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Thread: A Summary of Police Encounters

  1. #1
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    I've been lurking about reading other people's experiences for a couple years now, and I thought I'd take this opportunity to share a few of my experiences, notes and lessons learned from encounters with Law Enforcement Officers in several cities and burroughs. I'm motivated to do so because I read alot of negative reports, and while I have had a couple that could be construed as negative, the majority of my experience is positive.

    1. City of Pittsburgh. I used to live in the city and still visit it. I have yet to have an officer so far as look twice at an openly carried firearm. Residents of the city occasionally ask me about it and we have a short, but polite conversation about the law. The notable law enforcement observation here is that there hasn't been one. I've interacted with the officers in Zone 3 for reasons other than carrying a firearm, and they didn't treat my being armed as being anything unusual.

    2. City of McKeesport. This wasn't truly an open carry incident, but is instructive nonetheless. I was pulled over for an inspection violation and when I gave the officer my LTCF with my driver's license, he asked if I was armed, and upon my answering yes, he announced "gun" and he and his partner drew their firearms on me and treated me with hostility. This was before I open carried much, and taught me to never tell an officer anything he doesn't need to know.

    3. Clairton. I got a speeding ticket there, and at the time was still informing officers that I was armed. The officer in question politely asked if he could disarm me during the stop, with which I complied, and he used some of the best techniques I've seen. We had a nearly half hour conversation about firearms after the formal part of the stop was over. This was the most proffesional and knowledgeable officer I've ever encountered.

    4. Harmar Township. I was removed from the Target in handcuffs after someone there made a "man with a gun" call. The officer was insistent that his stop, and my detainment where covered under Terry v. Ohio. Due to personal circumstances, I did not have the time and resources to follow up on this with their chief and city council, and have lost my refference materials for the exact date and situation of the stop. The officers in this instance where notable for not only a lack of knowledge of laws regarding firearms, but of Terry Stops, and general laws. They quoted several non-firearm laws incorrectly. I was released after they called the sherrif's office and DA, to eventually determine there was nothing they could do.

    5. Ohio Township. This didn't start as a firearms thing. I went to assist someone I know with the manual labor part of a transaction, which broke down into a lively dispute. My involvement then became attempting to de-esclate the situation and remove the person that I had come with. The other individuals called the police because I was armed. The arriving officer drew his firearm on me, and insisted I drop the weapon on the ground. This is one of the few cases were I very insistently disagreed with the officer. I said, "No, I'm not touch my firearm while you're drawn on me. If it's going to de-escalate this, I'll put my hands on my head and you can disarm me." He went with that plan. I eventually went with what was going on when I was informed that the call they recieved was that I had drawn my firearm during the conflict. I could understand that based upon this non-factual report, where the officer could react the way he did.

    6. Harrison Hills. I was stopped by three officers, post Dickson City. The efforts there seem to have had an effect, as the officers where aware of the pending Federal case, and where discussing their knowledge of it during the stop. This stop seemed to be more of a curiosity stop for them. They said they had several previous calls about me, but could never track me down. The ranking officers repeated several times, "It is legal for you to do what you are doing, and I cannot legally require you to do otherwise, but it would make people feel better." This was very recent, and I am still going to do a follow up to help the officers be more aware. They were aware, apparently through the grapevine, that it was legal, but weren't aware of the applicable case law and statutes. This was a very friendly stop that my follow-up will include praising the officers.

    I hope the above shows several things, that I believe the manner in which you handle the confrontation ought to follow something that is like escalation of force. It is my personal belief that if an officer is polite and seems to either be aware of the law, or admits that he is not fully aware, I redirect the conversation and try to comply with things that are not strict legal requirements but will make the officer feel more in control. I don't mind letting an officer take control of my firearm if he asks nicely, and understands that it's only because I've given him permission. I've been on the other side of the gun before, unsure as to whether the individual I'm speaking with has an ulterior motive. I understand alot of the training dictates to disarm everyone for "safety". You may even believe it.

    On the other end of the spectrum, I'll comply with illegal requests made, but I'll voice the fact that what's being done is unnecessary and illegal. I won't give anything more. If you want to try to charge me with something, you'll need to work hard for it and understand I'm going to give you a hard time the whole way.

    I also hope that my description of the encounters shows the wide variety of levels of competancy and training throughout this part of the state. It may be well to get to know the guys in your local area before they get a call. Since the place I live in now is a small town, I'm going to be acquainting myself with the local city council and police force. I'm considering inviting the officers to the range. I think we need to reach out to the good ones, and fight the bad ones. It's our government.

    Finally, I noticed in my last encounter the affect of the Dickson Case. The word is getting around. Good work out there ladies and gentlemen. One of the reasons I carry openly is that I see the symbolism in it. In my mind, a man wears a ring when he accepts the duties of marriage, and a gun when he accepts the duties of citizenship. We have national politicians who claim they can bring change. The citizens here are proving that they are the source of power in our state, and that we don't need politicians to bring change, we can do it quite well on our own. I predict that Pennsylvania will in the future be able to keep it's head high as the "keytstone" of liberty due to the continued efforts of the members of this and other firearms organizations. Good work.

  2. #2
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    Thanks you for posting. That was an excellent first post. Welcome to OCDO.

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    PisnNapalm wrote:
    Thanks you for posting. That was an excellent first post. Welcome to OCDO.
    I'll second that.

    It's a shame though that you didn't file formal complaints for the blatant violations of your rights (and in the case of the traffic stop in which you were drawn on, your safety as well). If for no other reason than preventing the same thing from happening to others.

    But regardless, it's nice to hear of good LEO interactions once in a while. Especially when so many people around here are on a "F*** the police!" kick.

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    PisnNapalm wrote:
    Thanks you for posting. That was an excellent first post. Welcome to OCDO.
    I'll second that.

    It's a shame though that you didn't file formal complaints for the blatant violations of your rights (and in the case of the traffic stop in which you were drawn on, your safety as well). If for no other reason than preventing the same thing from happening to others.

    But regardless, it's nice to hear of good LEO interactions once in a while. Especially when so many people around here are on a "F*** the police!" kick.
    I'll give it a third!
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Jared, pop on over to the PAFOA.org site and let everyone there know what's going on with you. OpenCarry.org is a great site, but I think the PAFOA site goes more into what the law is and isn't.

    Me? I couldn't exist without both sites.

  6. #6
    Regular Member lprgcFrank's Avatar
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    Statkowski wrote:
    Me? I couldn't exist without both sites.
    Ditto

  7. #7
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    ++1 GREAT POST WE RUN THE SAME AREAS. Happy carrying be safe Mtn Jack

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    JaredMcLaughlin wrote:

    2. City of McKeesport. This wasn't truly an open carry incident, but is instructive nonetheless. I was pulled over for an inspection violation and when I gave the officer my LTCF with my driver's license, he asked if I was armed, and upon my answering yes, he announced "gun" and he and his partner drew their firearms on me and treated me with hostility. This was before I open carried much, and taught me to never tell an officer anything he doesn't need to know.
    style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #f8f8f8"I do not like this one bit… you have a LTCF and they freak out because you are armed… NO! I am not going to bash these cops here, but right now some no so nice words are running through my head about how they acted.

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    Alwayspacking wrote:
    JaredMcLaughlin wrote:

    2. City of McKeesport. This wasn't truly an open carry incident, but is instructive nonetheless. I was pulled over for an inspection violation and when I gave the officer my LTCF with my driver's license, he asked if I was armed, and upon my answering yes, he announced "gun" and he and his partner drew their firearms on me and treated me with hostility. This was before I open carried much, and taught me to never tell an officer anything he doesn't need to know.
    style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #f8f8f8"I do not like this one bit… you have a LTCF and they freak out because you are armed… NO! I am not going to bash these cops here, but right now some no so nice words are running through my head about how they acted.
    I believe police officers shouting "GUN" and drawing is what lead to an unarmed man getting 30 holes in NYC. Very dangerous move by this cop.

  10. #10
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    I do remember that. Also the lady that was sleep in a car with a pistol. The cops walked up on her, woke her up, then they all fired shots in the car killing her, she was shot multiple times…. I mean there are other ways to wake a person up with a gun in hand, I know if I were to wake her up while she had a gun in hand I would give her distance and let them gain their composure, give them a chance to know who it is that is around their car by yelling police, police, this is the police. But they knowing she is going to wake up alert with the gun why did they not do that??

    I am sorry but I sometimes feel that lots of LEO think everyone with a gun is a bad guy. I hope when I as a black guy who sometimes may not dress in the best of clothes do to circumstances, or is by chance someone calls the cops because they see my CC. I hope I am not shot.

    A guy told me here a LEO came into his home, saw a Glock case on the floor, then grabbed his sidearm gun then yelled, "where is the Glock, where is the GLOCK" I mean COME ON!!! I am sorry for the rant and going off topic here but, NOT EVERY ONE WITH A GUN IS A CRIMINAL. The man had a LTCF and told the LEO he was armed. I do not think he acted in a way that would cause alarm. I have nothing against cops, I respect them to the up most, but not everyone other than LEO who has agun are BGs.

  11. #11
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    I totally agree. Half our battle is convincing the soccer moms that good guys carry guns, the other half is convincing the police that we do too. Unfortunately, all to often it seems that the only way to do that is through official complaints and lawsuits, and when a police officer is tense about the situation it is much more dangerous and can lead to people being killed or injured. We really need to get more good people OCing as an example of responsible gun owners to the sheeple and to the local police.

  12. #12
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    Thanks so much for your post. It is one of the things that help me to remember how I need to act if I have an encounter.

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