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Thread: Felony stop for OC in Philadelphia

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    I've already posted about this on PAFOA and PaOpenCarry. The main reason I'm cross posting it everywhere is that I'm not sure how many people frequent only one of the forums (versus several of them) and I want to warn other carriers what to expect throughout their journeys (everyday life and in terms of activism). Obviously, this event having taken place in Philadelphia, most of y'all probably shy away from OC there anyway. Nonetheless, for your own edification:

    On Wednesday I was open carrying (on foot) in NE Philadelphia. I was wearing slacks with a tucked in dress shirt and a belt, with a light jacket. The jacket wasn't concealing my SIG P229. I had been out for a few hours already. I heard a shout, nothing articulate- just something to get my attention- like "YO!" or "HEY!"

    I turned, guessing its origin, and was greeted with a PPD officer with his gun trained on me. Not at low ready- pointed at my head. He gave me the standard hands on head, drop to knees, on stomach flat out, etc. I was totally compliant, and was moving deliberately and exactly per his instructions. Even so, once I was on my stomach, fully extended, he chose to add "move for that pistol and you're getting two in the head". He disarmed me (or tried, him not being able to figure out for 10 seconds how to withdraw my sidearm from the Serpa holster) and when he stood me up so that I could be searched, I noticed several other (probably 6+) officers had arrived on scene. They placed me in a squad car while they verified my LTCF and proceeded to "run" my gun (their word).

    I asked at this point (now that a service weapon wasn't pointed at my head) whether I could have his name and/or badge, as well as the name and/or badge numbers of the other responders. He told me to 'chill out' and said it would all be on 'the report'. So, he refused to identify himself. That upset me but from the back of the squad car I couldn't exactly go ask the other officers on scene.

    Once everything came back fine (they gave me back my LTCF and pistol), the first responder opened the door and handed me my pistol (that he'd reloaded) and told me to reholster in the vehicle. Creepily enough, he swept himself with the muzzle while handing it to me. He told me that it would be marked as 'a pat stop', and that I would be fine and I wouldn't be hearing about it again but that "your permit only covers CC, it HAS to be concealed, it cannot show to the common observer". Now that I knew I'd escaped an erroneous arrest I considering explaining his error, but there was a ranking officer (at least a sergeant... he had on a white shirt) who had said the same thing so I knew there would be no convincing him.

    At that point, out of the car (and him telling me to be on my way) I asked for a copy of 'the report' he'd mentioned. He told me to relax, and said it was for his sergeant to see- it wasn't for me. I asked if i could have any record at all of the encounter and he told me there was nothing for him to give me, and that I needed to be on my way.

    Already spoke to several attorneys.

    It's been a rough few days.

  2. #2
    Regular Member jahwarrior72's Avatar
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    from waht i understand, a get together is being planned for that area, by members of various forums. keep us posted.
    Givin' up the tactical advantage since 2008.

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    Jah,

    Yup. PAFOA is having some technical issues but I posted about it there, first (skimping on the details while I looked at lawyering up). A few different people started asking for restaurants and things of that sort in the area, and a possible location nearby for an OC walk.

    I just want to warn everyone here like I did there: every single cop on scene (at least 8, all told, I'm thinking) loudly reiterated that an LTCF is only for concealed carry. They are pretty uniformly incorrect, without exception. Therefore, be prepared to be treated criminally.

    I'm not telling anyone to be afraid or to not show up- it's up to you guys what risks you're willing to take with a poorly informed and overzealous police forced. I just don't want anyone who typically open carries in rural areas to stroll in and just expect dirty looks from cops. It will almost definitely get heavier than that, so if anyone wants to join in on the meet up, be prepared to be treated like a criminal and endure some illegal crap.

    I didn't speak at all about my motives (i wasn't interested in discourse with a weapon pointed at me. I just wanted to comply and not get shot by a twitchy cop), and I'm fairly sure they let me go thinking I was just ignorant and they'd 'educated' me. I honestly would not be surprised if activists are subjected to egregious treatment- up to arrest.

    Just letting everyone know.

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    runningfast wrote:
    I just want to warn everyone here like I did there: every single cop on scene (at least 8, all told, I'm thinking) loudly reiterated that an LTCF is only for concealed carry. They are pretty uniformly incorrect, without exception. Therefore, be prepared to be treated criminally.

    Just letting everyone know.
    That certainly sounds like an invitation for an OC get-together. Can we say "Dickson City II"?

    After last year's MPOETC training, there's no excuse whatsoever for such behavior.

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    Regular Member jahwarrior72's Avatar
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    runningfast wrote:
    Jah,


    I just want to warn everyone here like I did there: every single cop on scene (at least 8, all told, I'm thinking) loudly reiterated that an LTCF is only for concealed carry. They are pretty uniformly incorrect, without exception. Therefore, be prepared to be treated criminally.

    I'm not telling anyone to be afraid or to not show up- it's up to you guys what risks you're willing to take with a poorly informed and overzealous police forced. I just don't want anyone who typically open carries in rural areas to stroll in and just expect dirty looks from cops. It will almost definitely get heavier than that, so if anyone wants to join in on the meet up, be prepared to be treated like a criminal and endure some illegal crap.
    you need to go back and read my posts, here, and on the Poofa and paopencarry. being treated like a criminal is old hat to me.
    Givin' up the tactical advantage since 2008.

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    First of all, great job on handling this so professionally. The three things you need to always keep in mind when put in the back of a cop car are:

    1)Never talk to the police.

    2)Never talk to the police.

    3)Never talk to the police.

    Because...If you are breaking the law they will arrest you. If you are not, they sometimes will, anyway.

    If you are breaking the law, you cannot talk your way out of it. Yet, if you are not, you CAN talk your way into it. Therefore, the benefit of you talking ALWAYS rests with the police.

    Congrats on successfully taking advantage of your right to remain silent.

    This being said, If open carrying WAS in fact against the law, don't you think ol' gun pointer would take advantage of ANY opportunity to toss you behind bars? I'm guesing probably so. Therefore, since you are not currently in jail, it must not be against the law.

    Therefore, if you were not breaking the law....why were you detained?

    If this police report is so "top secret" that the person it was filed against can't even see it.........it must have some critical information in it.

    Like the names of the officers you can sue.

    The number one thing I would highly suggest doing is file a FOIA request.

    They cannot deny this. I'm not a lawyer, so I can't reccommend what you may or may not do, but I am certain that only good things will come from reading the report. After all, it IS your report.

    FOIA requests are simple, easy ways to receive the information the police are using to try and screw you. Since it's your business, why should they deny you the knowledge of it?

    It's up to you whther or not you get anattorney, but I would definately file a FOIA requestfor all paperwork, radio transcripts, and all other correspondence relating to this incident.



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    Jah,

    I've read some of your stuff... it wasn't aimed at you. I thought you were way up near Scranton. Are you considering making it to Philly for this?

    ---

    Super,

    Thanks for the advice.

    I said very little throughout the encounter. Prior to the encounter 'dissipating', and it essentially turning into me requesting my report, I only spoke the following times:

    (1)- shouting out to the officer how to release my weapon from its holster, because I wanted to minimize the amount of time spent with his sidearm out of its holster

    (2)- answering the question "do you have anything else on you?" while he searched me

    and

    (3)- answering multiple cops who asked me whether I possessed an LTCF

    Other than that (and responding to one guy's smalltalk (not about the incident)), I didn't say anything.

    Considering this is my first LEO interaction (ever), I'm pretty happy with how I handled it.

  8. #8
    Regular Member jahwarrior72's Avatar
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    yup, i'm in Scranton, and yup, if i can make it down to Philly, i will.
    Givin' up the tactical advantage since 2008.

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    Regular Member Curmudgeon's Avatar
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    RE: Felony stop by PPD for OC

    I was following this on PAFOA until a couple days ago. I was angry enough with the limited information you were able to pass along up until that point.

    This latest release of detailed information portrays a situation completely unacceptable and far too commonplace.

    I want to echo the thoughts expressed by so many others, that the way you were treated was very wrong, a clear abuse of powers, official oppression, threatened with grievous bodily harm or death; and worthy of your best efforts to vehemently pursue all legal remedies available to you.

    I am also interested in any area get-togethers, say for lunch or dinner.

    I remember how excited you were about applying for and then obtaining your LTCF. I hope in the coming days you are able to regain some of that excitement. Please understand that horrible encounters like yours are really rare, although we feel they should never happen at all.

    Myself having carried openly for the last year and a half have only ever had one police encounter. It was so mellow, I hesitate to call it an encounter at all.

    Anyway... I think it's time that the criminals, psychotics, sociopaths, and uncle-******* are rounded up, processed, and finally put where they truly belong...






    ...on the philly police force. /philly police chief
    While many claim to support the right to keep and bear arms, precious few support the practice.

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    Thanks, Curm.

    I followed PAFOA for over a year before carrying for the first time. I saw lots of horror stories (but even of those, very few involved felony stops). It's just my luck that literally the first time I ever open carry, this happens!

    Funny stuff.

    It didn't sour me on carry at all.

    I am a young guy with a family to think about (and hoping to pursue a new career), and for that reason I am really nervous about anything that might lead to an arrest. Even if it's in error and I'm released, so far I can honestly say "I've never done drugs, I've never been arrested"... it would really suck to ruin that.

    But this is something I believe in, and so within reason I'm going to push as far as I can legally and socially- and in my every day life.

    I will not be open carrying regularly, though, in the city.

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    Where is the civil lawsuit???

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    Regular Member Curmudgeon's Avatar
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    This just happened. The first couple attorneys advised that there was nothing really to pursue. I believe the search for a supportive attorney continues, but I'm not sure.

    Sometimes, these thugs are well acquainted with "the line" between legal and thug behavior, and they walk it with great skill.
    While many claim to support the right to keep and bear arms, precious few support the practice.

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    Regular Member david.ross's Avatar
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    I'd like to know which district this encounter happened.

    What are the officers names, what day and time did this occur?
    Gays are prominent members of firearm rights, we do more via the courts, don't like it? Leave.
    Religious bigots against same sex marriage are not different than white supremacists.
    I expel anti-gay people off my teams. Tolerance is key to team cohesion and team building.

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    This occurred in the fifteenth district, around Frankford and Cottman (closer to Princeton). Very trafficked intersection. It was about 1pm on Wednesday.

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    Regular Member david.ross's Avatar
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    speaking with the cpt. You'll need to file a formal police report if you already haven't.
    Gays are prominent members of firearm rights, we do more via the courts, don't like it? Leave.
    Religious bigots against same sex marriage are not different than white supremacists.
    I expel anti-gay people off my teams. Tolerance is key to team cohesion and team building.

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    I'd like some help with the first step in filing a FOIA request for materials related to the stop, if anyone could offer that.

  17. #17
    Regular Member david.ross's Avatar
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    You'll need to send a request to the FOIA officer or a supervisor.
    Gays are prominent members of firearm rights, we do more via the courts, don't like it? Leave.
    Religious bigots against same sex marriage are not different than white supremacists.
    I expel anti-gay people off my teams. Tolerance is key to team cohesion and team building.

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    I first saw your post on PAFOA.

    After reading the extra details here, I think disgust is the appropriate term for what I'm feeling. Your story reads more like some kind of gang harassment over turf than an encounter with law enforcement.

    I remember being taught as a child that the police were your friends. With friends like these...



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    Thanks Kangaroo.

    After poking around for a minute, it seems Philadelphia has adopted the Right to Know Law. Given that there is no ongoing criminal investigation (nothing was filed), I believe there will be no 'exceptions' disqualifying my request. It seems the PPD's officer for this is:

    Lieutenant Michael Dwyer
    Philadelphia Police Department
    750 Race Street, Room 203 Philadelphia, PA 19106
    215-686-3277 (phone)
    215-686-1183 (fax)
    police.research@phila.gov

    So, I know the following:

    -the location of the incident
    -the date and time of the incident
    -the name of the officer who wrote the incident report (I had to get that from his name tag- I got no other names, and no badge numbers)

    Is there any other relevant information that I might include in a request?

  20. #20
    Regular Member david.ross's Avatar
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    I need to work with Philly PD, the 15th district believes open carry is UNLAWFUL.
    Gays are prominent members of firearm rights, we do more via the courts, don't like it? Leave.
    Religious bigots against same sex marriage are not different than white supremacists.
    I expel anti-gay people off my teams. Tolerance is key to team cohesion and team building.

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    How high ranking was the official to whom you spoke?

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    Regular Member david.ross's Avatar
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    I was speaking with the supervisor on call, he even put me on hold and spoke with the Captain asking if there were any emails in regard to your incident.

    If you're looking for a civil suit lawyer, I recommend Matthew Weisberg. He is Mrs. Hain's estate and my civil suit lawyer. When Mrs. Hain was alive, she recommended him to me.

    http://www.ppwlaw.com/
    Gays are prominent members of firearm rights, we do more via the courts, don't like it? Leave.
    Religious bigots against same sex marriage are not different than white supremacists.
    I expel anti-gay people off my teams. Tolerance is key to team cohesion and team building.

  23. #23
    Regular Member david.ross's Avatar
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    I sampled a couple district supervisors and staff, they all believe open carry is unlawful.

    Apparently the Philly County firearms department is telling all the PDs in Philly open carry is unlawful.
    Gays are prominent members of firearm rights, we do more via the courts, don't like it? Leave.
    Religious bigots against same sex marriage are not different than white supremacists.
    I expel anti-gay people off my teams. Tolerance is key to team cohesion and team building.

  24. #24
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    After two State Supreme Court rulings plus last year's State Police training? Sure sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen.

  25. #25
    Regular Member david.ross's Avatar
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    Statkowski,

    I asked the supervisor at the 15th district if he attended the yearly MPOETC training, he confirmed and insisted opencarry is unlawful.
    Gays are prominent members of firearm rights, we do more via the courts, don't like it? Leave.
    Religious bigots against same sex marriage are not different than white supremacists.
    I expel anti-gay people off my teams. Tolerance is key to team cohesion and team building.

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