There is an interesting lawsuit out of New Orleans where two undercover Louisiana State Police troopers, Sgt. Joseph Patout and Master Trooper Christopher Treadaway, stopped for Sushi and parked illegally across the street. A booting company employee promptly booted the vehicle and when the police came out, they ordered him to remove the boot. The employee refused without their paying the fine so they arrested him, searched him, took the key and removed the boot. The attendant, Brandon Hardeway, was never charged and the company was then fired by the parking company in what many suspect is the company’s currying favor with the police over the incident. What is most striking is that there does not appear to have been any discipline, let alone termination, of the officers responsible.
Hardeway says that he watched the officers enter the Sushi restaurant that had no parking privileges and booted the vehicle like other vehicles. After leaving the restaurant, the troopers demanded that the boot be removed from their Dodge Ram pickup. Hardeway checked with his employee, Premier Parking Enforcement, who said that the company only “extended courtesy” to official vehicles used by New Orleans police as well as “other plainly marked emergency vehicles.” Patout and Treadaway then arrested Hardeway for “interfering” with their performance of their duties. He was detained for several hours and never charged. Notably, various high-ranking officers were consulted before he was released. However, the troopers conducted a search and took Hardeway’s keys off his belt and removed the boot. They also searched his vehicle without a warrant and without probable cause. The scene was captured on Hardeway’s chest camera.
The owners of the parking lot then punished the booting company for what appears little more than standing up to police.
What is astonishing is that there is no evidence that this illegal arrest and illegal search as well as the abuse of authority resulted in any discipline at all for Patout and Treadway, let alone terminations as officers.