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Thread: First Police Contact

  1. #1
    Regular Member Jonathon Norris's Avatar
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    I'm at Starbucks on Hwy 280 and just had my first police contact with Hoover Police Dept.

    Sitting inside typing on my computer and a Hoover PD walks in, looks my way, and heads over to the counter. Then he comes over and taps me on the shoulder, and asks if he can speak with me for a minute.

    I follow himoutside and he asks if I have a concealed weapons permit, to which I reply that I do, but I'm not showing it to him. He then says he's going to have to secure my weapon, which I turn and allow him to do. He lays it in his SUV and explains that someone called in about me, and I told him I knew it would be a matter of time before someone did so.

    He calls in to his Sergeant, who tells him I am ok to do this, and he returns my weapon. He asks if he can get my info, and since this is my first contact with HPD, the notorious department, and I want to make a good impression,I allow him to write down the info off my DL. I know, I know, but I didn't allow him to check my permit! That's something, right?

    I told him about this site and what we are doing, and he's actually all for it. I asked if he would mind if I gave his name on here and he asked that I not. So while that may not be a super positive encounter in any gold star state, I am really pretty impressed with the professionalism of this particular officer.

    He handed my weapon back, and I re-holstered. (Once again, I know, I know.) I came back inside to my computer where I still sit. The manager apologized for my inconvienience,and I told him thishappens all the time. Haha. Was my first.

    Hat's off to the HPD.

    First police contact, for me, while not perfectly handled, was a non-issue thanks to all those who went before me and told me what to say and what to do.

    Hat's off to you guys.

    P.S. The person who called me in is probably still sitting in here, maybe even right next to me. Walking back in and sitting down armed made me feel really good for some reason.Aww, my first time.

    See ya'll Thursday at the PawPaw Patch.

    SONS OF LIBERTY.
    A wayfarer should not walk unarmed,
    But have his weapons to hand:
    He knows not when he may need a spear,
    Or what menace meet on the road.

    - Odin
    The Havamal

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    Regular Member AL Ranger's Avatar
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    Way to go, Jon! Nice for a "first" run in. I'm glad your experience has been better than some. I know the guy who called you in must have wondered "WTH?". I'm glad management took it well and now they know its legal, they may be able to handle things easier the next time around.

    My "MWAG" experience in Fredericksburg, VA was pretty much the same thing. The cop was very nice, very professional and just had to check things out. The restaurant manager was a little taken aback because he would have to write up the whole incident if things went hit the fan. Luckily, for all of us, the only one who got upset was the little lady who saw me and called me into the local police.


    Check out my home page @ www.alabamaopencarry.com and Carry On!

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    Epic WHEW!!! Now watch Mountain Brook prone me out when I get some groceries....
    It takes a village to raise an idiot.

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    Glad it went well, but I would not have let him interrupt you or at least with stepping outside. Remember inside is considered private property, he has no power other than citation in the case the manager told you to leave and you refuse. Outside is public property and anything goes....

    Plus I don't think it was that big of a win for education of others considering you went outside. For all the others know you could still be an off duty officer. Not to mention they now know they can expect to be hassled if they decide to carry. Which will turn most away. Not trying to criticize you... just some of my "opinionated advice".

    All in all though, good job!!!Also glad you did not get tased, or worse decide your not going to carry any more.

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    steveman01 wrote:
    Plus I don't think it was that big of a win for education of others considering you went outside. For all the others know you could still be an off duty officer. Not to mention they now know they can expect to be hassled if they decide to carry. Which will turn most away. Not trying to criticize you... just some of my "opinionated advice".
    From the description of the interaction, it seems pretty clearly a MWAG call. Otherwise, there'd have been no reason to secure the weapon, unless the officer believed there was a crime in progress. Sounds like a textbook detaining to me, though I don't agree with the process. At least there wasn't any running of serial numbers -- that's what tells me that it likely was a MWAG call.
    It takes a village to raise an idiot.

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    Kirbinator wrote:
    steveman01 wrote:
    Plus I don't think it was that big of a win for education of others considering you went outside. For all the others know you could still be an off duty officer. Not to mention they now know they can expect to be hassled if they decide to carry. Which will turn most away. Not trying to criticize you... just some of my "opinionated advice".
    From the description of the interaction, it seems pretty clearly a MWAG call. Otherwise, there'd have been no reason to secure the weapon, unless the officer believed there was a crime in progress. Sounds like a textbook detaining to me, though I don't agree with the process. At least there wasn't any running of serial numbers -- that's what tells me that it likely was a MWAG call.
    He made it sound like it was, which it probly was... he didn't say the leo just came in for coffee and stumbled on him. So I assume so as well, but why did you quote me?

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    ste
    He made it sound like it was, which it probly was... he didn't say the leo just came in for coffee and stumbled on him. So I assume so as well, but why did you quote me?
    Because otherwise I lose all sense of what was said.
    It takes a village to raise an idiot.

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    Kirbinator wrote:
    Because otherwise I lose all sense of what was said.
    Uuuuuhhhh...... ok Just thought you were trying to tell me somethin, I was kind of lost there for a minute trying to figure out what you were implying. Maybe try deleting the quote just before clicking the post button.Sometimes I have to do the same.

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    I'm not saying we should turn everything into a federal case, but the police do not (and should not) need to talk to the MWAG. Once they go by and see that nothing is up, they should leave. The LEO had no RAS to stop, so he had no need to secure the gun.

    However, there is nothing wrong with making the life of your local LEO a little easier. Although, I think we should routinely remind him that he is stepping over the line and that we are choosing to forgive that transgression.

    Remember, we want OC to be routine. It's not routine if we get stopped every time a little old lady says, "My word! A gun!!"


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    I understand that people tend to cooperate with leo's and don't wish to be rude, but seriously, why won't folks "just say no"? I find interrupting my meal, work, or whatever and making a scene to be extremely rude and embarrassing. I think we need to start our own "just say no" campaign, to put an end to this. There is nothing rude about politely refusing unlawful, illegal, and rude acts. (especially on private property)

    JUST SAY NO!!!

  11. #11
    Regular Member RussP's Avatar
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    eye95 wrote:
    I'm not saying we should turn everything into a federal case, but the police do not (and should not) need to talk to the MWAG. Once they go by and see that nothing is up, they should leave. The LEO had no RAS to stop, so he had no need to secure the gun. That might depend on what the person calling in to the police said and how that was delivered to the responding officer as to whether the officer should leave without talking to the MWAG.

    However, there is nothing wrong with making the life of your local LEO a little easier. Although, I think we should routinely remind him that he is stepping over the line and that we are choosing to forgive that transgression. Knowing the details behind the call again might aid in deciding just what kind of reminder you want to give the local LEO>

    Remember, we want OC to be routine. It's not routine if we get stopped every time a little old lady says, "My word! A gun!!"


    Freedom has a taste to those who fight and almost die, that the protected will never know.

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    I have a hard time fathoming what the caller could say that would justify the LEO doing a stop on a guy sitting down, surfing the 'Net.

    You know the call was, "There's a guy with a gun on his hip! He can't do that!!!" The 911 dispatcher should've said, "Yeah, so?"

    Yeah, the caller could've lied: "He's shooting the place up! Oh, the humanity!!!" Of course, the cop arrives, and nothing is going on. There is still no justification for a stop.

    Ask the LEO, "Why are you here?"

    "I got a man with a gun call."

    "I'm a man. There's my gun. Have a nice day."

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    Regular Member jaiotu's Avatar
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    Handled yourself just fine. It's easy to armchair quarterback your interaction with the LEO and tell you all the things you "could have" or "should have" done, but any unwelcome interaction with a LEO is going to be tense. Unless you are extremely well prepared and rehearsed for the interaction, you're just going to do what comes naturally.

    Having said that, here's an overview of some things that could have been done differently:

    When the LEO asked to speak to you outside, you COULD have responded by asking him if you are being detained. He can't detain you without probable cause.

    When the LEO said he needed to secure your weapon, you COULD have said, "I won't prevent you from taking it, but I don't consent to the seizure in accordance with my rights under the 4th amendment."

    REMEMBER: If you are obeying the law regarding open carry, then seizure of your weapon is considered "unreasonable."

    By voluntarily complying with the officer's requests, you are, in essence, waving certain of your rights.

    Some good videos which are (indirectly) relevant:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqMjMPlXzdA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmrbNLt7Om8

    I would have probably voluntarily complied myself. Non compliance might involve some face time with the pavement... but could also result in a nice little lawsuit.
    "The sole object and only legitimate end of government is to protect the citizen in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property, and when the government assumes other functions, it is usurpation and oppression."
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    Regular Member Jonathon Norris's Avatar
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    Your first OC cop "detainment" is a little nerve-wracking. I just simply forgot all about my"Am I free to go?" "Under suspicion of what crime am I being detained?" training.

    This was just a step inthe learning process..
    A wayfarer should not walk unarmed,
    But have his weapons to hand:
    He knows not when he may need a spear,
    Or what menace meet on the road.

    - Odin
    The Havamal

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    Regular Member paul@paul-fisher.com's Avatar
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    I believe you can refuse him taking your firearm 'for his safety' unless he has RAS, which you can ascertain by asking 'am I free to go'. If he says no, he believes he has RAS. Even so, he cannot ask you to step outside.

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    paul@paul-fisher.com wrote:
    Even so, he cannot ask you to step outside.
    Wrong.

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    terminal.logic wrote:
    paul@paul-fisher.com wrote:
    Even so, he cannot ask you to step outside.
    Wrong.
    Technically. The officer can ask or say virtually anything. If you say no, I hope he is very familiar with Terry, McColley, and other rulings that address the rights of LACs and the restrictions on LEOs during lawful and unlawful stops.

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    St. John v. McColley is not applicable case law in Alabama, although its reasoning is sound.

    It is not unreasonable to demand a lawfully detained subject to step out of the store.

  19. #19
    Regular Member jaiotu's Avatar
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    Exactly. The LEO can ask you to do anything... Stand on your head, recite the Gettysburg Address... But that doesn't mean you are legally obligated to comply. That's why it is essential to know your rights and remind the LEO of what they are. The best thing to do is to tell the officer what your rights are, and that you will comply with his illegal request, but you are doing so under protest.

    If he wants to " pat you down," tell him you do not consent to searches, but that you will not physically resist an illegal search. Sure, you won't be making a friend, but your best legal protection is to assert your rights, otherwise you are seen by the law as having waived them.

    And if they ever say, "mind if I look in your car?" remember: Yes! You do mind very much.
    "The sole object and only legitimate end of government is to protect the citizen in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property, and when the government assumes other functions, it is usurpation and oppression."
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    Regular Member jaiotu's Avatar
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    terminal.logic wrote:
    St. John v. McColley is not applicable case law in Alabama, although its reasoning is sound.

    It is not unreasonable to demand a lawfully detained subject to step out of the store.
    The only way you can be "lawfully detained" is if the officer has probable cause. Merely wearing a holstered sidearm is not probable cause.
    "The sole object and only legitimate end of government is to protect the citizen in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property, and when the government assumes other functions, it is usurpation and oppression."
    - Alabama Constitution

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    Reasonable suspicion, not probable cause, is the basis of a temporary detainment.

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    jaiotu wrote:
    Merely wearing a holstered sidearm is not probable cause.
    Agreed.

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    terminal.logic wrote:
    St. John v. McColley is not applicable case law in Alabama, although its reasoning is sound.

    It is not unreasonable to demand a lawfully detained subject to step out of the store.
    It is not controlling. Lawyers have posted here saying that it is persuasive and may be cited. Applicability is not applicable. :P

    It is unreasonable to demand that an unlawfully detained subject do anything. Since Jonathon was not breaking any laws, the officer had no RAS for the stop. Therefore, if he detained Jonathon, that detention was unlawful. And, furthermore, if he were to try to enforce his request for Jonathon to step outside, that would have been unlawful.

    LEOs may not stop LACs willy-nilly and demand that they do anything--at least not with an expectation mandatory compliance.

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    jaiotu wrote:
    And if they ever say, "mind if I look in your car?" remember: Yes! You do mind very much.
    "Do you mind if..." is one of those ambiguous questions. If someone says yes, do they mean, "Yes, you may look," or, "Yes, I mind."

    I would say, "Do not look in my car."

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    Similar to the McColley case, if the officer received a report of "man with a holstered sidearm sipping coffee" and he responded and observed same, no R.S. would exist.

    However some people are much more creative as they describe things to the police.

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