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Thread: Disarmed by VA Beach police in front of my own house on 04-26-2011

  1. #1
    Regular Member Hendu024's Avatar
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    Disarmed by VA Beach police in front of my own house on 04-26-2011

    I was disarmed by the Va Beach 4th precinct yesterday in front of my own house. I will post details after I get my own report written and FOIA the event.

  2. #2
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Looking forward to it Hendu.
    Do me a favor please. Include the time, date and officers involved.

    I usually FOIA these myself and it's a bear without some detail.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hendu024 View Post
    I was disarmed by the Va Beach 4th precinct yesterday in front of my own house. I will post details after I get my own report written and FOIA the event.
    While I (we?) are all eager for the details.. I would suggest you speak to an attorney before you post any details... and then only post what they authorize. I would call Mark Mathews or Dan Hawes.
    Ed
    Carry On.

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    Regular Member Hendu024's Avatar
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    Can you guys help me find the link for the FOIA form? I'm looking right now, and the search function sucks. I was thinking about going to 4th precinct to FOIA it in person. Is that better?

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ed View Post
    While I (we?) are all eager for the details.. I would suggest you speak to an attorney before you post any details... and then only post what they authorize. I would call Mark Mathews or Dan Hawes.
    Ed
    I agree with Ed but only if you were charged or under criminal investigation. If that's the case, they won't honor an FOIA request anyway.

  6. #6
    Regular Member Hendu024's Avatar
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    I wasn't charged with anything and there is no criminal investigation going on about me from that incident, so it should be good to go.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hendu024 View Post
    Can you guys help me find the link for the FOIA form? I'm looking right now, and the search function sucks. I was thinking about going to 4th precinct to FOIA it in person. Is that better?
    http://www.opengovva.org/virginias-f...request-letter

  8. #8
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hendu024 View Post
    Can you guys help me find the link for the FOIA form? I'm looking right now, and the search function sucks. I was thinking about going to 4th precinct to FOIA it in person. Is that better?
    I am not a lawyer. Information provided is not intended as legal advice. I strongly urge readers to look up the VA FOIA at the links below and read the statute for themselves. It is easy reading. A number of OCers have sent FOI requests successfully using a general format Mike Stollenwerk used for the Tony's Incident in Manassas in early 2007. The VA FOIA requires no special format. A letter format works. VA Code 2.2-3704(A) and (B) say nothing about having to use a special government form or a special format.

    SUGGESTED FORMAT
    (Your name and address) (phone #'s help them contact you if there is a question)
    (Government agent name and adress)
    Subject: FOI REQUEST
    Dear (Government Agent),
    This is a request pursuant to the First Amendment and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) at VA Code Section 2.2-3700 et seq. (et seq. is an abbreviation for et sequitur which means "and follows") seeking:
    1. (government record)
    2. (government record)
    3. (government record)
    (However many more government records you want)
    If for any reason you anticipate the reasonable search and production costs of this FOI request, billable to me under the VA FOIA, will exceed $(insert the max you are willing to pay here) please notify me of the estimated cost, with reasonable particularity, and await my response before commencing the search and production of the requested records.
    I thank you kindly in advance for responding within the statutorily required 5 days.
    Sincerely,
    (Your name)

    ADVICES
    1. You might have to make a phone call to figure out to whom you should send/address your FOI request. A small police department might have the Chief's secretary handle it. A larger department might have an officer in Internal Affairs regularly assigned to FOI requests.

    2. You will have to figure out how to format the text in regard to your requested records. Is it easier to say you are requesting records related to a certain police "call for service at such and such date and time", putting this text above the list? Or, in your particular case, is it easier to put it in the text of each list item? You will have to figure this out.

    3. Figuring out what records to request is a game of estimating what records exist. Here are some suggestions for a police encounter:
    Dash-cam video
    Officer body microphone recordings
    Radio traffic
    Field contact card/report
    Text messages between patrol car and dispatch
    Text messages between patrol cars
    If you are not sure, you can always request "all records", but that can get kinda expensive.

    4. When writing your list of requested records, choose your words carefully. You want to look at it also from the viewpoint of the government agent reading your request. Word something the wrong way and you can end up with twenty pages of a police policy, only one page of which relates to what you are actually seeking.
    The VA FOIA requires you to describe with reasonable specificity the record(s) you are seeking. 2.2-3704 B. I recommend taking that to heart and going a few steps beyond. Don't ask me how I learned this.

    5. Do not send an adversarial FOI request! Do not include hints or allegations of police wrongdoing. Make your FOI request totally neutral. If you hint or allege wrongdoing, the police might start an internal affairs investigation, and then might claim that the requested records are related to a personnel investigation and thus exempt from release under the VA FOIA.

    So, you do not want to ask "The text message that reveals whether the officer had reasonable articulable suspicion." You would ask, "the text messages between police cars, if any." You will make your own determination on whether he had legitimate reasonable suspicion.

    6. When you receive your requested records (copies) it is very tempting to dig in and start reading, looking for juicy information. Don't do it. When you get that envelope in the mail is the time to be very methodical and use a little self-discipline.
    First, take out a sheet of paper and your copy of the FOI request that you sent. Open their envelope, and
    A. Check off each item sent against each item requested. Did they send everything you requested, exactly as requested?
    B. If they did not send everything requested exactly as requested, did they comply with 2.2-3704 B1 thru B4, which gives the only possible responses they can legally give you?
    For example, they can release all the records. Release some and withhold some. Withhold all the records. Or tell you its not practically possible to fill the request in the five-day period. There are specifics on these possible responses, so you will want to read up on 2.2-3704B1-B4 before you receive the response. For example, if they release some records and withhold some records, they must cite the exact law that authorizes them to withhold the records and tell you with reasonable accuracy the volume and subject matter of the withheld records. This is all covered in 2.2-3704 B1-B4.
    An example of non-compliance. I've come across a situation where the government employee who responded gave a written summary of the information contained in the non-exempt record. The problem with that is that was not the requested record. It was a summary of the record's contents.
    Another example. The government employee may send you other records to substitute for the requested record. The problem with that is there is no provision in the VA FOIA for sending some other records to substitute for the requested records. If they are doing it as a good faith effort to provide the information, and you get the info you want, fine. I do recommend you stand firm that they also comply with the law on why they can't or won't send you the requested record.

    C. When the government cites a law that allows them to withhold a record, look up the law yourself on-line. Are they using the exemption properly? I've seen more than one where they were not.

    D. If they improperly withheld a record, you may want to follow up on it right away. Who knows. Maybe it is an honest mistake. Maybe the government agent is withholding it because it contains embarrassing information or proof of wrongdoing.
    The main thought here is to avoid accidentally overlooking that the government improperly withheld requested information.



    7. Always put a limiter on the cost. The VA FOIA permits the government to charge you for filling the request. Specifics are given at 2.2-3704F.
    You do not want to misjudge how much time and effort it might take the government to search and produce the requested records, and then get a bill for double what you were willing to pay.
    Also, the government can demand pre-payment if the bill is going to be $200 or more. 2.2-3704H. And, if you your last FOIA bill is more than 30 days unpaid, they can refuse to fill any later requests. 2.2-3704I.

    RESOURCES
    There is a very helpful FOI group in VA. Its called the VA Coalition for Open Government. They have plenty of useful information at their website. See the link below. There is also a government agency set up by the VA General Assembly to work on FOIA matters. Its called the Virginia Freedom of Information Council. If you have a question about interpretation of the statute they can help. They do more, but I don't have room to go into it here. You can find out more by visiting their website below.
    VA FOIA Main Page:
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...37000000000000
    VA FOIA section 2.2-3704: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+2.2-3704
    VA Coalition for Open Government: http://www.opengovva.org/
    VA Freedom of Information Council: http://foiacouncil.dls.virginia.gov/
    Carry On.

    Ed

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  9. #9
    Regular Member Hendu024's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. I'll Keep you posted. Peter, PM will be sent in a few.

  10. #10
    Regular Member Hendu024's Avatar
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    I just got off the phone with User, and he advised me not to release any more information at this point. I will post the incident as soon as possible.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hendu024 View Post
    I just got off the phone with User, and he advised me not to release any more information at this point. I will post the incident as soon as possible.

    Glad you called him. I just got in and hadn't had a chance to PM you but your in good hands now.

  12. #12
    Regular Member Hendu024's Avatar
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    PM sent to User and Peter Nap

  13. #13
    Regular Member Hendu024's Avatar
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    I got a call from the police officer that handles FOIA's this morning and he said he could not release any information to me because it was an open investigation (court date involved) and therefore the information is restricted until after the hearing. He also said that even then, he could only release my 911 call, and the public copy of the report (which doesn't show sh*t).

    That's about the cooperation I expected, so I am moving forward with my report and complaint. Will post it as soon as it is sent.

  14. #14
    Regular Member Hendu024's Avatar
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    This is the 'public copy' online.

    https://wwws.vbgov.com/ePRO/MainUI/I....aspx?id=85172

    The info should already be in there, just hit Submit and it will show it.
    Last edited by Hendu024; 05-02-2011 at 12:07 PM.

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    No go Hendu; there are 81 reports from 4/26 and none of your info popped up. If you give us a street name that could get rid of most of the other info.
    Last edited by jmelvin; 05-02-2011 at 12:20 PM.

  16. #16
    Regular Member Hendu024's Avatar
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    Hafford

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    Found it, thanks.

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    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    Well now I'm pretty damn curious...
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

  19. #19
    Regular Member Hendu024's Avatar
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    I'm not the defendant. Sorry to keep the details limited guys, I will post the entire thing very soon.

  20. #20
    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter Venator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hendu024 View Post
    I'm not the defendant. Sorry to keep the details limited guys, I will post the entire thing very soon.
    Then have the defendant FOIA it.
    An Amazon best seller "MY PARENTS OPEN CARRY" http://www.myparentsopencarry.com/

    *The information contained above is not meant to be legal advice, but is solely intended as a starting point for further research. These are my opinions, if you have further questions it is advisable to seek out an attorney that is well versed in firearm law.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hendu024 View Post
    Hafford
    Interesting... depending on exactly where on Hafford, this could be within the 1000 foot limit of a Federal GFSZ.

    TFred

  22. #22
    Regular Member Hendu024's Avatar
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    It is in fact within 1000', and I can't have the defendant FOIA it because he was the one I called on.

  23. #23
    Regular Member coondog22554's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hendu024 View Post
    It is in fact within 1000', and I can't have the defendant FOIA it because he was the one I called on.
    Did you make the defendant aware he was within 1000' of a school before you called the cops?

    The school can't be seen from that street and it could have been an honest mistake.

  24. #24
    Regular Member carry for myself's Avatar
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    i may be looking at the wrong report, i put your street name in and the date you stated. it says "cleared by arrest" and "will prosecute" are they actually charging you with concealing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by carry for myself View Post
    i may be looking at the wrong report, i put your street name in and the date you stated. it says "cleared by arrest" and "will prosecute" are they actually charging you with concealing?
    Based on what Hendu has said in this thread, I gather that he called 911 on someone else he saw illegally carrying a firearm concealed (at least I assume that he had some reason to believe it to be illegal for that individual), and that individual is the one who was arrested. Meanwhile, my guess would be that the responding officer(s) disarmed him when they arrived and questioned him about his call, and any further action beyond that is in the hands of him and user.
    Alma 43:47 - "And again, the Lord has said that: Ye shall defend your families even unto bloodshed...."
    Self defense isn't just a good idea, it's a commandment.

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