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Thread: OC Incident in Norfolk, VA

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    This is the official statement that I made in my complaint with the names removed.

    On Saturday, 09 May 2009, I met with ….. at the McDonald’s located at 1131 West Mercury Blvd., Hampton, VA 23666 at approximately 1800-1900. We talked about riding later on if it didn’t rain and then I went home to take a shower. I made it back to Hampton sometime between 2000-2100. I was at the same McDonald’s when I met with …. We rode to the Burger King located at 1006 Settlers Landing Road, Hampton, VA 23669. We waited there for … and when he arrived we left to go to Norfolk, VA to stay south of the rain clouds. We arrived at the 7-11 convenience store located at 1510 E. Brambleton Avenue, Norfolk, VA 23504 to rest before we went to Virginia Beach. We arrived in Virginia Beach and stopped at the BP gas station located at 332 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23451. We moved to the garage located next door to stay out of the rain for about 10-15 minutes then decided to ride down Atlantic Avenue to the Dairy Queen located at 1609 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451.

    While stopped at a traffic light I was approached by a Virginia Beach police officer on a mountain bike. He asked me why I was carrying two handguns. I told him that I was carrying them because they were mine and I wanted to carry them. I told him that I had a right to carry them and asked if there was any problem with me exercising my rights. He then asked me if I had a license to operate a motorcycle to which I replied that I did, but that it was none of his business unless I was being stopped for a traffic violation. I pointed out to the officer that the light had turned green and asked him if I was being detained. He said “just for a minute.” He then told me that because of where I was at that if someone felt threatened by me having guns that it would be a problem. I told the officer that it would be a personal problem for them because my guns were holstered and that I wasn’t intimidating anyone or inducing fear by simply exercising my right to carry. He then told me that if my shirt was to flap over them that they could be considered concealed. I told the officer that my shirt could flap over them or I could untuck my shirt and put it over them and it wouldn’t matter because I have a permit to carry a concealed handgun. I told the officer to have a nice day and he rode off.

    We continued on to the Dairy Queen and stayed for about a half-hour. We decided to head back to Hampton, but as we were leaving we noticed ... and ... headed down Pacific Avenue toward the BP gas station so we decided to go and see if they wanted to ride with us. We met with them at the BP gas station and we all decided to ride to Granby Street in Norfolk.

    We arrived on Granby Street in Norfolk, VA sometime after midnight on Sunday, May 10, 2009. We circled around a few blocks looking for a place to park and finally found a place on Granby Street near the intersection with Market Street. Shortly after we parked our motorcycles (approximately between 0045 and 0115) we were approached by several police officers who I later identified as … and a Sergeant who refused to give me his name.

    The Sergeant ordered … to place his hands on the back of his head. He grabbed his hands and turned him around and began to frisk him. He asked the officer why he was being searched and the officer said to him “You know what we’re here for; we’re here for him.” He pointed at me as he was saying this. I pretended as though I didn’t notice the officers because I had a feeling that they had come to harass me.

    Officer … approached me and asked how I was doing. I responded that I was fine and asked him how he was doing. He asked me if I had a registration for my guns to which I replied that there is no such thing as a registration for a gun in Virginia. He then asked me if I had a license for my guns to which I replied that there is no such thing as a license for a gun in Virginia either. He then ordered me to keep my hands where he could see them and I complied. He told me not to get an attitude with him to which I responded that I can have an attitude if I want to because it is not illegal to get an attitude. I then told him that I wasn’t doing anything wrong and that he was harassing me. I told him that I didn’t want to talk to him anymore and asked to speak to his supervisor. The Sergeant (that would not give me his name) said that he was the supervisor (who I later found out is not Officer … supervisor) and he doesn’t see anything wrong with what the officer is doing. He then ordered Officer … to take me across the street.

    Officer … grabbed me by the inside of my upper right arm and began to pull me to the other side of the street. This was against my will because if he had asked me to go to the other side of the street I would have refused. I had done nothing wrong and knew that the officers had no probable cause to place me in a detention. He walked me right in front of a moving car. The cab driver slammed on the brakes and stopped so close to the officer that the officer put his free hand out as a defensive reflex and placed it on the hood of the car. He then yelled at the stopped car to “stop the cab.” I told Officer … to take his hands off of me and don’t grab my arm so tight. He responded that he wasn’t grabbing my arm tight and shoved me by my arm onto the curb across the street. Officer …tried to say something to me but I interrupted him to tell him that he wasn’t going to talk to me like a child. I told him that I was a grown man and that he was going to talk to me as such or he would be spoken to in the same manner that he was speaking to me.

    Another officer approached me and told me that I was going to shut up and listen to what they had to say. They accused me of trying to show off for my friends and I pointed out that they were the ones that approached me. I asked him to take my guns off of me before we continued our conversation. He asked why and I said that I wanted everyone to be comfortable in this situation. He said to me, “Oh, I’m comfortable homeboy.” I said that I was too and asked him again to take them off of me. He said that he wasn’t going to do that and I said okay.

    He started to talk and again, I interrupted him in the middle of what he was saying to protest the unlawful detention that I was in. There were several other officers around that witnessed all of the events, namely, …, and the Sergeant who would not give me his name. I repeatedly told the officers that what they were doing was illegal. I told them that I never get harassed like this in Hampton or Newport News and Sergeant … told me that I needed to stay in Hampton and Newport News then. I asked him if he was telling me that I can’t come to Norfolk. He said that anytime I come to Norfolk carrying guns that they were going to stop me and question me.

    Then Sergeant … asked me why I had my weapons and I replied that they were mine and I was legally carrying. All of the officers kept trying to tell me that because of my surroundings that they have the right to check me out anytime they want to simply because I'm carrying weapons. They kept saying that because of my surroundings they have the authority to stop me and find out why I'm carrying weapons and that I should expect to be stopped.

    I asked why they stopped me and I wasn't doing anything illegal and he said because I had guns showing. I asked why they weren't checking everyone else and he said that they didn't have any guns showing. I repeated what he said back to him and asked him if he was saying that anytime I come to Norfolk legally carrying a gun, exercising my constitutional rights that the police are going to stop me and question me. He said that they would and I told him that they didn’t have any probable cause to stop me and question me. He said that they have the right to stop anyone carrying a gun to check them out and make sure that everything is legitimate. I asked him sarcastically if he was serious and I made a comparison to stopping everyone who was driving a car just to see if they were properly licensed. I asked him how that was legal to which he responded that I was carrying concealed handguns so he could stop me and question me.

    I pointed out that my guns were not concealed and that no one had even asked me if I had a concealment permit. I told him that the reason that they didn’t ask me was because I wasn’t carrying them concealed. He said that in order for them to not be concealed that I legally had to have them in a holster and not tucked into my waistline. I told the Sergeant that there was nothing in the law that required me to have my guns in a holster but for his information that they are in holsters that I was wearing below my waistline. I then told him that the law defined a concealed weapon as being hidden from common observation. I said to him that I have black guns that were against a white T-shirt as a background and they were easily identifiable as handguns. I said that if they were concealed that he wouldn’t have known that I had them and they would have never approached me. I asked him how they knew I had them and he said that he could see them but it would still be considered concealed. He asked me where my jacket was trying to allude to the fact that a jacket would have covered my guns. I told him that I wasn’t wearing a jacket. He asked me if I was riding a motorcycle without a jacket. I said yes and asked, is that illegal or something?

    I told him again that my guns were not concealed and he was fishing now but that the other gun that I was carrying in my pocket was concealed. He asked me if I had a third gun in my pocket and I said yes, that it was in my right front pocket. He said that he wanted to see my concealment permit and my ID. I looked at Officer ... who was still standing in my face in front of me and told him that I was going to reach into my left front pocket and retrieve my wallet. I told him that my wallet was black, it is not a gun, and that I am not carrying any weapons in my left front pocket. He said okay and I got my concealment permit and my license out. I handed them to Sergeant … and told him that I was clean and had no priors or warrants.

    The officers continued to say that I had three concealed handguns to which I repeatedly responded that I was carrying one concealed handgun and two openly. I told the officers several more times that what they were doing was illegal and that they were violating my civil rights by unlawfully detaining me without probable cause. Officer … said that I wasn’t being detained. I told him that I was being detained once he restricted my freedom of movement and said that if I had walked off or pulled away from him he would have arrested me. He didn’t have any response to that.

    They continued to ignore me until Sergeant … came back with my permit and my license. I told the officers that I needed all of their names and they asked why. I said that I needed them for the email that I was going to send to the chief of police on Monday. I said that I needed to get my pen out of my pocket and that it was in the same pocket as my other gun was in. I asked if it was okay to get it and Officer … said, “No. I’m not going to allow you to do that.” I asked if it was okay if I took my cell phone off of my hip and he said yes. I took the names of Officer …, Officer …, Sergeant …, and Sergeant ….

    I looked over to get the name of the other Sergeant and he said, “You don’t need my name. What you better do is get back across the street.” I said that I needed his name to include in my complaint and he told me to get across the street again. I said again that I needed his name and he said that since I know the law so well that I should know that I better get back across the street and that he wasn’t going to tell me again. I said, “Okay. Yes sir.”

    I started to cross the street and the Sergeant said, “Yeah. You better carry yo tail across that street; and you better use the crosswalks.” I said, “Yes, sir and used the crosswalk (that was blocked by a police vehicle) to cross to the other side of Market Street at approximately 0125. I stood there and typed notes into my blackberry so that I could ensure I could recall all of the events. Afterward, I crossed back over to the other side of Granby Street. I asked the guys that I was riding with if they would make statements and be witnesses if I needed them to. They all said that they would and provided me with their full names and telephone numbers. We left Norfolk and went back to the McDonald’s in Hampton. We all left from there to go home.

    The facts of this incident are that the Officers did not have any probable cause to approach me. I did not break any laws. Officer … illegally detained me without probable cause at the order of the unidentified sergeant when he restricted my freedom of movement. When he grabbed me by my arm it constituted assault because the detention was unlawful. When he walked me in front of a moving vehicle without first checking to see if any cars were coming or ordering traffic to stop he put my life and safety at risk. I’m certain that that constitutes reckless endangerment. All of the officers that stood by and watched this, condoned it, and did nothing to stop it are just as guilty as the one who put his hands on me and pulled me in front of that car.

    I spoke with Sergeant … at the Office of Professional Standards and with the Chief Magistrate about filing criminal charges against these officers. I decided to file my complaint with the Office of Professional Standards while I decided whether or not to pursue criminal charges against these officers. This is my formal statement that I am submitting to your office and can be used to file my complaint.

    Sincerely,



    Matthew F. Jones

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    Wow, between the 3 guns, wallet, cell phone, and other stuff, how do you stand lugging around all that gear? That would drive me crazy!!! One thing's for sure -- nobody can accuse you of not being prepared.

    Of course, a digital recorder would have been mighty handy in documenting the above situation. Add one of those to your tool-belt and you'll be like an OC super-hero

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    It's cool. I added 5 witnesses willing to testify when I file charges.

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    Regular Member CRF250rider1000's Avatar
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    WOW!This makes me sick! NPD is a disgrace to Virginia police officers I think another visit to city council would be a good idea. We need TONS of people this time to really drive the point home. NPD is proving just how corrupt it is:X

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    Man, that's ridiculous! Just what exactly is the learning curve in that city? And where do they recruit these guys?

    I'm sorry to hear you had such an....interesting...night. Kudos to your friends, too, for sticking by you.

    I'm sure I speak for many when I say I will be interested to hear the next chapters of the story. And if I can get down there for a visit to city council or as an audience in court, I will definitely be in attendance. Good luck.

    Crash

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    Well, I can see where you got your username from! :X

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    That's horrible. I guess they either have no idea about their recent troubles with open carriers or they think that if they continue to intimidate open carriers that they will eventually just stop open carrying. Looks like its a game of chicken and the game isn't quite over yet. I'm going to follow this and attend any trips to Norfolk necessary.

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    richarcm wrote:
    That's horrible. I guess they either have no idea about their recent troubles with open carriers or they think that if they continue to intimidate open carriers that they will eventually just stop open carrying. Looks like its a game of chicken and the game isn't quite over yet. I'm going to follow this and attend any trips to Norfolk necessary.
    Norfolk PD! Again!

    Didn't they learn by having to pay $10,000 for violating Danbus' rights a while back?

    IIRC, the chief had to issue a written apology too.

    Some people....they never learn...

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    richarcm wrote:
    That's horrible. I guess they either have no idea about their recent troubles with open carriers or they think that if they continue to intimidate open carriers that they will eventually just stop open carrying. Looks like its a game of chicken and the game isn't quite over yet. I'm going to follow this and attend any trips to Norfolk necessary.
    I'll carpool w/ you. This stuff in Norfolk must stop!

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    sickntired wrote:
    This is the official statement that I made in my complaint with the names removed...
    One word - paragraphs!

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    Good thing you had some friends there with you, or you may have beenrun over by that cab as you tried to escape :X. And get a voice recorder.

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    I appreciate the support guys. This is ridiculous. While I was detained I kept telling these crooked cops that they just lost lawsuits for this same thing. I'm going to be the one to end it. After they finish the internal investigation, I'm going to swear out a warrant against those officers for assault and reckless endangerment. I already talked to the Chief Magistrate about it. I'm going to force the city to prosecute them.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    are you a man of color?
    Carry On.

    Ed

    VirginiaOpenCarry.Org (Coins, Shirts and Patches)
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    For VA Open Carry Cards send a S.A.2S.E. to: Ed's OC cards, Box 16143, Wash DC 20041-6143 (they are free but some folks enclose a couple bucks too)

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    Great story but it was very difficult to read. Paragraph breaks would have made it much easier to read. Please keep us posted on this.

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    Regular Member ChinChin's Avatar
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    I trust you have already submitted an FOIA request for the incident reports, police dispatch traffic for the time of detainment, car dash camera footage, along with the roll call roster for the district and station the officers were from to ID the Sargent who wouldn't supply his identity.

    This would also be a jim-dandy time to contact a 2nd amendment lawyer. I believe a fellow Norfolk resident and OCDO member "Danbus" can point you to a good lawyer. He just finished up with two recent trials with NPD over open carry; his Lawyer did a bangup job.
    The problem with the internet is nobody can really tell when youre serious and when youre being sarcastic. Abraham Lincoln

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    In response to the last two posts, I'm half black/white. Sorry about the prolixity but I had to get it as accurate as possible.

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    I'm trying to contact him now to find out who his lawyer is. I haven't filed the FOIA request yet, but the internal affairs guy said to give him a couple of days and he should be able to get it for me.

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    Geez. Does not look good for NPD on a first glance over.

    I would like togently suggest a couple points regarding formal complaints.

    • Make explicit the exact points about which you are complaining. For example, "I am aggrieved that Officer Schmuck seized mygun withoutreasonable suspicion for a detention. The detention was a violation of the 4A from its inception, thus the gun seizure upon which it was based was also a violation."Or, "(such and such) was a direct violation ofmy 4th Amendment rights about which I am outraged/angry/etc." Don't let itremain implied.



    • Acomplaint is aform of grievance, as in 1st Amendment right to petition for redress of grievance. Be sure to tell them what redress you want.In this particular case it might be smart to first decide about any lawsuit so you don't end up sending mixed signalsor ask for a redress thatmesses up your legal standingto make other demands in a lawsuit. I don't know that it would or wouldn't; I'm not a lawyer. Might be smart to check it out.From a generalperspective oncomplaints, if a lawsuit is definitely out, then definitely tell them exactly what you want them to do about the situation.



    • Make sure you've got your law straight. You don'thave to. But it really helps your credibility. And lets the cops know you know where their boundaries are. For example, a police officer does not need probable cause--a legal term--to detain someone. He only needs reasonable articulable suspicion (RAS). See Terry vs Ohio as a starting point. Be sure to give the case law and statutes where you can. Again, you don't have to, but it puts the cops on notice that you know the law and court opinions. And it helps close the door a little bit on them wiggling out of it by pretending to overlook something. If this wasn't NPD, they could just claim the detention wasreasonable becauseprobable cause is not required for a detention. In this particular case, NPD should already be on noticeso I don't think it an issue. But on most other complaint situations, I wouldsuggest this point about getting the law straight and citing it in the complaint.
    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.

  19. #19
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    sickntired wrote:
    In response to the last two posts, I'm half black/white.
    Aha! Just like Obama!

    This could require a rethink....



  20. #20
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    Citizen wrote:
    Geez. Does not look good for NPD on a first glance over.

    I would like togently suggest a couple points regarding formal complaints.
    • Make explicit the exact points about which you are complaining. For example, "I am aggrieved that Officer Schmuck seized mygun withoutreasonable suspicion for a detention. The detention was a violation of the 4A from its inception, thus the gun seizure upon which it was based was also a violation."Or, "(such and such) was a direct violation ofmy 4th Amendment rights about which I am outraged/angry/etc." Don't let itremain implied.

    • Acomplaint is aform of grievance, as in 1st Amendment right to petition for redress of grievance. Be sure to tell them what redress you want.In this particular case it might be smart to first decide about any lawsuit so you don't end up sending mixed signalsor ask for a redress thatmesses up your legal standingto make other demands in a lawsuit. I don't know that it would or wouldn't; I'm not a lawyer. Might be smart to check it out.From a generalperspective oncomplaints, if a lawsuit is definitely out, then definitely tell them exactly what you want them to do about the situation.

    • Make sure you've got your law straight. You don'thave to. But it really helps your credibility. And lets the cops know you know where their boundaries are. For example, a police officer does not need probable cause--a legal term--to detain someone. He only needs reasonable articulable suspicion (RAS). See Terry vs Ohio as a starting point. Be sure to give the case law and statutes where you can. Again, you don't have to, but it puts the cops on notice that you know the law and court opinions. And it helps close the door a little bit on them wiggling out of it by pretending to overlook something. If this wasn't NPD, they could just claim the detention wasreasonable becauseprobable cause is not required for a detention. In this particular case, NPD should already be on noticeso I don't think it an issue. But on most other complaint situations, I wouldsuggest this point about getting the law straight and citing it in the complaint.
    Very thoroughly researched. Open-carrying in a state that gives me the right to open carry does not constitute reasonable articulable suspicion. There was absolutely nothing to be suspicious about, therefore the detention was unlawful. Thanks for the input though. I learned something. More fuel for my fire.

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    Three guns is well prepared, but two guns and one digital voice recorder is better prepared, my voice recorder is part of my standard kit nowadays. My gun, leatherman, and voice recorder are rarely separated by more than 12 inches or so. FOIA that stuff ASAP.

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    Sounds to me like you handled yourself extremely well. I agree with others you should consider a voice recorder. One small nitpick, they do not need probable cause or RAS to approach you. They needRAS to detain you and probable cause to arrest. You definitely want to do a FOI request to gatherinfo. See other posts on this board on how to do it.

    You may want to consider a civil suit, these "officers" are way out of control. I like the idea of criminal charges. However, I think the prosecutor will have discretion in deciding whether to actually charge them, and may refuse to do so. Maybe Norfolk needs visits from more oc'ers?Thanks for doing what you did, this is standing up for all of our rights. Funny how those cops are soooooooo poorly trained.

    In Alexandria, I walk right up to and talk to cops while ocing, cause they are well trained on this issue. It's almostlike Norfolk isin California instead of Virginia.

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    Dude seriously. You go for a motorcycle ride by cruising around the city from one burger joint to another?:shock:

    Good job, keep at it.

    I'm starting to think:

    a) Only black people OC in Norfolk

    b) Norfolk PD has a lot of bigoted officers

    c) Norfolk PD has a lot of officers that think they can bully younger people.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

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    My next motorcycle ride may need to be down to Norfolk. Ridiculous!

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