My question involves criminal law for the state of: CALIFORNIA
I am a young woman of color, gainfully employed, home & rental property owner, taxpaying law abiding citizen with no arrest and no criminal record.
As I was enjoying a meal at a small storefront restaurant (located in a gentrified up & coming neighborhood), I stepped out the establishment's front door to take a phone call ~3mins. I returned to my table to continue my meal when 2 officers approached me and asked that I return back outside. With confusion on my face, I inquired why. I was informed that I had shoplifted from a popular nationwide drugstore located directly across the street.
I informed the officers that I've never even been on that side of the street today and have been sitting in this establishment for the past 15-20mins. He asked to look in my purse, I immediately refuse. By this time, I was totally embarrassed as the restaurant's employees and customers looked on.
I refused to leave the establishment. This officer conducted himself in a very unprofessional intimidating manner. I told him I fear for my safety and the accusing party would need to come into the restaurant and ID me. All the while, he never asked for my identification. The waiter brought my tab. I opened my wallet in plain site, exposing my checkbook, credit cards and Id, paying my tab. Still, I was never asked for my ID, so I passed it to him anyway. He radioed in my info.
As I was finalizing my bill, I heard him radio in that he was trying not to "1-4-something" me and to have the accusing party come across the street to identify me. I figured that meant handcuff or take me into custody. I was wondering if I was being held against my will. I began to grab my belongings to leave, the officer informed me that I was being detained and could not leave.
Minutes later, I saw a cop car pull up just to the side of the restaurant and a plain clothed man got out and walked passed the window where I was sitting. His eyes immediately zeroed from my face to the officers face, giving him an affirmative nod. I shook my head in disbelief and exclaimed that I am being WRONGFULLY ACCUSED and will be pursuing this matter to the fullest. The officer quickly interjected with attitude that this guy was a friend and he was just casually speaking to him.
Next the clerk, dressed in her smock, poked her head in the door and immediately shook her head and stated that I was not the suspect. She furthered that the suspect was about 150 lbs. This infuriated me cause I'm a solid 320 lbs. The officers turned on their heals and immediately left without uttering a word...not even an apology.
In the past, I've taken medication for depression and this episode has definitely exacerbated the state of my mental health.
What recourse do I have to file a claim? Against the drugstore? Against the police dept?