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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Adult Citizen Wrongly Accused of Shoplifting.never Entered the Store

    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?

    Thanks,

    Ms. Marshall

    Emeryville, CA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: Adult Citizen Wrongly Accused of Shoplifting.never Entered the Store

    You can of course file a report to the local agency about the conduct of the officers if you feel that they did something wrong, but other than that, I do not see any cause of action.

    A case of mistaken identity is just that - mistaken identity.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Adult Citizen Wrongly Accused of Shoplifting.never Entered the Store

    I appreciate your response, but I refuse to accept it! This was a horrible inexcusable experience. Being embarrassed was the least of my problems! I had just began eating my meal, when the waiter handed me the check attempting to expedite my exit of his establishment. There was no probable cause to even approach me and disturb my peace: 1) I never entered the drugstore; 2) evidently, I didn't even fit the description (huge difference between my weight and the suspect); 3) I had arrived, ordered my food and was consuming my meal probably before the theft occurred; lastly, 4) why would the thief stand right across the street from the place of theft and use his/her cellphone in plain view?

    I had a right to sit in that restaurant and enjoy my lunch without being harassed and accused. The feeling of being detained, although for a few minutes, was an unsettling feeling for me. I will definitely be writing a complaint to the police chief and local/state reps. I will pursue this till the end. Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: Adult Citizen Wrongly Accused of Shoplifting.never Entered the Store

    Okey dokey.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NW of KSTL
    Posts
    2,554

    Default Re: Adult Citizen Wrongly Accused of Shoplifting.never Entered the Store

    So what sort of damaged are you? Are you used to getting an apology when someone has caused you some sort of distress?

    So this episode is gonna get ya running back to meds for depresion? What about PTSD?

    I do like the word gentrified. Don't believe I've ever seen that word on this site before!

    One more thing; when you refused to show the contents of your purse you "definitely exacerbated" thier probable cause. If ya ain't got nuttin ta hide then no worries.
    Growing old, mandatory. Growing up, optional!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Adult Citizen Wrongly Accused of Shoplifting.never Entered the Store

    Yes, Souperdave. All the above.

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