A truck driver was recently awarded $500,000 after being wrongfully arrested for loitering during a delivery.
This story involving a California trucker is a perfect example of why all truckers should know their rights — it could pay off. I mean, it probably wont. But it could. Tommy Franks Jr. proved that after a February 2019 incident.
This truck driver’s false arrest got him $500,000
The San Bernardino Sun reports that Tommy Franks Jr., a truck driver, was dropping off a delivery at a WinCo Supermarket when he was arrested by police officers. The driver parked his truck, went inside to alert store employees of the delivery, and grabbed a snack. On his way out, he was hassled by police officers.
Even though Franks wasn’t perfectly cooperative with the officers, dodging questions as they hounded him, he answered what he was legally required to. When asked what he was doing, Franks replied and said “walking.” He would be accused of loitering to which he would retort “how can I be loitering if I’m walking?”
Was he being uncooperative? Slightly. Was he being smart with the officers? A little bit. But he didn’t do anything illegal.
You see, by law, it’s not illegal to refuse to identify yourself to police. So while Franks might have been annoying to these officers, they had no reason to arrest him or apply any force. The driver’s lawyer claimed that he was arrested as a result of his verbal protests and requests to speak with a supervisor.
Four years later, Franks has been given $500,000 for his wrongful arrest in 2019.