If you’re like me then you hate the Mall of America. The place is a cesspool of boring and overpriced stores with little in the way of worthwhile destinations (there is a Barnes and Nobel and an Apple Store I guess). Well if not having anything worth your time isn’t reason enough to avoid that place how about their “security” theater which targets innocent people for no reason other than allowing the security guards to feel high and mighty while they throw their authority around:
Mall of America officials say their security unit stops and questions on average 1,200 people each year. The interviews at the mall are part of a counterterrorism initiative that acts as the private eyes and ears of law enforcement authorities but has often ensnared innocent people, according to an investigation by the Center for Investigative Reporting and NPR.
In many cases, the written reports were filed without the knowledge of those interviewed by security. Several people named in the reports learned from journalists that their birth dates, race, names of employers and other personal information were compiled along with surveillance images.
Not only will the security guards harass you but they will also record any personal information that you give them. Here’s an important piece of information to note, mall security are not real police officers and you are under no obligation to humor their demands. While a real police officer has the power to arrest you if you don’t bend to their will mall security guards can only ask that you leave and call the real cops if you refuse.
There is no reason you should talk to a mall security guard whatsoever. If you find yourself in the Mall of American know two things; first there is a light rail terminal downstairs which can get you the fuck out of there and second should a guard come up and talk to you say nothing and leave the building. Anything you say will likely be recorded and placed on their records for all time. I should also note that the Bloomington Police Department does have a station inside of the mall so it takes no time at all for the mall security guards to get a real cop on the scene but there isn’t much they can do to you if you’re leaving.