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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32322
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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I work wireless company and we had just open a new store. I

Customer Question

I work for a wireless company and we had just open a new store. I was ordered by the owner to put a speaker outside, the music was playing and had been playing for over a week since I would put the speaker out every morning to promote business.
I was inside the store when this disgruntle police officer pulled the cord from the speaker, went inside the store and started harassing me, he insisted on seeing my ID.
I asked him what was the problem, he explained to me that the music was really loud and he had gotten a complaint about it.
I apologized to him and told him i would turn off the music, i explained to him that I was given orders to put it outside since it was business.
He told me that I was in violation of a city ordinance, mind me I had just moved from another city into this small town and wasn't aware of the ordinance, he told me that I was going to get arrested for that.
I can understand if it was a residential complaint but this is a business.
He asked me for my ID and at that moment i questioned why he needed my identification since I was at work, he told me that I either cooperated with or he was going to arrest me. I gave him all my information and refused to give him my ID.
He ran my information and nothing came up. I don't have any felonies nor warrants. My record is clean.
He came back and arrested me for NOISE violation...
He never told me my rights, he wanted to leave the business open and to top it off he called the owner and myself racial slurs.
I guess he needed to meet his quota that day.
I was out in about 4 hrs and the bond was only 300.00 . It was unfair and uncalled for.
The owner called the companies lawyer and i was out in no time.
I just feel discriminated and to be honest I'm afraid that cop will continue to harass me if I file a complaint or even sue them for what he did.
Please help me out.
Thanks. (###) ###-####
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.

Is there a specific question with which I could assist?

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.

Please be specific. When we try to answer general questions like "what are my rights" or "what are my options" we have to give general answers and, invariably, the customer responds with "I already knew that". This type of forum works better if you ask specific questions so we know exactly what you are looking for.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Do you think I have a case here?
and what are the chances of winning a case like this?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.

Nothing you set forth in your facts will support a civil lawsuit other than the racial slurs. There was a case a number of years ago in which the Supreme Court stated a police officer can take a person to jail for any offense for which they can issue a citation.

Whether the music was to loud is a judgment call and therefore the police officer can't be used for that.

The failure to read someone their rights doesn't make the arrest illegal, it just makes anything they say after that point inadmissible in court.

The racial slurs, however, indicate at least some of the action was taken due to your nationality or race and that is actionable although hard to prove unless you have witnesses. If you do have witnesses then you will want to contact a local lawyer who does civil rights work and have them began gathering evidence on the case, including interviewing and taking statements from the witnesses, so that nothing gets lost.

At that point the issue then becomes how much a court will award in damages and there is no way anyone an answer that since this case is going to be based primarily on intangible damages such as embarrassment.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Th racial slurs occurred while I was being processed at the jail.
The only witnesses are his fellow police officers and I don't think none of them would collaborate in my favor.
I just feel the need to do something about it, it was embarrassing that this happen and I feel like he abused his power to arrest me.
I don't it to be on my record and If i let it go like that I feel that police officer will think that Its alright to do it again, maybe not to me but to other people.
Do you think he had solid ground to arrest me just for the music? since it was business and left it unattended for 5hrs.
Money and time and also my integrity as person were put at risk .
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.

It's legal to arrest you for the music but if they never arrest anyone else for that violation then, conceivably, it could be construed as a racial issue. However, if they are going to issue you a citation and you refuse to provide ID they can also arrest you for that.

If you have a local civil rights lawyer look into it and write a letter to the police, possibly even filing a complaint, then it would make it less likely that officer would harass you in the future.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.

.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
The arrest was made on the grounds of noise violation only.
I was just dumbfounded that they took me in for that.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 8 months ago.

I think that's unusual. While it is legal, based on that Supreme Court case I mentioned earlier, you rarely see that happen. If your civil rights lawyer were to do additional investigation and find that you were the only one who had even actually been arrested and taken to jail for that violation, combined with the racial remarks, plus anything else they find there is a chance there is a civil rights case. However, it would require more evidence than you have right now and the only way to get that evidence is to hire a lawyer and let them work on it.

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work.

Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread.