Walk of shame...

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Walk of shame...

Postby brandtrn » 24 Jan 2015, 23:23

"Walk of shame?" Really, do employers in this country ACTUALLY get away with BS like this?? These people committed assault and false imprisonment, at the very least, against this employee. Criminal charges should be filed against all staff who participated in the perpetration this incredibly despicable act. There are other (i.e., legal) ways of dealing with employees suspected of theft. Further, if this "walk of shame" thing is a matter of company policy for Target, rather than a misguided act by management in this one particular store, the entire chain should be boycotted!

http://laist.com/2015/01/24/pasadena_target_allegedly_shamed_em.php
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Re: Walk of shame...

Postby Yogi » 25 Jan 2015, 07:55

There is so much wrong in this story that it is difficult to say where the blame rests for this boy's suicide. "The lawsuit also says that Graham Gentles had Asperger's syndrome, and "experienced severe emotional distress" after the incident." The first thought that came to my mind is whether or not a person with Asperger's should be working in a place like Target in the first place. In it's worst form, Asperger's expresses itself as something like psychotic behavior. There is plenty of opportunity in a work environment like Target's to set off a non afflicted employee, and I can only imagine the stress potential for somebody who is autistic. Of course, even if it was the wrong job for Graham, that does not justify the store's (company's) policy of humiliating their employees. The police visit was likely standard procedure, but the walk of shame is highly unprofessional if not unethical. Then again, this practice must be public knowledge. The young man chose to work there anyway.
Last edited by Yogi on 25 Jan 2015, 14:18, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Walk of shame...

Postby pilvikki » 25 Jan 2015, 09:00


the way the job market is, one does no longer get to pick and choose, a job is a job.

the way the store acted is unbelievable! and then he was not charged!

also, the guy who accused him should be charged with whatever that bearing false witness thing is legally called.

honestly. how could they?
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Re: Walk of shame...

Postby Ice.Maiden » 25 Jan 2015, 13:38

That's one of the saddest and most appalling things I've read in a long time!
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Re: Walk of shame...

Postby Kellemora » 25 Jan 2015, 13:40

In most states, a suspect is SUPPOSED to be handcuffed once detained. It is for their protection as well as the protection of all those around them.
If guilty and not restrained, there is a lot that could go wrong by not placing them in handcuffs!
If innocent, they will be released and no charges made.

What I do find interesting about this story is the arrest or detainment was based on hearsay, which is not enough to detain anyone, much less place them under arrest.

No one can be held responsible for someone else's actions. Placing the blame on others for one's own behavior is getting way to rampant in this country, and perhaps elsewhere too.
People need to learn to take responsibility for what they do, and not always place the blame on others. No one controls you except you!

If you have some medical condition that is aggravated by association, then do not associate with places where the condition is aggravated.
People who are allergic to wool, have no business working in a wool processing plant or a job handling articles made of wool. It's a No Brainard!
So, should they be able to SUE the wool processing plant because THEY are allergic to wool?
Yet some lame brained juries have caused the innocent to lose lawsuits and pay such amoral people who sued them for something the person themselves were responsible for.
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Re: Walk of shame...

Postby pilvikki » 25 Jan 2015, 15:05


but gary, none of that is clear in this story. it doesn't tell you if he was a difficult employee or anything really. and if he'd been a pain, they could have just fired him.
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Re: Walk of shame...

Postby Ice.Maiden » 25 Jan 2015, 21:17

The guy didn't understand what was going on, and he suffered severe distress because of his treatment.

He told his mother: " "I had to do the walk of shame. But they only do that when people steal and I've never stolen a thing."

I agree with brandtrn - I'd boycott the entire chain. To treat folk who're suspected of theft to such a humiliating and degrading process shows that the company has no scruples and shows little regard for their staff. I thought people were only guilty if proven? They must've known that this guy had Asperger's when they hired him, and he shouldnt've been dealt with in this manner.
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Re: Walk of shame...

Postby AJRC » 26 Jan 2015, 05:38

This practice of Targets is evil! To parade an accused worker in front of the rest of the workers is despicable. And notice the word accused, no sign of the word guilty, just accused. I'm a boss and I've had to deal with my fair share of accusations from workers, but it has always been done privately, first through the HR Dept and then for anything more serious through me. To do this publicly shows Target to be a bully.

I hope they get lots of money from Target, and i hope Target learns from this and stops this disgusting practice.
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Re: Walk of shame...

Postby Kellemora » 26 Jan 2015, 11:33

pilvikki wrote:

but gary, none of that is clear in this story. it doesn't tell you if he was a difficult employee or anything really. and if he'd been a pain, they could have just fired him.


Did you miss this paragraph in the story?
According to the suit, Graham Gentles showed up to work on July 15 and was forcefully grabbed, handcuffed, and had his pockets emptied by police and store security. He was led to an office in the store, all in plain view of employees and customers. He was later taken to the police station but was released and never charged.

He was accused of stealing and the police were called. As I said previously, it was hearsay with no evidence provided. So should not have taken place at all. He was released and not charged.

What type of employee he was has absolutely no bearing on the reason he was arrested.
He could have been a MODEL employee, and the false accusation against him would have resulted in the same police action.
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Re: Walk of shame...

Postby Kellemora » 26 Jan 2015, 12:08

For AJRC

I used to work for a company in a highly restricted area.

The front desk receptionist called me and said I had a visitor in the lobby.
I knew this was mighty strange, as I'm not allowed visitors at work.
I went up to the front desk and there was a police officer.
He informed me he was there to arrest me, and to turn around and put my hands behind my back.
After he slapped the cuffs on me, I told him I have to go back to tell my boss to clean my pens and clock out. This caused a problem because the officer was not allowed to let me do that without him, and I had to get permission from the top brass to let him in the back with me.
I asked the receptionist to take my badge to clock me out, and call my boss and let him know what is going on.
Because of the security clearance levels on my badge, she was not allowed to have it in her possession.
Instead, she rang our own security department and four guards escorted me back to my office, leaving the policeman in the lobby.
They gave me the time I needed to clean my own pens and put them away, clock out, and give my badge to my boss. They then called the policeman in the lobby to let them know they were taking me out the back door, and not bringing me through the busy lobby.

Once I got to the police station, I learned the arrest order came from another municipality, so I would be transported there. It didn't quite work that way, they took me from one municipality to their neighbor, where I waited again to be transported from there to the municipality with the warrant.

Up until the time I was in the charging municipality, I had no idea of what I was charged with. All I knew was there was a bench warrant for my arrest.
I figured it must be really serious for them to go through all they did to arrest me at work.

It could have been much worse when I did learn what I was arrested for.
They would have had to transfer me almost 100 miles to a town 1/4 the way across the state.
They said I had a serious speeding ticket and failed to appear in court.
When they told me the date and time the ticket was issued, at least they listened to me, and checked my alibi. I was at work at the time. After my alibi checked out they called the town and informed them of same. I sat in a cell until the officer who wrote the ticket came to work. When he called, they asked him to describe the person he wrote the ticket to.
I'm like, yeah, he's going to remember after two months.
I was fortunate, he remembered quite clearly who he wrote the ticket to, because several things seemed fishy to him at the time.
The police said the person we have in custody does not match your description, not even close.

I was then led to an interrogation room where I waited for another hour or so, twiddling my thumbs and wondering what the heck was going on.
Some dude in a suit came in and began asking me tons of questions about my car, and how it could come to be in the town in question.
I wasn't sure myself and gave the suit several possible reasons, none of which I could say for certain.
They put me back in the cell again. I saw nobody at all until long after dinner.
A uniformed officer came back, not the normal police uniform for the town. The first thing I though was I was going to be sent to the town. The officer unlocked the cell and said I could pick my things up from the front desk, I'm free to go.
I was glad to be out of there, but how was I going to get home?
Their only responsibility was to take me back to where I was arrested, which would be the same station to station ordeal. They did call me a cab to take me home, and they would foot the bill.
The distant town had to have the judge rescind the bench warrant for me to be released.
But it wasn't over, I still had to come back and provide further information about my car, after I did some questioning of my own. They wanted to know who the driver was. Talk about opening a can of worms.

In any case, I was back to work the next morning. Had a paper from the police front desk stating it was a case of mistaken identity and I was not charged with any wrongdoing. This appeased my boss, but not the higher ups who felt it placed a bad image on the company. Cost me a bonus and my next raise.
The worst part was everyone at work had a few pet names for me for a long time.

What reason, if any, would I have to sue the company I worked for, because their security guards, four of them, ushered me through the employee area of the building to my office?
I can think of absolutely no reason!

Nor can I find any reason for Target to be blamed for what happened there!
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Re: Walk of shame...

Postby pilvikki » 26 Jan 2015, 15:56

yes, I read that paragraph, but instead, I was wondering what had started the whole thing. why was he set up like that?

not that it makes any legal difference, just wondering.

my last husband had an inconvenient name Stephen wayne young. apparently, this is name many criminals share for the cops were looking for him a few times for whatever from grand theft to running lights.

but at least he only needed to have them call his boss for an alibi to clear it all up on the spot.
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Re: Walk of shame...

Postby AJRC » 27 Jan 2015, 05:18

Gary, your case is nothing like the case here. The four security guards didn't take you through the employee area to humiliate you. Target did!

I can think of lots of reasons to sue Target, if i did this disgusting practice I'd expect to get sued. A corporation as big as Target should know better that humiliate and bully its work force. This young guy killed himself because of the humiliation he felt at the hands of Target.

Now that this has gone into the MSM they will get lots and lots of money, either by litigation or more likely Target will settle out of court to make the story go away.
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Re: Walk of shame...

Postby Kellemora » 27 Jan 2015, 12:30

Target DID NOT kill this fellow, he ended his own miserable life!

The office I worked in was at the very end of the building next to the motor pool garage. This means I was taken in handcuffs all the way from the front reception desk, past all the employees in our building.
Albeit, I could have just left with them immediately, but then I would have been in even more trouble at work for leaving a security clock-in registry open. Doing so is cause for immediate dismissal.

I don't like Target, nor do I shop there. But I do not unjustly accuse any company of a wrongdoing.

Sounds to me like you have a personal issue with Target over something, so blow things out of proportion just as the news media so often does.

They took the person from the point he was arrested to the office area, which sounds like a normal and appropriate thing to do. Rather than keep him standing where everyone could see him for a much longer length of time.

Since you are so uppity about the situation, WHAT would you do with a person the police handcuffed and took into custody? Parade them around the front door? Have him empty his pockets on a checkout lane?
Or take him to a private office out of earshot or inspection by everyone in the store?

Target did the RIGHT THING! Albeit for the wrong reasons. You don't detain someone on hearsay.
The article does not say the Security Guards placed him in handcuffs, it states the Police did so. Apparently on unwarranted grounds for an arrest.
But what does that have to do with Target? Nothing that I can see!
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Re: Walk of shame...

Postby Ice.Maiden » 27 Jan 2015, 18:40

No Gary, I have to agree with Andy here.

The guy should've been asked to go to a private area before the police were called. The company must've known that he had Asperger's, and his humiliation would've felt ten times worse than if someone else'd been apprehended.

Having taught and helped those with the Syndrome, which manifests in all sorts of ways, I know that these people can get overly distressed. In this case, the poor man certainly did - he killed himself.

Target didn't follow appropriate methods of dealing with the situation. Even mentally strong and able-bodied employees don't deserve such treatment, especially if no charge's brought against them.

I think this company should be ashamed of themselves for using such primitive and ridiculing methods of parading suspects around like tagged animals, and I also hope that this man's family sue heftily.
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Re: Walk of shame...

Postby Kellemora » 28 Jan 2015, 13:09

Although I do agree with you up to a point Icey, the article does not give us enough to go on.

Yes, his boss or the store manager could have asked him to come to the office, from the point of first contact.
But if he refused, you are opening up a whole other set of laws that prohibit the store from forcing him to go to the office or keeping him there. Illegal Detainment, and even Kidnapping charges could be filed.
This is one reason why the police are always called to take a person into custody FIRST.

Each states laws are slightly different. In my original home state, many jewelry stores had automated lock down systems installed. These were deemed illegal because a trapped robber is not only more dangerous, but they are illegally detained. I'll not get into what the fire marshal thought of even the jewelry stores where you had to be buzzed in. Even these doors had to open when pushed from the inside to pass the fire laws.

In the case of the Target topic. What was done with the person AFTER the police took him into custody should be no reflection on the store itself. They could have arrested him and taken him to the station, but apparently chose to take him to the office first to see if they could release him there. Turned out this was not the case and they took him to the station after checking his pockets.
The article did not say what they found in his pockets or why he was still taken to the station.

I still don't see how Target had anything to do with what took place. The fellow was in POLICE CUSTODY, NOT TARGET CUSTODY, which would have also been illegal.
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Re: Walk of shame...

Postby Ice.Maiden » 28 Jan 2015, 15:34

I see where you're coming from Gary, but I don't agree with how they treated this man at all.

Obviously no one used common sense - or indeed understood how the humiliation might've affected him. As employers, Target hired him, knowing that he has Asperger's, and as a consequence, should've been familiar with the difficulties that this condition can cause. Does this large company have no HR department?

True, we don't know whether they apologised and spoke to him afterwards, but I wonder if they explained their actions? Even if they did, to make a man in his condition suffer the shame of how they paraded him was, in my opinion, totally out of order. It'd never happen over here, because firms're encouraged to take on a percentage of disabled workers, and treat them accordingly, with respect.

To my mind, these people were overly zealous, to say the least, and it resulted in this man killing himself. How dreadful for his mother and family. I DO blame Target for dishing out this nonsensical treatment. They obviously have no understanding of how to proceed with such employees, and I'm sorry, but I hope the man's mother sues them to the teeth.
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Re: Walk of shame...

Postby AJRC » 29 Jan 2015, 05:39

Gary, why are you getting so angry?

Target means nothing over here, so how could i have a personal issue?

This guy's, "miserable life" as you so eloquently put it, wouldn't have ended had he not been humiliated in this disgusting manner by Target. It seems it was company policy to humiliate anyone accused of theft, so if it's company policy how is that not Target's fault? He should have been taken to an office and then if the police were called and they needed to be taken away then they should have been taken out of a back/side door away from other employees, that's the right thing to do. Instead, as it's Target policy to suffer the walk of shame, he wasn't taken out a back/side door he was taken out in full view of every employee. As Icey said, a normal person would have been humiliated, a person with Asperger's would be driven to suicide.

What the police did was right, they were only doing their duty. What Target did was wrong, and they will have to pay for it.

See, nice and calm.
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Re: Walk of shame...

Postby brandtrn » 29 Jan 2015, 10:43

While I agree that Target shouldn't be held liable for this man's suicide (nobody should be held responsible for what an unstable person chooses to do to him/herself), I must say that the way they dealt with this was horrible. Apparently, this "walk of shame" was not an unknown thing in this particular Target store (whether or not it's company "policy" remains to be seen). Still, if they felt it necessary to contact the police, there was NO REASON to have them waiting at the store entrance and THEN, have them cuff him and parade him throughout the store. Surely, they could have had the police waiting in an office and have summoned their employee and dealt with the situation with SOME discretion and consideration for the man's dignity. They obviously chose not to do so. To have called the cops on a "hearsay" allegation was irresponsible, at best. Surely, they have store security and HR people in-house...the gentleman should have been put through THOSE channels first, and only then, if the interview was unproductive from the store's point of view, should the cops have been called. I've worked for many organizations where such allegations were handled responsibly and professionally, and where an accused employee was NOT put through the humiliation of having his co-workers and customers witness what SHOULD have been a confidential encounter between an employee and management. Having worked in management myself, I've participated in the termination(s) of employees suspected of theft of company property, and have NEVER been in a position where it was made "common knowledge" among the rest of the staff exactly WHAT had happened and why. At best, the management of this particular Target store was guilty of unconscionable unprofessionalism...at worst, they were guilty of deliberate infliction of the emotional distress which DID lead to this man's suicide. This poor man's survivors are justified, in my opinion, of suing, on his behalf, for said emotional distress. The behavior of this particular store's management staff was shameful, in my opinion, and they shouldn't be allowed to get away with treating staff members in this way.
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Re: Walk of shame...

Postby pilvikki » 29 Jan 2015, 11:01

they shouldn't be allowed to get away with treating staff members in this way


i'd suggest they'd not be allowed management positions at, as it obviously went the their heads.
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Re: Walk of shame...

Postby Ice.Maiden » 29 Jan 2015, 13:33

Yes. I did a supervisory-management course at uni, and as well as learning the correct protocol in these situations, you also should use common sense.

The police were called, possibly under the correct procedure, but how the company dealt with this matter was totally appalling.

Please don't say that this worker had a "miserable life" Gary. He didn't ask to be born with Asperger's, and at least he managed to find employment. I have a son with autism, which, whilst being different to the above condition, falls within the spectrum, and I know how difficult things can be for those who have to live with it. He's a lovely boy, and with lots of love and help, he's managing to go through mainstream school and wants to go to college - which we'll make sure he does.

These conditions make the recipients see things in a totally different way to how the rest of us do, so the shame and distress'd have a far worse impact on this man's mind than it would on yours or mine.
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