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Thread: JournalTimes.com: Open carry supporters say no basis for charges against Racine man

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    http://www.journaltimes.com/news/loc...cc4c002e0.html

    Open carry supporters say no basis for charges against Racine man
    MARCI LAEHR TENUTA mtenuta@journaltimes.com | Posted: Friday, September 11, 2009 7:40 pm |






    Frank Hannan-Rock, Wednesday September 9, 2009 Racine County Jail booking photo - concealed carry case.




    Man's arrest sparks open carry debate


    RACINE - The arrest of a Racine man openly carrying a gun on his front porch has sparked controversy that police believe may have been contrived.

    Frank Hannan-Rock, 52, of 417 Luedtke Ave. was taken into custody Wednesday evening on a charge of obstructing. Racine police claim he wouldn't provide information to them during an active weapons violation investigation.

    Reached by phone after being released from jail early Thursday, Hannan-Rock wouldn't comment. But friends and fellow supporters of open carry are outraged over his arrest.

    Hubert Hoffman of Onalaksa called Hannan-Rock's arrest a persecution.

    Hoffman, who made headlines as the organizer of an open-carry picnic in Onalaska earlier this year, met Hannan-Rock on an online forum at http://opencarry.org. He said he is angry that his friend was detained for eight hours and says he did nothing illegal.

    "I don't understand how Frank ended up in jail," said Hoffman. "I'm angry about it. Police cha
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    RACINE - Formal charges against a Racine man arrested while openly carrying a gun on his front porch are still pending, but open carry supporters say there is no basis for them.

    Frank Hannan-Rock, 52, of 417 Luedtke Ave. was arrested Wednesday night for obstructing after he allegedly refused to provide Racine police with his name or any other information. Police were investigating a complaint of a weapons violation down the block that involved a gun.

    Whether the Racine County District Attorney's Office will charge Hannan-Rock remains undetermined. District Attorney Mike Nieskes said Friday that they are reviewing police reports.

    "We're still trying to sort this all out," he said. "The investigation in ongoing. I can't comment on what's going to happen."

    Nieskes said his office hopes to make a charging decision in the case by early next week.

    Open carry supporters claim Hannan-Rock was unlawfully detained.

    "You can't arrest someone for not providing their name," said Mike Stollenwerk, the co-founder of the Web site http://www.opencarry.org. "Our Wisconsin members are hot ... over this."

    The online gun rights community has over 22,000 members, including Hannan-Rock. Following the arrest, other members expressed their outrage in online forums and said Hannan-Rock had been "kidnapped" off his own front porch.

    Hannan-Rock was released from the Racine County Jail early Thursday morning. Reached by phone later that day he said he didn't want to comment.

    However, supporters from around the country are contacting The Journal Times and the Racine Police Department. Stollenwerk sent a copy of a July 2004 newsletter from the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association, Inc., in which Milwaukee civil rights defense attorney Kevin P. Reak wrote an article attempting to clarify whether officers could arrest someone for not providing their name. "An arrest without probable cause to believe an offense has been committed clearly violates the Fourth Amendment ... unless there is a constitutionally defendable statute or ordinance that requires that a person identify himself upon request by an officer," he wrote.

    According to the article, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has held that mere refusal to identify oneself following a stop does not constitute obstructing under Wisconsin statute.

    But police, who believe that Hannan-Rock may have set the whole incident up as a way to test officers' reaction to his open carrying, said this arrest has to be looked at in context.

    Police spokesman Sgt. Bernie Kupper said there is a difference between an officer who is not on a call for service walking up to someone on the street and asking their name, and officers investigating a weapons violation complaint wanting to question someone outside in the neighborhood wearing a gun.

    "I'm not sure everyone is looking at the total package," Kupper said.

    Officers didn't know whether Hannan-Rock was legally allowed to have the gun or that he was on his own property, Kupper said, because he wouldn't tell them.

    Police reports said officers were called to a home just down the street from Hannan-Rock's home around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday by an anonymous caller who said someone was shooting at raccoons near where children were playing.

    Investigating officers were given a description of the offender and a possible address for him of 405 Luedtke Ave. When they didn't find the person at that address, they noticed a man matching the suspect description on the porch of 417 Luedtke Ave. He was apparently standing next to Hannan-Rock, who was openly carrying a gun.

    When Hannan-Rock refused to answer police questions, they arrested him for obstructing.

    Police are still looking into whether or not the incident was actually a set-up by Hannan-Rock to test officers' reaction to his open carrying. Reports said they determined the initial complaint about the weapons violation came from his house.

    Police said Hannan-Rock was in possession of a digital voice recorder and a pamphlet on open carry at the time of his arrest.

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    Mike wrote:
    When they didn't find the person at that address, they noticed a man matching the suspect description on the porch of 417 Luedtke Ave. He was apparently standing next to Hannan-Rock, who was openly carrying a gun.
    Just curious, does anyone even know if the Police even questioned the man that was standing next to Hannan-Rock. They admit he fit the description but instead they go for the guy who is legally carrying.

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    Regular Member Prophet's Avatar
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    First that trouble maker Rosa Parks now this...how DARE people challenge the police waving their civil rights around.

    You tell em Racine PD, "Back of the bus"

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    Regular Member opusd2's Avatar
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    This is just so damn laughable. It was just a setup to test the police. Wow. Now the PD are conspiracy theorists? How do you hang a badge on a tin foil hat?
    I aim to misbehave

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    Well, let's see!!!! HMMMM!!! The police test the public all the time. Prostitution stings, drug buy stings, cars with keys in them! If you walk away your OK! If you bite then you are a criminal! I don't honestly believe that this was any kind of set up at all, but maybe there should be a lot more set ups to test our police. They have so much power over our freedom and lives these days maybe we SHOULD know how honest and well trained they are.

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    Cops have been entrapping regular people for years and the courts have gone along with it.It's about time to do the same to them.

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    xraygil1 wrote:
    ...but maybe there should be a lot more set ups to test our police. They have so much power over our freedom and lives these days maybe we SHOULD know how honest and well trained they are.
    kwikrnu wrote:
    Cops have been entrapping regular people for years and the courts have gone along with it.It's about time to do the same to them.
    Could not agree more. Unfortunately when the police fail to act correctly it has no effect on the offending officers. There is no incentive for them to do the right thing.

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    new article: http://www.journaltimes.com/news/loc...cc4c03286.html: Man: Police did not like him openly carrying



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    Look -- the man was armed, had an attitude, a digital voice recorder, and a pamphlet on open carry. What more proof do you need that the man was a troublemaker? Just like those so-called "Founding Fathers". Sheesh!



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    Yes. And, he was in possession of the recorder and the pamphlet (trouble-making paraphernalia if ever therewas trouble-making paraphernalia). No doubt -one of those subversive shock troopers of domestic terrorism.:X:X

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    Imagine what would have happened if Frank was wearing a turban.
    Then he would have been profiled for looking like Osama Bin laden.

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    Man, I was wondering how long it was going to take before I saw "shock trooper"

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    A law abiding citizen exercising his rights is not a threat. A law abiding citizen who is concerned for his safety, and that of his loved ones is not a threat. An Open Carrier who sits on his own property viewing events that unfold on the street in front of him IS NOT GUILTY OF ANY CRIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    You gotta watch out for the people just sitting on their porch, they're obviously trying to set up the police!!

    Wow what a joke. Accosted on his own property, I do hope he has a favorable resolution.

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    opusd2 wrote:
    This is just so damn laughable. It was just a setup to test the police. Wow. Now the PD are conspiracy theorists? How do you hang a badge on a tin foil hat?


    This quote has the potential to go iconic. Great turn of phrase, Opus!
    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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    Good luck Frank, hope everything works out. What a bunch of BS, arrest you on your own porch utterly rediculous..... Well if they press charges lets make sure we get the date out there too!



    Ben

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    I didn't witness this event, and I don't even live in the same state, but...

    If they can prove that he was testing them, he could be cited for filing a false report. If they can further prove that he was in fact carrying his gun at the time he called, they could theoretically say that he was using a gun during the commission of a crime.

    If he did in fact bait the cops, then he was looking for a fight, and as we all know, the cops are more than willing to oblige.

    Personally, I think it was a stupid stunt (if he was indeed baiting the cops). At first blush, it looks like he was because he had the tape recorder and pamphlet on him at the time.

    Exercising his rights is one thing, but inviting trouble out of thin air is just stupid.

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    jsimmons wrote:
    At first blush, it looks like he was because he had the tape recorder and pamphlet on him at the time.

    Exercising his rights is one thing, but inviting trouble out of thin air is just stupid.
    I disagree with this part of your analysis - you live in Texas where open carry is illegal.

    These folks live in Wisconsin where open carry is 100% legal except some police departments are still behind the power curve and will arrest folks for open carrying on anything they can think of, e.g., "disorderly conduct" (even though the AG opinion said not to), and "obstruction of justice" for refusing to state your name (even though the Wisc. S. Ct. said not to).

    Even I would carry a pocket recorder if I lived or traveled to Wisconsin - and I don't even own a recorder.

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    I wasn't talking about the fact that he was carrying. I was speaking to the possibility that HE (or possibly someone he knows) made the call about someone shooting raccoons, thus drawing the police to the area. Since open carry is legal there, there was probably a low probability that he would have been reported by his neighbors simply because he was open carrying on his own property.

    Like I said, I wasn't there, and I didn't see it, and the last time I was in Wisconsin, disco was still all the rage. On the other hand, the news media is always quick to sensationalize any story where guns are involved, and generally to the detriment of the civilian who was carrying.

    Given that the guy was carrying a tape recorder and the pamphlet, it just smells funny to me, that's all.



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    jsimmons wrote:
    Given that the guy was carrying a tape recorder and the pamphlet, it just smells funny to me, that's all.
    If your profile is correct, you are in Texas, where there is no Open Carry. Encounters with LEOs over the carrying of a handgun are almost non-existent, since as they say, "concealed is concealed".

    If you take some time to read a few of the State forums where OC is legal, you will soon learn that despite the legality, there are LEOs who, either through ignorance, or ideology, do not believe that OC is acceptable, and will stretch or even bend the rules a little (or a lot!) to make life unpleasant for perfectly law-abiding citizens.

    Pamphlets help educate the citizen gawkers. Voice recorders help educate the supervisors of such LEOs, and in rare cases, the lawyers, judges and jurors involved in the occasional lawsuit required to make the most heinous civil violations right.

    In Texas, there is less need for a voice recorder. In other States near the "front" of the OC wave, they are essential. Wisconsin is probably the front line state for OC at this time.

    TFred


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    jsimmons wrote:
    Given that the guy was carrying a tape recorder and the pamphlet, it just smells funny to me, that's all.
    Pretty much EVERYONE that OC's in Wisconsin carrys the pamphlets, applicable laws, and a voice recorder.

    They have to for their protection from people like these particular Racine Police.
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    jsimmons wrote:
    Given that the guy was carrying a tape recorder and the pamphlet, it just smells funny to me, that's all.
    A recorder and pamphlets are standard carry items for many of us OC'ers here in Michigan. Need the recorders because it has been proven in several instances that some LEOs will exaggerate or lie. Need the pamphlets because other people get curious,ask questions, and express interest in learning more.

    If you were an OC'er, you would be aware of these things. The only funny smell is the smell of a non-OC'er telling OC'ers what is usual or unusual about the practice of OC. :?
    "The principle of self-defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi . . ."--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

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    "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." --M. K. Gandhi

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    jsimmons wrote:

    Personally, I think it was a stupid stunt (if he was indeed baiting the cops).* At first blush, it looks like he was because he had the tape recorder and pamphlet on him at the time.
    OK Hypathetically lets just say that he had the pamphlet and recorder to set up the cops, how the hell does that work?

    When I open carry a gun here in Wisconsin, I ALWAYS have pamphlets with me. I use them to educate the sheep. I'll attach it in this post.

    I also know that carrying a voice recorder is done to cover your own behind from a belligerent citizen, store employee or rogue cop.

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    Brass Magnet wrote:
    jsimmons wrote:
    Given that the guy was carrying a tape recorder and the pamphlet, it just smells funny to me, that's all.
    Pretty much EVERYONE that OC's in Wisconsin carrys the pamphlets, applicable laws, and a voice recorder.

    They have to for their protection from people like these particular Racine Police.
    I wasn't aware that all OC'rs did this, and it's not likely that I'll have an opportunity to experience the thrill and excitement that is open carrying unless I move to another state. The funny smell is moderately less pungent.



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