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Thread: First LEO Encounter

  1. #1
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    Just got back from a routine walk which I do several times a week, OCing my Kimber 1911 naturally, when I had my first LEO encounter.

    I had almost made it back home when I saw a Pierce County Sheriff pass me coming head on. At first I thought nothing about it, I've been passed by them several times on my walks, but then I looking behind me and could see he was turning around. By this time I'm almost in my driveway but he managed to catch up with me before I could make it inside.

    He (Officer 1) pulled up behind me and asked me to stop which I did. Then he got out and told me to put my hands on the hood of his car in a not so friendly tone. I was a little miffed about this because I hadn't done anything wrong.

    No sooner did I have my hands on the hood of his car before he started grabbing my gun, saying he was taking it for his safety. I was not too happy for two reasons; first, I carry my Kimber 1911 in a level two serpa holster and he obviously was not familiar at all with a level two holster since he just kept yanking on it. I had to tell him to push the button to get it out. And secondly, because I had made no threating moves towards him at all.

    At this point another Pierce County Sheriff showed up in another squad car (Officer 2). I remained tried to remain courteous even as Officer 1 preceed to give me a patt down which I was pretty sure that he could not do, please correct me if I'm wrong, but I did not try to resist as I'm sure that would have just made things worse.

    I can't remember word for word what was said, I need to get a voice recorder, but they at least understood that open carry was legal and were telling me that, even as Officer 2 took my gun to run the serial number. Officer 1 asked me for my ID and address. I gave him my ID which I know I didn't have to but it was my first time and I was a bit nervous. I also gave him address when he asked because I was standing right in front of my house and he could have just as easily read it off of the garage door.

    I was rather proud of myself that I did not give him my CPL when Officer 1 asked for it. He asked several times and I just kept explaining to him that since I was not concealing I did not need it. After some back and forth he started to say that I was alarming people because I was walking down the street with a gun on my hip. I calmly explained that my intention was not to alarm anyone by my choice of carry and that I could not help that they are, however the alarm was not warranted.

    After a while Officer 2 came back and returned my gun and then both of them started arguing that since I had my CPL I should just conceal it, even though neither of them had seen it. Officer 2 at this point definitely seemed to be the more agressive one. I told them it was my choice how to carry and asked them for they're names.

    After that they let me go and I walked inside. In hindsight, I realized I could have done some thing's differently. I'm sure Mainsail will get on my case why I didn't immediately ask if I was being detained. :P But I don't think I did too bad for my first chat with the LEO's.

    I'm still irritated that they both, took my gun and searched me. Would that fall under illegal search and seizures? I think this has been covered on the forum before but I can't seem to find it. Please help. If what they did was a violation of my civil rights, I'll definitely be sending a letter to the Chief of Police there.

    Sorry this was so long winded, just trying to remember all the details.
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  2. #2
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    Urk. And gak. What a weird encounter. File a complaint, they didn't seem to articulate any probable cause for the stop. Personally I would have shown my CPL just to make them shut up, at that stage in the game there is nothing stopping them from taking your wallet and going through it anyhow.

    I would really lean on PCSD HARD. Also I can refer you to a lawyer in Bremerton who may be of some help should it get that far...

    Definately make a complaint though. This whole thing reeks. Glad you are OK.

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    kenshin wrote:
    I'm sure Mainsail will get on my case why I didn't immediately ask if I was being detained. :P

    Would that fall under illegal search and seizures?

    Yes I will!

    It certainly sounds like an illegal search and seizure to me. I agree you should file a complaint. Since you didn't ask while they had you, ask in the complaint, "For suspicion of what crime was I detained?"

    EDIT:
    After some back and forth he started to say that I was alarming people because I was walking down the street with a gun on my hip. I calmly explained that my intention was not to alarm anyone by my choice of carry and that I could not help that they are, however the alarm was not warranted.
    Actually, the statute says, “warrants alarm for the safety of others.




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    Mainsail wrote:
    kenshin wrote:
    I'm sure Mainsail will get on my case why I didn't immediately ask if I was being detained. :P

    Would that fall under illegal search and seizures?
    Yes I will!

    It certainly sounds like an illegal search and seizure to me. I agree you should file a complaint. Since you didn't ask while they had you, ask in the complaint, "For suspicion of what crime was I detained?"

    Mainsail, this is a moot point, since A. The LEO's don't give a rat's ass about our rights,

    and B. Even if the court/s say you are not guilty if they arrest and charge you, nothing ever happens to these clowns anyway.

    Very dissapointing.....


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    I've had good luck effecting change, and so can anyone else. First though, an attitude change is in order, otherwise you will get nowhere. Thinking LEO's are "clowns" is a surefire way to make sure nothing does change. Treat them as equals, however you have to reconcile it in your mind.

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    but they at least understood that open carry was legal and were telling me that

    That right there says they KNEW that you were doing nothing wrong. There was no reason for them to stop you and you should have been released right there. You handled it better than I would have. I dont know that I would have put my hands on the hood of the car without asking why, nor would I have allowed them to remove my weapon without good cause.

    Any weapon that is removed from a holster is most definitely less safe than if it was left alone and I would have told them so.

    Good luck on the complaint, you have a decent case here, I hope it results in some sort of training for the officers about illegal search and seizure.

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    I'm sure Mainsail will get on my case why I didn't immediately ask if I was being detained.
    I don't think there's any question whether you were detained or not.

    You definitely were detained for several reasons. First, the officer commanded you to "stop," did not ask. Second, he controlled your physical movement (told you to place your hands on the hood and frisked you). Third, he seized your firearm and then your ID. Under those circumstances, a reasonable person would not have felt free to leave, so you were detained.

    The next logical question is whether or not the detention and seizure were justified by reasonable, articuable suspicion of a crime, the answer to which I think we all know to be: NO!

    I would definitely file a complaint. In fact, this encounter may justify going straight to sv_lib's lawyer. I think you handled the situation well, but the officer's actions are intolerable and flagrantly illegal.

    There are also "color of law" violation issues from 18 USC (I forget the exact cite) to consider, on top of the illegal detention and seizure.

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    sean-1286 wrote:
    (SNIP)
    I would definitely file a complaint. In fact, this encounter may justify going straight to sv_lib's lawyer. I think you handled the situation well, but the officer's actions are intolerable and flagrantly illegal.

    There are also "color of law" violation issues from 18 USC (I forget the exact cite) to consider, on top of the illegal detention and seizure.
    +1. This is an outrageous abuse of power. Sending a letter to the Sheriff will, at most, get them a slap on the wrist. Talk to a lawyer immediately.
    B.S. Chemistry UofWA '09
    KF7GEA

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    Regular Member Ajetpilot's Avatar
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    I need some exercise, and a walk would do me good. I'm in Olalla.Friday afternoon/eveningwould bea great time for a walk. The weather is supposed to be very pleasant. I always carry a recorder. If one of your neighbors called 911, maybe they will do so again for my benefit. I've never had a LEO encounter. This could be fun. PM me if you are thinking about getting some more exercise.

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    sv_libertarian wrote:
    I've had good luck effecting change, and so can anyone else. First though, an attitude change is in order, otherwise you will get nowhere. Thinking LEO's are "clowns" is a surefire way to make sure nothing does change. Treat them as equals, however you have to reconcile it in your mind.
    The LEO's who violate our Constitutional Rights are Clowns, and Morons, and Jerks. What do you think I should have the utmost respect for them? OMG

    I also have had some luck "Effecting Change" in Olympia but to say I need an attitude change because I feel a certain way about people who take things away from you, I, and everyone else is disheartening, and cruel of you to say!

    Please don't go there.

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    XD45PlusP wrote:
    sv_libertarian wrote:
    I've had good luck effecting change, and so can anyone else. First though, an attitude change is in order, otherwise you will get nowhere. Thinking LEO's are "clowns" is a surefire way to make sure nothing does change. Treat them as equals, however you have to reconcile it in your mind.
    The LEO's who violate our Constitutional Rights are Clowns, and Morons, and Jerks. What do you think I should have the utmost respect for them? OMG

    I also have had some luck "Effecting Change" in Olympia but to say I need an attitude change because I feel a certain way about people who take things away from you, I, and everyone else is disheartening, and cruel of you to say!

    Please don't go there.
    I never said you should hold them in high regards... mebbe it is the salesman and customer service guy in me. I try to be dipolomatic in my approaches.

    I'm sorry if you took my statement to be cruel and disheartening, it wasn't intended that way.

    I always keep in mind that a lot of LEOs read here, and an angry attitude here may make it harder later with them. Not to say one shouldn't speak their mind, and i shouldn't try and impose my standards on you, sorry.

    I've always felt resorting to name calling doesn't solve anything. It is a good way to vent frustration, but I personally don't like saying something on a public forum I wouldn't say across a meeting table at someone. But again, I take a very diplomatic tack where some won't.

    Again, I apologize if you felt I demeaned you or your efforts in anyway. We are all in this together, and will only prevail by sticking together.

    I'll stick to facts on this post for the time being, not my opinion...

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    Sv, are you saying that the LEO's who arrest, detain, harrass, etc... people who Open Carry are good people, and that they don't deserve to be singled out?

    How about those who violate our Constitutional Rights? How about corrupt cops?

    BTW, I never said All LEO's

    Believe me I would say that these "PARTICULAR" LEO's deserve to be called much worse, and I would say it to your face, and theirs.

    Are you a cop?

    XD

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    XD45PlusP wrote:
    Sv, are you saying that the LEO's who arrest, detain, harrass, etc... people who Open Carry are good people, and that they don't deserve to be singled out?

    How about those who violate our Constitutional Rights? How about corrupt cops?

    BTW, I never said All LEO's

    Believe me I would say that these "PARTICULAR" LEO's deserve to be called much worse, and I would say it to your face, and theirs.

    Are you a cop?

    XD
    I am not a cop. Nor do I play one on TV. I am a salesman, nothing more, nothing less.

    I have had a cop pull a gun on me, but I am not sitting here calling him names. I have named him several times, but I have not been insulting. I believe any who knowingly and willingly violate rights should be dealt with in a fashion suitable to the offense and law.

    That said I could have easily brought a civil suit against several officers. I didn't. OTOH, I got what I wanted in the end, with a lot less grief and heartache.

    All I'm saying is sometimes you get more flies with honey. I explained my motives and my reasonings to you. I try to work with and in the system, and do so in a professional way, but again, that is my training and profession. Sales and customer service. What works for me, and comes naturally may not work for you.

    I cannot say I have caused any officer to be fired, or docked in pay, or won a sum of money from a government. What I can say is I have dealt with those who have violated my rights in a fashion that all parties have found satisfactory and have achieved various understandings. End of story.

    If this does not work for you, please again accept my apologies for trying to force my way on you, and take your own approach. Varied approaches can be a good thing at times.


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    Did they call you off of your property? or enter your property? I am a little hazy on local laws or codes. all work I did as a LEO was under USC's and on international waters or US territorial seas. I know when I boarded a boat I could disarm any person that was armed with no reason or cause other than officer safety. By no means do I say what the Leos in your situation was right IMHO. but they might have the right to disarm you if there was a complaint before they questioned you. but if there was no complaint wouldn't that be profiling.

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    kenshin, I've sent you a PM.


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    I read a lot of forums and a universal observation among the majority of posters is that when one person gets down on the cops for gererally or specifically bad behavior others are quick to warn against tarring all cops with the same brush that blackens those guilty of harrassment.

    Taking a converse look at what cops say is rather disappointing because they tend to close ranks rather than judging the individual cop on the merits of his behavior. I'm sure that others have observed the same thing, and that this, in part, leads to the attitude that the system is corrupt. Who would be inclined to spend money on lawyers in an assumed wasted effort?

    MD

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    Semper Paratus wrote:
    Did they call you off of your property? or enter your property? I am a little hazy on local laws or codes. all work I did as a LEO was under USC's and on international waters or US territorial seas. I know when I boarded a boat I could disarm any person that was armed with no reason or cause other than officer safety. By no means do I say what the Leos in your situation was right IMHO. but they might have the right to disarm you if there was a complaint before they questioned you. but if there was no complaint wouldn't that be profiling.
    Unfortunately I had not quite make it onto my property yet. I was about 20 feet away from my driveway. Shameful that such a small distance can make all the differance. Had I actually been on my property I would have just walked inside and ignored him.

    They did say that some had called in a "man with a gun" complaint but I wouldn't think that should make any differance as to whether they can disarm me.
    DISCLAIMER: This post may contain libertarian ideas and language that are consistent with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, including a belief in liberty, rule of law, and natural rights. It may also contain opinions critical of government and the tyrannies being committed by such. If you are an authoritarian, statist, or other freedom hater, side effects of reading this post may include high blood pressure, loose stool, severe genital itching, and diarrhea of the mouth.

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    kenshin wrote:
    Unfortunately I had not quite make it onto my property yet. I was about 20 feet away from my driveway. Shameful that such a small distance can make all the differance. Had I actually been on my property I would have just walked inside and ignored him.

    They did say that some had called in a "man with a gun" complaint but I wouldn't think that should make any differance as to whether they can disarm me.
    It shouldn't because you were demonstrably legally OCing. Sadly their training does not take into consideration one's civil rights in this matter. It will take a court case to settle once and for all. I have the same problem with Oly. See what happens next time someone who can't stand the sight of guns calls 911.

    Seriously, the cops should be able to see you are breaking no laws, that does not justify the amount of energy they put into screwing you over... Urgh.

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    Semper Paratus wrote:
    Did they call you off of your property? or enter your property? I am a little hazy on local laws or codes. all work I did as a LEO was under USC's and on international waters or US territorial seas. I know when I boarded a boat I could disarm any person that was armed with no reason or cause other than officer safety. By no means do I say what the Leos in your situation was right IMHO. but they might have the right to disarm you if there was a complaint before they questioned you. but if there was no complaint wouldn't that be profiling.
    Not in the State of Washington you can't. It's not even legal to stop someone just because they are carrying a gun, unless you have more than a hunch they might be doing something wrong.

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    kenshin wrote:
    Semper Paratus wrote:
    Did they call you off of your property? or enter your property? I am a little hazy on local laws or codes. all work I did as a LEO was under USC's and on international waters or US territorial seas. I know when I boarded a boat I could disarm any person that was armed with no reason or cause other than officer safety. By no means do I say what the Leos in your situation was right IMHO. but they might have the right to disarm you if there was a complaint before they questioned you. but if there was no complaint wouldn't that be profiling.
    Unfortunately I had not quite make it onto my property yet. I was about 20 feet away from my driveway. Shameful that such a small distance can make all the differance. Had I actually been on my property I would have just walked inside and ignored him.

    They did say that some had called in a "man with a gun" complaint but I wouldn't think that should make any differance as to whether they can disarm me.
    I'd at least request to hear the 911 tape and get a copy of the transcript. It's likely that they were bluffing that there was a 911 "man with a gun" call. I wouldn't be surprised that they can't produce the tape or transcript. If they do I'll bet it's some calm, cool and collected person stating "there's a man with a gun at [location]". It's rare that you hear an excited person on the 911 call "Come quick, there's a guy minding his own business taking a walk with a gun holstered on his belt."



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    kenshin wrote:
    Semper Paratus wrote:
    Did they call you off of your property? or enter your property? I am a little hazy on local laws or codes. all work I did as a LEO was under USC's and on international waters or US territorial seas. I know when I boarded a boat I could disarm any person that was armed with no reason or cause other than officer safety. By no means do I say what the Leos in your situation was right IMHO. but they might have the right to disarm you if there was a complaint before they questioned you. but if there was no complaint wouldn't that be profiling.
    Unfortunately I had not quite make it onto my property yet. I was about 20 feet away from my driveway. Shameful that such a small distance can make all the differance. Had I actually been on my property I would have just walked inside and ignored him.

    They did say that some had called in a "man with a gun" complaint but I wouldn't think that should make any differance as to whether they can disarm me.
    I'd at least request to hear the 911 tape and get a copy of the transcript. It's likely that they were bluffing that there was a 911 "man with a gun" call. I wouldn't be surprised that they can't produce the tape or transcript. If they do I'll bet it's some calm, cool and collected person stating "there's a man with a gun at [location]". It's rare that you hear an excited person on the 911 call "Come quick, there's a guy minding his own business taking a walk with a gun holstered on his belt."



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    Regular Member maclean's Avatar
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    Bear 45/70 wrote:
    Semper Paratus wrote:
    Did they call you off of your property? or enter your property? I am a little hazy on local laws or codes. all work I did as a LEO was under USC's and on international waters or US territorial seas. I know when I boarded a boat I could disarm any person that was armed with no reason or cause other than officer safety. By no means do I say what the Leos in your situation was right IMHO. but they might have the right to disarm you if there was a complaint before they questioned you. but if there was no complaint wouldn't that be profiling.
    Not in the State of Washington you can't. It's not even legal to stop someone just because they are carrying a gun, unless you have more than a hunch they might be doing something wrong.
    Bear,


    Semper Paratus was referring tohis service in the US Coast Guard, and even within the State of Washington the US Coast Guard may stop, board, and search any vessel upon navigable waters.

    Yes, even in the State of Washington, and yes even without a warrant. The precedent is in maritime law and it is a strange bird. Don't believe me? Give it a try sometime.

    As to other LEO's stopping you in Washington, they must articulate reasonable suspicion toimpede you. That is not a mere hunch, but a legal standard that most of you already understand so I won't wander off into that too much. If that is what you meant, then sorry for the misunderstanding.

    The only issue I will add, because I see it mentioned a bunch without much thought, is that the officer does not need to articulate reasonable suspicion to you at the point of the stop. A reasonable officer will do so, however, because frankly it makes everyone's day alot easier.

    This is an often confusing issue for folks, because they like to ask and get righteous about how the stop is illegal when the officer does not provide the information - and that simply is not so.

    As to the Deputy's behavior in the OP, I have no comment. I was not there.
    Squeak!

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    maclean wrote:
    Bear 45/70 wrote:
    Semper Paratus wrote:
    Did they call you off of your property? or enter your property? I am a little hazy on local laws or codes. all work I did as a LEO was under USC's and on international waters or US territorial seas. I know when I boarded a boat I could disarm any person that was armed with no reason or cause other than officer safety. By no means do I say what the Leos in your situation was right IMHO. but they might have the right to disarm you if there was a complaint before they questioned you. but if there was no complaint wouldn't that be profiling.
    Not in the State of Washington you can't. It's not even legal to stop someone just because they are carrying a gun, unless you have more than a hunch they might be doing something wrong.
    Bear,


    Semper Paratus was referring tohis service in the US Coast Guard, and even within the State of Washington the US Coast Guard may stop, board, and search any vessel upon navigable waters.

    Yes, even in the State of Washington, and yes even without a warrant. The precedent is in maritime law and it is a strange bird. Don't believe me? Give it a try sometime.

    As to other LEO's stopping you in Washington, they must articulate reasonable suspicion toimpede you. That is not a mere hunch, but a legal standard that most of you already understand so I won't wander off into that too much. If that is what you meant, then sorry for the misunderstanding.

    The only issue I will add, because I see it mentioned a bunch without much thought, is that the officer does not need to articulate reasonable suspicion to you at the point of the stop. A reasonable officer will do so, however, because frankly it makes everyone's day alot easier.

    This is an often confusing issue for folks, because they like to ask and get righteous about how the stop is illegal when the officer does not provide the information - and that simply is not so.

    As to the Deputy's behavior in the OP, I have no comment. I was not there.
    Not on dirt they can't. The navigablewaters is a different world.

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    Regular Member Gene Beasley's Avatar
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    kenshin wrote:
    They did say that some had called in a "man with a gun" complaint but I wouldn't think that should make any differance as to whether they can disarm me.
    I would start the process of gathering the paperwork: audio of any (if any) 911 calls, radio traffic, copies of any CAD report including any MDC (or MDT) terminal messages, related to the contact. No matter what action you take, this information will help you.

    Attached is the LESA public records request form.
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    FOIA FIRST

    COMPLAINT SECOND

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