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Thread: Concealed gun OR actually, unconcealed gun causes scare

  1. #1
    State Researcher lockman's Avatar
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    http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/n...011409.article


    January 14, 2009
    By PAIGE WINFIELD AND BILL BIRD Staff Writers LISLE - Rod Read was startled to see a gun pointed his way Wednesday as he stared out the window of the Metra train taking him into downtown Chicago.
    Minutes earlier, the train had ground to a halt at the Lisle train station, and passengers were told over the intercom that Naperville police would soon arrive.

    Officer Justin Louis of the Lisle Police Department informs travelers that the Metra train searched by police in Lisle on Wednesday morning has been cleared.
    (Craig Watson / For the Sun)
    Police stand by commuters at the Lisle train station as they wait for trains to start running after being shut down Wednesday morning due to police activity.
    (Corey R. Minkanic / For the Sun) But they weren't told police were searching for an armed passenger.
    Read, 61, said officers toting M16s and revolvers surrounded the train, and the passengers in his car were told to disembark.
    "I thought it was kind of strange," said the Aurora resident, who was traveling to his job at Joliet Cabinet Co. "They were actually pointing the guns right at the train. There was one pointed right at the window I was seated by."
    The incident started earlier that day when a ticket agent at the Naperville station reported "unusual questions relating to security" by a possible passenger before boarding the train about 8 a.m. Jan. 14, according to Naperville Police Cmdr. Dave Hoffman.
    It turns out the questions raised were being asked by a U.S. Secret Service agent. A special agent of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad police made the identification, according to a Naperville police report, but not before a commotion stranded thousands of commuters for more than an hour.
    Metra spokeswoman Judy Pardonnet said the man asked about metal detectors on the train and indicated he had a gun. A report said the man did not identify himself as a government employee, so the ticket agent called police. Contacted later Jan. 14, a spokeswoman for the Secret Service's Chicago field office said the agency had conducted its own investigation and determined the agent had acted appropriately.
    Unscheduled stop
    All trains on the BNSF line were delayed for 90 minutes while Lisle, Naperville and Burlington Northern police officers searched all 10 cars and evacuated 2½ of them. The express train was not scheduled to stop at the Lisle station.
    Read was riding on one of those cars. After he was briefly patted down, he said he waited in the station until the train took off again at 9:40 a.m.
    "People were just kind of shocked," he said. "They were wondering what in the world was going on."
    While she questions the Secret Service agent's actions during the morning rush, Pardonnet said the rail line is pleased the ticket agent alerted authorities immediately.
    "I think people were alarmed, because when Lisle police came on board, they were armed," Pardonnet said. "It's unfortunate to have to test a response, but it's good to know what that response is. And in this situation, everything turned out safe."
    The investigation has been turned over to the FBI, Pardonnet said.
    Something amiss
    The car on which Naperville resident Kevin Gumz, 37, rode also was evacuated during the search. At first he thought the train had stopped for a pedestrian, but said he realized there was something amiss on the train when he saw a police officer pull out a weapon.
    "A police officer showed up and jumped out of the car, putting what looked like an assault rifle over his shoulder," Gumz said. "At that point, eyebrows began to raise. Police were stationing themselves around the pillars."
    Gumz said he is upset by some reader comments posted on online versions of the story, which question whether law enforcement should have the authority to search large groups of people. He says he finds such comments "absolutely laughable."
    "I was a little miffed, because I am far less concerned about someone peeking in my laptop bag to see if I have a gun, rather than someone pulling a gun out," Gumz said.
    Police report
    A three-page Naperville police report examined by The Sun indicated the trouble began about 7:59 a.m. Three police officers and a sergeant were sent to the Metra depot near Fourth Avenue and Washington Street downtown.
    The 32-year-old ticket agent told police "a subject approached the ticket counter and asked him, 'Do you know anything about the security, because I have a gun,'" the report read in part.
    The ticket agent said he replied, "'If you mean metal detectors, no, there are no metal detectors,'" the report continued. The subject then walked toward the platform.
    Police said the ticket agent "attempted to watch the subject; however, based on his vantage point, he could not see where the subject went. He believed the subject boarded a train, however, because he was so alarmed at the question and demeanor (of) the subject, (the ticket agent) could not remember if the subject purchased a ticket."
    The ticket agent then asked, "Do police officers ask a question in that manner?" After being assured law enforcement agents would not pose such a question, the ticket agent told police "that he did not think so, either, and that, along with the subject's casual demeanor and strange question, is why he immediately contacted the police," the report stated. The ticket agent added he "believed that the subject had a gun, but did not see one."
    The subject was described in the police report as a white man about 33 years old, standing 6 feet 2 inches tall with a medium build and dark, partially graying hair. He wore a green jacket with a hoodie and carried a knapsack, according to the report.
    Field office defends agent
    The spokeswoman for the Secret Service's Chicago field office said Jan. 14 that the agent in question told his superiors he had gone to Naperville to ride the train to the downtown office, and "when he reached for his wallet, the Metra agent was looking at his waistline" and saw his agency badge, said the spokeswoman, who declined to be identified.
    "The (Secret Service) agent at that point announced that he was a law enforcement officer, and he was armed," the spokeswoman said. "The agent did not inquire about metal detectors or ask about security."
    The agent, "as a regular course of action," also identified himself as being with the Secret Service when police stopped the train in Lisle, the spokeswoman said. He cooperated full with Lisle police, who "were satisfied with his version of the story," the spokeswoman said.
    "We do not believe our agent acted inappropriately at all," the spokeswoman said. "We believe our agent did make (the proper) verbal identification" of himself, both to the Metra ticket agent in Naperville and, later, to police, she said.
    The police report classified the incident as a case of "disorderly conduct," normally a misdemeanor crime. It could not be learned Jan. 14 whether any charges would be filed in connection with the case.


  2. #2
    State Researcher lockman's Avatar
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    In Illinois I believe most residents are bred from sheep and lemmings!


    edited for spelling.

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    ... Gumz said he is upset by some reader comments posted on online versions of the story, which question whether law enforcement should have the authority to search large groups of people. He says he finds such comments "absolutely laughable."...
    Imagine that, people objecting to unreasonable, unjustified searches of their persons, papers and property...how Horrible!

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    http://www.examiner.com/x-536-Civil-Liberties-Examiner~y2009m1d4-Train-search-just-another-incident-from-the-Constitutionfree-zone


    National

    You're traveling by train. Suddenly, it slows and comes to an unscheduled stop. Armed, uniformed men come aboard with dogs. They question passengers, search luggage and remove one of your fellow travelers for further interrogation. Is this some Cold War-era movie? Nope. It's New Year's Eve on an Amtrak train in California.I wrote not too long ago about my family's experience at a Border Patrol checkpoint along Interstate 8 in Arizona. We were stopped in the desert, briefly questioned, and then allowed to proceed -- a little wiser about the modern security state. My family's experience was far from unique. The following story comes to me from a Southwestern state legislator with whom I frequently correspond (he prefers to remain anonymous):
    At about 5:30am Dec 31 in Imperial Cty. CA, but well away from the Mx. border, US Border Patrol agents stopped and boarded our westbound Amtrak train with a dog and proceeded to walk through all the cars. This woke up my sleeping child and angered me. Amtrak staff told me this was 'random', not based on any specific suspicion or request, and sometimes BP makes trains stop for these searches. Nevertheless, Amtrak staff seemed to fully be part of the program and did not protest or protect passengers in any way.

    I saw the dog 'hit' on one passenger's backpack, which BP then searched, without asking for consent, and found a pipe. The guy was pulled off the train, made to put his hands on his head and searched, then let go with only having his pipe taken (likely due to being in CA, if in AZ or many other states he likely would've been hauled off in handcuffs).

    I asked BP agents 'why the stop?', and had a bright flashlight directed at my head in a threatening manner for a while as I was told their view that 'we can stop any person, vehicle or aircraft any time for any reason anywhere within 100 miles of the border'. I followed them to observe and eventually IDed myself as a State Rep. and made my disapproval of this conduct clear to BP and Amtrak and their behavior improved and they soon left. The USBP sector chief here (El Centro) is Calhoun.

    Our train was on time up to this point, but ended up being late to our destination due to this approx. 30 min. invasive stop. This stop and search, without any reason, disrupted passengers, did not make us any safer, and delayed our trip.

    This also happens a lot on buses, I've been told.
    My correspondent is right -- this does happen on buses. It also happens along the highways, as I well know, and at ferry terminals. Searches at ferry terminals have become such an issue in Washington state that Customs and Border Patrol provided San Juan Islanders with a FAQ as to what they can expect during such checks, and their (limited) rights when encountering CBP agents. Among the information provided by the CBP is a hint as to what sort of treatment travelers who resent questions from uniformed enforcers can expect:
    Am I required to answer the agent's questions at the checkpoint?
    No person can be required to give evidence that incriminates themselves - that is a constitutional right. Neither can any public official compel or coerce such a statement if the person being questioned refuses to give one voluntarily. However, the law is quite clear that agents can interrogate any person who is an alien or who the agent believes to be an alien as to his right to be or remain in the United States. A refusal to answer could be construed as an articulable fact supporting a level of suspicion to further investigate and possibly to arrest, depending on the totality of the circumstances at hand.
    So, if you keep mum and stand by your right to remain silent, that may be taken as grounds to haul you off in handcuffs as a suspicious character.
    The U.S. government claims special powers to conduct such searches anywhere within ... well ... about a two-hour drive of the border. That's right. Up to 100 miles inland, you can expect the sort of treatment my correspondent received on his train journey.
    The American Civil Liberties Union refers to this 100-mile corridor round the perimeter of the United States as the "Constitution-free zone." As a map of the zone demonstrates, it includes many of the largest cities in the United States -- and about two-thirds of the population.

    My correspondent was a little more courageous than many of us might be when he challenged federal agents during the encounter and voiced his displeasure. He's also a public official who reports an improvement in the behavior of Border Patrol agents once he revealed his identity.
    I don't know that the rest of us could expect such respectful treatment. In fact, there's a good chance that most of us would just earn extra scrutiny by failing to bow and scrape, just as that FAQ provided to San Juan Islanders suggests. The ACLU provides the following video of San Diego resident Vince Peppard describing what happened to him when he declined to open his trunk at a checkpoint within the Constitution-free zone.
    That's America in 2008. Without muss, fuss or a public vote, many of the constitutional protections we thought we had were quietly stripped away.
    Feeling a bit of relief because you don't live near the border? Don't feel too safe. If the government can effortlessly trim your rights once, it can do it again.




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    Get used to it folks......from OUR government.

    The fact the terrorists did NOTHING during the illegal swearing in speaks volumns!

    They are not strong enough and only our owngov will subjecate us now.

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    TheMrMitch wrote:
    Get used to it folks......from OUR government.

    The fact the terrorists did NOTHING during the illegal swearing in speaks volumns!

    They are not strong enough and only our owngov will subjecate us now.
    What's the illegal swearing in?

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    An illegal was sworn in, hencethe swearing in was illegal.

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    tin foil hat?

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