good letter let us know how it goes
I guess it's that time of year again. It seems every spring I get stopped by the Portland PD.
I got video this time
I also wrote an email to the police chief:
On 26MAY2012 at about 17:15 I was stopped by Officer J McDonald. I recorded a video of the stop for my protection. You can view the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfdEbe7e9GE
Officer McDonald claimed to have received calls that I was walking around with a holstered firearm. This is a legal activity in Maine. He stopped me, put on gloves, and removed my weapon from me. I told him I do not consent to any searches or seizures. He unloaded my firearm and before ejecting the round from the chamber, he pointed my loaded firearm at my legs. This is unacceptable behavior.
There are many things that need to be taken into account here. Terry v Ohio requires three criteria to be met in order to disarm an individual. The officer must have a suspicion that the individual is armed. The officer must have a suspicion that the individual is dangerous. Thirdly, the officer must have a reasonable suspicion that the individual has committed or is about to commit a crime. Officer McDonald admitted in this video that the only reason he stopped me was for the legal carrying of my firearm and that he did not have any reason to suspect me of crime. Therefore, the seizure of my firearm was not allowed under Terry.
Secondly, having no suspicion of crime, why was I not free to go? Delaware v Prouse says that an officer cannot detain someone without reasonable suspicion of crime. McDonald had none. This is a sign of poor training and I want to bring it to your attention so that it can be easily remedied. All of your officers should know that they must have a suspicion of an actual crime before making a detainment.
Thirdly, Officer McDonald demanded my ID and would not return my firearm to me when I requested to end the encounter. Maine law in Title 17A Sec 15-A only requires someone to provide their name and DOB if the officer is issuing a summons to the individual. The officer said he needed to see my ID to ensure that I was not a felon. When asked if he had any reason to believe I was a felon, he said he did not. Again, he is making demands and detaining me without suspicion of any criminal activity. Terry requires more than a mere hunch to initiate a detainment. Hiibel v Nevada and Brown v Texas both require reasonable suspicion of crime before demanding an ID.
Officer McDonald admitted that the only reason why he stopped me was because of my legally carried firearm. I would like to point you to US v DeBerry from the 7th Circuit. In that ruling a federal judge said that a the presence of a firearm where legal to possess cannot by itself be reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
I believe that a lot of progress has been made under your direction to restore proper and legal police work in your city. I strongly believe that through proper training incidents such as this can be avoided. My suggestion to officers responding to a legally armed man in the future is this: Attempt to initiate a consensual encounter. If the individual does not consent to a police encounter, then observe that individual until such time that the officer develops a reasonable suspicion that crime is afoot. Only then should a detainment be made.
If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to call. I am not a litigious person, but I do not appreciate violations of my rights.
good letter let us know how it goes
Luke 22:36 ; 36Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
"guns are like a Parachute, if you don't have one when you need it, you will not need one again"
"A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves." -Edward R. Murrow
Thanks for posting this. I think you handled yourself well and were certainly well prepared.
Outstanding job. Calm. Informed.
I hope I can maintain as well if the need ever arises.
Reminds me of the Chitwood days .
Although I think you did a fine job overall , I don't believe LEOs care about case law etc . If they are detaining you etc , as you did , get a supervisor on scene .
Guess I'm lucky , I OC in Lewiston-Auburn area without any problems , as well as the town I live in . Never have I had any issues . Even Augusta has been a non issue .
Yesa the portland pd just got bitch slapped!!! Love it!!!
You freaking owned those oppressors! You are very well informed of the case law and didn't seem nervous, just annoyed. I hope I will be that articulate in an encounter where public servants don't have RAS to stop me.
They probably think you were just walking around trying to get stopped. I hate to generalize, but I feel most cops that don't like people open carrying think all open carriers ARE looking to bait cops into false detentions.
If the cook at Denny's burnt my pancakes, and I wrote a letter to the manager complaining about it, would you say, "Yeah! Denny's just got bitch slapped!!!"? No. The chief probably read the first three sentences, and tossed it in the trash. You know. Like the 300 other "bitch slaps" they receive every week?
Why.....If I was a police chief, and the only thing I had to worry about when one of my officers stomped all over someone's rights was an angry letter (no matter how well designed and written), I'd be thrilled.
After all, when YOU break the law, YOU go to jail. When my officers break the law, I just receive well written letters.
Yeah. My "bitch slaps" put folks behind bars and alter their permanent records.
Your "bitch slaps" go directly to the bottom of my office waste basket.
Maybe, If someone filed a FOIA request, hired an attorney, and filed a lawsuit that they have evidence for, I might be worried. After all, something like that would set precedent for possible future behavior of my officers. Shoot. If the department had to actually face REAL CONSEQUENCES (what you face when YOU break the law) for the laws they broke, I might tell my officers to alter their behavior towards open carriers. But, the author of this letter just told me that he's not the litigious kind. (Yeah. Like my officers aren't the "arresting kind". Do you think If YOU broke the law, my officer would write you a well written letter instead of arresting you?) I'm so happy that the reverse isn't true! My officers can dance jigs all over the law, and guess what? I get a letter!
Now for the cool part: I'll just take a few minutes to jot down a little rubber stamp apology letter attesting to how sorry I am that this happened, and folks will consider me sufficiently "bitch slapped", and we can all move on from this horrific incident as if nothing happened. (Because, If there's no further legal proceedings, that's pretty much the truth. So very different if the roles were reversed, huh?)
Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.
18 USC § 242 - Deprivation of rights under color of law
Nicely done. Would seem that there may exist a pattern of harassment here.
Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time.
Realize that such can be an expensive consideration, but feel confident that there are people here that would step forward to lighten the burden if the facts and documentation were to merit such.
Also believe that your solid evidence of this type of LE response will only help you with the Maine legislature.
Keep up the good fight and stay on the high road. Just remember you are not alone.
Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time.
Fantastic letter! Great job!
I would also like to second what Grapeshot said.
Keep up the great work.
Total ignorance: an Obama supporter's stock in trade
I looked into it a couple years ago and you can file per se (personally, without attorney) for ~$250 and all paperwork is available on line or at the Federal Courts building from the Clerk of the Courts office.
Sue the PD and the city for $1 million each (it doesn't cost any extra), and each individual for $500,000 just to get their attention (ever heard the joke about training a mule?), agree to settle for costs, a little something for your trouble, training and a strict adherence by the PD to your cited case law and refuse a confidentiality agreement which would keep you from spreading the word.
Using that link, definitely read the last paragraph.Originally Posted by boyscout399
The only fact that saves the officer's stop of DeBerry, in my opinion, is the fact that it is unlawful in Illinois to carry a concealed weapon.
The tipster informed the police that DeBerry was armed, and it appears from the facts before us that the weapon was not in plain view.
I do not agree that this case would necessarily come out the same way if Illinois law, like the law of many states, authorized the carrying of concealed weapons.
At that point, the entire content of the anonymous tip would be a physical description of the individual, his location, and an allegation that he was carrying something lawful (a cellular telephone? a beeper? a firearm?).
This kind of nonincriminatory allegation, in my view, would not be enough to justify the kind of investigatory stop that took place here.
Florida v J.L.--"anonymous tips have NO predictive value relative to firearms". It is hard to understand why his attorney did not appeal based on this Supreme Court ruling. The judge talks around the fact of the illegal stop and search. He knows what the police did was wrong in many ways but uses the power of his position to mold an opinion which gives the appearance of legitimacy to the actions of the police.
I saw this on r/guns on reddit and my first thought was open carry forums!
Excellent job sir! You were very polite & professional.
Keep sticking it to the man and sticking up for your (our) rights
Saw you on copblock.org today, too.
Great job on the video. You knew your stuff and presented it without being confrontational, and were polite without backing down. Great job keeping your cool.
Of course, you might want to opt for sterile carry in the future, so that you don't have anything to give them.
Absolutely the best interaction I have ever witnessed. I wish I could conduct myself to only half that caliber if stopped!