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ETL-AP using probation officer to harass TMs?

Joined
Apr 19, 2016
Messages
2
Hi everyone -

I've gotten a lot of good wisdom from reading threads on here over the years, but now I need some help.

Basically, long story short is this. We used to have a TPS at our store who a while back became a probation officer. He is best friends with our ETL-AP and often swings by the store to hang out with him and talk. They basically have bromance going on.

Anyway, I never got along with him at our store when he was a TPS. (Almost no one did) He always thought he was better than everyone else, and basically acted like a wannabe cop. When he got his probation officer job (after 3 years of talking about it complaining they wouldn't take him on multiple tries) he finally got in. He ran around acting like he was Sherlock Holmes "investigating" TMs before he left. No one ever liked him except our ETL-AP (also a wannabe cop that couldn't become one).

Anyway, whenever this guy comes in the store to chat with our ETL-AP, he stares down TMs, asks questions to TMs who pass him by like "staying out of trouble?" and other lame comments.

So yesterday I was working in electronics with several other TMs within earshot. A guest comes in and he is clearly high as a kite. After he left, a TM I am cool with says to me "Damn, I wish I could be as mellow as that guy!" and I said something like "yea, damn maybe I can get him to share some of that with me. I need a relaxer after today". The TM I said this too knows me and knows I was not at all being serious, but some TM nearby must have heard me and thought I was being serious and told our ETL-AP or someone in AP.

About an hour later my shift was ending and I clocked out and was already outside of the store on my way to my car when I hear "Yo. Hold up my man". I turn around and our former TPS now turned probation officer is walking up FAST behind me out of nowhere. In a VERY hostile voice he says "Where's your car my man". (never addressing me even by name even though he freaking knows my name AND knows my car). I'm like "Uh... the green one over there, same as usual". Then he's like "let's walk over there together".

So we get to the car and he's like "You got anything in the car I should know about?" I'm like "uh. no. I'm going home". Then he says "NO YOU'RE NOT. YOU'RE GOING TO STAND RIGHT HERE UNTIL I SAY OTHERWISE". I was like WTF?

Then he is like "You got any drugs on you or in the car?". I'm like "No, I don't do drugs.". He's like "I've heard otherwise. I need permission to search your car." So I tell him I'm not giving him permission to do that. He asks me like ten times "So you're not giving me permission?" in like ten different ways.

Then he's like "Ok. So this makes me think you have something in the car." I'm like "well I don't.".

So then he is like "You're detained. Stay right here". He walks like 10 feet away and is on the phone. Next thing I know a cop car pulls up with a freaking drug dog. They keep asking me drug related questions and walk the dog around the car and me like 20 times. The dog never does anything.

Then he is like "Ok, you know what, I think you've got something in the car, but I'm letting you off this time. Make sure you don't ever bring anything up here you shouldn't be. Stay out of trouble". The dude then walks off FAST and his cop friend clears out.

I look back at the store and the ETL-AP is out there watching from a distance who sees them clearing out and he walks fast back in the store. The worst part is, multiple TMs saw all this going on. It basically made me look like a criminal. I had SEVERAL TMs text me later asking WTF was going on.

I admit I made a stupid mistake with my little drug joke, but I think the ETL-AP obviously set this whole thing up with his little probation officer buddy. Also, that joke was said between me and TM who knows me and knows it was a joke. Obviously someone was eves dropping.

I want to know if there any way I can do anything about our ETL-AP harassing TMs like this? Isn't there some policy against this and him having his lame ex-TPS come in and chill with him all the time?
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
30,555
File a complaint to the former tps boss without delay. He can not stop you on private property. Also, abuse of his job. Then, go to your stl & report that the etl ap was watching the event too. Document all events with times, places without delay.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 17, 2011
Messages
192
1) That guy has no authority at all.
2) If your AP is using an outside force to threaten TMs that's ground for termination.
3) If your STL doesn't do anything call the hotline. And, if the guy harasses you again call the police. Say there's a guy pretending to be a cop threatening people. Problem solved.
 

signingminion

WAVing in the air like I just don't care
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
4,547
Screw that noise. I would have fought that hard. I do know the cops in my target town though...
 

Flowmotion

Presentation TM
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Messages
211
1) That guy has no authority at all.
2) If your AP is using an outside force to threaten TMs that's ground for termination.
3) If your STL doesn't do anything call the hotline. And, if the guy harasses you again call the police. Say there's a guy pretending to be a cop threatening people. Problem solved.
It all depends on his scope of work and credentials. Some states have Probabtion Officers who are certified peace officers (not police officer) with law enforcement authority, a badge, and a gun. They can dance around on the issue of arresting you.

There's nothing wrong asking questions (self incrimination possible), but I think the moment he said you were detained was where he made a mistake. On what grounds? Because someone said you might have drugs on you?

His case of probable cause for a stop would be laughable. He would have to see you using or have the drugs in plain sight from your car window.

However, I'm no expert on the law. :)
 
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
25
No, just.... no. I am pretty sure any legit officer needs a warrant to search your car unless it's during a traffic stop.. and even then, they have to have probable cause to believe illegal activity is going on. Unless your state has different laws, both the probation officer and the cop that came were wrong, and opened themselves up to a potential lawsuit. The probation officer deserves to be banned from Target. And your ETL- AP is a coward for watching this happen and not speaking up and telling his little friend to chill and should lose his job.
 
Joined
Feb 12, 2016
Messages
125
Get a lawyer. One it's 3rd hand information passed on to god knows who, and it's not legal. Two, file a complaint with the police department. Three, inform ETL HR and call the hotline over the harassment of the AP ETL and his willingness to let this shit bag roam the store. You never have to answer any question from a police officer outside your name. Remember that well, and if they want to search you, tell them no. Don't say shit, and don't give them the authorization to search anything.

I hate how all the teens on the board always jump to the " you can sue target blah blah blah" line, but with your AP ETL allowing this guy and giving him free reign of the store puts Target on the line for risk. From your back story it seems this AP-ETL did indeed inform this officer. If he did that, I believe he crossed the line in AP directives, and random hearsay leading to a cop detaining you and trying to search you off of his information he provided is clear grounds to a lawsuit. He broke AP directives. It's no different than if he apped someone who didn't have evidence on him.
 

redeye58

Hasta Ba Rista, Baby!
Joined
Jun 9, 2011
Messages
19,644
^This.
The cop he called over with the K-9 would have to have filed a report.
I'd lawyer up & ask for a copy of the report & bust that wannabe for abuse of office then go after the AP-ETL.
The fact that it occurred in front of other TMs would at least be slander.
Make sure P.O. & ETL get a lasting lesson as to what NEVER to do.
 
Joined
Feb 12, 2016
Messages
125
Ya, who would think anyone in AP+former would power trip and not get along with coworkers. Might as well assume OP is full of shit and discount anything he said. Good call.
 
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Messages
855
Nothing illegal happend here. You have no proof the ETL-AP told the officer to search you. If you call the hotline it could back fire on you...They might make you take a drug test. If you have stuff in your system..your SOL and out of a job.
 

commiecorvus

Former Signing Ninja
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
17,719
Nothing illegal happend here. You have no proof the ETL-AP told the officer to search you. If you call the hotline it could back fire on you...They might make you take a drug test. If you have stuff in your system..your SOL and out of a job.

He says in the post he doesn't use drugs, he just made a joke, which was reported to an over zealous ETL-AP who used a friend who (in most states) has limited policing powers to play cop and when he didn't fold like a cheap Target lawn chair, a real cop was called in who found nothing.

The end result was that an innocent person was harassed by wannabes and there is the potential for it to happen again.
This kind of thing creates ill will and major moral problems.

Which is why HR should be notified.
The hotline is the next step after that but you want to make it one step at a time.
Write everything down, keep it factual, dispassionate, times, dates, names, and make sure you have it all down completely.
Then go to the HR-ETL and carefully explain why this is a problem, using words like hostile workplace and over reaching of job duties.
If the HR and STL don't take care of things (give them time, it can't be done overnight) then you make the hotline call.
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2016
Messages
2
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #20
Hi everyone -

Thank you all for the feedback!

I decided to stop by a criminal defense attorney office near my place that I googled a few hours ago just because I was getting paranoid this may not be the end of it and the cops were going to raid my house or something.

Basically, he told me I was SOL. He said that what the probation officer did was called a "consensual encounter" and was totally legal in my state. Basically, he said it was my fault the moment I answered his first question, and that by doing so I basically "gave legal implied consent" to the "encounter". He said what I should have done was immediately told him that I didn't want to answer any questions and asked him to leave me alone, but, because I didn't, he had every right to follow me and ask me questions in a public place. He said that the probation officer also could keep me there because something I may have said could have given him "reason to believe" I had drugs. I told him nothing I said would have implied that. Then he asked me if I had it on video. I told him no, but the store cameras in the parking lot may have. He said unless they had audio there is no way to prove that I didn't say anything incriminating for him to keep me there while a cop came with a drug dog.

He also said that what the cop did was totally legal in my state because both my car and myself was in a public place, and they can walk a police dog anywhere in a public place. He said that all it would have taken was the dog to bark on me or my car and it would have given them probable cause to literally (completely legally) rip my car apart searching it.

He also said that since it was Target's property and someone with management authority basically was cool with him being there, I can't do anything at all about him being there in the future. He also said probation officers have powers to go to places of business to verify that people who are on probation are holding down a job, and I have no way of knowing if that is what he was doing there. He also said the ETL-AP probably didn't do anything illegal and that one of the TMs who heard what I said could have "suspected that a crime was going to occur" if they thought I was serious about getting drugs from the dude that was high, and that they could report that to the police.

So, basically, he told me I was screwed, but to tell him to leave me alone in the future and not answer any questions if it ever happened again.

Oh and the best part? He charged me $80 for the "consultation".
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
6,647
Might be legal but still a nightmare for HR since they are now using mangers to terrorize employees.. Way overstepping bounds.. Frame it that way you are now afraid to speak to your HR and STL since speaking to a TM had the police up your ass and your car searched in the parking lot.. You know this asshole will make it hurt if this blows back on him.
 
Joined
Jul 16, 2011
Messages
778
he's probably just scared to death because as a probation officer he has to deal with real criminals that he is intimidated by and he wishes that he could go back to target and stop teenagers for stealing candy bars. that was probably the pinnacle of his life, never before did he feel more powerful and useful.
 
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