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Thread: Washington cop asks open carrier if he is feeling erratic.

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    Washington cop asks open carrier if he is feeling erratic.

    Tacoma, WA – On 8/6/2015, at approximately 1:20pm, I was walking down the street when I noticed about 3 marked police vehicles and 1 unmarked SUV in the area. Eventually a motorcycle officer pulled up and the officer directed me to come over to him. Upon complying with the officer’s request, he immediately asked me if I was “in some kind of bad mood or an erratic state of mind.” Knowing better than to answer questions from law enforcement, I politely informed him that I don’t answer questions from law enforcement. He then informed me that a citizen had “called” and reported that I was acting erratically. I thought that was perplexing, since I was simply ambulating with one foot in front of the other, like I normally do. The officer did not press the issue or resort to failed intimidation tactics. He simply was responding to a call. I informed him that I understood, but I still chose to exercise my right to not answer questions and go on about my way.

    Some might think a citizen who refuses to answer questions is rude to a police officer who has a hard and dangerous job. I submit that no good can EVER come out of talking to a police officer (unless you have called them for a service) since the relationship between citizen and police officer is adversarial in nature. I believe it is best to be informed of the laws, exercise your right to remain silent, and go on about your business. Once a citizen starts answering questions, they run the risk of law enforcement officials using the words of the citizen against him/her. It is not rude to be free and decide not to comply with police officers, if you have done nothing illegal and there is no legal reason for an interaction with them. Often times “discussions” with citizens turn into probable cause for further investigation or detention.

    The following is the video of the encounter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7BH_WqK6yQ

    - Rogue Reflections –
    www.roguereflectionsphotography.com

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    "Make sure you don't wave the gun around or do anything erratic."
    Hoplophobia is a social disease.

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    Quote Originally Posted by geojohn View Post
    "Make sure you don't wave the gun around or do anything erratic."
    LoL. I had to try REALLY hard not to bust out laughing with that comment he made.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Should have said "you too"....lol at the silly comment....hahaha.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    "Make sure you don't wave the gun around or do anything erratic."
    Okie dokie, you have a good day, Scout.

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    Founder's Club Member protias's Avatar
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    No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. Thomas Jefferson (1776)

    If you go into a store, with a gun, and rob it, you have forfeited your right to not get shot - Joe Deters, Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Prosecutor

    I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians. - George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    The citizenry is calling telling us about you walking down the street with your gun saying you looked like your acting erratic or your not in a good state of mind.
    Well officer, I suggest you may want to have that citizen submit to a mental evaluation. That statement demonstrates delusional tendencies and appears to suffer from Hoplophobia.

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RogueReflections View Post
    Some might think a citizen who refuses to answer questions is rude to a police officer who has a hard and dangerous job.
    The fact that they have a "hard and dangerous job" has nothing to do with it. Loggers and fisherman have hard and dangerous jobs, too. So?

    ...the relationship between citizen and police officer is adversarial in nature.
    I disagree. It was never designed to be adversarial in nature. Some LEOs make that way, just as some citizens make it that way. I've generally found that you're about 10 times more likely to see a situation go sour when both the LEO and the citizen are behaving in an adversarial manner. When one or the other is behaving maturely, the situation usually remains diffused.

    Once a citizen starts answering questions, they run the risk of law enforcement officials using the words of the citizen against him/her.
    Master the art of the friendly but vague non-answer and counter-question. Go Mayberry on them:

    Cop: How're you doing this afternoon?

    Cit: Fine, Officer. Lovely day. And you? How are you doing?

    Cop: Doing ok. Are from around these parts?

    Cit: Yes Sir. How about yourself?

    Cop: Listen, do you know why I pulled up?

    Cit: Well, now, I haven't given it much thought. I was thinking you wanted to say "Hello." Is that right?

    (by this time, he'll feel like a heel if he had another reason)

    Cop: Actually, I pulled up because you're carrying a firearm.

    Cit: (Remains quite, with a friendly smile, nodding understanding but waiting for some explanation as to why that's somehow unusual or out of place)

    Cop: (being confrontational) Did you hear me? I said I pulled up because you're carrying a firearm.

    Cit: Ok (looks a little perplexed) Is there something I can do to help you, Sir?

    Cop: Do you live around here?

    Cit: Why, yes I do. How about yourself?

    Cop: I mean, where do you live?

    Cit: Right here in town. How about yourself? Have you lived here long?

    Cop: What is your name?

    Cit: Hi, I'm John. Pleasure to make your acquaintance (hold out your hand for a shake - they'll refused, but you'll put him on the defensive, nicely) And you are?

    Cop: John what?

    Cit: Just John. What's your first name?

    Cop: You can call me Officer Jones.

    Cit: Ok, Officer Jones. You can call me John (this again makes him feel like a heel).

    Cop: So why are you carrying a firearm?

    Cit: Pretty much the same reason you are, except I'm not out to arrest anyone. Just self defense.

    Cop: Self defense, huh?

    Cit: Yes Sir.

    At this point, you've sent him all the right signals with respect to knowing your rights, but you've been very polite, respectful and non-confrontational about it. About the only thing left in his bag of tricks is to try and talk you into or recommend CC, at which point you could always say, "I've given that some serious consideration, Officer, and you know what I realized? I realized that OC is probably the best way to go." You don't have to tell him why or try to convince him. You've made your decision.

    It is not rude to be free and decide not to comply with police officers if you have done nothing illegal and there is no legal reason for an interaction with them.
    There may be no reason apparent to you while they may have a legitimate reason. Even a false report of brandishing gives them a legitimate reason to check it out. If you're confrontational or antagonistic, you'll only confirm their suspicions. If you're polite and respectful, even without divulging information, there's not anything they can do without PC or RAS, and the mere act of OC constitutes neither. So the federal courts have ruled.

    Often times “discussions” with citizens turn into probable cause for further investigation or detention.
    Only if you're stupid or combative.

    The following is the video of the encounter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7BH_WqK6yQ
    That was handled quite well.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    "Adversarial"

    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    It was never designed to be adversarial in nature. Some LEOs make that way, just as some citizens make it that way. I've generally found that you're about 10 times more likely to see a situation go sour when both the LEO and the citizen are behaving in an adversarial manner. When one or the other is behaving maturely, the situation usually remains diffused.)
    By "adversarial," I meant in the legal sense - meaning anything you say can and will be used against you.

    I love your Mayberry Verbal Judo scene! I have no issues with how this cop handled himself. I have no regrets about how I handled mine. It was my intention to remain firm but polite.

    Your post was great.

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    At this point, you've sent him all the right signals with respect to knowing your rights, but you've been very polite, respectful and non-confrontational about it. About the only thing left in his bag of tricks is to try and talk you into or recommend CC, at which point you could always say, "I've given that some serious consideration, Officer, and you know what I realized? I realized that OC is probably the best way to go." You don't have to tell him why or try to convince him. You've made your decision.
    Your "Master the art of the friendly but vague non-answer and counter-question. Go Mayberry on them" only works if the officer has respect for the law. But, an officer who doesn't care about your rights could care less how friendly you are while standing up for your rights.

    Many officers who resent the fact that you would stand on your rights also know that 99.44% of the citizenry does not have the ways and means to defend themselves while going through the trial process, especially a jailable offense. And I'm speaking from experience, but I had the ability and knowledge to prevail. I've been cuffed, stuffed and falsely charged by dirty cops. Endured 20 months of illegal skullduggery, but in the end the judge was painted into a corner and had to acquit.

    To many times when a citizen stands-up for their rights and articulate the law usually are ridiculed by the officer with the response of "another citizen who thinks they know the law."

    Look, if the cop is out to harass you or take advantage of you, there is nothing you can do to change it.

    RogueReflections, you handled yourself well, but the cop respected your rights. You were lucky.
    Last edited by color of law; 08-07-2015 at 10:33 AM.

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    ...I disagree. It was never designed to be adversarial in nature. Some LEOs make that way, just as some citizens make it that way. I've generally found that you're about 10 times more likely to see a situation go sour when both the LEO and the citizen are behaving in an adversarial manner. When one or the other is behaving maturely, the situation usually remains diffused...
    I disagree. I think the situation would tend to remain defused.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RogueReflections View Post
    LoL. I had to try REALLY hard not to bust out laughing with that comment he made.
    I was specifically trying not to say anything "smart" or to engage in any type of dialogue with him. At times in the past, I have found myself angry from the behavior of the police I record, and have acted on that emotion verbally. That is not how I want to represent the "Rogue Reflections" label, for lack of a better word. It was such a funny comment though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by color of law View Post
    Your "Master the art of the friendly but vague non-answer and counter-question. Go Mayberry on them" only works if the officer has respect for the law. But, an officer who doesn't care about your rights could care less how friendly you are while standing up for your rights.

    Many officers who resent the fact that you would stand on your rights also know that 99.44% of the citizenry does not have the ways and means to defend themselves while going through the trial process, especially a jailable offense. And I'm speaking from experience, but I had the ability and knowledge to prevail. I've been cuffed, stuffed and falsely charged by dirty cops. Endured 20 months of illegal skullduggery, but in the end the judge was painted into a corner and had to acquit.

    To many times when a citizen stands-up for their rights and articulate the law usually are ridiculed by the officer with the response of "another citizen who thinks they know the law."

    Look, if the cop is out to harass you or take advantage of you, there is nothing you can do to change it.

    RogueReflections, you handled yourself well, but the cop respected your rights. You were lucky.
    Today, lucky...tomorrow, who knows. There are just too many inconsistencies with how law enforcement deals with law-abiding citizens. That is one reason recording them is so necessary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    At this point, you've sent him all the right signals with respect to knowing your rights, but you've been very polite, respectful and non-confrontational about it. About the only thing left in his bag of tricks is to try and talk you into or recommend CC, at which point you could always say, "I've given that some serious consideration, Officer, and you know what I realized? I realized that OC is probably the best way to go." You don't have to tell him why or try to convince him. You've made your decision.

    There may be no reason apparent to you while they may have a legitimate reason. Even a false report of brandishing gives them a legitimate reason to check it out. If you're confrontational or antagonistic, you'll only confirm their suspicions. If you're polite and respectful, even without divulging information, there's not anything they can do without PC or RAS, and the mere act of OC constitutes neither. So the federal courts have ruled.

    Only if you're stupid or combative.

    That was handled quite well.
    Thank you. One does not have to engage an officer much to have the conversation twisted. Simply answering where I was, what I was doing, what my mood was, or ANYTHING could be twisted by the right person. Usually I dialogue with the police, especially if I am expecting their presence. This time, I wanted to try something a little different than my normal approach. I found I liked this approach a little better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RogueReflections View Post
    Today, lucky...tomorrow, who knows. There are just too many inconsistencies with how law enforcement deals with law-abiding citizens. That is one reason recording them is so necessary.
    Well done sir! What camera did you use? My "smartphone" tends to freeze up whenever I try to record something I want to save and I'm looking for an inexpensive body type camera that I can reliably click on when something like this happens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dario View Post
    Well done sir! What camera did you use? My "smartphone" tends to freeze up whenever I try to record something I want to save and I'm looking for an inexpensive body type camera that I can reliably click on when something like this happens.
    Good day to you. Please use the search system above to see additional threads on cameras and recorders. The topic has been hashed over, and over, and over.

    Also, you will get more info than a new request. Good question though
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

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    Regular Member stealthyeliminator's Avatar
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    I think you handled the situation very respectably.

    I think it'd be easy to default to saying something like "well, he shouldn't have stopped to talk to you in the first place" like may very well be the case in a majority of scenarios, but if the officer was given false information that you were acting erratically then I think their response and handling of the situation was probably actually pretty good... Observe for a while, and when no erratic behavior is observed optionally make a consensual contact to ask the person in question about to situation and call. He might have not chosen the best of words but compared to some of the responses elsewhere in similar scenarios I think that his handling of the situation was very mild.

    Then again, I guess it is kind of sad when mild handling of a peaceful situation is met with the thought "well at least he didn't shoot anyone" because such overreaction by police has become all but expected
    Advocate freedom please

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator View Post
    I think you handled the situation very respectably.

    I think it'd be easy to default to saying something like "well, he shouldn't have stopped to talk to you in the first place" like may very well be the case in a majority of scenarios, but if the officer was given false information that you were acting erratically then I think their response and handling of the situation was probably actually pretty good... Observe for a while, and when no erratic behavior is observed optionally (?) make a consensual contact to ask the person in question about to situation and call. He might have not chosen the best of words but compared to some of the responses elsewhere in similar scenarios I think that his handling of the situation was very mild.

    Then again, I guess it is kind of sad when mild handling of a peaceful situation is met with the thought "well at least he didn't shoot anyone" because such overreaction by police has become all but expected
    Why? Consensual only in the eyes of the court...cops. I'm fairly certain the OCer did not consent to being contacted by the cop in the first place.

    Consensual...pfft.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Quote Originally Posted by protias View Post
    Don't Talk to Police video
    +1

    "No offense, officer. I know you're just doing your job. But, I do not consent to an encounter with you."

    This throws the legal ball back into the cop's court. After making it clear it is not a consensual encounter, the officer must have reasonable articulable suspicion (RAS) to continue the encounter.

    Within the last several months, a dissenting judge in an appellate court decision came out and said the same thing--refuse consent. But, I can't find the decision. I'd be grateful to anyone who can find that decision. I have a vague recollection it was in Maryland.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Regular Member stealthyeliminator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Why? Consensual only in the eyes of the court...cops. I'm fairly certain the OCer did not consent to being contacted by the cop in the first place.

    Consensual...pfft.
    You don't have to consent to being contacted in the first place. If you're walking down the sidewalk I am free to try and engage you in conversation...

    Only because they are still an individual human being with the same right to attempt a conversation with any other person that any other person has, they may do the same. Why would they want to if no erratic behavior was observed? Well, that's a good question, I don't really want to explore it, though, I don't think arguing about the validity of concern existing beyond a brief observation is going to be very fruitful.

    The OCer in the video seemed to have no trouble at all breaking away from and ending the conversation.

    Let's just agree that the highlighted portion of my post is contestable.
    Advocate freedom please

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthyeliminator View Post
    You don't have to consent to being contacted in the first place. If you're walking down the sidewalk I am free to try and engage you in conversation...

    Only because they are still an individual human being with the same right to attempt a conversation with any other person that any other person has, they may do the same. Why would they want to if no erratic behavior was observed? Well, that's a good question, I don't really want to explore it, though, I don't think arguing about the validity of concern existing beyond a brief observation is going to be very fruitful.

    The OCer in the video seemed to have no trouble at all breaking away from and ending the conversation.

    Let's just agree that the highlighted portion of my post is contestable.
    Consensual encounter has been twisted by cops and the courts to basically an investigation/fishing expedition.

    I now use the term casual encounter for conversations that are mutually agreed to. This would be the average person on the street who has a conversation with another average person on the street. That is not what most cops do in "consensual" encounters.
    Last edited by sudden valley gunner; 08-08-2015 at 11:53 PM.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Here's where I have a little problem with police questioning or hassling civilians who happen to be carrying arms. They carry arms at our pleasure and by way of our permission. We carry arms because it is our right. So where do police get off with hassling armed civilians or even stopping them without any RAS or PC?
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    ...Even a false report of brandishing gives them a legitimate reason to check it out.
    If this were true, each of these false reports would be followed with an arrest or citation of the person making said false report. I never hear about those...

    Often times “discussions” with citizens turn into probable cause for further investigation or detention.
    Quote Originally Posted by since9
    ...Only if you're stupid or combative...
    Or you're caught off guard, especially if raised by the government to trust its agents instinctively.
    Last edited by MAC702; 08-09-2015 at 01:18 AM.
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    I am interested in everyone's thought of the initial contact. The op was directed to approach the cop. If this was conveyed via gesture, is there anyway it can be construed as a consensual encounter?
    "I support the ban on assault weapons" - Donald Trump

    We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission - Ayn Rand

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    Here's where I have a little problem with police questioning or hassling civilians who happen to be carrying arms. They carry arms at our pleasure and by way of our permission. We carry arms because it is our right. So where do police get off with hassling armed civilians or even stopping them without any RAS or PC?
    +1 That's well put. It supports my assertion that there is no such thing as a "consensual" contact.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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