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Thread: Cleveland Heights Ohio Police Order Open Carrier to Ground at Gunpoint

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    I was celebrating the 4th of July when i when I was ordered to the ground at gunpoint for Openly Carrying a Firearm in Cleveland Heights. I was let go with no charges filed and my gun was returned at the end of the stop. Cleveland Heights has no respect for the law!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQPoBxqas-M

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    THAT IS BS!!!! I say it is time that you organize a walk in Cleveland Heights, and possibly a lawsuit against them, they broke the law!!!!

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    Accomplished Advocate color of law's Avatar
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    You only have to give your name. Read Hiibel, (USSC No. 03-5554. Argued March 22, 2004--Decided June 21, 2004)

    Under Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), a law enforcement officer has wide leeway during an investigatory stop. But, that wide leeway is not unlimited. A stop under Terry is limited by the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and also limited by Article 1 Section 14 of the Ohio Constitution. ORC §2921.29 is unconstitutional as written. ORC §2921.29(A) states in part “No person who is in a public place shall refuse to disclose the person’s name, address, or date of birth, when requested by a law enforcement officer who reasonably suspects either of the following:...” ORC §2921.29 goes well beyond the holding of Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, Humboldt County, et al, 542 U.S. 177 (2004).

    The U.S. Supreme Court in Hiibel stated that:

    "Beginning with Terry v. Ohio, 392 U. S. 1, the Court has recognized that an officer's reasonable suspicion that a person may be involved in criminal activity permits the officer to stop the person for a brief time and take additional steps to investigate further. Although it is well established that an officer may ask a suspect to identify himself during a Terry stop, see, e.g., United States v. Hensley, 469 U. S. 221, 229, it has been an open question whether the suspect can be arrested and prosecuted for refusal to answer, see Brown, supra, at 53, n. 3. The Court is now of the view that Terry principles permit a State to require a suspect to disclose his name in the course of a Terry stop. Terry, supra, at 34. "

    The Hiibel court made it abundantly clear that, until Hiibel, an open question existed as to whether a suspect can be arrested and prosecuted for the refusal to answer questions, ie a suspect exercising their Fifth Amendment right. Through Hiibel the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the Terry principles permit a State to require a suspect to disclose his name in the course of a Terry stop. The Court did not extend that principle beyond the giving of the suspect's name.

    ORC §2921.29 states “no person...shall refuse to disclose the person’s name, address, or date of birth.” The term “or” in Websters dictionary is a conjunction introducing an alternative. Thus, in plain English ORC §2921.29 allows a person to give one of the three alternatives which the Accused did, ie his name. The arresting officer in charging the Accused treated the term “or” as if it meant “and.” According to ORC §1.02(F) (“And” may be read “or,” and “or” may be read “and” if the sense requires it.) the officer was permitted to make such interpretation. The officer's interpretation, however, is in direct violation of ORC §1.42 which states in part “Words and phrases shall be read in context and construed according to the rules of grammar and common usage.” Accordingly, the application of ORC §2921.29(A) is in direct violation of Hiibel. Clearly, ORC §2921.29(A), when applied with the term “and” instead of “or”, has gone beyond what the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed under the Fourth Amendment and therefore, ORC §2921.29 as charged is unconstitutional.

    I hope this explains it.....

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    "You're being detained for investigation. Shut your mouth". Sounds like they were denying your 1st right too.

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    You did well in some regards and were weak in others, IMHO.

    First, IMHO you talk way too much. Nazi germany, atty general, etc... should probably be left out. I wouldn't have approached the car either. Ohio is a one party state, you sound kinda like you don't know what you are talking about when you say"you are being audio and video recorded.." In a one party state you don't have to tell them anything as far as recording,so don't.


    I wouldn't have given up my ID in that scenario either. You volunteer WAY too much info. Ask questions, don't give information.

    Good job asking why you were being stopped. The cops "for the gun" response is fatal to the stop. You should have asked "an investigation of what or suspicion of what?" but the cops pretty much buried themselves with those statements.

    I do like the "you can't walk down the street with a weapon" and the "you can'topenly carry" and my personal favorite when they say they ordered you to the ground at gunpoint because they don't know who you are. On the copspart, that is egregiously bad. Pretty much begging for a lawsuit.

    You sound like you don't know what you are talking about when you ask "do I have to answer that question" when they asked where you were going, but very nice with the "I'm coming from that way and going this way." I'm sure you know you can remain silent and you don't have to answer any questions so why ask that?

    That said, you need to sue them.

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    codename_47 wrote:
    That said, you need to sue them.
    Yeah. This kind of thing will not stop until someone loses money over it.

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    I know that we don't have to inform the officers that they are being 'voice recorded' but what are the rules for image recording? Do the same rules apply for both?

    by the way.. they need sued in a very bad way.

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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    Are police exempt from brandishing laws in Ohio?

    They are not in Virginia. It cost Norfolk $10K for pointing a gun at Danbus for simply open carrying.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitableand let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come . PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    I know that we don't have to inform the officers that they are being 'voice recorded' but what are the rules for image recording? Do the same rules apply for both?

    Recording is recording. If you don't want to be recorded, don't go in public places. Furthermore, public officials in the conduct of their duty are subject to being videotaped and documented.

    There rules are covered state to state, but I have seen few and fear between. Very little mention of video recording in any state. I have yet to see anything about taking pictures or video being illegal in any state.

    I think danbus' money came from the multiple constitutional violations, false arrest, improper search, etc...not a brandishing law.

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    Wow.. Those cops need an education. I beleive They need to go back to whatever training acedemy they came from and the Field Training Officer should be demoted. Who was the woman officer?



    Anyway, you sound really nervous and I would be too, and I beleive your speanking was a result of that. In the future, ask if you are being detained, reason why, and if you are free to go. Dont give the cops any reason to detain you any longer. I know its a scary situation but hopefully next time if you are detained, things will come out better.

    Good luck

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    I only got as much video as when you got put on the ground, is there more video? I had to imagine what the cops looked like. From the way they spoke I guessed at their ethnicity but apart from that I was "blind". Is there more on the video and my PC isn't decoding it perhaps?

    Sounds like a scary situation as others have said and you were understandably nervous. Hopefully they know better and there won't be another time, but if there is you know to "exercise yo right to remain silent"



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    The Nazi Germany references were accurate, in my opinion.

    But that's not what's important. What is important is that those LEOs committed a crime. Let me repeat: those LEOs committed a crime. They are criminals. They should be prosecuted under the following:

    - ORC 2921.45
    - U.S. CODE TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 13 > § 242
    - U.S. CODE > TITLE 42 > CHAPTER 21 > SUBCHAPTER I > § 1983

    Overall I think you did a pretty good job conducting yourself. I would give you a B+. Here's some constructive criticism:

    1. You carried ID on you. There's no advantage to carrying ID on you when you OC; there are only disadvantages. I practice "sterile carry" when I OC, which means I have no ID on me whatsoever.

    2. You mentioned you had a CHL. You don't need a CHL when you OC, so why even mention it? If they ask if you have a CHL, simply say nothing.

    3. You talked too much. Just as if you're free to go, and/or if you're being detained.

    4. In Ohio, there is no reason to inform someone that you're recording them.


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    Also, get the police report and post it here if you can. I'd like to see it.

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    I suppose sooner or later people are going to have to realize that the police are not doing these things out of ignorance. They don't need to be "educated on the law and your rights". They know very well the law (that's why the female officers story kept changing when he demonstrated that he knew he was legal, then she just used bluff and intimidation. BTW: they commonly use, "we don't know who you are."(that's their problem and the idea that they need to "know who we are" is akin to "your papers please."(some people are to young to understand the significance of those words, but they are a reference to totalitarian regimes such as Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia).

    This is happening so often in states where it should be common knowledge that OC is legal. They don't care that it's legal, they will find a way to harass you for it, and if that doesn't work they will violate your rights. They don't care about any of that because they know that they can do it and get away with it. The sad fact is that there just haven't been enough major, High profile lawsuites for this type of thuggish behavior. Once that starts happening, then this type of harassment will slow down. Right now, they LEO agancy's have pretty much figured that, "even though they are illegaly detaining people, it's obvious that there will be little reprecussions for the harassment."

    My father taught me a lesson when I was younger. When it comes to thugs, they don't understand reason, they only understand might. Right now, those thugs have the might. Until someone comes along and takes it from them it will remain this way.


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    As I said, this kind of thing will not stop until someone loses money over it.

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    Color of Law, I do so enjoy reading your posts:

    The officer's interpretation, however, is in direct violation of ORC §1.42 which states in part “Words and phrases shall be read in context and construed according to the rules of grammar and common usage.”

    Keep up the good work!

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    ghostrider wrote: They don't care that it's legal, they will find a way to harass you for it, and if that doesn't work they will violate your rights. They don't care about any of that because they know that they can do it and get away with it."

    Just which 2A organization is working on preventing this kind of thing? I want to donate some cash to this cause.

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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    Faitmaker wrote:
    As I said, this kind of thing will not stop until someone loses money over it.
    Or somebody is pushed too far and defends oneself against the JBTs.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitableand let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come . PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    JSlack7851 wrote:
    ghostrider wrote: They don't care that it's legal, they will find a way to harass you for it, and if that doesn't work they will violate your rights. They don't care about any of that because they know that they can do it and get away with it."

    Just which 2A organization is working on preventing this kind of thing? I want to donate some cash to this cause.
    I don't know if any are. I have seen grass roots efforts for individual cases, but nothing organized on a national level. I do know that the president of Michigan Open Carry is trying to set something up so that they can pursue some things here in Michigan, but that's all I know of.

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    Interesting. The cop's claim, the second dope, was "she 'don't' (sic) know if you be a felon..." so she 'have' (sic)to check." Some unnamed person complained. Once they see you have a CCW, they 'done know' you not be a felon, so why didn't it end there?

    When you deal with people who can't speak English, why assume they can read it? OC is legal, but the "we gots to check" approach is used over and over again. Too bad there is no video and the end wasn't on the clip. I'm sure they apologized profusely...
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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