Utah Police Chief Placed On Leave After Yelling At Walmart Employees

Yelling profanities at store employees is frowned upon by the Perry, Utah police department, so the Chief has found himself with a little extra vacation time this holiday season after he got into an altercation at a Walmart in another Utah town. The Chief was placed on paid administrative leave while police investigate the innocent.

KSL Salt Lake City reports the Chief became indignant when a 70-year-old Walmart greeter asked for a receipt as he headed out the door. He allegedly swore at the greeter and kept the receipt to himself as he headed to the parking lot. He also threatened to injure a security guard and yelled at police officers who entered the scene, declining to identify himself as a law enforcement officer.

The Chief allegedly became angriest when store employees pointed at items in his shopping cart.

“Point at anything again and I will whoop your (expletive) (expletive),” the Chief said, according to an onlooker.

The Chief is facing charges of disorderly conduct and failing to identify to a police officer.

Perry police chief on leave for altercation with Walmart greeter [KSL]
(Thanks, G!)

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  1. momtimestwo says:

    What a jerk. Just show your receipt and move along, no one cares who you work for or what your job is, or how bad a day you are having.

    • Southern says:

      Oh boy, here we go again.

      Come on sheeple! Just show your receipt!

      • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

        sheeple? Wouldn’t sheeple just do as they’re told?

        • not-gonna-tell-ya says:

          He was referring to the commenters that will just comply with any request by the retailer no matter what their rights are

        • Southern says:

          That was to Mom, not the officer. :-) He went way overboard, but he definitely wasn’t a sheeple. :-)

          • Lucky225 says:

            I would have the DA file counter charges for false imprisonment, and you only have to “stop and identify” if you are LAWFULLY arrested, if you were falsely imprisoned for not showing a receipt, and the charge of disorderly conduct arose out of that false imprisonment, then it should be dropped as the disorderly conduct was incited and instigated by another unlawful act.

            • Southern says:

              http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE77/htm/77_07_001500.htm

              77-7-15. Authority of peace officer to stop and question suspect — Grounds.
              A peace officer may stop any person in a public place when he has a reasonable suspicion to believe he has committed or is in the act of committing or is attempting to commit a public offense and may demand his name, address and an explanation of his actions.

              Disorderly conduct would definitely fall under the “public offense” requirement to invoke a Stop and Identify request.

              • RvLeshrac says:

                I hope the checkers were arrested as well, then, because it seems to me that the guy was responding rather politely. He could’ve called the local LEOs and had them arrested for assaulting an officer.

                At least here, LEOs don’t have to be in uniform to charge someone with it.

                And before anyone starts complaining, “assault” is verbal.

      • regis-s says:

        Sheeple? That’s original. Maybe you independant thinkers should come up with a another term.

        As for the cop, he sounds like exactly the type of person you want to have packin’ heat. /sarcasm.

      • momtimestwo says:

        I’m as far from a sheeple as you can get. However, I know when I go into Walmart they will want to see a receipt as I leave. If it bothers me, I won’t shop there. Personally I don’t like it, but I smile and show it to the little old lady on the way out anyway.

        • lucky13 says:

          I frequent the local Walmart and have never been asked to show a receipt. Maybe Colorado is more sensible than other states?

          • lucky13 says:

            But then I’ve never been asked to show a receipt at Walmarts in other states either – maybe I’m just blessed?

          • Lucky225 says:

            I’m in Colorado too(odd that we have similar screennames), anyhow, they have NOT been asking for receipt, or even requiring PHOTO ID W/ CREDIT CARD when I /film/ them (http://www.youtube.com/thelucky225), it’s an oddity, but I will catch them slipping as they’ve harassed me previously in the past :P

      • Don't Be "That Guy" says:

        The people showing receipts ARE the sheeple, guy.

    • msbask says:

      How many times does someone need to say this: Is he required to show his receipt? No. So why should he?

      • Shadowfax says:

        Yes, I agree, but be polite about it. Don’t threaten to kick someone’s fucking ass, don’t threaten to injure a security guard (that’s assault), and don’t yell at the cops when they get there.

    • drizzt380 says:

      Come on people, just stop asking for receipts and this won’t happen.

      See it works both way.s

      However, not showing the receipt is not the problem here. This man’s extreme actions are the problem here.

    • ExtraCelestial says:

      Erm part of the issue is that he DIDN’T tell anyone who he works for or what his job is as he’s being charged with failing to identify himself to a po

      • Southern says:

        He’s not being charged for failing to identify himself AS a police officer – he’s being charged for failing to identify TO a police officer – that is, Name, Address, etc. There are laws on the books (in Utah, and other states) called “Stop and identify laws” that require giving that information to a law enforcement officer when requested, regardless of reason or provocation.

        • ExtraCelestial says:

          I didn’t say he was?

        • ExtraCelestial says:

          ps- they still must have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, it’s not regardless of reason or provocation

          • Elphaba says:

            Unfortunately for our freedoms, it is my understanding as a Utah citizen that I HAVE to ID myself at any time upon request from the police. IANAL, but that’s my understanding.

            • ExtraCelestial says:

              There’s always a workaround, but this is actually what is on the books in Utah

              77-7-15. Authority of peace officer to stop and question suspect — Grounds.
              A peace officer may stop any person in a public place when he has a REASONABLE SUSPICION* to believe he has committed or is in the act of committing or is attempting to commit a public offense and may demand his name, address and an explanation of his actions.

              *emphasis mine

              • _UsUrPeR_ says:

                When a man starts cussing out 70-year-olds, acting agitated, and threatening people with “whupping your ______ ______”, I have to start assuming that there may be reasonable suspicion. I am actually surprised he didn’t just flash his badge and leave.

                I think this may just be the adult version of an “attitude adjustment”.

              • Difdi says:

                Failure to show a receipt is not reasonable suspicion of shoplifting.

    • jason in boston says:

      I know! Just show your receipts citizens.

      Also, your rations of chocolate have increased from 30 grams to 25 grams.

  2. cynical_reincarnation says:

    I love how the police always get paid leave when they mess up.

    The rest of us get straight up suspended or fired…

    • Power Imbalance says:

      Unions…

      • Damocles57 says:

        The Chief as an administrator would not belong to a union.

        Police Chiefs serve as employees of the Mayor/City Council and would have a contract and access to whatever due process the city has implemented as part of their personnel plan.

      • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

        Nice try. Don’t let those pesky “facts” get in your way.

      • TardCore says:

        If he’s a chief aka management he’s not in a union. Get a clue.

    • Rachacha says:

      In this case however, it would appear that the police chief was off duty, shopping on his own time, and was not flashing his badge to get out of the situation. While it would seem that the guy was being a jerk, he was given administrative leave for his own personal actions while off duty. As most of us are non-public figures, I would suspect that your employer would never know that you yelled at or threatened a store employee unless you were arrested.

      • 50ae says:

        So you would get fired for something that happens off the job and that your employer would have no way of finding out?

        • Rachacha says:

          My point was, (although perhaps not very clear) that as a public official, his employer needed to take a firm action to show that they are taking the matter seriously, therefore, suspend the employee. Even though he was off duty his actions as a public official reflect poorly on his employer.

          The rest of us people who are not public officials could verbally assult a receipt checker, and as long as we were not in uniform or displayed an ID badge from our employer, no one would know who we worked for and therefore our employer would never find out, therefore, no suspension or firing (assuming we did not get arrested).

          Suspension with pay is a way to present to the public that the individual who is a potention loose cannon will not be out on the streets ready to fly off the handle while performing his official duties, but to the employee, it really is nothing more than a minor slap on the wrist at most.

  3. CelticWhisper says:

    So we don’t know, then, exactly which part of what he did got him put on leave. I’d venture to guess, though, it was failing to identify to a police officer. I can see his threatening of the receipt nazi being interpreted as verbal assault, too.

    It’s a shame. I really wish he hadn’t threatened violence, had been cordial with his fellow officers, but had adamantly refused to show his receipt. Actually, I wish they had tried to prevent him from leaving without showing the receipt – we could’ve had us a nice, tight case of false imprisonment with an arrest and a conviction of the receipt checker (I don’t care how old he is) on the books to serve as case law and set a precedent that receipt checkers face jail time for refusing to take “no” for an answer.

    As it is, though, it’s just a case of police arrogance and misconduct. Better luck next time, I guess.

    • Southern says:

      If there is a next time.. It’s only a matter of time, because of situations like this, before some idiot lawmaker introduces a bill that will make it a requirement to show your receipt when leaving a retail establishment.

    • Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

      Geez, even Phil got the info in the summary. While not specifically spelled out, the last line is:

      The Chief is facing charges of disorderly conduct and failing to identify to a police officer.

      A police chief is facing criminal charges. Think that could be why he was suspended?

      • CelticWhisper says:

        Righto, then. Shame he wasn’t able to control himself better. So close to having a good litmus test for how far receipt-checking can go, but he had to compound the issue by going off on the checker.

        I can understand getting mad. I can understand being as verbally abusive as legally possible without ever threatening violence in order to break the receipt checker’s spirit and hopefully depress them into quitting. But for an off-duty (and high-ranking) cop to flout the law so callously is just plain stupid.

  4. Phildogger says:

    I support his right to not show a reciept, but I think he acted like a complete jerk. Just say “No thank you”, and move along. Also, when confronted by other police officers, identify yourself as a police officer, and NEVER threaten a store employee.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Totally agree. I don’t have a problem with him not showing his receipt; it’s his right not to. But acting like a complete jerk to other people and threatening innocent people with physical harm is a terrible thing to do, especially if you’re a police officer.

    • not-gonna-tell-ya says:

      Wait a second. I agree he seemed to be an ass about it, but I disagree that you never threaten violence. In this case it appears he shouldn’t have threatened them, but if someone is illegally detaining me or places their hands on my person without valid cause I most certainly will threaten them with bodily harm in order to protect my freedom/person. As this is my right to do so as well. G

    • Hoss says:

      There are things police do every hour that skirt the law and attempt to trick a citizen from giving up rights. “Let me check your vehicle”, “Do you know how fast you were going”, etc, etc. If an office expects some respect in those situations, they need to give respect when confronted by the same problems

  5. Battlehork says:

    Don’t threaten to whoop anyone’s expletive expletive, that never ends well.

    • CelticWhisper says:

      I’d like to threaten exactly, literally that sometime. It’d have to be some kind of elaborate inside joke but the looks on people’s faces would be priceless when I say, with a perfectly straight (and angry) face, that “I’m gonna whoop your expletive expletive, you redacted bleep!”

      • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

        LOL, please do this but make sure you have someone filming it. I’d like to see their reactions, too. :D

    • haggis for the soul says:

      Especially if it happens in (Redacted).

  6. the_wandering_monster says:

    “while police investigate the innocent”

    And a Phil typo cuts to the truth.

  7. t-spoon says:

    What a big tough man, yelling at a 70 year old woman.

    • c!tizen says:

      It really is the only way to start your day. Every morning I wake up and walk to the mirror. I flex my pecs and give my biceps a good squeeze, then head outside and scream in my elderly neighbor’s face until she craps herself and falls down. Only then can I go on with my day.

  8. Master Medic: Now with more Haldol says:

    Hey, where’s Perry?

  9. Damocles57 says:
  10. ExtraCelestial says:

    While yelling obscenities at the elderly is very uncool, his overreaction is pretty hilarious. It’s one of those things where the situation is so ridiculous it becomes sorta comical.

    “Point at anything again and I will whoop your (expletive) (expletive).” I mean, really??

    • Cyniconvention says:

      That made it sound like there was a large group of onlookers staring at the cart, mouths agape in wonder like at a spectator sport, pointing at things.

  11. Hoss says:

    What a disgrace, no respect for his uniform or the uniform of the other dept.

  12. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    But, how does the LDS church feel about it?

    (on a side note to KSL, channel 5: Saturday Night Live does suck these days, but it should MY choice to watch SNL if I choose. I understand you are owned by the LDS church, but please, I can make my own moral judgments. Give us back SNL.)

  13. menty666 says:

    Why should he have to identify himself as a police officer if he’s off the clock? It’s a job, not a lifestyle. I don’t go to Best Buy and yell, “Look out, software developer coming through!”. I’d think he was even more of a jerk if he did pull the “do you know who I am??!?” card.

    Of course I don’t threaten the walmart goodbye’r with physical violence either on my way out of the store.

  14. Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

    “Just a lot of stuff about if you’ve got a reason, go ahead and arrest me,” Wheelright said about Jones’ comments. “A lot of things like that. I don’t have to show you an ID, I’ve got rights and I know what they are. I don’t have to tell you who I am.”

    It seems that his ‘failure to identify’ had nothing to do with him being a cop; they asked for ze papers and he refused. If he had shown his badge at first, he’d probably been dismissed under the brotherhood immunity halo. He shouldn’t have verbally threatened the loss prevention guy but other than that, he wasn’t doing anything that should have cops involved.

  15. Dollie says:

    OK so coming from another Walmart thread almost identical to this… how DOES one handle trying to leave Walmart without showing a receipt? I don’t want a big theatrical display. I don’t want to whip out my receipt as a permission slip to leave the store either.

    • ovalseven says:

      I politely say something like, “It’s ok, I’ve already checked it”, or “Don’t worry, I’m sure I got everything”. Most stores play by the rules and won’t try to stop you. I’ve never had a problem.

    • Hoss says:

      If you don’t say anything it’s unlikely they will confront you. If confronted, you could say “sorry, our laws say I don’t need to comply unless detained”.

      Or you could do like I do and keep the receipt in my hand and let them read it.

  16. RosevilleWgn says:

    Looks like he forgot his “Code of Ethics”.

    As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence and disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of all men to liberty, equality, and justice.

    I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn, or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others; honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life. I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided in me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.

    I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities, or friendships to influence my decision. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courageously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice, or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence, and never accepting gratuities.

    I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service. I will constantly strive to achieve those objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my profession-law enforcement.

    • MountainCop says:

      Just like the one I signed – but unlike the chief in the story, I actually take it seriously.

      He has his right (just like everyone else) to his day in court. And if he is found guilty, I hope the Utah POST board has the brass ones to revoke his POST certification.

      Meaning, he will never be a cop again. Anywhere.

      He obviously forgot that his badge covers about two square inches of his chest and zero square inches of his ass.

      Cops like that really do tork me off – makes the rest of us who actually try to do the best job we can look bad – and we always take the crap for it.

  17. oldwiz65 says:

    I’m only surprised the chief didn’t mace or taser the receipt checker.

  18. RedOryx says:

    “Yelling profanities at store employees is frowned upon by the Perry, Utah police department”

    But it’s okay to yell at store employees everywhere else?

  19. Mom says:

    Target doesn’t check receipts. Why doesn’t he just shop there?

  20. Klay says:

    “Drivers License and Registration……………Required to Exit WalMart”

  21. nutbastard says:

    failing to identify to an officer is a criminal offense?

    please tell me that’s a secondary offense that only comes about after the first one. i’ve refused to identify a couple of times and while they certainly didn’t like it, they didn’t seem to be able to do anything about it.

    could someone clarify?

    • evnmorlo says:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_and_Identify_statutes#Obligation_to_identify

      But since you can be arrested for “disorderly conduct”, “disturbing the peace”, “loitering”, etc. at any time, adding it as secondary offense on is no problem in any state anyway.

    • Cooneymike says:

      This is a misreading of a charge. Failing to ID as a police officer is what should happen when a civilian asks for his badge number and he refuses to give it, a charge that has never been prosecuted in most states. It does not create an affirmative obligation for an off duty officer to identify himself as an officer in this situation. In fact, in many states there would be the opposite issue, that if he had identified himself as an officer he could have received a complaint in front of the state licensing board that he was abusing his authority.

  22. Bodger says:

    It mystifies me when I see reports of someone being placed on paid administrative leave. It seems as if this is a reward not a punishment. I’ll gladly allow any dozen employers to send me a paycheck and give me benefits while allowing me to sit at home — far better this than getting up in the morning and going to the office. Not only that I’ll do everything I can to keep them from removing me from paid leave and going back to work — delaying tactics here I come.

  23. esp13 has a pony named Steve says:

    Total douchebagery, but I don’t understand why he is being put on leave if he didn’t bring his position on the police force into play. It seems that he was behaving like a common citizen douchebag.

  24. not-gonna-tell-ya says:

    Well after some reading, even though this guy sounds like an ass, he may have a point. for the police to require ID,etc, they have to have the guy detained as part of a terry stop. A terry stop requires that the officers have a resonable suspicion that the guy has, is about to, or will commit a crime. The only suspicion is a call from Wally that he: Stole something? That isn’t reasonable is it? Since the police SHOULD know that Wally can not determine probable cause by the customer simply not showing their receipt.

    So I don’t know. The mayor may be able to call him up and tell him he’s an a-hole for the way he handled it, but there aren’t likely to be any convictions here.

  25. megafly says:

    My wife laughs as me because I always get psyched up for “the confrontation” when I leave Walmart and, sadly, they never ask for my receipt, or just do nothing when they ask and I say “that’s ok”

  26. stevied says:

    If you are paranoid about a SKU number being identifiable as being worm crushing p-rn (which the checkout clerk already knew you were purchasing) then just SHOW that you got a receipt.

    SHOW. Hold it in your hand. SHOW the hand/receipt to the greeter. And keep moving if you so inclined.

    It is a farking formality. Unless there is an underlying cause for suspicion of shoplifting (or theft / fraud), all the store really cares about is whether you got a receipt.

  27. Fantoche_de_Chaussette says:

    “declining to identify himself as a law enforcement officer”

    That’s actually one of the few things the chief did right. Being a foul-mouthed threatening thug under color of law would have been have far more serious offense.

  28. mcgyver210 says:

    Hm even the LEOs don’t like receipt checks I say the jerk receipt checkers deserved everything he gave them.

    I also don’t like or cooperate with receipt checks without a reason I agree with & I really don’t care who likes it since I paid for the stuff so it is 100% my private property.

  29. mcgyver210 says:

    Oh & one more point I absolutely refuse to be respectful or polite when be accused of a crime which is what a receipt check is actually doing. I also don’t care if it is an older person, kid or women a company puts up to demanding compliance. If it is a LEO I will make him answer a few questions first then file a formal complaint with a recording of the abuse of authority under the color of the law.

    I am sick of stores that think they can walk all over me & my personal rights notice I didn’t say constitutional rights.
    .

  30. DovS says:

    While swearing and making threats are not the best way to handle it, it is nice to see people in law enforcement who agree that compulsory receipt-checking is not legally enforceable.