REI Says ATM Photographer Is Welcome In Their Store Any Time

REI’s Director of Corporate Communications contacted us with an official statement about the recent showdown between two Loomis security guards and a customer with an iPhone at one of their Seattle stores. She says despite the document Shane says he was forced to sign at the police station, he is not banned from their stores. Below is REI’s official statement.

She writes:

Speaking for REI, the incident that occurred between one of our customers and a security company servicing an ATM in our Seattle store was unfortunate. For those who may not be aware of the details, the situation between the two parties escalated to the point that the police were called by the ATM security officers and the customer was detained.

We’ve heard from people about what should or should not have happened at the store, which we’ve appreciated. The one thing that is clear from the discussion is that the outcome was a bad one for all involved. We regret that the matter couldn’t be defused before the police became involved.

It’s not our intent to ban the customer from the store, and he is welcome to visit our store and shop with us. We’ve appreciated people sharing their varied points of view so we can avoid situations like this in the future. One step we are taking is to discuss with the ATM security company ways to prevent the circumstances that led to this problem.

Libby Hutchinson, APR
Recreational Equipment Inc – REI
Director – Corporate Communications

On Shane’s own blog, he’s posted a follow up to provide more details on the story. He says,

I was not arrested for trespassing. That much is clear. I was not told to leave. I was told in no uncertain terms that I could not leave. The cops had me sign a card as I was being released that acknowledged that (someone at) REI requested that I be trespassed. That means if I go back to REI within a year I can be arrested for trespassing. Although…

The downtown Seattle REI general manager, Kara Stone, was quoted on Slog saying that I am “welcome to come into our store” and that REI did not request I be trespassed. According to the Slog story, the Seattle Police records show otherwise. I’m guessing that the REI security people told the cops to do it and that the general manager was unawares of it. Either way, I’m not racing back there anytime soon.

It’s not clear (to me and others) if I was ‘arrested’ or just ‘detained’ or if the difference is just semantics. I never said in my post that I was arrested. I said that I was cuffed, taken out of the store by the cops, put in a police car and put into a holding cell for some time. Whether that was “arrested” or not, I’m not sure.

When I was released from the police station, it didn’t seem like any charges were being pressed against me. But when I tried to get the police report, I was reminded that charges can be pressed after the fact. So as of now, nothing more has happened with the police. We’ll see if that changes.

“What happened at REI. An Update.” [I Am Shane Becker]

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(Photo: veganstraightedge)