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Thread: WA:Bellingham Pays $15,000 for Police Pointing Gun at Open Carrier

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    WA:Bellingham Pays $15,000 for Police Pointing Gun at Open Carrier

    People carrying firearms openly have racked up a significant number of settlements for police overstepping their bounds. In this latest case, the city of Bellingham, Washington has agreed to pay $15,000.

    BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) - Lawyers say Bellingham has agreed to pay $15,000 to a man who was threatened by a police officer for wearing a holstered gun in a city park.

    The police officer pointed his gun at the citizen who was not breaking any law. Second Amendment activists who exercise their rights are winning these cases by being scrupulously law abiding, polite, and recording their interactions.

    Several settlements have been reached in Michigan.

    2013 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

    http://gunwatch.blogspot.com/2013/08...or-police.html

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    This is great, however, the taxpayers are fitting the bill. Until the individual leo is served personally with a civil suit and is forced to pay from his/her own income then I don't feel justice is totally served.

    If the officer is held personally liable for violating a law abiding citizens 2A rights, the violations of such rights would decline.

    Just my .02

    CCJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by countryclubjoe View Post
    This is great, however, the taxpayers are fitting the bill. Until the individual leo is served personally with a civil suit and is forced to pay from his/her own income then I don't feel justice is totally served.

    If the officer is held personally liable for violating a law abiding citizens 2A rights, the violations of such rights would decline.

    Just my .02

    CCJ
    I've said it before, I'll say it again... it depends on what his agency's policies and procedures / training are.

    If he wasn't specifically trained and/or there are no policies/procedures regarding film'ers and/or past practice ofc's have done crap like this and not been disciplined... Qualified Immunity will hold and the ofc. will face no individual liability.

    This is why, as I have said in several threads, it is key to try to do our best (whereever we live) to check our local PD's procedures/training vis a vis 1) filming cops 2) OCers

    My agency has policy such that it is expressly prohibited to mess with people filming cops. Therefore, an ofc. would be in direct violation of policy and there is ample precedent that when an ofc. knowingly violates policy, QI can be lifted.

    So, again... attend community meetings, check your local agency (their policies/procedures are public record). ANd effect positive change so that this crap won't happen nearly as often AND when it does, people will be much more likely to be held accountable.

    We get the govt. we deserve. If we do nothing to effect change, we have little cause to grumble. These are OUR police departments and these public servants serve us.

    Disclaimer: I've filmed ofc's and never had a problem from LEO's and I've been filmed that i know of scores, if not hundreds of times and always respected people's rights to do so
    Last edited by PALO; 08-15-2013 at 01:06 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PALO View Post
    I've said it before, I'll say it again... it depends on what his agency's policies and procedures / training are.

    If he wasn't specifically trained and/or there are no policies/procedures regarding film'ers and/or past practice ofc's have done crap like this and not been disciplined... Qualified Immunity will hold and the ofc. will face no individual liability.

    This is why, as I have said in several threads, it is key to try to do our best (whereever we live) to check our local PD's procedures/training vis a vis 1) filming cops 2) OCers

    My agency has policy such that it is expressly prohibited to mess with people filming cops. Therefore, an ofc. would be in direct violation of policy and there is ample precedent that when an ofc. knowingly violates policy, QI can be lifted.

    So, again... attend community meetings, check your local agency (their policies/procedures are public record). ANd effect positive change so that this crap won't happen nearly as often AND when it does, people will be much more likely to be held accountable.

    We get the govt. we deserve. If we do nothing to effect change, we have little cause to grumble. These are OUR police departments and these public servants serve us.

    Disclaimer: I've filmed ofc's and never had a problem from LEO's and I've been filmed that i know of scores, if not hundreds of times and always respected people's rights to do so
    Palo- Thank you for your reply. I have read your post on police procedure and policy however tyrants that swear an oath to uphold the US constitution then violate that oath could care less about procedure or policy. They feel they are above the law. Procedure and policy enforcement should take a back sit to the sworn oath. When a leo violates a citizens rights they should be terminated and sued not cuddled by some union because of procedure and policy that is or not in place.

    Palo, I understand your on the job. So let me ask a question if I may. How many hours of training/study do Leos receive regarding the US Constitution? Are new recruits tested on the Constitution?

    I look forward to your reply and I have learned a lot from your previous post.

    Best regards

    CCJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by countryclubjoe View Post
    Palo- Thank you for your reply. I have read your post on police procedure and policy however tyrants that swear an oath to uphold the US constitution then violate that oath could care less about procedure or policy. They feel they are above the law. Procedure and policy enforcement should take a back sit to the sworn oath. When a leo violates a citizens rights they should be terminated and sued not cuddled by some union because of procedure and policy that is or not in place.

    Palo, I understand your on the job. So let me ask a question if I may. How many hours of training/study do Leos receive regarding the US Constitution? Are new recruits tested on the Constitution?

    I look forward to your reply and I have learned a lot from your previous post.

    Best regards

    CCJ
    There are two classes of ofc. that harass/mess with OCers and people filming police.

    1) those that honestly don't know the state of the law regarding same. This group is becoming smaller, but trust me - I have personally educated MANY leo's on current law and my agency also has policy about filmers (not messing with same). Constitution doesn't change, but const. law DOES and of course there is state const. law which is much more restrictive on LEO power than the federal const.

    2) those who know the law and CHOOSE to disobey it.

    Group (1) WILL change their behavior and ime they VASTLY out# group 2 given training and/or official policy. I have seen it firsthand since we instuted roll call training on OCers and instituted firm policy on filmers. It has made a VAST difference. And of course it is better to PREVENT misconduct than to wait for it to occur and sue after the fact. Imo, that is a firm moral and practical rule

    Group (2) if they continue to harass OCers and filmers will be on MUCH shakier ground in terms of avoiding punishment up to and including personal civil liability and suspensions/firings

    There is an immense body of labor law that says ofc's do not have to know every nuance of const. law especially stuff that has just changed.

    Ofc's are under NO obligation to even read the LEd's in my agency. Sad but true.

    *if* you want ofc's to be held accountable AND want to diminish these violations in the first place, your local PD *must* have relevant policies and./or training. Our chief has made it exquisitely clear that he draws a very firm distincion in terms of punishment between ofc's who make honest mistakes (group 1) and those who intentionally violate rights (group 2)

    I have no idea how many hours of const law ofc in this state have. I lateralled. I do know that it's not just about training in const. law. it's about keeping up to date. REcent court decisions are what makes messing with filmers absolutely invalid - case law that says filming cops in public is a first amendment protected right. That is a RECENT case. Many ofc's are unaware of it

    It's not so much tested on the constitution during field training, its being tested on applying const law. A recruit can easily get through probation and fiedl training without ever seeing an OCer, so unless his FTO decides on his own to teach the recruit proper procedure regarding same (our manual does not address it but roll call training did but only relatively recently.) he will never learn

    I probably disagree with you in that I think ofc's acting in good faith should not be fired. But as loing as we ensure our local PD has policy/training regarding OC/filming then BY DEFINITION any violation of OCer or filmers rights is ipso facto NOT good faith, since it's contrary to training/policy

    Every time I make a seizure, search, arrest etc. I am applying const. law. And many applications of same are noit clearly in accord with the const/case law or not in accord

    Remember, tons of JUDGES disagree about interpretation of same (lots of 5-4) decisions and in cases like that you can't expect to punish the ofc, when judges can;t even agree on it. Lots of other stuff is bright line, though and judges will be unanimous and ofc's CAN be punished given training/policy

    Not every terry stop I've made has been upheld. That's ok. A stop I make that 1 judge might find ok, another judge won;'t. Happens all the time.

    however, if I act in gross negligence or inconsistent with the const. such that it can be shown no reasonable ofc. would act that way, THEN I am subject to punishment and sometimes civil liability

    contra what most people think, being a cop is not about being a const. law wonk. And many lawyers even don't know the law that well. The lawyers have the advantage of they can take their time and look stuff up, research etc. A cop doesn't have that option (usually) in the field. He often has to make split second decisions for everything up to shoot/don't shoot

    Imo and ime, ofc's that willfully violate rights are a tiny minority. And sometimes a good ofc. can just go overboard (like the guy who slapped the kid I was interviewing and got a 5 day suspension).

    Imo, termination should be for egregious offenses and/or because of progressive discipline (ofc. continues to screw up and doesn't respond to lower discipline/training)

    Because of due process, CBA's etc. *if* you want ofc's held accountable, you need to ensure they have policies/training to limit their behavior.

    My agency is excellent and I can state with no hesitation that willful violations are very rare, and unwillful unknowing violations, while more common are still rare

    We've had well trained ofcs have to school PROSECUTORS on the law sometimes. It happens.

    So, again in regards to fealty to the constitution, what constitutes constitutional law is CONSTANTLY changing. a couple of years ago we could search motor vehicles incident to arrest. Doing so was ruled constitent with our restrictive state constitution

    NOW, we can't. Our constitution didn't change. INTERPRETATION of it changed. And when it changed, we had roll call training EXPLAINING the change. ThAT is why ofc's can be held accountable for violating same

    Until recently, a WA officer could go years without seeing either an OCer or a person filming them (prior to cell phone cameras). And the case law wasn't crystal clear on either.

    If you want ofc's held accountable for violations of the constitution AS CURRENTLY INTERPRETED, you need to ensure your local PD has policies/training consistent with same OR I can guarantee you, an ofc. will be minimally punished, if at all, and often he will be able get same overturned through binding arbitration.

    In my agency, no officer is REQUIRED to read the LED's. We are required to read new policy (which comes via email) and attend required training.

    I go out of my way to read LED's and scotusblog, etc. But that's me. Most ofc's don't. Heck I know a few lawyers who are cops who don't even bother.

    So, for the hopefully last time you want officers held liable - you need to make sure they are receiving proper training and are held in check by policy or it won't happen, and if it does, they will likely get it overturned.

    cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccwinstructor View Post
    People carrying firearms openly have racked up a significant number of settlements for police overstepping their bounds. In this latest case, the city of Bellingham, Washington has agreed to pay $15,000.

    BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) - Lawyers say Bellingham has agreed to pay $15,000 to a man who was threatened by a police officer for wearing a holstered gun in a city park.

    The police officer pointed his gun at the citizen who was not breaking any law. Second Amendment activists who exercise their rights are winning these cases by being scrupulously law abiding, polite, and recording their interactions.

    Several settlements have been reached in Michigan.

    2013 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

    http://gunwatch.blogspot.com/2013/08...or-police.html
    http://www.cob.org/documents/finance...ted-budget.pdf

    $15K is a very low ball offer (after looking at the town budget) ...

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    As a corollary on constitutionality on use of force. Until relatively recently, case law surrounding taser usage was VERY sparse. Iow, when it was and wasn;t justified as a use of force was largely an open question, constitutionally speaking. And many ofc's (imo) overused tasers, even in my agency. The sheer # of taser usages was MUCH greater than it is now . You can tell just by listening to the police radio. It used to be any given friday or saturday night, you were more likely than not to hear "taser deployed. need a sgt. on scene". And ofc's WERE acting in accordance with policy the vast majority of the time and imo policy was TOO lenient on when tasers can be used. I;'ve been tased twice, btw. Not fun

    THEN

    the 9th circuit court made a decision in McPherson. They fleshed out taser use, including labeling it an "intermediate" weapon, and when it was justified etc. were now much more limited than before.

    AND... we had roll call training on the mcpherson decision AND...

    our official policy changed

    Guess what? We have far fewer taser usages now. Tasers are an incredible tool and a boon to law enforcement, the general public and suspects of crime IF used responsibly.

    And regarding punishing the ofc? The 9th ruled that QI should be lifted. That the ofc' actions were such a deviance from the reasonable officer standard that he did not deserve civil liability protection

    the SCOTUS overruled and the ofc QI protections were restored

    However, again ex post mcpherson... what is and isn't constitutional has CHANGED. And since we were given training and policy consistent with same, we have

    1) modified behavior such that we use tasers less often
    2) now have ample cause to punish ofc's who misuse tasers in violation of mcpherson

    win/win

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    Oddly enough, the UN has called the use of tasers as "torture" .

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/tas...rom=public_rss

    Many people, including police officers, have been injured or killed with tasers. The US military does not taser soldiers in training citing safety concerns.
    http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/t...-tasers-safety

    Tasers have caused numerous deaths, of this there is no doubt. Unfortunately, there is not much research data that would indicate why. Does it affect the calcium cycle of the heart? It is an electric charge that could effect the transport of calcium in the heart - a vital cycle required for the heart to beat? How it effects the heart (other than causing it not to function of course) is a complete mystery.

    And of the studies done that I have reviewed I find that the measurements taken are not that broad ... seen studies showing lactate increasing (from muscle contractions -- but what exact muscles are affected is unknown).

    Many studies have been done by the manufacturer and I take any results from such studies with a grain of salt.
    Of course, these studies only include healthy adults in their prime. If it was so safe, they would have included less than prime people to be zapped to be included in their studies (right?)...70 yrs old, 80 yr old people...

    Since it affects the nervous system and muscle tissue (at the very least) I would call the devices to be a pseudo-biological weapon.

    IMO I would agree with the UN ... these devices should not be utilized. At least not until more was understood about the effects of the devices.

    These are relatively new devices. Until they are GRAS I cannot support their use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    Oddly enough, the UN has called the use of tasers as "torture" .

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/tas...rom=public_rss

    Many people, including police officers, have been injured or killed with tasers. The US military does not taser soldiers in training citing safety concerns.
    http://www.yourlawyer.com/articles/t...-tasers-safety

    Tasers have caused numerous deaths, of this there is no doubt. Unfortunately, there is not much research data that would indicate why. Does it affect the calcium cycle of the heart? It is an electric charge that could effect the transport of calcium in the heart - a vital cycle required for the heart to beat? How it effects the heart (other than causing it not to function of course) is a complete mystery.

    And of the studies done that I have reviewed I find that the measurements taken are not that broad ... seen studies showing lactate increasing (from muscle contractions -- but what exact muscles are affected is unknown).

    Many studies have been done by the manufacturer and I take any results from such studies with a grain of salt.
    Of course, these studies only include healthy adults in their prime. If it was so safe, they would have included less than prime people to be zapped to be included in their studies (right?)...70 yrs old, 80 yr old people...

    Since it affects the nervous system and muscle tissue (at the very least) I would call the devices to be a pseudo-biological weapon.

    IMO I would agree with the UN ... these devices should not be utilized. At least not until more was understood about the effects of the devices.

    These are relatively new devices. Until they are GRAS I cannot support their use.
    The last thing I am going to get in is a long wank about tasers. And god I cannot believe you are quoting the UN? Are you aware of the UN's stance on individual gun rights?

    Regardless, people have tried lawsuit after lawsuit in regards to taser deaths and they almost always lose because correlation =/= causation

    Read the autopsies. People have always and will always in some # die in custody deaths when struggling with cops. These are almost always obese people, bad hearts, malnourished, under influence of polydrug combos etc. bla bla bla. I had a guy flatline on me (he was revived) after along wrestling match to get him in handcuffs. If I had tased him people would blame the taser, but the reality is - the adrenaline dump, major stress, etc. combined with drugs dehydration bla bla it's a story that will happen regardles of tasers. the one thing that is clear is that the taser should not be applied more than 3 times for any individual. That aside, I volunteered to be tased. I know how safe they are. I also know about excited delirium, which many people try to claim is bogus. The american college of emergency physicians disagrees.

    That aside, tasers are a tangent to what we are talking about. They are a wonderfully effective tool, very safe, and I'm glad officers have them. They can be misused, and used to torture. So can a pencil.

    I'm going to stick to the point of this thread though and not get into a long wank about them. You think they suck . I think they are valuable. Groovy

    We can agree to disagree about them, since I'd rather stick to the issue of this thread which is OC, cops reaction to same, how to improve same, etc.

    I will say in the vast majority of cases when taser opponents claimed tasers CAUSED a death, the autopsy does not agree with their findings. and the overwhelming majority of lawsuits filed against taser lose. Thousands of police officers, journalists etc. have agreed to be tased, knowing how safe they are

    That's all I'll say about tasers, oh except for the fact I've carried one for years and never used it (fired it, specifically. I have displayed it to get compliance on several occasion), but I'm glad it's there.

    ymmv

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    just point out stuff ... policemen have also sued over tasers (ie accident) .. I doubt you have tried it out on yourself lol ....so, don't knock it until you try it ...

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    Regarding qualified immunity being pierced: Read St. John v. McColley. The individual police were held liable because they knew or should have known that OC was legal.

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    Let me guess those of you who are total against tasers have never fought with a drugged, drunk, combative suspect.

    If you have I'll gladly listen your objections to the taser please post your experience in doing so.


    Let me see pre taser days beat the suspect with batons, beat the suspect with hands and feet , get a bunch of officers to pile on the suspect, beat the suspect some more then if all these fail and the suspect is still a danger shoot them.

    All these options have a much lower risk of bodily harm to the suspect and the officers involved./s

    All of you internet experts on how to take drugged, drunk, combative suspects into custody with out hurting them.

    Please come out the world of policing is waiting for you to teach them how, there is millions of dollars to be made.
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    The continued focus on policy/training is only used to obfuscate and deflect from the singular issue regarding OCers and cops. This incident is not about a OCer getting hassled by a cop for OC, it is about a cop who employed lethal force on a citizen caught in the act of not violating the law. The fact that he had a gun on his hip is almost irrelevant, other than the cop is too stupid to realize that OC is not unlawful. It would be very interesting to find out if any other cop in that LEA held the same level of knowledge as that nitwit cop.

    That cop's chief has stated that she will not "second guess" her officers. That is the problem. Top cops are charged with second guessing their minions to ensure that they do not make the very mistake that the nitwit cop made. If anything the top cop should be held liable for not properly training her minions.

    Sadly, it seems that "lack of training" is the "go to" defense for all cops who screw up to avoid criminal sanctions and civil liability. It also seems that some cop apologists place policy violations ahead of statute violations where sanctions are concerned.

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    +1

    After a whole page of APCO 10 - 1's, some sense.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by countryclubjoe View Post
    This is great, however, the taxpayers are fitting the bill. Until the individual leo is served personally with a civil suit and is forced to pay from his/her own income then I don't feel justice is totally served.

    If the officer is held personally liable for violating a law abiding citizens 2A rights, the violations of such rights would decline.

    Just my .02

    CCJ
    since its hard for a department to fire officers because of unions i say sue start sueing the unions then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by countryclubjoe View Post
    This is great, however, the taxpayers are fitting the bill. Until the individual leo is served personally with a civil suit and is forced to pay from his/her own income then I don't feel justice is totally served.

    If the officer is held personally liable for violating a law abiding citizens 2A rights, the violations of such rights would decline.

    Just my .02

    CCJ
    Civil???

    What about criminal? Last time I checked, Assault with a deadly weapon was a felony.
    Washington Law RCW 9A.36.011:
    (1) A person is guilty of assault in the first degree if he or she, with intent to inflict great bodily harm:
    (a) Assaults another with a firearm or any deadly weapon or by any force or means likely to produce great bodily harm or death;
    a person commits assault with a deadly weapon, a felony, by touching, attempting to injure or touch, or threatening to injure another person with a gun or other weapon or object.
    Not to mention, false imprisonment, false arrest, and deprivation of rights under the color of law. In a true "justice" system, one instance of this same scenario, would shut down a police force.
    The only terrorists I see nowadays are at the Capital.


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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Regarding qualified immunity being pierced: Read St. John v. McColley. The individual police were held liable because they knew or should have known that OC was legal.
    +1 Eye.

    If a judge tells me, "you should have known better", then that definately applies to a police officer. It is their job to know, and properly enforce the law.
    The only terrorists I see nowadays are at the Capital.


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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    The continued focus on policy/training is only used to obfuscate and deflect from the singular issue regarding OCers and cops. This incident is not about a OCer getting hassled by a cop for OC, it is about a cop who employed lethal force on a citizen caught in the act of not violating the law. The fact that he had a gun on his hip is almost irrelevant, other than the cop is too stupid to realize that OC is not unlawful. It would be very interesting to find out if any other cop in that LEA held the same level of knowledge as that nitwit cop.

    That cop's chief has stated that she will not "second guess" her officers. That is the problem. Top cops are charged with second guessing their minions to ensure that they do not make the very mistake that the nitwit cop made. If anything the top cop should be held liable for not properly training her minions.

    Sadly, it seems that "lack of training" is the "go to" defense for all cops who screw up to avoid criminal sanctions and civil liability. It also seems that some cop apologists place policy violations ahead of statute violations where sanctions are concerned.
    I'm not aware of anybody on this forum who is an apologist for BAD cops.

    But I have said this before, I will say it again. It is the DEPARTMENT's duty to train. It is the dept's duty to set policy. Any dept. in WA state that does not train ofc's in the overwhelming body of current case law etc. which is that OC'ers are engaging in protected activities and should be left the hell alone are negligent.

    And if YOU are an OC advocate, then you have a civic duty imnsho to check out your local pd and find out if they have trained ofc's how to deal with OCer's and the state of current case law. IF they haven't - DEMAND change. The cops work for US. They are public servants. And you, as average joes absolutely have the power to effect CHANGE.

    I have no idea whatsoever if Bellingham PD has trained their ofc's how to deal with OCers

    It really is this simple. *if* BPD has trained them , and/or set policy, then the ofc should be punished, consistent with progressive discipline, etc. for this incident... severely

    If BPD has not trained them, then the agency is surely negligent, but the ofc likely acted in good faith. Iow, he thought he was doing the right thing, but wasn't.

    Intent is the very essence of the law.

    People can wank all they want about how they wish the law worked vis a vis police misconduct, but I am stating how it IS.

    As an OC'er, if I lived in Bellingham, I would damn well have a copy of BPD's policies and procedures manual and if it did not address OCer, I would attend community meeting, or write an email to the chief, etc. iow do something to ensure that BPD treated OCers consistent with the law *and* held ofc's accountable if they diverged from same.

    I *do* have a copy of my local PD's policies and procedures manual and they DO have training vis a vis dealing with OCer's and also strong policy regarding dealing with people filming them. And surprise surprise, I have yet to hear of any incident where any OCer was ever hassled. See how that works?

    Personally, as a trainer and well... because it interests me, I go out of my way to keep up to date with case law... But I can tell you most cops... don't. They rely on their agency to keep them up to date and frankly some agencies do a piss poor job

    Imo, there is no excuse for what this officer did, but when it comes to discipline (internal), liability, etc. a lot will come down to what the officer was trained (or wasn't trained) to do with OCing, AND past practice - what happened in the past when ofc's did bullcrap like this.

    This is clearly outlier activity, as OCing reports in the WA forum show that people OC in WA with impunity and don't get drawn down on by cops. Occasionally, they get questioned by cops and/or harassed , which is bad but clearly not AS bad as actually having a gun drawn on them. But overall, WA state is PRETTY good as far as respecting OCers rights.

    But even one injustice like this case is one too many.
    Last edited by PALO; 08-15-2013 at 09:45 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firearms Iinstuctor View Post
    Let me guess those of you who are total against tasers have never fought with a drugged, drunk, combative suspect.

    If you have I'll gladly listen your objections to the taser please post your experience in doing so.


    Let me see pre taser days beat the suspect with batons, beat the suspect with hands and feet , get a bunch of officers to pile on the suspect, beat the suspect some more then if all these fail and the suspect is still a danger shoot them.

    All these options have a much lower risk of bodily harm to the suspect and the officers involved./s

    All of you internet experts on how to take drugged, drunk, combative suspects into custody with out hurting them.

    Please come out the world of policing is waiting for you to teach them how, there is millions of dollars to be made.
    I dont argue the necessary, and reasonable, use of tasers. However, when you have instances like this:

    Man tasered by Utah State troopers

    and

    Court bailiff taser

    ...shows that tasers, in the hands of the wrong people, I.E. thugs and badge hiders, is a very bad idea.

    The Sheriff's department in my county has a very specific policy on taser use. It is to be used only in the event that a deputy has already attempted, or cannot physically subdue a subject. Those policies are reasonable. The above videos are not. The court house video shows several officers and bailiffs in the room that could have, 1)Escorted the subject out of the court, or 2) Physically subdued the subject.
    The only terrorists I see nowadays are at the Capital.


    The statements made in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of OCDO or its members.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker6900 View Post
    +1 Eye.

    If a judge tells me, "you should have known better", then that definately applies to a police officer. It is their job to know, and properly enforce the law.
    I am aware of the case. I am not saying that ofc's can do whatever they want in areas they haven't been trained and get off scot free. There is stil the "reasonable officer' standard.

    What I am saying and I have read dozens' of arbitrator investigations REHIRING officers after they were fired by their own agency, that *if* an agency fails to train, then it is much harder to hold ofc's accountable for misconduct. I did NOT say it was impossible. There are plenty of examples where ofc's are held accountable such as the case eye mentioned.

    But in arb rehiring after arb rehiring example it is crystal clear that ofc's can be punished much more severely ceteris paribus if they willfully violate policy/training than if they do something wrong, but it wasn't addressed in training/policy.

    Groovy.

    Imo, it is a greater good to PREVENT misconduct than to let it happen and sue after the fact. Just like as a proactive officer, I am interested in helping to prevent crime (every burglary report I take is an opportunity to offer crime prevention tips ot homeowners for example and many are totally stoked to get such info) vs. just responding after the fact, as a proactive citizen, I am interested in PREVENTING officer misconduct vs. suing after the fact.

    There will always be police misconduct, just like there will always be misconduct in every profession under the sun. But if we help to ensure that agencies train their ofc's properly vis a vis OCers I can guarantee you we will have far far less incidences of misconduct (a huge positive) *AND* we will be able to much more effectively hold officers accountable who engage in misconduct towards OCers (another huge positive). There is no downside in this regards.
    Last edited by PALO; 08-15-2013 at 09:51 AM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker6900 View Post
    I dont argue the necessary, and reasonable, use of tasers. However, when you have instances like this:

    Man tasered by Utah State troopers

    and

    Court bailiff taser

    ...shows that tasers, in the hands of the wrong people, I.E. thugs and badge hiders, is a very bad idea.

    The Sheriff's department in my county has a very specific policy on taser use. It is to be used only in the event that a deputy has already attempted, or cannot physically subdue a subject. Those policies are reasonable. The above videos are not. The court house video shows several officers and bailiffs in the room that could have, 1)Escorted the subject out of the court, or 2) Physically subdued the subject.
    Tasers are a wonderful tool

    There will always be outlier officers who misuse tasers, just like there will always be misconduct in every profession on earth by outliers.

    Ex-post McPherson (especially in the 9th circuit, which WA state is in), there are now reasonable legal standards limiting when tasers can be applied, much moreso than before McPherson and there is now ample precedent to hold officers accountable for same, and there is now far less usage of tasers, far stricter policies on when they can be used, etc.

    It's been win.win all the way down the line.

    The fact that some officers have misused tasers is not an indictment of tasers as a tool. We punish ofc's who misuse tasers consistent with due process protections and progressive discipline. Ime, most agencies do a pretty good job at that. But thank god we equip officers with tasers as they overwhelmingly are a positive advance for law enforcement and a benefit to officers, suspects and society at large, when used properly.

    There is a pretty substantial # of cities that have shown shootings and use of lethal force by officers goes down after tasers are distributed, and ofc' injuries also go down.

    I have also found that tasers are wonderful for getting compliance WITHOUT having to fire them, especially with criminals who have been tased before. For every time a taser has to be used in the field, there are probably 10 or more instances where an officer draws the taser and demands compliance and GETS it (in many cases they would not get it w/o the taser) and thus the goal is achieved without having to fire the taser and without having to get into a battle royale.

    i've never fired mine at somebody in many years carrying one, but I have used it to gain compliance several times and it's worked wonderfully. We shouldn't deprive officers and society in general of the benefits of tasers because of outlier misusers. We should punish the misusers.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker6900 View Post
    Civil???

    What about criminal? Last time I checked, Assault with a deadly weapon was a felony.



    Not to mention, false imprisonment, false arrest, and deprivation of rights under the color of law. In a true "justice" system, one instance of this same scenario, would shut down a police force.
    I thank god that our justice system doesn't work the way you wish a "true justice system" should.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by PALO View Post
    I'm not aware of anybody on this forum who is an apologist for BAD cops.
    Agreed, and I did not address this point. Cop apologists use a training deficiency as their first choice on a wayward cops behavior, not if the cop's behavior is consistent with the law, all of the law. Cop apologists constantly proclaim that cops are citizens too, well, find out if the circumstance warranted the cop to employ lethal force from a criminal statute violation perspective first, then work your way down to a training deficiency. Sadly, the top cop is OK with her minions drawing down on law abiding citizens.

    But I have said this before, I will say it again. It is the DEPARTMENT's duty to train. It is the dept's duty to set policy. Any dept. in WA state that does not train ofc's in the overwhelming body of current case law etc. which is that OC'ers are engaging in protected activities and should be left the hell alone are negligent.
    The hold the top cop accountable also for failure to train properly. She, in this instance, should certainly be aware of the current state of the law. Sadly, she too will be held to have not properly trained herself.

    And if YOU are an OC advocate, then you have a civic duty imnsho to check out your local pd and find out if they have trained ofc's how to deal with OCer's and the state of current case law. IF they haven't - DEMAND change. The cops work for US. They are public servants. And you, as average joes absolutely have the power to effect CHANGE.
    Back-handed insult noted. If YOU have read any of my other posts on this "civic duty" burden YOU place on the citizenry, for cop waywardness, YOU would have read that I have done that which you chide me for not doing.

    I have no idea whatsoever if Bellingham PD has trained their ofc's how to deal with OCers
    Why not? You are a LEO, and civic duty minded. A insider so to speak. Help your fellow officers and work from within the system to affect change.

    It really is this simple. *if* BPD has trained them , and/or set policy, then the ofc should be punished, consistent with progressive discipline, etc. for this incident... severely
    Punished for what? A rights violation? Or, the apparently unwarranted and possibly unlawful use of lethal force in that specific situation? there is no indication that a cop, who cost the city 15Gs is going to be sanctioned other than a Post-It note in his service jacket for not being trained properly.

    If BPD has not trained them, then the agency is surely negligent, but the ofc likely acted in good faith. Iow, he thought he was doing the right thing, but wasn't.
    Again, hold that LEA accountable for not properly training their officer(s). Why do you continue to let the entire LEA off the hook. The top cop is responsible for the training.

    Intent is the very essence of the law.
    We are not talking about the law, here, because that cop will not face a judge or a jury. Nothing more than a policy/training issue that cost tax payers 15Gs.

    People can wank all they want about how they wish the law worked vis a vis police misconduct, but I am stating how it IS.
    The just following orders defense. The law would not be they way it is now if LE would follow the law as they are and as they were.

    As an OC'er, if I lived in Bellingham, I would damn well have a copy of BPD's policies and procedures manual and if it did not address OCer, I would attend community meeting, or write an email to the chief, etc. iow do something to ensure that BPD treated OCers consistent with the law *and* held ofc's accountable if they diverged from same.
    Does a OCer throw the training bulletin & policy handbook at cop, pointing a gun at him, for lawful activity?

    I *do* have a copy of my local PD's policies and procedures manual and they DO have training vis a vis dealing with OCer's and also strong policy regarding dealing with people filming them. And surprise surprise, I have yet to hear of any incident where any OCer was ever hassled. See how that works?
    Filming is not apart of this topic. A cop drawing his gun on a OCer, lawfully OCing, is the subject of this topic. Though, the gun drawing part does not seem to be of much concern to very many folks.

    Personally, as a trainer and well... because it interests me, I go out of my way to keep up to date with case law... But I can tell you most cops... don't. They rely on their agency to keep them up to date and frankly some agencies do a piss poor job
    Blame the LEA and not the beat cop. Again, why do you folcus on the beat cop and not the LEA?

    Imo, there is no excuse for what this officer did, but when it comes to discipline (internal), liability, etc. a lot will come down to what the officer was trained (or wasn't trained) to do with OCing, AND past practice - what happened in the past when ofc's did bullcrap like this.
    Again, you ignore the fact that the cop is alleged to have drawn his gun on the OCer, multiple times it seems, and focus of the cop's training or lack thereof.

    This is clearly outlier activity, as OCing reports in the WA forum show that people OC in WA with impunity and don't get drawn down on by cops. Occasionally, they get questioned by cops and/or harassed , which is bad but clearly not AS bad as actually having a gun drawn on them. But overall, WA state is PRETTY good as far as respecting OCers rights.
    Merely getting hassled is far different than getting almost shot dead. That is not a training issue. The initial contact is the training issue. The getting almost shot should have been a criminal issue, apparently a felony in WA if the ECWs apply to cops as well as citizens. In this case the top cop has stated that the applicable RCW(s) did not apply to this cop.

    But even one injustice like this case is one too many.
    Stating the obvious, yet this does not mitigate the fact that the top cop is OK with drawing down on a citizen engaged in a lawful activity.

    Anyway....

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by g21sfpistol View Post
    since its hard for a department to fire officers because of unions i say sue start sueing the unions then.
    Ah yes, the recourse of every American... sue sue sue.

    Fortunately, here in America, we have due process and CBA's for officers in most agencies such that the disciplinary process is *generally* fair and it does a good job of holding ofc's accountable while respecting due process, weeding out false claims against officers, etc.

    This is why I advocate people film the cops. It helps protect the good cops from bogus complaints and helps to punish the bad cops. Win/win. Given the fact that nearly everybody is walking around with a video camera of sorts on their person (cell phone), and that UOF's often occur in public places in full view of same, etc. it is much more likely now a days, that misconduct is caught on camera AND much more likely that GOOD conduct is caught on camera to protect good officers from bogus complaints.

    I know of an officer from my agency just recently whose butt was saved from a false complaint because somebody had their cell phone videotaping the incident. Unfortunately , WA state is extremely weak on holding those who make falso complaints against officers liable (civilly and criminally). But w/o the videotape, it's quite possible the complaint would have been sustained. The investigation was going that way until the discovery of the video and thank that fine citizen for coming forward to save the officer and doing his civic duty.

    Imo, the system IN MOST JURISDICTIONS works pretty well at disciplining (up to and including firing) officers consistent with due process. I've seen some cases where my agency went way overboard and were spanked by an arbitrator and the officer rehired with backpay (including overtime he would have worked), just like I've seen cases where they underpunished ofc's too leniently but OVERALL I think the system works pretty well at holding ofc's accountable, while respecting their rights.

    The more people we have videotaping/audiotaping the cops (and the more cops we have with body cameras etc.) the better it will be in incentivizing ofc's to do the right thing (because they know they are on camera), protecting them when they do so, holding them accountable when they don't.

    I'm out on injured leave right now from an injury I sustained several days ago taking a violent assaultive suspect into custody. Unbeknownst to me at the time I was tackling him and wrestling him into handcuffs, I had an audience of a half dozen barbeque'ers on their porch watching my every move. But since I did nothing wrong and used reasonable force (which aint pretty sometimes fwiw. even reasonable force can LOOK ugly. Cause that's how force works. It's not all TJ Hooker wristy-twisty magick), I now have a half dozen witnesses to back up my actions if the nimrod felon tries to drum up some kind of bogus complaint. I even got a standing ovation! booya

    Recognize that the first refuge of a person who did something wrong (like this guy) is to try to turn it around on the cops, make a false complaint, and take pressure of HIM by blaming the cops and putting suspicion on them. That's why it's so important to have people filming stuff because it can shut down these bogus complaints in an instant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Agreed, and I did not address this point. Cop apologists use a training deficiency as their first choice on a wayward cops behavior, not if the cop's behavior is consistent with the law, all of the law. Cop apologists constantly proclaim that cops are citizens too, well, find out if the circumstance warranted the cop to employ lethal force from a criminal statute violation perspective first, then work your way down to a training deficiency. Sadly, the top cop is OK with her minions drawing down on law abiding citizens.

    The hold the top cop accountable also for failure to train properly. She, in this instance, should certainly be aware of the current state of the law. Sadly, she too will be held to have not properly trained herself.

    Back-handed insult noted. If YOU have read any of my other posts on this "civic duty" burden YOU place on the citizenry, for cop waywardness, YOU would have read that I have done that which you chide me for not doing.

    Why not? You are a LEO, and civic duty minded. A insider so to speak. Help your fellow officers and work from within the system to affect change.

    Punished for what? A rights violation? Or, the apparently unwarranted and possibly unlawful use of lethal force in that specific situation? there is no indication that a cop, who cost the city 15Gs is going to be sanctioned other than a Post-It note in his service jacket for not being trained properly.

    Again, hold that LEA accountable for not properly training their officer(s). Why do you continue to let the entire LEA off the hook. The top cop is responsible for the training.

    We are not talking about the law, here, because that cop will not face a judge or a jury. Nothing more than a policy/training issue that cost tax payers 15Gs.

    The just following orders defense. The law would not be they way it is now if LE would follow the law as they are and as they were.

    Does a OCer throw the training bulletin & policy handbook at cop, pointing a gun at him, for lawful activity?

    Filming is not apart of this topic. A cop drawing his gun on a OCer, lawfully OCing, is the subject of this topic. Though, the gun drawing part does not seem to be of much concern to very many folks.

    Blame the LEA and not the beat cop. Again, why do you folcus on the beat cop and not the LEA?

    Again, you ignore the fact that the cop is alleged to have drawn his gun on the OCer, multiple times it seems, and focus of the cop's training or lack thereof.

    Merely getting hassled is far different than getting almost shot dead. That is not a training issue. The initial contact is the training issue. The getting almost shot should have been a criminal issue, apparently a felony in WA if the ECWs apply to cops as well as citizens. In this case the top cop has stated that the applicable RCW(s) did not apply to this cop.

    Stating the obvious, yet this does not mitigate the fact that the top cop is OK with drawing down on a citizen engaged in a lawful activity.

    Anyway....
    Nobody got "almost shot". Spare me. Cops routinely draw down on people (when justified ) like felony stops etc. Cops are taught to try to get one step ahead of people they have reason to deem a threat. That's why on a felony stop , an example where a cop has JUSTIFICATION in fearing an armed and dangerous perp, they don't wait to see if the person is armed before they draw down, etc. they draw down at the outset. To get the upper hand. That's a good thing. It's basic officer safety, it protects officers and it does NOT result in anybody getting shot unless the guy reaches for his gun and/or charges an officer who has his gun out. Felony stops are a wonderful way to nearly ELIMINATE the necessity of an officer using deadly force, since by getting the upper hand, they almost always convicnce the perp NOT to try anything as it would be futile. In rare instances, ofc's have to fire during a felony stop and because they drew first, they are in a tactical position of being much more likely to survive (also because they use cover).

    The problem in this incident was IT DID NOT JUSTIFY A FELONY STOP. The officer had NO cause whatsoever to draw down on the OCer. PERIOD. Full stop. But any OCer in their right mind would recognize that as long as they followed instructions, they were not going to get shot.

    Fwiw, I have been drawn down on by cops during a felony stop. In that instance, they WERE justified, but it does not make it any less unpleasant to have a police officer draw down on you.

    Fwiw, as a firearms instructor I teach that you do NOT point your gun at a person during an average felony stop. You draw your gun to indoor ready or low ready, generally speaking

    As for your point about me having a duty to check out BPD's policy, um no.

    I said people have a civic duty to check their OWN LOCAL PD and effect positive change. Politics being local, etc. I *have* met that civic duty burden with MY PD.

    Imo, it is not the duty of a person who lives in (for example) Tacoma to effect positive change in Bellingham. We get the govt's we deserve. People should get involved with their LOCAL PD's. THOSE are their servants and those are the people they need to keep a close eye on.

    The bellingham chief sounds like a nimrod.

    We probably both agree on one thing. The officer got off TOO lightly in this case. We may disagree about to what extent the officer should have been punished, but we can both agree he should have been punished vs. how the incident was handled by BPD

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