Not all cops are created equal. I have a friend, who’s a cop (hard to believe, I know), and he rarely arrests folks on drug charges. His form of justice involves escorting the citizen to the nearest toilet and flushing the drugs into our water system. Mercy is out there, believe it or not. But, if you’re reading this, my guess is that you weren’t so lucky.
Now, not everyone involved in law enforcement has as much mercy as my cop friend. Loss prevention officers, for example, seem to have the least mercy in their souls of anyone in law enforcement (yes, I’m assuming things like “mercy” and “souls” actually exist, a philosophical debate for another day–but such a debate will be over the strenuous objection of my web people, who complain that I get off the legal track too easily, and thus make their optimization efforts more difficult. Oh well).
Why are loss prevention officers so eager to stick it to shoplifters? . First, Dr. Phil would probably say that loss prevention folks somehow missed their calling as true blue police officers. In other words, they have a chip on their shoulders. Now, a chip on your shoulder can be a good thing, look at that quarterback that was drafted #199 in the sixth round back in 2000–he’s doing ok (I’m not a Patriots fan, but you have to love a sixth round pick beating the crap out of the 198 players picked above him. Anybody who’s had that awkward feeling of being picked next to last in gym class knows what I’m talking about). For whatever reason, shoplifting patrol people decided that the 12 weeks of police academy was just too academically rigorous, and this tends to make them a bit more harsh than the legitimate police officers they call once they’ve caught a shoplifter. Case in point: I had a client who was detained for shoplifting, and she really really needed to use the restroom. She begged loss prevention for a bathroom break, but this only made loss prevention delay further–to the point where she urinated all over herself. Loss prevention laughed about it, and invited comrades into the back room for an extended gawking session. Talk about wanting to die! As a defense attorney, you need only see this sort of thing a few times to start questioning what went wrong. Continue Reading