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Old June 11, 2010, 05:18 PM   #1
Sefner
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Two Open Carriers Stopped, News Article

This happened in my hometown. Here is story:

http://www.thetimesherald.com/articl...iolated-rights

A link to the audio of the stop is included in the story. Please listen to it before commenting.

I'd rather this thread not be about OC vs CC (this is L&CR not T&T) but rather the rights prospective of this...

Some background for those not up to spec on every State's laws (I know I'm not):

MI is an OC state.
MI is NOT a stop-and-ID state (as is alluded to by the carriers).
Case law says that OCing is not reasonable suspicion.

What does everyone think of the "conversation" between the citizens and officers? Has anyone encountered anything similar? What about the questions the citizens asked and the answers given to him by the deputy? The guys stopped were obviously very aware of their rights and what to say to get the answers they wanted.

Also no bashing of LEO's please. This is obviously a mildly isolated incident and the Marysville PD is held in very high regard in MI.
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Old June 11, 2010, 06:25 PM   #2
johnwilliamson062
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never had a similar situation in Ohio.

That specific officer did not seem to handle himself very well. He seemed quite offended by the carriers lack of submission more than anything else.
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Old June 11, 2010, 07:05 PM   #3
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Interesting. I don't know why they aren't filing an official complaint or going to civil court on the matter.
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Old June 11, 2010, 07:47 PM   #4
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Open Carry. Expect to run into ignorance.

I don't know why Webb and Harris are surprised at all.

It's a small town, with a small town mentality. Stereotypically, the high school bully becomes an LEO and believes his badge makes him right.

(Notice, I said STEREOTYPICAL. Meaning, I don't believe this to be true of ALL (wo)men in uniform, by any stretch.)

If you are to indeed be an ambassador of Open Carry and truly believe that Open Carry is a deterent to crime, and you believe that the benefits of Open Carry are virtuous, then you must understand you will have to confront ignorance.

With that said, you can and *should* (In my opinion) do so in an organized, and well thought out manner.

If it were ME who was to push this agenda, then I would be ready with Citations from Michigan Code citing the fact that Open Carry is indeed LEGAL. I would also be ready with citations from Michigan Code (or by Court Decision) that open carry is not in itself grounds for probable cause, or grounds for a Terry Stop. I would also arm myself with a letter from the State Attorney General that states it is legal to open carry in Michigan.

Becoming obstinate, in this case, may have become necessary, but it most definately did not need to start that way. I dont know what the stand is of Michigan Open Carry Inc. over such matters. I refuse to believe that the police are bad guys. They are out there doing an ungrateful job, that is becoming more and more difficult all the time. The last thing they need are LAW ABIDING citizens to become a pain in the ass.

You will NOT win an argument with an officer in the street with my word vs. your word discussion. However, if you have the citations in hand, ready to go, you will more than likely prove to him/her that you are indeed legitimately concerned about raising awarness about an issue you feel is important.
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Old June 11, 2010, 08:14 PM   #5
Bamashooter
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i think the guys were getting harassed by a punk cop with a bad attitude. here we cant open carry i carry concealed. its a shame what this country is turning in to. it will get worse if WE dont stand up and speak out.
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Old June 12, 2010, 12:00 AM   #6
Sefner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjrivero
If you are to indeed be an ambassador of Open Carry and truly believe that Open Carry is a deterent to crime, and you believe that the benefits of Open Carry are virtuous, then you must understand you will have to confront ignorance.

With that said, you can and *should* (In my opinion) do so in an organized, and well thought out manner.

If it were ME who was to push this agenda, then I would be ready with Citations from Michigan Code citing the fact that Open Carry is indeed LEGAL. I would also be ready with citations from Michigan Code (or by Court Decision) that open carry is not in itself grounds for probable cause, or grounds for a Terry Stop. I would also arm myself with a letter from the State Attorney General that states it is legal to open carry in Michigan.

Becoming obstinate, in this case, may have become necessary, but it most definately did not need to start that way. I dont know what the stand is of Michigan Open Carry Inc. over such matters. I refuse to believe that the police are bad guys. They are out there doing an ungrateful job, that is becoming more and more difficult all the time. The last thing they need are LAW ABIDING citizens to become a pain in the ass.
Excellent post, you are completely right. MOC does indeed publish "tri-folds" to carry around that include the relevant MCL sections and letters from the AG just as you suggested. These guys did not have those with them. I would point out that in cases when LEOs are presented with the law in this manner it is almost always disregarded.

The good majority of incidents that are reported between OCers and LEOs are extremely positive. One recent incident involved officers from one county stopping a couple OC'ers, getting out of their cars, shaking their hands, informing them that they really support what they are doing, and then saying that someone had called 911 on the OCers and that officers from the neighboring county were on their way as a heads up.

I also suspect that attitudes in this case (blame falls on both parties IMO, but better should be expected from the officer) escalated the situation to an undesirable level which caused the need for the OC'ers to stand their ground on their rights. Had the officer approached them in a more calm manner it would have been a different outcome and had the OC'ers been a little more cool and understanding it would have gone a long way.
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Old June 12, 2010, 04:37 PM   #7
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It is not illegal to have "an attitude" as regards the exercise of one's rights. It is not the citizen's obligation to be polite to LEO's who are infringing upon those rights.

It IS the obligation of LEO's to understand the laws they ostensibly enforce, and to understand and respect the rights of all those they encounter - not just the ones they like.
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Old June 13, 2010, 12:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
It is not illegal to have "an attitude" as regards the exercise of one's rights. It is not the citizen's obligation to be polite to LEO's who are infringing upon those rights.

It IS the obligation of LEO's to understand the laws they ostensibly enforce, and to understand and respect the rights of all those they encounter - not just the ones they like.
Correct on both accounts. However, as law abiding citizens and good citizens, we should strive to be understanding about the stress that LEO's are under, even in small towns. They may not get the training they need about every law. This can be a problem which migrates down from the top, including a mayor, town council, police chief, sheriff, etc. The beat cop may be getting the wrong information from the top. I would hope most of us would be polite as a courtesy to the police, who do have a thankless and tough job. Now, if the LEO becomes obstinate or pushy for no reason, it may still be wise to stay calm and attempt to deal with this after the fact. That is when we can get pushy and many time have more friends on hand to back us up. I'm talking about a meeting with the mayor, town council, police chief, etc. to complain about the specific officer and his behavior. You can recruit people who have had a similar experience with this officer, perhaps.

Just because some LEO happens to be a punk out for a little power trip, doesn't mean we have to lower ourselves to his/her level. Take the high ground, and fight them later where it can really hurt them, and not you. Those are just my thoughts. I'm sure some folks will disagree.
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Old June 13, 2010, 12:37 PM   #9
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I just thought of an example I could provide. This is a true story. When I was about 14, I was walking along a county road in a rural area. We lived out in the country. I happened to have my .22 rifle along as I had been hunting squirrels in a woods nearby and was walking back home. I happened to stop by a local creek which passed under the road. Many times there were carp in there. I saw a couple and was practicing aiming at them as they swam. Just then, a young county sheriff's deputy happened to drive by. He slammed on his breaks, squealed his tires in reverse, and came back to where I was. He immediately took a hostile tone with me. He told me I couldn't shoot from the road, as that was a right of way. I told him I was just practice aiming at some of the carp in the creek. He told me he better never catch me shooting from the road. I told him I knew better than that and I didn't shoot from roads. He told me I better watch myself. He got in his car and squealed the tires as he took off.

I told my dad the story. My dad knew the sheriff real well through the American Legion. He called the sheriff up and told him what had happened. I didn't hear of any repercussions for the deputy, but I'm guessing he at least got a stern verbal reprimand.
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Old June 13, 2010, 02:17 PM   #10
johnwilliamson062
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Quote:
They may not get the training they need about every law.
In the audio the officer basically states that HIS interpretation of the law is different than the court interpretation given and that as such in his domain the guys must leave. This attitude goes well beyond a simple lack of training.
I agree that taking the issue up with higher authorities later is a good idea. I would have asked the officer to clarify that he was not requesting I leave, but instead officially ordering me to leave as an officer of the law. They go as far as saying they are leaving voluntarily. If they leave voluntarily I don't think that strengthens their case.
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Old June 13, 2010, 03:18 PM   #11
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Wow.

Listened to the audio, and that cop was out of line. Couldn't cite the specific code that was being violated, just resorted to basic bullying. Adhered to his self-perceived sense of [cartman] authoritay [/cartman] rather than either radioing for procedural/legal backup or admitting that he had no case, keeping an eye on the guys and awaiting procedural/legal backup.

Pretty blatant that these guys were not a "threat" to anyone nearby, but were political advocates. A gun advocate is so unlikely to unholster a firearm in public that the cop is statistically more dangerous to have around than the advocates.

It wouldn't have hurt anything, aside from the officer's ego, to let this go while he did his homework (or dispatch did it for him).
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Old June 14, 2010, 08:24 AM   #12
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The cop was out of line, here's why. Near the end of the audio, one of the guys OCing asked him that if he showed his ID and the copy verified that he was not a felon, could he continue to carry. The cop said no. The cop was using his badge to bully and by doing so infringed the civil rights of the two guys OCing (provided, of course, that the state law has been described as it is).
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Old June 14, 2010, 09:07 AM   #13
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Translator on:

<cop> I don't know what the laws are but it doesn't matter, I'm just going to run things MY way.

<citizen> I DO know what the laws are and I haven't done anything to merit this attention from law enforcement.

<cop> I don't like your attitude.


Having worked with a lot of LE, it's painful to see this kind of bluster on the part of a LEO when what they SHOULD be doing is saying "please stay right here while I verify the correct information".
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Old June 14, 2010, 12:15 PM   #14
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That cop, who is the assistant Chief of Police, is in the wrong in this case. His attitude is terrible. Is he really about protecting and serving or is he about controlling and subjecting? I think the latter. These two guys should push a legal challenge to his authority as high as they need to go to get satisfaction. This cop should not continue to operate with that attitude of might before right. His might (armed law enforcement officer) does not trump citizens' rights. He should be informed of that in no uncertain terms.

I always like how the cops want civilians to cooperate with them, yet, the Chief won't tell us what happened or what will happen to the assistant chief. Cooperation between citizens and government is a two way street.

I think these two guys were wise in not pushing it far enough to result in an arrest. That could end up being bad publicity for them and the OC movement in Michigan. They can push this in the legal channels and turn it into bad publicity for the police department if they are not training their officers on how to handle open carry and how not to be jerks when they encounter an OC'er in a public place.

This is a little tangent but still relative. There have been cops convicted of committing felonies. What do you think would have been the response of this assistant chief if one of the OC'er had said, "how do we know that YOU are not a felon? " Just because he hasn't been caught doesn't mean he's not a felon. I would guess that most people who are determined to commit an act of violence with a firearm would not walk around in public with a gun strapped to their hip, especially that close to some uniformed police officers. The jerk assistant should have taken that into account when he was questioning whether they were felons or not.

They were right not to give up their ID's. Once the cops have your ID, you aren't really free to leave. They could then nab you for driving without a license. That's a way to keep you under their control. By not giving up their ID's, these guys were able to leave peacefully any time they wanted, but under their own choice, not the cops. I think that is a good way to handle it, even if the cop doesn't like it. Why should they be able to ask for our "papers" if we've done nothing wrong?

The Chief at least stated that he would have some more training conducted regarding OC. I hope he was serious and follows through on that. If nothing else, that is one big positive which could come from this "confrontation" initiated by what appears to be a "jerk" cop. Most cops are good people. This guy has an attitude which I'm sure has something to do with him being the assistant chief. He has more power than the normal officer on the beat and apparently likes to flaunt it. I hope the Chief knocks him down a few rungs.
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Old June 14, 2010, 12:54 PM   #15
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I think the cops have a very legitamate point. How are they supposed to know they aren't felons, using the open carry laws to legally/illegally walk into a public place and shoot it up? I think that they should have just produced the ID's and been done with it from the git go. As gun owners that wish to excercise the right of carrying firearms, they could have been much better ambassadors of such. It didn't appear that they wished to educate and co-mingle with anyone. They wanted and looked for confrontation, and they got it.

No matter if they were right or not, they could have handled the situation much better.
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Old June 14, 2010, 01:23 PM   #16
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Quote:
I think the cops have a very legitamate point. How are they supposed to know they aren't felons, using the open carry laws to legally/illegally walk into a public place and shoot it up?
It is a legitimate point. But it is not what the law states. One good counter-example is a guy walking down the street holding hands with a 6 or 7 year old girl. Are the police to stop that man and make sure he's not sexually assaulting that girl? They can't because they must have probable cause that a crime is about to be committed. In MI, open carrying a firearm is a legal activity and there is a Supreme Court case that says that OCing is not reasonable suspicion. Another example might be the police stopping a government protester on the street and demanding proof that they are not committing treason or sedition and that their speech is not "fighting words" or "yelling fire in a crowded theater".

Now, does that mean the cops can't ask for ID? Not at all, it only means that people are not required to provide it. Had the officer approached them in a calmer manner it might have turned out differently.

Now, had the police reason to believe a crime was about to be committed (that guy has 10 magazines on him, is walking around talking to himself, staring at kids weird, stumbling around, has slurred speech), then they can stop him and ask for ID. If he is drunk he gets charged with public drunkness, illegally carrying a firearm, disorderly conduct, failure to provide ID (or interfering with an investigation) etc etc.
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Old June 14, 2010, 02:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
I think the cops have a very legitamate point. How are they supposed to know they aren't felons, using the open carry laws to legally/illegally walk into a public place and shoot it up?
How do they know you aren't a shoe bomber, or carrying a pound of meth in your camera bag, or that the ten year old with you isn't a kidnapped child instead of your son?
They don't know. And you have the right to walk the street without being questioned as long as you aren't breaking the law.
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Old June 14, 2010, 02:48 PM   #18
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Quote:
I think the cops have a very legitamate point. How are they supposed to know they aren't felons, using the open carry laws to legally/illegally walk into a public place and shoot it up?
The cops should be able to use a little logic and common sense. Most criminals like to have the element of surprise and don't want to attract any attention prior to the crime being committed. I seriously doubt two guys who have plans to walk into a public place and shoot it up would casually stroll along in a public park with sidearms exposed for everyone to see, AND WALK RIGHT PAST A COUPLE OF UNIFORMED POLICE OFFICERS. Well, maybe Harry and Lloyd would, but they are fictional characters from a comedy movie.

Harry: "Lloyd, just when I think you couldn't get any dumber, you go and pull a stunt like this: And totally redeem yourself!"
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Old June 14, 2010, 02:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
I think the cops have a very legitimate point. How are they supposed to know they aren't felons, using the open carry laws to legally/illegally walk into a public place and shoot it up?
Well you see that's the crux of law enforcement. You can't enforce it until a crime has been committed. To "jump the gun" is itself illegal and subject to prosecution. If someone doesn't like that and/or doesn't want to play by that set of rules then perhaps LE isn't the right job for them.
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Old June 15, 2010, 05:42 AM   #20
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All very true points, and you will notice that I didn't say that the cops were in the right. My main point, that none of you seemed to care about, was that the guys could have done more to diffuse the situation. Good ambassadors they were not. We all agree that the law was on their side. But how did it look? What kind of lasting impression did they leave. Gun owners are already fighting an uphill battle, no need to go in unprepared. They lost that battle in my opinion. They weren't prepared to cite exact laws, only that the law says so.
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Old June 15, 2010, 06:31 AM   #21
grey sky
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citing law?

The officers were not able to cite any particular law either. Leave, " Because I said so" is not a law. Maybe lawfull to move citizens away from crime or accident scene for public safety.
Should a citizen need to carry volumes of current law for officers to read?

Last edited by grey sky; June 15, 2010 at 08:00 AM. Reason: after thought
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Old June 15, 2010, 09:42 AM   #22
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""Also no bashing of LEO's please. This is obviously a mildly isolated incident and the Marysville PD is held in very high regard in MI. ""

The high regard is 'advertisement' if you listen to the tape.

Such as "I dont care about the law"!!! really and this was not some beat cop but the ASST CHIEF and LEOs need to know the law, if not find out..
Not horrah for me --to hell with you!!
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Old June 15, 2010, 12:53 PM   #23
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langenc,

It's fine to bash this particular officer. What I wanted to avoid were the people that come into the thread and sling various swine-oriented callsigns around about police officers in general. Stuff like that gets threads locked.
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Old June 23, 2010, 11:48 PM   #24
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I hate to be so crude, but here is a reality check for you people. You have no gun rights, socially. We have open carry in Louisiana but there is no way i could actually open carry. It just doesn't work that way. You will be treated as a criminal automatically if you have a gun on your person or car. Let me put this in perspective:

A person can call the police on you, fabricate a story and you could be charged with aggravated assault just for your gun being in a holster. Some old lady can look at you and that is it, the police steal your gun, you have to pay 1,000$ bond or rot in jail for 3 months, just waiting for your case.

This is reality. This happened to me, actually out in the real world, where guns are illegal.
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Old June 24, 2010, 12:03 AM   #25
Mike Irwin
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"A person can call the police on you, fabricate a story..."

That can be done whether you have a gun or not.

Many Virginians open carry every day with no issues at all.
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