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peter2002
Mar 5, 2003, 06:44 PM
ALBANY, N.Y. - A man was charged with trespassing in a mall after he refused to take off a T-shirt that said "Peace on Earth" and "Give peace a chance."

Mall security approached Stephen Downs, 61, and his 31-year-old son, Roger, on Monday night after they were spotted wearing the T-shirts at Crossgates Mall in a suburb of Albany, the men said.

The two said they were asked to remove the shirts made at a store there, or leave the mall. They refused.

The guards returned with a police officer who repeated the ultimatum. The son took his T-shirt off, but the father refused.

"'I said, `All right then, arrest me if you have to,'" Downs said. "So that's what they did. They put the handcuffs on and took me away."

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=514&ncid=514&e=8&u=/ap/20030305/ap_on_re_us/mall_activists_5

_______________________________________________________________

If they can arrest you for this, I guess they could arrest you if you are walking with a shirt of the US Flag or Jesus on it. Such messages are political too. What really ticks me off about malls is they charge $3 for a corn dog or $18 for a CD at Camelots. Personally, I don't shop at malls. They are a total rip off and just for teeny boppers with nothing to do but hang out.

Pete :rolleyes:

macfan
Mar 5, 2003, 06:50 PM
Check the law. There's nothing illegal here, although it does seem a little foolish on the part of the mall.

dricci
Mar 5, 2003, 06:54 PM
No matter what your opinion on the Iraq war is, this is just wrong. I guess the first amendment only applies if you agree with what the other person is saying... :rolleyes:

MacFan25
Mar 5, 2003, 07:01 PM
The case should be thrown out.

taeclee99
Mar 5, 2003, 07:28 PM
Originally posted by dricci
No matter what your opinion on the Iraq war is, this is just wrong. I guess the first amendment only applies if you agree with what the other person is saying... :rolleyes:

I agree completely. These people had a complete right to wear those t-shirts in that mall. They were just eating their lunch in the food court not staging any kind of protest. The fact that the father was arrested is an outrage.

MrMacMan
Mar 5, 2003, 07:32 PM
'I was just wearing this shirt officer'
'Sir, if you don't take the shirt off were gonna have to take to downtown'
'What, really, for wearing a shirt?'
'Yes'
'Fine'
:eek: :confused:

What law says things about peace shirt illegal?

rice_web
Mar 5, 2003, 07:33 PM
I smell a lawsuit against the mall....

topicolo
Mar 5, 2003, 07:43 PM
Damn, I wish I had such an easy income source... :D

macfan
Mar 5, 2003, 07:54 PM
The Mall is within its rights on this matter. The Supreme Court has already ruled on this very issue, and the mall is not a free speech zone.

Here's one of the cases. (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=search&court=US&case=/us/391/308.html)

MrMacMan
Mar 5, 2003, 08:08 PM
Originally posted by macfan
The Mall is within its rights on this matter. The Supreme Court has already ruled on this very issue, and the mall is not a free speech zone.

Here's one of the cases. (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=search&court=US&case=/us/391/308.html)
A)
CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA
B) 1968
C) They were picketing not just wearing a shirt.

This is gonna be one sad sad case.

pivo6
Mar 5, 2003, 08:27 PM
Originally posted by macfan
The Mall is within its rights on this matter. The Supreme Court has already ruled on this very issue, and the mall is not a free speech zone.

Here's one of the cases. (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=search&court=US&case=/us/391/308.html)

The case you cite may not apply in this particular case.

MR. JUSTICE MARSHALL delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case presents the question whether peaceful picketing of a business enterprise located within a shopping center can be enjoined on the ground that it constitutes an unconsented invasion of the property rights of the owners of the land on which the center is situated. We granted certiorari to consider petitioners' contentions that the decisions of the state courts enjoining their picketing as a trespass are violative of their rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.

I am not an expert in law, or in even reading law briefs. i just think it's that cut and dried.

Sun Baked
Mar 5, 2003, 08:35 PM
I guess the mall wants patrons to wear the...

"Give bullets and bombs a chance"

"War on Earth"

...t-shirts, when shopping at their guns & ammo mall.

uhlawboi80
Mar 5, 2003, 08:48 PM
well the case that you linked to has been abrogated, was deemed overruled, and less importantly superceeded by state laws in PA. Not sure of NYs specific state laws, but i would say that, while protest inside of a mall might not be allowed, there is a difference between organized protest and personal freedoms of speech and expression.

beyond that, they were obviously NOT trespassing, they were there making purchases. Being in the mall doesnt subject you to the whim of the people running the mall. it would be a tricky case, but i have friends who work with the NY ACLU and i think this mall is going to get torn to pieces.

MrMacMan
Mar 5, 2003, 08:53 PM
Originally posted by Sun Baked
I guess the mall wants patrons to wear the...

"Give bullets and bombs a chance"

"War on Earth"

...t-shirts, when shopping at their guns & ammo mall.

Yeah please.
That mall should be the first to start the 'IF YOU HAVE IRAQI BLOOD, THEN TRADE IT FOR OIL DRIVE'

Nah...

But really.

'Give war a chance, if it doesn't work, whoops!'
&
'Jihad on Earth'

Sun Baked
Mar 5, 2003, 09:13 PM
Lawyer Arrested for Wearing a 'Peace' T-Shirt (http://news.findlaw.com/news/s/20030305/iraqusashirtdc.html)

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A lawyer was arrested late Monday and charged with trespassing at a public mall in the state of New York after refusing to take off a T-shirt advocating peace that he had just purchased at the mall.

According to the criminal complaint filed on Monday, Stephen Downs was wearing a T-shirt bearing the words "Give Peace A Chance" that he had just purchased from a vendor inside the Crossgates Mall in Guilderland, New York, near Albany.

"I was in the food court with my son when I was confronted by two security guards and ordered to either take off the T-shirt or leave the mall," said Downs.

When Downs refused the security officers' orders, police from the town of Guilderland were called and he was arrested and taken away in handcuffs, charged with trespassing "in that he knowingly enter(ed) or remain(ed) unlawfully upon premises," the complaint read.

Downs said police tried to convince him he was wrong in his actions by refusing to remove the T-shirt because the mall "was like a private house and that I was acting poorly.

"I told them the analogy was not good and I was then hauled off to night court where I was arraigned after pleading not guilty and released on my own recognizance," Downs told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Downs is the director of the Albany Office of the state Commission on Judicial Conduct, which investigates complaints of misconduct against judges and can admonish, censure or remove judges found to have engaged in misconduct.

Calls to the Guilderland police and district attorney, Anthony Cardona and to officials at the mall were not returned for comment.

Downs is due back in court for a hearing on March 17.

He could face up to a year in prison if convicted. Stupid security, they had a lawyer arrested. :rolleyes:

even worse they had the director of the Albany Office of the state Commission on Judicial Conduct arrested :D

--- Add

Sort of fun, they arrest one man and then end up with a large protest on Wednesday -- Group Protest NY Peace T-Shirt Arrest (http://news.findlaw.com/ap_stories/other/1110/3-5-2003/20030305104501_24.html)

Sort of makes me wonder why they didn't have this group of protesters arrested.

ffakr
Mar 5, 2003, 09:49 PM
There is more to this story than initially noted in this thread...

first off, this isn't the first time that peaceful protest actions have targeted this mall...
previous protest action (http://nycap.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=4227&group=webcast)

Seems that an organized group entered the mall in groups of three with peace t-shirts on and the mall escorted them off the property. According to the link above, the mall reacted quickly to the seemingly innocent action of the protestors leading me to belive that the same group had tried the same action before and the mall recognized the action as soon as it started.

Don't get me wrong, I think the mall acted in a VERY draconian manner. This was uncalled for. Someone with a peace t-shirt on who is spending money in the mall should be allowed to stay as long as they like.

I also believe that a peace group was targeting this mall because of its ability to attract large numbers of people. This is probably the best way to get people to see your message in this town. I think (JMHO) that the mall got sick of being the target of these actions and the increased their response until it became totally unreasonable.

Is the Mall in the wrong.. absolutely, in my opinion.

Was the Mall provoked on multiple occassions?.. very possibly.

Was this guy innocent? .. it appears that this may be part of a larger action.

Did the mall break the law? Probably not. Private businesses do not have the same responsibilty to support your constitutional rights as the government. If this guy got arrested in city hall for wearing an anti-war shirt, then his civil liberties would most certainly have been violated.

just my 2cents.

Interesting side note.......
Apple has a store in this mall. Jobs is a peace-nik... perhaps he can give them a smack down. :-)

iJon
Mar 5, 2003, 10:24 PM
this is interesting. Hey law guy, if you read this tell us if the mac or mall is right. you can post it on your brand new dual 1.42.

iJon

Sun Baked
Mar 5, 2003, 10:37 PM
Check out law.com for even funnier news on the arrest...

Law.com story on Arrest ;) (http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1046833515335)

At a time when the Commission on Judicial Conduct is up in arms over the political conduct of a few judges, the agency's chief attorney in Albany, N.Y., is fighting for his free speech rights.

[delete]

Ironically, Downs' arrest on a violation comes just as the commission is asserting the right to discipline judges who partake in political activities.

Last month, U.S. District Judge David N. Hurd in Utica, N.Y., shot down as unconstitutionally vague provisions in the Code of Judicial Conduct that restrain the political speech of judges and judicial candidates. That decision involved Albany Supreme Court Justice Thomas Spargo, a former elections lawyer who took part in political activities when he was a candidate for his current position and when he was a part-time town justice. However, the commission is also pursuing charges against at least two other judges who claim they did nothing worse than exercise a constitutional right to express their views on political issues.

Spargo's case, which was prosecuted out of Downs' office, has caused the most difficulty for the commission since Hurd essentially nullified various sections of the code that the agency cites in nearly all of its complaints.

The question of if and how the commission can restrict the speech of judges will apparently be resolved in a higher court. The state plans to appeal the Spargo ruling to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and attorneys on all sides say they would not be surprised if the matter eventually goes before the U.S. Supreme Court.

There are no allegations that Downs violated any ethics code -- he is not a judge, and therefore not subject to the Code of Judicial Conduct -- and there is nothing in the Code of Professional Conduct prohibiting the type of speech engaged in by the attorney. But the case pending before Justice Riddett does not so much address free speech as it does the right of a private property owner to control the use of its premises.

[delete to end]

macfan
Mar 5, 2003, 10:44 PM
ffakr,
I think you are probably right.

leprechaunG4
Mar 5, 2003, 11:04 PM
Definately sounds like we don't have the full story yet. It is quite likely that either this man in particular or others clothed in the same shirt previously did something that cause the security gaurds to be overly suspicious. They went over the line no doubt. They should have maybe just questioned him or something. You know just a simple exlination that they've had issues with protests being organized in the mall and that the shirt was part of the whole deal, might have gotten better communication and cooperation that way. Like in most cases there are probably many people at fault here not just one .

macfan
Mar 5, 2003, 11:15 PM
Sorry guys, I linked the wrong case.

This was the one I was thinking of. (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?navby=case&court=us&vol=407&invol=551)

I think it will come down the the particular laws in New York, whether they grant greater rights than the Federal Constitution. The state of the law seems to be that, while you don't have a first amendment right to speech in the mall, you may have a state right depending on the state.

scem0
Mar 5, 2003, 11:30 PM
that is truly terrible.... How can we allow our law enforcement
to do immature things like that? That is just...... ugh, it makes
me want to throw up. :rolleyes:

ffakr
Mar 5, 2003, 11:38 PM
Originally posted by scem0
that is truly terrible.... How can we allow our law enforcement
to do immature things like that? That is just...... ugh, it makes
me want to throw up. :rolleyes:

I also checked that police department's benovelence fund and they have a blurb on their index page. Apparently they are getting hassled already over this.

They support the officer and point out that the police did not file any charges. The took the man into custody when one of the security guards insisted on filing charges.

Basically, the city isn't going after this guy... the Mall is going after him and the police have to follow through.

I think the cops should have told the security to get a life, but they do have a job to do when someone insists on prosecuting.

beez7777
Mar 6, 2003, 05:54 AM
heh, i saw this on the daily show last night. apparently they thought it was ridiculous too.

mymemory
Mar 6, 2003, 11:55 AM
So, am I gonna move from ****t* dictatorship to go to another ****t* dictatorship only a bit more sofisticated?

Let me tell you something here guys.

The US goverment is allways talking about fredom and democracy, what you ****** president is doing is tha most totalitarian actitud you can find in the world today. The US is taking of its mask.

In any case I'm not taling about the people, just the president of the united states and all of them that support his actitud.

Even in my country I can wear a t-shirt that says "Chavez go and get ******ed by Castro", and I'm ijn a dictatorship.

Just be carefull with your goverment, to go to a war just because the president wants to is a very bad sign. An let me tell you, the politicians never pay for they mistakes, the poeple does.

ffakr
Mar 6, 2003, 12:14 PM
Originally posted by mymemory
So, am I gonna move from ****t* dictatorship to go to another ****t* dictatorship only a bit more sofisticated?

Let me tell you something here guys.

The US goverment is allways talking about fredom and democracy, what you ****** president is doing is tha most totalitarian actitud you can find in the world today. The US is taking of its mask.

In any case I'm not taling about the people, just the president of the united states and all of them that support his actitud.

Even in my country I can wear a t-shirt that says "Chavez go and get ******ed by Castro", and I'm ijn a dictatorship.

Just be carefull with your goverment, to go to a war just because the president wants to is a very bad sign. An let me tell you, the politicians never pay for they mistakes, the poeple does.

I think the real issue here is that every american has the right to wear or say anything they care to on their own land or on PUBLIC land. The government doesn't have the right to abridge our 1st amendment rights.

Private organizations are not held to the same standards. If a mall doesn't like you, it can ask you to leave. That's just the way things are in the US. The Mall doesn't need a particularly good reason to kick you out.. they just can and if you don't leave you are trespassing.
This isn't to say that they can break specific laws... they aren't allowed to discriminate against you if you are African American... but they don't have to serve as the 'soap box' for a group.

Again, I think the Mall was WAY out of line, but they were within their legal rights. The guy didn't have the right to say on their property if they didn't want him to. It is basically the same as you [the average american] having the right to ask someone to leave your house, even if you previously invited them in.
From what I've heard, the charges were dropped after people began to protest against the mall [dropped this morning].

Guess capitalism flexed its muscles. The consumers have the real power.. when they get together.

macfan
Mar 6, 2003, 01:44 PM
mymerory,

In the United States, your right to free speech is more protected than in any other country I can think of on the face of the globe. There is limited protection even on private property for free speech, but there are some areas where store owners can ask someone to leave. Do not worry, you are not moving from one dictatorship to another. The United States is, indeed, the land of the free.

Also, trust me on this, the president has nothing to do with the actions of a mall security guard.

IJ Reilly
Mar 6, 2003, 03:16 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Also, trust me on this, the president has nothing to do with the actions of a mall security guard.

No, of course not. But you do need to ponder for a moment what was going through the head of the mall manager who ordered this man ejected from the property and arrested for wearing a t-shirt (one, ironically, he'd purchased from a store in that very same mall). Tolerance for the views of others, even peacefully and non-confrontationally expressed, does seem to have become a casualty of our times.

macfan
Mar 6, 2003, 04:49 PM
IJ Reilly,

I rather suspect that what the mall manager was thinking was that having a bunch of non-paying protesters in his mall would be disruptive for his tenants and their paying customers. This was apparently an ongoing issue, not just one guy with a t-shirt that the mall didn't like. If he was thinking further, he was concerned about his insurance liability and the potential for setting a precedent in his facility that would later be used to force him to admit ever larger numbers of portesters for causes as yet unknown.

What do you think was in his mind?

Dont Hurt Me
Mar 6, 2003, 04:59 PM
Just another example of someone being to extreme in their viewpoint. This was a private mall so i guess the owner could have anyone removed for whatever. As far as this guy with the shirt he has every right to wear it even if peace with Saddam is Flawed fundamentally speaking. Judge should throw this out.

IJ Reilly
Mar 6, 2003, 07:36 PM
I don't know what they were thinking, so I can only free-speculate based on what I see going on around me, and what I'm seeing is a remarkable level of intolerance. The James Pinkerton piece I posted the other day said it eloquently; better than I could. In the current climate I can well imagine some mall cop or mall manager thinking, "I don't approve of the message on that guy's t-shirt. He's out of here."

But I could be entirely wrong. I'd like to hear the mall's official position on this.

As for this guy being one "a bunch of non-paying protesters" in the mall, I haven't read about any such thing in the accounts. Have you? Supposedly he was in the food court with his son, eating. Maybe he was slurping his milkshake too loudly. That's an offense in some states.

macfan
Mar 7, 2003, 12:06 AM
IJ Reilly,
I did read in one of the stories that there have been protesters there in the past. Remember, the mall security guard and manager are not likely to be versed in the finer points of the first amendment, and people in those positions are prone to over react.

I'm not saying the mall management was doing the right thing, just speculating as to what they might have been thinking about. I can certainly understand the desire to keep your place of business from becoming a popular Hyde Park free speech area!

Backtothemac
Mar 7, 2003, 08:53 AM
I personally think that this is one of the saddest stories that has occured with reguards to 1st ammendment speech in a long time. Was there more to the story though? Was the man yelling about the war, was he bowing up to people that read the shirt. I would like to believe that there was more to the story than the media picked up on. Still, if the man did nothing, I wish it was me that they had thrown out.


Can you imagine the lawsuit that will come from this!

Dont Hurt Me
Mar 7, 2003, 08:59 AM
I think you will find that the security guard(rent a cop) screwed up, or he was doing as the manager or owner of the mall wanted. In which case private property the owner can have anyone be asked to leave for any reason he wants since its his property. Anyways a can of worms has been opened for this mall operator. sorry for the guy with the T-shirt.

ffakr
Mar 7, 2003, 09:54 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
I personally think that this is one of the saddest stories that has occured with reguards to 1st ammendment speech in a long time. Was there more to the story though? Was the man yelling about the war, was he bowing up to people that read the shirt. I would like to believe that there was more to the story than the media picked up on. Still, if the man did nothing, I wish it was me that they had thrown out.

Can you imagine the lawsuit that will come from this!

there won't be a lawsuit. A private organization has no responsibility to support his (or your) first amendment rights.

Backtothemac
Mar 7, 2003, 09:57 AM
Originally posted by ffakr
there won't be a lawsuit. A private organization has no responsibility to support his (or your) first amendment rights.

Actually, yes they do. If you are at a mall and accused of shoplifting and have done nothing, then you can sue. In addition, private organizations cannot violate civil rights, nor the 1st ammendment. :)

skunk
Mar 7, 2003, 10:02 AM
I wonder what would happen if he took off his T-shirt and revealed a tattoo underneath saying the same thing? Is this the "freedom" your boys are off to uphold?

Backtothemac
Mar 7, 2003, 10:03 AM
Originally posted by skunk
I wonder what would happen if he took off his T-shirt and revealed a tattoo underneath saying the same thing? Is this the "freedom" your boys are off to uphold?

Actually, this is the freedom that I want upheld. It was just violated in a rather stupid fashion.

peter2002
Mar 7, 2003, 10:20 AM
If they can arrest you for this, I guess they could arrest you if you are walking with a shirt of the US Flag or Jesus on it. Such messages are political too. What really ticks me off about malls is they charge $3 for a corn dog or $18 for a CD at Camelots. Personally, I don't shop at malls. They are a total rip off and just for teeny boppers with nothing to do but hang out.

Pete

IJ Reilly
Mar 7, 2003, 01:58 PM
Originally posted by macfan
IJ Reilly,
I did read in one of the stories that there have been protesters there in the past. Remember, the mall security guard and manager are not likely to be versed in the finer points of the first amendment, and people in those positions are prone to over react.

I'm not saying the mall management was doing the right thing, just speculating as to what they might have been thinking about. I can certainly understand the desire to keep your place of business from becoming a popular Hyde Park free speech area!

"In the past" is an awfully weak defense. Do you want to be held responsible for what somebody else might have done "in the past?"

The legalistic argument also impresses me as pretty specious. I have little knowledge and therefore not much of an opinion about whether the mall acted within their legal rights. I don't claim to know about that. The issue I'm raising is whether this isn't very possibly an example of someone using their authority to make life difficult for someone else strictly on the basis of their holding a differing opinion -- and peacefully, quietly and non-confrontationally expressing it, if the press reports are to be accepted.

I'm not the kind of person who generally accepts "for instance" as a proof, but I'm seeing so much of that attitude lately, I can't help but ascribe this incident to a larger pattern of intolerance. When I see things like this, I also can't help hearing at least the feint echo of goose-stepping in the distance.

macfan
Mar 7, 2003, 02:45 PM
IJ Reilly,

You aren't understanding the content of my post. You asked what the mall authorities were thinking, not whether there was moral and legal justification for throwing the guy out. Now, having seen my take on what they may have been thinking, you want to argue that the mall people would be out of line to think that. No Kidding, Sherlock!

IJ Reilly
Mar 7, 2003, 03:50 PM
Originally posted by macfan
You aren't understanding the content of my post. You asked what the mall authorities were thinking, not whether there was moral and legal justification for throwing the guy out. Now, having seen my take on what they may have been thinking, you want to argue that the mall people would be out of line to think that. No Kidding, Sherlock!

Sure, I understood it. I just rarely decline the opportunity to climb up on a soapbox and make a speech. :D

Stelliform
Mar 7, 2003, 05:17 PM
Originally posted by peter2002
If they can arrest you for this, I guess they could arrest you if you are walking with a shirt of the US Flag or Jesus on it. Such messages are political too.
Pete

They arrested him for not leaving the mall. If he would have left the mall with security right then he would not have been arrested. I think this is a lawyer looking for a lawsuit....

Sun Baked
Mar 7, 2003, 05:23 PM
Originally posted by Stelliform
They arrested him for not leaving the mall. If he would have left the mall with security right then he would not have been arrested. I think this is a lawyer looking for a lawsuit.... But would you leave right in the middle of your meal if you've already paid for it?

Heck even if you go to McDonald's and eat, you expect the establishment to let you finish before they toss your ass out, especially if you haven't done anything wrong.

Heck if they wouldn't let them finish consuming the food they purchased, they should have gone all out and taken the shirts and merchandise they purchased at the mall.

Stelliform
Mar 7, 2003, 05:50 PM
Originally posted by Sun Baked
But would you leave right in the middle of your meal if you've already paid for it?

Heck even if you go to McDonald's and eat, you expect the establishment to let you finish before they toss your ass out, especially if you haven't done anything wrong.

Heck if they wouldn't let them finish consuming the food they purchased, they should have gone all out and taken the shirts and merchandise they purchased at the mall.

I agree that is it a crummy situation, and I wouldn't shop at that mall anynmore. But the mall was within its rights. (And by the way, I would leave. I would take my food, but if they asked me to leave I would go.)

This is my opinion on what happened. This mall felt that the protestors were hurting sales. This lawyer probably heard about security escorting out people wearing the shirt. He gets his son and buys the shirts and refuses to leave when asked. He is arrested. (because refusing to leave private property when asked is a right that security guards hold dear) Now he has the makings of a fat civil lawsuit.

It doesn't matter that he was breaking the law by not leaving. He can still sue and get a sympathic jury, or a huge settlement based on the bad press generated by the event. It is a pretty clever scam.

Now I would be more sympathtic if
a. this guy wasn't a lawyer
b. he was part of the protestors
c. he wasn't a lawyer. :D

I just think that this event was designed to pander to our emotions, when the true purpose gets swept aside...

(Disclaimer: I could be wrong. He might have mistakenly got into this situation, has a hot head and wouldn't leave. But all the lawyers that I know are always looking at the legal ramifications of what they do. (Mabey he just isn't a good lawyer. )) :)

chrisfx811
Mar 7, 2003, 07:06 PM
Originally posted by macfan
IJ Reilly,

I rather suspect that what the mall manager was thinking was that having a bunch of non-paying protesters in his mall would be disruptive for his tenants and their paying customers. This was apparently an ongoing issue, not just one guy with a t-shirt that the mall didn't like. If he was thinking further, he was concerned about his insurance liability and the potential for setting a precedent in his facility that would later be used to force him to admit ever larger numbers of portesters for causes as yet unknown.

What do you think was in his mind?
i am not against the war, nor a liberal. however, based on the limited facts thus far, i have to say the mall was way out of line. if they were to remove all people who were disruptive to the paying customers, then the mall would be virtually empty on friday nights. i am a tenant in holyoke mall, owned by the pyramid group, the co. who owns crossgates mall, and i have to say they run a dictatorship style mall. most of their tenants would agree with me, so it comes as no surprise to me that they pulled a stunt like this. i would be shocked if they said he was removed because of the effect it would have on customers! for crying out loud, paying customers don't even come to the malls on weekend nights anymore, because the malls are being used as free babysitting for irresponsible parents who let their "animals" loose on friday and saturday nights. so unless the mall were to apply this logic to all people who frequent the mall, then they would be crazy to use this sort of defense to justify their actions

IJ Reilly
Mar 8, 2003, 12:47 AM
Originally posted by Stelliform
This is my opinion on what happened. This mall felt that the protestors were hurting sales. This lawyer probably heard about security escorting out people wearing the shirt. He gets his son and buys the shirts and refuses to leave when asked. He is arrested. (because refusing to leave private property when asked is a right that security guards hold dear) Now he has the makings of a fat civil lawsuit.

It doesn't matter that he was breaking the law by not leaving. He can still sue and get a sympathic jury, or a huge settlement based on the bad press generated by the event. It is a pretty clever scam.

There's no evidence to suggest that any of this is true -- so why make it your opinion?

Stelliform
Mar 8, 2003, 09:02 AM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
There's no evidence to suggest that any of this is true -- so why make it your opinion?

The wonderful thing about opinions is that anyone can have any kind. :D You have to admit that what I described is a distinct possiblilty. The mall is not without blame. The Mall created his opportunity by escorting people wearing that shirt out of the mall. And I believe what chrisfx811 says. Malls are pretty notorious for being foolish with lots of rules.

Our sympathys should have been with the original people that were escorted from the mall. He is simply a profiteer. As bad as selling flags to the middle east for burning.

Unfortunately, the only evidence to my opinion will exsist when the mall drops charges against him, and then he brings the civil suit. He and the Mall are about to enter a legal ballet. I am sure that the mall's attorneys realize what he is doing. Now they are going to try to leverage his criminal charges to keep him from doing exactly what I described.

IJ Reilly
Mar 8, 2003, 09:12 PM
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. -- Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Sun Baked
Mar 8, 2003, 09:30 PM
from NY Times

It all began when Mr. Downs and his son, Roger, 31, an ecology consultant, ordered custom T-shirts at a store in the mall and wore them over their clothes to the mall's food court. Upon a security guard's request, his son later removed his T-shirt, which read "No War With Iraq" and "Let Inspections Work."

The older Mr. Downs, a firm believer in free speech, said he wanted to see what would happen, because he had heard that people sporting antiwar messages on their clothing were being asked to leave the mall. He stressed that he and his son did not pass out fliers or try to convert anyone. "I didn't want to get arrested," he said. "But I didn't know what the situation was and that gnawed at me."

Tim Kelley, a director for the Pyramid Management Group, which runs the mall, said today that security guards had received a complaint about "two gentlemen bothering customers." He said their concern was over Mr. Downs's behavior, not his clothing. "It was not an issue of us asking him to leave because of what was on his shirt," he said. "That's not our policy."

The courts have generally ruled that malls are private property and that their owners have a right to remove people who disrupt business, including those engaged in political activity. But the Guilderland police chief, James Murley, said that his officer did not want to arrest Mr. Downs and spent more than an hour trying to broker a truce between the two sides, even reading aloud from a section of the law on trespassing.

Even so, the chief was busy defending his department today from a tide of e-mail criticizing the arrest. "We could care less about what people are wearing really, it's not our rules," he said. "But we are sworn to uphold the law."Sort of have to lose some respect for the guy when he went out to confront the mall, and to "see what would happen."

But to give the guy worldwide coverage... :rolleyes:

leprechaunG4
Mar 8, 2003, 10:45 PM
Originally posted by Sun Baked
Sort of have to lose some respect for the guy when he went out to confront the mall, and to "see what would happen."

But to give the guy worldwide coverage... :rolleyes:
Hey IJ - looks like stellis theory was right on the moula.

Stelliform
Mar 8, 2003, 11:01 PM
Originally posted by leprechaunG4
Hey IJ - looks like stellis theory was right on the moula.

Holy moley! You know what they say, sometimes even a blind pig finds an acorn. :D

But thanks for the nod. I still haven't been proven right yet. (Although there was more to the story.) The article just didn't seem like we were getting the whole story.

IJ Reilly
Mar 9, 2003, 11:45 AM
Originally posted by leprechaunG4
Hey IJ - looks like stellis theory was right on the moula.

You sure? The theory was that this guy was doing this for the cynical purpose of setting up a big lawsuit. He might well have been trying to provoke the mall management to do something stupid, but of course they didn't have to do anything stupid. They still did that entirely on their own.

leprechaunG4
Mar 9, 2003, 12:12 PM
Maybe the entire theory wasn't there, just the fact that it wasn't such an open and shut case. There obviously was a history of problems pertaining to this shirt. The man knew this and exploited it. He wanted the confrontation. If he does sue, then there is little doubt as to whether or not he had not thought at the whole process. Either way, we all think the Mall went overkill, but we all know they were within their legal bounds.

IJ Reilly
Mar 9, 2003, 12:23 PM
I don't know about "open and shut." There could not have been much of a "history" pertaining to this shirt, since according to the story, the man and his son had them made up at a t-shirt shop at the mall that very day. Maybe there was a history of the mall bouncing people for wearing messages on their clothing that don't agree with management's political views. That may even be a confrontation worth "provoking."

leprechaunG4
Mar 9, 2003, 01:06 PM
there is also this small piece to the article
security guards had received a complaint about "two gentlemen bothering customers." He said their concern was over Mr. Downs's behavior, not his clothing.

Sun Baked
Mar 9, 2003, 01:45 PM
Here is the link for the whole article http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/national/AP-Mall-Activists.html

IJ Reilly
Mar 9, 2003, 02:35 PM
What precisely was the behavior that was "bothering" the other customers? Do people have a right not to be "bothered?"

macfan
Mar 9, 2003, 02:59 PM
IJReilly,
Do people have a right not to be "bothered?"

As a general rule, no. There's no right not to be bothered. However, in some situations, if people complain, there is a good bit of leeway for what can be done for them. The right to free speech is not absolute.

Stelliform
Mar 9, 2003, 06:44 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
What precisely was the behavior that was "bothering" the other customers? Do people have a right not to be "bothered?"

In public space, people can be bothered if you are not breaking the law, however if you go into any private space (i.e. a restaurant) and bother other customers you will be asked to leave. Once you are in private space, the owners or thier agents determine what is bothering others. We do not know what this guy was doing, but even if he was just talking loudly he could have been bothering people.

However, by the tone of the article, he went to the Mall to get attention. I doubt he would have gone to all of the trouble of having the shirts made up, and then leave without a confrontation. If I had to bet, he was probably speaking loudly his opinions of the war. That way he seems all the more innocent. But if someone was preaching at me while I ate, I would complain.

IJ Reilly
Mar 10, 2003, 12:13 AM
What was this person doing to "bother" any customer in the mall? (Not what you think it might have been -- cite some facts, please.) Second, what right do people possess not to be "bothered?"

I only ask twice because neither of you really ventured an answer to either question the first time.

LethalWolfe
Mar 10, 2003, 01:01 AM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
What was this person doing to "bother" any customer in the mall? (Not what you think it might have been -- cite some facts, please.) Second, what right do people possess not to be "bothered?"

I only ask twice because neither of you really ventured an answer to either question the first time.

You ask how he was bothering others, I ask you how wasn't he bothering others? The guy says one thing, the mall says the other and sense no other source has chimed in on either side we can only speculate as to what he was or wasn't doing.

And I thought Stelliform explained it pretty well. When you are on private property the property owner, for the most part, sets the rules. Many "fine" resturants will not seat you if you don't fit their dress code, a local chain gym called "Ladies Only" won't give me membership 'cause I'm a guy, and I could become a member at Agusta but my girlfriend could not. Currently I'm a part time manager at Blockbuster and if someone is being disruptive, doing things that cause other customers to complain, etc., I am w/in my rights, as a representive of Blockbuster (the property owner), to ask the person to leave (as a courtesy I will give them a chance to correct their behavior before asking them to leave). If they refuse to leave I will call the cops and have removed from my store. I can even go as far as to ban someone from my store for life and have them arrested for trespassing if they ever come back. Last time I checked shopping at a mall was a privilege extended by the property owner, not a right drafted in Constitution. ;)

Getting tossed out over a "give peace a chance" t-shirt is pretty lame. But so is raising a stink when you went to the mall knowing your actions were probably gong to get you thrown out in the first place.


Lethal

IJ Reilly
Mar 10, 2003, 02:07 AM
So... what you are saying is, if I'm in a mall, and I see somebody wearing a piece of clothing with a saying or statement on it which offends me, I should ask the management to throw him or her off the premises? And they should do it?

I understand the legalities. I'm just wondering how this right not to be bothered should be interpreted, as a practical matter.

LethalWolfe
Mar 10, 2003, 11:56 AM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
So... what you are saying is, if I'm in a mall, and I see somebody wearing a piece of clothing with a saying or statement on it which offends me, I should ask the management to throw him or her off the premises? And they should do it?

I understand the legalities. I'm just wondering how this right not to be bothered should be interpreted, as a practical matter.


Unfortunetly it's mostly a judgement call left up to management (which probably has some vague guide lines that corporate wants enforced). And there are plenty of people who power trip on the demi-god like status they have on thier small, small piece of Earth for 40hrs a week. What you should do is complain that people are complaining about you and that is disrupting your otherwise enjoyable shopping experience. :D


Lethal

Stelliform
Mar 10, 2003, 12:15 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
So... what you are saying is, if I'm in a mall, and I see somebody wearing a piece of clothing with a saying or statement on it which offends me, I should ask the management to throw him or her off the premises? And they should do it?

I understand the legalities. I'm just wondering how this right not to be bothered should be interpreted, as a practical matter.

The "Right not to be bothered" doesn't have any hard of fast rules. It is totally at the discression of the property owner. The right of the property owner to have only the people he chooses on is property is nearly absolute. (Except in cases of race discrimination and only pertaining to other private citizens and not law enforcment.)

But you are right, if were to go to mall security and ask to kick someone out who has an on an Eminem shirt they will look at you like you are crazy. If you made a scene asking for the guy to get kicked out, they would kick you out since the Eminem guy wasn't bothering anybody. (And you would be making everybody feel uncomfortable.) But that isn't the same situation as the peace shirt guy. He went to the Mall for confrontation, and Retail hates confrontation.

Retail spends Billions on making the environment of their stores inviting and pleasent. When someone disrupts that atmosphere, the Mall will remove the person. So, mabey there is one rule to not bothering... Do not disrupt the atmosphere the private landowner is trying to create. (i.e. you can be loud at a noisy bar, but not in Macy's)

LethalWolfe is right, it is lame to kick someone out over what thier shirt says, however the mall was within their rights. We do not know what he was doing to bother the other customers. And unless we have some good reporting on the incident we will not know until his trial.

IJ Reilly
Mar 10, 2003, 01:48 PM
Once again, I am not interested in debating the legal issues, upon which I am no expert anyway. I will accept for purposes of discussion that the mall was within its legal rights.

What I am curious about is this right not to be bothered, which both of you seem prepared to defend at least in principle. Apparently the mall seized upon this as the justification for ejecting this individual, even though there's no indication in any account I've read that the man was doing anything but wearing the shirt.

leprechaunG4
Mar 10, 2003, 02:03 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
Once again, I am not interested in debating the legal issues, upon which I am no expert anyway. I will accept for purposes of discussion that the mall was within its legal rights.

What I am curious about is this right not to be bothered, which both of you seem prepared to defend at least in principle. Apparently the mall seized upon this as the justification for ejecting this individual, even though there's no indication in any account I've read that the man was doing anything but wearing the shirt.
What you get from the article is he was just wearing a shirt, not necessarily how it went down. Do we know exactly what occured? No. So can we tell you exactly what happened? No. So why do you keep asking? They can't answer that question for you obviously. The security guards say they got reports of the man bothering other customers, the man claims he didn't do anything. Word vs. Word, until some other witnesses come into play you'll just have to wait. Maybe the guy did nothing wrong and the security guards were just jerks (still in their legal rights, but jerks) however, maybe the guy was preaching to people about the war, or doing some other disruptive act. WE DON'T KNOW YET.

IJ Reilly
Mar 10, 2003, 04:01 PM
I agree, and granted we can only debate what we know, which isn't a great deal. Still, and maybe I'm entirely wrong about this, but I get the impression that some people feel that even if all the "bothering" this person was doing was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with a message, that it might be a legitimate grounds for expelling the individual wearing the t-shirt from the property.

leprechaunG4
Mar 10, 2003, 04:24 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
I agree, and granted we can only debate what we know, which isn't a great deal. Still, and maybe I'm entirely wrong about this, but I get the impression that some people feel that even if all the "bothering" this person was doing was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with a message, that it might be a legitimate grounds for expelling the individual wearing the t-shirt from the property.
Whether or not it's "legitimet" that's all personal opinion, I'd say no. However, the world doesn't care what's legitimate, it cares what is legal. On private property (which a mall is) nobody is garunteed a right of presence in that location, so the owner of the property can legally ask you to leave for any reason they wish, and if you do not leave they can have you removed by law enforcement. Nowhere in the constitution does it say a store owner must give two ****s about what you think, if they want you gone, you are gone.

Sun Baked
Mar 10, 2003, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by leprechaunG4
Nowhere in the constitution does it say a store owner must give two ****s about what you think, if they want you gone, you are gone. But if you are a minority, this would lead one to all sorts of interesting questions of why...

Usually store and property owners must have some darn good explanations to get rid of minorities on their property, but since this was an elderly white man -- punt his ass. :rolleyes:

Even if the guy did go there to see what would happen, the guy was there eating with his son and it was the security that escalated the situation -- but it could have also been the lawyer.

Even if the man was talking to customers that came up to him, that does not mean he was bothering people.

The security is there to protect the property and "defuse" situations, when they go out and make a scene it leads to all sorts of problems.

Personally i can see this printed (http://www.strangecosmos.com/view.adp?picture_id=8607) on clothing causing a few more problems in a mall than "Peace on Earth" type slogans.

Stelliform
Mar 10, 2003, 05:05 PM
Originally posted by Sun Baked

Personally i can see this printed (http://www.strangecosmos.com/view.adp?picture_id=8607) on clothing causing a few more problems in a mall than "Peace on Earth" type slogans.

:D :D :D

IJ Reilly:

I hear what you are saying now. Personally, if he was behaving himself and sitting quietly, I do not think that kicking him out for what his shirt says is appropriate. (Since a t-shirt proclaiming peace is as casual as any other t-shirt)

But I SERIOUSLY doubt that this is what happened. If this IS what happened, I will back your opinion up. (That the mall can't pick on someone in the same state of dress (i.e. t-shirt) because they deem it inappropriate.)

But you have to take it one step further. If the Mall is determined to not exclude people by what is on their t-shirt, what if the next fad has t-shirts with explicit sex acts on them? I certainly wouldn't shop with my family at a store that allowed people to dress like that, and I would want the Mall to have the authority to remove these people.

IJ Reilly
Mar 10, 2003, 10:02 PM
Gawd, I've seen worse than explicit sex acts on clothing. Haven't you? Seriously, a lot of what see on clothing these days I find offensive. Heck, I might even say I am "bothered" by people who wear these rude and crude clothes in public places. And the things people say in public. Sheesh, I mean, some of the cell phone calls I've involuntarily overheard...!

So what am I supposed to do, complain to the authorities? Or how about averting my ears and eyes? I've never even been tempted to do the former, so I do a whole lot of the latter.

Okay, this discussion probably isn't going on much longer, so I might as well turn over my final card. I suspect that a sort of "PC" is at work here. Maybe as far as the mall management is concerned, a patron can be offensive in a whole range of conventionally acceptable ways (a four letter Anglo-Saxon oath on a cap -- what's the matter with that?), but if they're expressing a certain political point of view, complaints of people being "bothered" are taken seriously. Out you go!

Can I prove it? No. But it does seem to me like there's a whole lot of it about...