Christopher Rea, the deaf shoplifter from LA who was placed in a chokehold by an overly zealous security guard, is suing Forever 21, for whom the guard worked for.
The fact that he has a record of shoplifting and shoplifted on that day as well was besides the point. The store agreed that the security guard performed an act that was against the store policy and put him on suspension. So, if it was against the store's policy for their guards to place chokeholds on their suspects, why did this guard use this tactic? Like all other cases involving chokeholds and batons on the suspects - frustration. The guard clearly was frustrated that Rea did not stop when the guard called him to stop, proceeded to restrain him and placed him in chokehold.
View the video - Rea's face was almost purple. That is worth thousands words, folks. He did not fight the guard. He was not combative. So why the hell did the guard continue to use chokehold for a length of time? My guess is because Rea did not verbally respond and the guard interpreted that as resisting therefore continued to keep him in a chokehold. He totally ignored Rea's taps on his arm. Why? Hearing people are totally oblivious to physical contacts. They totally exist on sounds.
I believe this could have been shorter if Rea's brother had written a note and told the guard his charge was deaf and was tapping him arm to tell him to stop. It is unknown why Rea's brother did not do that. Apparently he stood there and did nothing. Perhaps he was afraid he might also get arrested for getting involved.
The store acknowledged that their guard performed an illegal act, but I feel suspension doesn't justify the act. I feel the guard should be fired. Rea could have died. The guard clearly did not have frustration threshold, and ignored signs and visuals. Fire him, Forever 21. And train your guards to understand the limits of their duties better. They are not cops. They are just guards and have limited role in apprehending shoplifters. Better to let them go and lose a few bucks than getting sued for millions and getting tarnished reputation.
However, the moral here is: Don't commit any crime. It doesn't pay.