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Thread: Man Fired After Reporting Shoplifting

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    Administrator King Pin HomieOC's Avatar
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    Man Fired After Reporting Shoplifting


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    http://m.washingtonpost.com/local/ta...f8f_story.html


    Dallas Northington spent nearly eight years working for Target in loss prevention, roaming the stores and scanning the surveillance cameras. In an episode at the Leesburg Target store in May that he said was typical, a man was allegedly captured twice on video shoplifting, and Northington responded as he said he always did: He called the Leesburg police, made a report and provided them the videos of the two incidents.

    But the man in the video may have been a Fairfax County sheriff’s deputy, Northington said he soon learned. And within days, two things happened: The deputy retired from the sheriff’s office and Target fired Northington, 29, a married father of two with a third child on the way.

    Northington said Target officials told him that he had violated procedure by not filling out the proper paperwork before contacting the police, though he said his office had operated the same way for years. He said he also was told that he had been insubordinate for not seeking approval before calling police, though he said the standard practice was for him to act as needed.

    But the man Northington said he and his supervisors identified as a deputy has not yet been charged with a crime though Northington said he had provided the man’s name and two color videos of him in action, his face clearly visible, to Leesburg police on May 27, the date of the second incident.

    A Leesburg police spokesman said investigators were still trying to confirm the suspect’s identity. Northington said Leesburg police typically filed similar cases against shoplifters within a few days. He also said a Leesburg police sergeant investigating the case said while watching the surveillance video on May 27 that he recognized the man from a local gym where the two worked out. Store supervisors also knew the man, Northington said.

    Northington said he is considering his legal options. “I’m confused and don’t understand why,” Northington said. “I’ve been there for eight years, no issues. I’m just trying to provide for my family, and I just really want to get back to work.”


    Molly Snyder, a corporate spokeswoman for Target, said in an e-mail that she would not discuss the details of the case for privacy reasons. But in Northington’s case, she said, “we have conducted a full investigation and don’t believe there is any merit to this individual’s claims.”

    Declan Leonard, Northington’s attorney, said he typically represents employers in such disputes, but “when we heard how he was treated by Target, we decided to step in.”

    Leonard said Northington “intends to fight Target on this for as long as it takes.”

    Northington said that in his role as an assets-protection specialist for Target, he had summoned the Leesburg police numerous times in recent years to investigate shoplifters and had done so without filling out any paperwork or seeking permission from a supervisor.

    In the first alleged shoplifting, on May 16, Northington said, he arrived at work and his supervisor said he had noticed the man stick a tube of toothpaste into a bag after already paying for other items. He said the supervisor “didn’t feel comfortable” confronting the man, who the supervisor “thought was some sort of law enforcement.”

    Northington said the store manager was contacted and the manager said he knew the man because they had participated in an NCAA March Madness pool together. The staff watched the surveillance video and decided, as they often did, Northington said, to wait for the man to return.

    The man who Northington said appeared to be the deputy did not return a call seeking comment. The Washington Post is withholding his name because he has not been charged.

    Northington said that when he clocked in on May 27, the supervisor told him the man had returned. That time, according to Northington, video appeared to show the man with a cart full of items at the pharmacy register inside the store but paying just for about half of them while concealing the cart from the cashier. After checking out, Northington said, the man wheeled away and stashed the rest of his merchandise, which Northington could not see, into the bags of purchased items and left.


    Again, Northington said, the supervisor said he “didn’t feel comfortable” confronting the man, so the supervisor called Leesburg police and Northington went to the police station to file a report. A Leesburg sergeant then returned to the store, watched the video and said, “I know who that is,” Northington said. He said the sergeant also told him, “This is pretty serious” because the man was allegedly in law enforcement. Leesburg police confirmed that Northington had filed a police report on May 27. The Post did not independently review the video.

    Soon after, Northington said, the supervisor told him the man’s full name. Northington said he phoned it in to the Leesburg police. It is unclear how the supervisor knew the man’s name.

    On May 30, Northington said, he was called into the store’s personnel office and suspended for two days. The next week, he said, he was terminated for “gross misconduct.” He said he was told he had violated a policy on confidentiality by contacting police without approval, providing the surveillance video to police and not filling out internal paperwork before doing so.

    “In my eight years, I’ve never had to call anyone to give out the video or to call police,” Northington said. “I have never seen any policy about contacting law enforcement.”

    Lt. Jeff Dube of the Leesburg police confirmed that Northington had served as the complainant in an unknown number of cases with Leesburg police in the past. He said investigators “haven’t positively identified this guy. They’re still doing follow-up investigation.” He said he did not know why the case had taken so long to resolve but said “there might be some extenuating circumstances.”

  2. #2
    Senior Member Yes Man Whitewolf2578's Avatar
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    This is horrible, poor guy. He was probably fired because the other dude was a police officer. I have been fired in my life once for the most random thing just like this, you always think you have to do something bad to get fired, but apparently all you have to do is your job.

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    Yet another example of a police officer getting off the hook for something we never could, AND costing an honest man his job. I doubt Northington did anything wrong procedure-wise, it just happened that the suspect had friends in high places.

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    Senior Member Yes Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitewolf2578 View Post
    This is horrible, poor guy. He was probably fired because the other dude was a police officer. I have been fired in my life once for the most random thing just like this, you always think you have to do something bad to get fired, but apparently all you have to do is your job.
    I love it how even when Northington found out that this guy was a police officer Target spokesperson acted like Northington was at fault. I just hate it when a police officer can commit a crime and get paid vacation leave. Meanwhile a hard working person who is trying to be honest could get screwed over due to another police officers mistake.

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    Administrator Reliable Person mdemaz's Avatar
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    k

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    That's so not right. Hopefully this will blow up and some real justice can occur. Get that man his job back!

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    Senior Member Yes Man Rainman's Avatar
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    It's all wrong yeah but I doubt that he'll get his job back. He should start hunting for a job elsewhere because after being fired for doing the right thing then if the store is forced to give his job back, then they could still make his stay at the work place hell forcing him to quit of his own accord eventually. It would be better if the man let go of the past and tried to find a job elsewhere even though that's not going to be easy.

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    Senior Member Groupie Peninha's Avatar
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    I agree, some bosses don't value good workers, so he's better off working somewhere else.
    Cashis music videos, check them out!

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    This is terribly unfair and the reasons are entirely absurd. The opinions based on cops are so horrible but they do not know control themselves and believe they have all the power in the world. I have heard of other stories similar to this and it just makes no sense.

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    Senior Member Groupie firelily99's Avatar
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    Hopefully someone steps that actually has a clue and rights this wrong. He did his job and seemingly did it well and yet got fired for doing it. If I had a business I would hire him in a heart beat.

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    Administrator King Pin HomieOC's Avatar
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    cops are corrupt as hell.

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    This is why people don't trust cops. We need someone to police the police.

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    The reasons given for his firing are just ridiculous. What makes my blood boil is that he just has to shup up and take it. There's really nothing just one man can do against the power of those corrupt fuckers.

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    Junior Member Lil' Homie
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    The system is really crooked if a guy can get arrested for doing his job just because he busted a cop for doing something illegal.

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    Member Roadie
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    Dude this is so fucked up, and it happens way more than we want to believe. Cops are getting more and more corrupt, and they're seemingly above the law.

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