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Thread: Detained by Kenosha Police.

  1. #1
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    Well, after my evening class got out, I decided to pick up a few items at a local grocery store. I was open carrying. As I was just about to head to the check out line, passing the cheese section, I see a Kenosha Police officer walking over to me. Apparently the store manager had called them. Four more officers followed him. This is basically how it went. I recorded it all.:

    Officer D: Why are you carrying that thing in a store?

    Me: Self Protection.

    Officer D: Ok. Some people were alarmed. Can I see your ID?

    Me: (not wanting to be confrontational): Sure, here.

    Officer D calls in my name to dispatch. He then removes my pistol and unloads it, handing me the magazine and round from the chamber. He then reads off the serial number to dispatch.

    Me to other officer (Officer G): Am I being detained?

    Officer G: Yeah. For now just stay put.

    Me: Can I make a phone call?

    Officer G: No, hang tight for now.

    Officer G: You're just having a ball with this, huh?

    Me: Honestly, no.

    OfficerG laughs.

    OfficerG and Officer D go over and converse with a sargeant and other officer.

    OfficerG returns: You know that you can arrested for disorderly conduct, right?

    Me: Even though I'm not doing anything illegal?

    Officer G: Yeah, because other people were concerned.

    Me: Open carry is legal in Wisconsin.

    Officer G: Well, it can be considered disorderly conduct.

    Me: So, because other people were concerned, my right to carry and self protection doesn't matter?

    Officer G: If other people are scared, I'd consider it disorderly conduct.

    Officer D returns

    Officer D: The manager was concered about you carrying in the store.

    Me: He never came over to me or said anything.

    Officer D: I understand what you're saying, but he doesn't know you.

    Me: True.

    Me: You know, I understand why you were dispatched here. A man-with-a-gun call certainly demands a response from law enforcement. But what I am doing is perfectly legal. I even tucked in my sweatshirt so that none of my clothes would even hang over the holster.

    Officer D: I know, concealed carry is illegal, but open carry is fine. It's just that when other people are concerned we have to respond to determine the situation. I talked to my segreant, and my sergeant back at the station and told them like you seem like a level headed guy and that you weren't meaning to disturb anyone. When they called us, I thought that it was just an off duty officer whose jacket came open and exposed his gun. I was just going to tell him to cover it up.

    Me: Yeah, I know that you guys can carry concealed off duty.

    Officer D: Exactly, but you cant and it is the complete opposite with you. It is very obvious that your gun is open for everyone to see.

    Me: It would have been a lot easier the other way (concealed), I would have been home by now eating a Hot Pocket and drinking a Mike's Hard Lemonade.

    Officer D laughs and asks: Are they cold? Good.

    Me: So, am I under arrest or will I be charged or cited with a crime?

    Officer D: No, because you are a straight forward kind of guy and I consider this manner closed.

    Me: Can I reholster my gun and complete my purchase?

    Officer D: That's fine.

    I then turned off my recorder and went to check out. The officers were standing on the other side of the register. I saw the store manager.

    Me: I'm assuming that you were the one the called the police

    Manager: Yeah.

    Me: You could have just asked me not to carry in the store.

    Manager: Well, you just could have told me that it was legal and I wouldn't not have known.

    Me: So in the future you would prefer that I come back here without my gun.

    Manager: Yes, I would prefer that.

    I then payed, gathered my bags and left. The officers waved goodbye to me in the parking lot and left.





  2. #2
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    Overall and interesting encounter. Officer D was extremely friendly and talked to me like a regular person, not one of his subjects. I'm going to request a copy of the 9-1-1 call just to hear what was said. How do I file a FOIA request?

  3. #3
    Regular Member Decoligny's Avatar
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    GJD wrote:
    Me: I'm assuming that you were the one the called the police

    Manager: Yeah.

    Me: You could have just asked me not to carry in the store.

    Manager: Well, you just could have told me that it was legal and I wouldn't not have known.

    Me: So in the future you would prefer that I come back here without my gun.

    Manager: Yes, I would prefer that.

    I then payed, gathered my bags and left. The officers waved goodbye to me in the parking lot and left.
    Is there another grocery store in the same area?

    If so, find out if they are scared of inanimate objects.

    If they aren't, then take your business there instead.

    If my gun isn't welcome, then I am not welcome, and unless they have a monopoly, like the one decent Pizza place within 5 miles of my house (luckily they don't care about my carrying), then they don't get my business.


  4. #4
    State Pioneer ConditionThree's Avatar
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    Outstanding.

    It sounds like you kept your cool and were percieved as well-informed by the police that contacted you. They admitted that open carry is fine and you were not charged with disorderly conduct.

    Im sure this might have occured to you in retrospect, but I might have framed the question of the manager a little like this;

    So in the future, would you prefer armed citizens patronize a store other than yours? When they reply in the affirmative, I'd inform them that I would oblige their preference and spead the word.


    Kudosfor a job well done.


    Oops- edited to add;

    Here in California we call it a PRA request. Some government entities have a form to fill out requesting the kind information or record you are looking for. In a FOIA request, you might have to write a letter informing the government entity that you are requesting records under FOIA. Google FOIA and you should be able to find a 'form' letter you can use as a template.

    In my instance, I got the 911 tape shortly after making a request and had to pay $50.00 for a brief recording on a casette tape.
    New to OPEN CARRY in California? Click and read this first...

    NA MALE SUBJ ON FOOT, LS NB 3 AGO HAD A HOLSTERED HANDGUN ON HIS RIGHT HIP. WAS NOT BRANDISHING THE WEAPON, BUT RP FOUND SUSPICIOUS.
    CL SUBJ IN COMPLIANCE WITH LAW


    Support the 2A in California - Shop Amazon for any item and up to 15% of all purchases go back to the Calguns Foundation. Enter through either of the following links
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  5. #5
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    Were the officers aware that you were recording the conversation? If they were, did they seem to mind?

  6. #6
    Newbie cato's Avatar
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    This is always a good read from an enforcement / rights POV. http://policechiefmagazine.org/magaz...ssue_id=122005

  7. #7
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    Good report and you handled yourself well. Are you considering any action beyond FOIA the 911?

    The 911 itself won't be particularly valuable unless further action is planned.

    What is the legal status of your encounter, was it a lawfull arrest/detention/encounter? Remember that you were prevented from going about your business while your identification and weapon and 'records' were examined, all based on a shopkeeper's and cops' mis-understanding of the law.

    Under what circumstances may identification be legally demanded in Wisconsin, in the US? IIRC, in Wisconsin it is legal 'incident to investigation of a crime' and an act may be declared a crime only by a trier of fact - a judge or jury (I ANAL).

    Under what legal circumstances may you be disarmed? Under what proper circumstances may a in-expert cop manipulate an unfamiliar weapon in public? Is the hypothetical benefit worth the real risk of a ND?

    And on and on.

    Will you pursue this incident for yourself or for the benefit of all, or will you drop it as an exciting successful encounter? If you pursue then I recommend legal counsel. In any case, please write further.

    Respectfully,

  8. #8
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    At first I expected the encounter to go very poorly. But the officers really handled themselves well. I carried a Star Firestar 45ACP and when they unloaded it, they wanted toguide the hammer down with the safety on. I explained that the weapon has a magazine cut-off bar that prevents dropping the hammer without a magazine. They then stopped messing with the gun, and an officer placed itin one of his pockets for the time being.They talked to me respectfully and knew the laws somewhat. I just wanted to FOIA the 911 tape just to be able to hear what was said, not to further pursue a complaint. I found the police departments FOIA page and a copy of the cassete will cost me $5.00. The officers incident report costs $1.00 extra.

  9. #9
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    As to the post about recording the conversation - I asked the officer if it was ok to record the conversation, even though it is not required to have his permission. He replied that it was fine with him. I then pulled my recorder out and placed it in the basket of my shopping cart.

  10. #10
    Regular Member Mainsail's Avatar
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    I won’t criticize the way you handled it because it sounds like you did OK, and I have absolutely no knowledge of your state’s laws.I just had a similar incident (only three cops!) and I simply refused to let them drag me into a debate. My policy now, after several encounters, is not to discuss or debate with them. If they want to have a friendly chat, I’ll tell them to meet me later for a beer and we’ll chat. Why I’m carrying a firearm or why I’m carrying it openly is not police business.

  11. #11
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    I usually don't offer any opinion, good or bad, on people OCing. If a person is really asking to be noticed by carrying a chrome 50 caliber Desert Eagle strapped to their chest while in the mall, that's their business, even though I'd never suggest someone do that. It's really not my place to stop them from being a decent person who's really proud of their "bling" and not causing any trouble.

  12. #12
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    GJD wrote:
    When they called us, I thought that it was just an off duty officer whose jacket came open and exposed his gun. I was just going to tell him to cover it up.
    This is an interesting statement. It says that Kenosha cops (and probably most in WI) are specifically told NOT to OC while off-duty. This is for a few reasons I can think of:

    1) No man-with-a-gun calls
    2) If the general public is accustomed to seeing plainclothes people OCing then the number of man-with-a-gun calls goes down. Therefore it is MUCH easier for non LEO folks to OC, and even with fewer hassles!!

    I talked with a guy at a gun show yesterday:
    Me: "So you know that OC is perfectly legal here"
    Him: "Yeah, but this isn't Wyoming...non-gun people seem scared of regular citizens with guns"
    Me: "Then how will these people ever get over it if they never see regular folks OCing on a regular basis?"

    GJD, you have balls man. You handled yourself well. Congrats. Now prepare for the next time. :what: I have also prepared myself for similar encounter. The main thing is to respectfully show the officer that you know your rights and you will not allow them to be violated!

    You have inspired me. I bought another holster at the gun show. I plan to OC on a few short trips in Waukesha once the weather gets nicer.

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