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Thread: Got the cops called on me...again

  1. #1
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    LMAO, My neighbors hate me! The other day I was out shooting and among other things, I was bump firing my AR-15.Anyway, apparently more than one neighbor called in reporting that I had a full auto weapon. Needless to say I had cops show up (eventually) like an hour and a half later.

    What happened was a long drawn out story, but basically they just disarmed me since I was wearing a taurus 627 (.357) on my hip at the time. Gathered up all my weapons, inspected my Bushmaster, ran the serial numbers and basically told me I was good to go. Didn't even bother telling me not to do it anymore. They did strongly encourage me to join a shooting range but assured me that my backstop was completely legal.

    My question is, did I have to give up my 357 when I was talking to them? They'd never requested that I disarm myself before and the cop's basically know me by a first name basis because of how many times they've been called. They asked me if they could 'secure' the gun, not demanded it. I didn't really have a problem at the time because I knew I was relatively safe with them being LEO's. I don't really trust giving up my gun to ANYONE and was just wondering if I would have to do it again if they were called back out.

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    I question the seizing of guns to run SNs more than being temporarily disarmed.

    Had you been firing on full auto, would that have violated any stae or loacl law?

    If not, what the heck were they even doing responding to the call and coming onto your land?

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    Mike wrote:
    I question the seizing of guns to run SNs more than being temporarily disarmed.

    Had you been firing on full auto, would that have violated any stae or loacl law?

    If not, what the heck were they even doing responding to the call and coming onto your land?
    Very good point! You should try and find someone with a legal Class III and invite them over for a "shootout!"

    I would agree with Mike, runningthe serials would be the part that bothered me the most. You can tell just from looking at the firearms if they are autos (or at least with just a basic function check). I don't know how your department works, but there is a good chance that you SN's got added to the call for service (CFS)log from that call. You might want to do aa FOIA on the department and request a copy of the CFS to see what is listed. If your serials are listed you might want to file a complaint with the dept, although you probably can't get them taken off because the CFSis probably considered public record.

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    They didn't even ask for permission to run the serial numbers, they just did it. I know they wrote them down. What difference would this make? What does 'FOIA' stand for? How do I go about filing a complaint if needed? What is a 'Call For service'? Does this mean that if what I have ever becomes illegal, they'll come to me to confiscate them or something? I don't have a Class III license since there's no need. I told the officers that I was just bump firing and he said that's completely legal. I didn't even question them when they ran the SN's, I figured that was standard procedure. Please give step by step instructions on what I should do

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    FOIA = Freedom of Information Act.

    The issue here is why did they come out? What potential unlawful activity were they investigating? Why did they write down your SNs?

    if you want to follow up, do so thru the PD Chief's office - ask what was going on, etc.

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    Anytime the police are called a "call for service" is generated under a category. A CFS can be initiated by the police officer (i.e. a traffic stop, etc.), or by someone calling the police (i.e. your case). The police will then investigate the CFS, and then take the appropriateaction to close the CFS (i.e. an arrest if a crime had been committed, ticket for a traffic violation, tell a resident to turn down music if the call was for noise, etc.) During the time the CFS is open, any of the main details of the call will be recorded on the CFS. The CFS are usually used later by the department to track trends and help with their policing methods (i.e. this year we received double the number drunk in public and loud noise CFS from neighborhood such-and-such, we should probably look at that.)

    As far if your rifles ever become illegal if they will be able to track you down.This would be almost impossible to do, IMO. Every department gets tens of thousands of CFS per year, and they are normally filed by the complaint type in order to track trends. They would probably have to already know the time and location of the CFS, in order to recall it. However, I would just be annoyed that my info made it into the "public" sphere.

    If you look at the incident that happen in Staunton over the summer, it has a lot of good info on how they filed a FOIA/complaint, and the info they got back. They even have the event report that was generated from the call for service.

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    Mike wrote:
    FOIA = Freedom of Information Act.

    The issue here is why did they come out? What potential unlawful activity were they investigating? Why did they write down your SNs?

    if you want to follow up, do so thru the PD Chief's office - ask what was going on, etc.
    They were investingating the possibility of me having full auto weapons since people called the cops reporting fully automatic fire. Why they wrote my SN's down is anyone's guess.

    Would filing a complaint give the cops reason to get on my case about stuff? I don't want the cops looking for a reason to bust me for something insignificant.

    Would requesting the CFS allow me to find out who called the cops on me? I was told by the LEO that "several" people had called in but I know of only one neighbor who would be bothered by gun fire, even full auto gun fire.

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    The name of the caller(s) and other personally identifying details are generally redacted from resoponses to FOIA requests.

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    Ok so I had an unexpected visit from the police today. Yes, again! This time it had nothing to do with me legally shooting my guns.

    Here's the situation, I was being lazy and decided to sleep in this morning. I sleep with a Glock 27 in my ankle holster and during the night, the pants leg usually rides up revealing it. Well this morning at about 10:30am my dog starts going nuts and I knew from the way he was barking that there were cops in my yard. So I get up and walk outside. The cops (there were 3 of them) were walking up to my door and they asked if a guy named "Nate" was here. I politely told them that I didn't know any Nate and that he certainly didn't live here. By now the cop was only a few feet away from me and he noticed my partically covered G27. He immediatally ordered for me to turn around (in a rather firm voice) and didn't even ask if he could disarm me. As he was beginning to disarm me one of the other cops asks me a question. My dog is still going nuts and I didn't hear him so I **SLIGHTLY** turned to ask him to repeat the question. The first cop, an officer Tidman (who was probably 25-27) immediately grabs the back of my shirt and starts yelling at me "DO NOT MOVE, DO NOT MOVE!!!" The other cop told the officer Tidman to take me off the porch away from the dog. I could tell from his voice that he was the 'good cop.'

    So we get off the porch and walk far enough away that the dog calms down a bit. Officer Tidman is still holding on tightly to the back of my shirt. The 'good cop' asks if I have any other weapons on me and I reply that I didn't but that I did have a Concealed Handgun Permit. Officer Tidman then proceeds to put me in HANDCUFFS!!! Now this is where I start getting pissed off. You can take away my gun if you have to but to put me in handcuffs is totally out of line.

    To make a long story short, they proceed to explain that a local store had been robbed recently and that they were somehow directed to this address. At least that's what they said to me although I overheard the 'good cop' asking officer Tidman if he was sure that this was the right address because he was pretty sure that only me and my mom lived here. I didn't hear his response if he gave one. They said that they were looking for a guy named "Nate" but "that I was the wrong color."They asked if they could search the house and I said yes (thinking back on it, I should have said if you've got a freakin warrent) but that I would have to hold the dog back so they could get in the house. Nowmy dog HATES cop with an unrivaled passion so having three of them there, he was doing his best to get loose. Luckily not even he is strong enough tobreak a 3/8" logging chain. Anyway, they were not to keen on the idea of having someone that they'd obviously pissed off hold back a very vicious dog. I guess they were afraid that I would let him go just as they were in reach of his chain. So after afew uneasyglances, they decided not to search the house.

    They again ran my serial numberon my brand new Glock even though I asked them not to and let me go.

    Now here's my opinion, I was treated like a common criminal. Being a valid CHP holder, I am anything BUT a common criminal! It's almost 12 hours later and I'm still pissed off as hell at this officer Tidman. I know he was just trying to do his job but this is obviously not the first time I've encountered police witha gun on. I can understand disarming me, I don't like it, but I can understand it. But barking orders at me, treating me like a common criminal and above all else, PUTTING ME IN HANDCUFFS is out of line. I'm strongly considering filing an official complaint against this officer Tidman and I was just wanting y'alls opinion/advice on the matter.

    Do you think he (officer Tidman) was out of line by anything he did?
    Do you think he should have put me in handcuffs?
    Do you think I deserved to be put in handcuffs?
    Do you think I should/am justified in filing a complaint?
    Would filing a complaint do any good?
    What would you have done in this situation?

    That's all the questions I can think of right now. Thanks for all your input.

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    I'm very curious to hear what others on the board think of these questions and this incident.

    My dogs may look kindadisconcerting to some folks,but both of them would happily lick and love anyone as long as I wasn't feeling fearful or angry. I've never understood why this is true of some dogs, and not others. Why do you think yourdog "HATES cops with an unrivaled passion"?

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    Anyone who has a dog will know what I'm talking about when I say this but I can tell what my dog is barking at just by listening to him. He usually is just a very protective dog, curious of any stranger that approaches. However when it comes to cops, I can tell by his barks that he actually wants to bite the living hell out of them. :shock:I've never been comfortable around cops and maybe my dog can just sense that. Or maybe he's just uncomfortable with someone who he's never been able to smell. Either way, I know without a doubt that if he'd had the choice, he would have attacked all three of the cops with all his might most likely being shot in the process. I don't know why my dog hates cops but days like this make me glad that he does. Anyway, any stranger that comes close, he'llnip atif he feels threatened. With me and my mom, he'll bark for love. But with a cop, he barks trying to say "let me bite 'em daddy, let me bite the hell out of them!!!"

    I made sure to give him lots of love after the police left.

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    I don't think he was justified in doind what he did. I can see disarming you for the time being, but just because you turned your head to hear more clearly, that DOES NOT warrant putting you in handcuffs. That is just ridiculous IMO.

    I think filing a complaint is definately not out of line on your part.



    Matt

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    To answer your questions...

    Yes,
    No,
    No,
    Yes,
    Who the heck knows,
    Probably about the same thing.

    This officer was way out of line. When I was on the job, I worked with a few guys that were, what I called, "God Cops." God cops work the job for the authority it conveys, and transfer their authority into power. They then proceed to abuse that power.

    Now this guy was either really green, or a God cop in the making. Either way, if the department is any good at all, then they'll have a talking to him, and if his problem is a lack of experience, then here's a good chance for him to learn something.

    I have learned that the best way to screw yourself up is to disobey or argue with the police. It is always 100000 % better to do what you are told and make a complaint later.

    ---A

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    357luvr wrote:
    1. Do you think he (officer Tidman) was out of line by anything he did?
    2. Do you think he should have put me in handcuffs?
    3. Do you think I deserved to be put in handcuffs?
    4. Do you think I should/am justified in filing a complaint?
    5. Would filing a complaint do any good?
    6. What would you have done in this situation?

    I numbered your questions so that it would be easier for me to keep everything straight. On 1 through 3the officer would needan articulate reasonable suspicion that youhad committed a crime, or that you were involved in criminal activity in order to justify the stop. He would also need enough reasonable suspicion that you were a danger to the officer/others/yourself in order for him to disarm you and place you in handcuffs.

    I do not believe that they had enough reasonable suspicion for either of those. And they definitely could not articulate any of their suspicions: they were unsure of the address, they thought you were the wrong color of the suspect they were searching for, and they didn't search your house after you gave consent for them to do so. Meaning they had the wrong guy and they knew it from the get-go! If they had a description of a robbery suspect that somewhat fit your physical characteristics, then their actions wouldprobably have been justified. But since they didn't really have a clue of who they were looking for, I would say everything they did to you was WAY OUT OF LINE and UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

    Another thing that stands out to me is that they didn't search your house even after you gave your consent. Police are notorious for searching anything and everything that they can get consent for. They might have started to figure out that they were potentially causing more problems than they would want to deal with down the road. i.e. they were ******* you off too much and they didn't have any legal basis to do so.

    On #4 I would say that you are justified and should file a complaint. I would also filing the complaint against all three officers. Name Officer Tidmin as the main offender, but make it known that the other officers were present and didn't do anything to prevent his actions. I don't know how much good it will do, but I think you should try.

    If you really wanted to harass them, you could submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requesting everything: a copy of the call for service of the robbery and the call that led them to your house; a copy of the departments policy for disarming citizens and their use-of-force guidelines; a copy of Officer Tidman's service record, including all complaints filed against him; etc. Personally I would submit a FOIA, and then submit a full complaint based on the incident and whateverrelevant info your get from the FOIA.

    I would also recommend contacting the VCDL. They might want to know about this, and could probably give you some more advice. We are starting to see a few of these situations throughout VA, and the VCDL has been on the front lines for most of them.

    In reply to #6, here is what I would have done: I would have done what the officer told me to do (like you did). Once in handcuffs Iwould have asked the officers what justification they had for their actions. I would have been making statements like "If I am the wrong color from your suspect why are you wasting my time and violating my rights?" Once out of handcuffs and with my handgun back in my possession, I would have asked all three of the officers fortheir names. When they asked if they could search my house I would have told them "absolutely not." I would then ask them to leave my property. Then I would contact the VCDL and let them know that happened, submit the FOIA requesting all of the info I mentioned above, and finally submit a formal complaint against all officers.

    Ok, that was long! Thanks for letting us know about this situation. Keep us in the loop, and let us know what happens.

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    can anyone give me the contact info for the VCDL? I would contact the local police department to file for a FOIA, correct? Do I just call them up and give them the date that the incident occured and ask for a FOIA?

    This is something that just crosses the line and I plan to stand up and use every right entitled to me to see that something is done about this officer Tidman. There's only one problem, I didn't look at the other officers name badge. But hopefully that will be on the CFS or the FOIA report. One other question, who do I need to talk to about the FOIA/CFS thing, do I need to talk to the sheriff himself or can anyone who answers the phone give me the information I need?

    Thanks again, and I will keep y'all updated on the situation.

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    send your story to Philip Van Cleave at philip@vcdl.org most riki tik. You commited no crime even if you didn't have a permit because its legal to conceal in your home and on the curtilage of your property. I would say you were the victim of false arrest.

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    357luvr I passed your story onto PVC but contact him anyway. Better if he can get the details straight from you.

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    Thanks longwatch for sending him my story and giving me the address. I took you up on your suggestion and sent the following letter.

    Dear Mr. Philip Van Cleave,

    Hello, my name is Gary Wyant. I recently had a very unfortunate encounter with local Law Enforcement Officers. I am a member of opencarry.org (known as '357luvr') and a member that goes by 'longwatch' suggested that I contact you. I believe he has already sent you a copy of my post on opencarry.org.
    Here is my story. On 12/01/2006 around 10:30 in the morning I was awoken by my dog barking.My dog doesn't like cops for some reason and I could tellby the way he was barking that there were cops in my front yard. Igot up and stepped outside wearing a Glock 27inan ankle holster. I didn't realize that it was partially uncovered.
    When I got outside, I realized that there were threepolice cruisers in my front yard. Three different officers were approaching my front porch including an Orange County (of Virginia) officer named Tidman. I didn't happen to look for a rank but I did see a 'K-9' emblem on his shirt. Officer Tidman approached me and started to ask me questions.
    He (officer Tidman) asked if there was anyone named 'Nate' that lived here and I told him that there wasn't and that I didn't know a 'Nate.' At this time he was fairly close to me and he happened to notice my handgun on my ankle. He immediately ordered (not ask) me to turn around and was preparing to disarm me (without my permission) when another officer asked me a question. I was standing on my front porch and my dog was still barking enough that I didn't hear the second officer's question. I turned SLIGHTLY to ask the second officer to repeat his question. Officer Tidman then grabbed a hold of the back of my shirt and started yelling 'DO NOT MOVE, DO NOT MOVE!!!' He then ordered me to put my hands up and he disarmed me.
    The second officer suggested that we move away from the porch and I complied and stepped approximately 7 feet away from the porch and the dog. The dog at this point starts to calm down and the second cop asks if I have any other weapons on me. I told him that I didn't have any other weapons on me but that I did have a Concealed Handgun Permit. Officer Tidman then clears the loaded Glock 27 and puts the handgun on the porch and the magazine in a window sill. Officer Tidman then tells me that I am not under arrest but proceeds to put me in handcuffs!
    Officer Tidman then gets the second officer to watch me while he walks away and talks to the third officer who is still in one of the patrol cars. After he returns he asks if everything has been explained to me yet. I told him that nothing had been explained. He then tells me that a nearby store had been robbed recently and that they were looking for a guy named Nate. He then said 'but the problem is, you're the wrong color' implying that the person they were looking for is black since I am white.
    I'll admit that by this point, I'm freaking out. I had only been put in handcuffs once in my life and that was for a charge that was eventually dropped. I felt that I had done nothing wrong and certainly was in no need of being in handcuffs. So I'm unsure of what exactly took place after this.
    The second officer was the arresting officer who had handcuffed me before and he asked officer Tidman if he was sure of the address because he thought that only me and my mother lived here. I did not hear his response if he gave one. At some point in time they photographed me and asked if they could search my house. I told them that they could but that I would have to hold my dog back. They asked me where I would take the dog and I told them that I would take the dog away from the porch so that they could enter my home. Again they questioned each other if it was the right address. They tried to distract the dog while officer Tidman entered the house but he decided not to.
    At this point the third officer asked if officer Tidman had gotten the serial number off of my handgun. I then asked that the serial numbers not be broadcast because I did not want them in the report. I assured them that the gun was not stolen and officer Tidman then asked if it was okay to write them down. I assumed I didn't have a choice and agreed. I'm certain that he did broadcast them and put them in the CFS report but I have no proof of that.They then gave me back my handgun and released me.

    I don't know what I should do at this point. I feel that this officer Tidman violated my civil rights by disarming me and even worse yet, handcuffing me. I know the VCDL handles a lot of cases like this and I was hoping that you could offer me suggestions on how to move forward from here.
    I would like to file an official complaint at the very least. I think that this officer Tidman was way out of line by what he did.I am not comfortable knowing that there is a young (he only looked to be ~27 years old) officer out there who is obviously abusing his authority by infringing upon my civil rights. I am even more uncomfortable knowing that there are older officers out there who would let this happen.
    I would appreciate any and all advice you could give me on this matter. Please contact me at your earliest convenience.

    Sincerely,
    Gary Wyant

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    Gary,

    This appears to befalse arrest and unprofessional conduct.

    Once the police acted hostile to you, you should have told the police they were tresspassing and ordered them off your protery, refused to consent to a search of your house, protested the disarming of you and recording of your gun's serial number, and otherwise remained silent.

    What was the end result?

    Did you make a complaint to the police chiefs of the officers involved?

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    Mike wrote:
    Gary,

    This appears to befalse arrest and unprofessional conduct.

    Once the police acted hostile to you, you should have told the police they were tresspassing and ordered them off your protery, refused to consent to a search of your house, protested the disarming of you and recording of your gun's serial number, and otherwise remained silent.

    What was the end result?

    Did you make a complaint to the police chiefs of the officers involved?
    I had no idea that I could 'have told the police they were tresspassing and ordered them off your property.' I thought that the police had the right to be there and do pretty much anything they wanted. I'll admit that once the handcuffs were slapped on, my thinking went out the window. I knew they were doing me wrong by having me in handcuffs and disarming me without my permission but I didn't want to resist and have them charge me with something.

    It's the weekend and I very seriously doubt that the sheriff is in on the weekend. I think that it would be best to talk to the sheriff directly instead of just anyone who answers the phone. Am I correct about that?

    What my plans are is to call the sheriff Monday morning and go from there. At this point, I'm certain that they did me wrong by both disarming me without my permission and putting me in handcuffs. I just don't know how I should go about filing a complaint.

    I doubt that I'll recieve a reply from Philip Van Cleave before monday. Should I wait until I get a reply from him to file a complaint? Or is there a time limit on how long I can wait before filing a complaint? I'd hate to see this jerk get away with this because of some legal loophole.

    Thank you everyone for giving me all this advice. I was thinking that there was nothing I could do or that he was completely within his rights by doing what he did. I'm glad to know that I was wrong about that. Thanks again for all your advice, I'll keep y'all updated on what happens next.

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    357luvr wrote:
    I had no idea that I could 'have told the police they were trespassing and ordered them off your property.' I thought that the police had the right to be there and do pretty much anything they wanted. I'll admit that once the handcuffs were slapped on, my thinking went out the window. I knew they were doing me wrong by having me in handcuffs and disarming me without my permission but I didn't want to resist and have them charge me with something.
    IMO, you did the right thing by not physically resisting. In a situation like this physically resisting could get you hurt and potentially cause more problems. Telling the police that they were trespassing and ordering them off of you property might not have changed the situation at all. Although it would have given you a little more ground for taking legal actions later.

    All in all, if the police want to abuse their powers they are going to do it. The best thing to do (IMO), is to get through the situation while verbally expressing your discontent. And then take legal action or file a complaint later. This is pretty much what you are doing.

    I just want to add that I respect and admire the police and the job that they do. I personally know a lot of good cops. It just really irks me when an officer abuses his power and doesn't respect the constitution that he has sworn to protect. There are a lot of cops out there that bend over backwards not to violate anyones rights, and they are to be commended.

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    I forgot about your question about contacting Philip. If you want to you could get the ball rolling, contact the sheriff and see what steps you need to take to file a complaint. But I would give Philip a chance to respond before you file the formal complaint. He should be able to give you some valuable advice.

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    When they asked if they could search my house I would have told them "absolutely not."
    I probably would just have said NO. Someone's selective hearing might have just heard me say "absolutely!"



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    357luvr wrote:
    1. Do you think he (officer Tidman) was out of line by anything he did?
    2. Do you think he should have put me in handcuffs?
    3. Do you think I deserved to be put in handcuffs?
    4. Do you think I should/am justified in filing a complaint?
    5. Would filing a complaint do any good?
    6. What would you have done in this situation?
    Here's my opinion.

    1. The officer may have been out of line depending on the amount of force he used and the manner it was used, but this is something that only you and the officers involved would have knowledge of unless it was on video.

    2. Unless these officers knew you well enough to know you were not a threat, they were probably justified in handcuffing you and disarming you. Remember, they were responding to a tip that an armed criminal was at your residence. By handcuffing and disarming you they were making sure you were not a threat to them in their investigation and minimizing the number of possible threats in case this "Nate" person WAS in your house.

    3. See number 2.Until your situation was cleared they had no idea if you were associated with "Nate". After clearing your situation/residence, a polite apology and a prompt return of your weapon would be in order along with a thanks for your cooperation.

    4. That depends on number 1.

    5. Possibly, but it depends on your police departments policies regarding these situations and the Chief of Police's interpretation of the situation. It couldn't hurt to file a complaint, but I wouldn't be surprised if nothing came of it.

    6. Complied and resolved the situation as smoothly as possible while being as polite as possible to the officers.

    I am not a cop, but I understand the need to neutralize possible threats during potentially dangerous situations. Had I been responding to your residence after a tip I felt was worthy of investigating and been met by someone with a gun at the door, I would have been VERY nervous until I had neutralized the situation,preferably by disarming the individual. Handcuffs might have been going a bit too far, but I was not at the scene andit was a judgement call. Just look at it from their point of view, honestly and with no bias, and you may find you would have done something similar.

    Just my 2 cents.

  25. #25
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    Thanks, gsh341. I worked for a police department for two years while in graduate school. While the classical liberal / southerner in me has some issues with authority, I also made many good friends among the police and came torespect and understandsome things from their perspective.

    Cops are allowed to use the same senses and life experience all of us use to determine the degree to which our safety may be about to be compromised. This doesn't mean their hunches are going to always be right. And when they turn out to be wrong, I think cops should explain their purposes and actions more thoroughly, and their needs would be better appreciated if they did so. With that said, police must be able to articulate theirsuspicions and how those suspicions led to actions that any reasonable person would have taken in their shoes.

    I am not quite sure how to say this without arousing passions.... but 357 luvr, you have talked aLOT on this board about how much you hate cops. How your dog hates cops with an unrivaled passion. How your family hates cops. How one of the cops in this incident had arrested you before. You "admit" you were "freaking out", so much so that you are "unsure of what exactly took place after (being handcuffed)".
    Could some of this anger be obvious enough that anyone who happens to wear a police uniform might reasonably be concerned about their safety? I am not saying it is the case, only that I - a reasonable person - am wondering.

    Wearing a gun openly in Virginia is NOT cause in and of itself to be stopped or detained, however briefly. Wearing a gun on your own property is not, either. However, when you combine a gun with any number of other factors that would cause a reasonable person concern, then brief detention and removal of a possible threat usually islegally justified. I don't know if those factors were present in your case, but it sounds as if they might.

    I want all police to respect my rights, know the law,and follow the rules as I do. In return, I do feel like I owe them the respect of learning more about this situation before jumping to any conclusions. Looking back through all your posts, I am not ready to condemn the police in this situation without knowing a lot more. I am uneasy for some reason, and if I am wrong, I sincerely apologize, because I do not know you.

    I am anxious to hear what others have to say....

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