I am glad to see an article about cars being booted in Downtown by private businesses like Force Management (Nov. 15-21). It has happened to me twice across from First Avenue in the parking area under that building adjacent to Donovan's. This lot is serviced for booting by Force Management (or at least it was when I got booted), a company you mentioned in your article.
Shortly after I found my car booted, the man who booted it arrived in a red pickup truck and told me I'd have to pay to get the car unbooted. I asked him many questions because I was a little disturbed about the situation; however, I maintained a civil manner.
This man got belligerent and intimidating with me. Suddenly, he reached into his shirt and pulled out a necklace with a police badge and yelled something to the effect of "Do we have a problem here?" -- implying that I was resisting cooperation with a police officer, which of course would be a crime. I was scared and complied with him.
Afterwards, I thought to myself, he can't use his police credentials to intimidate me into giving him money. That's extortion!
This specific situation with Force Management should be looked at. He's probably used this technique to intimidate others. Or, is he not actually a cop and only impersonating one? That and extortion are certainly crimes.
This whole situation is very unsavory, and I am glad that the City Council and the mayor are reviewing it. I'd like to see either a ban on booting or some very clear restrictions, such as limiting the amount that can be charged (i.e., extorted) to about $35 or something like that. I'd also like to see Force Management and their employee who whipped out a badge on me prosecuted for wrongly using police credentials to further their financial gain and intimidate people.
Christopher Loch, Minneapolis resident