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Thread: Rogue Deputy Sheriff ?

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    Hi gang;

    Unfortunately something I did not think likely in NM happened two days ago and I would appreciate some feedback on what you guys might feel is the next course of action (if any) that would be appropriate.

    This past Monday I was finishing my lunch and on my cell phone with my friend's widow discussing matters pertaining to the disposition of his estate when two deputies walked into the restaurant and past my booth. I assumed they sat down for lunch. About two minutes later one of them walked up to my booth and demanded my attention. I asked my friend's widow to please hang on and then spoke to the deputy and remarked that if this was about my gun, I was carrying legally and if he wanted to I would be happy to speak with him about it after I completed my business call. He insisted that I immediately give him my drivers license AND my carry permit. I reminded him that this was no such permit in the state of New Mexico and asked my friend's widow to please allow me to call her back after I attended to the sheriff's deputy. When I hung up the deputy said he did not want me to inform him about the laws in this state and he again demanded my permit and license and that if I refused to comply he would be happy to continue this matter outside. I took this to be meant as a threat of some sort.

    I then reached into my pocket, got out my wallet, opened it and first retrieved the driver's license which I, in the manner of revealing a poker hand flipped over onto the tabletop immediately in front of me. I also again reminded the deputy that there was no such thing as a permit to carry a gun in the open, as this was covered by the state constitution directly. The deputy then accused me of throwing my license at him. (!! He was standing off to my right of my booth and the license was in front of me on the table.) He also wanted me to "hand him" the license. He again asked for the permit. I told him a have several concealed carry permits, and then retrieved my NM one, scooped up the drivers license and then handed both to him as requested. I also reminded him that I had NOT, in fact, thrown anything at him at any time, and that I complied with his demands. He then again repeated that we could handle this outside if I so choose to.

    He looked at my license and permits for a very brief moment, and then placed them on the table. I then asked for his card. He refused to give one to me, but then told me his name and his "man number". He then (without my asking) gave me a phone number he said was for "internal affairs" and told me he would be o.k. if I called them. He then said that he was just verifying that things were o.k., that my having a concealed carry permit allowed me to carry my gun in the fashion I was carrying it (open), and that he "...did not care about anything else because when he is on duty he will make sure people are safe." (!!)

    I IMMEDIATELY called the number he gave me which was not a direct line to internal affairs but merely an incoming number to "communications". Sadly it then took me 35 minutes and 8 phone calls, the last to the sheriff's admin. offices to get through to internal affairs. The Lt. that finally answered apologized for the delay and we discussed the matter. She was very insistant about wanting me to file a formal report, but I wanted to be assured that both training and discipline would be immediate and it seemed like the formal procedure would not yield as affirmative a result as an informal report. The Lt. was also clear that her understanding of the laws in NM concerning open carry of firearms where the same as mine. She did NOT however want to talk about what the department's official policy towards open carry might be !!

    I spoke with here again about an hour later as was informed that the officer would be disciplined later that day.

    The next day (yesterday) I asked and was told that the deputy still had not been disciplined and that it was hoped I would understand that the department would not be sharing ANY information with me on the outcome, and that I would not be getting any apology or feedback. I was also reminded that like many situations in NM, there are not enough smart people around and some stupid people get hired.

    Today I was called by a Sergeant LaBatta (sp ?) of Internal Affairs. He was calling me about the "weapons carry" in the restaurant, apparently returning my call-in from Monday during the period when I wasn't able to get a hold of anybody within his department. He was more open to trying to relay my wish to talk with the deputy's supervisor, and he offered that an informal report was the best way to get an immediate disciplinary response. I also asked for the forms to open an official complaint, should I not hear back from the deputies' supervisor.

    At his point I am not sure that my decision to file an informal report was correct or that it will yield any improvements in this deputy's behavior and attitude. I am also more than a little concerned that the department has not, to date, wanted to share their procedure concerning how and why and when they consider it appropriate to approach an open-carry citizen without a reasonable suspicion of criminal behavior.


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    Regular Member Decoligny's Avatar
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    An informal report is exactly what the police want you to file. Why, because it is just that, informal. If they decide to do nothing, then it is simply them saying "This guy called up with a gripe".

    Go the formal route. Get a paper trail. If nothing happens, fine. But ensure that there is a formal complaint in the deputies file. If he continues on with a pattern of ignoring the state constitution and operating under the color of law, there will be a record of it.

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    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    File a formal complaint.

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    No white tie and tails....but definitely go Formal.


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    Well here's an update. I got a call this afternoon from the Chief Deputy. And he told me that he was the one to speak to the deputy that I had my "incident" with.

    The call was about 30 minutes wherein I learned the following;

    - The officer was NOT disciplined for any infractions. The "chief" felt that while his deputy did not handle things well, he had not broken any rules as the "chief" encourages his deputies to be "curious". And my "carrying a handgun" was a good enough cause to approach me because it certainly was unusual.

    - I asked about whether the deputy had been able to articulate a reasonable suspicion to his superior. I was told that he had done so, but the "chief" was not able to articulate any such details to me. I was told by the "chief" that he simply could not recall what those may have been, but that they were sufficient.

    - I was further informed that both the "chief" and his deputy were fully aware of the laws in New Mexico and that it was merely my opinion that seeing someone with a holstered weapon was NOT sufficient as a "reasonable cause of suspicion of criminal behavior".

    - The "chief" also told me that a formal/official complaint would NOT be kept on file past a year or so. They do NOT keep these.

    - I was told that deputy that I "met" on Monday was just trying to be sure that I was properly trained to carry a firearm and that was why my concealed carry permit was demanded.

    - The last question I asked was what I could do to prevent raising this or any deputies suspicions relative to being demanded id and so forth when I go about my personal business while open carrying. I was told "nothing".

    I am going to refrain discussing any personal thoughts about all of this, at least for the time being, but ya' all please feel free to make your own thoughts known with comments !!

    *** P.S. The "chief" also told me that he did NOT want me to send him ANY information about state law or whether carrying a holstered gun was considered "reasonable suspicion...", as he already knew "everything" he needed to know about this. He again was specific that all of this amounted to "opinions".

    He also reiterated this when I asked if he wanted me to send him court rulings or sheriff association documents.


    However YOU guys and gals are certainly free to do so yourselves !!

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    What city/county in NM. I can't believe it was Bernalillo County. Darren White is very familiar with open carry and I think it would have been handled differently. I think you should file a formal complaint also. LEOs need to be aware of the gun owners rights.

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    Well maybe Darren and his "chief deputy" don't get along so well ? Yes, it was Bernalillo county and my wife reminded me that Sheriff White got a no-confidence vote from his deputies before his last election.

    So, um, would it make sense to call sheriff White and/or email him a link to this discussion ?

    And if so, do you have a way to ensure that he will meet with me or read my email ?

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    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    "- I was told that deputy that I "met" on Monday was just trying to be sure that I was properly trained to carry a firearm and that was why my concealed carry permit was demanded."

    New Mexico is an OC state by it's own Constitution (as is Arizona). I've OC'd in NM long before I ever obtained an AZ CWP. THE CWP's got nothing to do with open carry. 'Properly trained' comes up again... as tho there's somethin' magical 'bout being armed. What if you didn't have a CCP? There's none required. What the deputy was doing was just bein' a dick.






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    snoball wrote:
    What city/county in NM. I can't believe it was Bernalillo County. Darren White is very familiar with open carry and I think it would have been handled differently. I think you should file a formal complaint also. LEOs need to be aware of the gun owners rights.
    It would appear that these "law-enforcement officers" knew the law, butdidn't really care about it. I highly dislike LEO's who think THEY are the law because they wear a badge. They are peons in the justice system and it is not up to them to "interpret" law for themselves. I would not have given them the permit. It's not required. Then, if they booked you, you could turn around and sue them. Not to mention it would have more media attention. LEO's don't want to be in the spotlight of a political gun-rights debate.

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    I was wondering if even giving them my id was required, in NM, under the circumstances of peaceably eating my soup and quietly talking on my cell phone ?

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    cops are criminals.

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    +1 for the formal complaint route

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    para_org wrote:
    Well here's an update. I got a call this afternoon from the Chief Deputy. And he told me that he was the one to speak to the deputy that I had my "incident" with.

    The call was about 30 minutes wherein I learned the following;

    - The officer was NOT disciplined for any infractions. The "chief" felt that while his deputy did not handle things well, he had not broken any rules as the "chief" encourages his deputies to be "curious". And my "carrying a handgun" was a good enough cause to approach me because it certainly was unusual.

    - I asked about whether the deputy had been able to articulate a reasonable suspicion to his superior. I was told that he had done so, but the "chief" was not able to articulate any such details to me. I was told by the "chief" that he simply could not recall what those may have been, but that they were sufficient.

    - I was further informed that both the "chief" and his deputy were fully aware of the laws in New Mexico and that it was merely my opinion that seeing someone with a holstered weapon was NOT sufficient as a "reasonable cause of suspicion of criminal behavior".

    - The "chief" also told me that a formal/official complaint would NOT be kept on file past a year or so. They do NOT keep these.

    - I was told that deputy that I "met" on Monday was just trying to be sure that I was properly trained to carry a firearm and that was why my concealed carry permit was demanded.

    - The last question I asked was what I could do to prevent raising this or any deputies suspicions relative to being demanded id and so forth when I go about my personal business while open carrying. I was told "nothing".

    I am going to refrain discussing any personal thoughts about all of this, at least for the time being, but ya' all please feel free to make your own thoughts known with comments !!

    *** P.S. The "chief" also told me that he did NOT want me to send him ANY information about state law or whether carrying a holstered gun was considered "reasonable suspicion...", as he already knew "everything" he needed to know about this. He again was specific that all of this amounted to "opinions".

    He also reiterated this when I asked if he wanted me to send him court rulings or sheriff association documents.


    However YOU guys and gals are certainly free to do so yourselves !!
    He can't stop you from sending it to his boss. I would send it all to the sheriff and voice your concerns there. You can also write a letter to the editor of the local or state papers about this and explain that OC is legal in NM and mention in passing some of the problems you have with this County SD with the Sheriff's email address.
    An Amazon best seller "MY PARENTS OPEN CARRY" http://www.myparentsopencarry.com/

    *The information contained above is not meant to be legal advice, but is solely intended as a starting point for further research. These are my opinions, if you have further questions it is advisable to seek out an attorney that is well versed in firearm law.

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    Don't forget to cc a copy to your districts state representative.
    Let them know the local authorities are disregarding the laws.
    Won't help in a lot of areas, but there are still a handfull of good ones.

    When he gave you the internal affairs number you should have immediatly
    called them. Then you could have asked him for a more recent number
    when it didn't work.

    But think about just calling 911 next time, this way the encounter
    will be on the tapes. I know I would be 'fearful' with that type of encounter.
    Besides the look on his face when you call 911 for help will be priceless.
    Ask him to smile for the picture you want to send with the cell.

    You can't reason with irrational individuals, so don't try.

    But does show why you need the voice recorder, then with the supervisors
    comments about how he was satisfied with the subordinates actions, you get
    two for one.






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    SlackwareRobert wrote:
    Don't forget to cc a copy to your districts state representative.
    Let them know the local authorities are disregarding the laws.
    Won't help in a lot of areas, but there are still a handfull of good ones.

    When he gave you the internal affairs number you should have immediatly
    called them. Then you could have asked him for a more recent number
    when it didn't work.

    But think about just calling 911 next time, this way the encounter
    will be on the tapes. I know I would be 'fearful' with that type of encounter.
    Besides the look on his face when you call 911 for help will be priceless.
    Ask him to smile for the picture you want to send with the cell.

    You can't reason with irrational individuals, so don't try.

    But does show why you need the voice recorder, then with the supervisors
    comments about how he was satisfied with the subordinates actions, you get
    two for one.




    I did call the number he indicated. And I did stay at the scene until (finally) after repeated attempts was talking with someone from I.A. He also was there during that time, but at his table eating.

    As far as further intercourse with him, I.A. was specific about NOT talking further to him while at the scene. They wanted me to just get up and leave. I tended to agree.

    I carry a recorder at all times. That is good advise.

    I like the humor about a call to 911. I would NOT be surprised if someone had done exactly that when being harassed.

    Thanks very much for the comments.

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    Well I called the admin. offices three times to day to talk with the sheriff. Once before 10am, again slightly after noon, and again immediately before closing. During the second call I was told that it was not possible to schedule a meeting or a phone call with the sheriff. I was finally, with the last call at approx. 4:50 pm able to get a return call 5 minutes later from someone who said she was the sheriff's personal assistant. I appreciated being able to get a hold of someone with only a days worth of effort. However she said that she would have to know what I wanted before the sheriff would speak with me.

    So I told her a bit about what was going on, asked her if she would like to see my "notes" on the situation, and she offered up the sheriff's email address (which she is the 'gatekeeper' of) so I could send her a URL.

    Here is what I sent her;

    "To: sheriff
    Sent: Thu Mar 19 17:17:12 2009
    Subject: This afternoon's phone call.
    Erin;

    Thank you and Jeanne for taking time at the end of your day to speak with me. I have outlined the specifics on my encounter with your Detective this past Monday and my conversation with Lt. Linthicum yesterday (sp?) at this URL;

    < http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum39/23246.html >
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum39/23246.html

    I am anxious to handle this as efficiently as possible, preferably tomorrow and with Sheriff White. I can be reached all day tomorrow on my cell phone; XXX-XXX-XXXX

    Thank you again for your attention.


    Very best regards;"


    I got this for a reply;

    "Sir I received the message and will make sure that the sheriff receives it as well. Erin"


    So I guess we shall see if the sheriff is interested enough in what is in THIS thread !!

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    I'm not sure I understand why you omitted verbally refusing consent.
    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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    Citizen wrote:
    I'm not sure I understand why you omitted verbally refusing consent
    This is actually a very good question. I will try to answer it.

    I refused to speak with him until I was done with my business. He ignored that. He also told me he was not interested in being informed on the law, and then after I prematurely finished my (business) call and affirmed that I could not comply with what had become his demands to produce a carry license for open carry. He made comments about taking it outside, which meant he fully understood that I was not offering consent. He did this each time I indicated my inability or desire to comply.

    I also took the opportunity to declare that the law did not support his intrusion AND by directly indicating that his business was not as important or as pressing as mine.

    Finally in NM open-carry itself is specifically protected by the state constitution. The deputy immediately "broke Terry procedures" by even approaching me in the first place without another reason. At that very instant the onus of any legality (color of law) was already upon him. And he surprised even me by indicating that he did what he did in disregard for the rules and with primary regard for public "safety". His superior surprised me even more by indicating that his deputy did NOT violate any training or procedures when violating my privacy without due consideration for the constitutional protections accorded everyone in NM as it relates to both Terry v. Ohio and open-carry within this state.

    I guess what I am saying is that he messed up the minute he approached me to demand compliance. He, his superior, and the I.A. all should have known that. It would stretch my beliefs to figure otherwise. More especially since he got nasty and threatening when I pointed out that I was fully legal. All the rest is just what my dad use to call 'silver-coated bull droppings'.

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    well stated....quite clear....and you've officially put them on notice as they read this forum and start to imagine what action you will take next.

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    I don't think you are going to have the type of response you want. They aren't going to do anything. You should have stood up to them, and enforced your rights. Next time, carry a recorder and sue them.

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    Thanks for the honest comments. I appreciate these comments as much as the positive ones. And yes some would say I am tilting at windmills. I understand this.

    Interestingly at a neighborhood gathering a couple of weeks ago the question was asked if anyone knew a cop that wasn't an ass^*%*. NO ONE answered in favor of the police. Sadly NO ONE seemed surprised at the answers either. <- My point is that you might as well be right about the sheriff deputies not wanting to display a more positive image and behaving as we all would like to hope peace officers should act. And that is truly sad.

    I did have a recorder btw.

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    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    I find this LEO attitude in NM disturbing. Being unfamiliar with the counties... what town/city area is this near? This isn't normal for NM... or didn't used to be.

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    Bernalillo County Sheriff's Dept.

    The restaurant this took place at has an Albuquerque address.

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    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    Geez... Reckon I'll steer south of there from now on. Y'all gotta get that attitude fixed.

    What are they hirin'... former New Jersey cops? Maybe you should have 'taken it outside'.

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    para_org wrote:
    Citizen wrote:
    I'm not sure I understand why you omitted verbally refusing consent
    This is actually a very good question. I will try to answer it.

    I refused to speak with him until I was done with my business. He ignored that. He also told me he was not interested in being informed on the law, and then after I prematurely finished my (business) call and affirmed that I could not comply with what had become his demands to produce a carry license for open carry. He made comments about taking it outside, which meant he fully understood that I was not offering consent. He did this each time I indicated my inability or desire to comply.

    I also took the opportunity to declare that the law did not support his intrusion AND by directly indicating that his business was not as important or as pressing as mine.

    Finally in NM open-carry itself is specifically protected by the state constitution. The deputy immediately "broke Terry procedures" by even approaching me in the first place without another reason. At that very instant the onus of any legality (color of law) was already upon him. And he surprised even me by indicating that he did what he did in disregard for the rules and with primary regard for public "safety". His superior surprised me even more by indicating that his deputy did NOT violate any training or procedures when violating my privacy without due consideration for the constitutional protections accorded everyone in NM as it relates to both Terry v. Ohio and open-carry within this state.

    I guess what I am saying is that he messed up the minute he approached me to demand compliance. He, his superior, and the I.A. all should have known that. It would stretch my beliefs to figure otherwise. More especially since he got nasty and threatening when I pointed out that I was fully legal. All the rest is just what my dad use to call 'silver-coated bull droppings'.
    This was essentially my analysis, too.

    You gain additional advantage by refusing consent while complying.

    First, it may give the cop second thoughts, especially if he already knows he's on the edge of legality or beyond.

    Second, it tends to erase or diminish the opportunity forany later police dodges that you didn't refuse consent, therefore it was consensual, etc.

    Too, I imagine cops tend to think in channels or along certain lines as much as anyone else. A refusal tells them there is a turn in the road, the usual path dictated by policy, and they have to actually decide whether to override the refusal, decide which path to take.
    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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