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Thread: OC - my first interaction with a police officer

  1. #1
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    I already posted this in the INgunOwners forum and generated some discussion andb thought I should do so here as well.

    OC - my first interaction with a police officer

    This happened just yesterday. I think it went quite well though I could nitpick.

    I was taking my usual route walking to Burger King in Hammond. I was dressed in shorts and a tucked in collared shirt with my Warthog in a Galco M7X Matrix on my right side. Unfortunately I dont have my comptac double mag carrier just yet to go on my left. I've carried openly quite a few times to this Burger King, and to McDonalds, Wendys, Walmart, Walgreens and Meijers in Highland without comment or incident except for one time when a teenage girl overreacted while her friends giggled.

    I was at 171st and Indianpolis and saw the squad car but the officer wasn't in it. Apparently he was in the paint store across the street because after I passed I heard "Hey" a couple times. I turned around and turned off my headset and crossed the street to talk to the officer.

    He was polite but was under the mistaken notion that you can't open carry. I assured him we could and that I had checked the State Police website which had confirmed that and I was aware of someone having that verified by a Highland detective who was trying to make sure other police in the area were informed though I wasnt sure if they had contaced Hammond police. He made a comment that he was in traffic so maybe that was why he hadn't heard about that. He also said he had heard open carry had been discussed by didnt know they had decided it yet.

    He looked at my license and called it in on his cell phone. On the second call he got someone. Some of the comments I overheard were a bit comical, the following are to the best of my recollection. "He's carrying just like us", "shirt and shorts", "A .38? what's that you're carrying?" "wow I really got that wrong *chuckle*."

    Now one could find some of that disconcerting but he was very friendly and had conceded I might be correct. They talked about what the license actually said and as we all know it does not specify the manner of carry. At one point he said "You're lucky I didn't pull a gun on you" I took that as just a joke to keep things light. I told him I appreciated that he was being professional about the matter.

    He took down my information and said they might even call me on my cell phone once they had things figured out. He did ask me to untuck my shirt which is where I could nitpick. I decided not to push the matter as I believed he really wanted to get informed and have other officers know the proper procedure so I untucked and concealed.

    It's been several hours and no phone call yet.

    I'm going to open carry next time I go out and since they've had time to look into it and I know the law is on my side I will say that I don't have to conceal it, thank you officer I hope you have a nice day.

    What really ticks me off is that whoever is running the Hammond Police has known about this for some time as others have had similar interactions. That they still have not made certain their officers are informed is pathetic. The officer on the street has a hard enough job they don't need poor leadership putting them out there with incorrect information.

  2. #2
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    aikidoka wrote:
    I already posted this in the INgunOwners forum and generated some discussion andb thought I should do so here as well.

    OC - my first interaction with a police officer

    This happened just yesterday. I think it went quite well though I could nitpick.

    I was taking my usual route walking to Burger King in Hammond. I was dressed in shorts and a tucked in collared shirt with my Warthog in a Galco M7X Matrix on my right side. Unfortunately I dont have my comptac double mag carrier just yet to go on my left. I've carried openly quite a few times to this Burger King, and to McDonalds, Wendys, Walmart, Walgreens and Meijers in Highland without comment or incident except for one time when a teenage girl overreacted while her friends giggled.

    I was at 171st and Indianpolis and saw the squad car but the officer wasn't in it. Apparently he was in the paint store across the street because after I passed I heard "Hey" a couple times. I turned around and turned off my headset and crossed the street to talk to the officer.

    He was polite but was under the mistaken notion that you can't open carry. I assured him we could and that I had checked the State Police website which had confirmed that and I was aware of someone having that verified by a Highland detective who was trying to make sure other police in the area were informed though I wasnt sure if they had contaced Hammond police. He made a comment that he was in traffic so maybe that was why he hadn't heard about that. He also said he had heard open carry had been discussed by didnt know they had decided it yet.

    He looked at my license and called it in on his cell phone. On the second call he got someone. Some of the comments I overheard were a bit comical, the following are to the best of my recollection. "He's carrying just like us", "shirt and shorts", "A .38? what's that you're carrying?" "wow I really got that wrong *chuckle*."

    Now one could find some of that disconcerting but he was very friendly and had conceded I might be correct. They talked about what the license actually said and as we all know it does not specify the manner of carry. At one point he said "You're lucky I didn't pull a gun on you" I took that as just a joke to keep things light. I told him I appreciated that he was being professional about the matter.

    He took down my information and said they might even call me on my cell phone once they had things figured out. He did ask me to untuck my shirt which is where I could nitpick. I decided not to push the matter as I believed he really wanted to get informed and have other officers know the proper procedure so I untucked and concealed.

    It's been several hours and no phone call yet.

    I'm going to open carry next time I go out and since they've had time to look into it and I know the law is on my side I will say that I don't have to conceal it, thank you officer I hope you have a nice day.

    What really ticks me off is that whoever is running the Hammond Police has known about this for some time as others have had similar interactions. That they still have not made certain their officers are informed is pathetic. The officer on the street has a hard enough job they don't need poor leadership putting them out there with incorrect information.
    I wouldn't be too sure he didn't know. Police don't get in trouble for deception; there is something called permissible deception.

    Was there anything, anything at all that was non-consensual about the encounter? Were any of his "requests" for ID, information, or that you come and talk to him, anything, made in an authoritative tone of voice?

    Your report lacks any solid indication of a detention. If it was a non-consensual encounter,that first red-highlighted statement above is damning. He would have admitted he detained you without reasonable suspicion of a crime. If he did not know it was illegal, he could not possibly know he had authority to detain you.

    Of course, if the entire encounter was consensual, then no violation of your 4th Amendment right against unreasonable seizure. But we are still left with his contradictory statements that on the one hand he told you couldn't do it, but on the other hand he didn't know it had been decided.

    See Terry vs Ohio:

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/htm...2_0001_ZO.html

    And US vs Mendenhall:

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/htm...6_0544_ZO.html
    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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    It was consensual as I did not ask if I was being detained. It really ended up being more or less a calm conversation. I think it went well and he was acting honorably. However, now that I've given them a day and a half to get informed, while I have no problem showing my license, once I get it back I'll ask if I'm being detained and if the answer is no then I'll say have a nice day, leave and not cover up. If that leads to being detained or cuffed then I'll have reason to file a complaint.

    I didnt argue with him about covering up to see if he was going to stand his ground. I felt that since he was conceding I may be correct and trying to get things sorted out I would just let it go at that - this time.

  4. #4
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    aikidoka wrote:
    It was consensual as I did not ask if I was being detained. It really ended up being more or less a calm conversation. I think it went well and he was acting honorably. However, now that I've given them a day and a half to get informed, while I have no problem showing my license, once I get it back I'll ask if I'm being detained and if the answer is no then I'll say have a nice day, leave and not cover up. If that leads to being detained or cuffed then I'll have reason to file a complaint.

    I didnt argue with him about covering up to see if he was going to stand his ground. I felt that since he was conceding I may be correct and trying to get things sorted out I would just let it go at that - this time.
    I understand. Thanks for the reply.

    By the way, just in case, realize that consensual-ness does not hinge on whether you ask if you are being detained. I'm writing this as much for any new readers as for you.

    Here is a quote from Mendenhall (linked above):

    We conclude that a person has been "seized" within the meaning of theFourth Amendmentonly if, in view of all of the circumstances surrounding the incident, a reasonable person would have believed that he was not free to leave. Examples of circumstances that might indicate a seizure, even where the person did not attempt to leave, would be the threatening presence of several officers, the display of a weapon by an officer, some physical touching of the person of the citizen, or the use of language or tone of voice indicating that compliance with the officer's request might be compelled. See Terry v. Ohio, supra at 19, n. 16; Dunaway v.New York, 442 USC 200, 207, and n. 6; 3 W. LaFave, Search and Seizure 53-55 (1978). In the absence of some such evidence, otherwise inoffensive contact between a member of the public and the police cannot, as a matter of law, amount to a seizure of that person. (emphasis added)
    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.

  5. #5
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    Thanks, that info helps a lot. I guess next time will show if the Hammond Police dept cares about it's officers being educated and acting lawfully.

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