Asking for a friend…if you dropped your chapstick yesterday and discovered it the next morning in your work parking lot (looking perfectly preserved with the lid on) right next to your normal spot, would you use it again
And by that i mean i was falsely profiled, stereotyped, grouped in with the actual offender for no reason and treated illegally by officers.
I had nothing to do with the crime, and didnt even know it was taking place. but because i was with them in the store (it was shoplifting) I was considered part of it. It even shows on the tapes that i wasn’t near them. But yet the officer lied and said i was the “ringleader” and forced my friends to steal for me. The only thing they had to “prove” this made up claim was the fact that i bought (From their store with receipt and everything) some of the same products they stole. And i was told, and this is a fucking quote, “as a teenager and your appearance, kids like you have a history of theft” they basically flat out said i was being profiled as a criminal and from what i can tell the only difference i have appearance wise is my hair is blue and i have a lip piercing. i dont even dress alternatively, i was in “regular” casual clothes.
As a minor at the time i was not treated to regulations, they searched me without warning and a male officer did it. Thats illegal, I was 17. they did not even warn me they would search me, just started putting their hands on me. After they said i was free to go (I even clearly asked “am i being detained or am i free to go yet”) They said i was free, but then handcuffed me forcefully and put me in a cop car to bring me to their office to file paper work. I even reminded them they can not do that since they said i was free but paid no attention.
I was held from 4 am (it was black friday) until 4 pm without food or water. The reason i was held so long is because their machines were not working and made me wait for it (still this was after they said i was free to go) I was ambushed into a confession, and when i gave my statement they said i lied on it since i didnt say anything about me forcing my friends to steal. They wanted me to confess to something i never even claimed was true.
Before the actual interview they never read me my rights. And me being a smart ass i started reciting my miranda rights and refused to answer any questions until they read me my rights (even though i know them all) Like for a whole 15 minuets they would ask me something and i would just respond with “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” or “You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.” and they didnt get the damn hint.
I ended up being charged with not only shoplifting, but they also claimed it was premeditated and gave me the biggest charge of all four of us. They charged each person with how much they stole but i was charged with the combined sum and that was bullshit because they all got charged with petty theft and because i got the combined total it was considered “grand theft” due to my state laws. even though i was found with nothing on my person.
They said i was “defiant” and argumentative with officers and resisted to comply with officers. And by that they mean i knew my rights and they didnt expect a 17 year old to be aware of how fucking illegal everything they did was. I make it a big point to be respectful to officers so they cant place these labels on me. Oh and in my state if you are a minor a special juvenile corrections officer has to deal with you, yeah that never happened, thats illegal.
because of this whole mess i lost my job and almost got kicked out of my college program where i study law and philosophy of politics (Im a highschool student but my state has a program were you can attend college full time for free instead of highshcool if you test out of highschool level classes) I also was kicked off my schools debate team and drama program. Two programs i dedicated 4 years too. And this was because on the contract you sign to be apart of these programs it says you will be kicked out if you run into arrest.
Oh and since this i have given multiple speeches in seminars teaching students about their rights as a minor and even as an adult and how to respond respectfully to arrest if they are innocent (and even if they are guilty they need to know their rights to help avoid the chance of being mistreated and having more charges placed on them.)
So yes, i was arrested. But i kicked their ass in court and sued the shit out of their sorry butts. They messed with the wrong law student.