prohibited by VISA to hassle Visa cardholders for ID … if they think theft is involved, they can call visa and visa will verify but otherwise it’s none of their business. Regardless, store managers took it upon themselves to hassle my 29-year-old self until I called VISa and knew where I stood. Then the last time in NYC Virgin megastore, I stood my ground. They called the head manager, he told me he didn’t care what Visa wanted the store policy blah blah – I told him he better care since if Visa sues him for breach of contract, I’d piggy back their lawsuit. Oh, um … let me call my boss. In 5 minutes, the store manager was appologizing to me and giving me free Ultra Calendars and explaining their theft and blah blah blah. THE POINT IS – THESE RETAIL A-HOLES ARE LOSING MONEY NOT SO MUCH BECAUSE OF THEFT, WHICH IS THEIR FAULT FOR NOT PREVENTING BETTER NOT YOURS – BUT BECAUSE OF THE INTERNET COMPETITION. YOU COULD BUY ANYTHING FROM CIRCUIT CITY AT AMAZON.COM, ETC. AS ONE OF THE INCREASINGLY DECREASING people who actually still shop physical retail, they should be kissing your rear end. Instead they treat loyal customers like criminasl.
    Dude – by all means don’t listen to your (few) critics – life is a slippery slope – first its this and left unchecked 20 years for now you’ll be asked for identification to prove you live in your own home. By all means call your local or their local or even national news. Get a “screw circuit city ” website or “circuit city sucks” website. I’m sick of this 1984 creepign atmosphere and it’s up to the few people like you, me and others who agree with us to take action on behalf of all while the spineless losers sit on the fencepost. Remember- only about 5% of the US population foought the revolutionary war with england with another 10% actively helping with supplies, lodging, etc. 30% of the population was on the fencepost to scared to take a stand and the rest supported england. You need a “significant percantage” to make change and start momentum – but that needn’t be the majority, or even half, or even close to half. It’s always the few that change the world for the better – keep up the fighting spirit. If more young men had true courage like you, this country wouldn’t be turning to the mess it is quicky becoming. Remmeber – smart principle people make the world turn. Stupid arrogant thugs with badges, plastic or real, and guns don’t invent things and keep the system from falling apart. If the world were run by cops and two-bit security thugs … well then we’d be back to the dark ages in one decade. Keep up the good work dude. You’re a rarity in today’s age of spineless, mindless authority butt-kissing where kids who barely graduated high school go on to get uniforms and feel they have the right to tell their intellectual and moral superiors how to behave and live their lives. Make a stand. No emotions, no frustration, just persistent, calm, principled Ghanndi-like insistence.

  427. Adrian says:

    and btw – John Danenburger – age has nothing to do with the fact that you’re going to grow up to become a spineless, wimpering, bitter old pussy of a poor excuse for a man. Hell if men like you were more prevelant all humanity would be too scared to crawl out of caves and we’d still be back at the level of development of the cavemen. EVEN IF THE JUDGE TURNS OUT TO BE A CORRUPT ASS – CALL THE NEWS – MAKE A STINK. REMEMBER WHAT SENECA SAID – “IT IS NOT BECAUSE THINGS ARE DIFFICULT THAT WE DO NOT DARE – IT IS BECAUSE WE DO NOT DARE THAT THINGS ARE DIFFICULT.” EVEN IF YOU LOSE, YOUr courage is making now hundreds, eventually as your story gets emailed, thousands of people rethink their mindless compliance. then when one of the people tell future door goons to screw off, that will in turn affect hundreds of people in checkout lines watching. and so on. You can’t see the difference you’re making, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening. stand proud. Call AP – Call Yahoo. Listen to some MIA bamboo banger for the war drums and go for it. You’ll lose legally, maybe … or you might win … but you’re winning where it counts – in the hearts and minds of people like you. We make the world happen, not the corrupt parasites who suck off our work. Good job guy – hat’s off to you … you’r emy person of the year (aside from Ron Paul).

  428. Jason says:

    A Costco checker once caught a checker’s mistake that was in the store’s favor, saving me a minor hassle which I would probably have noticed later. So I’m happy with receipt checking.

    I see nothing wrong with stores implementing procedures to reduce theft. If that means not allowing large bags/backpacks to be brought into the store or if that means having the right to ask to check your receipt on the way out, then I can’t imagine a reasonable law they would be violating.

    If an indvidual choses to oppose a stores lawful policies and procedures and does so in a lawful manner, one should naturally expect a hassle. Said indvidual may not be violating any laws by refusing to show a receipt, but they should expect some extra attention and scrutiny. And if everybody refused, stores would find other ways to make the shopping experience less convenient and/or cost more.

    Some battles are worth fighting for, but I don’t see us losing our freedom over something so small. There are enough checks and balances in place in this country, if you’re looking for something to fight for, I say look elsewhere.

  429. lief101 says:

    Clearly this is already in the news (if not the TV then certainly the Internet). I agree with the previous comment though. You have the publics support. If it comes down to it, call the local and/or regional media. One of the functions of the media is agenda setting and I can only see this working to your benefit. I will say that I found this article via a posting on http://www.facebook.com. I live in Atlanta, but I expect that this will spread around the country quickly. Good luck and God Bless America!

  430. Tony P says:

    Your first mistake was opening the door of the car to talk to the store manager. You should have driven off.

    When you got home you should have called Circuit City corporate and explained that a manager tried to stop you in a PUBLIC area and in violation of the 4th amendment against illegal search and seizure.

    And the obstruction charge is a catch all. Here in RI the Providence Police Department has a statute labeled Failure to Move. When I worked at the state AG’s office part of getting the criminal history for the state working was to have a standardized set of statutes and procedures for police department and we used to constantly kick the data back to PPD when they’d send as a Failure to Move.

    I’d push this one and hard. Police are getting far too uppity lately.

  431. Adrian says:

    And to “WTF you dumb mother fucker Says: ”
    If the cops / feds / airport checkers showed up to your house and told you to turn around, pull your pants down and let them gang-rape your spineless ass “FOR THE GREATER GOOD” because they’re all horny and they think you’re cute, would you comply and think, “Well, if it’s “for the greater good” then have it guys!
    And to all the people citing airport security and anti-terrorism crap … a big STFU NOOBS! What the hell does this have to do with an overzealous and under-intelligent retail door goon and a 45 year old virgin cop who never had any friends and decided to become a cop to “show all the people” who thinks he has the right to “teach you lesson” for wasting his valuable time?
    AND BTW – unless you’re a cop making a felony arrest or you’ve been deputized by a federal agency in an emergency – POSITIONING YOURSELF inbetween someone’s arm and their own car door is borderline assault and if they touched you it’s now assault and battery and that’s a felony and that is an emergency.
    Not as much an emergency as getting another donut or parking your cruiser in the shade off somehighway to check out the latest issue of hustler for the cops, but a big enough emergency that we have laws that send you to prison for assaultign people.
    And last point – CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS precede and over-stem all store policies. Who gives a flippping sh@#$t about store policies? What if the store policy says, “If you agree to shop here, you agree our employees have the right to gang-rape your girlfriend if she’s hot enough.” Would you clowns be sitting there like, ‘Well, it is THEIR store and I guess I brought that on myself.” Of course not.
    As I seem to read these posts, I notice a trend. Naysayers are spineless, stupid and probably cops, store security guards, or store managers. people with brains and spines and balls all agree.
    I got an idea. ALL OF YOU NAYSAYERS – ASSUMING ANY WOMAN WOULD BE DESPERATE enough to have anything to do with spineless losers like you – if by some weird chance any of you have a really, really hot girlfriend or wife – give me your address so I can come over and show your girlfriend or wife what a real man does while you watch – I’ll show you my company ID and a letter which describes my policy of your agreeing to watch me screw your woman – it will have an official looking seal on the bottom and a study which says 9 out of ten people agree that I’m right. I doubt any of you will have the spines to do anything but bring me some more lube.
    NOW I UNDERSTAND WHY THIS COUNTRY IS BECOMING WHAT IT IS.
    “A NATION OF SHEEP MUST, IN DUE TIME, BEGET A GOVERNMENT OF WOLVES.”
    No wonder there is so much corruptin and theft in government today. This country seems to be made up of mostly sheep and chickens who are looking to the wolves with adoring adulation and fantasies of a life happily ever after.
    Tell me where you cowards are so I can move over there, join the police force and have my way with you and your property while showing you my badge and telling you that some vacuous law somewhere allows me to do what I wish.
    WE MIGHT AS WELL GET RID OF THE BALD EAGLE AS OUR NATIONAL SYMBOL AND REPLACE IT WITH A KITTEN.

  432. I have no problem with a store requiring bags to be checked/left at the counter on ENTERING the store – the individual has a choice at that point whether or not they wish to do business there.

    I have a HUGE problem with checking bags to LEAVE the premises after business is concluded, and holding me there until I submit. That, in my opinion, is unlawful detention.

  433. EJ says:

    Wow.

    I bet the people in Pittsburg are rooting you on. NOT.
    Better yet, I bet your siblings are happy too. What about your relatives comments when you returned (after posting bail) to your party.

    Grow up.

    First mistake was to forget your sisters birthday. You should have bought something online and had it delivered. Why not create a program that’ll remind you of such. BTW, I didn’t think nerds wasted their time shopping at brick and morter stores.

    Second mistake is the 911 thing. ‘Nuff said already.

    Third? Your siblings will try this someday and will not have the $$$ backing them up to get them out of the slammer (unless you provide them with a get out of jail card).
    “Hey, our brother did this once and he stood up for what he thought was right”.
    “Yup, he did. Shut up, turn around and put your hands on your head.”

    Fourth? What about daddy? Yup, he should have stood up and slapped you for being an idiot.

    Fifth… Making a big deal here out of nothing. I hope you have the balls to post everything here, including the time, money and effort wasted “defending” your rights. I’ll bet it’ll be minimum of $1000. For what? 10 seconds of your time. Brilliant move. Nothing will change… Well, CC may put up a sign at entry stating that they will require validating purchases. Woop de doo.

    Sixth: I’m sure your relatives are happy to see you leave Ohio. Sure gonna make their lives easier there. Did I mention you should shop on line?

    Getting back to Pittsburgh… You surely opened up a can of worms for retailers there. You want to make the citizens proud there? Start by setting an example. Sure, you are a whiz at computer hacking and have provided us with articles of support, but what about the day to day routine that all us smucks have to go through? Are you suggesting we not show receipts when our names are called at Panera Bread? How about telling the valet that you lost your ticket and that you drove the nice shiny silver Jag over there, instead of the beat up chevy. There is a reason for checks and balances here too. Stupid Fk. I’ll bet you tore up your library card too.

    I, like others here, side with having you spend more time and effort on larger issues that to “waste” (literally) 10 seconds of your time showing a reciept for purchase. C’mon.

    Theres a reason why people like you were picked last at kickball. Too smart for your own good, and terrible at teamwork.

  434. jimmyb says:

    Jason said – “but I don’t see us losing our freedom over something so small. ”

    Ever heard of “death of a thousand cuts”?

    People like you are why this country is doomed.
    Please don’t vote.

  435. Libertarian Larry says:

    I urge you to find yourself a decent attorney and leave the ACLU out of it for two reasons. As an earlier blogger already mentioned, the ACLU is only interested in big cases that advance their own cause. Second, the ACLU is EXTREMELY liberal and doesn’t care about your personal rights at all. The ACLU only wants to advance causes that erode our rights and advance the cause of Big Brother. The ACLU isn’t to be trusted any more than the today’s police officer is.

  436. Rick Rottman says:

    I think a lot of you are missing the point of all this. Michael wasn’t stopped because he was suspected of shoplifting. He was stopped because Circuit City doesn’t trust their employees. One of the many blow backs of not paying employees a fair wage is that retailers like Circuit City are forced into hiring employees that they don’t trust. They figure they are either too stupid to correctly ring up a purchase or they think they are dishonest and are passing merchandise over to friends acting as customers.

    If retailers don’t trust their own employees, they should hire better employees.

    Retailers should ONLY stop customers when they have a reason to suspect them of theft. They shouldn’t be able to stop and search a customer because they suspect their employee of theft.

    Michael did the RIGHT thing. I’m sorry that his younger siblings were traumatized by this, but I’m convinced that when they are older, they will look back at this an be extremely proud of their older brother.

  437. James O says:

    I vote with those who opine that you are an immature attention whore. With your money, education, family background, and status as a white male, you make a poor poster child for the truly oppressed. Face it, you are an asshole who will have problems his entire life because you see yourself as some sort of noble defender of rights. Sorry, you’re just an asshole.

  438. mike says:

    To all the people who agree with this “stand against authority”, are you going to refuse showing your receipt every time you leave a store which requires you to do so? Are you willing to go to jail a few times a year so that you can stand up for your right to not show your receipt? If not, then all your big talk about “standing up for your rights” is nonsense.

  439. James O says:

    Oh, yeah: You are also a thief if you are taking the hard earned money of other people to fight this two-bit charge.

  440. Clyde says:

    You people are all douches. Spend your money on something useful and stop enabling this little asshole. Show your receipt and show your bag! This is the most useless attention-getting drivel I have ever seen in my life! If they lock this guy up, it won’t be a bad thing, IMO, as long as they don’t give him a computer in jail! I don’t even LIKE police or security guards either, but this is the biggest joke I’ve ever heard.
    DONATE? You are a fucking nutjob! Don’t ignore people in public who are doing their job and you won’t end up whining to all the other whiney douchebags vis a vis the internet. This whole page is drivel. I hope lightining strikes more than a few of you.

  441. Clyde says:

    ALso, I don’t agree with Libertarian Larry above, but if the ACLU does get involved with you, then I hate them too by association.

    And James O is right on. GET A LIFE! What? You beat all the Wii games and ran out of crack, so now you’re going public? Don’t give this scammer money!

  442. bink says:

    just wanted to drop a note of support. i hope everything works out well for you in your case.

  443. Your Kidding says:

    WTF – A family reunion and a birthday and you ruin it by being a jerk. What were you asked – the same information you require for someone to post to this page. Hypocrite. You say you’ve come across this policy at at other Circuit City stores. If you are so opposed, why continue to support the policy by spending your money at Circuit City.

  444. question says:

    Umm, I haven’t really read through all the posts but I have not seen one thing about all the cameras that they have in these stores.
    If they were really watching with all the cameras then why do they need the guy at the door checking your receipt?
    Shouldn’t they already know if you have stolen something or not?
    People that steal things at stores like that are not going to put it in plain sight for the idiot working at the exit to see.
    Not only do they have the cameras but they also have the detectors by the exit doors.
    Seems to me like the only reason the guy is there is to hassle the people leaving the store.
    Besides that, I bought the contents that are in the bag, they no longer belong to circuit city.
    I should not have to show them what is in the bag since it is now my property.

    Just because your on their property doesn’t give them the right to search your property without cause.

    Next thing you know they will want to strip search you when you leave or get those x-ray machines like they have at some of the airports.

    They are slowly taking away our rights.

    Stop acting like sheep and start questioning some of the stuff that they are starting to do.

  445. Andy says:

    Inappropriate use of 911?

    He was being illegally detained, where’s the line between this and kidnap and at what point is it appropriate use?

    I don’t think he’s wasting anyones time, this will be a good opportunity to educate the people who should know (the Manager, the cop) as so what they can and can’t do.

    And don’t play with the law? pah, I encourage everyone to learn as much about the law as they can, even if it is from anecdotes, if we don’t know the law, how can we uphold it?

    I say good on him.

  446. Some other issues says:

    “Circuit city is not the government so they don’t have to follow the constitution.”

    Wow the state of education these days. The constitution is not a letter from the government that tells you what rights the government gives you as long as they feel like it. IT IS HOWEVER the basis for government and serves as a reminder to government about what rights people have that government can’t mess with. Not that most people in government / cops understand this fine point.

    Now, if the US government can’t mess with these rights, what makes you think Circuit City can? Do you have the right not to get assaulted, robbed, and murdered? Of course. Do you waive those rights when you step into a McDonalds, Burger King, movie theater or your friend’s house? Of course not.

    “Why not show them your bag if you have nothing to hide?”

    Because this is America, where our entire legal system is based on the concept of “Innocent until proven guilty … IN A COURT OF LAW … by your peers (not a cop).”

    That argument is something that England is based on – everybody who is accused is guilty until they can prove otherwise.

    That’s one of the reason that this country was started – because that approach proved to easy to corrupt.

    I never found myself wishing anybody out of this country … but honestly all of you spineless, communist willy-nannies need to leave this country – YOU DON’T DESERVE IT.

    If the founding fathers knew then that they’d be fighting for weak-kneed, anxious, terrified babies like you, I doubt they would have bothered.

    “Why didn’t you comply – Circuit City has theft, problems, etc.”

    That’s CCs problem, not ours as consumers.

    “It’s the employee theft, not the custmers.”

    Right – you expect your employees of theft, so you hassle and embarras customers to keep your employees in check. Right – smart.

    “Why didn’t you make the cop’s life easier, he would have appreciated it, etc.”

    We don’t get paid to make cops’ lives easier. THEY GET PAID TO MAKE OUR LIVES EASIER. AND WE PAY THEM.

    I don’t work for cops, you don’t work for cops, and neither does this young man. COPS WORK FOR US. Or rather, they seem to feel that we work to pay taxes to pay them increasingly ridiculous salaries to act like mafia-impresarios and boss us around like we’re all a bunch of immigrants with no citizenship and can be taken advantage of at will.

    Next thing you know cops will be walking around asking for “protection fees” from citizens.

    “You have to show your ID – it’s the law”.

    No, you have to correctly identify yourself by providing info IF YOU’RE caught commiting a crime. You don’t have to show a license unless you’re operating a car. The fact that we use licenses as ID is incidental. Failure to show an ID in itself is not a crime. Except in Arizona or New mexico now where they decided it is after a very similar case this summer. I’m sure more states will follow suit and pass similar laws, but so far they haven’t so it’s not the law.

    “The cop would have appreciated it, etc. , his job is really hard, etc.”

    Yah. Were you the kids who always brought the teachers apples in the morning? Ratted on your friends because the principle “appreciated” you doing so? Yah. Being a cop is hard work. You have to sit on your ass and drive around all day, flashing your sirens so you can rush to Dunkin’ Doughnuts faster, so you have more sugar in your system so you can drive around all day giving people who live in towns you don’t even live in dirty looks as they go about their business making money to pay taxes to pay your cop salary so you can retire at age 45 with full benefits after 20 years of driving around and hassling 15 year olds for smoking pot. People are right. That is sooooo much harder than being a surgeon or a pilot or a computer programmer or head of a division for a fortune 500 company. Thank goodness for cops. Without them, well without them we would have to take responsibility for our own lives and property. And we all know that in the past people who didn’t have cops policing them all died off. Oh no, wait, cops are a relatively new invention in the history of man and we were doing fine for thousands of years before they were one the scene.

    And to Michael – your critics are correct. You are a very rude and arrogant young man. If more people like you just shut up and supported the powers that be we would have found those WMDs and Bin Laden by now. But because hippies like you question authority and think for yourselves, Bin Laden got away and we never found the WMDs and now the whole world is falling apart because you didn’t trust in your elders who wear fancy uniforms and have badges and rings and documentation to prove to you that they’re smarter than you and know better than you do what’s best for you.

    Shame on you youn man, shame on you! If I were near you I’d pull your ears!

    The earth is flat because authority says so. The earth is the center of the universe because authority says so. The world was created exactly 6,000 years ago by the god of a bunch of sheep-herders because they wrote a book which says so – right in the book. And old men all over the world agree that that book is true because it says it is true – even in the book itself.

    And police men are smarter and therefore right because they wound up with jobs where they driver around with guns. Could you pass a police IQ test and get a job driving around and flashing guns all day? Didn’t think so.

    Shame on you young man. Shame.

    Stop rocking the boat you’re making the rest of us think too hard.

    Stop thinking so much. Drink more beer, download more porn and just smile and do whatever strangers with guns and circuit city badges tell you to do. That way we’ll all be on our merry way to a happy, shiny utopia!

  447. regeya says:

    Sounds like you’re almost totally in the wrong here. Don’t know about Ohio, but the only thing that was done wrong here is that the store employees physically prevented your leaving. However, as the incident happened on private property, I think the best you can hope for is that the security guy and/or the manager will be fired for not following what is a fairly common policy, which is to let the shoplifter go rather than put oneself in danger.

    As far as the showing of receipt goes, you’re on private property, and you’re refusing to comply with a request of a representative of the property owner.

    As far as not showing ID goes, there are those who claim it’s a search without warrant, but really, you’ve called the police for assistance–and then you refuse to hand over ID? More than likely the officer was merely going to use your ID to fill out the report, a report which you’d have to identify yourself anyway? You’re just handing the officer more and more reasonable suspicion, and if he’s thinking you’re stealing from the store, you’re standing there making him more suspicious that you’ve been stealing by not identifying yourself, and you can’t understand why you’ve been arrested?

    What a douchebag…

  448. Everyday Joe says:

    Wow… what a tremendous waste of everyone’s time you are.

    Odds are you are full of shit and just looking for money… Why should anyone donate anything to you?

    Don’t give this bonehead any of your money since the story is probably all bullshit.

    GOOGLE BAN THIS PAGE – IT’S BULLSHIT AND SCAM!!!

  449. Grant says:

    You did the right thing….

    Here’s what happened to me.

    It was Christmas and I was buying presents at the local Wal-Mart here in Lincoln County NC and as I was leaving a Police man was standing by the door asking to examine my receipt. Any other day it would be a Wal-Mart employ but on holidays they ramp it up a little I guess. So anyway I gave the same response that I would always give to those guys and that was, “I’m sorry I don’t do that”. To which the officer replied you will today! Oh, no I won’t I replied back, and stopped, turned and faced him. I don’t show receipts, to people for no good reason, and I’ve done nothing wrong. You’re not leaving this store with those bags with out me seeing your receipt, he replied back! Now at this point It could have went one of two ways, and I knew it, One, make him arrest me or two, give all the stuff back and cause a BIG stink and BIG show. I had a friend with me and we had plans that day so I went for the other option. The BIG show, I went to the return desk, I asked to see the store Manger, the assent store Manger, and I cursed and screamed at all of them, I told them I would never shop there again , I went on to tell them that they weren’t the only store in town and I would go elsewhere from now on. I called the headquarters and there head office filed complaints, and on my way out I stopped and looked at the police officer and told him I was now leaving the store and if he wanted to frisk me before I left he’d better get to it, he just looked at me, I could tell he was mad, and before I left the store I said in a loud voice that all of ya’ll are sheepal…..Just sheepal!!!! That was about 7 years ago I have bought stuff only 5 times from the Wal-Mart since then, but never from that one, and I won’t buy from any store that ask to see my receipt.

    You did the right thing….

  450. Bob says:

    I agree with you on principle, however, I strongly am at odds with you on giving your excess money to the ACLU.
    You are under the delusion that they care about freedom. Nothing could be further from the truth. True, at times they go thru the pretense occasionally of supporting a good cause, but it is never with the gusto that they exhibit when trying to strip God (and more specifically Jesus) from this country and its history.
    The ACLU was started and still funded by communist organizations and individuals. Communism never gives individuals their free rights. Only God does. Communism seeks to take those rights away and only the elite then control things.

  451. “As far as the showing of receipt goes, you’re on private property, and you’re refusing to comply with a request of a representative of the property owner.”

    So, regaya.

    If you visit my house, I can force you to remain there until you allow me to search your bags and get to see any papers you have?

    The only rights they have are to kick him out, or to completely ban him from their property. Not to demand his bags and papers, or to keep him there.

  452. Mom says:

    Well, I think I’m for this guy and fighting for his rights! Freedom
    If I was not a white mother of 3 kids I might think this guy was at fault.

    However, There are times with my 3 kids in tow I have set off the alarm in Walmart, CVS and other various stores. Do they check my bags? In the case of Walmart, I have a full cart and it was early morning with very few shoppers.
    I’m not sure why they let me pass. However, They quite often let me pass.
    From My honesty, Their have been times at CVS I’ve turned around to try and find an employ to try and show “Hey, Look! I’ve paid!”

    On the other hand, I’ve seen the store employees stop perfectly innocent people to try to determine if an item is on a receipt. I notice this at Walmart even when the alarm does not sound.

    If I hadn’t worked with a guy who was biased against any kid dressed goth I’d have never thought much of it. However, If you do watch those they most request receipts for. Let me tell you, It isn’t the average looking white Mom.

    Do you think the security practices are fair? Maybe Your employee brings their personal bias into the whole situation.

  453. Sam says:

    “As far as the showing of receipt goes, you’re on private property, and you’re refusing to comply with a request of a representative of the property owner.”

    So if I invite a woman to my apartment, once she’s inside I can demand that she have sex with me and have her arrested if she refuses. Good deal.

    Sorry, but being on Circuit City’s property does not give them the right to search through YOUR personal property. They certainly do NOT have a right to prevent you from leaving–if I invite somebody to my house, does that give me the right to hold him prisoner?

    Some people have compared this to bag searches when you enter an establishment. That is an ENTIRELY different situation. If a bag search is a condition to ENTERING somebody’s private property, you can decline the search and choose not to enter. It is entirely different when you enter Circuit City and then, upon attempting to leave, are told that you will be held prisoner unless you consent to let some flunky with a room-temperature IQ paw through your personal possessions.

    It is also unfortunate that almost all cops come from the very bottom rung of the IQ ladder. My personal experience with them is that the only difference between them and the gangsters they’re supposed to protect us from is that the courts always side with them. Cops are more likely than any other profession to beat their wives. Where I live most of them are on the take, and nobody cares.

    And yeah, cops frequently arrest, or threaten to arrest, the person who called for help just because they’re angry that somebody called them away from their doughnuts and expected them to *gasp* DO THEIR JOBS.

  454. Jay says:

    Why….what is the big deal. All you had to do was let the guy look at your receipt and be on your way, but you had to go and waste your time, the officers time and expose your family to the trauma of seeing you arrested….for what? now you call the ACLU (they are a joke) and are wanting to take everyone to court….GROW UP!!!!! You acted like a two year old having a temper tantrum and deserve what you got. Is it really that big of a deal to let the store check you bag, and to provide your drivers license to the officer? NO!!! But you just have to prove a point. What???? That you are joe citizen and you have the right to rebel against the evil empire that the store is? You dont like there policy of checking your bag DONT SHOP THERE!!!!! take you business elsewhere. I hope that you are found guilty of obstruction, and that the store fights your bullshit lawsuit till the end. Grow up and stop acting like a two year old spoiled little girl.

  455. This site is a waste of space. Hippies like you should just learn to conform. Show the guy your freaking receipt and walk out. You deserve any punitive punishment in court for the simple reason YOU ARE WASTING TAX PAYERS DOLLARS when there are real crimes and criminals that have to be held up for some idealistic crybabys moment in court to fight the oppression. Give me a break. So it would inconvenience you for 5 seconds to show your receipt.

  456. YouareanidiotandIamnot says:

    There’s a name for idiots like you. Unfortunately, it’s not polite, so I can’t use it here. That notwithstanding, it’s bozos like you that create disorder and mayhem and are directly responsible for the true rights of honest citizens being denigrated. Please get yourself sterilized. It our nation’s only hope.

  457. Marisa says:

    I have a new hero. And you live Pittsburgh, too! Perfect!

  458. Friend of Jefferson says:

    Michael

    Bravo against the ID, ‘Prove your not guilty’ State!

    CONVENIENCE is our collective gateway to the future concentration camps for us dissenters. We all fill out too much information on forms, give answers to strangers we’d rather not give, just to avoid the temporary CONVENIENCE of being left alone and undissected with the herd….. FOR NOW. Thanks for trying to bravely stop the neo-1930’s state in America and Britain.

    I would like to alert you and all of you fellow Americans about an est. $1,000 Title 42 Law course available over in Missouri on how to SUE governmental and other ‘officials’ for these regular violations of your rights, without the ACLU. Activist George Gordon teaches a course how to sue for hundreds of thousands of dollars for each offense such as this, then settle case after case for tens of thousands. He says the average American will be able to settle several little claims for about $100,000 a year, just over all of the rights violations we experience weekly, and the corporate and city insurance companies wishing to avoid even bigger problems by proving their crappy non-existent ‘laws’ (Cultural Conformity) in court.

    This is the address to review and sign up for George’s class. It is worth the flight: http://www.georgegordon.net/Classes.htm#title42

    This Circuit City manager “Unlawfully Imprisoned” you in the parking lot – a crime, usually a Felony. His insurance company needs to pay, so HE and his store WILL be more HESITANT towards our “Innocent until proven guilty” status, next time. I will be boycotting their stores for this excessive violation to join your point. I don’t initially blame him for asking customers, but I do blame him for imprisoning and embarrassing you to satisfy his control freak, dominating, I’m-your-god nature. I have had similar experiences, and the charges were of course always dropped!

    How else are we going to avoid the Police State unless we start giving these people and bureaucrats something to lose NOW (constant insurance settlements & boycotts)?

    A traffic cop, a few years ago asked me their standard “what do you have to hide” cliché, when I wouldn’t let them search my car during a traffic stop. I replied: “What did Jefferson and Co. have to hide when they WROTE the 5th Amendment”. The brainwashed cop confused, and secretly impressed, let it go and left.

    I want the Bill of Rights all of the time, not 55% of the time. Obviously so do you Michael, and a lot of other fellow Americans on this site.

    Thanks!

    Viva Liberty!

    A Friend of Jefferson

    (Yes the Founding Fathers regularly used Pseudonyms too in their 1770′s police state – get used to it, nosy rights-violating minority).

  459. Andrew says:

    I just checked my local Police Department’s website and it lists their number and right below their number it says, ” For Police Service Dial 911″.

  460. joel says:

    First of all, circuit city can not violate your constitutional rights. the constitiution is there to protect you from the government, not private businesses or individuals. Second of all, since 9-11, you have to prove identification to a law enforcement officer when asked. There has been cases that made all the way to the supreme court like this where an officer asked for a state issued ID and someone wouldnt provide one. They have the right to detain you until you can prove who you are.

  461. don't touch says:

    yes, the store did many things wrong.

    they can ask, but not require, to see the receipt or the bag.
    if you decline they must let you go
    they cannot stop you or block you or impede you. unless they are officialy citizen’s arresting you.
    ditto for blocking you and your family car in the lot.
    nix, nix, nix, nix, nix.
    they should know better…that’s supposed to be part of their job, to know the rules and customers’ rights, and let the police handle arrests.
    ======
    on the other hand, you yourself have made two major mistakes afterwards, which i did not see mentioned in the comments i read.

    you PUSHED the manager? and you admit it in writing here?
    naive, naive.

    be prepared to be sued yourself for assualt and or battery

    all the rest is trivial.

  462. Some posters have jello for brains says:

    “Don’t call 9-11″.

    Right. Call directory assistance, have them tell you to call 9-11.

    “There are more serious things that require police attention.”

    Right. Like figuring out how to get the local mob guys to give you more bags of cash to look the other way.

    Seriously, how can you have any credibility in correctly combating serious crime when you can’t even demonstrate honesty and professionalism for such a small thing?

    “It’s store policy.”

    Ok, let’s extend that argument to the extreme to see if the logic holds under a stress test:

    “Oh, come on guys – let the nazis have europe. It’s all theirs anyway, they even have a policy which says so now. And they also have a policy that says if you don’t have blonde hair and blue eyes, you waive all rights to disagree. It clearly says so in their policy.”

    Ya. I can can imagine our futures if Putin read this blog.

    He’d be sitting in front of the politburo or whatever they call it these days like, “The hell with treaties – let’s just invade them now! Look how soft and weak they are! Grown men believe they must submit to being pushed around by teenagers with plastic badges because they waive their rights when they buy a movie!”

    Man I hope none of our enemies are reading this blog.

    To paraphrase that corrupt english king guy in Braveheart, “The mere sight of some of these posts will only embolden all of our enemies to take over the whole country without hesitation.”

    Seriously some of you are so soft and weak that you should be classified as a threat to our nation’s security.

    The very sight of your wimpering posts would only embolden all of our enemies.

    OMG how can we be taken seriously by the rest of the world when we’re scare by our own mall security and the local beat cop.

    All over the world poor hungry people are standing up to tyranny under the most unimaginable circumstances, and we’ve become so soft and deficient that frappochino-swigging girlie-men can’t muster up the nerve to stand up to mall security.

    The sun is setting for this country.

  463. Connor says:

    I think it’s awesome what you did- standing up for your rights. And I was perusing your articles when I found out you’re a freshman at Pitt. So am I! I just thought it was a pretty interesting coincidence. Good luck in your already amazing computer career.

  464. Aaron V. says:

    Go after the city and make them pay for falsely arresting you; and also sue Circuit City for false imprisonment (by preventing you from entering your car, they’re committing the tort of false imprisonment, which is a civil version of kidnapping).

    Because of the threatened violence of the Circuit City employee, you were also justified in calling 911.

    And for the people who say “Just do what they say, it’s their store!!1!” or “You do whatever the cop says!!1!”, MOVE TO CHINA.

  465. John says:

    Taken from a news article from your site:

    “Michael Amor Righi started his own business when he was 8 years old, bought his first house at 19 and, now 25, is owner of a half-million dollar information technology training and computer consulting business based in his Downtown loft.”

    You have TONs of MONEY. Why are you accepting people’s donations!!!! Please give them back you greedy BASTARD!!!!! Also, you should have just let that manager check your receipt and bag. It’s not that big of a deal if you have nothing to hide. Now your kids have you got hand-cuffed because you were being a jerk! If I was in your shoes. I would have let them check my bag because it only takes 5 secs!

    PEOPLE DO NOT DONATE TO THIS PERSON!!!! HE HAS THE MONEY TO PAY FOR THE LEGAL FEES!

  466. Sam H says:

    I really do not know what to think in this instance. I have cognitive dissonance about my cognitive dissonance!

    While I am supremely protective over my rights, I am also very fond of convenience. Allowing a Circuit City employee to search my bags to verify that I have purchased what I am leaving with is a very small price to pay to avoid the alternative methods of security. But the bag check also seems like a silly and easily circumvented method of securing a store.

    I also respect the rights of Circuit City to secure their store however they feel necessary, as long as the customers are made aware of it prior to entry. I don’t believe you have a “right” to shop at Circuit City, but they do have a right to protect themselves as they see fit within their premises.

    The cop was just being a dick, and it was probably a response to you being a dick. The cop was out of line just assuming he could arrest you for something like that and then charging you with something other than what he initially stated.

    YOU were being a supreme dick, just walking past the employee without explaining yourself? Aside from legal issues, that’s just rude and pompous. Of course he is going to come after you because you completely failed to communicate with him the situation you are in. All he sees is some jackass whizzing by with a bag full of stuff to a waiting car. I am certain that if you had SPOKEN with him, even briefly, this situation would not have gotten out of hand.

    So yes, you were standing up for your rights, and that I applaud. However, aside from legality, treat people like people. It’s great to be libertarian, just make sure you are humanitarian as well.

  467. Rick W. says:

    “. 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.”

    Well there’s your problem. You did what they wanted you to do at that point. You should have kept driving away. You opened the door. Now you are presenting confrontation. Seems if you had just left the place you would have been fine.

    So this is YOUR 15 minutes of fame.. enjoy it while you can.

  468. Ken says:

    I’m certan I’ve read of at least one other case exactly like this a few years ago. Guy made a purchase at Best Buy, refused the bag and receipt examination, and was arrested for it. He won – a store can not force a customer to do the inspection. Court precedent is on your side, I have little doubt that you will win. Even in Ohio.

  469. To all the people who agree with this “stand against authority”, are you going to refuse showing your receipt every time you leave a store which requires you to do so? Are you willing to go to jail a few times a year so that you can stand up for your right to not show your receipt? If not, then all your big talk about “standing up for your rights” is nonsense.

    Yes I do, and yes I am. Strangely enough, I’ve yet to be arrested despite my invitation to the store to do so.

    The difference is that I’m over 30 and amply capable of getting a good lawyer and making a massive shitstorm about it. Make no mistake, the store is aware of this sort of thing, and that’s why they tend to pick on younger people for it.

    That argument is something that England is based on – everybody who is accused is guilty until they can prove otherwise.

    You mean France. Under English common law you are innocent until proven guilty in nearly every instance. English common law is the basis for law in the former English colonies, including Canada and the USA.

    the only thing that was done wrong here is that the store employees physically prevented your leaving. However, as the incident happened on private property, I think the best you can hope for is that the security guy and/or the manager will be fired for not following what is a fairly common policy,

    The manager and employee should have been arrested for unlawful detention.

    PEOPLE DO NOT DONATE TO THIS PERSON!!!! HE HAS THE MONEY TO PAY FOR THE LEGAL FEES!

    I don’t think he should be wiped out by legal fees. However, if he wins a settlement, I think he should return donations out of the settlement.

  470. gabriel says:

    You got what you deserved. What sucks about all this is that you wasted taxpayer dollars and resources in your stupid-ass nit-picking worthless point-making. It’s good to see that you got what you deserved for being an asshole tackling your personal problem with society in the worst possible way (kinda like when a disorderly drunk correctly points out there are no grounds for arrest but still gets thrown in the can because he tried to solve the problem in the wrong place at the wrong time in the wrong way; we always cheer for the police in this case).

    You are pretty ignorant about laws too, in this country it does not matter if you are a US Citizen or not, everyone is guaranteed the same civil liberties and rights, but you’ll probably soon learn that the freedom you seek carries with it a responsibility of wisdom and good judgment.

    Anyway, good luck on your quest, but you certainly don’t get a donation from me. If you have a problem with these “intrusions” from Circuit City, the way you went about it is exactly what not to do. You tried to solve your problem with exactly the wrong people, normal folk just trying to do their jobs, who are powerless to change company policy.

  471. Steve-0 says:

    OK I’m somewhat ambivalent. On the grounds of the store, being asked to check your bag would seem acceptable, under most circumstances (private property, a universal benefit of deterring shoplifting etc.). This would be problematic in an indoor mall as I don’t want loser at Sam Goody checking my wife’s Victoria Secret bag, which makes searching pointless since she could easily use that bag for shoplifting.

    However, the cop was wrong, although I suspect you came off as a troublemaker (or at least smug)so on non-legal grounds I can’t blame him. He’s wrong for the whole ID thing. One may not carry a license and shouldn’t be required to do so if not driving.

    My ambivalence comes in that I’m not sure you really are heloing a cause or just being a troublemaker. Most often things like this are “gentleman’s agreements” and if forced on constitutional grounds to take another tak, the alternative might suck. I’m not sure what that alternative is, but that retailer really isn’t going to just take shoplifting on the chin. So the alternative might be more intrusive surveillance while you’re at the store or higher prices etc.

    I’m not sure your helping me. Go after the cop for the ID thing and even more so the Miranda thing. I’m not so sure I want you to “fix” Circuit city.

  472. Dylan says:

    You did the right thing. I am deeply troubled and disappointed by those who would submit to any order given by any person. One side note; there are some cities, counties, and perhaps even states where you are required by law to present photo ID when asked by police if you have it; which I find disgusting. So check your local laws before exercising similar civil disobedience!

  473. beannazi says:

    Get a clue about what “civil rights” means. A store if allowed to have rules. Enforcing those rules doesn’t have anything to do with your civil rights. If you don’t like a store’s rules don’t shop there.

    Anyone else sick of these self absorbed jerks who think they don’t have to listen to anyone and then come crying to the web after they get treated in kind? Idiots like this think they are doing some great service by questioning authority but they’re not. If anything they create less sympathy for individual rights. Wow…a lawsuit against some minimum wage schmo at Circuit City. What a huge achievement.

  474. MB says:

    Joel, since Sept. 11th, stupidity has been a crime. Please report to your nearest Detention Center.

  475. Hmm Mike is his own worst enemy says:

    So Mike:

    You don’t want to show you ID to the Police but you do need an email to submit a comment to your website. Suddenly in your geeky, adolescent, mind, you need some sort of validation for your website because of the BIG BAD SPAMMERS. Now cops come to a 911 emergency scene in a similar situation where people are murdered and has a guy that doesn’t comply to a simply command. “Who are you and do you have any way to confirm this?”. This is basically an “email address” used for the last 5000 years – proof of who you are.

    If you are so paranoid about your identification to the state, have a fake ID made, give a wrong name and address.

    I think you wanted to look all cool in front of your family you haven’t seen for a while. You made them cry. Mission accomplished. You are cool.

    The people posting in favor here are left wing wackos. Have a family shot in the back of the head by a criminal and their views will change.

    A poorly paid, under trained Circuit City employee trying to make a buck asks you for your receipt and you “Say no” on their property in their bag, purchasing their goods. Are they coming at you when you are outside their parking lot – NO. Have they accused you of stealing NO. They are adding a sampling method to those to buy stuff and then return to the store because they forgot their keys (and the IPOD they didn’t pay for) inside the store. Slip the IPOD inside the bag because everything inside a Circuit City bag is paid for == RIGHT.

    Maybe it is good to hide a small $300 item like a digital camera underneath the shopping cart which you removed from it’s box in the Car Stereo section (you know – the room with the glass doors hidden from view).
    You then reach down to fix the wheel after you purchased you goods and place the camera in your bag.

    But oops, Circuit city wants to verify that everything in your bag is paid for before you leave their property. But you cry 4th amendment because it is you right as an American to have a camera follow you everywhere you go in the store to confirm that you did not steal anything. n fact, your $145 dollor video game (you know the one you paid for in 2007 prices)but the price has increased due to the personal theft deterring escourt you have (and everyone has) while they shop inthe store.

    And then you confront a cop who has to deal with real issues in the street and a bunch of stupid people (which you are now labeled as one).

    You are young and dumb. You have yet to realize the world is NOT perfect and you must choose to fight your battles.

    You will find that your appeals to the ACLU will be responded with deaf ears.

    Here in Bay Area we have Fry’s and they do this check, Fry’s will gladly allow you to return your items (everything in the bag) if you don;t want them to check it. I agree, show items in the bag or have everything returned. No money changes hands.

    For the left wingers, do your duty – Help the homeless with your own money.

  476. Jim Richardson says:

    Kudos, ignore the “just roll over lik eI would” crowd. They don’t matter in the long run.

    Rights only last as long as we fight for them, in the big, *and* the small ways.

  477. Jim Richardson says:

    Kudos, ignore the “just roll over like I would” crowd. They don’t matter in the long run.

    Rights only last as long as we fight for them, in the big, *and* the small ways.

  478. Yuri Broze says:

    Oh my my guys,

    What a thread. Look, pick your battles. If you really feel as though there is a deliberate abuse of power on anybody’s part, then please, feel free to stand up to it. Did an officer come up and start questioning you without cause, demanding identification? Then yes, fight it; ask if you’re being accused of a crime. That’s inappropriate. Is it just an officer trying to do his job by responding to a call? If you like the idea of maintaining order and helping the police to protect peoples’ rights, then why not just help the guy do his job? After all, summoned to the scene of Circuit City, he would reasonably assume that he was dealing with yet another of countless shoplifters he’s dealt with, and not the stray freedom-fighter. Don’t begrudge him this perfectly reasonable stance.

    Ideals of liberty not withstanding, pragmatism is most important in these situations. While one is technically free to behave in all kinds of disruptive or confrontational ways such as this, in nearly all cases, especially for middle-class Americans, it’s truly best to attempt to cooperate. Note that I don’t mean by this “submit to authority.” I mean “cooperate with your fellow human being.” We’re all in this together, shopkeepers, police, and customers alike. If you don’t like Circuit City’s policy, the best way to change that is not to shop there. Presto, you don’t have to deal with it. Get your friends not to shop there. If you Really Truly Care about stopping the Circuit City threat, then go ahead and get arrested, start a media circus, organize nationally, and launch a crusade. But BoingBoing-spread online comment threads are hardly effective, and I somehow doubt you plan to pursue this issue on a national scale after you settle this in, or out of, court.

    After all, the best way to limit abuses of power is to reduce the very power of these authorities. If there were not 911 calls being made to summon an officer of the law to settle your short-sighted “I have my rights” dispute, we would have much less need to keep police rosters stuffed to the gills. Fewer bored officers committing TRUE violations of privacy rights at night. For everybody’s sake, reserve law enforcement for true emergencies, and you’ll have a better place to live and fewer intrusions of privacy.

    In short, you’ve got spunk, but eventually I hope you’ll see that in the end it’s NOT all about you and your personal individual rights, or even about those of every other Circuit City customer in the USA. Rather, it’s about the successful and mutually beneficial functioning of every party involved. Being a good citizen starts with trying to get along with every other good citizen WITHOUT the need for government-sponsored (and potentially oppressive) intervention.

    Cheers,
    Yuri

    PS. I know Wiki’s not actually an authority, but see if you agree with the idea of Shopkeeper’s Privilege, from the perspective of a shop owner.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shopkeeper's_privilege

  479. Peter Scythe says:

    “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.)”

    Bizzare? Dude, I love monkey bread.

    Sucks about getting harrassed by those workers and cops. A better birthday treat for your sister was definately a good, first hand lesson in our collapsing liberties though, so don’t let the scum here crying for you to give in to the Curcuit City Gestapo bring you down. These pro-totalitarian, freedom hating poo-parrots just talk shit and repeat themselves, and I wouldn’t be surprised if any or all those calling you a douche were either cops, Circuit City employees hired to monitor and battle your website’s claims, or just simply loser republicans that scramble to give away their freedoms in a race to prove themselves more patriotic than you, and are upset that yet another of their corporate honey-pies is being attacked for one of their pushy and obnoxious business practices.

    PAPERS! PAPERS PLEASE! Illegal search and seizure is becoming a problem in this country, and if you don’t think so, just wait. Wait until it happens to you.

    No fight is too small when the fight is against a violation of the law.

  480. JM says:

    To all who say this guys wasted out time. You are ignorant and uneducated sheep. It is no wonder with people like you in our country that we will soon be under electronic surveillance 24/7. It has already started in most major cities and will only get worse because you people won’t stand up to it and will have the ignorant illusion of security.

  481. sylvia says:

    You must have grounds for harassment? And thankyouthankyouthankyou for taking a stand. US claims not to require identity cards but you get hauled for not showing a drivers license … this was an issue in the 1980s and clearly still an issue for some now.

    Principles matter. Hang in there.

  482. Darryl says:

    Hmm…if I read the original story…and it is totally factual in its entirety, then the accused did not call the police to prevent him from having to show his receipt…the call was made to gain police assistance in leaving a place where someone was preventing him (and his family) from doing so. There’s a big difference there.

    That said, Michael your one regret about having children see the scene, should be a BIG regret. As adults we often forget the lasting impressions we can have on our children. They’re going to remember this one. Maybe they’ll be proud of you…maybe they’ll think it was funny…or maybe something worse…like a perpetual fear of law enforcement.

    You are making a valid point. in your refusal to cooperate/submit to a search..but your timing due to the presence of children was really lousy.

    I hope you’ve apologized to the kids…

  483. Mekki says:

    The saddest thing in all this affair, from my perspective, well beyond what you were put through, is the rude response you are getting from people who feel it is necessary for them to personally insult you for standing up for your principles.

    I say to you, bravo. Ignore them.

    I say to them, you are hypocrites. You live in a nation that was /founded/ on standing up for your principles, and yet you denigrate those who live their lives by those ideals. Shame on you.

  484. David Geyer says:

    Rather than open the door, it probably would have been a better idea to crack the window to have a conversation with the manager. This is the ACLU’s excellent advice for when one is stopped by the law in: Busted – The Citizens Guide to Surviving Police Encounters.

  485. Joe says:

    Mike,
    Jeff sent me this link today… thanks man… it’s nice to see someone standing up for their individual rights and choosing to fight against unlawful restrictions forced upon you by either some hourly employee at a chain store or an uninformed cop…

    I told my friend Amber about this case today, as she lives about 1/2 way between that Circuit City and the Brooklyn, Oh police station… she had this to say “well, it doesn’t suprise me in the least, as Knapp arrested my sister on the charge of basically ‘being in the car with a black person’ a few years ago, and the same obstruction charge that you are being charged with when she objected to his tendency to refer to her friend in the vehicle by…” I won’t type the last word, but it’s a rather typical ethnic slur… her charges were dropped by the local court as well.. as it was a BS charge in the first place…

    keep up the fight man… and again, thanks boss…

    and to everyone that somehow sees these restrictions as OK, just remember, freedom never disappears over night, it slowly erodes over time with minor restrictions in the name of security that are considered “minor inconveniences”… a little here and a little there adds up

    there’s a very similar case going on in Florida right now, and another one from a few months back in Harlem (though I believe the argument used by the customer in that case was racial profiling)… we need more of these cases, and we need more people willing to stand up to these “minor inconveniences” that provide additional “security”…

    Later,
    Fisher

  486. Buy-Curious says:

    One thing I’m very curious about is how much this is all going to cost you. I’ve seen stories like this before, and in the end, you could end up winning the good fight, but at tremendous personal cost. I’m sure many people would be very interested to know what this is – costs are all relative to people of different incomes, and it would be very interesting to know what class of people are financially able to defend their rights – at what point do the costs become such a burden that you are forced to cave in to make it all go away? This is perhaps the larger injustice being played out daily in our legal system.

    If you are innocent and trust the law to find you so, it should cost you nothing to go to court, state your innocence and cite the law, and wait to be sent home with the court’s apologies. If it costs you one cent to declare this innocence, there is something seriously wrong with that.

  487. Sorrow says:

    “Hippies like you should just learn to conform.”

    Hahahaha. That’s exactly what we need, a bunch of robots who can’t think
    for themselves. We already have enough of them in the government, do we
    actually need more in regular society?

    I would have done exactly what Michael did in this situation and I’m glad that
    he does have the balls to do something that 99% of the rest of you are scared
    to do.

    Conform.

    I seriously can’t believe someone actually typed that out and meant it.

  488. Turkkish says:

    I have had something a bit similar. I purchased some items at a Best Buy, and the guy asked to see my receipt and items. I told him that since I purchased them, they became personal property and I didn’t agree to a search unless he had probable cause, otherwise he could eff off. The guy shied away and let me go. If a store does not post a sign that says by entering the store, that you agree that they have the right to search you, then they don’t have that right regardless of the fact that it is private property.

    As a former member of our nation’s military, I love my rights and I use them and I will continue to defend them in my civilian life.

  489. Aaron says:

    Shane (waaaay up above, who commented at 4:15 AM),

    It’s the store who owes them an appology for not training them well enough. People working security where their stores ask them to search people need to understand that they are asking customers to VOLUNTEER to let the merchant or its employees search them. If the customer in question does not VOLUNTEER to be searched, when asked, then if the store truly wants to pursue the issue, they must call the police. But, even though I am not your former employer who did not properly train you, I am sorry anyways. I have sympathy for you, and your situation is one more reason that I feel that it’s important for people to stand up for their rights against corporations and states that would otherwise repress us further.

  490. Sparkletron says:

    In the Supreme Court decision, Atwater v. City of Lago Vista, Texas, the Supreme Court affirmed that police can arrest you for any reason whatsoever. So basically any cop can f*** you on a whim. Nice country, eh?

    Even in the best of times and circumstances, our rights hang on a tenuous thread.

    -S

  491. Walt says:

    As a former Radio Shack Manager (in Nevada) we were drilled that our legal rights to detain suspected shoplifters ended at the door sill. Once they were out of the store we had no legal right to do anything.

  492. Paul says:

    The ACLU is full of shit, I wouldn’t donate 1 penny to them.

  493. John says:

    The total number of sheep posting comments scares the heck out of me. So many people calling you a ‘shit’ etc because you stood up to an authority overstepping their rights and stepping on yours.

    Wake up America. You’re all the same as those who’d have made Rosa Parks ride in the back of the bus.

  494. A. Neuman says:

    This issue has already been decided by the courts. Its on Dave Champions website at http://www.originalintent.org and was a case handled by the ACLU (Dave Champion is well versed in such cases. He has radio programs devoted to this very subject at http://www.americanradioshow.us/archives). I believe it was a case against BestBuy Inc.
    Bottom line is NO ONE can force you to show a receipt! Michael, you are gonna be a rich man. I can see criminal charges against the employees for at least kidnapping. And the city is going to pay for years for the violation of your constitutional rights. Way to Go Michael for standing up for your rights! Let the lawsuits begin!!!

  495. Blab says:

    You were way out of line here. Just let the guy look at your receipt and let the officer see your license. It’s one thing if they want to check your pockets in the store, or if the officer wanted to search you, but nothing like that went on. You just wanted to cause a scene to make yourself seem important. Grow up.

  496. David says:

    I work part time at Best Buy and it is funny the way we are told about the asking of receipt policy.

    option 1
    1st Ask a customer for their receipt that has large items ie: fridge, tv, computer.
    2nd check the large purchases against receipt.
    3rd tell customer to have a good day as they leave.

    Option 2 if customer refuses
    1st you do not have them on tape visibly stealing product tell them to have a nice day (Best Buy policy is ask don’t force)
    2nd if on tape have police there to initiate conversation otherwise let them go (Doesn’t always happen I admit I myself tackled someone who was stealing $4000 worth of flash drives and camera memory, and I was almost fired for it but since it was my first week on the job they let it slide with a written reprimand)
    3rd If there is no evidence of a theft make a note in the log to show the incident so if a tv for example shows up missing we can find the tape to watch for the person again.

    At no time are we to leave the double doors to pursue a customer if we do it is grounds for immediate termination.

    I do applaud you for as a student at a law university I know that you are innocent until proven guilty. The way retail stores have begun to act you are guilty until proven innocent.

    On a side note blocking the car from leaving is unlawful detainment and false imprisonment.

    However as with Paul I don’t like the ACLU either get a real lawyer who doesn’t work for them because the ACLU is now just as corrupt as the big company’s

  497. Kevin Patrick says:

    Hi, I wish you the best of luck. It is not easy to live as a free individual in today’s United States. Indeed you do have the right to be secure in your papers and person at all times. I agree with you that in certain circumstances you might be required to show papers for participating in legal privileges. I disagree, however, that driving is one of those. One has the right to travel via private and public means. In today’s society, it is nearly impossible to do this in all locations w/o driving a motor vehicle.

    I also disagree that you should have to show papers for carrying a weapon in public. Any individual can ask you to relinquish a weapon on their lawfully owned private property. In all other circumstance, the second amendment should do just fine.

    You could have also informed the officer that you do not consent to any searches, the only times you are lawfully required to consent to searches are if contraband is visible to an officer, they have “probable cause” (an iffy one at that), and at ports (air and sea).

    I really wish you the best of luck, and salute you as a Citizen.

    ———–
    A small note to those who left notes such as:
    “You’ve got to go an get uppity with a cop! YOU MORON! ”

    If you do not know your rights, you don’t have any. People like him are fighting everyday to try and keep you free. They least that you could do is show a little respect and educate yourself.

  498. Mike Murray says:

    My-PC-Help.com just donated $20 bucks to your legal fund. Good luck!

  499. Shadow says:

    Blab, no he was NOT out of line. If you don’t stand up for your RIGHTS regardless of how small you will “lose” them by default. I hope he sues and win a few million to teach the other businesses and police to FOLLOW the law. We have a 4th ammendment for a reason. Stores can not search your belonging UNLESS they have reasonable suspicisions and evidences of wrong doing. Police can not search your belonging without probable causes either. We’ll see what happen if every single citizen bring up complaints to the courts like Mike, the judges will have a fit with the police wasting their time and for what? most theft at these giant retailers are prob inside anyways

  500. David says:

    to: A. Neuman

    Thanks I didn’t remember the case or where it could be found but this is the result that made us change the policies regarding the loss and prevention staff at Best Buy (We hate getting sued)

  501. mikal says:

    @Required

    only idiot here is the american like yourself that would so easily let their rights slip away under the guise of “going with the flow”. have some pride in who you are you ignorant sucker. and about that tax payer money you’re bitching about…. thats my money too, and i don’t mind it being spend in such a way. i consider it an investment in myself actually. why don’t you do some thinking and quit being THAT guy. THAT lazy ass guy that refuses to think and actually prefers that others do the thinking for him. THAT fucking dope that actually prefers to be treated with contempt. THAT fucking guy that is exactly whats wrong with our country today. so shut your fat disgusting face and thank this gentleman for what he did.

  502. Rafiki says:

    I’m all behind you on this one. What would happen if you were just riding down the street on a bicycle, wearing a tee shirt and bike shorts? Can’t fit the darned license in there. I do that often, but then I live thankfully outside city limits (municipal police are real pricks compared to the sheriff’s deputies around here). Hey, you really should have not called the cops. I never do, even when others rear end my car (happens often) I just get some bondo and spray paint and take care of it myself. I don’t want anything to do with them, ever.

    I don’t like shortcircuit city. The one near here has no clerks, you have to stand at the customer service and wait for somebody to come along and get a cashier. I’ve never seen a “doorman”. The “worst buy” across the street has one, however. I hate that store, too. The hide the cheap keyboards in the back room, you have to ask for one or you get your choice of $50-$100 ones on display. I’m not paying that for something my kids will spill soda into in the coming months. Bestbuy here has a habit of tackling customers who don’t wait to be “checked”. Just stay away from those stores. They are worse than wallyworld or anyplace else.

    I don’t know what kind of occupation you are in but some others did bring up the issue of arrest records. If you are found innocent, be sure and keep written records of the dismissal to submit with job applications. Getting it expunged would be best but that is increasingly difficult since 9/11.

  503. Luis Ewing says:

    From Luis Ewing at (253) 226-3741 or or

    I have been driving without a Driver’s License for TEN YEARS PLUS and beat all my tickets sooner or later!!!!!

    I have beaten numerous charges of Resisting Arrest, Obstructing a Law Enforcement Officer and Refusal to Cooperate and Give Information charges for REFUSING TO SHOW MY DRIVERS LICENSE or any other form of STATE IDENTIFICATION!!!!

    I have authored numerous FREE self help LEGAL FLYERS that have prevented many from being ARRESTED & TAKEN INTO CUSTODY for DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED, stopped others from getting a $480.00 NO INSURANCE TICKET for driving without insurance, a $101.00 NO SEAT BELT TICKET for driving without a SEAT BELT and everyone’s favorite flyer is my FREE ULTIMATE USER FLYER which shows that you can LAWFULLY POSSESS & USE MARIJUANA or any other controlled substance if you are the ULTIMATE USER who is using the MARIJUANA or any other controlled substance for his or her own INDIVIDUAL RECREATIONAL USE and NOT for DISTRIBUTION!!!!

    I will send anyone who request’s by E-MAIL a copy of ALL of my FREE FLYERS!!!!

    I am NOT a State Licensed Bar Card carrying Attorney as I would NEVER STOOP SO LOW!!!!

    I make my living undercutting attorneys by preparing BOILER PLATE and CANNED BRIEFS for PRO-SE LITIGANTS who want to fight their own case WITHOUT A SCUMBAG ATTORNEY!!!!

    I can BRIEF CIRCLES around any State Licensed BAR CARD carrying Attorney on my worst day and STONED OUT OF MY MIND!!!!

    I can beat your case hands down at the PRE-TRIAL LEVEL and write the WINNING LAWSUIT to file in either the State or Federal Court and have the case law that says suing in either court is your choice!

    Sincerely

    Luis Ewing

  504. Drew says:

    This is in response to Rebort that posted at September 2nd, 2007 at 8:07 am:

    I can clearly understand why you say you are not offering legal advice, cause you would make a horrible lawyer.

    So if you believe that since a person is on private property, they have to subject themselves to Search and Seizure. So what your saying is, come on over to my house and before you leave, I’m going strip search you to make sure you didn’t steal any of my properly, since after all, you’re on my private property and it’s my right to search you.

    There is no basis unless there is probable cause to search. It is a fact that any merchant that “asks” to see the receipt is simply asking. Once you paid for the item, it is your property and they have no right to search it unless you waive such right unless of course they saw you stuffing merchandise in the bag by witness or recorded activity on camera.

    So refuse to allow them to check your bag. If they say they have probable cause and search you and find that you didn’t steal, well then, that’s another case for you to take to court so they can explain their actions.

    And for those people that say you’re on their private property, technically you have to leave their property before it’s called theft. This includes the parking lot in most cases, so until you actually leave the parking lot and you did steal something, they honestly can’t really say you stole their property until you leave their property. You can stick as much shit as you want in your pants or bags, dump it before you go, they can’t do anything. Why do you think they wait til you’re out the door when they do catch you? Most don’t own the parking lots though, I’m sure it’s a rare circumstance when they do. The only time they probably do own the parking lot is when it’s a store not attached to a whole strip mall of stores.

  505. Nate says:

    Why would you not just cooperate with something so insignificant?

    You are an annoying douche

  506. diggler says:

    Hmm Mike is his own worst enemy:

    1. “If you are so paranoid about your identification to the state, have a fake ID made, give a wrong name and address.” – Mike is not looking to commit a crime, which this would be, he is only after what is within his rights.

    2. “A poorly paid, under trained Circuit City employee trying to make a buck asks you for your receipt and you “Say no” on their property in their bag, purchasing their goods.” – NO, Once Mike purchased the items, they no longer are Circuit City’s goods, Mike owns 100% of them. Hey why stop at checking a receipt and in the bag? Why not allow some random Best Buy worker to force me to turn out my pockets, and have my wife empty her purse. Where do you stop?? My pockets or my wife’s purse are EQUALLY if not BETTER places to actually hide merchandise if I were to steal it.

    My time is a precious commodity, I dont like to waste it fumbling for the receipt for goods that I already own. I’ve already wasted 5 minutes telling the clerk, “No, I do not want the extra warraty”. “Yes, I understand exactly what that means” (calls manager over) “Yes Manager, I know exactly what that means. I dont want a $100 warranty on a $300 computer”. Why should I give them anymore time, I’ve already helped the store enough by adding to their profits?

  507. Cost Avoidance says:

    The stores can spend the cash to pay for the tags which are removable at point of sale, then fire the security guard and stop treating their patrons like obligated dependants. They have it exactly backwards – the customer is more and more alien, these days.

    To the people here who only care about status quo, about don’t rock the boat and d-d-d-do right, about a few tears in a moment of stress – you are cows. Myers-Briggs normal junkies; play along law-fodder, don’t stand out, homogenised, be sensible, inch deep, cattle.

    You deserve nothing you have lost, or will lose, as you cling to the illusory prairie you only wish you inhabited. There are mountains to be climbed in this existence, and eluding the grasp of people, who presume to own your individuality, counts as one of them. “Being Adult” must not include domestication. Adult cattle are still herded and fed to their masters. “Adult” must mean something more, a self-possessed state of independence and freedom of movement.

    Pragmatic passivity has become the modern life drug of choice; the one no wars will be fought against, if we leave it to you – because you love being hooked on indulgent expediency, because the authorities need your addiction and will never jail you for being a compliance junkie, and because you have an appointment somewhere more comfortably familiar, and apparently self-seving, than the realm of individuals.

    You see it as virtue, as maturity, but you dream. Michael Righi has stirred you from your dream and you resent it as you would if every day were Saturday and, inexplicably, your alarm just went off.

  508. Jordan says:

    You’re a hero in my book. Thank you for this!

  509. FUCK AUTHORITY says:

    FUCK CIRCUIT CITY, FUCK AUTHORITY, FUCK THE FUCKING POLICE IN THEIR PUNK ASSES AND ALL YOU FUCKHEADS WHO BEND OVER AND TAKE IT UP THE ASS FROM AUTHORITYAND RESPECT AUTHORITY DESERVE TO BE FUCKED UP THE ASS!!!

  510. Tj says:

    Life, liberty and the pursuit of hidden receipts.

    Thanks for defending the inalienable rights of all of us; which as you know are spelled out clearly in our founding documents…you are truly a martyr.

  511. pac plyer says:

    My friend,

    Most Americans believe your story because we’ve all been subjected to it in one form or another, gradually, day by day for about thirty years. There is no longer any freedom in the U.S. unless you’re independantly wealthy and can afford a protracted legal battle with a Billion dollar corporation (which you can not.) You did the right things, you are a fine citizen, but now, you need help. You need this to go to the ALCU (if you haven’t already) and persuade them to take your case as proof of police collusion with a near monopoly such as Circut City. We’ve lost what was left of our individual rights as garrenteed by the bill of rights. Now we are told that the bill of rights doesn’t appy in airports or on private property (the C.C. parking lot.) Corporate authority is now greater than government authority, and what little is left to protect innocents such as you has been bought out a long time ago by huge multinationals who loose millions to shop lifting every year. CEO’s don’t care about your loss of rights. They care about money and control. They ARE the new government. Ralph Nader warned us this was happening a long time ago but nobody listened. “The line between government and big business is disappearing.” – Ralph Nader 1997

    I am sorry to say: You are already living in a police state. The only thing missing is a “666″ tatooted along with a barcode on your forehead.

    My advice: Be like me, sell everything and move overseas. There’s still wonderful freedom in the third world. I even drink and drive without worry. I never worry about getting arrested. Police take me at my word: “Sir, you’ve been drinking a lot, maybe you should go home in a while, no?” They treat me with respect, like a nobleman, even if I’m obnoxious. Of course I first had to simplify my life and give up those consumer products that got you into trouble in the first place. But to tell you the truth: I miss them not at all. Sweet unadalterated freedom is a high one thousand times greater than the high of shopping.

    Good Luck, because you’re going to need it. But please do not mistake my sarcasm for admiration. I always root for the little guy. And I have a lot of respect for a fellow American who is not afraid to piss into the wind. I got tired of it and left. But do not mistake your situation either. It is bad. You are little David and Circut City is Goliath.

    You have one stone and a cheezy slingshot……

    Alas, poor Urch, into the arena you must go…..

    pacplyer

    “a little revolution is good for the country every once in a while” – Thomas Jefferson

  512. I would check the law to see if the “ticket” meets the definition of a summons. I would challenge the “summons on a special appearance, to protect from the possibility of giving the court jurisdiction with a general appearence.

    How can the law demand that a subject of an officers questioning provide a plastic card that there is no law for you to carry? Driving is a privilege so how can they demand a plastic card that by law you are only given if you pass the test to exercise the privilege?

    As for those that believe they should give up alittle freedom so they can be secure, srew you you mindless people because you have neither freedom nor security when you give up your rights.

  513. Criminal Defense Attorney says:

    I didn’t read the 500+ responses so I don’t know if this has been covered. But here’s what I think:

    1) The cop shouldn’t have arrested you. You probably won’t end up with any real criminal trouble. Maybe you have a civil suit. Maybe not. You are an idiot for calling 911 and an idiot for giving a cop attitude. Say what you want about civil rights.

    2) If you don’t want to be treated like an asshole, don’t shop at places that treat their customers like assholes.

    3) Get the chip off your shoulder.

  514. TinyTim says:

    Interesting to say the least. What I see here is an attention getting selfish act. You’re in town for what, a couple of days at most? It’s a family get together and your sister’s birthday. But that’s not good enough, you have to turn it into a ‘look at how freaking smart and great I am’ situation.

    The dude at the store didn’t have a right to see your bag and receipt, ok, so politely tell him that. Don’t be a rude asshole and turn your nose up at a guy who’s just doing his job. Everything in your post shows nothing but bad attitude. It’s scary most posting here seem to find some kind of heroism in that.

    Standing up for your rights is one thing. Looking for trouble is another. Just remember, you usually find what you’re looking for. It’s just too bad you weren’t looking for a nice day with the family.

  515. tge says:

    I applaud you for having the courage of your convictions (pardon the pun)!
    I’ve never thought of it in terms of civil rights, simply as a rude way to treat a “cherished” customer. I have refused for several years to spend my money at any store that insists on checking my receipt.
    Good luck!

  516. Dave says:

    …sigh… I don’t envy you your situation – in one moment it seems such an insignificant request, but it’s really made me think about it and the direction this is taking and the constant talk about whether we are becoming more of a police state. That said.. It sounds like the police officer did a reasonable job under the circumstances. It’s not surprising at all to me that the office wouldn’t be aware of the law… The sad part is apparently someone had to find an excuse for hauling you in. Either way, I sincerely hope that your defense succeeds and that the cost isn’t too great.

    Re: circuit city… Theft protection from a store that carries millions of dollars of merchandise in-store is understandable, but, again, it’s up to the company and its employees to understand the law. Few of the hecklers for one second consider how brash and abusive the agent and his manager were being. This is my opinion, but if you run a business, stock that much high-value stuff and invite people in freely, the onus is upon you and your employees to devise a scheme of protecting your inventory – without destroying the privacy of others…… Which kind of leads me to what I had mention to begin this all – the ‘police state’ thing and, perhaps more significant, the erosion of privacy. Now, from what I read, I believe our internet service providers very freely monitor and provide information on our activities..

    I’m a bit more timid than you, but although I might be willing to hand over a receipt, I’d be a little less so to hand over my bag(s) – PARTICULARLY ones that don’t say Best Buy/Circuit City/et al – without an Very Good Reason for them to do so. Again, as for the driver’s license situation, you’re a better one than I. Thank you for doing this and getting me thinking about this, and thank you for doing this and getting others thinking about it. I’d like to think that, given the chance to really THINK about it, most people would NOT choose a world where privacy and human rights play second fiddle to the need to make money and be profitable.

  517. Bully says:

    For everyone that says that he should have just shown the receipt or his driver license just to make things easier and to go along with things, I demand you give me $5.00 or I’m going to be in your face for a long time. Just make it easier on your self and give me $5.00 and I’ll go away. Come on, just go with the flow.

  518. No, i’m not that Fred. Anyhow, thanks for standing up. Don’t worry about the court system. They don’t have a case, but they will pretend they do. Fight them tooth and nail, then file a suit against circiut city.

  519. John says:

    Mr. Righi,

    I want to address some quick legal points. First, I am not a lawyer, just a law student. A person should always consult a lawyer when dealing with legal issues.

    RECEIPT CHECK:
    Circuit City has the right to check your receipt.

    Circuit City is a private entity, not a government entity. The Fourth Amendment protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures made by the government.

    In addition, you were on Circuit City property when asked for the receipt. Many states have shoplifting laws which grant retailers rights of limited seizure in order to verify shoplifting has not occurred. Without knowing the details of the law in the state this occurred, many of these laws allow stops on store property.

    I agree with you, checking receipts is obnoxious. I refuse to do it except in limited circumstances. However, your true options are to refuse and to return.

    Having said that, while Circuit City was likely within its rights to request a check of your receipt while in the store, its employees also likely overstepped their rights by falsely imprisoning you in the parking lot. Further, there may be a cause for battery.

    CAR ALTERCATION:
    There are many false imprisonment cases concerning loss prevention officers and alleged shoplifters. Here, your entire family was possibly falsely imprisoned. In addition, battery may be there. Some of this will depend on any statutes granting powers to retailers to stop shoplifters.

    Even so, the damages are not very much. You may be able to get some emotional damages from the fact your younger siblings had to see the arrest. Most likely, nominal damages (of the $1) kind are available.

    OFFICER AND ARREST:
    You granted the officer consent to search your bag and receipt, so there is no Fourth Amendment issue there. You are right, in most states you do not have to show your license. I believe some states have laws requiring the showing of a license to some degree or another, such as Colorado, but that does not appear applicable here.

    The officer over-reacted. He should not have arrested you. Some officers are lazy, tired, or green. These kinds of officers do stuff like this. It is wrong. It is stupid.

    However, it is not grossly negligent. You suffered nominal damages. Suing the officer, his department, and the government entity that employs him may be difficult. Officers receive qualified immunity. Depending on the government entity, it may receive absolute immunity.

    I applaud your principled stand. Next time, I might make a louder fuss about returning everything if they want to check your receipt. I have personally received quite satisfactory distressed looks from managers who learned I was returning, in one case, $600 worth of electronics because they wanted to check my receipt. The multiple customers who were disgusted with the receipt checking actions who left items at the counter unpaid for was also a plus.

    Good luck, and remember to watch your court deadlines!

    Sincerely,
    John

  520. I had a similar problem with the police. First, I have to state that I think we need to listen to the police and follow the LAW or else our country will turn to anarchy. However, I think police need to be able to distinguish between right and wrong and they must understand the law and individual’s rights. I believe all police should be required to get a masters degree with the emphasis on law and people’s rights. They should also make more money.

    I was almost arrested for not following a sign that stated to not swim in a pond near my house. The sign was placed there by a resident in the area that did not like people swimming near his house. There was no law that prevented people from swimming in the pond. One day several people were swimming in the pond (all local residents) and this man called the police. The police officer told us to get out and I asked what law was I breaking. The officer could not tell me which law and continued to threaten to arrest me. They way I figure is what would happen if the sign read colored cannot drink from the drinking fountain, are we required to follow such a sign or else be threatened to get arrested? I unfortunately did not handle the situation with class and I do not respect myself for not peacefully discussing it with the police officer. The problem was that I felt threatened and I reacted defensively.

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  10. Man is arrested after refusing to show his receipt at Circuit City | Bent Corner
  11. Bucket O’ Bulletz » Unlawful arrest at Circuit City
  12. www.buzzflash.net
  13. SlowWebDay.com » Man Arrested For Failing To Flash Receipt
  14. Joe Szilagyi - writer, information technology person, Seattle person » Arrested for now showing a driver’s license
  15. The Squid Zone
  16. Blog.amhill » Your rights as a citizen