Thread: Olympia is safe for OC!
I spoke with Lt. Wilson again this morning. He is waiting for the Chief to sign off on his findings of the stop and will send it on to me.
A training bulletin is about to be issued regarding OC and the legal aspects of it. I have been assured that all OPD have been made aware that peaceable OC is legal. I was also told that for the last two weeks OC has been a regular topic of daily briefings.
I asked him if I would be "jacked up" again if someone calls 911 and I am in fact observed in peaceable behavior. Sadly the answer was "yes". This is mainly based off ofThurston County and City of Olympia Attorney opinions regarding officer safety. I also asked if I would be "jacked up" just walking down the street for instance and an officer observed me OCing. The answer was happily "no."
I will relay copies of the training bulletin, attorney opinions, etc... when I recieve them sometime next week.
So unless someone calls 911 in Olympia over OC, there will not be any problems.
Next step, public education...
Good news, keep us up to date.
Well done Steve! It will be good to add those documents to the others that are available.
CZ 75B 9mm, Ruger P94 .40 S&W, Bersa Thunder .380, AR-15 Homebuild
Receiving a 911 call about someone doing a completely legal activity is not grounds for a "Terry stop". A cop must have a "reasonable suspicion" that criminal activity is afoot before than can. Now that they know that what you are doing is legal, they have no reasonable suspicion.
Marty Hayes wrote:Yeah I know. They are going off of what the City and County lawyers told them. I am going to take this issue up with the city liars errr... lawyers I also recall in one coversation with Lt. Wilson he claimed it was not a Terry stop.Receiving a 911 call about someone doing a completely legal activity is not grounds for a "Terry stop". A cop must have a "reasonable suspicion" that criminal activity is afoot before than can. Now that they know that what you are doing is legal, they have no reasonable suspicion.
Consider that the cops get their legal advice from city and county lawyers, they then regurgitate it back to the citizens. I feel that the OPD has done what they can, especially issuing training bulletins, etc... Everything else they are doing on authority of their lawyers. I have to take it to the next level. Also, I'm sure that the findings of my complaint will find it was a justified stop. I can appeal this finding and it will go to an independent review board (no cops, people appointed by the city council and mayor's office IIRC) plus there is the Police Auditor.
Yes! OPD is monitored by an outside auditor who has an annual contract approved by the City Council. All "serious complaints" (which mine is not considered) are audited, and 25% of all other complaints are also audited.
I still think the fault lies with faulty advice from their lawyers, although I would really expect the cops to know better. I am probably going to arrange a meeting with the Chief, and address several points;
1. Open Carry is legal in anyplace I can carry a loaded pistol.
2. OC in a park is legal.
3. Eating cookies and reading a book while OCing in a park is legal.
4. Since all of my activities were legal, even given the 911 call the burden of proof lies with the police to prove my activities are illegal. Since I could not be observed breaking any laws, nor was I giving any indication to break any laws I could not be stop.
In this case, the officers actually met the 911 caller several blocks away and talked with him before approaching me. This actually gave them the opportunity to determine my last known behavior ahead of time. Reading and snacking are not indicators that I am breaking any laws. At best they should have walked past and maybe briefly spoke with me.
If I am not going to be jacked up if a cop observes me OCing without recieving a complaint, why should I be jacked up by a cop with a complaint who observes me peaceably OCing?
Probably Monday I am going to the City Attorney's Office, and maybe the City Manager. More than likely I will wait and see what I get in the mail from the OPD first...
On the other hand, since you are out in public, there is nothing preventing them from walking up to you and having a friendly chat. But, the minute a reasonable person would not feel they were free to leave, (nebulous, but that's the current law) then it has turned into a detention, which must be based on reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
Marty Hayes wrote:On the other hand, since you are out in public, there is nothing preventing them from walking up to you and having a friendly chat. But, the minute a reasonable person would not feel they were free to leave, (nebulous, but that's the current law) then it has turned into a detention, which must be based on reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
If they want to walk up to me and have a friendly chat, that's fine. As you say in public, there is nothing to stop them or anyone else from approaching me.
The impression I got from Lt. Wilson was that if I was simply observed OCing, at best I would have that "friendly chat." He told me I would get asked why I was carrying. I told him "Because a whole cop would be too heavy..." (Thanks Volk!) After he finished laughing I told him of the Volk picture I took that from, and sent him a copy.
However, if someone called 911 while I was OCing I was told I can expect to be "jacked up" (my words).
As soon as I get the formal disposition of my complaints, I am going to set up a meeting with someone from the City Attorney's Office, Lt. Wilson and Chief Michel and go over this BS with them. I may also see if the Police Auditor can sit in.
I stole this from the "Policing The Olympia Way" page on the OPD site... http://www.ci.olympia.wa.us/cityserv...lice/policing/
"On the management level,investigations of complaints about serious misconductareconducted by a Professional Standards Lieutenant who works directly for the Chief of Police. Those investigations aresubject to active review and oversightby an independent attorney (i.e., not a City employee). The attorney actually participates in the investigation processand has the authority to direct additional work, as needed,to assure thatfinished cases are thorough, complete and fair, and that the rights of all parties are respected and protected."(my emphasis)
I want to find this independent attorney as well and talk to him or her...
At any rate reading "Policing The Olympia Way" is amusing when taken in context, and if taken seriously should indicate that the OC community should be able to get a fair shake in Oly.
I am satisfied that Lt. Wilson has done his job, and that much of what I am unhappy with was directed from "on high" There are enough levels of accountability in place in Oly that I am going to work my way up the food chain...
OTOH, if after I exhaust every means shy of a lawsuit of getting my point accross, and am detained again afterwards, I believe that the City of Olympia may be buying me a new and larger sailboat :celebrate