Louisiana State Police Officers Park Illegally And Get Booted . . . Then Arrest The Parking Attendant And Take Keys To Remove Boot

800px-LSP_Badge_PhotoThere 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.

Source: Advocate

80 thoughts on “Louisiana State Police Officers Park Illegally And Get Booted . . . Then Arrest The Parking Attendant And Take Keys To Remove Boot”

  1. In urban areas, like New Orleans, foot patrols walking the streets are probably more effective and also create better community policing. So maybe city cops should be on foot more than in cars, then parking is not an issue.

    If these officers were state troopers wouldn’t it be the NOLA city police officers responding to calls inside the city not state troopers? Most state troopers patrol the interstates more than urban areas.

  2. Again, he called his employer for direction. Why the insults to the parking attendant?

  3. Insulting parking attendants intelligence doesn’t make one seem any more intelligent. He could’ve been a university student for all anyone knows working his way through college.

  4. The reason that there is no requirement to refrain from booting unmarked cars is simply because there is no way of knowing that these are police vehicles. They are booted and the booter, for lack of a better term, leaves the scene. This case differs. The booter, also known as the dimwitted attendant, was still on the scene when he was informed of the vehicle’s status. Yes, he was informed of the status of the vehicle, which now put him on notice not to boot.

  5. The attendant CHECKED with his employer first, it wasn’t simply his decision.

  6. Karen S

    The article specifically states that a policy was already in effect to NOT boot obviously marked vehicles. There was no additional requirement as to ascertaining whether the occupants were scoping out someone or not. You really want a parking attendant, with the IQ of a gnat, deciding whether the officers are on a justifiable mission? Seriously? The policy was in effect for a reason. Police vehicles are not to be booted. Period. Once the attendant was made aware of their identities, that should have ended the problem. The attendant couldn’t make the jump from marked police vehicles to unmarked police vehicles. It just didn’t register.

  7. “After checking with his employer, Premier Parking Enforcement, Hardeway told the troopers that the company “extended courtesy” to official vehicles used by New Orleans police as well as “other plainly marked emergency vehicles,” the lawsuit says. The company, also known as Boot Man Inc., did not make the same accommodation for unmarked State Police vehicles, “nor was it required to,” the lawsuit says.”

    From the source JT cited.

  8. bam bam, I agree with you for the most part. The issue I have is with the illegal search that followed. Why did they need to do that? Just to pound their chests? Seems to me, once they got the boot off they should have parted ways.

  9. This would only make sense to me if they parked illegally while undercover, actually on the job rather than just taking lunch. And if they needed to leave the scene quickly to follow a suspect or respond to an emergency, the boot would need to be removed.

    But this sounds like they may have just parked illegally to grab lunch and wanted to use their office to get out of a ticket/fine.

    I think the crucial question is whether parking illegally was necessary because they might be called back on duty at anytime to respond quickly? Were they eating lunch while keeping an eye on a suspect? Staying within the area and expecting a call? If so, then there should be a department policy about granting undercover officers in unmarked vehicles special parking privileges, and some sort of protocol of what to do when in such a situation.

    If there is NO protocol for special parking privileges, then these officers were misusing their authority to get out of a fine.

    I think if there was a question about interfering with police business (and how would the parking attendant know if the officers were on a surveillance job?) the employee should have removed the boot, taken their badge #s, and escalated the matter to his superiors to follow up with the department and recover the fine.

    1. Karen – My thinking is that if they had paid to have the boot taken off they would have kept the under cover ‘cred’. Now that is blown. As is the truck they were driving.

  10. The article mentions that the company would routinely give a pass to clearly marked law enforcement vehicles, which one could interpret as a pass for all law enforcement vehicles. Once the vehicle and its operators were identified belonging to law enforcement, the boot should’ve been removed. Obviously, the company had a policy of not booting these vehicles already in existence. While the attendant didn’t know that the truck was connected to law enforcement, at the beginning, his subsequent knowledge of such information didn’t seem to register. The bottom line was that this was still law enforcement, whether it was a clearly marked vehicle or not. I guess that the Einstein in the parking lot couldn’t make that leap.

  11. I’m a cop, rules be damned.


    Louisiana state troopers were driving a pick-up truck with a Mississippi license plate when they parked in a private lot before disappearing into a sushi restaurant for lunch. The troopers, who were not in uniform, came out to find a boot on their car. Rather than pay the $90 fine, they bullied and arrested the parking attendant:
    After Hardeway told the troopers he wouldn’t remove the boot until they paid a $90 fee, the troopers told him he was “interfering with their official duties” and arrested him, the lawsuit says, handcuffing him and “forcing him into the back seat of a police vehicle.”
    “It was just a complete disregard for the private property of the owners of the lot, and when (Hardeway) tried to address that with them, they didn’t want anything to do with it,””.

  12. Do we know whether or not this area was clearly designated as a no parking zone? What if the troopers never saw the sign? I’m not going to jump to the conclusion, as others on here have, that this improper parking was done in a deliberate attempt to disregard the signage. So much for the argument of I JUST GOTTA HAVE SUSHI, RULES BE DAMNED.

    As I stated before, this unmarked car should have been issued some sort of citation. I have no problems with that. What I do have a problem with is some snot nosed parking attendant, who, after being informed that the vehicle belongs to on duty law enforcement, refuses to promptly, without any preconditions, remove the boot.

  13. No one is bashing cops for doing what they should be doing, people are bashing them for doing what they should NOT be doing. And why couldn’t the undercover cops have gone to eat where they didn’t have to park illegally? They were on a lunch break, not a stakeout. But I guess they just HAD to have sushi.

  14. Paul

    Of course it let’s this individual know that they are undercover troopers. Once the parking attendant knew this, however, I believe that he should have swiftly, and without hesitation, removed the boot. There is no question in my mind. These troopers were still on duty. Period. Eating sushi, eating doughnuts, whatever. His disabling of their vehicle very significantly interfered with law enforcement by depriving these troopers of their mode of transportation to conduct those duties. Had there been an emergency, where lives were at stake, this fool’s insistence that the car remain with a boot could have cost lives. It doesn’t need to actually happen here, in this particular case, for one to understand that you do not impede the way of law enforcement. Ever. Issue a ticket or whatever else is appropriate, just as long as there is no impediment to conducting their official duties.

    Those who bash these cops, for doing what we expect of them, would also be the first to sue them for not responding quickly enough to an emergency. Well, folks, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t hamstring these guys and expect them to do their jobs. Take your pick.

  15. From the Massachusetts ACLU blog:

    “Police surveillance against police turns up routine abuse, leading to the termination of an entire Miami PD unit”


    “Here’s a warning to law enforcement officers: ubiquitous surveillance can cut both ways.

    Miami police officers learned that lesson the hard way after the internal affairs division, acting on an unknown tip, turned common police surveillance tools against police officers and uncovered serious abuse of power. The investigators used surveillance cameras and GPS trackers to monitor a unit’s behavior, finding that instead of responding to calls for service, officers were making out with their girlfriends, drinking coffee, going shopping, and spending hours just hanging out.

    In one particularly damning video from the investigation, one of the now unemployed officers ignores a service call to attend to a five month old child in need of immediate medical attention. He never shows up at the scene, but he lies and says he did on his daily activity log.

    Take a look at the CBS news report embedded above to watch the shaky, hand-held surveillance video of the now disgraced cops. Police officers should be aware that the surveillance society they routinely deploy to incriminate and lock up other people can be just as easily turned against them.

    Abuse of power comes perhaps doesn’t come as a big surprise, but it’s rare that we can watch it on video.”

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