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Thread: Neighbor arrested for open carry in his yard

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    Hello all:

    New to the forum - found this site after doing a bit of research in light of yesterday's events.

    I'm new to the neighborhood (just moved in with my fiancee), and saw (3) police down the block yesterday. Not wanting to be the nosey neighbor, I stayed out of the way, but later found out that one of the neighbors was arrested for open carrying in his fenced (wooden slat) yard. Apparently he was planting trees, the police received some sort of complaint, and they came over. I do know that a third squad appeared after some time (there were (2) squads initially) before all of the police disappeared (with the neighbor).

    Anyway, I apologize for not having more details, but will collect more information as I can and post it here, just for your information.

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    Wisconsin Carry, Inc. Shotgun's Avatar
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    Well this ought to be an entertaining story to follow.

    Would you at least tell us the municipality involved?
    A. Gold

    Failure to comply may result in discipline up to and including termination.
    The free man is a warrior. - Nietzsche "Twilight of the Idols"

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    I'm sorry, I guess that is kind of pertinent, eh?

    West Allis, WI

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    Welcome to the forum!

    I pray that you inform your neighbor of our existence and willingness to offer some advice based on collective experience. We also advise retention of an attorney and some closed-mouthedness until the attorney allows otherwise.

    If you and he will read a bit here and of Wisconsin statute law then y'all will see that there is likely a cause of action against some West Allis officials.

    Our best wishes to your neighbor and to you.

  5. #5
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    There has got to be another side to this story, otherwise the police are going to increase someones income by a considerable sum in the coming months.

    Were the trees he was planting an invasive species? Was he bearing more than arms?

    What else is going on here?

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    How about giving us your neighbors name so we can track the case.
    If he was arrested, the case and his name are public information anyway.

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    I bet there is more to this than merely OC of a firearm in his own yard.

    It looks like westallisnow.com prints police reports weekly. The last one was 8/20. This incident could be up on 8/27.

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    To: mmaley@cninewsonline.com
    Subject: West Allis news comments, tips and questions

    A correspondent reported a police action on 22 August 2008 in West Allis in which a resident was

    "arrested for open[ly] carrying [a firearm] in his fenced (wooden slat) yard. Apparently he was planting trees, the police received some sort of complaint, and they came over. I do know that a third squad appeared after some time (there were (2) squads initially) before all of the police disappeared (with the neighbor)."

    I hope that you will post the details so that we can know that this was not another example of an overzealous police department's overreaction to a legally armed citizen.

    Thank you.

    Doug Huffman
    State Researcher,
    OpenCarry.org
    Washington Island
    Wisconsin

    ps. http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/view_to...250361#p250361

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    I would like to look up the record, what department has it? I am curious as to what happened and do not want to jump to any conclusions

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    Rick, your post was fine. Why edit it away?

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    lockman wrote:
    There has got to be another side to this story, otherwise the police are going to increase someones income by a considerable sum in the coming months.

    Were the trees he was planting an invasive species? Was he bearing more than arms?

    What else is going on here?
    probably the West Allis PD taking cues from their neighbors in Milwaukee

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    1FASTC4 wrote:
    I would like to look up the record, what department has it? I am curious as to what happened and do not want to jump to any conclusions
    If the person is charged with a state crime, the case can be looked up on CCAP IF you have a name.

    If the person is charged with a local ordinance violation then you can check with the West Allis municipal court. Once again, you will need a name. Very few municipal courts are on the web.

    Disorderly Conduct (the most common charge in O.C. cases) can be charged as a state crime or a local muni cite.

    ilbob is right about checking the police posting. That usually doesn't give a name or full details though.


    http://wcca.wicourts.gov/simpleCaseS...51B96F.render5



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    Due to the sensitive nature of this, I have been asked not to make any further comment on this. The person is aware of this site and of this thread.

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    CCAP also allows one to do an advanced search that doesn't require a name. However if this gentleman is subjected to the same hesitation by the DA as in Parabellum's case, nothing will appear on CCAP for a long long time, if ever.

    Nobody will be convicted of a crime based upon what others write on a web forum regarding it. It would be interesting to know whether the single issue surrounding this "arrest" is mere open carry on one's own property.
    A. Gold

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    The free man is a warrior. - Nietzsche "Twilight of the Idols"

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    This unlawful action by the police should be challeneged head on and vigorously, no holds barred!

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    Well that's the conclusion I'm trying not to jump to as well. I find it somewhat doubtful that the guy was arrested for carrying on his own property. It seems like some information is missing.

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    Any more info on this? I still own a house in West Allis and am very curious (in general) if someone was arrested for OC'ing in their own yard.

    I would think that I should be able to call the PD and ask shouldn't I?

    If I said "I'm a property owner in West Allis and I heard that someone was arrested for OC'ing in their own yard." "Without discussing the specifics of the case am I as a homeowner at risk of arrest lawfully OC'ing on my own property in West Allis"

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    Police reports are subject to the Open Records Law, even to http://www.wisfoic.org/faq_police.html

    Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: Can I make an open records request for police records, such as daily arrest records or records involving an investigation? What about a district attorney's investigative files?

    A: Police records are presumed public and, like all records, their release is subject to the common law balancing test.

    In many cases, the police department withholds records claiming their release may interfere with an ongoing investigation. See Wis. Op. Att'y Gen. 42 (1988) (OAG 7-88).

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court, however, has held that, at a minimum, daily arrest records are open to the public. Newspapers, Inc. v. Breier[/url], 89 Wis. 2d 417, 428-29, 279 N.W.2d 179 (1979).

    The court opined that "[t]he requirement that arrest books be open to the public is to prevent any 'secret arrests,' a concept odious to a democratic society." Id.

    But, in State ex rel. Richards v. Foust[/url], 165 Wis. 2d 429, 433-34, 477 N.W.2d 608 (1991) the court held that district attorney files are not subject to public access, even after the trial and all appeals have been concluded.


    Disclaimer: The Frequently Asked Questions and Answers on the Wisconsin FOIC website are provided by Godfrey & Kahn, S.C. (LaFollette Godfrey & Kahn is the Madison office of Godfrey & Kahn, S.C.).

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    I bet there is more to this than merely OC of a firearm in his own yard.
    Why, given the behaviour of police officers all over the country with respect to openly carried firearms, would you make a bet with such long, long odds stacked against you?

    A man in Manchester NH was accosted in his own yard by three cops for open carry less than three weeks ago.

  21. #21
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    West Allis police captain told me that they did indeed arrest an individual who was wearing a firearm in his yard, but that they did not arrest him because he was wearing a firearm, but rather due to a disorderly conduct complaint from a neighbor.

    So, draw your own conclusions if you wish. However, I don't think one can reasonably come to any conclusions based upon what we know at this point. What we don't know seems far greater than what we do.
    A. Gold

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    The free man is a warrior. - Nietzsche "Twilight of the Idols"

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    Shotgun wrote:
    West Allis police captain told me that they did indeed arrest an individual who was wearing a firearm in his yard, but that they did not arrest him because he was wearing a firearm, but rather due to a disorderly conduct complaint from a neighbor.

    So, draw your own conclusions if you wish. However, I don't think one can reasonably come to any conclusions based upon what we know at this point. What we don't know seems far greater than what we do.
    So OCing is fine, as long as you don't alarm anyone? F'ing come on. Everytime my family reports the crazy nut next store posting obscene texts in her windows directed at us, the West Allis PD says they can't do a thing. Sounds like quite the bloody double standard.

    (Of course, if the DC really wasn't gun related I'd feel like a fool, but also actually happy OCing had no factor in this)

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    Shotgun wrote:
    West Allis police captain told me that they did indeed arrest an individual who was wearing a firearm in his yard, but that they did not arrest him because he was wearing a firearm, but rather due to a disorderly conduct complaint from a neighbor.
    According to the police reports page on the west Allis NOW web page:

    A 37-year-old man was arrested for disorderly conduct while armed in the 2000 block of South 57th Street about 6:20 p.m. Aug. 22. He had a handgun in his waistband.

    It doesn't explain much. But it's all we have for now.

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    Dang really wish we had more information! The story could go both ways obviously I hope that the person wasn't arrested for DC due to alarming sum1 because of his firearm, I plan to start open carrying in my front yard as my start. I live within 1000 feet of a school so theres no chance of me walking off my property with it.

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    Here are some State Supreme court opinions from the State v Douglas D case # 99-1767-FT , opinion filed May 16, 2001.


    Para. 15. Section 947.01 provides "Whoever, in a public or private place, engages in violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud or otherwise disorderly conduct under circumstances in which the conduct tends to cause or provoke a disturbance is guilty of a class B misdemeanor." To prosecute a defendant for a violation of this statute, the State has the burden to prove two elements. First, it must prove that the defendant engaged in violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud, or similar disorderly conduct. Second it must prove that the defendant's conduct occured under circumstances where such conduct tends to cause or provoke a disturbance. under both elements, "it is the combination of conduct and circumstances that is crucial in applying the staute to a particular situation".

    para. 26 -----Pursuant to this definition, Douglas argues. ss947.01 requires more than conduct that may bcause personal discomfort in others. Applying this reasoning to the facts at hand, Douglas thus contends that because there is no evidence that his story caused anything more than personal discomfort in Mrs. C, he can not be punished for disorderly conduct.

    para 27. Douglas is correct insofar as he indicates that not all conduct which causes personal discomfort in others necessarily falls within the ambit of disorderly conduct. This court has held as much:

    [Section 947.02] does not imply that all conduct which tends to annoy another is disorderly conduct. Only such conduct as unreasonably offends the sense of decency or propriety of the community is included. The statute does not punish a person for conduct which might possibly offend some hypercritical individual. The design of the disorderly conduct statue is to proscribe substantial intrusions which offend the normal sensibilities of average persons or which constitute significantly abusive or disturbing demeanor in the eyes of reasonable persons.

    Zwicker, 41 Wis. 2d at 508 Thus we agree that 947.01 requires more than mere offensive speech or behavior.


    It appears that this thread describes another case of police harassment or ignorance of the West Allis police of the above case law.

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