A year ago, I reported on an incident at a Target where a group of “teens” were stealing from a Target store. The store contacted police, who just happened to be conducting training nearby, and the cops attempted to take the young criminals into custody. The criminals, who were illegally armed with at least one firearm, tried to ram the responding deputies, whereupon the cops fired multiple shots into the car, killing one and wounding two others.
The lawyers for our young thugs stepped in and claimed that the police were not in uniform, driving unmarked cars, and did not identify themselves. They then shot into the car while at least one of them had his hands in the air. (If they weren’t known to be cops, why were the criminals surrendering?) Anyhow, Target then declined to file charges.
The reason I mention this is because the criminals are now suing Target for the cops shooting them, claiming that Target allowing the cops to use their parking lot for training was some sort of conspiracy to use the criminals as training subjects, so the police could use vehicles and guns on live subjects.
One of the claims is that Target knew, through their video surveillance, that the three thugs were stealing. They also knew that the cops were outside. The lawsuit claims that Target has a duty to warn all of its customers of hazards that may be present on the premises, and therefore has a duty to warn shoplifters that the cops are outside waiting to arrest them.
This is the kind of thing that lawyers should be penalized for doing. Our courts are overworked as it is, and this is the kind of money hunting, ambulance chasing behavior that needs to be discouraged. There are plenty of companies out there that are total jerks and need to be dragged into court. This case isn’t one of those.