Mall cops freak out over steampunk meetup, call the real cops

Sadly, the bad apples spoil the public image of the whole bunch.

Despite common belief, the average security officer isn’t a power tripping egomaniac. The same, oddly enough, is true of the average police officer. Most of the time, they’re just ordinary people going about their duties. Confirmation bias just leads us to remember the exceptions, and then to generalize those exceptions to be the norm.

Don’t get me wrong - the bad apples need to be held accountable. Both the police and private security officers are placed in a position of public trust, and their behavior consequently is deserving of the highest scrutiny and accountability. Those who cannot meet those standards have no place in the realm of public safety, and need to be excised, for the good of everyone. Just please don’t instantly assume that because some officers are unfit for duty that means that all or even just most of them are.


This is bullshit. Corporate policy isn’t law. It is also easily one of the least rigid set of guidelines around. At most places, if you follow policy to the letter in defiance of all reason, you are going to get fired for being an idiot. You can bet your bottom dollar that if the security guards had run around expelling anyone in a group of more than three, they would be fired within hours, if not minutes, for gross stupidity and incompetence.

The guidelines are there to give the security to have a blanket excuse to kick out black and brown kids the mall suspects of being thieves by virtue for their skin color and clothing. Seriously, that is all it is there for. Everyone there is violating some piece of the policy, so they can use that as grounds for kicking out anyone with a pulse. They then selectively enforce those guidelines to kick out “undesirables” It isn’t meant to kick out the Smiths who come in a group of more than 3 and take a family picture next to Bed Bath an Beyond. The “law” really isn’t the law.

One of two things happened here; the mall security are fucking idiots, or there is an idiot manager somewhere who can order mall security that is an idiot. There is not a slim chance in hell that this was just malls security evenly applying their guidelines to everyone. If they did, they would seriously kick out half of the population of the mall.

All of that said, and not that this makes it even remotely right, but there is something a little funny about white people being shocked and indignant when they are treated like brown folks for a few minutes.


The problem is you’re blaming the officers on the ground for the corporate policies in place.

As you yourself point out, security officers have managers like anyone else. If the manager comes down on an officer for not enforcing Policy X, they have two options - start enforcing Policy X, or start looking for a new job.

You also mention the difference between Corporate Policy and Law, but you don’t seem to understand how the two interact. In cases like this, apart from obvious racial discrimination and the like, the mall has complete freedom to dictate whom they allow in their establishment - it is private property, and legally speaking only those who have “permission” may be in the mall. Consequently, anyone the mall decides they do not want on their property for any reason at all, they have every legal right to tell to leave.

If those asked to leave do not do so, then Trespass Law comes into effect - if you are on private property without permission and are told to leave, you have to leave or you are legally guilty of trespass.

Now, is it fair that the mall doesn’t enforce their policies equitably? No, of course not.

But, sadly, it is their legal right as property owners to dictate absolutely who may and may not have access to their premises, and they can base that on whatever rationale or delusional insanity they please. Maybe they’re racist bigots. Maybe they’re conspiracy theorists who believe that wearing a purple shirt and khakis is the mark of the Illuminati. Maybe they go into a berserker rage at the sight of sweatervests. It doesn’t matter - if they want someone off their premises for any reason, they are legally empowered to ask them to leave.

Meanwhile, the security officer has no real say. They literally have one choice - enforce the absurd rule, or find another job. Most officers made to enforce this madness will just cringe a bit inside, swallow their pride, and as politely as possible go carry out their absurd duty. They just go and inform the poor people who fell victim to the mall’s stupidity and unfairness that they have to leave, and if they don’t comply then the police will be called to make them do so.

I understand your frustration. I understand this isn’t a fair, equitable, reasonable situation. But you’re trying to lay blame where it really isn’t deserved. The security officers don’t make the rules, and the vast majority of them would rather not have to follow such an obviously stupid policy.

If you want to fault someone, fault the mall. Boycott their establishment, hit them where it hurts - the wallet - and let them know that despite whatever legal rights they have, the customer is always right, and that their patrons will not stand for such inequitable treatment and absurd behavior, and are prepared to take their business elsewhere until such time as the offending policies are repealed.


Oh give me a break, Snowden has to weigh in on every single thing? While we’re at it, Snowden hasn’t said much about Chechnya, or Georgia, or the president of Uzbekistan and his torturing of people to death. So are you to assume Snowden’s position on them?


The only solution is government legislation, like it or not. Just as we have laws that prohibit a business from throwing out gay people, we need laws that protect the rights of people in malls, our new public square. There are existing laws that prevent profiling etc. (I’m not optimistic that this would actually hold up in court, the Supreme Court has some conflicting rulings on this.)


My solution to this is to never visit the mall again. Amazon has better selection, prices and no mall cops.


I agree in principle, but I think malls are dead enough that new legislature should be aimed less specifically at them and more at public spaces and even more specifically private-property made open to the public.


Way back when a friend and I were on our way to see the film “The Warriors”. We cut through the local mall on our way. But my friend had grease painted his face up to look like a “baseball fury” and the mall cop detained us. I still remember standing just outside a book store as he commandeered their phone (ah, the good ole days) to call command central. The person on the other end was obviously trying to find out what crime we were guilty of as Mr Sub-Barney Fife sputtered “well, one of 'em has a false-face on!” The two of us just walked away while he yammered on the phone.

Of course what the mall cop shoulda said to my friend was “I’m gonna shove that bat up your ass and turn you into a pop-sickle!”


Responsive action is clear: Several people across the mall calling in with burner phones ANY gathering of more than 3 people. To the point it clogs their phone line and inconvenicens them

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Fun is such a foreign concept for so many people.

Don’t even get me started on foreigners!

Also - banned from the mall? Seriously? You think mall cops keep a binder full of photos of “banned kids” which they carefully memorize for future reference?

The mall Cory was talking about was across the road from his school. The people he was talking about were probably there every couple of days, or at least walking past regularly enough. Pretty easy to see how the local rent-a-cop might decide he doesn’t like the look of some of them, ban and easily enforce that ban.


Just ban malls.


Surely “Bed Bath and Beyond” should have a comma between “Bed” and “Bath”, otherwise it sounds like the title to some hospital themed porno.


One of the women in the first row appears to be wearing a knife.

Hmmm, interesting. My understanding of the situation here in Australia is that shops are public places, and are different from an office or a home. Shop owners can not just ban anybody they don’t like.


A very good point, my exposure is to American law, your milage may vary across the pond.


Which they probably confuse with colonoscopy.

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But Amazon’s authentic Victorian carousel selection’s dreadful.


That’s okay. There’s always Etsy and its indie / hipster / whatever “fashion” cousins. :stuck_out_tongue:

“Whenever libertarians tell me that governments are more oppressive than businesses, I always laugh. And cry a little too.”

Silly libertarians…after all, these cosplayers were lucky they didn’t get shipped off to the mall’s secret detention facility in Cuba or that the mall didn’t use its fleet of drones to take them out without any due process. At the very least, I’m surprised this mall didn’'t secretly render them to another mall that could have dealt with them in an more appropriate manner.


I can’t fault the mall’s decision here. Leave those steampunkers unwatched for a few minutes, next thing you know you’ll have gears and vacuum tubes super-glued to everything in sight.