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Old June 24, 2010, 09:29 AM   #31
Senior Member
Join Date: November 28, 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, Ca
Posts: 7,117
Webb and Harris respond that he doesn't have the right to do that and that they are allowed to carry their firearms.
"Well, you know what, then, you can sue me," Buckmaster responds. "I don't care."
Take him up on the offer. The Assistant Chief obviously doesn't give a damn about the law or the civil rights of the citizens. It's time to show him that he's wrong, in a big way.

Police officers then ask the two men for their identification, which the men say they don't need to provide. The officers say they want identification so they can know if the two are felons.
If I give you my ID and prove that I'm not a felon, can I carry here?" Harris asks.
"No," Buckmaster says.
"So, what's the difference then?" Harris says.
"Nothing," Buckmaster says. "So, just leave."
So, Buckmaster lied when he said he wanted to find out if they were felons. In essence, it would be the same kind of constitutional violation if he walked into a bar and demanded every patron provide ID so he could ensure none were parolees violating a no-alcohol rule.

Buckmaster at several points threatens arrest if Harris and Webb do not leave.
Webb and Harris ask under what law they would be arrested. Buckmaster replies disorderly conduct. He adds the men were disorderly because they won't provide identification.
The Asst.(remove the 't') Chief demands identification, threatens to arrest them for not providing same as "disorderly conduct" with no supporting state law, then says later that providing ID would make no difference. How quaint.

The next day, Harris said, he called Buelow and talked about the situation. He then went to the police station to file an official complaint. He said no forms were available, and the chief was not in the office.
Do you think the lack of complaint forms might have been orchestrated? The real answer would be to enlist some other good citizen to inquire at the front desk how one files a complaint. If the officer says you fill out a form and talk to I/A personnel ... but can't give you a form, that in itself is likely a violation of state laws. If a form is given out, the citizen can take it back to the carriers to file for action.

The carriers should contact their local association(s) for some legal assistance. They could get their letter of apology and force some changes in that department in lieu of a full blown ยง1983 suit in Federal court. They could even suggest that alternative is acceptable as a "learning situation" for the ASSt. Chief as well as for the rest of the force.

Personal Opinion - Buckmaster is the kind of cop who is used to using intimidation and threats of illegal actions to get what he wants. As evidenced by his statements, HE has a problem with citizens carrying guns - most likely because he believes it's a special privilege of badge holders. He's gonna do what he wants to, regardless of the law or civil rights (sounds somewhat like a criminal, no?) and use intimidation, harrassment and threats to do it. He invites the citizens to sue him because he doesn't believe their "mumbo jumbo". Not only should they sue him, they stand a good chance of showing that as an Asst. Chief he should have known his actions were flagrant civil rights violations -- stripping him of any legal protections against being sued individually. Once he loses his house it'll put PD's on notice that running roughshod over people's rights won't be tolerated. And losing that kind of suit makes him inelegible for most LEO positions in the future too.

If the Chief doesn't at least restrict him to clerical duties for six months, the Chief - who said he is "not going to second-guess my officers on the street" should be censured by the city counsel for failing in HIS duties.
BillCA in CA (Unfortunately)
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