Will the Pepper-Spraying Westlake Security Guard Be Punished?

Last Week's Incident Involving an Innocent Bystander Wasn't the First Time This Security Company Has Been Accused of Racial Profiling

Comments

1
This security piece of shit needs to pepper sprayed himself and then ridden out of town on a rail, tarred and feathered. There is no security guard in the world that has the authority to do this sort of thing. He was dismissed from the Monroe Prison for the same aggressive behavior, I know a guard there and he told me this guy was a piece of shit.
2
Anyway,to clarify my earlier post, this person was discharged by the State of Wash. as unsuitable for his position as prison guard because of his aggressive behavior towards the inmates. The qualifications for prison guard are not real stringent, they must pass a security check, drug screen and an interview with their H.R. person. This asshole has done this before, he just wants to be a bully, probably bullied himself as a younger person. But to put him out in public with pepper spray and probably a weapon, that is a mistake.
3
While I'm on a roll, what are the chances of the stupid motherfucking republicans winning any position in 2014 and 2016? With all the racial unrest and the republican party unwilling to give the immigrants any form of leeway, what's going to happen? The republican voter base (Missouri and all the southern states) how are they going to be affected by the stupidity of the Ferguson debacle? That's all a republican redneck bunch of gun toting uneducated fools who think black men are guilty just because they are running? This is serious shit and the morons in the republican party need to make amends to the black folks who they have hurt in their efforts to "cleanse" the south.
4
Stuart is just a normal guy like the rest of us: http://youtu.be/DLnIMGpdM8k
5
When will all the bad policing finally STOP?? This is just inexcusably insane!
6
Sounds like the individuals that have been assaulted by employees of this security firm need to add Westlake Center as a co-defendant in their civil suit. Unfortunately, only threats to their profits is usually what prompts corporations to do the right thing- firing the security company in this case.

Also, these people that assault others should be arrested and prosecuted, like yesterday.
7
"Will the Pepper-Spraying Westlake Security Guard Be Punished?"

I hope not, because then the stranger would be missing a great headline!
8
Not law enforcement. Security guards protect the client property and enforce their policies with no authority beyond the ability to declare someone a trespasser and take steps to remove them from the property. This use of pepper spray absent a self-defense situation is clear assault and battery, and the guard should be charged.
9
This is pathetic, you are just trying to glom onto the stuff happening in ferguson. Yeah we have police brutality in Seattle too! One of our mall cops pepper sprayed a guy, and last year, a Seattle cop yelled at me! Is everyone who works at the Stranger a cry baby?
10
The rent-a-cops are the least of my worries when walking through Westlake. Not that I'd ever purposely do so, nowadays.
11
Great detail, thanks for digging deeper.
12
When some asshole gets in some security guard's face, what do you expect? Maybe this piece of shit "protester" should have behaved like a human being?
13
This is so Goddamn irritating; isn't there a way for the NAMBY folks of Seattle to complain to Westlake and get some more competent security? What about a clean-cut kid in shorts and backpack screams "mace me, I'm a malcontent?" Clearly, this Hinds character needs to be arrested for assault and battery.
14
You need to print a correction. The photo caption says, "Another example of law enforcement ..." This guy is a security guard, not a police officer.
15
Good thing the guard had no gun.
16
It is really interesting to learn that mall security have no authority beyond asking you to leave the grounds. It is also interesting to learn that Westlake security has a lawsuit against them already and didn't take steps to retrain "officers."
In the photos provided in the previous post it looks to me that there was at least a mall cop (can't tell if it's Hinds) in the vicinity before Wilford walked by. That would indicate that he should have known who the aggressor was.
Where the fuck were the cops? The assigned officers did not notice the aggressive counter-protestor?
17
I won't go to Westlake Center Mall until Stuart Hinds is terminated from Valor Security. Not relocated, not suspended...terminated.

I've contacted Westlake Center Mall about Hinds' employment status and have gotten no response. The next step is to contact the retailers and get them to demand Hinds' termination from Valor.
18
It seams like there are a bunch of scared white cops out there.
19
Wilford should file assault and kidnapping charges against 'mall cop' and list the Seattle police officer as an abettor to the crime after the fact. There should be a slew of Lawyers drooling to push a case like this in light of the current climate.
20
I won't go to Westlake Center Mall until Stuart Hinds is terminated from Valor Security. Not relocated, not suspended...terminated.
You don't shop there anyway, so why would anyone give shit about your "sacrifice"?

Here's a fact: When you get all up in some working stiff's face, that working stiff will have a problem with it.

Wilford was behaving like a jackass, and he got treated like a jackass.
21
Mountain meet mole hill.
22
@10: "The rent-a-cops are the least of my worries when walking through Westlake."

The rent-a-cops are your greatest worries, apparently. The street kids are too busy skateboarding and getting stoned.
24
Internet lawyers assemble, let the pitchforks combine into outrage!
25
@20, Wilford misbehaving? What the hell are you talking about or is this just deliberate trolling?
27
@25: Like the security guard himself, Ziff is a little confused about who was doing what. He'll go back and read the various stuff again and get himself straightened out. In the meantime, fortunately, he can't express his confusion with pepper spray.
28

The one time I had something robbed from me in Seattle, was at Westlake Mall, outside the Starbucks.

The crook was someone who looked like the shirtless man!
29
@4, What IS that?
30
I'll bet Mr. Hinds is ultra-impressed with his ultra-official-looking trooper hat. Look at the fucking badge on that thing. And on his shirt -- service medals? What the everfuckin' fuck is that? Is "mall cop" a branch of the US military now?

He looks like a cartoon. Acts like one too.
31
A rent a cop has no more legal right to mace someone on a public sidewalk as you or I do. This is preposterously cut and dry.
32
I notice, in the close-up of the chest of the security guard, he seems to have some pins/flags above his name tag. Does anyone know what those are? My guess is that they are pseudo-military decorations, e.g. designations of rank. If that's the case it would be clearly deceptive, and falls in line with the trends of militarized police and the privatization of criminal justice. A uniform on a non-police officer in itself is meant to give the false impression that a guard has the power of the state behind her/him. Military decorations take it to the next level.

I'd like to see a city law passed that requires security guards to abide by non-deceptive dress codes, and also requires them to plainly state their legal role when trying to enforce rules - sort of like a required statement of Miranda rights - "My name is _____. I am a security guard for the property ______. You have the right to request police to take over the situation at any time (I know, I know) I do not have any capacity to enforce laws beyond those of an ordinary citizen." Something like that.
33
@30 you posted while I was tipping... glad someone else noticed the decorations (and glad that my eyes were not deceiving me). Besides the preposterousness of it, to me there is a clear intent to deceive the public. Why not carry fake rifles, too? These firms need to be reigned in.
34
(I meant typing, of course...)
36
@25 the latter. Zifferelli is a convicted child molester and has nothing better to do than to troll Slog via the prison computer
37
@20) Well then Ziff, since you are always a total jackass, you should line up at Westlake on a daily basis for your required macing. Put your monkey where yer cake-hole is (and I suspect that's a very ugly place).
38
@36
Zifferelli is a convicted child molester and has nothing better to do than to troll Slog via the prison computer
Really? You have certainly fingered yourself as a douche bag...
39
@38
I'd rather be a douche bag than a racist piece of shit...
40
It was assault followed by kidnapping.

Hinds, the mall employee, assaulted the victim with a chemical weapon, then kidnapped the victim (i.e., took him away against his will). Seattle Police Department staff observed and facilitated the kidnapping. "Let him do his job," said Officer Thomas Christenson #5665, before allowing the perpetrator to continue commission of the crime.
41
@33:

Hat
Badge
Braid
Chest badge
Some kind of chain behind it (more braid?)
Star pin
Service ribbon #1
Service ribbon #2
collar pin #1
collar pin #2
shoulder patch #1
shoulder patch #2
name badge

That's THIRTEEN insignia items, not to mention all the other little tidbits like dark glasses and black gloves and the microphone and the fifty things hanging off his belt (and the ultra-macho Tom of Finland cop belt itself). That's more than Dwight Fuckin' Eisenhower wore when briefing the President during WWII. This guy is a walking catalog of Kopp Gear. I'll bet he salutes himself every time he walks past the glass doors of the place.

Wanker.

Pocket tyrant.

What worries me isn't the militarization, it's the falsity of it. He's not a soldier; he's not a cop. He's a dingleberry who can't even find work as a prison guard, the lowest form of human life.

But PRECISELY THIS is who is responsible for the public face of power in our society now. All of us answer not to cops and soldiers but high-school dropout security guards. The same people who work the line at the airport and everywhere else that authority is projected. The only thing worse than bad cops is bad fake cops.
42
@41:

and he still hasn't met his 15 required pieces of flair.
43
Nordstrom Rack is part of the mall. Start appealing to Nordstrom.
44
@41 agreed. The falsity is the problem. And it creates just enough uncertainty to work ("can he really do this to me? Is he a cop? If I resist what will happen? He's sort of a cop, right? And he's got this badge, and insignia... Better just do what he says.") What I would stress is that, however much of a jerk he is, he is just an employee of Valor security. So it's a systemic problem that should be regulated.

By the way, anyone know why he has hand cuffs anyway? Can he legally use them for any reason?
45
Also blah blah blah blah blah Kid Herz blah blah blah blah blah real journalist blah blah blah.
46
I'm really curious what the SPD has to say about why one of their officers would stand there and watch while the security guard handcuffs someone and takes him inside the mall against his will. Is there ever a scenario where that's appropriate? I would think that AT BEST they could detain someone until the cops arrive and then turn him over to them.
47
@46: I've seen the video. Officer Christenson did not just stand there and watch; he actively assisted by ordering would-be rescuers to allow the shopping mall employee to continue with the kidnapping.
48
In the eyes of the law, there is literally no difference between Phoenix Jones and a mall cop. They're both just private citizens in funny costumes, with no special authority whatsoever.

But when they mace somebody, the black guy dressed like Batman gets arrested by SPD, while the white guy dressed like Barney Fife gets SPD's active support and assistance.
49
An artist, Adam Rozan, had a show in San Francisco that touched on the very subject of assumed authority through uniform and our susceptibility to subjugation as a result.

http://www.whitewallssf.com/shows/securi…
50
Rent-a-cops are the biggest problem we're facing today, it's true.
51
Thank you for the update. I was curious what happened after this story broke
52
As someone who works in private security, I can not fucking stand outfits that dress their guards up like that. It's a pain to keep up, it just gives drunken idiots something else to grab at, that hat makes just about anyone look like a ridiculous little tool, and for god's sake, service ribbons? What fucking war were you in, asshole? The Sbarro's cash register meltdown of '94?

No company needs anything fancier for their uniforms than a nice, clearly marked polo or, if they're covering someplace ritzy, a sports jacket and tie. This pretend cop shit needs to stop. But it probably won't because it's a sop for the worst kind of security guard, the guys who desperately want to be cops but who're too incompetent and mentally unstable even for the police force. Far too many of those types end up in the lower management, like this guy.
53
After viewing this film and looking at the photos published by The Stranger, some comments.
The initial contact between the Mall Kop and Mr. Milford occurred OFF Westlake Mall property. This is clearly on the PUBLIC SIDEWALK between the Starbucks and 4th Avenue. This is PUBLIC PROPERTY. The only people who have the authority to arrest and any use of force required to make such arrest are: Seattle Police Officers, King County Deputy Sheriffs (which technically Seattle Police are), and certain federal authorities. This list DOES NOT INCLUDE MALL KOPS.
The Mall Kop had ZERO AUTHORITY on the PUBLIC SIDEWALK to arrest anyone. When he used the pepper spray under circumstances that did not include his own self defense or the defense of any other person, he committed ASSAULT 4, a CRIME, against Mr. Milford, the white man without the shirt and anyone else who was in the line of pepper spray fire.
Mr. Milford could have, at that moment commenced exercising his right to self defense.
Instead, he allowed himself to be dragged on to Westlake Mall private property by the Mall Kop using force, which further constitutes another count of Assault, along with Kidnapping and Unlawful Imprisonment, which are FELONIES. Meaning that upon conviction one loses the right to keep and bear arms and to vote until such rights are restored by a court of law.
That the Mall Kop, who apparently is Stuart Hinds, an employee of Valor Security, dragged Mr. Hinds across Pine Street, which left Westlake Mall property, and then back into the Mall building itself, furthers the proof of CRIMES on his part.
54
And the SPD officer saw a crime happening, and proceeded to aid the criminal. He didn't know the law or he ignored it. Either way it's frightening to think that both the cop and the guard are still out there working.
55
@53 "This is PUBLIC PROPERTY. The only people who have the authority to arrest and any use of force required to make such arrest are: Seattle Police Officers, King County Deputy Sheriffs (which technically Seattle Police are), and certain federal authorities. This list DOES NOT INCLUDE MALL KOPS."

Not true. See RCW 9A.16.020. Any person, ANYBODY, who witnesses a felony may arrest someone and detain them until they can turn them over to law-enforcement. (See Section (2)). That was not the case here. There was no felony by either party in the dispute that lead to this Security Guard intervening. That said though, your statement that the power of arrest is limited to the authorities you mention is contradicted by state law. Also, the sidewalk may, and I say may, be Westlake Property. The sidewalk may be a public easement over Westlake Property. If that is the case, a private security guard would have the authority to detain and remove under (4) of that statute; however, the burden of proof that the person was there unlawfully would be exceptionally high with a public easement for a sidewalk. I doubt Westlake, if they do own it, and the sidewalk is an easement, could meet that burden.

So you categorical statement is wrong, even if it does not justify what this security guard did.
56
@55, thank you.

@53, read @55. :)

As a private citizen, if you chance upon two people fighting, you take a *huge* legal risk if you intervene by taking sides.
57
Mace is not pepper spray. Pepper spray is not mace.

They are two entirely different chemicals.

They have completely different effects.

Mace is no longer used in the US, because pepper spray is both less dangerous and more effective.

When you say Raymond Wilford was "maced" in this incident, you are saying something that simply isn't true.
58
Yeah, I can get my outrage going on this one.

A couple of dick swingers got told to move along, one got mouthy with a Rent-A-Cop, and got sprayed.
59
#55, watch the video again. The Mall Kop detained a person he did not observe committing a felony of any kind. After detaining him, he took Mr. Wilford across Pine Street whereupon they met Officer Christenson of the Seattle Police Department. Did the Mall Kop turn Mr. Wilford over to Officer Christenson? Nope! Did Officer Christenson insist on taking custody of Mr. Wilford so we can "sort this out"? Nope! Instead, he allowed the Mall Kop to take Mr. Wilford into the Mall Building where other people are not allowed because it's "private property". That just happens to be open to the public when the public is not protesting the kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment of an innocent bystander by one of their own Mall Kops.
The problem with citizens' arrest is that how do accomplish such without committing such crimes as assault and unlawful imprisonment. That is why the FBI on their 10 Most Wanted Posters always advised citizens to report such wanted persons to the police or to their office but NOT to take any action themselves.
So could other persons have arrested the Mall Kop for committing the felony of assaulting and kidnapping Mr. Wilford?
60
As for the boundary between the public property of the street and sidewalk and the private property. Many buildings in downtown Seattle are built right up to the edge of this boundary. In some of the newer buildings, the private property developer somehow obtained ownership of the 18 foot wide alley to build a large new building that covers and entire block. In many cases, there is a plaza on the private property adjacent to the sidewalk. Sometimes the builder will help rebuild the sidewalk and if he desires an extra-wide sidewalk, he will add some of his own land to the sidewalk, but retain ownership of it. Thus it is sometimes difficult to tell where the public sidewalk ends and where the private property ends.
In the case of the Westlake Mall, the Starbucks building is built on the property boundary and in the stonework the boundary between the sidewalk and the plaza is clearly marked. Thus people on the sidewalks along Fourth Avenue and Pine Street can be confident that they are on public property when they are on the street side of this boundary and of the Starbucks.
When the Westlake Mall was built, the public right of way for Westlake Avenue was abandoned by the City and somehow signed over to Westlake Mall. Thus the Westlake Mall has full ownership over the entire rectangle of the block. South of Pine Street, the public retained ownership of the Westlake Avenue right of way and obtained ownership of the triangle of land between it and Fourth Avenue. This was built as a public park.
The protesters were using this Park to stage their protest. Probably had some kind of event use permit. However, the protesters were also using the sidewalks opposite of the Park, including on the Westlake Mall side. This might be where Shirtless Guy interacted with them was thus out of sorts.
61
so you want to lean on the retailers? You get a huge flash mob to spread out to all the stores and the faux customers grabs armfuls of merchandise, then drop it off politely at the register and say you can't shop there until something changes. Every manager at every store talking about this issue and complaining to Westlake Center would pretty much force their hand. might be stoned, so ignore if this sounds like a crap idea. kthx
62
Does 57 (Robotslave) know that his/her comment is completely irrelevant?

Or is he or she paid to be completely irrelevant?

Good for slog folks for not feeding an obvious troll!
64
I wonder if S.Hinds has been reading these posts wondering what he did wrong? He's probably on a plane to Ferguson as we speak to show them folks in Missouri how to treat them black folks. (He sent all his pepper spray by U.P.S.) He's the kind of guy that should disappear mysteriously during his shift and never to be seen again.
65
I don't spend a lot of time downtown. So I was not familiar with these "fake" cops patrolling Westgate.

One day though I saw one harassing a not so prosperous looking young woman perched on a ledge, you know an outcropping from a building. He was incredibly rude and demanding. I have a problem with these types of people. I thought "Oh Seattle has a new type of street patrol I haven't heard of."

I thought about approaching him and saying "Hey, she isn't doing anything to warrant your anger." But I didn't. Good thing in hindsight.

But after she got up and moved I did say something to her about his aggressive behavior.

I didn't realize until just now that it was these security guys. Not surprised. The world since 911 has become more "Middle Eastern" in terms of authoritarian behavior in this country and not just cops real or pretend.

We lost - they have won. Sad.
66
fnarf #41 Too much! Keep it up. If you aren't writing satire professionally, you should be.
67
You can look up security guard licences on the Washington State Department of Licensing's website. A search of the guard at issue's last name reveals two licences:

HINDS, Stuart L.
License Type: Security Guard/Unarmed
License Number: 68964
License Status: Active
First Issued Date: Aug 12 2008
License Issued: Jun 17 2014
Expiration Date: Aug 12 2015

This licence is through:

MYDATT SERVICES INC SEATTLE 6
7135 CHARLOTTE PIKE
NASHVILLE TN 37209

But Wait! There's More!

HINDS, Stuart L.
License Type: Security Guard/Armed (!)
License Number: 89232
License Status: Active
First Issued Date: Nov 13 2013
License Issued: Nov 13 2013
Expiration Date: Nov 13 2014

This licence is through:

CYPRESS SECURITY, LLC
Seattle, WA 98119

I wonder if either of his employers know that he is licensed through two companies. Security companies usually take a very dim view of working for more than one company at a time.

C'mon, Stranger editors. I found this in a matter of seconds on a publicly available website. And you people dare call yourselves investigative reporters.
68
I'd also be interested to find out if he's properly trained and qualified to carry that pepper spray.
69
I'd say Mr. Wilford has a pretty good lawsuit against Mr. Hinds, his employer and the mall.

Oh, and one more thing: Let's not forget that security is a low pay, high turnover, churn-and-burn business. There are probably 100 PTSD-addled Vietraq cop rejects willing to fill the position of one DOC reject. The minute the company starts viewing this guy as a liability, he's gonna be on the unemployment line, and they'll (successfully) fight his unemployment.
70
@67 Seems Mr. Stuart needs to be watched. Sounds like a Zimmerman in training.
71
@67 68 69 With those facts, the piece of shit should be terminated and pepper sprayed himself. What a total lack of management to hire a moron like this and let him loose in public.
72
So, here we have it. None of us posters were there. We didn't witness the event, so what has been done to "fix" what happened? Nothing. And that is what will continue to happen until the Seattle Police put a curb on these "security companies" that hire total morons to do a job that that nobody else wants. What's minimum wage now? What do they expect when they won't pay a fair wage for security? The people they attract are the unemployable aggressive tough thugs that like to hurt people. Go for it, Westlake Mall, you are losing customers and friends.
74
Actually, the police have NO duty to protect anyone.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/28/politi…
75
Real name Richard Stuart Hinds, arrested for Domestic Violence by Monroe P.D. May 2013 which could also be the reason he was fired from his prison guard position.

I hope Mr Wilford's attorney sees this.

76
The guard in question just got a promotion to director. Way to go Valor Security!
77
Have there been any new updates on this? Seems to have dropped off the national radar unfortunately.
78
This is not done at this circumstances. I personally think, after viewing the working process of other security services like www.epgsecuritygroup.com , It might be a step taken by the guard with no time interval. he should try to solve the situation by talking first.