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Thread: Yesterday I was the suspect in a manhunt

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    Originally in my blog: http://blog.jcrites.com/post/1072389...t-in-a-manhunt

    I’m a firearm owner. As it is a right guaranteed to me by the Washington state constitution, I often carry my firearm openly (i.e., in a visible holster) while I go for walks or conduct business in public. I additionally have a License to Carry Concealed Pistol, which allows me to conceal it on my person or wear it while in a vehicle.

    I take walks along 12th Ave S in Seattle (where I live) on days when I’m too tired or lazy to make it to the gym for a real workout. (It’s nice to get some sunshine and air when one sits in front of a computer all day).

    During my walk yesterday afternoon, when I was almost home, a man comes out of his house and begins yelling at me, “Are you a cop?” “Do you have a license for that?” It’s not uncommon for me to field questions from curious pedestrians, but a person who confronts me and is already misinformed is not likely to be receptive to education. (No, no license is needed to own or carry a firearm!)

    I ignore the person and walk on. I’m worried at this point — I see him heading back into his house. What if he has a firearm? Luckily he only comes out with a cell phone. He shouts a few more things at me before getting on the phone (presumably calling the police).

    I continue to ignore him and make my way home.

    Shortly thereafter my friends arrive for movie night. They ask me why there are so many police cars outside! Apparently as a result of the man’s phone call, seven squad cars and twelve officers arrive at the scene (a block away from my apartment) and begin a manhunt of the area! Curious to see what’s happening, I hop in the car with my friends and drive around. Sure enough, there are cars cruising up and down the street, searching, Dijkstra style. At roughly the two ends of the street sit police cruisers, lurking, hoping to catch me unawares. But luckily they are looking for a white male on foot, not in a vehicle, and so I am thoroughly camouflaged.

    At this point, we weren’t sure whether they were really looking for me or not; it could easily be a coincidence. People have called the police before while I was walking — when a citizen reports a man carrying a gun, the educated police dispatcher will ask whether he’s committed a crime, since merely carrying is not. Most such events go without physical police response.

    A family-friend is a police officer in Los Angeles, and we call him and ask him what to do. He says that I should wait for things to die down, call the central dispatch, say that it was a misunderstanding and offer to speak to some officers. That evening, we do it. About 30 minutes later they arrive.

    The chat ends up being very pleasant and respectful. They ask for my concealed license anyway (it having nothing to do with the situation), ask where the gun is presently (stored in a box on the ground), and talk to me about the incident. I recount my side. They recount the other guy’s side. Apparently the other guy said that when he confronted me, I moved my hand to my gun. Ridiculous! I was holding a book in my hand at the time (Introduction to Analysis). Just how anyone thought that a guy wearing glasses walking down a street reading a mathematics textbook could be threatening is beyond me.



    Anyway, the police don’t seem much to care that the man made the claim. I think that my calling and offering to speak with them went a long way toward my credibility. They were very respectful and acknowledged (in advance of me saying anything about it) that we have 2nd Amendment rights and that it is my right to carry in this manner. Disappointingly, they say that “in an urban environment, it’s possible to alarm people”. So they wanted to come educate me and let me know that this kind of situation could happen again, and that I should carry my weapon concealed. They pointed out that if another person or group of people thought I was threatening, that they would (“have to”) charge me with a misdemeanor.

    All in all it was a friendly conversation (as friendly as any conversation can be where the other begins by frisking you). The officers were genuinely just letting me know what could happen rather than threatening me; one of the officers remarked that I did nothing wrong. They were professional throughout. We shook hands, the officers gave me their card and an incident number (#09-161865) and left.

    I thought the conversation went reasonably well (given the aforementioned manhunt). However, I am still disappointed that it’s so difficult to lawfully exercise my rights — I will be in constant fear of something similar happening, but where the person wants to “get me” and makes up a story about me taking out my gun and pointing it at him. I wish I had asked the officers what would’ve happened if the man had done that. I guess I’d be in jail. Going forward I will want to have a friend and witness on my walks with me, to verify that I’m not intimidating anyone.

    I find this to be outrageous. I now understand what it’s like to be a persecuted minority, to be a member of a group who are presumed to be on the wrong side of the law by default. I sympathize. I shouldn’t have to have a friend along just to go walking.

    I shouldn’t have to do that but I do, because our society doesn’t sufficiently respect the civil right of firearm ownership and carry; although court precedent clearly states that merely carrying a firearm does not warrant alarm, incidents like this still happen. The man might even have thought he was telling the truth; perhaps he perceived my turning to look at him as moving my hand toward my gun. But the trigger of the police is hair-thin and they are willing to respond in force perhaps for everyone’s safety, or perhaps to send a message.

    In the course of our conversation they mentioned that they found another white male carrying a gun — and that he was disarmed and cuffed. An officer, the same one who told me I did nothing wrong, told me that they “had twelve guys out looking for [me] with rifles and shotguns” (meanwhile I think to myself, “one more star and the tanks show up”).

    I’m sure glad I evaded the manhunt last night, since it’s very likely that I would have been drawn upon, put on the ground, disarmed, and otherwise roughed up. All for simply going for a walk while minding my own business and bothering no-one. And accidental shootings do happen; having a gun pointed at me, even by trained police, is definitely something I do not want.



    The thing I regret most about yesterday was that I missed an opportunity to explain why I’m really doing this, the reason why I open carry: not to intimidate or threaten anyone or anything like that. My objective (as part of the Open Carry Movement) is to appear as a role model citizen, to show other people of Seattle that firearm ownership and carry is a normal, peaceable activity — and that people who carry aren’t just criminals or police, but are regular, law-abiding people too, such as software engineers interested in mathematics. (We’re just occasionally the suspect in manhunts.)

  2. #2
    Regular Member sempercarry's Avatar
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    that is the most obscene thing I have ever heard. To waste taxpayers dollars and not even know why they are looking for you......it does NOT warrent allarm so they couldn't charge you with that crime. Furthermore, they cuffed and disarmed another OCer. If they did that to me, I would bankrupt that PD in a f*%$#$@ heartbeat.

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    What misdemeanor would the "have to" charge you with? Not going to happen and they know it.
    I agree that they had no case against me, but isn't it likely I'd be taken to jail overnight anyway? What they were going to charge me with is the "warrants alarm" provision I believe. Basically if the person argued I acted aggressive and threatening they'd have cause to arrest, right? (Whether that person was lying or not, they don't know)

    I can't imagine they would have called multiple squad cars to the scene for a search if they weren't planning to arrest and charge me initially. Or is that just standard operating procedure in gun cases?

    Regardless, I'm going to go for a walk again today. This time I'll bring a friend. Hopefully nothing happens.

    Any cops on this forum that could share the perspective from the other side?

    I'm also working to get a copy of the report from the incident number. I'm curious to see what was written there.

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    SPD knows better. Contact the officer's supervisor and remind them of their own training bulletin on this matter.

    In freaking credible. Them evil math books must be stopped! Glad it went well. It's funny how the most innocent actions result in the most over the top PD responses. I had a cop draw a gun on me when I was drinking tea and OCing. Who knows what would have happened if there was a math book involved!!!

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    Regular Member mtlhdtodd's Avatar
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    Time for an OC group walk downtown? Just as a little reminder!!!

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    Regular Member compmanio365's Avatar
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    All I can think of now is Will Smith saying "She was 'bout to start some sh**, Zed!" :P

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    I was thinking the same thing.

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    Regular Member j2l3's Avatar
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    mtlhdtodd wrote:
    Time for an OC group walk downtown? Just as a little reminder!!!
    Didn't and doesn't happen downtown. Better to have the walk in the area it happened.
    CZ 75B 9mm, Ruger P94 .40 S&W, Bersa Thunder .380, AR-15 Homebuild

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    xiphoris wrote:
    told me that they “had twelve guys out looking for [me] with rifles and shotguns” (meanwhile I think to myself, “one more star and the tanks show up”).
    This = Hilarious

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    I think if I were the OP I'd probably do several of my OC walks by the same house with a buddy (OCing or not) fora witness. Maybe the guy doesn't come out , maybe he calls 911 again or maybe he yells out his door again. My hopes would be that one way or another I could impart some polite gun education. Maybe he's just a nut job and likes to yell at passersby.





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    Nosrac wrote:
    I think if I were the OP I'd probably do several of my OC walks by the same house with a buddy (OCing or not) fora witness. Maybe the guy doesn't come out , maybe he calls 911 again or maybe he yells out his door again. My hopes would be that one way or another I could impart some polite gun education. Maybe he's just a nut job and likes to yell at passersby.
    I would continue to do walks past the guys house, but I would not go out of my way to do so. I would also get a hand-held digital video camera and turn it on every time I walked by his house, carrying it in my strong-side hand. Then if the guy comes out and does the same thing again I would film him, as well as my own weak-side hand, and the location of my gun in one continuous shot. Then if he tries the same "put hand near gun" thing, you have proof that you had a camera in your hand, making it impossible to threaten anyone with your gun.

    Also, moving your hand towards your gun when someone asks you about it and starts yelling at you is LEGAL. He is taking threatening actions, and securing your firearm is an appropriate response.

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    arentol wrote:
    Nosrac wrote:
    I think if I were the OP I'd probably do several of my OC walks by the same house with a buddy (OCing or not) fora witness. Maybe the guy doesn't come out , maybe he calls 911 again or maybe he yells out his door again. My hopes would be that one way or another I could impart some polite gun education. Maybe he's just a nut job and likes to yell at passersby.
    I would continue to do walks past the guys house, but I would not go out of my way to do so. I would also get a hand-held digital video camera and turn it on every time I walked by his house, carrying it in my strong-side hand. Then if the guy comes out and does the same thing again I would film him, as well as my own weak-side hand, and the location of my gun in one continuous shot. Then if he tries the same "put hand near gun" thing, you have proof that you had a camera in your hand, making it impossible to threaten anyone with your gun.

    Also, moving your hand towards your gun when someone asks you about it and starts yelling at you is LEGAL. He is taking threatening actions, and securing your firearm is an appropriate response.
    I wasn't very clear but I meant that I wouldn't go out of my way to avoid walking by this persons house. I wouldn't change my regular walking route.



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    Just me, but I would have never seen any reason to call the police on myself, unless I was a film studentdoing a documentery of MWG.LIGHTS CAMERAS andddd ACTION.
    Im proudly straight. I'm free to not support Legalization, GLBT, Illegal Aliens, or the Islamization of America.

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    Personally, I think the OP did just fine calling in when he did, but a better strategy might have been to call 911 as soon as the nut-job came out of his house in confrontation. In my book, that's an assault, and could be reported as such. Telling your own story to dispatch can work wonders. I'd be willing to bet the response would have been more appropriate.

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    sv_libertarian wrote:
    SPD knows better. Contact the officer's supervisor and remind them of their own training bulletin on this matter.

    In freaking credible. Them evil math books must be stopped! Glad it went well. It's funny how the most innocent actions result in the most over the top PD responses. I had a cop draw a gun on me when I was drinking tea and OCing. Who knows what would have happened if there was a math book involved!!!
    I say it serves him right for walking around openly carrying a Weapon of Math Instruction!:what:

    (Loved the GTA reference too)
    It is very wise to not take a watermelon lightly.

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    Some observations.
    • You were detained. If they searched you, then that is a Terry Stop, and you were detained. For it to be lawful, they MUST articulate reasonable suspicion of a specific crime.
    • Just because they said that the complainant said that you put your hand on the gun, doesn't mean it's true. It might just be something the officer made up to trick you.
    • File a FOIA request for all 911 calls, non-emergency calls, any and all electronic transmissions, as well as written or electronic notes, photographs, video and audio. (see above).
    • If there were that many officers bird dogging me, I wouldn't be so talkative, and certainly wouldn't assist them in trying to find something to arrest me for.
      Asking for your permit, and location of the gun (in addition to the frisk), and then the act of coercion, should have gone off inside your brain as big, giant, flashing-with-bells-and-horns red flags. At that point, you can be sure that the only reason they were talking to you was to somehow get you to give them something that would equate to PC for an arrest.
    It's a possibility that the neighbor did say you brandished your firearm, but based on the manner in which the officer conducted himself, it could go either way (do the FOIA to know for sure). Furthermore, even if it is true, it's his word against yours, and there is no corroborating evidence. It doesn't amount to reasonable suspicion unless he is willing to file a formal criminal complaint, and if he does, then you should check with a lawyer about any action you can take against him. If it's just a phone call tip, then it really isn't enough for RS, but then you cooborated it by calling and saying, "Hey, it's me!". It's Highly possible that your rights against unreasonable search and seizure were violated, but that would come out in discovery. One thing is for certain, if that officer did not have reasonable suspicion of you in some criminal activity, then your rights were violated.

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    So that was you I heard on the scanner last night!

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    Ghostrider, the OP called the cops on himself to clear up the issue. He initiated contact to fix things. Most cops respond well to that. They asked for his CPL and where the gun was for their information and to put their minds at ease that he was legit and not hiding a gun to shoot them when they showed up. Not everything requires a confrontational stance toward the cops, once in a while being nice and polite will go much further.

    And please lose the extra-large font.

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    Vandal wrote:
    Ghostrider, the OP called the cops on himself to clear up the issue. He initiated contact to fix things. Most cops respond well to that. They asked for his CPL and where the gun was for their information and to put their minds at ease that he was legit and not hiding a gun to shoot them when they showed up. Not everything requires a confrontational stance toward the cops, once in a while being nice and polite will go much further.

    And please lose the extra-large font.


    I use the large font because it’s easier to see. It’s not unheard of, so stop being so nitpicky. Jeeeesh!

    Please point out in my post where I suggest a “confrontational stance”.

    I do point out a confrontational stance on the officer’s part, but only suggest a guarded stance on the part of the OP to protect himself. I would question any mindset that suggests that, “not surrendering your rights, and not assisting in a investigation which could incriminate you” is confrontational, so if you think that is confrontational, we’ll have to agree to disagree. It was the officers who were being confrontational, but of course, that’s their job. “Confrontational”, is making unnecessary suggestions about the officer’s mother, or approaching them out of the blue and trying to pick an argument. “Not consenting”, is NOT confrontational, and suggesting that it is, would be duplicitous.


    Vandal wrote:
    He initiated contact to fix things....


    Yes, and in return, they responded in a confrontational manner, by asking for a CPL which is irrelevant to what happened, and by asking where the gun was (none of their business). Both were of no use to the officers, unless designed to collect info, or get him talking for PC/RS. It has nothing to do with “put(ting) their minds at ease”. When someone comes to your door and asks where you keep your gun, that is an intrusive question, and therefore IT is “confrontational”.



    Vandal wrote:

    .... Most cops respond well to that....


    To bad these cops didn’t (as evidenced by their coercion and intimidation). I guess they aren’t “most cops”.


    Vandal wrote:

    They asked for his CPL and where the gun was for their information and to put their minds at ease that he was legit and not hiding a gun to shoot them when they showed up.

    Wrong.

    Submitting his CPL, and telling them where the gun was does neither of those things (and in the interest of their safety, it certainly shouldn’t). Therefore, that is not why they asked those questions.




    Vandal wrote:

    Not everything requires a confrontational stance toward the cops,...


    If you’re going to accuse me of being confrontational, then you need to be a little more specific, especially since I suggested no such thing. However, the nature of your statement is accusatory, which in turn, is “confrontational”.



    Vandal wrote:

    …once in a while being nice and polite will go much further.




    So now, standing up for one's rights in the face of coercion is "(not) nice", and "(im)polite". Oooookaaaaay.


    Being “nice and polite”, is not the same as submitting. The officers were trying to intimidate him, as evidenced by the following statement.


    xiphoris wrote:

    So they wanted to come educate me and let me know that this kind of situation could happen again, and that I should carry my weapon concealed. They pointed out that if another person or group of people thought I was threatening, that they would (“have to”) charge me with a misdemeanor.


    That is coercion and intimidation, and while being, "confrontational" is not something I would ever recommend to someone dealing with a LEO, protecting oneself is most certainly advisable in such circumstances when done in a non-confrontational manner.

    Being helpful to "clear things up" can be good, but one must also know when the officers aren't interested in your "rights", and coercion is usually a good sign of that.
























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    NavyLT wrote:
    I don't understand what the fascination is the cops havewith a CPL anytime an openly carried gun is involved. I guess to them it is a free and easy "background check", but a violation of our 4th amendment rights in the process. And then, in my case, the threat to take away the CPL for openly carrying - how oxymoronic is that!
    Most cops do not understand that a CPL is only required if you are concealing. Lack of training and comprehension of the RCW's is the real issue if you ask me.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

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    xiphoris wrote:
    (as friendly as any conversation can be where the other begins by frisking you).
    You let the cops frisk you?

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    double tap.. oops..

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    You guys know the anti-gunner liberals hate us right? They have an irrational fear of firearms in the hands of law abiding citizens. But the most important thing to remember is that they hate us. Not just fear, but hate. You can hear it in the tone of their voice when they talk to you, not ask you questions, but presume to lecture you on the supposed law.

    People like my mother will never be convinced that guns serve any purpose.... and she loves venison.... but that's where she thinks private ownership should end... the standard hunting rifle... and that's it. That's probably where most Liberals stand. But some, like the guy in the story, actually hate us.
    Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company. ~ George Washington

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    ghostrider,

    I use the large font because its easier to see.
    That's actually not the effect it has here. By setting a larger font in the actual text of your reply, what really results is your comments appear in a much bigger font than everyone else's. For those of us who have the font size already set to a good size, this does indeed make yours too large to read comfortably.

    If the default size here is to small for you, then you should change your browser settings to use a larger font and leave your comments here at the default size.



  25. #25
    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    If the default size here is to small for you, then you should change your browser settings to use a larger font and leave your comments here at the default size.
    If you have a mouse with a scroll wheel do the following: hold down the CTRL Key and roll the wheel. The font will get bigger or smaller depending on the direction.



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