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Wed Apr 18, 2018, 02:50 AM

Starbucks arrests: Who gets to decide whether youre a patron or a trespasser?

Last edited Wed Apr 18, 2018, 04:03 AM - Edit history (1)

[link:https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/starbucks-arrests-who-gets-to-decide-whether-youre-a-patron-or-a-trespasser/2018/04/17/f0aa99de-41ac-11e8-ad8f-27a8c409298b_story.html?utm_term=.f2223d9ae48b|

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Reply Starbucks arrests: Who gets to decide whether youre a patron or a trespasser? (Original post)
tulipsandroses Apr 2018 OP
pnwmom Apr 2018 #1
tulipsandroses Apr 2018 #2
BumRushDaShow Apr 2018 #6
ExciteBike66 Apr 2018 #3
tblue37 Apr 2018 #4
ExciteBike66 Apr 2018 #7
marybourg Apr 2018 #37
Demsrule86 Apr 2018 #17
ExciteBike66 Apr 2018 #20
Demsrule86 Apr 2018 #23
ExciteBike66 Apr 2018 #29
Demsrule86 Apr 2018 #36
EffieBlack Apr 2018 #40
Demsrule86 Apr 2018 #76
Eliot Rosewater Apr 2018 #53
Demsrule86 Apr 2018 #75
tblue37 Apr 2018 #60
EffieBlack Apr 2018 #68
Demsrule86 Apr 2018 #74
Wounded Bear Apr 2018 #25
ExciteBike66 Apr 2018 #30
Orsino Apr 2018 #38
ExciteBike66 Apr 2018 #39
EffieBlack Apr 2018 #41
Orsino Apr 2018 #43
ExciteBike66 Apr 2018 #45
Orsino Apr 2018 #46
ExciteBike66 Apr 2018 #47
Orsino Apr 2018 #48
EffieBlack Apr 2018 #50
Orsino Apr 2018 #55
EffieBlack Apr 2018 #56
Orsino Apr 2018 #57
BumRushDaShow Apr 2018 #5
TheSmarterDog Apr 2018 #8
BumRushDaShow Apr 2018 #9
TheSmarterDog Apr 2018 #10
BumRushDaShow Apr 2018 #11
TheSmarterDog Apr 2018 #12
BumRushDaShow Apr 2018 #13
TCJ70 Apr 2018 #14
TheSmarterDog Apr 2018 #15
TCJ70 Apr 2018 #16
Demsrule86 Apr 2018 #18
TCJ70 Apr 2018 #19
Demsrule86 Apr 2018 #24
TCJ70 Apr 2018 #42
Lee-Lee Apr 2018 #22
Sneederbunk Apr 2018 #27
Lee-Lee Apr 2018 #33
tblue37 Apr 2018 #63
Lee-Lee Apr 2018 #21
ProfessorGAC Apr 2018 #49
JDC Apr 2018 #51
EffieBlack Apr 2018 #61
Lee-Lee Apr 2018 #69
EffieBlack Apr 2018 #72
JDC Apr 2018 #77
EffieBlack Apr 2018 #78
JDC Apr 2018 #79
EffieBlack Apr 2018 #81
Lee-Lee Apr 2018 #52
EffieBlack Apr 2018 #62
Lee-Lee Apr 2018 #71
EffieBlack Apr 2018 #73
tblue37 Apr 2018 #64
Generic Brad Apr 2018 #26
Merlot Apr 2018 #28
Generic Brad Apr 2018 #31
Merlot Apr 2018 #32
RhodeIslandOne Apr 2018 #80
Orsino Apr 2018 #58
mcar Apr 2018 #59
tblue37 Apr 2018 #65
hunter Apr 2018 #34
EffieBlack Apr 2018 #44
Eliot Rosewater Apr 2018 #54
tblue37 Apr 2018 #66
BumRushDaShow Apr 2018 #70
tulipsandroses Apr 2018 #35
tblue37 Apr 2018 #67

Response to tulipsandroses (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 03:47 AM

1. DU got sued several years ago under the claim that it was violating copyright laws.

We're not supposed to be posting entire articles here. In general the limit is about 4 paragraphs.

https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=copyright

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Response to tulipsandroses (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 04:03 AM

2. Okey dokey, I removed it. Its a good read for anyone interested

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Response to tulipsandroses (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 05:49 AM

6. I posted 4 paragraphs (the limit) in a different post down below. nt

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Response to tulipsandroses (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 05:09 AM

3. The thing about trespassing laws

is that the crime is completely "defined" by the victim.

In the Starbucks case, the manager would technically be the "victim" in a trespassing incident, and it would be her choice whether or not to label someone a "trespasser" (Assuming that person doesn't leave when asked. If they leave when asked, then they are not a "trespasser".

Of course, this leaves the door open to people using their own racist motives to decide who is and is not a "trespasser". In the corporate context (e.g. Starbucks), this behavior can be terrible for business.

Businesses really have to have a set, clear policy on who is allowed to do what in their stores, and they need to really be vigilant in ensuring their lower-level managers follow that policy consistently.

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Response to ExciteBike66 (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 05:38 AM

4. And they can't apply the "trespasser" label selectively to exclude members of protected classes.

Otherwise the Woolworth's lunch counter sit-ins would have been entirely in vain.

This was clearly selective use of the trespassing accusation against black men.

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #4)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 06:03 AM

7. Of course that is true, as I noted. nt

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #4)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 12:18 PM

37. In the lunch counter sit-ins, the black patrons

ordered food, but their orders were ignored because of their race.

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Response to ExciteBike66 (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 08:38 AM

17. Discrimination is illegal so I would not consider Starbucks the 'victim'.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #17)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 08:55 AM

20. Yes, but

1.) I was talking about "trespassing" in a general sense. I also believe I put the word "victim" in quotes.
2.) "Starbucks" as an entity, did not call 911, the manager did. I believe it is not the policy of Starbucks to condone discrimination.

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Response to ExciteBike66 (Reply #20)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 10:35 AM

23. It wasn't trespass. This is a business which allows people to come and go...by your definition any

racist could discriminate against POC. Also, a company is responsible for their employees.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #23)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 11:00 AM

29. Not at all

"My" definition (that of PA, technically) is that they men remained on the property when asked to leave. The fact is that they did in fact trespass.

Trespassing has nothing to do with the motivations of the manager.

Now, the men could certainly bring a civil rights complaint against the company, since they were discriminated against. However, they cannot deny that what they did was technically trespassing under the law.

As for Starbucks, the company is civilly responsible under respondeat superior. That doesn't mean Starbucks is morally responsible for the discrimination.

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Response to ExciteBike66 (Reply #29)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 11:59 AM

36. Yeah, they were asked to leave because they were Black...good thing Rosa Parks didn't

think this way. Managers cannot throw POC out of a business based on racism and call it trespass. So you criticize the two young men who were tossed out for not meekly accepting they have no civil rights...ok. And while this was going on a white woman who bought nothing came in an used the bathroom...what you say gives businesses a de facto right to discriminate. These young men were held for hours...the entire thing is a disgrace...and I have to say I don't get your point at all...not one little bit.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #36)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 01:40 PM

40. But hey, what's the big deal? They can always hire a lawyer and sue later.

The police are there to protect and serve the store and its managers, not the individual patrons, even if they ARE citizens who pay their salaries.

If the manager says the men are trespassing and she wants them out NOW, the police have no choice but to order them out NOW and arrest them if they refuse to get out NOW. Because they protect and serve ONLY the interests of the store and its managers, it's not up to them - in fact, it would be WRONG of them - to make any effort to determine whether the manager's accusation was correct, if the men were actually trespassing or if anyone else in the place was engaging in the same illegal act without being subjected to similar treatment. And it would be CRAZY WRONG for the police to do anything to get them to leave other than ordering them to leave NOW or placing them under arrest if they don't leave NOW.

It's a police officer's JOB to try to keep the peace or resolve situations or make sure that citizens are not being harassed or that they aren't being used to carry out the whims of bigots.

Got that?

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #40)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 08:01 PM

76. I got that...and you are so right. The cops botched it. But suing isn't as easy as people think

and it is expensive. We need to call out anyone and any company who engages in Jim Crowesqe racism.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #36)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 02:25 PM

53. Exactly, any lawyer would have a field day with these cases where race was obviously

involved.

I wish one of our resident atty's would explain why.

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Response to Eliot Rosewater (Reply #53)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 07:59 PM

75. That would be interesting.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #36)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 04:18 PM

60. And now they have an arrest record in some database. nt

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #60)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 04:54 PM

68. And thank God, someone caught it on video that went viral

And thank God that plenty of white people stood up for them or NO ONE would believe them - smh

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #60)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 07:59 PM

74. This is true.

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Response to ExciteBike66 (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 10:40 AM

25. It is no coincidence...

That signs reading, "We retain the right to refuse service to anybody" starting showing up right around the passing of the Civil Rights Act.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #25)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 11:01 AM

30. Yep

Technically they are correct, that generally they have that right. However, civil rights law prevents them from basing their decision on protected classes.

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Response to ExciteBike66 (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 01:30 PM

38. The business that wants police to be its taxpayer-supported bouncers...

...is not going to persuade me of their good intent.

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Response to Orsino (Reply #38)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 01:39 PM

39. So they should have a private guard who can toss people?

What is the alternative? The business pays taxes, don't they?

Anyway, I don't think any business has a "good intent", because of course businesses are not people. That said, my point is really that the upper management probably doesn't condone this sort of thing.

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Response to ExciteBike66 (Reply #39)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 01:41 PM

41. The businesses pay taxes. So do the people who use the businesses. They have just as much right

to police protection as the store managers do. And that includes the right not to have the police summarily eject them from public accommodations just because a manager decides she doesn't want them there.

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Response to ExciteBike66 (Reply #39)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 01:54 PM

43. Yes, they should.

We know Starbucks doesn't want patrons to see a guard at the door; they just just want one on call who will respond promptly and remove undesirables. And they want you to pay for it.

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Response to Orsino (Reply #43)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 01:57 PM

45. Technically, Starbucks also pays for it.

But alright, I can understand not wanting the cops to get involved. I think the manager was a bit of a nut job frankly.

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Response to ExciteBike66 (Reply #45)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 01:59 PM

46. Yeah, police should respond to businesses who report unruly trespassers.

But what, we ought to ask, did the manager tell them on the phone to get them to come and remove certain people? And did the manager's story check out? Was there a disruption? Did the police question the manager's story at all, or did they instinctively side with the business against certain people?

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Response to Orsino (Reply #46)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 02:01 PM

47. From what I gather from the news,

she told the dispatch that two men refused to leave. I know that the recording of the 911 call is online, but I do not have speakers here at work so cannot listen.

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Response to ExciteBike66 (Reply #47)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 02:03 PM

48. We are not hearing why they were asked to leave.

If it was because they hadn't ordered anything yet, I'm gonna call bullshit.

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Response to Orsino (Reply #48)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 02:09 PM

50. She told the dispatcher "They are refusing to make a purchase or leave"

The dispatcher immediately said she would send the police.

A few minutes later, another dispatcher said, "A group of males" was "refusing to leave." Then the next message was that "A group of males" is "causing a disturbance."

(Funny how average-sized black men have a funny way of growing several inches and dozens of pounds, "two gentlemen refusing to make a purchase" so quickly turn into a "group of males causing a disturbance."

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/crime/philly-police-release-audio-of-911-call-from-philadelphia-starbucks-20180417.html

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #50)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 02:39 PM

55. Well, the bias dog-and-pony show was scheduled for a reason.

Signs point to it being a pretend remedy for a manager's bigotry.

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Response to Orsino (Reply #55)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 02:41 PM

56. What would you have the company do instead at this point?

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #56)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 02:46 PM

57. Shutting down for a day for training might be a good, or even great, start.

But one day isn't going to fix the problem.

I read that the store in question is one of many known for having a "loiterer" problem, which is going to undercut Starbucks' laid-back, come-set-a-spell branding. Any rogue staff or manager is going to feel free to let biases out to play. A certificate for a day's training will never fix this...but if the company's on the ball, it will make firing bad actors easier.

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Response to tulipsandroses (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 05:48 AM

5. Thank you for posting because I just found this article before I saw your post

This article is an excellent summary of the problem that some DUers apparently can't wrap their brains around.

<...>

The incident illustrates a pervasive bias that can affect even the most mundane activities in U.S. public spaces ó in this case, meeting someone for a coffee. The two men were waiting for a business associate when the manager called the police.

Nowhere else in Philadelphia are African Americans more disproportionately stopped by police than in the Center City neighborhood surrounding the Starbucks, two blocks from ritzy Rittenhouse Square, where rents in luxury apartments run as high as $10,000 a month. While African Americans make up 3 percent of the areaís residents, they account for 67 percent of pedestrian police stops, according to a 2017 analysis by the American Civil Liberties Union, which has monitored racial disparity in Philadelphia policing for eight years. Most of those stopped were never charged.

<...>

ďIt raises all kinds of questions. How long can you be on a property? Can you not browse at these stores now? Who gets to determine whether youíre acting as a patron or as a trespasser?Ē said Jason D. Williamson, senior staff attorney with the ACLUís Criminal Law Reform Project, referring to the disproportionate targeting of African Americans. ďIt goes to the judgments that are made not only by the police but by store owners who ratchet up the level of suspicion depending on what you look like.Ē

For many African Americans, particularly young black men, the pervasive scrutiny means never letting down their guards while shopping, dining or gathering with friends, Williamson said.

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Response to tulipsandroses (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 06:08 AM

8. Note corporate Starbucks' response.

 

"Come in and hang out" is part of their corporate shtick.

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Response to TheSmarterDog (Reply #8)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 06:26 AM

9. Exactly.

Except what they left out was -

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #9)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 06:33 AM

10. That's the mangers concept of it, not the CEOs.

 

Which is the reason why she's been separated from the company.

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Response to TheSmarterDog (Reply #10)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 06:35 AM

11. Right

But unfortunately, that becomes a "locking the gate after the horses have already left the barn" situation.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #11)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 06:43 AM

12. Take this incident and multiply 200 million times.

 

Some will be handled correctly, most won't. We certainly have a very, very, very, long way to go. No doubt.

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Response to TheSmarterDog (Reply #12)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 06:51 AM

13. Yes I agree

although I expect it is mostly concentrated in areas where there is some minority presence. Otherwise it would manifest using a different bias.

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Response to tulipsandroses (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 06:51 AM

14. The dictionary

Patron
1.
a person who is a customer, client, or paying guest, especially a regular one, of a store, hotel, or the like.
2.
a person who supports with money, gifts, efforts, or endorsement an artist, writer, museum, cause, charity, institution, special event, or the like:

Trespasser
1.
Law.
an unlawful act causing injury to the person, property, or rights of another, committed with force or violence, actual or implied.
a wrongful entry upon the lands of another.
the action to recover damages for such an injury.
2.
an encroachment or intrusion.

Iíll add loiter in as well since it seems appropriate:
1.
to linger aimlessly or as if aimless in or about a place
2.
to move in a slow, idle manner, making purposeless stops in the course of a trip, journey, errand, etc.

The Starbucks guys definitely werenít patrons yet during this visit. They also werenít trespassers. At worst it was loitering, maybe, but they werenít aimless they were waiting...

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Response to TCJ70 (Reply #14)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 06:55 AM

15. Starbucks invites people to loiter.

 

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Response to TheSmarterDog (Reply #15)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 08:18 AM

16. Ok. Not sure what that has to do with my post...

...I donít think they were in the wrong at all.

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Response to TCJ70 (Reply #14)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 08:41 AM

18. They were waiting for a friend which happens all the time in Starbucks...and is not big deal if you

are white. I spent hours in Starbucks studying...buying little if anything being a poor college student. I have also used the bathroom often when I bought nothing... because the line was too long or I just need a clean bathroom...no one said anything to me. I am a white woman.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #18)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 08:50 AM

19. Ok. Not sure what that has to do with my post...

...I donít think those guys did anything wrong.

As a personal rule, I always buy something at Starbucks if Iím going to hang out there. Seems wrong to me to use their premises and not support them in some way. Even if itís just a $1 bagel or something. Thatís just me, though.

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Response to TCJ70 (Reply #19)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 10:37 AM

24. As a poor college student I often didn't buy much or anything during our study sessions...they had

wifi. I know you state that you don't think the guys did anything wrong but then you follow up with how you basically never do that...a personal rule. This is kind of a double message.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #24)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 01:50 PM

42. Not everyone has the same standard...

...and thatís fine.

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Response to TCJ70 (Reply #14)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 09:28 AM

22. They became trespassers after they were asked to leave and refused

 

Dictionary definitions donít count here, the ones written into the law do.

Trespassing is being on the property of another person without permission.

Until the point they were asked to leave it would have been presumed they had permission as the facility is open to the public.

Once the manager asked them to leave they no longer have permission to be on the premises and if they choose to remain than, at that point, they become trespassers.

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Response to Lee-Lee (Reply #22)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 10:46 AM

27. That is the law. Also wondering if police asked them to leave before arresting.

Why did they have ask to use restroom. Was it locked?

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Response to Sneederbunk (Reply #27)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 11:35 AM

33. According to what I see the police did

 

When I was a deputy, in NC instead of PA but I would guess itís the same, policy on trespassing calls was first we inform the person they need to leave. That was because if we took the landowners word for it they may be telling a lie or there may have been a misunderstanding.

So we tell the person to ensure they have been told and understood.

If after we told them they left, then we did a report and recorded that they had been trespassed from the property in the log and everybody went along their way.

If they refused, then it was time for use to remove them and either arrest or issue a citation. Or if they returned to the property after being trespassed another warning was not required.

From what Iím gathering the restroom had coded locks on it, and only customers got the code. Iíve never seen that but apparently itís a thing in some places.

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Response to Lee-Lee (Reply #33)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 04:31 PM

63. Except a white woman came in during this time and requested the bathroom code without making a

purchase, and she was given the code.

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Response to tulipsandroses (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 09:10 AM

21. In almost every state thats a simple answer

 

Who is a trespasser is determined by the law and the decision of the property owner or person legally in control of the property.

If you are there with permission itís not trespassing. Without permission, itís trespassing.

To be charged they generally must show you wer aware or should have been aware you did not have permission.

Permission can be granted or revoked at any time.

In the case of a place of public accommodation open to the public permission to be there is presumed to exist. However once a person has been given notice that they no longer have permission to be there, such as being asked to leave by a manager or by the cops for the manager, if they refuse to leave at that point it is trespassing.


Itís really as simple as that

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Response to Lee-Lee (Reply #21)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 02:08 PM

49. Hey Lee-Lee

Is it that cut and dried in a place open to the public? I get i decide if someone comes on to my property and decides to park themselves on a patio chair or on my deck. My property, my rules. That's fairly evident and, i think, reasonable.

Does that same logic apply to a retail location open to the public, though? Hang out and buy nothing, i can see loitering. But, trespassing seems a reach when the store is open to all who wish to enter through their doors.

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #49)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 02:15 PM

51. It does apply. They are open to the public. It's not a public place

It's a private business. I used to manage a restaurant chain and we were open to all, but we reserved the right to refuse service to anyone i.e drunk, lewd, trespassing, weapons, etc.

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Response to JDC (Reply #51)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 04:21 PM

61. It's a private place open to members of the public

And, as such, the rules regarding trespass are very different than those applied to private premises not open to the public. I can keep anyone out of my house that I want for any reason whatever, unless they have a legal reason to be there - and the presumption is that if I don't want them there, they don't have a legal right to be there.

A restaurant is treated differently. The managers can't arbitrarily limit access or eject people for arbitrary reasons. And conditions for access must be clearly stated and uniformly applied.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #61)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 05:17 PM

69. I dont know if you just cant comprehend or are intentionally making stuff up

 

But no, the law doesnít say that trespass laws must be uniformly applied in order to be enforced.

There are other parts of law that deal with discrimination and discriminatory policies, but those are not part of the trespassing statute and donít apply to the enforcement of trespass laws in the moment of the offense.

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Response to Lee-Lee (Reply #69)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 06:11 PM

72. It is you who is having trouble comprehending,Boo, so let me break it down for you again

You are correct - on its face, the trespass law does not require uniformity in order to be enforced.

However, this particular trespass law contains several affirmative defenses to a trespassing charge that essentially inoculate someone from being deemed a defiant trespasser. One of them applies to ďpremises {that} were at the time open to members of the publicĒ where the person ďcomplied with all lawful conditions imposed on access to or remaining in the premises." if a person complies with ďall lawful conditionsĒ of occupancy, they are not guilty of ďdefiant trespassingĒ under this statute.

In this instance, the only basis for the trespassing charge was the managerís assertion that they failed to make a purchase. In order for the men to be trespassing, purchasing something must be a lawful condition of remaining in the restaurant. And to be a ďcondition,Ē it must apply to all members of the public wishing to enter and remain, not just a random few.

Normally, conditions are set forth in writing and provided in a conspicuous place so that all members of the public are on notice of it before entering and while occupying the premises. ďNo shoes, not shirt, no serviceĒ signs are an example. A restaurant could still have such a policy, even it itís not posted. But if they try to eject one customer for not wearing a shirt while a table full of bare-chested men remains, the police will be hard-pressed to arrest that one man and charge him with a crime while allowing the other men to stay. This is not necessarily because the cops decided the manager is a racist (all of the men could be white) but because the fact that shirtless men are eating and drinking unaccosted in the restaurant suggests that wearing a shirt is not actually a condition of occupying the premises. If itís not a condition, the man has not violated a condition and he is, therefore, not trespassing.

By the same token, before arresting anyone in Starbucks for violating the trespass statute, the cops needed to confirm they had probable cause to believe these men had violated the statute.

The manager was very specific about what she thought they violated. She said they did not comply with the lawful condition of occupancy, i.e., making a purchase. So the cops had to determine whether there was probable cause to find the men had violated this condition, so they first had to confirm what the condition was. Because this Starbucks did not have a written or posted notice or documentation that a purchase was a condition for the public to occupythe premises, they had to use other readily-available evidence to establish whether such a condition existed.

For example, if other patrons said, ďOh, yeah - they made me buy something before I could even sit down,Ē that would be pretty strong proof. But the opposite happened. There was not only no evidence that any such condition was applied to the public, several people said it was explicitly NOT applied, that they were there without making a purchase and were never called into question.

This is crystal clear evidence that a purchase was NOT a condition for use of the property and since the men couldnít violate a condition that doesnít exist, and there was no allegation they failed to comply with any other condition, they were on the premises legally and were not trespassing under the statute.

The bottom line is that the point Iím making here isnít about uneven application of the trespass statute. This is a definitial issue relating to probable cause for the arrest. If an essential element of the charge is the existence of a particular condition - and a condition is only a condition if it is applied uniformly and consistently, otherwise, itís not a condition at all - then the fact that itís not applied across the board to all members of the public is very germane. And if the only justification for claiming the men violated the trespass law is that they failed to comply with a condition of entry that turns out to be no condition at all, then there s no crime and there should have been no arrest.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #61)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 08:09 PM

77. Define arbitrary.

We posted no rules in my restaurants. If a fight broke out, they go. Sometimes physically removed. And not by the police. Drunk and beligerant, they go. Jerking off in the bathroom or at a table, they go. Verbally abusive to my staff, they go. And lastly, if they are not buying anything and taking up space for people who are or will, they go. That's it. It's a business first and foremost. We owe nothing to the public outside of the courteous and quality delivery of what they order and pay for. And that even that is subject to debate.

Race, religion, etc. etc, understood. Outside of that, whoever I ask to leave, leaves. The police support that each and everytime. Dozens of times, first hand experience.

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Response to JDC (Reply #77)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 08:29 PM

78. Fighting is different than trespassing

Ejecting someone for illegal or disruptive behavior is very different than tossing someone out because they didnít buy a cup of coffee in a coffee house but are otherwise posing no problem, especially if other people who havenít bought any coffee are allowed to stay unmolested. Yes, itís a place of business - and a fundamental part of that business is to encourage people to sit and stay and do all manner of things unrelated to eating or drinking, including using WiFi, having business meetings, reading, hanging with friends, etc.

Definition of ARBITRARY = ďdepending on individual discretion and not fixed by law or rulesĒ

Used in a sentence:

ďForcing someone to leave a coffeehouse solely on the grounds that they didnít buy a coffee while allowing others who donít by coffee to remain is an arbitrary act.Ē

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #78)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 08:48 PM

79. I am saying it can absolutely be arbitrary

You are using the Starbucks situation as trump card for your posts, and I agree with you about that matter or any matter of a double standard resulting in removal or refusal of service.

However, my original post was in response to a different question. And not every place of business wants people to loiter, it's about turn. More people moved through means more money. Again, the reason for the business. Ambiance is nothing but a nicety, it is to get people IN the door, not so that they stay for unlimited periods. Again, the reason to get them in the door? Money.

If a server has a limited number of tables, and all those tables are filled with a single check for an 8 hour shift, that server will make FAR less than a server that turns their tables over 3 or 4 times in that same period. It's a logical repeatable process. They are their to make money. Not to make people feel good because it's some sort of private-to-public duty as you seem to be suggesting.

Have you ever worked in a restaurant? I seriously ask.

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Response to JDC (Reply #79)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 09:16 PM

81. I am using the Starbucks case as a trump card because that is the topic of the discussion



I agree with you about how a restaurant works - yes, I have worked in a restaurant. But youíre comparing two different types of businesses that arenít really comparable.

A restaurantís business is based on people coming in to sit down, order a meal, eat, perhaps linger for awhile and chat (but not too long) and then leave so you can turn over the table to another paying guest. I assume your restaurant operated according to such a business model. Someone coming into your restaurant to sit at a table, take up space and not eat is unusual and disruptive and it is very likely you would ask them to leave. This, I presume, you would not do arbitrarily, asking some squatters to leave while allowing other squatters to stay, but would ask pretty much anyone who did this to scram.

Starbucks is different. As I said, it operates on a model very different than your restaurant. The public is invited in to use the space for all kinds of things other than just eating and drinking - itís branded as a remote office, workspace, meeting place, quiet spot, hangout, etc. Because, unlike a restaurant, thereís no standard industry practice dictating whether patrons are required to actually buy a beverage or food - since many of these places, be they a Starbucks or a competitor - donít require a purchase, if a purchase is indeed a condition of entry, it would be laid out and communicated as matter of policy.

In this instance, there was no clear policy other than the manager on saying that day, at that time, to those men that a purchase was a condition of them staying - despite the fact that other people were not held to the same condition. Therein lies the arbitrariness.

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #49)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 02:15 PM

52. Yes

 

As I said above, in a place like Starbucks a person is presumed to have permission to be there by virtue of being open to the public- until they are told otherwise.

Trespassing in a retail type setting only happens after a person is informed they are no longer allowed to be on the premises and they either remain there or return to it later.

It was elevated to trespassing when they refused to leave when asked to. And that doesnít change because the reason they were asked to leave was bullshit or legitimate.

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Response to Lee-Lee (Reply #52)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 04:26 PM

62. Pennsylvania law goes further

A person is not deemed to be a defiant trespasser unless they are violating a lawful condition of access. And an unwritten arbitrary policy with no record of previous existence or enforcement applied only to some people and only at certain times and conjured up on the spot to eject only particular people while others not in compliance with said policy is not a "lawful condition."

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #62)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 05:36 PM

71. A lawful condition of access includes the owners permission

 

That is presumed to exist in a place open to the public unless the person has been told specifically they do not have permission.

Once told they must leave, if they remain they are violating the most basing lawful condition of access- owners permission.

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Response to Lee-Lee (Reply #71)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 06:22 PM

73. No it does not

Your interpretation of the law is not only wrong, it doesnít even make any logical or legal sense.

If the ownerís permission - permission that can be granted or withdrawn for any reason whenever the owner so chooses - the rest of the statute, including the affirmative defenses wouldnít even be necessary. It would just say that owners and their managers opening their premises to the public have full and unfettered right to remove patrons from their premises at will without notice for any reason and any person who does not immediately vacate when ordered to do so shall be guilty of trespassing.

It is presumed that by opening up their businesses to the public - and reaping the benefits that this accords to them - owners are GIVING their permission for all to access their premises, provided they comply with lawful conditions set forth by the business. And as long as they DO comply, they have a legal right and privilege to enter and remain there. This means that ownerís canít arbitrarily and suddenly kick people out of public accommodations just because they feel like it.

The law is set up to protect the public from exactly the kind arbitrary foolishness that you believe an ownerís right. But an owner who opens up their business to the public is not free to just pick and choose who can come in and who must leave just because they say so.


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Response to Lee-Lee (Reply #21)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 04:33 PM

64. Except that this was clearly a civil rights violation. The manager had no right to

hold them to a standard not applied to others in the store.

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Response to tulipsandroses (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 10:43 AM

26. What if this had happened at a restaurant?

If I sat down at Applebee's, Red Lobster, or a Mom & Pop donut shop and just hung out without ordering anything it would not be considered OK. If I chose to remain in those places of business after being asked to order or leave, they would be within they rights to consider me as a trespasser. I am confused as to why coffee shops are considered to be exempt from this social norm.

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Response to Generic Brad (Reply #26)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 10:59 AM

28. The business model of Starbucks is about hanging out

There is no hostess, no menu handed to you, no waitstaff (at sub-par hourly wages) working for tips. The "norms" of restaurant behavior do not apply to a coffee house the same way they wouldn't apply to say an Apple store or clothing store, where you go in, look at the items, and don't always purchase anything.

It's a norm starbucks has embraced and encouraged. It's not confusing at all.

I've been in that situation more than once where someone asked me to order and I explained I was waiting for someone and they were fine with it. Most businesses don't want to alienate potential customers.

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Response to Merlot (Reply #28)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 11:02 AM

31. I appreciate the explanation

I do not frequent coffee shops. So when you don't go, you don't know.

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Response to Generic Brad (Reply #31)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 11:07 AM

32. I've spent many hours in coffee houses

and many years working in restaurants : )

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Response to Merlot (Reply #28)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 08:50 PM

80. Isn't the eventual expectation that when that person joins you, you'll buy something?

 

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Response to Generic Brad (Reply #26)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 02:47 PM

58. For some reason, lunch counters spring to mind. n/t

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Response to Generic Brad (Reply #26)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 02:51 PM

59. Why would you be asked to leave if you were waiting for someone?

I regularly meet people for lunch. Sometimes one of us is early. This just happened to me last week. I was quite early (20 minutes).

I informed the server I'd need a table for 3 and my friends were meeting me. I declined to order anything until they arrived. I was never told to leave.

I'm a white woman. Should I have been arrested for trespassing?

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Response to Generic Brad (Reply #26)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 04:36 PM

65. People do sit at restaurant tables and wait for friends before ordering. It is not unusual. nt

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Response to tulipsandroses (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 11:55 AM

34. The origins of U.S.A.'s hyperreactive trespassing laws are racist.

The community I grew up in was 99% white and kept that way by police who harassed anyone who wasn't white, and shop keepers, real estate agents, loan officers, etc.., who gave a cold shoulder to anyone who wasn't white.

Such behavior was outlawed by the the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but only visible by statistics and the experiences of non-white people.

You don't have to go to far back in time to sundown towns, places where any black person picked up after sunset was either jailed for bogus "trespassing" charges or beaten up and dumped outside town borders.

It irritates the hell out of me to see supposed democrats letting police off the hook for their bad behavior. The police are not magic fairies of justice who can be called out of the sky to solve any civil dispute, or to act as cheap bouncers for racist shop managers.

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Response to hunter (Reply #34)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 01:55 PM

44. THANK you!

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Response to hunter (Reply #34)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 02:27 PM

54. Finally, some sanity. Yes, just about everything seems traceable to racism.

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Response to hunter (Reply #34)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 04:38 PM

66. There are STILL sundown towns in the US. nt

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Response to hunter (Reply #34)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 05:30 PM

70. Thank you

And this is why "The Negro Motorist Green-Book" existed. For folks who needed to travel, they had to have a way to know where to go in various cities around the nation, that would not pull a Starbucks on them.



https://

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Response to tulipsandroses (Original post)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 11:56 AM

35. Unfortunately, the title of the article - is misleading- in my opinion

Or rather, it highlights, how trespassing is used to discriminate and harass people of color. Yet we are still going down this rabbit hole? I hope that everyone read the article in its entirety before responding.

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Response to tulipsandroses (Reply #35)

Wed Apr 18, 2018, 04:39 PM

67. + a brazillion. nt

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