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Thread: Email from Lt. Wilson

  1. #1
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    This is his letter... below is my response I had to wait outside the OPD waiting area as it is posted "No firearms" I expressed to the front desk that I felt the sign was illegal as it was nota restricted access area...

    Mr. Coffman,

    Thank you for coming in yesterday to "vent" about your contact with our officers. I would like to set a few things straight and to assure you that you are not being singled out nor are we somehow going to damage your property or give you a valid reason for a law suit. Our officers are aware and have been trained recently about the Open Carry issue and your Constitutional right to bear arms.

    Our community, including our police force, is not and probably never will be at ease with people walking around with a gun or any other instrument capable of inflicting deadly force.You are right in your opinion that mere calling 911 to report a person openly carrying a weapon does not, in and of itself, meet the legal thresholds for violations of RCWs 9.41.270 or 9.41.300. This has been ruled upon by our State Supreme Court and other courts around the country.

    State law is clear about where a person's right to possess or have control over a weapon is prohibited. It is also clear about a jurisdiction's right to limit access to public facilities:


    RCW 9.41.300 reads in part . . .



    (1)It is unlawful for any person to enter the following places when he or she knowingly possesses or knowingly has under his or her control a weapon:



    (a). . . restricted access areas of a jail or of a law enforcement facility

    (b). . . areas of any building which are used in conjunction with court proceedings…

    (c). . . restricted access areas of a public mental health facility…

    (d). . . portions of an establishment classified by the state liquor control board as off-limits topersons undertwenty- oneyears of age…

    (e). . . restricted areas of a commercial service airport…



    (2) Cities, towns, counties, and other municipalities may enact laws and ordinances:



    (a)Restricting the discharge of firearms in any portion of their respective jurisdictions where there is a reasonable likelihood that humans, domestic animals or property will be jeopardized. Such laws and ordinances shall not abridge the right of the individual guaranteed by Article 1, section 24 of the state Constitution to bear arms in defense of self or others…

    (b)Restricting the possession of firearms in any stadium or convention center, operated by a city, town, county, or other municipality, exceptions noted.



    State law is also clearwhen a violationoccurs:



    RCW 9.41.270 reads in part . . .



    (1) It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, exhibit, display, or draw any firearm, dagger, sword, knife or other cutting or stabbing instrument, club, or any other weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm, in a manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place that either manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons.



    State law is also clear about school campuses:

    RCW 9.41.280 reads in part . . .


    (1) It is unlawful for a person to carry onto, or to possess on, public or private elementary or secondary school premises, school-provided transportation, or areas of facilities while being used exclusively by public or private schools:





    You know of course that our officers have to investigate all circumstances, each and every time, to determine if a violation of any oftheseRCWs has occurred.

    We received two calls yesterday about a man carrying an automatic pistol on his hip. The complaints were not specific as to what you were doing other than you were in the process of walking downtown. As you know we check out this type of complaint quickly since it involvespotentially adeadly weapon and thelikelihood that the individual carrying the weapon may want to do harm to others.

    As I explained beforeofficers have a right to protect themselves and that is their first priority as they approach any situation. Our mission is to protect life, property and individual rights. I'm sure you can agree with me that our mission is in line with what a reasonable person would expect from their police force. Our officers cannot protect others without first arriving safely at the incident scene, evaluating the circumstances with the minimal facts known to them at the time, and making sure any weapons that you may have on you are rendered safe at least for the brief time the officers are in your presence.

    Our officers will conduct themselves professionally and treat you with respect. Our officers should not engage you in a philosophical debate about the merits of Open Carry or your rights as a citizen to own or carry arms. Officers should not coerce you into carrying your weapon concealed or trying to get you to change your behavior so long as it is legal behavior. You will likely get our officers discussing your behavior which may have lead to people calling 911. We expect them to do this.

    I understand that you may have engaged in a discussion about the legalities of Open Carry. I strongly urge you not to do this. My reasoning is simple; when you or the officers engage in a debate people on either side of the issue tend not to listen and therefore the debate is not productive nor satisfying to either party. I also urge you to avoid staging any "test" or "scenario" that might further your nationwide efforts to engage the police on the Open Carry issue. Having read your website and many others I believe that is one of your missions to "educate" the police about Open Carry. In my opinion that is unnecessary.

    Mr. Coffman, I want to urge you and others who carry weapons openly to be very careful in the way you conduct your personal actions especially while you interact with others. People whoopenly carry weapons are not immune to human frailties of arguments, disputes, victimization, etc., etc. I am only stating this because I worry about you inadvertently placing yourself in danger of being shot. Please, if you notice the police in your proximity, especially if you see them approaching you, stop and keep yourhands in plain sight. Obey every command they maygive you.

    We realize that people such as yourself haveintervened to prevent people from being seriously wounded or killed at the hands of suicidal or homicidal people. This week's Colorado church shooting is a great example of it. Thank you for not entering the police lobby the other day which might have subjected our staff to unnecessary alarm. I'll let you know if it would be appropriate at a future time to have you meet with our officers. I'm not sure it would be productive or desired from our officers' point of view.

    If you have questions or just want to talk please give me a call.


    Best regards,

    Bill Wilson, Lt.
    O.P.D.








    Thank you for your response. I was pretty shook up yesterday. The stop in and off itself was not what bothered me, but rather the statement that "my partner has his weapon drawn" I still do not know if this was actually the case but the words enough of course have to be taken at face value and it was disturbing. This on top of the fact I was a passenger in a three car accident Sunday... Well it just hasn't been my week :-) I do understand where a weapon can and cannot be carried. I believe you are refering to my questioning of if the waiting area in the OPD would be considered off limits or not. I will accept the signage (as I did) although it was inconvient at the time...



    When Officer O'Neil started "lecturing" me, I felt the need at the time to argue my point... Given as I was asked why I didn't conceal, and the choice I was given to conceal or surrender my weapon, I felt stuck between a rock and a hard place.



    I don't mind having a bit of a discussion about the matter, in fact quite frankly if any officer wants to talk about it, I'm more than happy to give my email address, or even buy them coffee off shift and talk. I wish I had not been coerced into giving up my weapon, but the deed is done, and hopefully will not be repeated.



    I as well am unsure if speaking to the officers would be appropriate, as it may merely serve as an irritant.



    Regarding those of us who do open carry, the interesting thing is that we generally go about our business, go to dinners together, meet and have coffee, and have never had any major problems with it. I'm sure you can see reports of dinners that have gone off without a hitch.


    Olympia in and of itself seems to be unique of late with issues. Now I understand that the public will continue to be concerned, and I try what I can to educate, and I expect officers to respond to calls. There has to be some give and take though. Officer O'Neil was improper with his attitude and choices he gave me. I chose the easier road and allowed my rights to be violated. I really hope that I will told to make this choice again. Strangely enough I was in complete possession of my weapon until I told them to go ahead and put it in my bag as I would not conceal it.



    I want to know ifa weapon was drawn. I would also like to know what will be done to ensure that I am not subject to some of the questionable acts again. I would like to arrange a meeting with you, Chief Michel, and someone either from the Mayor's office or City Manager's office and someone from the City Attorney's office. Some serious issues were raised here, and I would like to address them to a broader group.



    I am going to post your message (as I'm sure you expected) online to let others know what you have asked me to pass on.



    When I see officers around or are approached by them, I always keep my hands in plain sight, and follow commands given. Officer O'Neil askedme to cover up or that I would have my weapon taken. Since I was not going to cover up I told him to go ahead and take the weapon. In my strong hand was a cup of tea, and my left was kept chest high.



    I worry that some may have a vendetta or issues with open carry, and quite frankly that scares the crap out of me. I hope I can safely continue my activities which always are conducted in a peaceful manner. I am in Seattle right now, but when I get back to Olympia, may stop in the police station and ask for you. I do have my weapon, and will stay in the enclosure per the signage, and probably will have my weapon in my backpack.



    Thank you again,

    Steve

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    Wilson ignores apparent infringement of liberty of citizen by officers who, on poster's facts,conducted a full Terry stop without cause and seized property (gun) and placed gun in a backpack for citizen to be unable to use it after the Terry stop.

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    I gave consent for the removal of the weapon as I had little choice anyway. I wasn't going to cover up.

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    I ama mamber of the NRA, I shoot on a regular basis, am extremely conservative, and support the Second Amendment. But I don't understand why there is a small group that insists on alarming the general public by OC.The general public does not understand the gun culture and may be alarmed by OC. It is people like you that give responsible gun owners a bad name. Is your life so boring and mundane that you need the attention of the local police department. You like to set up the local cops because you know theyhave strict rules of engagement and are limited by your actions.I bet a majority of you OC Dirty Harry gun slinging types still live at home with your mommy. Your father got smart and left years ago.You wanted to be a cop, but couldnt pass the psych.You people need to Get a Life and become responsible gun owners. Your irresponsible actions make it tuff for the rest of us.



    Get A Life!

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    Mike wrote:
    Wilson ignores apparent infringement of liberty of citizen by officers who, on poster's facts,conducted a full Terry stop without cause and seized property (gun) and placed gun in a backpack for citizen to be unable to use it after the Terry stop.
    From my reading of this ordeal, it sounds like OP gave permission for the officers to take the weapon and put it in his backpack. While the coercion is wrong, I don’t see how he can cry foul when he gave them permission. It sounds a lot like someone giving permission for an officer to conduct a vehicle search during a traffic stop. The officer can’t conduct the search without PC, but the alternative of waiting (on the side of the road, sometimes during bad weather) for a dog to arrive, is less preferable to consent to search. In both cases, consent was given to the officer.

    I think it’s obvious from your current and past correspondences with Lt. Wilson that they (both he and the policy makers at the OPD) are antagonistic toward OC, and are just finding ways to make it not worth your while. It sounds like he is basically telling you that you can’t carry it in a way that causes alarm, and that you can expect to get stopped (and disarmed) every time you OC in Olympia.

    If you really want to stand up for your rights, I think there are two things you must do.

    1. Get a recording device, and record each and every incident. If you can do it in a way that sends the recording to a remote location, even better. Video and audio would be best if possible, but do whatever you can.

    2. Do a FOIA on each and every encounter. Without evidence of what transpired, you simply have no evidence. You need to start gathering such evidence to establish a trail.

    Either that, or just put up with being stopped and disarmed every time you OC in Olympia.

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    State Researcher dng's Avatar
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    Get A Life wrote:
    I ama mamber of the NRA, I shoot on a regular basis, am extremely conservative, and support the Second Amendment. But I don't understand why there is a small group that insists on alarming the general public by OC.The general public does not understand the gun culture and may be alarmed by OC. It is people like you that give responsible gun owners a bad name. Is your life so boring and mundane that you need the attention of the local police department. You like to set up the local cops because you know theyhave strict rules of engagement and are limited by your actions.I bet a majority of you OC Dirty Harry gun slinging types still live at home with your mommy. Your father got smart and left years ago.You wanted to be a cop, but couldnt pass the psych.You people need to Get a Life and become responsible gun owners. Your irresponsible actions make it tuff for the rest of us.



    Get A Life!
    Ignore the flamer. There's a chance it could be Officer O'Neil himself. We all know whatthe trollhas said is not true, so don't give him what he wants.

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    Per Terry this is a good stop.

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    All I'm saying is your actions are irresponsible. I consider myself a patriot just like you guys. But what do you hope to accomplish? If you want to change the extremely liberal viewsof the majority of those in Washington you need to do it in a positive way. OC in down town Oly is not the way to do it.

    G.A.L.





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    What part is not true?

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    Mike wrote:
    Wilson ignores apparent infringement of liberty of citizen by officers who, on poster's facts,conducted a full Terry stop without cause and seized property (gun) and placed gun in a backpack for citizen to be unable to use it after the Terry stop.
    Exactly! The OPD does not seem to understand the legal threshold for conducting a Terry stop. I can see a serious lawsuit, they cannot win, heading quickly their way. Lt Wilson, even though he seems understanding and articulate, has purposefully chosen to ignore this. If someone calls 911 about your carry, simple observation from the responding officer would demonstrate that there is no crime afoot, and thus detaining you is a clear violation of your civil rights. The US Supreme Court refused to make an exception for firearms in their Terry ruling, what the hell makes OPD think it’s allowable?

    Please, if you notice the police in your proximity, especially if you see them approaching you, stop and keep yourhands in plain sight. Obey every command they maygive you.

    I would do the first part in any circumstance, armed or otherwise, but I reserve the right to only obey the lawful commands the police give. That, you see, is the crux of the difficulties you are having in Oly. There seems to be certain officers who consider civil rights, privacy especially, to be an insignificant annoyance.

    I think it may be time to get an attorney on retainer. Have him go over with you all your rights and responsibilities, with emphasis on the ones that pertain to police abduction. A lawsuit that results in a large cash payout may be what it takes to get some of the rogue officers fired.

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    If you'd like to have a decent conversation, I'd be more than happy to do just that. But entering a forum and flaming your first post would lead me to believe you have an agenda, and only want to troll, rather than understanding someone else's point of view.

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    Get A Life wrote:
    I ama mamber of the NRA, I shoot on a regular basis, am extremely conservative, and support the Second Amendment. But I don't understand why there is a small group that insists on alarming the general public by OC.The general public does not understand the gun culture and may be alarmed by OC. It is people like you that give responsible gun owners a bad name. Is your life so boring and mundane that you need the attention of the local police department. You like to set up the local cops because you know theyhave strict rules of engagement and are limited by your actions.I bet a majority of you OC Dirty Harry gun slinging types still live at home with your mommy. Your father got smart and left years ago.You wanted to be a cop, but couldnt pass the psych.You people need to Get a Life and become responsible gun owners. Your irresponsible actions make it tuff for the rest of us.



    Get A Life!
    If you actually have some tangable points of fact to argue against OC, please do bring them to the table.
    Or is childish name calling the extent of your debate skills?



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    RCW 9.41.270 reads in part . . .

    (1) It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, exhibit, display, or draw any firearm…club, or any other weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm, in a manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place that either manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons.



    I think Lt Wilson has handed you a very important bit of information here. Note that the statute says, ‘any person’ and there does not appear to be any immunity for the police. If the officer is displaying his firearm, ASP baton, or other weapon capable of producing bodily harm, while he is attempting to intimidate you, he or she would likely be guilty under this statute.

    Like I said, I think it’s lawyer time.

    EDIT: Everyone, if the troll isn’t going to discuss and only flame, please do not engage him. Let’s keep the topic on track. If the troll wants to debate OC, he can start another thread.




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    Get A Life wrote:
    All I'm saying is your actions are irresponsible. I consider myself a patriot just like you guys. But what do you hope to accomplish? If you want to change the extremely liberal viewsof the majority of those in Washington you need to do it in a positive way. OC in down town Oly is not the way to do it.

    G.A.L.



    "irresponsible" Why? Specifically?

    I been OC'in for a long time. Been a very positive experience, educated a lot of people. It clearly DOES do the cause of making "GUNS" a normal part of everyday life. As they should be. I've gotten tons of positive feedback including "on the street".

    So you can sit there behind you keyboard, having not OC'd, and proclaim how bad it is. Your entitled to your opinion. I'll stick with mine though, the one molded of personal experience.



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    Mainsail, unfortunately there is immunity for LEO in this RCW and I think they know there is.

    3) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to or affect the following:

    (b) Any person who by virtue of his or her office or public employment is vested by law with a duty to preserve public safety, maintain public order, or to make arrests for offenses, while in the performance of such duty;

    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    edit: deleted post to keep thread on track. pm sent.

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    Get A Life wrote:
    I ama mamber of the NRA, I shoot on a regular basis, am extremely conservative, and support the Second Amendment. But I don't understand why there is a small group that insists on alarming the general public by OC.The general public does not understand the gun culture and may be alarmed by OC. It is people like you that give responsible gun owners a bad name. Is your life so boring and mundane that you need the attention of the local police department. You like to set up the local cops because you know theyhave strict rules of engagement and are limited by your actions.I bet a majority of you OC Dirty Harry gun slinging types still live at home with your mommy. Your father got smart and left years ago.You wanted to be a cop, but couldnt pass the psych.You people need to Get a Life and become responsible gun owners. Your irresponsible actions make it tuff for the rest of us.



    Get A Life!
    I personally welcome any debate over the right to OC in this great nation. However I cannot accept the argument that people that OC are generally failures in life. I tend to think that the OC movement is akin to Dr. King's civil rights protests. Let us not forget that often in the history of the USA, our entire culture was changed by what started as a "...small group that insists on alarming the general public..."


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    joeroket wrote:
    Mainsail, unfortunately there is immunity for LEO in this RCW and I think they know there is.

    3) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to or affect the following:

    (b) Any person who by virtue of his or her office or public employment is vested by law with a duty to preserve public safety, maintain public order, or to make arrests for offenses, while in the performance of such duty;
    LOL well there goes my idea of calling 911 when stopped for OCing hahahah

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    Code:
    Thank you for not entering the police lobby the other day which might have subjected our staff to unnecessary alarm.
    WTH??? Does he know that he cannot stop you from carrying in the lobby in a legal manner? The only areas that are off limits are the restricted areas of a law enforcement facility. The lobby does not qualify as such.What does the signage posted say? And exactly how legally carrying a pistol cause alarm in there.

    It sure does sound to me like OPD needs to get off thier high horse. I believe this is the second time you have heard the "This is Olympia afterall" comment. It doesn't matter where the heck it is in the state.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    joeroket wrote:
    Mainsail, unfortunately there is immunity for LEO in this RCW and I think they know there is.

    3) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to or affect the following:

    (b) Any person who by virtue of his or her office or public employment is vested by law with a duty to preserve public safety, maintain public order, or to make arrests for offenses, while in the performance of such duty;
    3) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to or affect the following:

    (b) Any person who by virtue of his or her office or public employment is vested by law with a duty to preserve public safety, maintain public order, or to make arrests for offenses, while in the performance of such duty;

    He was trying to intimidate; not to make an arrest for an offense, but in an effort to coerce SV. That is not ‘in the performance of his duties’. His immunity stopped where his authority did, when he saw no law being violated and illegally detained SV.

    I think the important phrases to remember are, “Are you detaining me and, if so, for suspicion of what crime?” and “Am I free to leave?” As the Lt says, there is no need to debate or argue.

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    Regular Member Mainsail's Avatar
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    Mr. Coffman, I want to urge you and others who carry weapons openly to be very careful in the way you conduct your personal actions especially while you interact with others. People whoopenly carry weapons are not immune to human frailties of arguments, disputes, victimization, etc., etc. I am only stating this because I worry about you inadvertently placing yourself in danger of being shot.

    Please, if you notice the police in your proximity, especially if you see them approaching you, stop and keep yourhands in plain sight. Obey every command they maygive you.

    I split this paragraph in two because I’m not sure how the two disparate thoughts are related. In the first part, Lt Wilson seems to be implying that someone carrying openly may get angry or upset over something small (like road rage or being verbally accosted for example) and result in a shooting. This is absolutely ridiculous. I know of one group who carries openly every day and is subjected to all manner of verbal abuse; yet somehow they rarely go apeshit and shoot someone over it. That group is the police. So unless all the police officers are neutered or taking happy pills before they come on shift, they are every bit as human as anyone else. I think this may be the OPD problem; the police consider themselves ‘above’ the public, instead of being public servants.

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    Get A Life wrote:
    I ama mamber of the NRA, I shoot on a regular basis, am extremely conservative, and support the Second Amendment. But I don't understand why there is a small group that insists on alarming the general public by OC.The general public does not understand the gun culture and may be alarmed by OC. It is people like you that give responsible gun owners a bad name. Is your life so boring and mundane that you need the attention of the local police department. You like to set up the local cops because you know theyhave strict rules of engageme
    nt and are limited by your actions.I bet a majority of you OC Dirty Harry gun slinging types still live at home with your mommy. Your father got smart and left years ago. You wanted to be a cop, but couldnt pass the psych.You people need to Get a Life and become responsible gun owners. Your irresponsible actions make it tuff for the rest of us.



    Get A Life!
    Get A Life Wrote: "What part is not true?"

    Items highlighted in RED are not true.
    Items highlighted in ORANGE are also questionable.
    Items highlighted in GREEN are most likely accurate.

    Answer your question?


    ~~Springfield

    P.S. Sorry L.W. ... I couldn't resist, This Troll looked hungry.... lol

    Edited for further thoughts and spelling. by Springfield

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    Springfield45 wrote:
    Get A Life wrote:
    I ama mamber of the NRA, I shoot on a regular basis, am extremely conservative, and support the Second Amendment. But I don't understand why there is a small group that insists on alarming the general public by OC.The general public does not understand the gun culture and may be alarmed by OC. It is people like you that give responsible gun owners a bad name. Is your life so boring and mundane that you need the attention of the local police department. You like to set up the local cops because you know theyhave strict rules of engageme
    nt and are limited by your actions.I bet a majority of you OC Dirty Harry gun slinging types still live at home with your mommy. Your father got smart and left years ago. You wanted to be a cop, but couldnt pass the psych.You people need to Get a Life and become responsible gun owners. Your irresponsible actions make it tuff for the rest of us.



    Get A Life!
    Get A Life Wrote: "What part is not true?"

    Items highlighted in RED are not true.
    Items highlighted in ORANGE are also questionable.
    Items highlighted in GREEN are most likely accurate.

    Answer your question?


    ~~Springfield

    P.S. Sorry L.W. ... I couldn't resist. lol
    +1

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    Get A Life wrote:
    I ama mamber of the NRA, I shoot on a regular basis, am extremely conservative, and support the Second Amendment. But I don't understand why there is a small group that insists on alarming the general public by OC.The general public does not understand the gun culture and may be alarmed by OC. It is people like you that give responsible gun owners a bad name. Is your life so boring and mundane that you need the attention of the local police department. You like to set up the local cops because you know theyhave strict rules of engagement and are limited by your actions.I bet a majority of you OC Dirty Harry gun slinging types still live at home with your mommy. Your father got smart and left years ago.You wanted to be a cop, but couldnt pass the psych.You people need to Get a Life and become responsible gun owners. Your irresponsible actions make it tuff for the rest of us.



    Get A Life!
    Hi Cop.



    Get a life.
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    "Guns are an abomination." Richard Nixon

  25. #25
    Regular Member Dave_pro2a's Avatar
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    sv_libertarian wrote:
    Our community, including our police force, is not and probably never will be at ease with people walking around with a gun or any other instrument capable of inflicting deadly force.
    You are right Wilson, I am not comfortable with cops walking around carrying an instrument capable of inflicting deadly force.



    But I respect the constitutional rights of a police officer to bear arms. I ask only for the same respect -- since we are all citizens, equal under the law.
    "I'm just a no-account screed-peddler" Dave Workman http://goo.gl/CNf6pB

    "We ought to extend the [1994] assault weapons ban" George W Bush

    "The Bush Administration declared a permanent ban today on almost all foreign-made semiautomatic assault rifles." George Bush Sr, New York Times on July 8, 1989

    "I support the Brady bill and I urge the Congress to enact it without delay." Ronald Regan.

    "Guns are an abomination." Richard Nixon

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