Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Lt. Wilson's response to my last email.

  1. #1
    State Researcher
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Olympia, WA, ,
    Posts
    3,201

    Post imported post

    I think I may have caused him to think I was going to "push the envelope" on OC matters. Here is his response to my email of yesterday.

    Mr. Coffman,

    If you should happen to be stopped again in Olympia I can only say that officers will treat you with respect and professionalism. They will need to evaluate the information they have available given the situation you may be involved in. As we discussed over the phone, they will not treat you the exact same way each time nor will they take any person with a gun casually. They are trained to protect themselves and others by mitigating the potential threat by taking control over you and your weapon.

    Officers need to evaluate the extent of a person's cooperativeness when they are dealing with any situation.If they aska personto do something a reasonable person would accommodate, and that person behaves unusual or uncooperative, they will see that as a potential threat to them and the public. In an open carry case, you would see the officers become more adamant about having you follow their directions. The officerscoulddraw their weapons if they feel it necessary.

    The onuswould beon you to obey a lawful order even if you question the legality of the stop or detainment. The onus on the officer is to communicate effectively with you to let you know why they need you do what they areasking you to do. I've seen examples of officers on our department and elsewhere that don't communicate effectivelyduring these times and later are scrutinized for not having done so.

    One of the things you learn as a new cop is to verbally express yourself as a means to control others. Some officers are good at it from the beginningand some become good at itafter a time. The problem is we don't know the mental state of the individual just by looking atthem or even ifwe know the individualfrom previous contacts.People can range fromtotally sane, sober and cooperative to those that are insane, intoxicated, violent, suicidal and even homicidal. We have to gauge what is going on quickly with all people in order to take reasonable and responsible measures to protect ourselves and the public.

    If you had no backpack to place your ammo and weapon in the officers would have handed you back the items separately and instructed you to not load the weapon in their presence.

    Had you been carrying an automatic or had a magazine available to you that the officers missed during the pat down that would not have changed anything. Your behavior as a citizen carrying a weapon was still on the minds of the officers. If you would have taken action that was viewed by them as threatening the officers would have responded prudently and reasonably to the situation. That of course could range from giving you more verbal directions to using less-lethal or lethal force towards you given your level of threat.

    Mr. Coffman I hope you don't "test the waters" with your right to openly carry a weapon in Olympia. We all recognize your right; but placing officers in questionable situations to test their reaction is not what a reasonable person does. We respect your rights; but you as a citizen must respect the rights of others tofeel safe around you.

    I hope I answered your questions and have given you some helpful advice. Thanks again for your help and cooperation during my investigation.

    Sincerely,

    William W. Wilson, Lt.
    Professional Standards Office
    Olympia Police Department

    Pretty above board and clarifying. I did tell him that I would be sharing any replies on this board. Below is the response I wrote to him.



    Hi,

    Thank you for your reply. I can assure you I have no desire to "test the waters" with open carry. I assume you are refering to beligerant behavior during a stop. I have no intention but to cooperate with officers requests and instructions regardless of my opinions of the matter, nor will I attempt to interfere with their actions nor refuse to cooperate. I may not justify my carrying of a weapon beyond a "it's legal" or "well, a whole cop would be too heavy" :-) statement. I will continue to open carry in a legal manner as I see fit however, and appreciate the efforts you have taken regarding open carry.

    I expected that officers would treat me with respect and professionalism should I be stopped again, which as I have stated before was my prior experience, which I appreciated. Perhaps as you stated on the phone I have unreasonable expectations of law enforcement in Olympia. This is truly a unique town in regards to the proffessionalism of law enforcement in my experience. It is a bit difficult for someone who has only lived here a few months to accept, I keep waiting for "the other shoe to drop"... Prior to Olympia I lived in Lynnwood, Seattle and two years in San Diego County. Perhaps my Southern California tenure has colored my expectations of law enforcement.

    Your answers and advice are appreciated and noted. I will repeat my assurances that I will not place your officers in "questionable circumstances" to test their reaction, and apologize if I gave the impression that I would.

    This entire incident as you know was and is widely discussed on opencarry.org. As I believe I mentioned, the actions of the OPD and your office have been widely regard as highly professional and above board. I believe the growing open carry community views the OPD and especially your office as quite professional and appreciates your work in this matter.

    This should wrap up any lingering questions and doubts I had, and I hope clarifies my position on the matter as well. I recieved my survey in the mail, and will be returning it with high marks, and an appropriate letter. I wish other cops were as professional as you and yours.

    Thanks,

    Steve Coffman

  2. #2
    Accomplished Advocate
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Bedford, Texas, USA
    Posts
    834

    Post imported post

    maybe i'm misinterpeting the officers letter but all I can see is him saying that 'we know open carry is your right, but to avoid any hassle that my officers WILL give you because they don't care for citizens that can be a threat to them, we prefer you not exercise that right.'

  3. #3
    Regular Member Mainsail's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Silverdale, Washington, USA
    Posts
    1,532

    Post imported post

    Officers need to evaluate the extent of a person's cooperativeness when they are dealing with any situation.If they aska personto do something a reasonable person would accommodate, and that person behaves unusual or uncooperative, they will see that as a potential threat to them and the public.

    So if I refuse to discuss firearms carry, or lawfully refuse to provide my papers, are they are going to see me as a threat? This has civil rights lawsuit written all over it. I hope he will review Terry stops with his officers, especially since our courts have a very restrictive view of these stops and our privacy rights.

    The onuswould beon you to obey a lawful order even if you question the legality of the stop or detainment.

    That really doesn’t make much sense. If they approach and ask for ID and the only reason they approached is because I’m openly carrying a handgun, the detainment would be illegal under Washington law. Open carry, in and of itself, is insufficient grounds to detain a citizen of this state. It doesn’t sound like he recognizes that.

    The onus on the officer is to communicate effectively with you to let you know why they need you do what they areasking you to do.

    Well, he or she better be able to articulate a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Again, OC isn’t illegal so it doesn’t meet the threshold of a Terry stop.

    We all recognize your right; but placing officers in questionable situations to test their reaction is not what a reasonable person does. We respect your rights; but you as a citizen must respect the rights of others tofeel safe around you.

    I don’t know what the tone is here. It sounds like he is going to assume that any time we OC in Oly we are doing so to ‘test’ the police. That’s hogwash.

    All in all I think it was better before he ‘clarified’ it. You haven’t mentioned Washington’s privacy rights, and he hasn’t addressed them -except indirectly. The overall tone of his letter seems to say that if we exercise our firearms rights, we must first abandon our privacy rights. I don’t accept that.

    I find the combination of these two statements particularly ominous:

    If they aska personto do something a reasonable person would accommodate, and that person behaves unusual or uncooperative, they will see that as a potential threat[/b][/b] to them and the public…

    …That of course could range from giving you more verbal directions to using less-lethal or lethal force towards you given your level of threat.

    How does he define a ‘reasonable person’? One that sheepishly follows all commands regardless of their necessity or legality? I hope not. It almost sounds like he is preparing to later justify excessive force by his officers for someone being ‘uncooperative’. Again, I don’t have to identify myself if I’m peaceably walking down the street with my OC firearm. It doesn’t matter if they get eight calls from people who feel alarmed by it, the rules of Terry still apply.

    SV, you’ve done a great job on this. However, without assurances from Lt Wilson that his officers know and understand the privacy issues as they relate to Terry stops, we really didn’t gain much ground here.

  4. #4
    State Researcher
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Olympia, WA, ,
    Posts
    3,201

    Post imported post

    I think Lt. Wilson's response is being taken out of context. Being needlessly belligerent just makes their jobs more difficult and will not make me any friends.

    OC is legal. OC has been acknowledged as legal in Oly. It is not a matter of me OCing but rather how I will behave while OCing. I agree, there seems to be an issue with the legality of a stop, even with a citizen complaint, but this has to be dealt with through the courts as the OPD is relying on lawyer's opinions of the matter.

    Should I have to "show my papers" when a citizen makes a complaint, or even suffer the indignity of a stop? No, but until their lawyers say otherwise, the OPD will continue to behave in this fashion. I asked if I would be stopped and detained if an officer simply observed me OCing, and was told I would not.

    My recent emails dealt with not the propriety of a stop, but rather how the OPD would behave during a stop. So long as they are acting in a courteous manner, so will I. If an armed society is a polite society, do I make any friends by being rude during a misinformed stop? Remember, they are not writing this policy, the lawyers are.

    I believe we have made great strides with OC in Oly. Both from my experience and Lonnie's in Renton I think we will keep being stopped when some bozo calls 911. This has to be fixed through continued education and probably a lawsuit. Until then we can expect to be stopped when someone calls 911, and if I am going to be stopped, I might as well be courteous.

    Steve

  5. #5
    State Researcher
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Olympia, WA, ,
    Posts
    3,201

    Post imported post

    Mainsail wrote:
    Officers need to evaluate the extent of a person's cooperativeness when they are dealing with any situation.If they aska personto do something a reasonable person would accommodate, and that person behaves unusual or uncooperative, they will see that as a potential threat to them and the public.

    So if I refuse to discuss firearms carry, or lawfully refuse to provide my papers, are they are going to see me as a threat? This has civil rights lawsuit written all over it. I hope he will review Terry stops with his officers, especially since our courts have a very restrictive view of these stops and our privacy rights.

    I agree, I have mentioned privacy in some emails, but it was not fully addressed. I was told these policies are supported by the City and County Attornies. I will be addressing letters to them next.

    The onuswould beon you to obey a lawful order even if you question the legality of the stop or detainment.

    That really doesn’t make much sense. If they approach and ask for ID and the only reason they approached is because I’m openly carrying a handgun, the detainment would be illegal under Washington law. Open carry, in and of itself, is insufficient grounds to detain a citizen of this state. It doesn’t sound like he recognizes that.


    I was told over the phone I would not be stopped unless someone makes a 911 call.
    The onus on the officer is to communicate effectively with you to let you know why they need you do what they areasking you to do.

    Well, he or she better be able to articulate a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Again, OC isn’t illegal so it doesn’t meet the threshold of a Terry stop.

    They maintain this is not a Terry stop. Again, see lawyers.
    We all recognize your right; but placing officers in questionable situations to test their reaction is not what a reasonable person does. We respect your rights; but you as a citizen must respect the rights of others tofeel safe around you.

    I don’t know what the tone is here. It sounds like he is going to assume that any time we OC in Oly we are doing so to ‘test’ the police. That’s hogwash.

    Take my entire original letter in context. I was asking in very specific ways for them to justify their behavior. It could be presumed that the next time I was stopped that I would take a beligerent stance.


    All in all I think it was better before he ‘clarified’ it. You haven’t mentioned Washington’s privacy rights, and he hasn’t addressed them -except indirectly. The overall tone of his letter seems to say that if we exercise our firearms rights, we must first abandon our privacy rights. I don’t accept that.

    I addressed privacy rights in one of my original emails. The lawyers again based on conversations. In fact city and county attorney's were consulted after I raised privacy issues in an email, as well as State V Day, and they signed off on current policy. Again I will contact the local lawyers.

    I find the combination of these two statements particularly ominous:

    If they aska personto do something a reasonable person would accommodate, and that person behaves unusual or uncooperative, they will see that as a potential threat to them and the public…

    …That of course could range from giving you more verbal directions to using less-lethal or lethal force towards you given your level of threat.
    How does he define a ‘reasonable person’? One that sheepishly follows all commands regardless of their necessity or legality? I hope not. It almost sounds like he is preparing to later justify excessive force by his officers for someone being ‘uncooperative’. Again, I don’t have to identify myself if I’m peaceably walking down the street with my OC firearm. It doesn’t matter if they get eight calls from people who feel alarmed by it, the rules of Terry still apply.
    Right now they feel a "reasonable" person would comply with the directives of the officers first. If I am standing there with my hand on my gun refusing to cooperate, I could reasonably expect to get shot at. I am not saying they have a right to stop me, but given their directives they are not the ones who can change this policy.

    SV, you’ve done a great job on this. However, without assurances from Lt Wilson that his officers know and understand the privacy issues as they relate to Terry stops, we really didn’t gain much ground here.
    I think we did gain ground. All OPD officers know OC is legal. Before this, they still fell back on the old saw of "causes alarm". They cannot fall back on that now. I know I will not be rousted walking down the street. The misinformed citizen is our problem now, and the misinformed lawyers.

    Steve

  6. #6
    Newbie cato's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    California, USA
    Posts
    2,335

    Post imported post

    Good job on taking the high ground and continuing the dialog in a reserved manner.

    However the "will bedetained due to a 911 call" threat should be vigorously challenged. If the caller is anon. or is not articulating a crime to be investigated the police should be made to be wary of arbitrary stops and demands for ID of OCers. They mustreally wantcomplaints from law abidingpeaceful citizens tying up their resources due to their unnecessary action.

    Perhaps a little 4th and 5th Amend. review is neededby the good LT. It was good to see in the memo that "no action" was an option but I would have liked to see it worded better and more in the style of the "Police Chief Magazine" article on gun calls:

    http://policechiefmagazine.org/magaz...ssue_id=122005


    Chief's Counsel
    Chief’s Counsel: Responding to Gun Possession Reports


    By John M. Collins, Esq., General Counsel, Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts

    1 Where simply carrying a handgun is not in itself illegal and does not constitute probable cause to arrest,2 it follows that carrying a handgun, in and of itself, does not furnish reasonable suspicion justifying a Terry stop. The same applies to persons in motor vehicles. An investigatory stop is only justified when the police have "a reasonable suspicion, based on specific, articulable facts and reasonable inferences there from," that the subject "had committed, was committing, or was about to commit a crime."3
    State laws vary regarding both open and concealed carrying of firearms, but courts are usually sensitive to officer and public safety concerns over the presence in public of firearms. Mere possession may not be sufficient to authorize police action, but in circumstances where the gun presents an imminent threat because of shots just fired, or likely to be fired, and thereby presents a "suggestion of threats of violence, acts of violence, impending criminal activity, or concern for public safety," a court is likely to find there was reasonable suspicion for a threshold inquiry.
    4
    Anonymous Tip
    In a 1990 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that, through corroboration of its detail, an anonymous tip can be enough to give rise to the reasonable suspicion required for a stop.
    5 More recently though, the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 ruled that an anonymous tip that a person is carrying a gun is not sufficient to justify a police officer's stop and frisk of that person, even where descriptive detail regarding the subject has been corroborated. The Court declined to adopt the "firearms exception" to Terry's requirement of reasonable suspicion.6 Similarly, in another 2000 Supreme Court case, an anonymous tip with a physical description and location that a person had a gun was not enough for reasonable suspicion, absent anything else to arouse the officer's suspicion.7 In that case the Court ruled that it was irrelevant that the defendant fled when the officer got out of his car and ordered the defendant to approach him.8 The tipster need not deliver an ironclad case to the police to justify an investigatory stop; it suffices if a prudent law enforcement officer would reasonably conclude that the likelihood existed that criminal activities were afoot and that a particular suspect was probably engaged in them.9
    Clearly, not every report of a citizen is worthy of belief or sufficient to justify a response by an officer. A caller could, for example, intend merely to harass someone by making an anonymous call to police and claiming someone had a gun hidden in his or her vehicle or on his or her person.
    The ultimate issue on the report's usefulness is whether the contents (and other attendant circumstances) create a reasonable suspicion that a dangerous situation exists, creating authority to detain or frisk or both. It certainly helps if the report contains particular facts that do one or more of the following:

    • Create a suggestion of threats of violence in this situation
    • Are themselves acts of violence
    • Indicate impending criminal activity
    • Raise a reasonable concern for public safety
    Of course, in the many jurisdictions where carrying a concealed weapon is illegal, this analytical step may be obviated and inquiry will proceed to the next issue, the likely veracity of the information source. In the case of an anonymous tip, the question will be whether corroboration of detail goes beyond the mere description of a person already in public.
    Examples of Appropriate Police Actions
    Examples may be helpful here. Police officers would be acting reasonably in stopping and frisking an individual after receiving information on the street from a known bystander that the person was displaying a handgun on a street corner in a high crime area at 5:30 in the morning, or if it reasonably appears that a suspect is not only armed but also dangerous, as would be the case if the individual appeared to be reaching for his or her weapon. The possession of a firearm by a minor in many states may be viewed as presumptively illegal, and thus sufficient to justify an investigatory stop of the minor by the police, again provided the information source is sufficiently credible. A constitutionally reliable report of the sighting of someone carrying a sawed-off shotgun-especially in states where this is illegal-would likely justify an immediate investigatory stop. Loading a weapon in public, especially where there is no clearly lawful reason for doing so (to begin hunting or target shooting, for instance), and especially in a high crime area at night or during early morning hours, could provide the extra information some courts require in order to allow police officers to conduct an investigatory stop and frisk of a person reportedly in possession of a firearm.
    Enforcement Guidelines
    Where a police officer receives a report that a person is in possession of a firearm, but the weapon is not visible to the officer, the following options are available:

    • Engage in a voluntary contact and simply ask the person if he or she has a firearm.
    • If he or she confirms he or she is in possession of a gun, the officer may ask the person to voluntarily hand it over just while the interview takes place, or insist that they hand it over if there is a reasonable belief that the safety of the officer or public is in jeopardy, or that the person has used it in a crime or is about to do so.
    • If the person denies having a firearm or refuses to answer, and the officer does not otherwise have (legally sufficient) reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, the officer must allow the person to continue on his or her way.
    • If the person denies having a firearm or refuses to answer, but the officer has a reasonable suspicion that the person is armed and presents a danger to the officer or public, the officer may conduct a stop and frisk the person. If the officer finds a weapon, the officer may hold it while conducting the field inquiry. As long as the person is properly licensed, and no arrest takes place, the officer must return the gun at the conclusion of the interview.
    • If the officer has a warrant or has probable cause to arrest the person for a crime, the officer may conduct a thorough search (not merely a frisk) and take possession of any weapon.
    • Where the person appears to be a minor and therefore too young to have firearm (in most states), the police may have reason to believe that a crime is being committed (unlawful carrying of a firearm) and may therefore conduct a stop rather than a mere encounter.
    From The Police Chief, vol. 72, no. 12, December 2005



    [size=-2]

  7. #7
    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North of Seattle, Washington, USA
    Posts
    5,953

    Post imported post

    It looks like a lot of progress was made through your efforts. It might be a good idea to now stand back and see "what your garden produces". Too much "follow-up" at this point may swing the pendulum back to the negative side.

    As for the responding to a 9-1-1 call, that is what they are supposed to do. If they do recieve a call it would be irresponsible for them to ignore it. Once they do make contact, and they determine that you are going about a legal activity, they should "wave bye-bye". If not, THEN you have reason to complain.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

    "If you refuse to stand up for others now, who will stand up for you when your time comes?"

  8. #8
    Regular Member Mainsail's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Silverdale, Washington, USA
    Posts
    1,532

    Post imported post

    Being needlessly belligerent just makes their jobs more difficult and will not make me any friends.
    Is there any other kind of belligerence? I don’t consider it belligerent to refuse to identify myself if I don’t feel the need. I don’t have to, and would never be, rude about refusing, but it’s my right as a citizen of the state of Washington to do so. I won’t get into a philosophical argument about the scope of the responsibilities of ‘their job’, however, the decision to harass or illegally detain someone is a decision that only they can make; thus their ‘job’ is only as difficult as they will allow it to be in this particular circumstance.

    OC is legal. OC has been acknowledged as legal in Oly. It is not a matter of me OCing but rather how I will behave while OCing. I agree, there seems to be an issue with the legality of a stop, even with a citizen complaint, but this has to be dealt with through the courts as the OPD is relying on lawyer's opinions of the matter.
    I was told over the phone I would not be stopped unless someone makes a 911 call.
    [/quote]

    There is no issue, and the courts have spoken very loudly and very clearly on the issue of police intrusion. They cannot detain you unless they can articulate a crime is afoot. It doesn’t matter if you’re black, it doesn’t mater if you wear florescent green spandex shirts, it doesn’t matter if you’re openly carrying your firearm. All those activities are legal, and no matter how many calls the police receive, they cannot detain you or demand identification from you if that is the only suspicious thing you’re doing. Now, if you’re practicing your quick-draw technique or something similarly reckless, then they have sufficient reasonable suspicion that you are committing a crime; the ‘alarm for the safety of others’ provision.

    This was the very argument that went on in Tacoma. They believed that OC was sufficiently suspicious that it warranted a Terry stop to check you out. They were wrong and the good Lt is wrong if he believes that. Being suspicious is not the same as “reasonable articuable suspicion” in Terry v Ohio. If the police detain you for ‘being suspicious’ they are violating the law. An officer has to be able to verbalize (articulate) how what you have recently done, are doing, or about to do is unlawful. It has nothing to do whatsoever with being suspicious, peculiar, queer, or different.

    I think we did gain ground. All OPD officers know OC is legal. Before this, they still fell back on the old saw of "causes alarm".

    I agree that your diligent efforts have gained us some ground. But do not be fooled into believing that the OPD now know that OC is legal. They knew it all along or you would have spent the night in jail waiting for a hearing before a judge. I’m glad they are better trained on the -causing alarm- vs -warranting alarm- issue, but they always knew it was legal.

    The courts have ruled that peaceably walking down the street with an exposed firearm is not a crime. I have no idea what the city attorneys are telling Lt Wilson, but it sounds to me like he is trying to keep the door open for unlawful detainment here. It sounds like he’s hoping you aren’t well versed in Terry v Ohio and how the courts in our state keep a very tight reign on that issue.

    Again, thank you Steve for pursuing this. I look forward to meeting you next week for coffee.

  9. #9
    State Researcher
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Olympia, WA, ,
    Posts
    3,201

    Post imported post

    Mainsail wrote:
    Being needlessly belligerent just makes their jobs more difficult and will not make me any friends.
    Is there any other kind of belligerence? I don’t consider it belligerent to refuse to identify myself if I don’t feel the need. I don’t have to, and would never be, rude about refusing, but it’s my right as a citizen of the state of Washington to do so. I won’t get into a philosophical argument about the scope of the responsibilities of ‘their job’, however, the decision to harass or illegally detain someone is a decision that only they can make; thus their ‘job’ is only as difficult as they will allow it to be in this particular circumstance.
    The main reason I decided to take the course I am taking is that, I honestly believe the rank and file officers are simply minions if you will. I have to take the battle to those who direct their actions, and I am led to believe that the OPD's lawyers are the ones creating this mess. I have no beef with the OPD. My beef is with whomever advises them, thus why should I make things more difficult for the officers and myself? What points do I gain?
    OC is legal. OC has been acknowledged as legal in Oly. It is not a matter of me OCing but rather how I will behave while OCing. I agree, there seems to be an issue with the legality of a stop, even with a citizen complaint, but this has to be dealt with through the courts as the OPD is relying on lawyer's opinions of the matter.
    I was told over the phone I would not be stopped unless someone makes a 911 call.


    There is no issue, and the courts have spoken very loudly and very clearly on the issue of police intrusion. They cannot detain you unless they can articulate a crime is afoot. It doesn’t matter if you’re black, it doesn’t mater if you wear florescent green spandex shirts, it doesn’t matter if you’re openly carrying your firearm. All those activities are legal, and no matter how many calls the police receive, they cannot detain you or demand identification from you if that is the only suspicious thing you’re doing. Now, if you’re practicing your quick-draw technique or something similarly reckless, then they have sufficient reasonable suspicion that you are committing a crime; the ‘alarm for the safety of others’ provision.

    I agree. Again, see PD's lawyers.

    This was the very argument that went on in Tacoma. They believed that OC was sufficiently suspicious that it warranted a Terry stop to check you out. They were wrong and the good Lt is wrong if he believes that. Being suspicious is not the same as “reasonable articuable suspicion” in Terry v Ohio. If the police detain you for ‘being suspicious’ they are violating the law. An officer has to be able to verbalize (articulate) how what you have recently done, are doing, or about to do is unlawful. It has nothing to do whatsoever with being suspicious, peculiar, queer, or different.


    From my conversations with Lt. Wilson, I understand that there will notbe a stop without a 911 call from a misinformed citizen. Therefore, what happened to you should not happen here.

    I think we did gain ground. All OPD officers know OC is legal. Before this, they still fell back on the old saw of "causes alarm".


    I agree that your diligent efforts have gained us some ground. But do not be fooled into believing that the OPD now know that OC is legal. They knew it all along or you would have spent the night in jail waiting for a hearing before a judge. I’m glad they are better trained on the -causing alarm- vs -warranting alarm- issue, but they always knew it was legal.

    I could have worded that better. They knew all along it was legal, now they have fewer excuses than ever before.



    The courts have ruled that peaceably walking down the street with an exposed firearm is not a crime. I have no idea what the city attorneys are telling Lt Wilson, but it sounds to me like he is trying to keep the door open for unlawful detainment here. It sounds like he’s hoping you aren’t well versed in Terry v Ohio and how the courts in our state keep a very tight reign on that issue.


    I addressed much of that in earlier emails three weeks ago with the good Lt. He consulted with lawyers, the end result was the training directive. Note how much concern is given to when and how officers may stop a person OCing. This is not a cop writing, this is a lawyer.

    Right now, I don't want to make myself annoying "beating a dead horse" because the OPD sees this as a dead horse. I am going to continue to OC, and wait for the next incident. Why? Because then I will go to their lawyers and make them justify everything they did. I am also going to write a brief letter to the City Attorney and make them justify their current stance. But as far as the OPD is concerned, I believe there is no further reason to involve them in this issue. They are repeating back to me, what they have been told.

    Given I have OC'd in Oly about a dozen times, and been stopped once, I am sure sooner or later I will be stopped again. Sooner or later something has to give, and the OPD will get tired of responding to peaceable OC calls. Either I will get jumped all over, or they will start dealing with peaceable OC calls in a different manner. And I don't think I will be the one who will bear the brunt of their annoyance. Rather they will change to conform with the times. I have a beachhead here now. At some point we can ask, cause or force every law enforcement agency in this state to acknowledge that peaceable OC is legal. We cannot as easily change the mindset of the public. If some guy hadn't freaked because I was reading a book with "a pistol sticking out of my pocket" none of this would happen. The OPD has revised it's policies, but the public has not.
    Again, thank you Steve for pursuing this. I look forward to meeting you next week for coffee.

    See you then.
    [/quote]


  10. #10
    State Researcher
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Olympia, WA, ,
    Posts
    3,201

    Post imported post

    cato wrote:
    Good job on taking the high ground and continuing the dialog in a reserved manner.

    However the "will bedetained due to a 911 call" threat should be vigorously challenged. If the caller is anon. or is not articulating a crime to be investigated the police should be made to be wary of arbitrary stops and demands for ID of OCers. They mustreally wantcomplaints from law abidingpeaceful citizens tying up their resources due to their unnecessary action.

    Perhaps a little 4th and 5th Amend. review is neededby the good LT. It was good to see in the memo that "no action" was an option but I would have liked to see it worded better and more in the style of the "Police Chief Magazine" article on gun calls:

    [size=-2]
    Thanks for the info. I am going to copy this to the City Attorney's Office and also ask them for an Opinion on the matter of being stopped while observedly peaceably OCing even with a detailed 911 call.

    Steve



  11. #11
    State Researcher
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Olympia, WA, ,
    Posts
    3,201

    Post imported post

    Lt. Wilson wrote back to my response...

    Thanks for your comments. Take care and enjoy Olympia. It is a fascinating place to live and work.


    Best Regards,
    Bill


    As I noted earlier I stated I would continue to OC. I have always told Lt. Wilson I will continue to OC. It seems that OC in and of itself is not a problem in Oly. The problem now here and elsewhere in this state is how police will respond to a 911 call of a person OCing. Rather than fight this county by county and city by city something should be attempted on a statewide level. Perhaps an Attorney General's opinion on this as well?

    At any rate I do not think we have an enemy in Oly. I strive to treat people as I have been treated, and feel that I have been treated well. Cops usually get their collective asses busted. I was prepared to do the same, but did not need to. I have dealt with cops where I had to be very beligerant to achieve my ends (PM for a long,OT story regardingmy anchor and the San Diego Harbor Police) and onoccassion I have been able to achieve an end by being professional. After spending two years in SoCal, to run across a friendly agency, I am pretty thrilled.

    Steve

  12. #12
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Arlington, Washington, USA
    Posts
    374

    Post imported post

    Thank you for your hard work.

  13. #13
    State Researcher
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Olympia, WA, ,
    Posts
    3,201

    Post imported post

    As I have said before, the hard work was done by Lonnie and others. I was not the first to contact Lt. Wilson about this matter (I believe Lonnie had before) I simply took this to the next logical level when I figured out the OPD jacked me up. That said, I get easily bored and am a salesman to boot. Getting people to see my point of view is simply my way of life :P Thanks for the appreciation though.

    Steve

  14. #14
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kitsap Co., Washington, USA
    Posts
    332

    Post imported post

    Sounds like things are at least moving forward (even if the degree of progress is debatable). It sounds like you're handling the ongoing situation in a way that I hope I would if ever faced with those circumstances.

    One thing about the Lieutenant's letter that kinda bugged me:

    "...you as a citizen must respect the rights of others tofeel safe around you."

    The real issue in that statement is the words "feel safe." This term is highly subjective and arbitrary at best. I mean, whose "feelings" are we going with, here? Plenty of people don't "feel safe" around animals, certain ethnic groups, military personnel, bars, or parking garages.

    People don't have an assertive "right" to any particular "feeling" good or bad about anything. This goes back to the remark about people who call in on "one of them gangsta-looking baggy pants black folk" walking down the street. Walking down the street with black skin and baggy pants is perfectly legal and the 911 op is probably very quick in pointing that out.

    Walking down the street OC is also perfectly legal. They don't sound too quick in educating the caller on that one, though. Unfortunately, guns get a lot more attention than other physical characteristics thanks to the usual suspects (gun-grabbers and the media who love them).

    Sorry if this sounds like a rant (it's not meant to be); I just have a problem with bumper sticker statements that are fundamentally flawed in their logic.



  15. #15
    Regular Member just_a_car's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Auburn, Washington, USA
    Posts
    2,558

    Post imported post

    You're preachin' to the chior, 3/325.

    But yes, I think most people here would agree that we, as citizens, have just as much right to "feel safe" by carrying our legally owned and carried firearms as others do. Their "safe feeling" doesn't trump ours, otherwise that would be unfair descrimination.
    B.S. Chemistry UofWA '09
    KF7GEA

  16. #16
    State Researcher
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Olympia, WA, ,
    Posts
    3,201

    Post imported post

    That one has always bugged me too. Right now I am letting it go, because I believe that came from their lawyers. Some things have to be changed by the courts, and I think this is one of them. The plus is that 70 LEO's in Oly now are on the same page regarding OC.
    I decided on a three strike policy for the OPD. Strike one, already happened. If I get messed with again, I am going to have a sitdown chat with the Mayor, City Manager, Chief of Police and City Attorney. Given the way local government works in this town, I know I can have the conversation easily enough with all parties, and can probably pull them all together at one time.
    Strike three, I'm visiting the yacht broker because there will be a lawsuit.

    I have been grappling for a way to address this "feel safe" stuff, and right now am letting it rest because there was a lot of upheaval over this, and a lot of positive change came from it.

    I'm still bugged by it though.

  17. #17
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Whatcom County
    Posts
    161

    Post imported post

    If someone complains about your firearm, aren't they infringing on your right to feel safe?

    Keep up the good work.



  18. #18
    Regular Member Ajetpilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Olalla, Kitsap County, Washington, USA
    Posts
    1,410

    Post imported post

    In an earlier post you said:

    I was told over the phone I would not be stopped unless someone makes a 911 call.

    Then regarding this stop, you said:
    I get told that they have had "several" calls about me.
    Would it be prudent to verify that "several" calls had been made by making an FOIA request? It might be interesting to discover exactly how many calls were received, if any.



Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •