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Old December 31, 2013, 02:39 PM   #1
JimDandy
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Civil Action against Whole Foods, and a Sergeant Bowser of NOLA PD.

Ran across this today (Edited to add: And didn't see it in the 2A cases, so I thought I'd put it up here for consideration) : First post, including Cell Phone Video after the confrontation.

The gist appears to be someone was shopping in a Whole Foods in New Orleans that did not Post. A New Orleans officer restrained him and disarmed him from behind without announcing. After which it appears he was trespassed off the property for the rest of the night. He doesn't appear to have been charged with anything, and his firearm was returned after the encounter. They are now suing Whole Foods, the Officer, and the New Orleans PD it seems.

Here is: a link claiming to be the filing documents for those of us without a Pacer subscription or a link to the summary with furhter links for those of you with a PACER subscription.
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Old December 31, 2013, 05:41 PM   #2
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Should be an interesting case to follow.
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Old December 31, 2013, 05:53 PM   #3
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Or at least different. It's not what we normally see with (Government Agency) won't let me (buy/carry/conceal/whatever) or So and So may have stuck a toe over the edge of the law- either breaking one, or making one too cute to pass muster.
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Old December 31, 2013, 06:07 PM   #4
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It's hard to establish context when all we have is one side of the story. We don't have video from the actual encounter, so we don't know what led up to it.
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Old December 31, 2013, 06:15 PM   #5
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In Norfolk VA they had some similar issues, but they occurred on public property. In one case it was thought by the police to be private property, but it ended up being public. There was also not the assault charge, just false arrest. I think judgements around $50,000 per case, after a few of those Norfolk started training their officers better. On private property, the issues are slightly different, but the facts in the complaint seem very strong, no sign, no verbal warning, completely legal behavior. However, a bad jury and judge could easily find for the officer and store.
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Old December 31, 2013, 06:15 PM   #6
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I wasn't suggesting we weigh in, and it's way too early for that anyway. I just thought it would be interesting for some of you lawyers to follow along with the other cases. Especially as this is a less common defendant in a private company for civil rights violations.
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Old December 31, 2013, 07:40 PM   #7
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It is possible count 3 against the city of NO will wash due to the Sargent's actions as an employee of
Quote:
WHOLE FOODS MARKET, INC.
while off-duty. IMO the part the city played in the damage to Mr. Monaco would likely to have added to, helped to cause, or failed to prevent damages for it to be liable for the actions of an off-duty officer and while employed by someone else. Just on the surface the City may have exchanged information and taken a report from an off-duty officer and no harm was inflicted IMO.

Edit:
Given the story of Mr. Monaco is the truth.
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Old December 31, 2013, 08:46 PM   #8
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I'm not sure he was off-duty. In the video he was uniformed, and had an official car with a spotlight. Additionally the papers claim as Party 7, the Sgt. was duly appointed and acting as an officer, under the color of law etc. etc. and in the Statement of facts, claims he was working a security detail.
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Old December 31, 2013, 11:16 PM   #9
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Dunno how it works in NOLA but, in this corner of the universe, any person or company wishing to hire a cop for private duty pays the police department, and the department pays the cop(s). That's how they get to wear their uniforms and carry their badges, guns and radios. (It's also how they pad their salary for retirement compensation calculations.)

Consequently, if an officer working such an assignment exceeds his/her authority, he/she is liable as a member of the depaertment, and the department and jurisdiction are also on the hook.
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Old January 1, 2014, 04:06 AM   #10
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Here too
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Old January 1, 2014, 08:15 AM   #11
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I see this thread was started yesterday, but the last post on the linked thread is from June of 2013...

Anyone have anything more recent on this?
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Old January 1, 2014, 11:11 AM   #12
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I doubt we'll see more on this without either a verdict in the case, or one of the lawyers who frequent this place using their access to look up any additional filings. With it going to court nobody says much of anything until the judicial system moves on to the next step whatever step that may be.
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Old January 1, 2014, 12:01 PM   #13
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Whole Foods/city might settle for a big buck and no charges will be pursued.

Interesting question - they offer you big bucks. Do you take them or continue for RKBA purity?
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Old January 1, 2014, 12:14 PM   #14
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Whole Foods might settle, but would NOLA PD and that Officer. The officer seemed fairly proud, and Pride does go before the fall, or so I've been told.
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Old January 1, 2014, 02:21 PM   #15
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"Interesting question - they offer you big bucks. Do you take them or continue for RKBA purity? "

Since Monaco wasn't charged with a crime, the case is about money. Given the fact that Sgt Bowser[?] responded to a few complaints about 'a guy with a gun', any jury is going to be made up with enough similar anti-gun folks thus making any big payout by a jury unlikely, IMHO. So Monaco's lawyer is sure to recommend to settle (for as much as he can negotiate). So if they offer big bucks, they'll take it. There goes any RKBA purity.
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Old January 1, 2014, 03:29 PM   #16
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I have a question- why is it pure only if he holds out for a verdict? Do you really think corporate lawyers country wide will discount the result if it's settled out of court? Let's be honest, even if there is a massive jury award, you won't see companies scrambling to update their policy. Most companies/legal teams will call it a fluke, bad luck drawing an over-zealous cop- the it-can't-happen-to-me syndrome. At best you'll see a few companies send out an internal memo to go the route of Starbucks. We don't allow guns, but we won't do anything about it.
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Old January 1, 2014, 03:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Interesting question - they offer you big bucks. Do you take them or continue for RKBA purity?
Money or principle....hhhmmm...good question!

Hypothetically:
Taking a deal is in big practice today. Get in, prove your point, get out and avoid a prolonged pi**ing contest. Maybe a public apology tacked on the deal would be rewarding enough for most people and would fulfill their goal. Some may not need the apology. It would be a bonus if you were weary from the battle, concerned with losing it all, or both and the principle behind your claim was very important to you.

IMO get what you can within reason and know when to lay your hand down. Going all in is often more trouble than the full reward you seek. Consider your lawyers advice as well. They are the professional and have more than a clue about what is going on and what is likely to happen than you do.

Did anyone notice Mr. Monaco's voice breaking a little at times? Though he held his cool to a degree you could tell he was upset. If I were on the jury, I would consider this as evidence that he was upset and not just playing upset. It' is hard to fake the sound of your voice in that way. Not saying it is not possible, just highly unlikely.
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Old January 1, 2014, 05:03 PM   #18
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Another question if it comes down to a $ thing.

Do we think that a substantial payout by Whole Foods will make them at least think about posting signage?

Hope we hear more about this case.
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Old January 1, 2014, 05:18 PM   #19
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There's not a doubt in my mind Whole Foods has already sent out a memo to make sure signs are on the doors by now. According to what I've seen so far, other stores did have signs posted, just not this one.
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Old January 1, 2014, 05:20 PM   #20
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Quote:
Do we think that a substantial payout by Whole Foods will make them at least think about posting signage?
This was one of the things I was wondering about when I made my first post...

Has 'corporate' detailed a policy and added signage to their stores as of yet?

At least for a while after the incident it appeared they had not done so (pics in the linked thread)...
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Old January 2, 2014, 12:00 AM   #21
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Well...if no signage gets posted, maybe the gun carrier in the vid. knows a couple buddies that would like to make some fast money as well.

Last edited by shortwave; January 2, 2014 at 12:07 AM.
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Old January 2, 2014, 01:08 AM   #22
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Quote:
Well...if no signage gets posted, maybe the gun carrier in the vid. knows a couple buddies that would like to make some fast money as well.
So...it is about a payday. OK.

That said, your idea depends on the guy prevailing in court. That may very well not happen. After all, how much would it cost to bring the lawsuit in the first place?

Of course, all this is based on hearsay and an old, incomplete video.
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Old January 2, 2014, 09:53 AM   #23
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Quote:
Of course, all this is based on hearsay and an old, incomplete video.
And someone else's hypothetical vision of a payday, not necessarily the actually bringing the suit. Shortwave would also run into some problems having his buddies looking for some "easy money" establish they didn't know guns were prohibited on the property, even without signage based on their relationship to the first suit-bringer. Many of those "statements of fact" were about the guy not knowing guns weren't allowed in the store, had no way of knowing guns weren't allowed in the store, had no inkling, no earthly idea, and so on. It would be pretty hard to say that on the stand when your buddy went through this same process 12 months ago.

The professional lawyers would have to weigh in, but IF you did that, I don't think you're looking at fraud, but it would be quite a thin line to walk on perjury, and I suspect they'd tell us even if you avoided that, you're more likely to pay their legal costs as well as your own for a nuisance suit, than get any payday.
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Old January 2, 2014, 10:50 AM   #24
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Here's an interesting corporate case that was on the old CourtTV. A guy has an older Ruger single action revolver before the mods. He puts a round under the hammer, drops the gun and shoots himself.

He sues - and Ruger points out the instructions for the gun and the recall campaign of mods that went on for several years before the accident. The plantiff had knowledge of such.

Ruger wins BUT - they give the plantiff a nice check not to appeal. Is Ruger still in business. Who knows about it unless you were channel surfing by chance.

A settlement and agreement to keep quiet - most would take it. Pay off your house, student loans, etc. NO - I'll make an RKBA fuss - which no one would care about beyond the choir.
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Old January 2, 2014, 11:11 AM   #25
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I think it's even easier to take the settlement, even with a provision to keep quiet, after you lost the first round.
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