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Thread: Most recent response from Lt. Wilson

  1. #1
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    Got this today. BTW, Mayor Foutch says his "Good Grief" refers to the complexity of the situation and the possibility for a tragic misunderstanding. I'll accept that, if nothing else, he is a "lame duck" and will not be in office after this year. He has a good record though, and I am satisfied with his reply...

    Steve,

    Lets take a deepbreath and come together around the issues you have raised. I want you to relax somewhat and trust that we will be addressing your concerns about Officer O'neill's contact with you.

    As for your concern about the police officer that allegedly pointed his gun at you. The answer to your concern is that a police officer had his gun out and it was "at the ready" as we put it. The officer's gun was not pointed at you and was held close to the officer's chest pointed in a downward position. This "at the ready" position is not easily observable by the public, allows the officer to use his weapon quicker if need be and was done as a precaution given the fact that you were still armed and was about to be disarmed by the other officer at the scene. The officers at the scene were: Officer O'Neill, Officer Schaeffer and Officer Beckwell. All are experienced officers and all were trained as of late on the Open Carry instructive that I forwarded to you.

    I will be conducting an internal investigation now that you have raised this incident to an official complaint. As I said before all officers will treat each situation somewhat differently but all are expected to be professional and courteous. I'll get back to you to schedule an interview later today. In the mean time, in my opinion, your request to have a "broader" audience on the Open Carry issue is not necessary nor likely to satisfy your ultimate goals. I do not recommend our City executives and coucilmembers to weigh in on this issue.

    Finally, your comments about the email I sent you have not been taken defensively. I understand your concerns. If I left you with any impression that you should be concerned about my objectivity or department member's professionalism I apologize for that. It was never my intention to do so.


    Sincerely,

    Bill Wilson, Lt.
    Professional Standards Office
    Olympia Police Department

  2. #2
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    And this is my reply.... It seems that constant pressure is a good thing!





    I can't get my regular email to reply on the computer I am using....


    Steve,

    Lets take a deepbreath and come together around the issues you have raised. I want you to relax somewhat and trust that we will be addressing your concerns about Officer O'neill's contact with you.

    I do believe they will be addressed. I think this is a lousy time for this to happen, given all the other stuff on your plate.

    As for your concern about the police officer that allegedly pointed his gun at you. The answer to your concern is that a police officer had his gun out and it was "at the ready" as we put it. The officer's gun was not pointed at you and was held close to the officer's chest pointed in a downward position. This "at the ready" position is not easily observable by the public, allows the officer to use his weapon quicker if need be and was done as a precaution given the fact that you were still armed and was about to be disarmed by the other officer at the scene. The officers at the scene were: Officer O'Neill, Officer Schaeffer and Officer Beckwell. All are experienced officers and all were trained as of late on the Open Carry instructive that I forwarded to you.

    Officer O'Neill actually did not seem so much interested in disarming me as coercing me into covering my weapon. I believe had I pulled my coat over my gun I would either have been shot or let to go about my merry way. As his attitude was hostile I had no desire to even after verbally agreeing to cover up move make any moves near my weapon, that is one reason I told them just to put my weapon in my backpack. It is very disturbing to have an officer with the attitude Officer O'Neill had tell me there is a gun out. Officer O'Neill was familiar with the instructive you sent out but disregarded it at the scene as not applying. Perhaps additional training is in order.

    I will be conducting an internal investigation now that you have raised this incident to an official complaint. As I said before all officers will treat each situation somewhat differently but all are expected to be professional and courteous. I'll get back to you to schedule an interview later today. In the mean time, in my opinion, your request to have a "broader" audience on the Open Carry issue is not necessary nor likely to satisfy your ultimate goals. I do not recommend our City executives and coucilmembers to weigh in on this issue.
    I really only have time on Mondays and Tuesdays. Since Mayor Foutch seems to be "in the loop" now (I received an email from him with rather ambigious wording and replied to it) I think I would like to meet with him. Beyond that I would like to meet with you and Chief Michel.

    Finally, your comments about the email I sent you have not been taken defensively. I understand your concerns. If I left you with any impression that you should be concerned about my objectivity or department member's professionalism I apologize for that. It was never my intention to do so.

    As you said, there is a need to take a deep breath all around. You have had a lot of problems come your way of late, and I have had some interesting things happen recently as well. You can reply to my regular email address if you like, as I will be able to access that one fully when I get home.

    Thanks,
    Steve

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    sv_libertarian wrote:
    and was done as a precaution given the fact that you were still armed and was about to be disarmed by the other officer at the scene.

    All are experienced officers and all were trained as of late on the Open Carry instructive that I forwarded to you.
    Wow... What this Lt is telling us is...

    #1 - All officers on the scene were trained SPECIFICALLY in Open Carry.
    #2 - You were being held at gunpoint (I don't care WHERE the gun was actually pointed, it was OUT OF IT'S HOLSTER! If a peon had his gun out of his holster, it would be considered a threat regardless of where it was pointed...)
    #3 - They had intention on "disarming" you from the beginning.

    Thus we can conclude that the OC training they received stated that disarming WILL OCCUR. Since of course they are all "experienced" officers and were "trained" in OC.

    Quite a revelation that...




    updated to fix the numerical order of my list. as pointed out by dngreer much to his amusement!

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    State Researcher dng's Avatar
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    I especially like point #3! Sorry, I couldn't help myself!

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    I am impressed that he’s so proactive in this matter; so far he’s done far more than the TPD when I complained. (Spoke to the Sgt once, who promised to call back about some of the issues and never did)

    He does continue to completely ignore the legality of the initial stop though.

    If you were under arrest, and there is some argument that you were, what was their probable cause for making the arrest? If they were merely detaining you, for suspicion of what crime can O’Neil cite as justification? OPD has already acknowledged that OC is legal, thus they have no rationalization for detaining anyone for it. That’s the issue I would like to see him address because that’s where the issue has the most potential to get ugly.

    The good thing is that this forum has a time line of events in Olympia and their responses to them. If, God forbid, someone gets shot, either by a nervous officer during an illegal detainment, or by an officer trying to clear a weapon with which he’s unfamiliar, it will not go well for them in court, either civil or criminal. Every time some rogue officer like O’Neil un-holsters his or your weapon, the potential for a negligent discharge goes up. This is an accident waiting to happen; it’s only waiting for the right moment. Lt. Wilson needs to reign in his officers quickly before the right moment happens.

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    Regular Member Mainsail's Avatar
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    Mainsail wrote:
    He does continue to completely ignore the legality of the initial stop though.
    I agree!

    This is from the US Supreme Court:


    STATE OF FLORIDA

    Petitioner

    v.

    J. L., a juvenile, Respondent
    … However, the petitioner's sweeping argument, if adopted, would essentially create a firearm or weapons exception to the Fourth Amendment. This sweeping argument was considered by the Florida Supreme Court and was correctly rejected.

    The purpose of a police stop and frisk is to prevent criminal activity. Some activity is always criminal. Other activity is only criminal under certain conditions. The peaceful carrying of a firearm falls into the latter category.


    Therefore, a police officer's knowledge that a person is peacefully carrying a firearm, in and of itself, does not furnish probable cause to believe that the person is illegally carrying that firearm. The resultant stop is improper under Fourth Amendment principles. Commonwealth v. Couture, 407 Mass. 178, 552 N.E.2d 538 (1990), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 951 (1990).


    A frisk in a public place is not a petty indignity.


    Some will argue for creating a firearm exception to the Fourth Amendment for policy reasons. However, this Court has rejected a flag burning exception to the First Amendment, a crime scene exception to the Fourth Amendment, and a threat of mob violence and popular resistance exceptions to the equal protection guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment…It should likewise reject a firearm or weapon exception to the Fourth Amendment.




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    Mainsail wrote:
    Mainsail wrote:
    He does continue to completely ignore the legality of the initial stop though.
    I agree!
    The purpose of a police stop and frisk is to prevent criminal activity.
    Therefore, a police officer's knowledge that a person is peacefully carrying a firearm, in and of itself, does not furnish probable cause to believe that the person is illegally carrying that firearm. The resultant stop is improper under Fourth Amendment principles.
    A frisk in a public place is not a petty indignity.
    Actually, technically I don't think this would fall into the Terry type stop. There was no "frisk". There was no search of the body. There was a confiscation of a firearm, but that firearm was out in the open, thus did not require a search for it.

    I don't believe that SCOTUS ruling could be applied in this case. Terry was specifically about an unreasonable *search* part of the stop, and the resulting illegal seizure based on that search.

    At least that's how I'd spin it if I was working for the enemy...

    The "officer" was required to disarm the individual based on "officer safety" during the "investigation" into the 911 call(s). No search of the subject occurred, thus Terry Stop rules would not apply.

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    Regular Member Mainsail's Avatar
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    gregma wrote:
    Mainsail wrote:
    Mainsail wrote:
    He does continue to completely ignore the legality of the initial stop though.
    I agree!
    The purpose of a police stop and frisk is to prevent criminal activity.
    Therefore, a police officer's knowledge that a person is peacefully carrying a firearm, in and of itself, does not furnish probable cause to believe that the person is illegally carrying that firearm. The resultant stop is improper under Fourth Amendment principles.
    A frisk in a public place is not a petty indignity.
    Actually, technically I don't think this would fall into the Terry type stop. There was no "frisk". There was no search of the body. There was a confiscation of a firearm, but that firearm was out in the open, thus did not require a search for it.

    I don't believe that SCOTUS ruling could be applied in this case. Terry was specifically about an unreasonable *search* part of the stop, and the resulting illegal seizure based on that search.

    At least that's how I'd spin it if I was working for the enemy...

    The "officer" was required to disarm the individual based on "officer safety" during the "investigation" into the 911 call(s). No search of the subject occurred, thus Terry Stop rules would not apply.

    My point is that there is no firearms exception for Terry stops, frisked or not. For the police to detain someone they must have reasonable articuable suspicion that a crime is afoot. That someone called 911 is irrelevant. I've asked on two of my detainments what crime the officer thought I might be committing, and they both said, “You’re carrying a gun”. Carrying a gun is not sufficient reason to detain us.

    Officer O’Neil detained (or arrested depending on how you want to look at it) SV even though he was aware that no crime was afoot. That was not a good stop.

    EDIT: There are only three types of ‘stops’, a friendly chat from which you can walk away at any time, detaining you (Terry stop that requires reasonable articuable suspicion), or an arrest (requires probable cause).




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    "As I said before all officers will treat each situation somewhat differently but all are expected to be professional and courteous."

    Translation: ... Although some of our officers may ilegally violate your rights, they wil do so in a professional and courteous manner


    "...in my opinion, your request to have a "broader" audience on the Open Carry issue is not necessary nor likely to satisfy your ultimate goals. I do not recommend our City executives and coucilmembers to weigh in on this issue."

    Translation: ****! I didn't think about that. Please do not bring this to the attention of the city executives or councilmembers. I do not want made to look the fool!


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    Let's apply this same logic to carrying an open bottle of liquor in one's front yard, or in a bar.

    Say the police walk up to you, temporarily detain you, and demand that you produce proof that you are 21. This would be unreasonable and illegal. The police must have reasonable, articulable suspicion that the subject is not 21 before they can require you to prove that you, in fact, are 21.

    Without the presumption of a crime, the mere fact that someone may or may not be committing a crime is not reasonable suspicion to conduct a stop.

    If the alcohol consumer, or the gun carrier, looked SIGNFICANTLY under 21, such that a reasonable person would know almost for certain that the person was not 21, the police would be free to conduct a stop to determine if the person is 21. If the person had a gun, they would be no more free to investigate additional facts, than they would be if the person had alcohol. There is a presumption that a person is legal to have an openly carried gun (unless in a bar, etc.) or to have open alcohol (in a bar, on your property, etc.)... without having broken an additional rule, the stop would end as soon as they verified your age--IF the police are following the law, they are not allowed to detain you any more than is necessary for the stop, which was only legal, if they showed reasonable articulable suspicion...

  11. #11
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    One reason I am pushing for a meeting with at least on city executive in the loop is to address the legality of the stop to a broader audience. There are so many screwed up things with this stop I hardly know where to begin. And I am also going to demand a clarify statement from the City about that asinine statement where Lt. Wilson said the OPD is "uncomfortable" with people having deadly weapons. This deserves a retraction and apology on city letterhead by itself.

    This crap isn't going to end so easy.

    I love it when a cop doesn't want me to address city executives. Oops, what rolls downhill again? Hint, it smells really bad and sticks to anything it touches!

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    sv_libertarian wrote:
    One reason I am pushing for a meeting with at least on city executive in the loop is to address the legality of the stop to a broader audience. There are so many screwed up things with this stop I hardly know where to begin. And I am also going to demand a clarify statement from the City about that asinine statement where Lt. Wilson said the OPD is "uncomfortable" with people having deadly weapons. This deserves a retraction and apology on city letterhead by itself.

    This crap isn't going to end so easy.

    I love it when a cop doesn't want me to address city executives. Oops, what rolls downhill again? Hint, it smells really bad and sticks to anything it touches!
    SV LIB,

    you are absolutely right on in your approach. my best wishes.



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    Good luck.

    I hope you win.



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    sv_libertarian wrote:

    Steve,

    The officer's gun was not pointed at you and was held close to the officer's chest pointed in a downward position........... As I said before all officers will treat each situation somewhat differently but all are expected to be professional and courteous.
    I suppose he pulled out his gun as a courtesy. Or have we gotten to the point that not beating you, tasing you, or shooting you is a courtesy. What would the officer think if you were holding your gun "at ready", since Lt Wilson seems to think that this is a non-threatening position. The position is the same as pointint a gun at you. It says "do as I say or you will be shot". Or perhaps he was saying "please do as I say or you will be shot".I imagine that ifyou were to hold your unholstered handgun atclose to your chest and pointed in a downward position,they would go beyond courteous and enter the range of "helpful", by "helping" you get some time off of work, in the ICU.



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    sv_libertarian wrote:
    I love it when a cop doesn't want me to address city executives. Oops, what rolls downhill again? Hint, it smells really bad and sticks to anything it touches!
    Napalm?

    Good luck with all this.

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    gregma wrote:
    SNIP Actually, technically I don't think this would fall into the Terry type stop. There was no "frisk". There was no search of the body. There was a confiscation of a firearm, but that firearm was out in the open, thus did not require a search for it.

    I don't believe that SCOTUS ruling could be applied in this case. Terry was specifically about an unreasonable *search* part of the stop, and the resulting illegal seizure based on that search.
    More to clarify than contradict, Terry discusses more than just the pat-down for a concealed weapon. It discusses the legitimacy of the stop itself. And references other cases that have some bearing on this discussion.

    Its far too lengthy to quote here, so I'll just post a link to it. I do recommend reading it. I keep it handy in Favorites. Almost every time I read it, I see a new angle or get a better perspective on some aspect. http://tinyurl.com/2ue6hy

    Here is a nice little quotewithin Terry where the opinion is quoting another case.

    ' "good faith on the part of the arresting officer is not enough." . . . If subjective good faith alone were the test, the protections of the Fourth Amendment would evaporate, and the people would be "secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects," only in the discretion of the police.

    Beck v. Ohio, supra, at 97. '
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

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

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

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