Thread: NC to SC trip to the Beach
Not arguing that I was right or wrong... just up for discussion...
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Tiffany, her 3 kids and I were driving to Myrtle Beach, with GF tiffany being the driver, while I was in passenger seat... about
2:30-3 pm I moved my Springfield XD-40 from the floorboard to in-between the seat and center consol, ensuring it was still clear before placing it between the seat and consol. It was at that time the police later said that "a half dozen" people called thinking that I had my GF at gunpoint/ hostage. Later on a different Police Officer said quietly to another that, "they had a second call,” which gives me the impression that2 people called and that they were churching their story up. 30-45 min after (about 3:30) I placed my weapon between the driver’s seat and console, my car was possibly cordoned off and we were motioned to pull over... 1 of the 2 Police Officers blocking traffic had his gun pulled. I kept my composure, stayed calm, I knew I did nothing wrong and figured this was a huge mistake. I told tiffany to ensure that the first thing out of both of our mouths was that I was a North Carolina Conceal Carry Permit Holder, that I had a weapon, and was carrying in the car. I said it at least 3 times when the officer first was at my window before it was rolled down and after. He seemed not to listen to my words and was acting like a robot reading a script and not using his cognitive reasoning abilities. I was totally cooperative, moved slowly and methodically followed his instructions.
Being a multiple tour war veteran, skydiver, paraglider pilot, etc has allowed me to understand the way general people act when under high stress, but also allowed me to overcome and still have my composure while being in stressful situations.
The way the officers were acting did not give me confidence that they were under control of there emotions, tension. It was like they were waiting/wanting me to “mess up” so they could go all out on me. I would expect a lot more from our police force, especially in the post 9-11 era.
I did everything the officer at my car (front passenger side) door said to the "T" and had me exit the car. In that process, after he had me slowly roll the window down, he said that if I moved my hands at all I would have a hole in me. The way he was standing and aiming would not only have put a bullet in me, but also my girlfriend who was in the driver seat.
The Police Officer instructed me to exit the car while still at gunpoint and the moment my foot touched the ground I was back in the air and full body slammed to the ground and cuffed with much more vigor necessary seeing that I was calm and was doing everything they said to the letter. The Police Officer told me to stand up, but before I could I was lifted up by the cuffs only and onto my feet. It was either when I was slammed down or picked up by the cuffs that my right thumb was injured. My left hand had road gravel in it. They had Tiffany exit the car while I exited the car.
At no point was I read my rights and additionally, the whole time I felt embarrassed in front of all the Myrtle Beach traffic. They questioned me and Tiffany about what our relationship was and then I was separated from Tiff and my car and placed at the back of the Police Officer car in front of me. It was only at this point I was patted down. I was told to spread my legs, asked if I had anything on me (needles, knifes, etc...) and then patted down everywhere. It was like being at the doctors for an exam.
Whenever I was questioned I would say yes sir, no sir, etc and spoke only when spoken to. The Police Officer that slammed me to the ground tried to me that my North Carolina Conceal Carry permit was not valid in SC. I respectfully replied that NC and SC had reciprocity agreements and they both honored each other’s permits. He then walked off; I think to talk on his radio. He did not mention anything about my permit or try to tell me I was in the wrong again.
The officer that slammed me had my weapon on the roof of the car I was at the back of. He took it down and was trying to release the magazine from the pistol well. He tried for about 20 sec to release it and it was at this point he asked me how to release the magazine. I told him that the release was the round button next to the rear of the trigger well and he still seem to have the after effects of adrenaline and high stress as his high fine motor skills where lacking as it took him another 10 seconds of me telling him (after he asked) that it was next to his right thumb. It appeared that he had a GLOCK in his holster which is a similar weapons platform. It seems hard for me to fathom that a police officer in today’s society would not be able to release a magazine from a pistol, even under a stressful situation. I feel that this particular officer or department may need more training in stressful situations.
Another Police Officer told him to un-cuff me, and he took me from the back of the car to the side away from the road and took them off. It was then that he apologized profusely while telling me this was a felony stop, etc.., and then thanked me for my understanding and the way I handled/carried myself.
After putting a bullet back in the magazine and placing the magazine back in the pistol, he told me to put it back in the trunk of my car. I asked him if he would go ahead and place it there for me. I think he understood my position and walked with me to the trunk and placed it there. Note that my XD-40 had a magazine in but nothing was chambered, which indicates that an officer checked to see if it was clear before he dropped the magazine. In the Army even I as a Human Resources desk jockey know that most handguns are similar. I would expect that Officers in today’s America would be somewhat familiar with multiple weapons systems, especially how comparable the GLOCK and XD-40 systems are.
I felt that the whole situation could have been handled more effectively, efficiently, and professionally. For example, there was on officer at both of the drivers and passenger doors. The one had a gun at my head saying he would shoot if I moved, the other officer was telling Tiffany to get out, while the one at my door was telling her not to move. This shows that they were not working as a team and further were not following their plan. Communication and planning was seriously lacking between the two officers.
What approach can I take?
I will just say that with as many kidnappings and similar events that have happened in Myrtle Beach I can understand their concern when someone had reported it. It seems like a murder or kidnapping or something similar is reported on the news almost every night.
One thing is I never place my gun on the floorboard while the car is moving. It is too easy for it to find its way under my feet and I almost wrecked one time when a bottle rolled out between the brake and floorboard. I am not trying to defend the LEO's actions because I don't know the details but I don't doubt it one bit. There are too many people vacationing down there that seem to leave their manners and good sense at home,