Saturday, November 26, 2011

Next Time You're In A Store, Make Sure You Know The Law!


The video is disturbing to watch. A 54 year old grandfather face down in a pool of his own blood, unconscious, and handcuffed, on the floor of an Arizona Wal-Mart store as a crowd of onlookers stand around taking video of the whole incident.

It happened on Black Friday. Jerald Newman had gone shopping at a Buckeye, Arizona Wal-Mart, with his daughter and grandson. When he reached the electronics department, he noticed a large crowd, tearing apart boxes of games that a Wal-Mart employee was opening. He grabbed a video game for his grandson, before noticing that his grandson was being trampled by the aggressive crowd, and had cut his lip. Newman then stuffed the game in his waistband, and bent down to pick up his grandson, then walked away in an attempt to get away from the angry mob.

Newman then walked towards his shopping cart, where by the way, he had at least $ 600.00 worth of other items in, which he intended to purchase -- doesn't exactly fit the "shoplifter type". And that's when some overworked, underpaid Wal-Mart employee alerted police, to what he thought was Newman shoplifting.

What followed was completely unnecessary, disgusting, and another example of rogue, out of control cops.

A Buckeye, Arizona police officer grabs Newman, and suddenly, trips his leg, then slams the grandfather face first into store's cement floor. As one witness described it "It was like a bowling ball hitting the ground, that's how bad it was".

Newman then lay in his own blood, unconcious and hancuffed for over 10 minutes, before being arrested and charged with shoplifting and resisting arrest.

Let me make one thing clear here... We may never know Newman's true intentions. He may have been truly trying to get his grandson and himself out of harms way. Or he may have been trying to shoplift. But all that really isn't important. This is about out of control cops, using excessive force, and abusing their power.

The law is very clear when it comes to approaching/apprehending someone suspected of shoplifting...

According to, for a merchant to establish probable cause, and prevent false arrest claims, there are six universally accepted steps that the merchant must follow before detaining someone suspected of shoplifting:

You must see the shoplifter approach the merchandise.

You must see the shoplifter select the merchandise.

You must see the shoplifter conceal, carry away or convert the merchandise.

You must maintain continuous visual observation of the shoplifter, to ensure that the individual has not discarded the merchandise, and that in fact it is still in their posession.

You must observe the shoplifter fail to pay for the merchandise.

And finally, perhaps the most important one... You must apprehend the shoplifter outside the store.

You can never, ever stop someone inside the store. It isn't shoplifting until the individual has exited the store.

Like I always tell my readers, know the law. By knowing the law not only will you know your rights, but you will also know what to do if you or a loved one becomes a victim of false arrest and police brutality like this grandfather did. Sounds like Wal-Mart and the Buckeye, Arizona police department have one hell of a lawsuit on their hands!


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