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Thread: La Crosse Police arrest man carrying a firearm while in his own house

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    http://www.lacrossetribune.com/artic...00gunpoint.txt
    Criminal charges are pending against a La Crosse man arrested Saturday at his home after he was found to be carrying a handgun loaded with hollow-point bullets.
    Police said they went to Dane R. Herold’s home at 1223 S. Eighth St. to discuss a report he had made violent threats to co-workers.
    When an officer knocked on the door, the 56-year-old Herold walked through an enclosed front porch but turned away when he saw it was police, according to the report.

    The officer said he then

    saw the handgun in the back waistband of Herold’s shorts. When it appeared Herold was reaching toward his lower back, the officer pulled his weapon and took cover, the report stated.

    The officer managed to force Herold to the floor and take the gun, according to police.

    Herold, who could be charged with disorderly conduct while armed, posted a $150 cash bond and will be summoned to court at a later date.

    A co-worker at an area store said Herold had made various threats to hurt others, according to police.

    After Herold’s arrest, police removed several weapons from his home, including handguns, rifles, shotguns and air pistols.

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    A clear example of inappropriate, over-the-top law enforcement. If this is all there is to the story, it is not a story except for the over-reaction by law enforcement. If the citizen is legitimate and did not threaten the officer or others, I hope he finds a good attorney and heads to civil court.

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    professor gun wrote:
    A clear example of inappropriate, over-the-top law enforcement. If this is all there is to the story, it is not a story except for the over-reaction by law enforcement. If the citizen is legitimate and did not threaten the officer or others, I hope he finds a good attorney and heads to civil court.
    Well read it again. The story says he DID threaten others. The police were there to "discuss a report that he had made violent threats to co-workers."

    The cop saw a gun in his waistband and he appeared to reach for it.

    At what point is this an overreaction?
    A. Gold

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    A report that he had threatened is not the pluperfect act.

    This incident could have as easily occurred at any pro gun activist's castle and I wouldn't hesitate to scratch my ass in front of a spit cop, right under my sidearm.

    So much for the presumption of innocence and so much for freedom as principle.

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    Shotgun wrote:
    Well read it again. The story says he DID threaten others. The police were there to "discuss a report that he had made violent threats to co-workers."

    The cop saw a gun in his waistband and he appeared to reach for it.

    At what point is this an overreaction?
    No, there was a report that he made threats at work. This could range from being a legitimate honest to goodness threat to someone at work filing an inappropriate complaint. There are many instances of people filing a complaint like this just because they don't like someone or they have a problem with people owning guns.

    If the man was reaching for the gun, that was really stupid on his part and I can understand the cop's reaction or if he actually threatened the cop I can understand the reaction, however that is not clear. Based upon the quality of the report in the La Crosse Tribune (e.g., implying that having hollow points in a gun is a problem) I would tend not to believe the article is a good representation of what happened. I have to wonder (and am inclined to believe) that the guy got proned out and arrested just because he had a gun in his waistband.

    In my house I have a right to carry a gun and do not pose a threat to others. If a police officer is at my door, I am not going to answer the door with my gun present on my person or anywhere near me as I respect the officer and do not want to put them in a tense situation. The gentleman in this story is probably guilty of poor judgment. The story is written with an obvious bias so who knows what the truth is here. A lot of officers do not understand that citizens do have a right in this state to open carry, particularly in one's home and on one's property; I really have to wonder if that was not at play here.

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    "Ignorance of the law is no excuse."

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    Excellent point, Doug.

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    are hollow point bullets illegal in Wisconsin?

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    No

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    I'm not sure what the point was in mentioning that he had hollow points. At least not EVERY decision he made was a poor one.

    But any cop who is going to a house to talk to somebody about allegedly making threats to harm others, and who encounters an armed person, would be STUPID not to respond in a manner similar to the way this cop responded upon seeing a movement of the hand in the direction of the weapon. The guy is lucky he was only put on the floor and disarmed and not shot. If there are other facts not reported in the story, bring them out. But on face value, I have absolutely no problem with how the police handled the situation. When suddenly faced with a potential life or death decision, a prudent person will make the decision most likely to ensure survival. If the cop thought "Hmmm, I'll wait to see if he's just scratching his ass." He might not live to learn the answer. It's not a good time to hesitate, and if you think it is you've probably never had your life on the line.
    A. Gold

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    Saying he was arrested for having a gun loaded with hollow point bullets makes it seem like its illegal to have hollow point bullets in a gun, that is the reason they put it there, kinda how the ammo in the trunk and gun in a separate compartment myth got started. The officer saw the gun when the man was walking AWAY. No threat to the officer if the individual was leaving. And it doesn't make any sense that the guy would turn around and show the gun IF he was going to reach for it. Only 150$ bond for reaching for a weapon?And the fact that they took ALL his weapons (without a warrant to search for them)make me even less understanding or trustingof the officers actions. Common sense tells me not to believe this version of events on its face.

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    Parabellum wrote:
    Saying he was arrested for having a gun loaded with hollow point bullets makes it seem like its illegal to have hollow point bullets in a gun, that is the reason they put it there, kinda how the ammo in the trunk and gun in a separate compartment myth got started. The officer saw the gun when the man was walking AWAY. No threat to the officer if the individual was leaving. And it doesn't make any sense that the guy would turn around and show the gun IF he was going to reach for it. Only 150$ bond for reaching for a weapon?And the fact that they took ALL his weapons (without a warrant to search for them)make me even less understanding or trustingof the officers actions. Common sense tells me not to believe this version of events on its face.
    Well I'm one to make people take responsibility for what they say, so maybe I'll contact the paper and ask what the point is of saying the guy had those demon hollow points. Maybe they ought to print a clarification to state "this ain't New Jersey" and that "them there hollow points are just peachy keen in Wisconsin!"
    A. Gold

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    Shotgun wrote:
    But any cop who is going to a house to talk to somebody about allegedly making threats to harm others, and who encounters an armed person, would be STUPID not to respond in a manner similar to the way this cop responded upon seeing a movement of the hand in the direction of the weapon. The guy is lucky he was only put on the floor and disarmed and not shot. If there are other facts not reported in the story, bring them out. But on face value, I have absolutely no problem with how the police handled the situation. When suddenly faced with a potential life or death decision, a prudent person will make the decision most likely to ensure survival. If the cop thought "Hmmm, I'll wait to see if he's just scratching his ass." He might not live to learn the answer. It's not a good time to hesitate, and if you think it is you've probably never had your life on the line.
    Still, I am confused by this story - what crime is committed by making furtive movements inside your own house when a police officer is consensually interviewing you thru your door? I see no warrant nor even probable cause to enter the house, let alone to arrest this man.

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    police state.



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    Mike, there was no interview. Generally the police don't like it when it appears you're pulling a gun on them. I wouldn't either. It's not a very informative news story, but it's all we've got, unless somebody wants to get a copy of the criminal complaint, if it's been filed.
    A. Gold

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    Mike wrote:
    Still, I am confused by this story - what crime is committed by making furtive movements inside your own house when a police officer is consensually interviewing you thru your door? I see no warrant nor even probable cause to enter the house, let alone to arrest this man.
    I'm on Mike's side on this one.

    A furtive movementcoincidentally toward a gun (scratching your back) might justify diving for cover and drawinga gun.

    But the cop went on from there, according to the story, ordering him to the ground, and arresting him. For what? Maybe scratching his back?

    Lets not forget that more than one cop has over-reacted and then had to falsify evidence or testimony. Did the man turn to go away from the screen door, the cop deciding to make the arrest when he saw the gun? Then realizing he had insufficient reason, did the cop have to invent the furtive movement?

    The story just doesn't give enough detail.
    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.

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    Shotgun wrote:
    Mike, there was no interview. Generally the police don't like it when it appears you're pulling a gun on them. I wouldn't either. It's not a very informative news story, but it's all we've got, unless somebody wants to get a copy of the criminal complaint, if it's been filed.
    But who pulled a gun on who here?

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    According to the news report, the police officer pulled his gun on the citizen when he noted the citizen moving his hand towards the gun stuffed in his pants.

    I'm not quite sure why so many people are second-guessing the cop in this situation. As we know, cops are trained to watch the hands. If a LEO is approaching a suspect-- (And he was a suspect since somebody had already alleged he had made threats to do physical harm.)-- and the suspect makes a motion towards a visible weapon, only the most foolhardy LEO would not take some sort of defensive action.

    Those of you who think the cop was wrong, explain how you think he should have handled it.
    A. Gold

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    Shotgun wrote:
    Those of you who think the cop was wrong, explain how you think he should have handled it.
    We don't know the cop was wrong, or right. The story doesn't give enough information.

    With that said, like Mike pointed out, the story does say the man was arrested for making amovement toward his gun in his own house while seemingly walking away from a consensual encounter. We're not questioning the officer pulling the gun in response to the movement, we're questioning how it turned into an arrest.

    The information given is at mostambiguous about the gun reach. A reach in the same direction as the gun is not "he pulled his gun", nor "he put his hand on his gun" both of which I'm sure would have been reported by the police to the press instead of a reach towards a gun.Neither does the story say what the homeowner had in his hand after the officer took cover. If the officer moved to cover, presumably the homeowner had time to finish his draw, if in fact he was moving to draw. No report of the homeowner actually drawing his gun.

    The homeowner could just as easily have been reaching to scratch his back, given the information provided.

    I think Mike had it right to raise the questions.And, I think the team participating in the thread at the moment all understand there is probably more to the story.
    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.

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    Based soley on the story at hand, it makes perfect sense for the responding officer(s) to subdue and restrain this guy when they are answering a threat complaint and the guy is armed and 'apparently' made a motion towards his firearm.

    Can't see how they have a right or any basis to confiscate property. Warrants? Court orders? The only firearm that might be confiscated would be the one he had on his person as it's part of the complaint and reason for arrest. At the least it has to be secured at the scene.

    There is an awful lot to sort out here and this account just isn't adequate. Only the officers on scene and Herold really know.

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    Well we can imagine and speculate that there's more to the story if we want, but for the sake of argument let's say that there is no more to it. Some have stated that the cop was wrong based upon what's in the report, so, place yourself in the cop's shoes and tell us how YOU would have handled it. It's as simple as that.
    A. Gold

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    Shotgun wrote:
    Well we can imagine and speculate that there's more to the story if we want, but for the sake of argument let's say that there is no more to it. Some have stated that the cop was wrong based upon what's in the report, so, place yourself in the cop's shoes and tell us how YOU would have handled it. It's as simple as that.

    I would thinkthat how anybody would have handled it is an incorrect standard.

    I would think the correct standard is what the law says.

    But, lets look at it like an academic exercise since we know the story is likely leaving out important facts.

    An LEO goes to talk to a man about reports from co-workers that he made threats. OK. We don't have a warrant from a magistrate here, so arrest is not legal, yet.All the officer can do is talk to him and see if he coughs up information that gives rise to probable cause for an arrest. Perhaps there is enough to make it a non-consensual encounter, perhaps not.I'm not familiar enough to say. But, since the man is inside his house, its going to take a warrant to pry him outof there for questioning, consensual or nonconsensual.

    So, the officer sees him reach towards his back where the officer has already seen a gun. Move to cover, and draw gun. Fine. Makes great sense. However, we have no information that the man actually drew his gun, or put his hand on his gun. Just becauseit made sense for the cop to take fewer chances given the threat allegation does not mean the guy actually reached for his gun. What does "towardshis lower back" mean? Was he scratching his side? His back? Higher than the gun? To the side of the gun? Was he reaching behind him for the doorknob as he turned?Its the absence of the guy actually presenting the gun, or even putting his hand where the gun was, that I consider most questionable. This report is well short of even brandishing.

    Based on the story, the officerwent straight through to arrest. Based on the information, the arrest wasn't justified.

    However, no matter whether the guy was doing something innocentthough not smart, the police nowhave to say he was in fact reaching for his gun to justify the arrest.

    I'm thinking that themost the officer could have done was draw, and move to cover. The officer didn't have a warrant to enter the house, so that cancels the Terry Stop RAS to question the man for the threat allegation. Since there could be no Terry Stop, there could be no Terry weapon removal. That means the arrest has to be based on aviolation in connection with the gun. But we have no information about a gun violation. Without brandishing or making a threat with the gun, there is no gun violation, thus again no PC for arrest.

    I wonder if this one falls under the category of police creating their own exigent circumstances? That is to say, the police officer's presence made it likely that even an innocent motion in even the most generalized direction of a gun creates a police assumption that lethal force is intended. If his neighbor or a Jehovah Witness went to the door to talk to him and he reached in the same general direction as his gun, would the neighbor or Witness be able to file a brandishing charge? No, I don't think so, not an accurate charge anyway.

    Edited to add: I am not a lawyer, so don't nobody take any of this as being legally accurate.

    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.

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    Shotgun wrote:
    Well we can imagine and speculate that there's more to the story if we want, but for the sake of argument let's say that there is no more to it. Some have stated that the cop was wrong based upon what's in the report, so, place yourself in the cop's shoes and tell us how YOU would have handled it. It's as simple as that.
    Well, I would have been pissed off at the guy because he refused to answer the door, and when I see he is armed, I would use that as an excuse to draw down on him, arrest him, and make up some cock and bull story about how he "mad a move to his weaponand officer feared for his life".

    Maybe. I'm not a cop, though.

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    Tomahawk wrote:
    Well, I would have been pissed off at the guy because he refused to answer the door, and when I see he is armed, I would use that as an excuse to draw down on him, arrest him, and make up some cock and bull story about how he "mad a move to his weaponand officer feared for his life".

    Maybe. I'm not a cop, though.
    But you are starting to sound like one though..........

    You forgot confiscation of all weapons in the house.

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    I note no updates from either the La Crosse PD or the Tribune, in spite of the obvious desire for the 'rest of the story' from our correspondents and from the Tribunes comments.

    Unfortunately a silk purse cannot be made from this sow's ear article.

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