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Thread: Contacted by Kennewick PD on my own street…

  1. #1
    Regular Member Freedom First's Avatar
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    Contacted by Kennewick PD on my own street…

    First let me say that I have been nothing but pleased with Kennewick Police Department. They respond quickly and have always been professional in the dealings I have had with them. But...

    Tonight I was contacted by KPD for a MWAG call less than a block from my house as I returned from walking one of my kid’s playmates home. I saw the cruiser come zooming up the street behind me but I honestly thought he was responding to noise complaints regarding the wedding band a block away. No such luck.

    So Officer Harrington asks me to stop and come over. Now don’t flame me you guys because I know the deal… I went along with him as he disarmed me in front of my neighbors as I don't want to start off on the wrong foot with KPD on the OC issue.

    He immediately acknowledged the legality of OC and I could tell he wished he were somewhere else, doing something more important than trying to get some 2A guy to cool it. I explained that I was fully aware of Washington State law and that I OCed so that I would always be carrying. I suggested that his time was being wasted by bad dispatching and he seemed to agree. He of course wanted me to cover up and I politely refused since I was sterile and I wouldn’t have anyways.

    My firearm was returned unloaded after they ran my name and checked for a CPL in my name??? I UOCed for about 50’ down the street until I ran into a neighbor and we had a nice chat about 2A and OC. They guy thought it was a joke and will be discussing the issue with his nephew, whom he suspected was the caller.

    This is an excellent opportunity for us to adjust the thinking of KPD with a appropriate letter. I, being fairly new to this sort of LE interaction, would love whatever suggestions about a letter or other response to KPD to get this addressed correctly.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Freedom First; 05-07-2011 at 11:47 PM. Reason: public schoolin'
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    I have nothing bad to say about the way you handled it. The only thing I would have done differently was asked him why I was being stopped and detained for an act that he admitted to being lawful.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

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    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    It wasnt unlawful detainment if you complied. You have to do what you feel is best. You are in the view of your neighbors and probably best that you complied if you want your kid to have friends in the neighborhood. My neighbors already think Im a wack job. One nieghbor asked me if my mower was broken and if I wanted to borrow hers cause our grass was getting long. I told her no and that it was just because I was being lazy. I did tell her she could mow it if it offended her, and I was Open Carry during our discussion. I turned strongside and pointed to a neighbor that had his old grass removed to put in an irrigation system and told her I wanted a yard like that, for some reason she shut up and left, how rude, didnt even say have a nice day...

    I have yet to be contacted by any PD but I guess the inevitable is coming. I just hope it is on my day off, and no work the next day. One thing I wont tolerate is them disarming me if I am not being detained or arrested, and the clincher is putting you back in public defensless.

    I still need to get a descent recorder with an easy on/off, and at least an hours record time.
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    Regular Member Freedom First's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeroket View Post
    I have nothing bad to say about the way you handled it. The only thing I would have done differently was asked him why I was being stopped and detained for an act that he admitted to being lawful.
    Why ask when it was clear that both he and I knew it was BS? Plus I don't want to be "That ****house lawyer guy..." when they are discussing it later. I was nice, friendly and knowledgeable. And I don't plan on letting the situation stand as it is. Also, I didn't have time for the 30 minute "detain" game. My kids were waiting for Papa just up the street.

    At least they didn't have to see Papa getting "contacted"... That would have made it less funny.
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    Regular Member Freedom First's Avatar
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    Memory update...

    I just remembered that he kept returning to the CC thing since it would keep me from being "contacted" in the future. Kindof a mantra for the officer. "If it's hidden then there will never be the need for us to stop you..."

    I am just annoyed at the shift in our society that has made the honorable a subject of shame and the dishonorable a thing to be trumpeted...
    Freedom can never be lost, only given away by ignorance, by choice, or at the point of a gun. Here in America we can still choose.

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    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    maybe we can do a columbia park open carry BBQ this summer.
    If you voted for Obama to prove you are not a racist...
    what will you do now to prove you are not stupid?

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    State Pioneer ConditionThree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom First View Post
    I UOCed for about 50’ down the street until I ran into a neighbor and we had a nice chat about 2A and OC.
    UOC? Now, I thought that this was something exclusive to California... I take it that when you were disarmed, the officer took it upon himself to unload your weapon and return it in a condition other than which he found it? And furthermore commanded you not to load it in his presence?
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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    The only thing I have a problem with is he took your weapon. If he knew you were totally withing your rights, that was just not proper.

    I would definately inform the section chief that this young officer needs a bit of extra training,
    Last edited by hermannr; 05-08-2011 at 01:57 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by amzbrady View Post
    It wasnt unlawful detainment if you complied.
    I think what you're driving at is that Freedom First's lack of objection turned it into a consensual encounter.

    Legally, it didn't. A whole host of SCOTUS opinions hold that a person is seized for the meaning of the 4th Amendment if he reasonably believes he is not free to leave. When a police officer summons a citizen, disarms him, and demands ID in order to run a check, no court in the land would rule other than that a "reasonable person would believe he was not free to leave" in this circumstance.

    So, it was an unconstitutional seizure, especially since the officer immediately acknowledged he was only responding to a call, not RAS that crime was afoot.

    The downside: with no damage other than a waste of Freedom First's time, there's nothing actionable in court. Not that I think he wants to go that route. What he suggests (an education campaign) is exactly the right approach. He can fix the problem without creating more enmity, and might even make some allies.

    Freedom First, I can't give you any advice on your approach, because I don't know the attitudes or way things work in Maine. Hopefully some other Mainers will speak up about how to contact the officer's supervisor and request some department-wide retraining on 4A issues.
    Last edited by KBCraig; 05-08-2011 at 02:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom First View Post
    I just remembered that he kept returning to the CC thing since it would keep me from being "contacted" in the future. Kindof a mantra for the officer. "If it's hidden then there will never be the need for us to stop you..."

    I am just annoyed at the shift in our society that has made the honorable a subject of shame and the dishonorable a thing to be trumpeted...
    He acknowledged the legality of OC, therefore he already knows there will "never be a need for us to stop you."

    He basically told you that as long as you go on consenting to encounters, they are going to go on contacting you. He's assigning the causation for the encounter to you and your perfectly legal activity. Not their policies. Not their attitude. Not their inability (refusal?) to handle the 911 caller. To you. Meaning, they necessarily think that since you are the cause, you are the sole source of the possible solution. Give up your right to OC.
    Last edited by Citizen; 05-08-2011 at 02:41 AM.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    If you were carrying sterile how did they "run" you?

    I think I would have let them arrest me. I am tired of bullying cops.

    If they knew you were in the right there should have been no asking for ID, disarming.....etc.

    Oh got it you gave them your name and firearm.
    Last edited by sudden valley gunner; 05-08-2011 at 09:49 AM.
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    Regular Member SpyderTattoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBCraig View Post
    I think what you're driving at is that Freedom First's lack of objection turned it into a consensual encounter.

    Legally, it didn't. A whole host of SCOTUS opinions hold that a person is seized for the meaning of the 4th Amendment if he reasonably believes he is not free to leave. When a police officer summons a citizen, disarms him, and demands ID in order to run a check, no court in the land would rule other than that a "reasonable person would believe he was not free to leave" in this circumstance.

    So, it was an unconstitutional seizure, especially since the officer immediately acknowledged he was only responding to a call, not RAS that crime was afoot.

    The downside: with no damage other than a waste of Freedom First's time, there's nothing actionable in court. Not that I think he wants to go that route. What he suggests (an education campaign) is exactly the right approach. He can fix the problem without creating more enmity, and might even make some allies.

    Freedom First, I can't give you any advice on your approach, because I don't know the attitudes or way things work in Maine. Hopefully some other Mainers will speak up about how to contact the officer's supervisor and request some department-wide retraining on 4A issues.
    Where did you get this? This is Washington State. Other side of the country bro...
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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hermannr View Post
    The only thing I have a problem with is he took your weapon. If he knew you were totally withing your rights, that was just not proper.

    I would definately inform the section chief that this young officer needs a bit of extra training,
    If I read this correctly, the Officer was answering a call. When he encountered the party with a gun that was his justification in contacting him. He did acknowledge that the whole incident was most likely an issue of "bad dispatching". As for the disarming, more likely a matter of department policy and training which has been allowed in numerous court decisions. You know, that "Officer Safety Thing". Freedom First was not singled out or randomly stopped, he was the object of a "dispatch". Different than an incident where the officer was merely driving down the street and spotted a legally carried firearm.

    The training needs to be directed to the Dispatchers and their Agency, not the officer. It sounds like he did his job and the Dispatcher didn't.
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    Regular Member Freedom First's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    If I read this correctly, the Officer was answering a call. When he encountered the party with a gun that was his justification in contacting him. He did acknowledge that the whole incident was most likely an issue of "bad dispatching". As for the disarming, more likely a matter of department policy and training which has been allowed in numerous court decisions. You know, that "Officer Safety Thing". Freedom First was not singled out or randomly stopped, he was the object of a "dispatch". Different than an incident where the officer was merely driving down the street and spotted a legally carried firearm.

    The training needs to be directed to the Dispatchers and their Agency, not the officer. It sounds like he did his job and the Dispatcher didn't.
    That was exactly what I was saying. The 911 PSAP in Richland obviously does not interrogate callers as to the actions of the MWAG and thus cannot use their own discretion on the call.
    Their proper response should have been to the caller, "What exactly is the MWAG doing?"
    Caller, "Um, walking down the street."
    911, "Is he holding the firearm in his hand?"
    Caller, "No. It's in his holster thing."
    911, "Sir/Maam, state law protects your Right to carry a firearm openly. If he is not breaking any other law then there is no reason for alarm. Thank you for calling."
    Caller, "???"

    Where does a guy (or a community) start in this process? I don't like re-inventing the wheel...
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    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    Freedom, now would be the time to file a complaint with the Kennewick PD. Let them know proper procedure for dispatch to handle MWAG calls. I can see the Albertsons, contact, but you were just walking down the street. I would think somewhere on here is a copy of WA states training bulletins for MWAG. Maybe a visit in person to see the chief, while open carry would be a good start.
    If you voted for Obama to prove you are not a racist...
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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom First View Post
    That was exactly what I was saying. The 911 PSAP in Richland obviously does not interrogate callers as to the actions of the MWAG and thus cannot use their own discretion on the call.
    Their proper response should have been to the caller, "What exactly is the MWAG doing?"
    Caller, "Um, walking down the street."
    911, "Is he holding the firearm in his hand?"
    Caller, "No. It's in his holster thing."
    911, "Sir/Maam, state law protects your Right to carry a firearm openly. If he is not breaking any other law then there is no reason for alarm. Thank you for calling."
    Caller, "???"

    Where does a guy (or a community) start in this process? I don't like re-inventing the wheel...
    Give Big Dave a PM. He's right up the street from you so to speak. He also speaks "Government Jive" pretty well. He may have some tips.
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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    This is an excellent opportunity for us to adjust the thinking of KPD with a appropriate letter. I, being fairly new to this sort of LE interaction, would love whatever suggestions about a letter or other response to KPD to get this addressed correctly.
    A letter is due and to the suggestion of some others here is a place to start with training bulletins.

    I would also encourage you and anyone else to refresh your education on police encounters. This type of behavior will continued when you allow your rights to be stepped upon. I have watched the Busted videos a few times a year and have also required my daughters do the same. VIDEO

    Furthermore, the following letter is a great tool or place to start. The letter has been passed down to us from Mike and John. I have personally sent it to 2 localities.


    1. Print this out and
    make changes as necessary to get it to the police chief, city attorney, and city council. Mail it return receipt requested. Mail a copy to yourself and keep it sealed when it arrives.


    Chief of Police

    1. At present, your officers are unlawfully harassing and persons lawfully open carrying handguns **secured in holsters** on foot in your jurisdiction. Please take action to ensure your officers are brought up to speed with the authorities cited in this discussion regarding the law of open carry in Washington.

    2. Non-consensual police stops of open carriers for simply open carrying is per se unlawful.

    As you and your officers should already know, it is not unlawful to openly carry handguns in Washington, and that like most states, no license is required to open carry on foot, and local ordinances to the contrary are unlawful as a matter of state preemption law. RCW 9.41.290. The United States Supreme Court has established that it is a violation of the Fourth Amendment for the police to seize a person absent reasonable articulable suspicion ("RAS") of crime afoot. Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968). Accordingly, the Washington Court of Appeals has recently affirmed a trial court's holding that Washington law "does not and, under the Constitution, cannot prohibit the mere [open] carrying of a firearm in public." State v. Casad, 139 Wash.App. 1032 (Wash. App.Div.2 2007) (suppressing evidence of unlawful possession of firearms because stop of Defendant was not grounded in reasonable articulable suspicion of any crime).

    Further, even during a valid Terry stop, the United States Supreme Court forbids police to even conduct a light pat down or seize weapons unless the subsequent to RAS for the stop, the "an officer is justified in believing that the individual whose suspicious behavior he is investigating at close range is [both] armed and presently dangerous to the officer or to others." 392 U.S. at 24. Stated another way, only "[s]o long as the officer is [both] entitled to make a forcible stop, and has reason to believe that the suspect is armed **and dangerous** . . .may [he] conduct a weapons search limited in scope to this protective purpose." Adams v. Williams, 407 U.S. 143, 146 (1972) (emphasis added). So even if there were there to come a time that a Washington law enforcement officer properly seizes a person pursuant to RAS for brief investigatory purposes, the officer is not entitled to seize an openly carry weapon absent "reason to believe that the suspect is . . . [also presently] dangerous." Id. Should an open carrier stopped validly under Terry consensually produce a Concealed Pistol License, this fact weighs heavily against any officer's claim that the suspect is "presently dangerous" such that the gun maybe lawfully seized and serial numbers obtained. Accordingly, suppression of any evidence obtained in seizing the gun is likely under these circumstances.

    3. Nonconsensual stops of open carriers to demand identification or check gun serial numbers is unlawful in Washington.

    A mere report of a man with a gun is not grounds for a Terry stop. Florida v. J. L., 529 U.S. 266 (2000). Americans cannot be required to carry and produce identification credentials on demand to the police. Kolender v. Lawson, 461 U.S. 352 (1983). Washington does not have a "stop and ID" statute. However, even where a state enacts a "stop and ID" statute, stop must be limited to situations where RAS exists of a crime, and further, stop subject's statement of his name satisfies the ID requirement as Kolender, discussed supra, has not been overruled. Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada, 542 U.S. 177 (2004). Even where a state has established a duty to carry a license for some activity, absent RAS for the stop, the license cannot be demanded. State v. Peters, 2008 WL 2185754 (Wis. App. I Dist. 2008) (driver of vehicle has no duty to produce driver's license absent RAS) (citing Hiibel). Law enforcement officers seizing persons for refusal to show identification are "not entitled to dismissal of . . . [42 USC 1983 claims] based on qualified immunity." Stufflebeam v. Harris, 521 F.3d 884, 889 (8th Cir. 2008).

    4. Editorializing against open carry is not the province of law enforcement.

    If your officers have any objection to open carry, they should contact their state legislator on their off duty time and not use the color of authority behind their badges and uniforms to stifle both the right to bear arms and the First Amendment right of expressive conduct to open carry firearms.

    5. Unlawful stops of open carriers will result in suppression of evidence even if unlawful conduct is uncovered, allowing criminals to get off the hook.


    In Casad, see supra, the Appeals court suppressed evidence of the unlawful possession of firearms because law enforcement seized a man for merely openly carrying firearms in public. This result is not unusual, see Goodman v. Commonwealth, 2007 WL 2988343
    (Va.App. 2007) (same result as Casad), because the result is as a matter of federal Constitutional law commanded by the United States Supreme Court. As discussed supra, see Florida v. J. L.; Hicks.

    6. No qualified immunity available for law enforcement officials regarding open carrier harassment in Washington.

    As it is clearly established law that the open carry of handguns in holsters is lawful without a CPL, qualified immunity does not attach to your officers for the unlawful harassment, ID checks, see Stufflebeam, discussed supra, and gun serial number checks, see also Hicks and J.L, discussed supra. Further, by way of this webform email I am putting you as the Chief of Police, and the Office of the Chief of Police, of actual notice in this matter, subjecting you to personal liability for damage claims under 42 USC 1983. See Will v. Michigan Dept. of State Police, 491 U.S. 58 (1989); Ex parte Young, 209 U.S. 123 (1908).

    7. In conclusion, please know that it is the constitutional right of open carriers to enjoy the same freedom of movement and right of assembly in society as those wishing to carry concealed, or not at all. The purpose of law enforcement is to help ensure open carriers enjoy these freedoms, not to stifle them. Please contact me by email at your earliest convenience to confirm that your officers will cease harassment of open carriers immediately.

    Sincerely,

    YOUR NAME
    ADDRESS
    PHONE NUMBER

    Added:
    Maybe print out a bunch of these to hand out to the police at the picnic, IF they show up.
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  18. #18
    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gogodawgs View Post
    A letter is due and to the suggestion of some others here is a place to start with training bulletins.

    I would also encourage you and anyone else to refresh your education on police encounters. This type of behavior will continued when you allow your rights to be stepped upon. I have watched the Busted videos a few times a year and have also required my daughters do the same. VIDEO

    Furthermore, the following letter is a great tool or place to start. The letter has been passed down to us from Mike and John. I have personally sent it to 2 localities.
    yeah, thats the one...
    If you voted for Obama to prove you are not a racist...
    what will you do now to prove you are not stupid?

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    Regular Member papa bear's Avatar
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    "Mail a copy to yourself and keep it sealed when it arrives."

    could you explain this for me, please? just curious. thanks
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  20. #20
    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by papa bear View Post
    "Mail a copy to yourself and keep it sealed when it arrives."

    could you explain this for me, please? just curious. thanks
    It provides a time/date stamp is all. This has been debated before, it is just one small caution to authenticate the letter.
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  21. #21
    Regular Member Freedom First's Avatar
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    Thanks guys!

    I'll be looking into this further tonight. Got the four kids to keep me busy today!
    Freedom can never be lost, only given away by ignorance, by choice, or at the point of a gun. Here in America we can still choose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by papa bear View Post
    "Mail a copy to yourself and keep it sealed when it arrives."

    could you explain this for me, please? just curious. thanks
    What Nick said - did the same thing with a certified copy of my DD214 when I left the military. Just gives you the ability to demonstrate the item was sent when you say it was. *shrug*

    Thanks for the letter GOGO - will be printing a copy of that for future reference.

    Tony D

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom First View Post
    Why ask when it was clear that both he and I knew it was BS? Plus I don't want to be "That ****house lawyer guy..." when they are discussing it later. I was nice, friendly and knowledgeable. And I don't plan on letting the situation stand as it is. Also, I didn't have time for the 30 minute "detain" game. My kids were waiting for Papa just up the street.

    At least they didn't have to see Papa getting "contacted"... That would have made it less funny.
    It may have been clear to both of you that it was BS I would have wanted the answer to come out of his mouth. The thing is that he acknowledge the legality of your actions and therefore had no authority for contact. That being the case I would want to know why he was stopping me if I was in your shoes.

    Don't take my posts as criticism to how you handled it because I will not criticize you for the way you handled your encounter. Thats your business and for only you to decide how to deal with it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpyderTattoo View Post
    Where did you get this? This is Washington State. Other side of the country bro...
    Ooops. Yeah, I, uh, meant to do that.

  25. #25
    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    Certified Mail will also give you a record. Not only of when the letter was sent, but of their receipt of the letter also.

    Anything worth doing in a legal connotation deserves a certified receipt. Certified mail also tends to get their attention, that is they will know you are building an evidence file should that evidence be needed at some later date.

    Personally: calm, educated personal contact works best.
    Last edited by hermannr; 05-08-2011 at 03:53 PM.

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