Re: Aikido and Shoplifting?
Each state is a little different in regards to levels of training and authority for security guards. Here in California they receive a short training course on laws of arrest, search and seizure, defensive tactics and firearms and then are licensed by the State. In effect they are actually private citizens and have virtually no peace officer powers. Their primary purpose is to serve as a deterrent, and to observe and report events to law enforcement. In the scenario you described, the officer's conduct was probably lawful from a California standard in that she was reportedly making a scene and waving her arms around which could be interpreted as an immediate threat perhaps. Whether it would be lawful is one consideration in context and whether it was the best course of action is yet another. Choosing to go "hands on" as a security guard is always a dangerous decision in both legal and practical terms.