Elk Grove Officer Illegally Detains McD’s Patrons in Parking Lot

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Date of Incident- June 13, 2015
LEO Involved- Officer Parker #228
Contact- 916-478-8000

Elk Grove Illegal Detention2This interaction occurred at approximately 11pm on a Saturday night- June 13, 2015. A group of my friends and acquaintances met up at a McDonalds to get some food and chatted for a few minutes outside in the parking lot, because the lobby was closing. As we stood outside in the parking lot, an Elk Grove police vehicle drove into the parking lot and began running our plates with his dispatch center. The officer told us that we could not leave and demanded that we show him our driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations, so that he could cite us all for minor vehicle violations.

My understanding is that the parking lot is private property and a peace officer can not conduct a “vehicle stop” (if this is considered a vehicle stop) and detain person(s) on private property for vehicle code violations. There had been no complaint calls about our presence in the parking lot. Our group was not doing anything illegal or disturbing. We were not suspicious. We were simply customers.

Knowing that the cop was acting illegally, I got into my vehicle and attempted to leave. The cop quickly got into his vehicle and called for a backup officer and came right after me. He pulled my vehicle over a few hundred feet from the parking lot where I was originally.

He threatened to take me to jail, claiming that I did not pull over immediately. I informed him that this was because it was unsafe to do so at that moment. After wasting about half an hour of my time on the side of the street, he decided that he would cite me for a simple “no front plate” violation.

A couple weeks later, that officer sent out citations to the owners of other vehicles that he had specifically called out over his radio. I cannot believe this could even be legal.

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