I'll just offer up my personal opinion on this, and its not intended to criticize what you did littleotter. Again, just my opinion and professional experience in dealing with "people" of which, thats what police officers are. They are just "people"
First, when you deal with people, its best to operate from a position of confidence and assuredness. We know what the law is. We know its legal. If in our minds, we are going to sit back and wait for a leo on the street to say "its ok, go ahead" We would NEVER open carry.
By asking this question of them, you are NOT operating from a position of confidence and assuredness. By going up to the police and asking "what they will do" you are placing them in the position of power. You are telling the police "I am fearful of you, so before I go about exercizing my rights, I am making sure you aren't going to do bad things to me" That just feeds into the effectiveness of their intimidation tactics. This re-inforces their tactics of fear and intimidation.
I mentioned that open carry was legal state wide, and I was just looking for some clarification on La Crosse's stance.
We need to send a message to the police that we KNOW what our rights are, and we will exercise them. Going up to them like you did is (if they didn't already know) teaching the police that regardless of the law, people are still afraid to do something the local PD doesn't "approve of"
I open carry in West Allis ALL over the place. Do you think if I call the west allis PD and say "is it ok to open carry" they'll say "yes" HELL NO. I don't need permission from the police. This is a lawful activity. I KNOW IT. They don't need to give me permission.
The police (as demonstrated) have shown NO obligation to know the law, no obligation to be correct in the law. As a matter of attitude, we KNOW cops are not "public servants" but rather "priviliged enforcers" who enjoy special priviliges average citizens do not, who work in an environment that fosters ego's and attitudes that they are the rulers and we are the ruled. Intimidation and fearare their "tools of the trade". We know most cops (almost all) have a "we are the law, you obey us" attitude, AS SUCH they will likely NEVER tell you that you "can" do something.
If you know open carry is legal statewide WHY would you have to ask what La Crosse's stance is? WHY would you indicate to a police officer that it MATTERS what the La Crosse PD's stance is.TheLa Crosse PD doesn't have different laws.By asking this question of them, you are indicating that you are afraid to do what you know is legal until you get the green light from a cop on the street?
If you were not afraid, you would just "do it".
If you have no confidence in the fact that guys like Jesus open carried at will BEFORE the AG memo and NEVER got charged, if you have no confidence that BEFORE the AG memo, Brad Krause was found not guilty. If after all that and THEN the AG memo and ALL the subsequent publicity, you still don't have confidence in that the law will be behind you, don't open carry.
This is not a criticism by any means. Everyone has a different level of fortitude when it comes to standing up for their rights.
Pre AG memo, Jesus was the only one that I know of that was willing to put faith in his constitutional rights and the justice system. BIG balls. There was a lot of risk for him. Not everyone belongs on the front lines of the fight for freedom like Jesus.
Post AG memo, the risk has been WAY reduced from fear of CONVICTION (which WILL NOT HAPPEN) if you are doing nothing else wrong, just OC'ing, to fear of merely being detained.
If you are afraid of merely being detained by police (because we KNOW you can't be charged with a crime, let alone conivcted) then you don't belong on the secondary lines in the battle for freedom. And thats fine. Everyone has their own level of fortitude in these matters.
But we need to stop empowering the police. We need to stop re-inforcing the attitudes that cops already have (that they make the rules). They don't. If you are afraid of the police YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS. NONE.
If you don't know your rights. YOU DON'T HAVE THEM.