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Do you think he should have been charged?


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  • Do you think he should have been charged?


    Off duty cop suspended for pushing over 71 year old Wal-Mart 'greeter'

    CLOSE [X] CCTV:A veteran Chattanooga police officer is off the job for one month. Investigator Kenneth Freeman got the worst punishment short of firing after shoving a 71-year-old Wal-Mart greeter.

    Investigator Freeman has been suspended for 28 days without pay and must go through anger management. His conduct was found unbecoming an officer, improper procedure and excessive force.

    Freeman was off More.. duty on Christmas Eve shopping in the Collegedale Wal-Mart. A short 71 year old greeter in khaki pants named Bill Walker asked to see Freeman's receipt before he left. The police report indicates Freeman, in the black and red jacket walked past the greeter when he wanted to check his receipt.

    The alarm went off and the greeter ran after Freeman and grabbed him with his left arm. The overhead camera from the door leading outside shows Freeman shoves the greeter about six feet, off his feet Walker hits the back of his head just past the soda machine.

    The police report says customer Gholam Ghassedi walked back in and told Freeman "you can't push an old man over." Ghassedi grabs Freeman and the Chattanooga officer shoves him into the glass door, forcing the emergency release.

    We called Freeman and he would only say no criminal charges would come from this. The department says his punishment is serious.

    We askes specifically, when you look at the punishment or discipline received here, clearly from the department this is something treated very seriously? Sergeant Jerri Weary said, "Yes, behavior of a police officer is looked at and according to our policy he was in violation of those policies."

    After the unpaid suspension, officer Freeman goes into anger management courses, retraining on excessive force and verbal judo, which is use of language to extract information but avoid a physical confrontation.

    Also, three weeks ago, Freeman's attorney Stuart Brown called this complaint frivolous. But the greeter's wife says this isn't over.
    Last edited by scratched13; 02-16-2009, 07:46 AM.
    Space for rent .........

  • #2
    The walmart greeter was wrong for grabbing someone for no reason. If someone grabbed me to stop me I would think they are trying to hurt me and I would defend myself. That itself was an assault. Once that guy purchased those items they were his and he doesnt have to stop for a greeter or show his proof of purchase. Personally, I dont have a problem with showing my reciept upon exiting a walmart if asked but that guy obviously did.
    Last edited by DeputySC; 02-15-2009, 10:01 PM.


    • #3
      Originally posted by DeputySC View Post
      The walmart greeter was wrong for grabbing someone for no reason. That itself was an assault. If the greeter saw the guy steal something thats one thing but he didnt.
      It was not for NO reason. He wanted to see his receipt and the buzzer went off. That was an assault????
      Space for rent .........


      • #4
        I honestly dont think so, but I dont know the specifics. I know theres been many a time someone has called my name at a crowded store entrance and I didnt hear them, so to just assume he heard his receipt request and just blew him off, or didnt assume he was talking to someone else is out of the question for me. And I know if someone ran up and grabbed at me as I was carrying bags out of a store, they might buy themselves a shove or 2 also. Same thing goes for the guy who comes in defense of the old guy. You cant go around putting your hands on others and not expect them to return the favor. All in all, he didnt throw any punches to lead me believe he wanted to attack or cause harm to them, but rather pushed them out arms reach so they couldnt lay hands on him again.
        NEVER TURN YOUR LIFE AROUND. Most people that do end up shot stabbed or maimed in other violent ways....


        • #5
          I don't know about his state, but in California, there is no obligation to stop and show a receipt before exiting, even if an alarm goes off. While management would have ground it's teeth a bit over the situation, there would have been no grounds for discipline with my agency as this would have been written off as self defense.

          In addition, we had a surprising case decision many years ago that said even if you do engage in off duty misconduct, an agency cannot discipline you beyond a written reprimand unless the matter materially interfered with the performance of your job, such as a drivers license suspension preventing you from operating a department vehicle, or a DV conviction preventing you from possessing a firearm, or serving a jail sentence preventing you from reporting for duty, or a dishonesty issue causing you to be put on the Brady list.
          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere


          • #6
            For whatever reason, I cannot view the video... Can someone post it on here for me?
            "If it's predictable, it's preventable"


            • #7
              Its hard to see but it looks like the greeter runs up behind him grabs him and then puts his body in front of him. Doesn't look like a touch on the arm to get his attention. Looks like an overzealous greeter and a citizen who didn't know the whole story. Add to that a conditioned response to get people off of you I see nothing wrong. Misunderstanding at worst. How can you catch a excessive force off duty? Especially without criminal charges.
              The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.


              • #8
                Originally posted by scratched13 View Post
                It was not for NO reason. He wanted to see his receipt and the buzzer went off. That was an assault????
                yes, he didnt see the guy steal anything and you cant just put your hands on people.


                • #9
                  Pretty poor judgement when he can walk past a short 71 year old greeter asking to see a reciept and then feel threatened enough to toss them 6 feet. He just blew his top, lucky to keep his job I think.
                  "That's right man, we've got mills here that'll blow that heap of your's right off the road."

                  "Beautiful Daughter of the Stars."(it's my home now)

                  >>>>> A Time for Choosing <<<<<

                  Retired @ 31yr 2mo as of 0000 hrs. 01-01-10. Yeah, all in all, it was good.


                  • #10
                    Naaaahhh ...... I just watched it again. OD LEO was aggressively going after the 71! year old greeter. If he went to "automatic mode" like some are kinda implying, then he has no business being an LEO ---- if that means he has lost all ability to process any other information. He actually looked like he went into bully mode. I guess some believe that they are above the rest of us. If you don't like the WM greeters asking for receipts or those pesky alarms, then one should not go to WM.

                    You REALLY want a guy like this on your force? I bet he acts worse than this on the streets.
                    Space for rent .........


                    • #11
                      ^^^^Concur with above.

                      ODLEO did indeed look like he was going after the greeter. Whatever happened to good ole fashion kindness and respect? It would have taken ODLEO about 15 seconds to square away with the greeter and that would have been the end of it. I'm amazed at how many here are rushing to his defense. If you're in that foul a mood stay TF home. Sorry, but if I witnessed that bullying of an elderly person, ODLEO is getting decked.
                      Our houses are protected by the good Lord and a gun.
                      And you might meet 'em both if you show up here not welcome son.


                      • #12
                        From watching the video it was hard to see what actually happened... Also we do not know what kind of words, if any were exchanged....

                        I dont think greeters can just place hands on you,, It was unclear whether the guy came at him from behind or he knew it was the same greeter he just went past....

                        I assume if charges are not pending there is a reason for that.


                        • #13
                          It's a 71 yo man with a Walmart vest on. It's not some construction worker at the Home Depot parking lot getting in your face trying to pick a fight. What happened to being able to distinguish threats? In my worst of days, I would have maybe said a few choice words to him. I don't see this as reasonable, even if the old guy grabbed his arm.

                          Then again, the video is crappy and I wasn't there. There could be other factors that the officer could articulate, especially with the second subject. What if it was a reaction shove before he saw who it was? What if he was walking towards him to help him up?

                          Meh, it's pretty much always futile to speculate on these things.
                          "You don't want the truth because, deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall... I have neither the time, nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it."


                          • #14
                            The buzzer went off and the employee was doing his job. I wish that more employees would step up and try to stop shoplifters instead of just calling us for a report when most of the time they don't even know what was taken. How was this employee supposed to know he wasn't stealing? IMOO, This off duty officer is an Ace whole and got what he deserved and also should have to pay any bills or lost work for the employee. Congrats to the guy who stepped in to help the old man too.


                            • #15
                              I think a lot of disagreement here centers on two things:

                              1. Legal rights versus common sense.

                              2. Laws on detaining shoppers may vary from state to state.

                              For example, in California you have to see the person actually take the merchandise, not pay for it and exit the premises before you can physically stop them. It you see them tuck it under the sweater but then lose sight of them for a while before they exit, stopping them once the get outside gets problematic for store security because they could have put the item back on another shelf while they were out if sight. This could result if an potential false imprisonment/assault/battery issue if store security involuntarily stops a patron and it turns out they have no stolen property on them because they chickened out and put it back before they left.

                              Similarly, in California we all have a right not to be unreasonably or illegally detained or assaulted by store security when you have not committed a theft, and it's hard to justify punishing someone for exercising that right. But, sometimes it's a lot simpler to just take an extra second and show them the da*n receipt rather than cause a scene. When a store engages in a business practice I disagree with, I express my dissatisfaction with my wallet, by taking my business elsewhere.
                              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere


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