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Is this a Civil Rights violation?

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  • Is this a Civil Rights violation?

    Here's some background. I work in loss prevention and I always have a bag which has my paperwork, vitamins, etc in it in my CCTV office.

    Today toward the end of my shift, the store manager tells me he needs to use the cameras. I leave the office and go on the floor to conduct surveillance. I come back 20 minutes later and I have always made it habit to review the tape (there's a camera in the CCTV office) to see what was done. I observed the store manager go through my bag. There was no probable cause...He didn't ask for my permission.. I wasn't present for the search... They didnt even tell me they went through my bag. It's odd, because if I conduct a search on a customer or an employee like he did, I'd be terminated and potentially hit with a lawsuit. Please note, I never signed anything when i was hired that waived my right to protest a search of my property or person by store employees.

    What does everyone think? Was this a violation?

  • #2
    Did you ask him why he looked thru your bag?
    ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN ACTIONS, DON'T BLAME OTHERS!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by scooterlee
      Did you ask him why he looked thru your bag?
      He couldn't be found after that, I'm guessing he went on break. My shift was over and we're not authorized OT unless we get permission from the store managers, so I had to leave.

      What's really off is this guy isn't even technically my boss. His company is a client of my company.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'd get ahold of him and ask him what he was looking for? Sounds like he was just being nosey!!
        ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN ACTIONS, DON'T BLAME OTHERS!!!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by scooterlee
          I'd get ahold of him and ask him what he was looking for? Sounds like he was just being nosey!!

          I'm sure he was. Doesn't make it alright. He could've put contraband in there. My wallet was in the bag. Only 3 people in my company know my real identity and my address. Nobody in our client's company is to have access to that information.

          I can't detain and search a customer or an employee's bag just because I'm nosey, I need to have probable cause. I also can't do it without them being present. Aren't there Federal laws that require a court order to search one's property without them being present? If I'm a liability and have to follow the laws in regard to a search, why shouldn't he?

          See what I'm getting at?
          Last edited by Serpico; 09-25-2005, 12:21 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            I would probably talk directly to him and send him the message that he better not ever go rummaging through my personal belongings ever again.

            A better idea might be to find a superior to that store manager and lodge a formal complaint. He has no right to violate your privacy like that and it's just bad behavior.
            -I don't feel you honor someone by creating a physical gesture (the salute). You honor them by holding them in memory and, in law enforcement, proceeding in vigilant, ethical police work. You honor this country or deceased soldiers or whatever you're honoring when you salute a flag by thinking, feeling, and continuing a life of freedom.

            --ArkansasRed24

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            • #7
              The manager asked him to leave his office, where is bag apparently was. Serpico gets back to his office and discovers that the manager was going through his bag.

              It's fishy enough to be getting answers. Civil rights violation? No hehe. Probable cause? DUI is right, you're not a sworn officer if you are doing asset protection.
              -I don't feel you honor someone by creating a physical gesture (the salute). You honor them by holding them in memory and, in law enforcement, proceeding in vigilant, ethical police work. You honor this country or deceased soldiers or whatever you're honoring when you salute a flag by thinking, feeling, and continuing a life of freedom.

              --ArkansasRed24

              Comment


              • #8
                Civil rights violation under US1983 (the way I understand it) has to be based on race, sex, etc and by and agent of the government under the color of authority.

                From what I read, you don't have any of these. If you wanna keep something private, then keep it private.

                Please don't perpetuate civil rights victimization just because someone you work with is a snoop.

                If you can get away with bracing this guy over it and not lose your job I would do that, otherwise I would make complaint through channels.
                "A fanatic is one who won't change his mind, and won't change the subject." -Winston Churchill

                "I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts." -Will Rogers

                "To desire to save these wolves in society may arise from benevolence, but it must be the benevolence of a child or a fool" -Henry Fielding

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bighead
                  Civil rights violation under US1983 (the way I understand it) has to be based on race, sex, etc and by and agent of the government under the color of authority.

                  From what I read, you don't have any of these. If you wanna keep something private, then keep it private.

                  Please don't perpetuate civil rights victimization just because someone you work with is a snoop.

                  If you can get away with bracing this guy over it and not lose your job I would do that, otherwise I would make complaint through channels.
                  All due respect, I didn't perpetuate anything. I asked a simple question.

                  DUI Eliminator..What does being a sworn officer have to do with knowing the defination of probable cause? I'm not trying to be a *****, just curious why you'd think that only a sworn officer would know about it.

                  Also note, my office is the size of a phone booth and I'm the only one in it. There's no confusion as to who the bag belonged to. Also, if it's not a good idea to keep my bag with all my work materials in my office....where would be a good place to put it?

                  I appreciate everyone's comments, though, I should've known not to come here for questions regarding this.
                  Last edited by Serpico; 09-25-2005, 09:13 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Serpico
                    All due respect, I didn't perpetuate anything. I asked a simple question.

                    DUI Eliminator..What does being a sworn officer have to do with knowing the defination of probable cause? I'm not trying to be a *****, just curious why you'd think that only a sworn officer would know about it.

                    Also note, my office is the size of a phone booth and I'm the only one in it. There's no confusion as to who the bag belonged to. Also, if it's not a good idea to keep my bag with all my work materials in my office....where would be a good place to put it?

                    I appreciate everyone's comments, though, I should've known not to come here for questions regarding this.

                    Bighead is 100% correct
                    Trooperden, akman75, & azmichelle ignored

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I see what your getting at, but I don't feel you have a Civil Rights violation. I think the best thing for you to do is confront him and see what he has to say.

                      Good Luck~
                      ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN ACTIONS, DON'T BLAME OTHERS!!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Get a lock.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          this is a no brainer...


                          was a crime committed ????

                          was it a civil tort....???


                          call the police...


                          www.schackdaddy.com
                          " if you talk in your sleep, don't mention my name....
                          " if you walk in your sleep, forget where you came....

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ftlaudcop
                            this is a no brainer...


                            was a crime committed ????

                            was it a civil tort....???


                            call the police...


                            www.schackdaddy.com
                            Why you gotta break balls?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If I understand this situation correctly, the manager who went through your bag is not a government actor.

                              Your right to be free from unreasonable (warrantless search and seizure) stems from the 4th ammendment to the federal constitution of the United States of America as made applicable to the states (and therefore, state government actors like local and state police) by the 14th ammendment to the federal constitution of the United States.

                              The constitution restricts government action, or action taken at the behest of the government, and only that.

                              State constitutions also contain many similar provisions to the 4th ammendment, and they are sometimes more expansive than the federal minimum standard.

                              If a police officer, demands to goes through your bag and search without probable cause or a warrant, anything they find will generaly be held inadmissable in a criminal trial under the exclusionary rule.

                              If I do it, as a private citizen and not as or at the behest of a police officer or other government agent, then:

                              #1 I'm a nosey shmuck for going through your stuff when I don't have your permission to do so.

                              #2 Possibly committing a tort, meaning a civil wrong for which their is redress available from a court.

                              #3 As a private citizen, I have not violated your civil rights, because the source of those rights, the constitution, federal or state, protects you from a government actor intruding into your person, home, articles and effects without probable cause...not your shmuck of a boss who needs to have a boondocker up his ***.

                              If he is not a government actor, then no action for civil rights.

                              Just because the store has policies that mirror law enforcement's standards of probable cause, doesn't mean they are bound by them.

                              They use those standards as a yard stick of what is reasonable action and for when to take that action, but as they are not government actors, the rules change significantly.

                              As to what do I think...get a copy of the tape if you don't have one, then go talk to a lawyer.

                              Comment

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