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Thread: Harassment for OC in Dothan Area

  1. #1
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    Well today was a really bad day for open carry and myself.

    I was pulled over buy a HCSO Sgt, which I know, bc I have been having problems getting a tag for my car. All was fine until a local cop, whom I have known for even longer, pulled up and after a few minutes asked me if I would step out of the car. I unholstered my Glock, he didnt even see me do it, and placed it in my seat before I went to talk to them. I still had my holster on my side and the local cop jumped my s#$t and asked me why I was "carrying my gun on my hip like I was Wyatt Earp?" I told him in a calm voice "the Alabama constitution afforded me the right to do so." He became extremely irritated and upset and proceeded to tell me that "I was wrong" and" that really pissed him off how I had just smarted off to him!"
    I said, "I'm sorry but I didn't mean to sound like I was smarting off to you just responding to your question." Well that wasn't enough, after a short dialect about how I had checked every resource I could find on the issue and they all came back to verify what I was doing was legal, he told me that "if I ever smarted off to him again like that, that he would take off his badge a gun and put it in his truck and whoop my ass right here and put my face in the asphalt!!!” That "I had no right to be open carrying and that if he saw me in town like that he would draw down on me bc he was making sure he was going home!!" "you don’t see me or the Sgt with our gun on our hips when we are off duty do you.... DO YOU!?!?" "You are putting yourself in a bad situation by doing so" He actually told me twice that he would "kick my a#s" and kept degrading me and telling me that in all the years he has known me he has given me too many warnings and he was done with it!!"

    He also told me that I shouldn't be open carrying bc "i'm just a firefighter and not a cop and that if somebody put a gun in my face right now I would freeze and not know what to do!"

    Also something to the affect of "If I didn't know you I would begin to put your face on the asphalt because your not gona jump out of no car with that right there." I only had my holster and no gun at all.

    I am going to leave it at that and not add what I was thinking as replies or what I now think of him bc I'm sure that everyone will probably feel the same. Oh yeah and rule 6... no LEO bashing....... WHATEVER!!!!! I am sick of following the rules of the "system" and then getting harassed while thugs ride around our neighborhood dealing drugs and speeding down the streets our kids live on while they try to in-force there opinion's and not the LAW!

    Please remember I am a firefighter with no arrest records and have always been friends with the cops and never, unlike he quotes in the linked audio, gotten into any trouble with them. He must have been thinking of my younger brother.

    Audio to the conversation about half way through when my girlfriend started to record: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xd6vic68-uY

    Thanks for your support,
    James


    P.S. If I have mis-quoted or gone off the deep end with any of my grammar I am just a little upset right now.

  2. #2
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    Man I am literally shaking I'm so mad after reading that. Thank God he didn't see you unholster your weapon, the mentality he had at the time, he very well may have shot you. In the future I'd leave the gun holstered so noone can claim they thought you were pulling a weapon on them.

    If Houston Co. initiated the stop why was a local pd even involved? Do you have any plans on reporting his threats? Since you are a fireman, and probably know his superiors, a complaint by you would probably hold more water than the "average citizen." If he treated you like that, being a fireman and someone he knew, I don't wanna know what he'd have done to me. Jesus.

    Cops with this kinda "face in the asphalt!" mentality are exactly the ones who scare me and make the actual good ones look bad.

    Man sorry you went through that but hang tough Bro, I see some changes coming believe it or not.

  3. #3
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    He was there bc I have had a few problems with my tag in the past and like I said we know each other. We live in a two horse, literally... there are 2 cops, town and my cousin is even the Mayor. Anyways I'm not sure just what I will do yet bc he has really always been a great officer and served us well but I guess he was just having a bad day. Who knows, I will have to sleep on it so i can cool down I guess.


    Thanks,
    James

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    Can you make a transcript of the recording? I am hard of hearing and am getting almost nothing.

    Are you planning on bringing the LEO up on charges. He threatened you and had the present ability to do you bodily harm--and was unjustified in doing so. IANAL, but that sounds like assault and, if it is, that's a crime. I'd call a lawyer.

    BTW, what you did was not, IMO, LEO-bashing. You simply related the facts of the situation. If you had generalized the behavior of this one cop to all of them, that would be bashing.

    You are the one who puts himself at risk if you go any further with this, so it's your call. But, you should give some thought into filing a formal complaint against the cop.

    He is just so dangerously wrong.

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    ...bc he was making sure he was going home!!"


    Another cop too scared of being a cop. He needs to find himself a secretarial job somewhere.

  6. #6
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    One can only hope his house catches fire while he is deep frying a turkey so you
    can return the favor and tell him he isn't a fireman you have a mind to take your
    truck home and let him put it out himself. He is not qualified to start fires.

    Sadly you should have kept the recording secret till after you had written statements
    about the event. Then if it was just a bad day thing, it would be reflected in the reports.
    If not, then they can further explain why the audio isn't anything like the
    paperwork on the event.

    I do hope your girlfriend had a carry permit, by leaving the gun in car with her also,
    you could get her jacked up bad in this state.

    +1 for keeping your cool.
    -1 handling gun in that situation. Leave it in the holster, or remove the entire holster.
    +10 for being related to the mayor, that should help


  7. #7
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    If there's anything I hate, it's the abuse of power and authority. If you want to file a lawsuit, I would pull all of this off the website & Youtube for now and contact a lawyer. You may have a case for misconduct since the officer threatened you with violence when you were not violating the law. When you're sitting in your vehicle wearing your handgun in AL it's NOT (technically) open carry. You must have a license and , presumably, you did. In addition to a lawsuit, you could make a complaint with the officer's internal affairs department, if there is one in the small-town department you describe. Alternatives would be to file a complaint with the Alabama Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission ( http://www.apostc.state.al.us/ ) or file a "Color of Law" complaint with your nearest FBI office ( http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cid/civilrights/color.htm ).

    Now let me play armchair quarterback for a minute and make a few 20/20 hindsight statements.

    1) It was not a good idea to reach for the weapon just before exiting the car. Had an officer seen you do that you could easily have been shot and they would have been justified. IMO, the best thing to have done would have been to place both hands high on the steering wheel and to calmly have informed the officer that you would be happy to step out of the car, but that you were licensed to carry a concealed handgun and that you had a handgun in a holster on your belt. Then, let the officer decide how to proceed from there. He would still have been mad, but at least he would not have reason to shoot you.

    2) ALWAYS carry your voice recorder on your person and ALWAYS have it recording. There is no other way to insure you can safely capture an entire event like this. Never count on being able to quickly scoop up your recorder or quickly reach down and turn it on. Your first indication of a problem may be an officer yelling, "Freeze, Police!" If you move then, they may think you're going for a weapon and that would make for a very bad day.

    Best regards!

  8. #8
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    He is not qualified to start fires.
    LMAO that is funny

    I do hope your girlfriend had a carry permit, by leaving the gun in car with her also,
    you could get her jacked up bad in this state.
    Actually she did have her permit along with her Glock 27 on hip.

  9. #9
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    If you want to file a lawsuit, I would pull all of this off the website & Youtube for now and contact a lawyer. You may have a case for misconduct since the officer threatened you with violence when you were not violating the law.
    Not really looking to file a lawsuit but it would be nice for a written apology and mandatory enrollment in some Law courses so that he might better know the laws. He says he has about 25+ years experience but I know fire fighters of similar experience that couldn't explain what the fire tetrahedron. Just bc someone has been doing something for 25 years doesn't mean they have been doing it right.

    Trust me that if I didn't know him I would be on the phone with my lawyer right now.

  10. #10
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    Anthony_I_Am wrote:
    ...bc he was making sure he was going home!!"
    *

    Another cop too scared of being a cop.* He needs to find himself a secretarial job somewhere.
    Hey guys, I know I'm not from Alabama, but I'm gonna give my view on this whole thing. That "Officer", is a poor excuse for an LEO. I'm not bashing LEO's, I am one, I'm bashing the guy himself for being a jerk.

  11. #11
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    Go down to the police department.

    Walk in and address the front desk clerk. MAKE SURE YOU ARE RECORDING THIS.

    Ask to file a formal complaint.

    MAKE SURE YOU ARE RECORDING THIS.

    Fill out paperwork, talk to his chief, or internal investigations.

    MAKE SURE YOU ARE RECORDING THIS.

    If you are put off, redirected, or flim-flammed in any way

    Send the footage you have MADE SURE THAT YOU RECORDED to the FBI.

    At the end of it, at minimum, you have made sure that your concerns have been addressed. This needs to be on paper. Many scream and yell "LAWSUIT! LAWSUIT!" This is fine. This may be what you would like to pursue. But not neccessarily.

    At minimum you should at least have an apology,and something needs to be put into writing. If nothing is done, there is no reason this officer should not act similarly in the future. If nothing is written for posterity, it is a passive agreement that this behavior is acceptable from a public servant and IT WILL happen again.

    The police will do any number of things to prevent you from putting anything in writing. They may even offer to haveOfficer Jerk apologize and shine your shoes for you. (But no paperwork). This is "flim-flammery". They are trying to buy you off. It may appease your ego, but as long as nothing is in writing, there is no documentation on this jerk's record.

    The next time he may actually kick someone's ass, and look..... No record of him intimidating anyone. Make sure he has a record. Minimum. Don't settle for less.

    It is up to you, but just saying, "WHEW." and moving on will never change these things from happening.

    Any paperwork you fill out and submit... GET A COPY right then. Then have them mail you an additional copy! This prevents them from "round filing" it just as soon as the door closes behind you.

  12. #12
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    Guys, there is no issue here, as he points out they "know each other."

    This is a typical back and forth between people in Public Service, and "brothers"

    There is obviously something else going on here, in which this FF got warnings instead of tickets because he has a firebadge.

  13. #13
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    Wow.

  14. #14
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    Crazy, but far from neutral. Due to the distance and understanding between the Deputy, Town Cop, and the complainant, it is difficult to assume a position of neutrality. Obviously the person driving the car did something that warranted a traffic stop. Granted, that can be a highly contrived reason (such as driving a car far too crappy around bar-closing o'clock with an expired tag). Nonetheless, it would have been a good idea to inform the officers the person was armed. Apparently they have a typical behavior of pulling over persons with tag issues on a frequent enough basis that they become aware of who the person is. This may constitute harassment. You cannot be charged twice for the same crime. Hence, parking in one space for a week without moving the car can only earn you a single citation (and likely a boot).

    For one reason or another, the officers disregarded procedure and didn't do a "Terry-stop". This, I would assume, is because the officers know you. However, they do make an excellent point on what kind of trouble you can expect while wearing a gun openly. When you open-carry, you lose the element of surprise. This means that you have to remain on high-alert at all times, to be aware of people who may decide to attack you for one reason or another. Some people make up for a lack of intelligence with a lack of self-control. Police officers learn to deal with this, and to be aware of individuals who may attempt to disarm them. I would say that your run-in with the police is unusual, because they recognized you so readily. Unfortunately, they haven't reached a point mentally where they trust people carrying around guns. They only trust other cops. This is obvious in the manner and wording of the recording.
    It takes a village to raise an idiot.

  15. #15
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    Something else to keep in mind... if you're carrying... where's your backup weapon?

    OTOH, forget about it. Just take the gun off and leave it at home. Yes, I saw the videos of the 350z, and I can tell you something about driving cars -- when you bounce off the top of the gear in first and second, you're not very far into third gear before you're over the speed limit in ANY part or ALL of this state. If you're gonna carry, don't speed, don't fail to yield, don't do anything that's going to be considered a reason to get stopped.

    Take this as wisdom. It doesn't take too many misdemeanor-level traffic stops to get your attention. Carrying a firearm will make that a felony stop, and you WILL be charged with Reckless Driving, and arrested on the spot, rather than getting a speeding ticket for 30 over. That is, if you don't get shot first.
    It takes a village to raise an idiot.

  16. #16
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    Do you have a permit to carry a pistol concealed in the State of Alabama?
    It takes a village to raise an idiot.

  17. #17
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    Do you have a permit to carry a pistol concealed in the State of Alabama?
    For about 5 years now

  18. #18
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    Well, you weren't technically doing anything illegal, and had the cops followed procedure, they should have asked you if you were armed when they ran your plate.
    It takes a village to raise an idiot.

  19. #19
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    The biggest problem is that they both know me very well, about 26 years and I guess it just caught them off guard and somehow pissed them off. Remember I was just wearing my holster, no gun in it.

  20. #20
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    Bamafirefighter22 wrote:
    The biggest problem is that they both know me very well, about 26 years and I guess it just caught them off guard and somehow pissed them off. Remember I was just wearing my holster, no gun in it.
    Then it would seem your sense of friendship is deeper than his, after all, as you stated, he said he was gonna kick your a$$ more than once! With friends like that who needs enemies. I don't threaten my friends I've know for 1 year let alone 26, and treat them like they are a scumbag gangbanger in front of someone else to boot.

    I disagree that the biggest problem is that they know you. The larger problem is this guys mentality even against someone he's known for 26 years. What if he has another "bad day" and snaps? At the very least he needs to know his behavior is unacceptable. He swore an oath to SERVE and protect and to uphold the Constitution.

    Maybe you should tell him about: http://oathkeepers.org/oath/

    And the 10 orders they will not obey:

    1. We will NOT obey orders to disarm the American people.
    2. We will NOT obey orders to conduct warrantless searches of the American people
    3. We will NOT obey orders to detain American citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants” or to subject them to military tribunal.
    4. We will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a “state of emergency” on a state.
    5. We will NOT obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty.
    6. We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.
    7. We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.
    8. We will NOT obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to “keep the peace” or to “maintain control."
    9. We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies.
    10.We will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.


  21. #21
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    My 2 cents, take it for what it is worth...Seems to me that both parties are in the wrong. You stated something to the effect that you were having problems with getting a tag for your car and one of the officers was aware of it. Sounds like the problem was not fixed so you got stopped again and they were tired of telling you over and over again to get the vehicle off the street...or... being a small town and your cousinhappens to bethe mayor, there could have been something he did to set them off. You all knowhow small townAmerica can be. Hollywood has made movies about it. LOL.But that is justmy assumption.

    Now for the cops, the nicest thing I can say is, what a bunch of BUMS.

    I would most definately contact the department(s) and file a complaint and also talk to a lawyer!

  22. #22
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    I agree on the complaint, or it will just happen again to someone else, maybe worse next time. The chiefs may start educating the officers on the law and their responses.

  23. #23
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    cowboy67 wrote:
    My 2 cents, take it for what it is worth...Seems to me that both parties are in the wrong. You stated something to the effect that you were having problems with getting a tag for your car and one of the officers was aware of it. LOL.But that is justmy assumption.
    Could the tag problem be that the states computer says it is invalid, but you paid
    for it and were issued it so the tag is valid despite the governments claim.
    Lets not assume the woman running for Gov on the libertarian ticket running around
    in a car not authorized to be on the road is at fault here.

    They try and claim they are revoking my tags all the time when I refuse to
    show my papers when not required. I could care less what there computers
    say, I have my receipts and can prove otherwise.

    But you still have 1 cent left......
    +1 for having a girlfriend with her own permit. :celebrate that beats a BUG every time!

  24. #24
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    My 2 cents would be to get a lawyer and pursue this all the way, This could be a way to get OCing out in the open more and start the educating of LEO across the state and to try and stop the harassment of OCing..

  25. #25
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    Saying that both parties are in the wrong is sort of misleading. It's like I flip you the bird and you shoot me. We are both in the wrong, but where should the focus be?

    If the facts are as stated (I can't make heads or tails of the recording. My hearing is really poor.), the the cop is horribly, horribly in the wrong and should be disciplined.

    The person who recommended taking action that ensures a paper trail is spot on. This cop needs to know that, if he ever face-plants someone for OC, he will face charges!

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