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Thread: Negative LEO encounter - would like feedback

  1. #1
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    Negative LEO encounter - would like feedback

    Ok, so today I was open carrying at a local park. I was walking on the road (which is allowed) to get to a hiking trail. A cruiser pulls up, and the following conversation ensues (with stutters and lameness on my part included). The LEO was forceful, and condescending. I feel like a pansy in retrospect. Anyway, here is the conversation:

    Me: Afternoon.

    LEO: Why you carrying a gun in the park?

    Me: I'm sorry? (Like, "pardon me?")

    LEO: Why you carrying a gun in the park?

    Me: Uh.. do I... I don't know that I need a reason other than its legal.

    LEO: Yeah, but don't you think that with all the crazy sh_t going on in the world some of these kids might get scared or something?

    Me: To be honest with you I'm afraid of animals. I mean... (lame on my part, I know )

    LEO: Well, why don't you put it under your shirt. You got a permit?

    Me: I do have a permit sir.

    LEO: OK, let me see it.

    Me: OK. (I was also CCing a back-up gun, so I gave him the permit)

    LEO: The only thing that I have a problem with is your a big boy, and all these kids and women running around, and all the whackjobs running around, and you're walking around with a gun out.

    Me: Sure. (not condescending, just like "affirmative)

    LEO: Put it under your shirt...... please. I mean I have no objection with people having gun permits and carrying guns, but that's f_cking stupid!

    Me: OK...

    LEO: You know, I've around too long, and the first things gonna happen is some woman is gonna say, 'my kids are back there and this guy got a gun.' You know what I mean...

    Me: Right. Yeah, I.. I understand. I don't want to give you any trouble.

    LEO: Put it under your shirt and I won't see you or bother you the rest of the day.

    Me: OK.

    LEO: You know, because I understand about the animals, and I understand about protection, and I have NO problem with that.

    Me: OK, sure. OK, thank you.



    Well, I caved and covered. This was my first LEO encounter while OCing. I tried to be respectful, as I always am to LEOs, however, I did a poor job of defending my right to legally carry as I see fit.

    I completely forgot to say, "Am I being detained?" I also wasn't sure enough that I could refuse to cover if he told me to to risk it.

    This was my first LEO encounter while OCing, so don't be too rough on me...

    Feedback?
    Last edited by badey; 04-14-2012 at 01:05 PM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
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    You dealt with the situation as best you could at the time. Now you know better and have some experience under your belt. If there is a next time, hopefully you'll feel more confident, and knowledgeable, and will handle it better.

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    You dealt with it at your own comfort level. Each interaction will give you confidence and knowledge. Just make sure to study and educate yourself and you will also gain confidence. Remember, the officers are trained and experienced in dealing with confrontations and controlling them. You likely are not. Don't beat yourself up over it. Usually handling situations takes practice and experience.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    I have nothing negative to say about how you responded to the cop. On the other hand, the cop's behavior was beyond condescending and bordering on a violation of rights under color of law - that all depends of situation specifics that we do not need to get in to.

    It's tough to be assertive while not being aggressive. It's tough to stand up for yourself and your rights when you have not done that before. Some folks talk about visualization and mind-talk, while others may preach actually practicing with a buddy.. Both are good but still cannot guarantee how you will respond the next time something like that happens.

    The important thing is not to beat yourself up about how you dealt with that encounter. Instead, think about how you want to deal with future encounters.

    I've been accused of being assertive (I would enter an Alford plea if it came down to that) and while I like to think I know and understand the laws in my neck of the woods I have no need or intention of citing them and debating with a cop over case law and enforcement application. I'm the kind of person who will simply state that my conduct is lawful and wait to see if the other person wants to give me a clear command under some threat of reprisal should I fail to do so (long-winded way of saying they are threatening to arrest me) to either do something I am not required to do or to back off and admit that they are expressing personal opinion and personal preference. But that's me and my personality. I know there are folks who are not as assertive as I am.

    About the only things I would venture to suggest are to 1) after verifying that your state allows one-party consent to audio recording, get a digital recorder and turn it on when you leave the house and leave it on until you go to bed; and 2) try and remember to ask for the name, badge number and other identifying information about the person who has stopped/confronted you so it will be on your digital recording. (Helps in not needing to fumble for pen and paper or trying to remember while your mind is otherwise occupied.)

    Hope this helps you sort things out.

    stay safe.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    SNIP It's tough to be assertive while not being aggressive.
    Yes. The secret is to not be assertive. One does not need to be assertive to invoke and exercise rights. One can just say the things he needs to in order to exercise his rights. One can shout them at the top of his voice. One can barely squeak them out through a fear constricted throat. Or, one can just calmly say them with no more emphasis than a casual observation about the weather. Besides, plenty of cops are actually tough both physically and mentally. Being assertive or aggressive isn't likely to intimidate them. And, it may play right into their hands. Some cops want nothing more than for the detainee to lose control of himself and say things that rise to "language tending to cause a disturbance" (disorderly conduct) or actually do something that gives the cop an excuse to "go hands on" (forcefully prone the guy out on the hard pavement and cuff him--while maybe getting in a few jabs and kicks.)

    An important point for the student to recognize is that there are multiple elements occurring. First, there are rights and legalities and so forth. But, there are also conversational tactics involved. For example, when a person invokes his right to refuse consent to a search or seizure, a common cop conversational tactic is to query, "If you got nothing to hide, why do you object?" Social people with little experience in tough business negotiations or law might feel an impulse to make some sort of reply to such a question. That plays right into the cop's hands. He doesn't care what the reply is, only that there is a reply--that the citizen keeps talking. This is a tactic totally independent of the legal implications of the words uttered. Cops are very good at these tactics that play on human nature. They do it all day long. Every day. And, when they're not doing it, they have time to think about it and invent new stuff while driving their assigned patrol. The lesson for the student is to recognize that no reply is necessary. None.

    Lets go one step further beyond no reply. Essentially, when the cop is asking questions, he is taking the conversational initiative. Well, that is a two-way street. The citizen can take the initiative himself by simply asking his own question. For example, cop asks,"If you got nothing to hide...?" The citizen can respond, "Am I free to go?"

    So, there are the legal implications of the words spoken. And, totally independent of those words, there are conversational tactics.

    If you have no tactics and have or take no initiatives, you will always be on the receiving end of whatever the cop wants to do conversationally and have little or no control over the conversation. If that sounds like a potentially losing situation, it's because it is a potentially losing situation.

    And, the opposite is true. If you have some tactics already figured out, and you take some conversational initiative, and concede little or no conversational initiative to the cop, suddenly you will find yourself much more in control of the conversation. And, most important of all, more comfortable during the encounter. It boils down to this: if you know what to do about a situation, and can do something about a situation, you feel a lot more comfortable about it.
    Last edited by Citizen; 04-14-2012 at 05:18 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. (Because that is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--for each other and everybody else--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.)

    Equality and consent of the governed: We're all equal. How can another legitimately govern me without my express consent?

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    There is another thing occurring in a police encounter. I mentioned conversational tactics and the legal implications of the words spoken. There is also logic.

    People want to be logical. They want to be right. When the citizen yields or concedes the conversational initiative, the cop is then in the position of being able to question the citizen's logic and enter into the discussion the cop's own logic. If the poor citizen cannot or does not immediately recognize the logical shortcomings of the cop's assertions, he can't really counter them. Well, what happens when you run out of arguments? You tend to feel you have to concede to the other guy's logic. And, suddenly, you are agreeing to a consensual search (because you couldn't come up with a legitimate argument to explain why you would object if you had nothing to hide.) Or, you suddenly agree to cover a gun that was perfectly legal to OC (because you couldn't come up with--on the spot--a good argument to justify continuing to OC).

    I would rank these points in this order:

    1. conversational tactics--just up and seizing the conversational initiative

    2. legalities and legal implications of the words spoken

    3. logical arguments and counter-arguments.


    If you play number one and number two moderately well, and ignore the cop's arguments and counter-arguments, you never have to bother with number three yourself.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. (Because that is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--for each other and everybody else--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.)

    Equality and consent of the governed: We're all equal. How can another legitimately govern me without my express consent?

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    Now, to learning about which rights to exercise when and how.

    View the three videos at the link below.

    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...Resources-Here


    One thing viewers will not see at the links is my preferred tactic. Just because I prefer this does not mean the others are wrong. The others work well, too. I like mine because...well...I'll explain below.

    In the videos, you will see various forms of "Officer, I have nothing to say without an attorney." Basically invoking the 5th Amendment right to silence. Nothing wrong with this as an opening move.

    My preference is to say, as soon as the cop approaches, "No offense, officer. I know you are just doing your job. But, I do not consent to an encounter with you."

    I got this idea from reading court opinions where, in the explanatory text of the court opinions, the authors of the opinions said courts recognize three types of police-citizen encounters: consensual encounters; brief, minimally intrusive investagory detentions; and highly intrusive custodial arrests. After reading those sorts of comments a few times it dawned on me, "Hey! The courts just gave me an idea! They said the encounter itself can be consensual, which necessarily means I can refuse my consent to it. Yesssssss!"

    I prefer this opening move because it throws the entire legal onus for continuing the encounter immediately back onto the cop. It cannot possibly be a consensual encounter if I openly, expressly refuse consent to an encounter at the outset. Now, in order for the cop to legally continue the encounter he must have authority to detain me, and in order to legally detain me, he must have genuine reasonable articulable suspicion (RAS).* Basically, the cop bounced the ball into my court by approaching me. And, I bounced it right back by refusing consent to not only not talking to him, but even being in each others' presence. He has to play that ball, and, his options for how he plays it are now noticeably more limited.


    *See Terry vs Ohio. http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...Resources-Here
    Last edited by Citizen; 04-14-2012 at 07:25 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. (Because that is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--for each other and everybody else--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.)

    Equality and consent of the governed: We're all equal. How can another legitimately govern me without my express consent?

  8. #8
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    Then, read the excerpt below to see whether an illegal detention occurred.

    We conclude that a person has been "seized" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendmentonly if, in view of all of the circumstances surrounding the incident, a reasonable person would have believed that he was not free to leave. Examples of circumstances that might indicate a seizure, even where the person did not attempt to leave, would be the threatening presence of several officers, the display of a weapon by an officer, some physical touching of the person of the citizen, or the use of language or tone of voice indicating that compliance with the officer's request might be compelled. In the absence of some such evidence, otherwise inoffensive contact between a member of the public and the police cannot, as a matter of law, amount to a seizure of that person. US vs Mendenhall. (internal citations omitted, bold emphasis added by Citizen)



    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...Resources-Here
    Last edited by Citizen; 04-14-2012 at 06:03 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. (Because that is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--for each other and everybody else--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.)

    Equality and consent of the governed: We're all equal. How can another legitimately govern me without my express consent?

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    Thanks for the resources. I will definitely check them out.

  10. #10
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    RAS(Reasonable Articulated Suspicion, Detentions and Arrests)

    Detentions and Arrests, info and definitions by cowboyridn

    Detention descriptions, consensual and when to walk away. An informational read

    3 Different levels of Police/Citizen encounters Explained

    This section authorizes officers to demand identification only when a person is suspected of committing a crime, but does not govern the lawfulness of requests for identification in other circumstances. State v. Griffith, 2000 WI 72, 236 Wis. 2d 48, 613 N.W.2d 72, 98-0931.
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar_ca...=1&oi=scholarr
    52 F.3d 194 UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Coye Denise GREEN, Defendant-Appellant. No. 94-1675. United States Court of App

    Regalado v. State, 25 So. 3d 600 - Fla: Dist. Court of Appeals, 4th Dist. 2009
    "Despite the obvious potential danger to officers and the public by a person in possession of a concealed gun in a crowd, this is not illegal in Florida unless the person does not have a concealed weapons permit, a fact that an officer cannot glean by mere observation. Based upon our understanding of both Florida and United States Supreme Court precedent, stopping a person solely on the ground that the individual possesses a gun violates the Fourth Amendment."


    In evaluating the validity of investigatory stops, we must consider the "totality of the circumstances--the whole picture." United States v. Sokolow, 490 U.S. 1, 8, 109 S.Ct. 1581, 1585, 104 L.Ed.2d 1 (1989) (quoting United States v. Cortez, 449 U.S. 411, 417, 101 S.Ct. 690, 695, 66 L.Ed.2d 621 (1981)). Reasonable suspicion must derive from more than an "inchoate and unparticularized suspicion or 'hunch.' " Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 27, 88 S.Ct. 1868, 1883, 20 L.Ed.2d 889 (1968). Moreover, "[c]onduct typical of a broad category of innocent people provides a weak basis for suspicion." United States v. Weaver, 966 F.2d 391, 394 (8th Cir.) (quoting United States v. Crawford, 891 F.2d 680, 681 (8th Cir.1989)), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 113 S.Ct. 829, 121 L.Ed.2d 699 (1992).

    A number of the factors relied upon by Carrill can be characterized as "conduct typical of a broad category of innocent people." Weaver, 966 F.2d at 394. We reject the notion that Green's travelling alone, carrying a small bag, wearing new and baggy clothes, and failing to make eye contact with Carrill, are in any way indicative of criminal activity. Thus, these factors cannot play a role in assessing the validity of the investigatory stop.

    Under Florida v. J.L., an anonymous tip giving rise to reasonable suspicion must bear indicia of reliability. That the tipster's anonymity is placed at risk indicates that the informant is genuinely concerned and not a fallacious prankster. Corroborated aspects of the tip also lend credibility; the corroborated actions of the suspect need be inherently criminal in and of themselves., 2001 WI 21, 241 Wis. 2d 631, 623 N.W.2d 106, 96-1821. State v. Williams

    An anonymous tip is not RAS

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  11. #11
    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen
    For example, cop asks, "If you got nothing to hide...?"
    The citizen can respond, "Am I free to go?"
    The citizen can respond, "Why am I being detained?"
    Wasn't that your suggestion?
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    Quote Originally Posted by MKEgal View Post
    The citizen can respond, "Why am I being detained?"
    Wasn't that your suggestion?
    Oh, yes. That works, too. There are a number of things a citizen could do or say. That was just an example to show a citizen, 1) not conceding the conversational initiative to the cop, while, 2) seizing the conversational initiative himself.

    Another example is the traffic-stop fella in the Busted video. The cop asks something, and the fella just stands there with a friendly outward expression. Doesn't say a word.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. (Because that is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--for each other and everybody else--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.)

    Equality and consent of the governed: We're all equal. How can another legitimately govern me without my express consent?

  13. #13
    Super Moderator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Citizen - your posts above are well articulated and in good Riders Digest English - that's a compliment.

    I think enough of your recommendations that I have posted a link in another thread to your remarks here.

    The thread is rather lengthy (4 pages now).
    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...29#post1737829
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  14. #14
    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    I think you did fine

    Let's be honest; hardly anyone's first attempt at anything was a stellar success. Did you make perfect letters the first time you tried to write? Was the first girl/guy you tried to woo swept off her/his feet? Did you perfectly parallel park the first time you tried? I'll bet not, and you know what? It doesn't matter because you'll practice and you'll do better the next time.

    LEO: Put it under your shirt and I won't see you or bother you the rest of the day.
    "Oh pshawww, you're not a bother at all, I don't mind talking to you. We can walk and talk all day if you like. Heck, I'm kinda diggin' that 80's porn-stache you got going on, you use scissors or have that trimmed by your barber?"
    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 04-14-2012 at 10:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallschirmjäger View Post
    I think you did fine

    Let's be honest; hardly anyone's first attempt at anything was a stellar success. Did you make perfect letters the first time you tried to write? Was the first girl/guy you tried to woo swept off her/his feet? Did you perfectly parallel park the first time you tried? I'll bet not, and you know what? It doesn't matter because you'll practice and you'll do better the next time.


    "Oh pshawww, you're not a bother at all, I don't mind talking to you. We can walk and talk all day if you like. Heck, I'm kinda diggin' that 80's porn-stache you got going on, you use scissors or have that trimmed by your barber?"
    LOL! He actually did have a 'stache! It's a good thing I'm not that quick-witted, or else I think I might have gotten myself into trouble.

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    Thanks for the feedback everyone! I feel more confident now that I will do a better job of defending my rights in the future.

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    Regular Member LiberalOCarrier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Now, to learning about which rights to exercise when and how.

    View the three videos at the link below.

    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...Resources-Here


    One thing viewers will not see at the links is my preferred tactic. Just because I prefer this does not mean the others are wrong. The others work well, too. I like mine because...well...I'll explain below.

    In the videos, you will see various forms of "Officer, I have nothing to say without an attorney." Basically invoking the 5th Amendment right to silence. Nothing wrong with this as an opening move.

    My preference is to say, as soon as the cop approaches, "No offense, officer. I know you are just doing your job. But, I do not consent to an encounter with you."

    I got this idea from reading court opinions where, in the explanatory text of the court opinions, the authors of the opinions said courts recognize three types of police-citizen encounters: consensual encounters; brief, minimally intrusive investagory detentions; and highly intrusive custodial arrests. After reading those sorts of comments a few times it dawned on me, "Hey! The courts just gave me an idea! They said the encounter itself can be consensual, which necessarily means I can refuse my consent to it. Yesssssss!"

    I prefer this opening move because it throws the entire legal onus for continuing the encounter immediately back onto the cop. It cannot possibly be a consensual encounter if I openly, expressly refuse consent to an encounter at the outset. Now, in order for the cop to legally continue the encounter he must have authority to detain me, and in order to legally detain me, he must have genuine reasonable articulable suspicion (RAS).* Basically, the cop bounced the ball into my court by approaching me. And, I bounced it right back by refusing consent to not only not talking to him, but even being in each others' presence. He has to play that ball, and, his options for how he plays it are now noticeably more limited.


    *See Terry vs Ohio. http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...Resources-Here
    Works every single time!

  18. #18
    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallschirmjäger View Post
    I think you did fine

    Let's be honest; hardly anyone's first attempt at anything was a stellar success. Did you make perfect letters the first time you tried to write? Was the first girl/guy you tried to woo swept off her/his feet? Did you perfectly parallel park the first time you tried? I'll bet not, and you know what? It doesn't matter because you'll practice and you'll do better the next time.


    "Oh pshawww, you're not a bother at all, I don't mind talking to you. We can walk and talk all day if you like. Heck, I'm kinda diggin' that 80's porn-stache you got going on, you use scissors or have that trimmed by your barber?"
    Quote Originally Posted by badey View Post
    LOL! He actually did have a 'stache! It's a good thing I'm not that quick-witted, or else I think I might have gotten myself into trouble.
    Practice, practice, practice.
    Consider all the situations that could happen, go over in your mind what you can and can't say; what you must and what you must Not say.
    Do it again the next day, expect Officer Friendly to try and loom over you in a very friendly and absolutely non-intimidating manner with bloodlust in his eyes and 3-day old Taco Breath.
    If they say they'll do the same thing the next time they see you, COOPERATE! Be nice, ask if they're working the next day and what time would be most convenient for them. Would they like to give you their cell phone number or would they prefer that you called on an official line to ask for their presence personally. Offer your cellphone number, and ask them to call you every day when they go on duty so that you can coordinate a meeting time and spot.

    more than anything else.....
    ...
    ...
    smile, you want to win friends, right?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallschirmjäger View Post
    Practice, practice, practice.
    Consider all the situations that could happen, go over in your mind what you can and can't say; what you must and what you must Not say.
    Do it again the next day, expect Officer Friendly to try and loom over you in a very friendly and absolutely non-intimidating manner with bloodlust in his eyes and 3-day old Taco Breath.
    If they say they'll do the same thing the next time they see you, COOPERATE! Be nice, ask if they're working the next day and what time would be most convenient for them. Would they like to give you their cell phone number or would they prefer that you called on an official line to ask for their presence personally. Offer your cellphone number, and ask them to call you every day when they go on duty so that you can coordinate a meeting time and spot.

    more than anything else.....
    ...
    ...
    smile, you want to win friends, right?
    I'm not sure of the tenor of this post, so I will just say that while I am not out to make friends, I am also not out to make open carriers look like bunch of jerks. I think we can be both firm and respectful.

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    "Negative LEO encounter" LOL. Redundant much?

    You shouldn't have been such a wuss and caved in to that thug. Police do not deserve your cooperation. You really should not have even responded to him. Talking to **** is just asking for trouble.

    ............--Moderator Comment--
    Caution suggested with use of derogatory terms.
    Last edited by thorsmitersaw; 04-26-2012 at 09:43 AM.

  21. #21
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    In other words, "Stop potentially scaring the sheep by minding your own business and exercising your rights, even though I haven't heard of any complaints!"

    So sick and tired of cops saying "You might scare someone!" when it's blatantly obvious that everyone is oblivious anyway.

    Also, who the **** does he think he is to say that what you're doing is "******* stupid" - did he use any sort of logic to come to that conclusion at all?

  22. #22
    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    >> badey
    The tenor was just a bit playful, but I have had a Sheriff's deputy say that if I wanted to play that game, they would respond in force any and every time they received a report of a MWAG. So, I did indeed offer to cooperate on scheduling our meetings.
    Last I heard from him about the situation was on a forum best not named where, if I may paraphrase, "We know what he looks like, we have a description of his car. We don't even respond anymore when people call."

    They got tired of playing that game, when they realized that they were the only ones not in on the game.

    EDIT: but yes... PRACTICE what to say and what not to say. "Perfect practice makes perfect performance."
    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 05-16-2012 at 05:37 PM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ViperGTS19801 View Post
    In other words, "Stop potentially scaring the sheep by minding your own business and exercising your rights, even though I haven't heard of any complaints!"

    So sick and tired of cops saying "You might scare someone!" when it's blatantly obvious that everyone is oblivious anyway.

    Also, who the **** does he think he is to say that what you're doing is "******* stupid" - did he use any sort of logic to come to that conclusion at all?
    I don't think he used any logic to that conclusion, especially because HE was open carrying...

    Also, you are right about everyone being oblivious. I have OCed at that park many times, and the only person who ever noticed was a passenger in a car who was passing strong side at hip level.

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