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Thread: Negative encounter

  1. #1
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    Hey guys, read the forums for a while but have not posted yet. I turned 18 last year and have been slowly working up to open carrying here in Colorado. But I had a little incident this summer that has set me back. I had a single vehicle accident in Castle Pines, the exclusive gated community south of Denver. Long story short, hit a ditch and needed a tow. The rent-a-cops showed up and I let them call the Douglas Sheriff. The whole time waiting I was polite and but never let them treat me as if they were real cops. Eventually, two deputies arrive and they immediatelly order me out of the truck and ask is there anything in the vehicle we need to know about. I asked him if he was going to search it and he replied in the affirmative. So I told him the was a handgun in the center console. He then terry searched me and my friend. They found nothing on us and then retrieved my holstered unchambered GLOCK. He cleared it and told his partner he found it unloaded. They looked at my DL and determined I was only 18. He then asked me why I had a handgun; I told him it was my right and for protection. He then said you can't have this you aren't 21. I told him I politely I can posses a handgun. He then said it again. I replied that due to federal law you must be 21 to purchase a handgun from a federally liscensed dealer but may posses one at 18 in the state of Colorado. We exchanged this several times then he returned to his vehicle while my friend and I waited with his partner on the tailgate. after probably 15minutes of what appeared to be him looking up the law on his laptop he returned with a careless driving ticket and told me he was leaving my unloaded gun on the drivers seat, and to leave it at home unless I was going shooting. He also saw some fireworks in the cab and said "I am a patriot too, so just shoot those on the 4th and new years". I aplogized for wasting their time and shook their hands and they left. I was concerned at the time about how it was going to play out, but I was confident, polite and knew the law. This leaves me wondering though what will happen if I have a LEO encounter while carrying. If this cop did not know the law or wanted to scare me so bad, how will he others react? But a glimmer hope I was buying a rifle at Walmart on Christmas eve and spent a couple hours at the gun counter waiting. I already knew the guys that worked there pretty well but hadn't gotten to talk in depth with them. I asked him whether he had run into OC in the store. He replied that occasionally someone would but it was legal and all is fine. But then he said that if someone complained that you would be asked to disarm or leave. I mentioned the Walmart policy on weapons and he didn't seem to have a clue. He regurgetated the it's private property we can ask you to leave. He further lost credibility when he said as soon as you get a CHP you can no longer OC. You lose that right he said. I will be going to Walmart soon to start my OCing though. So what do y'all think am I blowing this out of proportion?

  2. #2
    Lone Star Veteran Ian's Avatar
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    Well scooter I think you handled the situation well. Unfortunately, you will most likely have to deal with this sort of thing due to your youth. Just keep a level head and know the law which it seems you are doing, and you should be alright.

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    I'm interested on what grounds he had to search your vehicle...

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    The grounds that he was a sheriff and scooter was an 18 year old kid. Crooked cops are ruining this country. Sad thing is, it's STILL the best place on Earth!

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    "Thank you for your advice, Officer, I'll give it all the due consideration it deserves." in other words, I'm not bound by Your misunderstanding of the law.

    If you want legal advice or a legal opinion see a lawyer, the police are there to enforce the law and arrest people.





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    I beleive the Terry search of my person was conducted due to my answer of having a gun was PC. He never asked me for consent. He just said, step out and is there anything I need to know about in the vehicle. I asked if he was going to search; I was carefull to not give permission. I even thought about it for a couple seconds before answering. I knew I had to comply with his lawful orders but I was not sure about this search. At the moment he asked I do not beleive he had PC for a terry search of the passenger compartment, perhaps it was search incidental to a misdemeanor traffic offense. But I don't beleive that is sufficient. I don't think the officer had seen a few of the fireworks that had become unstowed but it is possibly that he did. In colorado these are illegal so that would give sufficient probably cause. It is odd though that he would not ask for consent.

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    Scooter,

    Were you in The Village or on Castle Pines Parkway or Happy Canyon Rd?

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    Yes I was inside the village. Unfortunatley I have a friend that lives in there.

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    Lone Star Veteran Ian's Avatar
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    scooter12589 wrote:
    I beleive the Terry search of my person was conducted due to my answer of having a gun was PC. He never asked me for consent. He just said, step out and is there anything I need to know about in the vehicle. I asked if he was going to search; I was carefull to not give permission. I even thought about it for a couple seconds before answering. I knew I had to comply with his lawful orders but I was not sure about this search. At the moment he asked I do not beleive he had PC for a terry search of the passenger compartment, perhaps it was search incidental to a misdemeanor traffic offense. But I don't beleive that is sufficient. I don't think the officer had seen a few of the fireworks that had become unstowed but it is possibly that he did. In colorado these are illegal so that would give sufficient probably cause. It is odd though that he would not ask for consent.
    There is no such thing as search incident to misdemeanor traffic offense. There is search incident to LAWFUL ARREST, but you weren't being arrested.

  10. #10
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    I diddn't think so but I wasn't sure. perhaps he had seen the fireworks already, they are illegal in Colorado.

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    I don't consider, based on the report, the officerhad grounds to search or temporarily seize the weapon. The words "armed and dangerous" appear together in court opinions. Just being armed leaves out the dangerous part.

    However, the police know that you can't enforce your rights against 4th Amendment violations unless you are arrested and a judge excludes evidence discoveredin violation of 4th Amendment case law. They have qualified immunity from lawsuits, so youare left with exercising your 1st Amendment right to petition the government for redress of grievances--sending a complaint.

    I think a complaint will have little effect, but it would be worth a try. Gotta start somewhere. I say little effect because the police are in a mind-set that there is no such thing as a non-dangerous gun carrier. And I don't think "armed" and "dangerous" being separate has been tested in court. The opinions I've read were appeals involvinga search being illegal, as opposed to the weapon removal, with one exception, and that case involved enough asserted dangerous circumstances about the environment around theappellant to convincethe court that the seizure of the person was legal based on the visible weapon.

    Regarding your question about cops not knowingthe law or wanting to scareyou, and what might happenduring an encounter with carrying:

    Its a definitepossibility. OC'ers do get inappropriate police attention in various jurisdictions where it is legal--until the OC'ers push back. Sometimes it takes a while for the word to spread and attitudes to change inside a given police departiment, but we've been successful at getting the police toknock-off enforcing their prejudice and misunderstanding of law.

    There is a lot to learn about police interaction:what to do, what to say, what not say, what the police can and can't do, etc. The more you know, the better prepared you will be.

    Get a little digital voice-recorder/pocketvoice memo recorderif legal in your stateso you can have a recording of any police abuse. The recording goes a long way toward making a complaint effective--the err-ing officer can't deny the evidence, sadly something we've seen too often without a voice-recorder.
    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.

  12. #12
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    However, the police know that you can't enforce your rights against 4th Amendment violations unless you are arrested and a judge excludes evidence discovered in violation of 4th Amendment case law.
    I don't know about this, Citizen -- if an officer comes into your house without your consent, you're saying you cant sue unless your arrested and a judge throws out incriminating evidence?

    You'd be able to file a Section 1983 civil rights law suit against that officer as he was acting 'under color of law' and violated your civil rights -- that's your course of action there.

    They have qualified immunity from lawsuits, so you are left with exercising your 1st Amendment right to petition the government for redress of grievances--sending a complaint.
    Qualified immunity -- not absolute. They have immunity from scenerios where any other 'reasonable officer' would have acted in a similar situation. This will not be covered by warrantless searches where there were no exigent circumstances.

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    Wynder wrote:
    However, the police know that you can't enforce your rights against 4th Amendment violations unless you are arrested and a judge excludes evidence discovered in violation of 4th Amendment case law.
    I don't know about this, Citizen -- if an officer comes into your house without your consent, you're saying you cant sue unless your arrested and a judge throws out incriminating evidence?

    You'd be able to file a Section 1983 civil rights law suit against that officer as he was acting 'under color of law' and violated your civil rights -- that's your course of action there.

    They have qualified immunity from lawsuits, so you are left with exercising your 1st Amendment right to petition the government for redress of grievances--sending a complaint.
    Qualified immunity -- not absolute. They have immunity from scenerios where any other 'reasonable officer' would have acted in a similar situation. This will not be covered by warrantless searches where there were no exigent circumstances.
    While not necessarily legal, this is factually correct. One would be hard pressed to find a court that would hear such a case. Basically, it is a case of trespass and unless you clearly express your opposition to the search, the officer can claim that he felt you gave permission to search by not opposing him when you were informed of his intent.

    Personally, I always exit my vehicle and LOCK THE DOORS so the officer can not enter without the key and to get the key he will have to take it against my will. I also disarm before exiting the vehicle, so I can not be accused of some threatening action.

    Take care all and be safe,

    Doc

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    DocNTexas wrote:
    Basically, it is a case of trespass and unless you clearly express your opposition to the search...
    Not to be argumentative, but I think it's misleading to break it down to this level... When a police officer performs a search or seizure without a legal basis to do so -- in the case here, of your vehicle -- it is a violation of your civil rights, not trespassing (which generally applies to real property as opposed to pesonal property).


    Under the watchful eye of the LEO, I would also advise against disarming before exiting the vehicle as handling your weapon with the officer close by might warrant some bad feelings on the part of the officer.

    If you're asked by the officer to exit your vehicle and you're armed, inform him that you're a permit holder (if applicable) and that you're currently armed and how he'd like you to proceed.

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    Wynder wrote:
    DocNTexas wrote:
    Basically, it is a case of trespass and unless you clearly express your opposition to the search...
    Not to be argumentative, but I think it's misleading to break it down to this level... When a police officer performs a search or seizure without a legal basis to do so -- in the case here, of your vehicle -- it is a violation of your civil rights, not trespassing (which generally applies to real property as opposed to pesonal property).


    Under the watchful eye of the LEO, I would also advise against disarming before exiting the vehicle as handling your weapon with the officer close by might warrant some bad feelings on the part of the officer.

    If you're asked by the officer to exit your vehicle and you're armed, inform him that you're a permit holder (if applicable) and that you're currently armed and how he'd like you to proceed.
    I agree that it is a violation of your civil rights and yes, it should not be tolerated, however, you must look at the world in realistic terms. The courts do not conduct business as many believe. The courts can actually refuse to hear cases that they feel not worthy. Basically, they place more important cases ahead of them, which is a never ending process and such cases will never be heard. This is reality. I worked in this environment for 27 years, trust me, this is reality. That is my point.

    As the poster states, unless the officer takes action beyond simply entering your vehicle to look around, he has done nothing but simple trespass by entering without your permission. in the states case, the person never protested the search nor did he indicate that he was not consenting to it, which leaves the door open for the officer to claim he was allowed. This technique is actually taught to officers as a way to get consent. (Kind of like the telemarketer claim that until you expressly tell them to stop calling you, it is assumed that you WANT them to call you). Not necessarily technically legal, but effectively legal.

    As for handling your weapon in from of an officer I too do not recommend that. I personally disarm the moment I start to pull over. If I am approached before I can do that, then NO, I do not attempt it either, but to date I have never had a problem disarming and retrieving my wallet before coming to a stop and the officer approaching. I realize some carry in a manor that prevents easy disarmament while sitting, and in this case I would not try doing so, however, I would suggest a better means of carry since you may need it while sitting and need to be able to easily retrieve it that way. Remember the idea of practicing every scenario?

    I also present my CHL with my ID no matter if required or not. This is just my personal choice as I feel it help prevent problems and surprises. If merely a traffic stop I wait in my vehicle for the officer to approach. If I am already stopped, such as at a wreck scene, I exit and wait or at least exit on the approach of the officer's vehicle. I also request to exit at traffic stops (everyone in the vehicle). It is fairly common for vehicles to hit stopped vehicles, especially at night and it is safer to be standing away from the vehicle in the ditch and most officers agree. This is not as important in town as on the highway, due to speed differences.

    In short, while I agree with you technically, I understand how the courts actually work and your position, unfortunately,just does not fit into reality. Before your position can be achieved, you will have to change the courts.

    Take care all and be safe,

    Doc

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    If he only bluffed saying he will search the vehicle and the 18 year old said that he has a gun in it, he just gave an excuse for a Terry frisk of the vehicle. He needed to say: I don't give you permission to search the vehicle and leave it at that. Don't interfere with the cop's illegal search, but put it on record. Many do have recorders that capture the conversation. Better yet: get yourself one and if your state law allows you to record a conversation you are part of, without the other's permission, then record it. If not still do so, since it is a public encounter in a public arena.

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    Count wrote:
    If he only bluffed saying he will search the vehicle and the 18 year old said that he has a gun in it, he just gave an excuse for a Terry frisk of the vehicle. He needed to say: I don't give you permission to search the vehicle and leave it at that. Don't interfere with the cop's illegal search, but put it on record. Many do have recorders that capture the conversation. Better yet: get yourself one and if your state law allows you to record a conversation you are part of, without the other's permission, then record it. If not still do so, since it is a public encounter in a public arena.
    Precisely. Once you know an officer intends to search your vehicle, clearly inform him you do not consent but never interfere with his activities. And if you exit the vehicle, lock it up. That make them commit two violations to perform the search. One, removing your keys from you (never voluntarily turn them over as that implies permission) and two, the search of the vehicle. There is no way they can claim permission under those circumstances.

    As for recording yourself, always inform that you are recording them and they will likely not continue with the search. Also, the law varies from state to state regarding the use of voice recording devices. Many require all parties to be aware they are being recording or it is considered wiretapping. In some states, only one party must know. So, unless you are sure of your law, inform. At the same time, the goal first and foremost is to deter the illegal search, so informing you are recording will likely reach that goal. If not, it will provide evidence of the illegal search.

    The one thing I would like to point out is that I believe the majority of officer out there are honest and professional and we are talking about the few ignorant or power tripper sorts (the bad eggs) that are found in every profession.

    Take care all and be safe,

    Doc

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    Next time step out of the vehicle and drop the keys on the floor. Lock the door and

    exit. Have a back up key stashed in your wallet (THOSE PLASTIC HIDE A KEY WALLET INSERTS ARE NICE). If the police are

    coming be out of the vehicle and have it locked. Then he can't search it without a

    warrant. Even if you are arrested an decent attorney could get any evidence

    discovered in the vehicle tossed, if you are not in the vehicle when he arrives. There

    was NO probable cause to search the vehicle after an accident. When an cop asked

    is there anything in here I should know about ? Reply, only my personal property

    which is none of your business. I do not consent to a search of me or my property.If

    you chose to violate my constitutional rights you will have to deal with the hassles of

    a civil suit. Three times I have had LEO attempt to search me or my vehicle. They

    always stopped and suddenly decided not to.





    Goggle Boston T. Party and buy his book, Dealing with the police. Find a local

    attorney and keep his card in your wallet. If the cops start this crap, take out the

    card and your cell phone and say I'm starting to feel like I want my attorney involved in this.
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