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Postby Chrono Crow » Thu Sep 13, 2007 4:15 am

http://newsite.michaelrighi.com/2007/09 ... cuit-city/

Dude's pretty brash. I gotta give him points for being smug while keeping his cool.
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Postby sum yun gai » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:19 am

unless he gets some laws changed, i don't think this adventure is worth the effort he put into it. in effect, he was arrested for following the law but i believe he will still be responsible for the legal fees even if he wins his case(s). if he can afford it, great. if not, this was just a waste of time imho.
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Postby James » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:48 am

I'm having difficulty deciding whether he's being a cantankerous prat making a big deal out of nothing, or making a valuable stand against arbitrary invasions of privacy. On the one hand, his reaction seems unreasonable and out of proportion, but on the other, his ideology seems sound.
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Postby loofah » Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:11 pm

James wrote:I'm having difficulty deciding whether he's being a cantankerous prat making a big deal out of nothing, or making a valuable stand against arbitrary invasions of privacy.
Is there a reason he can't be both? I liked what he had to say here:
cantankerous prat wrote: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.
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Postby catastrophile » Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:38 pm

James wrote:arbitrary invasions of privacy

As irritating as I find it having my receipt checked on the way out of a store, I can hardly call it either arbitrary or an invasion of privacy. Retailers have a legitimate interest in making sure unbought merchandise doesn't wander out of the store, and checking what's in the bag against what's on the receipt hardly seems intrusive when you've just had a cashier inspect each item before putting it the bag anyway. Pointless and redundant, sure, but . . .

It's sort of like the guy's bravely taking a stand against observing somebody else's rules when you're a guest in their home. "I think you're exaggerating the risks, so I'm gonna smoke in your living room anyway."
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Postby jvcc » Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:55 pm

I don't think that a store employee asking to check you bag is unreasonable. I believe they have the legal right to do so, as long as they wait until you leave the store.

I think it was absolutely wrong for Joe and his manager to go running out to the vehicle and actually keeping the door open. I think the way the police officer treated him was even worse.

I also think that Michael antagonized the entire situation. Taking a bold stand for what you believe in is wonderful, but don't go creating injustices when there are actually real ones you could be fighting.
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Postby katzenkoenig » Thu Sep 13, 2007 2:00 pm

hm, could anyone refresh my memory about about personal ids / equivalents in the states? are they mandatory now?


if you're unable to provide any means of identification, where's the problem with being forced to come along to the police station to get that identification done? i have my doubts about simply taking the bag/wallet and checking what's inside, but not allowing the police officer to take/check your particulars is stupid.
when you CALL the police, why is it arbitrary if they want to know who you are?
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Postby jvcc » Thu Sep 13, 2007 2:14 pm

katzenkoenig wrote:hm, could anyone refresh my memory about about personal ids / equivalents in the states? are they mandatory now?


if you're unable to provide any means of identification, where's the problem with being forced to come along to the police station to get that identification done? i have my doubts about simply taking the bag/wallet and checking what's inside, but not allowing the police officer to take/check your particulars is stupid.
when you CALL the police, why is it arbitrary if they want to know who you are?


The problem is that the officer had no legal right to do so, because Ohio law states that Michael did not have to present him with his driver's license. It's reasonable to ask him to do so, but Michael had every right to refuse and there was no logic behind his arrest. Unless it was just the last resort of a frazzled officer, but that wouldn't explain why charges are being pressed.
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Postby katzenkoenig » Thu Sep 13, 2007 2:41 pm

jvcc wrote:The problem is that the officer had no legal right to do so, because Ohio law states that Michael did not have to present him with his driver's license. It's reasonable to ask him to do so, but Michael had every right to refuse and there was no logic behind his arrest. Unless it was just the last resort of a frazzled officer, but that wouldn't explain why charges are being pressed.


my question was: do the cops have no right to ask for identification (be that drivers license or whatever) in such cases? righi just referred to the driver's license in particular - and he only claims that's because he was not operating a vehicle at that time. if the officer has a right to ask for identification (because of potential non-traffic-related crimes or misdemeanors) and said guy was not willing to produce any, he should probably have the right to bring him to the police station.
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Postby loofah » Thu Sep 13, 2007 3:11 pm

katzenkoenig wrote:my question was: do the cops have no right to ask for identification (be that drivers license or whatever) in such cases? righi just referred to the driver's license in particular - and he only claims that's because he was not operating a vehicle at that time. if the officer has a right to ask for identification (because of potential non-traffic-related crimes or misdemeanors) and said guy was not willing to produce any, he should probably have the right to bring him to the police station.


If you look at his update, he answers that question:
Ohio Law wrote: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.

With the rest of the code regarding this situation here:
http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2921.29
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Postby katzenkoenig » Thu Sep 13, 2007 3:46 pm

and where does that say anything about identification? it's not like the cop asked him about his fetishes and secret desires - he merely wanted him to prove his particulars; something that's not explicitly mentioned in said law.

i'm not saying you're not right, but the law itself is pretty vague concerning the issue at hand.

No person who is in a public place shall refuse to disclose the person’s name, address, or date of birth(...)


any precedents with a definition of "disclose" ?

righi seems to think it simply means "state", but that would make the whole law redundant, because seriously, what good is a name etc. when you can't check it?

either way, acting too smug (and from what i've read, he seems to be quite the selfrighteous smartass) around overworked and underpaid police officers, no matter if you're right or not, is not "defending your rights", but stupid. chances are he could've made his point without coming off as a total jerk.
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Postby James » Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:17 pm

catastrophile wrote:As irritating as I find it having my receipt checked on the way out of a store, I can hardly call it either arbitrary or an invasion of privacy. Retailers have a legitimate interest in making sure unbought merchandise doesn't wander out of the store, and checking what's in the bag against what's on the receipt hardly seems intrusive when you've just had a cashier inspect each item before putting it the bag anyway. Pointless and redundant, sure, but . . .

It's sort of like the guy's bravely taking a stand against observing somebody else's rules when you're a guest in their home. "I think you're exaggerating the risks, so I'm gonna smoke in your living room anyway."

Well yeah. He doesn't state whether there's any reason he should be suspected of shoplifting or not. I mean, I don't know if things are different in the States, but I've never had to show a receipt (then again, I do a lot of my shopping online). Do they just pick every tenth person, or are they going for people who they think look or are acting suspicious in some way? I'm not sure that shop staff asking to check receipts is really the harbinger of an Orwellian police state. Still, it would appear he was legally entitled to act in the way he did. That doesn't mean he wasn't being a dick, but sadly it's legal to be a dick. Of course, that's not to say he should have acted in that way.

Whilst I see why people would want to avoid blind obedience of the authorities, it's possible that this guy is taking things too far the other way: if people are deliberately difficult with the police, isn't there a risk of them creating (or increasing) a feeling of antagonism between the two groups? If you deliberately make life difficult for the police, the police are going to think of you as a nuisance; if everyone deliberately makes life difficult for the police, aren't they likely to react with more oppressive behaviour? I don't know.
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Postby Chrono Crow » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:30 pm

James's sig wrote:Spunk farter poncing turd pussy shit.


Sorry. I had to get that out of the way.
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Postby Kerberos » Fri Sep 14, 2007 12:01 am

Personally, I think we have more important rights to stick up for. I think he should have fought the man by walking around with a rifle or something.
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Postby sum yun gai » Fri Sep 14, 2007 12:08 am

first point: the US supreme court ruled in 2004 that if a policeman asks for you to identify yourself, you must do so. only your name is necessary, you don't have to show a physical ID of any kind.

second point: police officers in the US (being the only kind i am aware of and have dealt with) will ALWAYS arrest you if you are being difficult and unruly, no matter if you are committing a crime or not. you *will* be arrested if you act like this guy did, no question about that. whether the charge they slap on you is justifiable is not the question. act like a dick to a cop, go directly to jail. do not pass go, do not collect $200.
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Postby catastrophile » Fri Sep 14, 2007 12:59 am

James: Many large retailers here now check the receipt against the contents of the shopping bag for every single person leaving the store. It's generally a cursory inspection, though when I bought my new laptop a couple weeks ago the staffer did, in fact, check the model number on the box against what was listed on the receipt.

More generally:

Once you've decided to go ahead and disregard what the employees say, do they have any right to detain you? Maybe, maybe not. When everybody else is waiting in line to get their receipts checked, does refusal to do so constitute suspicious behavior? It probably did to the staffers involved, or they wouldn't have tried to physically stopped him from leaving. Does suspicion of shoplifting entitle a shopkeeper to detain somebody? I dunno, but most shopkeepers would probably say so.

As to the behavior of the cop, he probably overstepped his authority, but that's not unusual. They're used to being obeyed. And to have the guy who called for help be such a dick to him probably pissed him off extry. Now that this has all happened, the department has to try and make the charges stick or they'll be a laughingstock. If he hadn't already gone to the media, he probably could have picked up a nice chunk of hush-money settlement.
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Postby katzenkoenig » Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:20 am

sum yun gai wrote:first point: the US supreme court ruled in 2004 that if a policeman asks for you to identify yourself, you must do so. only your name is necessary, you don't have to show a physical ID of any kind.


do you have a link to that decision? and does that only apply to states that don't have a specific law regarding identification via driver's license in such cases?
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Postby Saltine » Fri Sep 14, 2007 9:49 am

Without bothering to, like, read or listen to anything, I'm going to go ahead and say the following:

I've been to stores where they check all customer's receipts upon exiting, and I always think: why the hell? Didn't I make my purchase a few moments ago? That lady at the cash register just personally verified that I paid for this stuff. What kind of magic thievery do you think I could have performed while traversing the thirty feet between there and here? I'm not saying anything about my rights. I just want to know: what economic principle is going on where it is worth it to pay receipt-checkers and to annoy customers, and it's not worth it to lay out the store to prevent circumventing the register?
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Postby sum yun gai » Fri Sep 14, 2007 10:42 am

ntw3001 wrote:Sass has to come from the heart, not from the shirt.


traubster wrote:I find it irritating whenever I walk through a cemetery and there's not one gravestone that reads something like, "We're all grateful that he's dead. Sorry if he owed you money."
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Postby catastrophile » Fri Sep 14, 2007 1:04 pm

Saltine wrote:what economic principle is going on where it is worth it to pay receipt-checkers and to annoy customers, and it's not worth it to lay out the store to prevent circumventing the register?

So, if you don't buy anything you're not allowed to leave? I LIKE IT.

There are probably a dozen scams out there that this setup is supposed to prevent. The deal with marking the receipt, for example, is to make sure you don't buy a thing once and then leave with it three times.
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Postby Saltine » Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:56 pm

catast wrote:So, if you don't buy anything you're not allowed to leave? I LIKE IT.
Presumably you could still walk by the register and say "I'm not buying anything" and then the cashier would let you through. There could even be a special express lane marked "zero items or fewer" to speed up null transactions. This is no different from having someone inspect you on your way out, except that it is just done once per customer.

The only reasonable location for lemme-see-your-receiptsmanship to prevent shoplifting is by the store entrance, or any exit which is not past a register. For the common case (you enter; you pick up a wad of widgets; you pay for them; you leave) this shouldn't be necessary.

But obviously you were just joking and I'm just a dork.

rophile wrote:There are probably a dozen scams out there that this setup is supposed to prevent. The deal with marking the receipt, for example, is to make sure you don't buy a thing once and then leave with it three times.
The success of such a scam requires that someone can just saunter by the register with an item which hasn't been paid for (the proper number of times). If the store is laid out properly, this won't happen.

In summary: the cashier is the ideal receipt-checker.
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Postby katzenkoenig » Fri Sep 14, 2007 5:03 pm

Saltine wrote:The only reasonable location for lemme-see-your-receiptsmanship to prevent shoplifting is by the store entrance, or any exit which is not past a register. For the common case (you enter; you pick up a wad of widgets; you pay for them; you leave) this shouldn't be necessary.


but what if you buy 13 widgets and can't determine which one weighs more or less than the others?
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Postby Null » Fri Sep 14, 2007 5:37 pm

The only store I've been in where the receipts are checked on the way out is Sam's Club. Admittedly, I live in a dinky town. You callous sophisticates can laugh at my tiny head!

Most other stores have those gate-like things at the entrance that go HONK HONK HONK HONK if you try to leave with unpaid for merchandise.

As for the "atmosphere of obedience," I dunno about that. One man's obedience is another man's cooperation. Even if they do start forcing me to hand over my receipt for checking, that's the extent of it. If they tell me I should buy the Adam Sandler box set, too, I'm not going to be obedient and do so.
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Postby catastrophile » Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:16 pm

Saltine wrote:The success of such a scam requires that someone can just saunter by the register with an item which hasn't been paid for (the proper number of times). If the store is laid out properly, this won't happen.

You could take that one step further and say that if they had proper security camera coverage, they could just go after the actual shoplifters and leave the rest of us alone.

I had a different version of this discussion a while back right after somebody had -- apparently, as a prank -- left something that resembled a bomb in an airplane bathroom and caused a small panic. A friend of mine said that if the airport security people were doing their jobs, they would have known it couldn't be a bomb because there should be no possible way to get one on the plane.

Okay, so, inventory control isn't exactly counterterrorism. But adding a low-wage staffer to the fifty other security measures they employ is apparently worth it to them, and probably would be even if they made it "impossible" to sneak merchandise past the cashier.

I don't think it's very effective, either. The biggest edge is probably in the deterrence factor. As far as deterring me from shopping somewhere, it's a ways down the list, well below the insanely long lines at checkout.

Afterthought: I do find it sort of funny that when I walk into Best Buy and buy something, I get my bag checked on my way out the door, but when I walk in, wander around for a while, handle some easily-pocketable merchandise and then leave, I just get a friendly wave. Maybe it's because I'm the guy they're sitting there tracking with the cameras from the moment I walk in.
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Postby jvcc » Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:56 pm

Null wrote:The only store I've been in where the receipts are checked on the way out is Sam's Club. Admittedly, I live in a dinky town. You callous sophisticates can laugh at my tiny head!

Most other stores have those gate-like things at the entrance that go HONK HONK HONK HONK if you try to leave with unpaid for merchandise.

As for the "atmosphere of obedience," I dunno about that. One man's obedience is another man's cooperation. Even if they do start forcing me to hand over my receipt for checking, that's the extent of it. If they tell me I should buy the Adam Sandler box set, too, I'm not going to be obedient and do so.


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