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Thread: Alert - Maine rights attacked

  1. #1
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Alert - Maine rights attacked

    When the rights of one of you is attacked, no persecuted, it is an attack on all of you. When the individual is doing nothing wrong, conducting himself legally, and is arrested and forced to defend himself it becomes a trial by attrition - money, time, worry in having to seek council and sweat through the process. It is a greater burden than anyone of us can bear alone.

    You have an opportunity to show what the brotherhood (sisters too) in Maine can be as a collective force. I encourage you, implore you, to step up and give what you can. Shoot one less box of ammo, carry your lunch for a few days, give what you can, check your sugar bowl for a few extra dollars. This cause is righteous.

    Shane and I have discussed this situation at some length and agreed that I would post this thread, because I am not emotionally or physically attached to any of the principals, believing that I can view things from a distance w/o confusing the issue.

    I will first give you the link to donate via PayPal and an address to mail check/money orders. Note that the donations (not tax deductible) go direct to Shane Belanger who will control the distribution of funds. The aggrieved party will not profit if he were to cut a deal and walk away. The funds would then either be used for future such needs or returned at Shane's option. At this time it is believed that a vigorous defense is the way to go and that is how we are proceeding.

    Details on the incident will follow in the next few moments as I download them.


    Edited to add: Thank you one and all for your response - this has been settled to the principlal's satisfaction.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  2. #2
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Part #1 - please take the time to read it.

    "I weighed my options:
    Step out of my car, load my pistol (pursuant to the law), hope someone does not see this and run
    screaming to the police or have the police see, and potentially have them draw their weapons, or
    take it as brandishing a firearm. Leave my pistol in the car, and potentially have to deal with the
    police. Or remove my keys from the ignition, load my pistol, holster it and immediately exit the
    vehicle (knowingly breaking the law for all of 2 seconds). I opted for the latter, feeling it was my
    best option given my circumstances.

    A Sergeant approached me, asking “if I was doing that Open Carry thing” and “would I mind if we talked for a moment about it.” I said that was fine, and he asked for my ID, which I provided."

    This individual was charged with carrying in a vehicle, had the numbers run on his gun, had it confiscated and now must defend himself or take a conviction. There but for chance go you - are you going to tolerate this abuse? I don't think you will!
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  3. #3
    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    I don't know a lot about Maine. Was this individual technically in violation of the law as stupid as it might be, thus resulting in a legal arrest? Or was his weapon unlawfully taken and the charge is also unwarranted? Are we protesting the law or this particular arrest? I want to help, just need a little clarification. Thanks.
    Last edited by thebigsd; 07-15-2011 at 01:00 AM.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Part #2 - more detail

    I am trying to redact confidential information and do not wish this to be tried in the court of public opinion.

    I intend to edit/delete any attacks on the person involved or his conduct as contrary to the point of this thread. If you do not see merit in his defense as benefiting all Maine 2A proponents, that's fine - voice it elsewhere, just not on this thread. If you feel indignation as I do voice it here and give what you can.

    "After I mentioned that I had had previous encounters with the PPD on the matter of my open
    carrying, he noted that I have now had 3 encounters with the police, and none with bad guys, as
    if trying to make a point that clearly I need not carry, because the police are around (this is what
    I took from his tone of voice, he did not say this).

    The Sergeant left for a moment, and an officer told me it was not a good idea to carry
    a gun in a city environment, that it would draw attention from the public and the police. He
    stressed that it was not a good idea.

    Throughout this ordeal, there were no less 4 officers on scene, despite my being calm, polite and
    extremely cooperative. I felt trapped at the scene, especially having not been told I was being
    detained, which it felt like I was.

    I was asked if there were any other firearms in my vehicle, which I replied that there might be
    a .22cal rifle in the trunk, I could not recall if I had removed it. The Sergeant said “let's take
    a look” and I was instructed to open the trunk, which I did. The rifle was indeed in the trunk,
    unloaded, no magazine present, and no ammunition present. The rifle, along with my pistol, was
    confiscated by PPD. I was told that after my case was “disposed of, I would be able to get my
    property back, regardless of if I was found guilty or not.” I was not given any form of written
    acknowledgment of my property leaving my possession. I am also unsure why the rifle was
    taken, as it had no bearing on why I was going through this encounter; it was unloaded, and
    locked in the trunk.

    As he was writing my summons and waiting to get my court date back from dispatch, the Sergeant spit towards me and my car. In no way do I feel he spit at me, but it was in my general direction. I felt this was incredibly unprofessional and not at all becoming of an officer of the
    law.

    I was told I could continue pumping my gas, at which time they were “just going to run me
    through Triple I and move on.” The Triple I search of my name and DOB came back showing
    that I had been arrested for DUI in Indiana and/or Nashville. Having never been to Nashville, I
    knew this was not true.The Sergeant then looked at me and said “are you lying? I thought
    you told me you had never been arrested?” I understand that mistakes can be made, but wouldn’t
    it be prudent to double check facts before accusing people of lying about such matters? It was
    only after that did they take my social security number, which hopefully resolved that issue.

    This is all that I can recall at this moment, 12:03am, Friday, June 17, 2011. I do not believe I am
    leaving anything out, but I am still somewhat in shock over the incident and might be forgetting
    something.

    The officers involved, in my opinion, seemed to have a very negative opinion of Open Carrying,
    and seemed quick to let their personal feelings on the matter take over their judgment of the
    situation. As an educator, an EMT, and a young professional in otherwise good standing with
    the communities I am part of, I see no reason that given my actions and demeanor during the
    encounter this could not have been a teachable moment - be educated and let to go about my
    day, knowing I was a better informed citizen who could spread the word that not all police
    interactions are negative. This is just my opinion.

    As for what I want to see happen out of all this, beyond myself becoming more educated from
    the teachable moments I found within this encounter, I would like to see the case dropped,
    and education for the officers of the PPD - about open carry, how to deal with people who are
    openly carrying a weapon, that personal beliefs on a matter should not affect how a situation is
    handled and what is voiced in that situation, as well as a refresher on professionalism – there is
    no need to be spitting while speaking to someone, especially in the instance I encountered it."

    Sincerely,

    Alex (name shortened for confidentiality)
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  5. #5
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Opinion from Grapeshot: there are two Maine laws in conflict here, making an impossibly difficult situation where an open carrier can be literally caught between a rock and a hard place. IMHO - any lawyer worth his/her salt should be able to make a valid and successful defense out of this circumstances. Truth be told, the prosecutor should see this and nolle prosse with prejudice - charges not to be remade.

    Additional problem - no Maine attorney has accepted this case yet! Is there no hard charging, ethical believer of our 2A rights in the entire state of Maine? Shake the bushes and rattle the trees - help us find one. This is a call to arms.

    Don't let this man swing alone. Show your colors proudly.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  6. #6
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigsd View Post
    I don't know a lot about Maine. Was this individual technically in violation of the law as stupid as it might be, thus resulting in a legal arrest? Or was his weapon unlawfully taken and the charge is also unwarranted? Are we protesting the law or this particular arrest? I want to help, just need a little clarification. Thanks.
    It would appear that he was in somewhat of a technical violation IMO. Don't think that the gun had to be taken though. Again, IMO, the charge was unwarranted per his explanation - the officer could have used his discretion and had a polite conversation with him - instead he chose to be hard a$$ed and push his personal attitude.

    Alex entered into a consensual conversation and volunteered to cooperate (both bad IMO in these circumstances) by admitting what he had done, by opening his trunk and by giving his social security number amongst other things.

    Understand that he felt he was being detained and subject to arrest if he did not cooperate.

    The attitude of the LEO and the conflict in the laws is what we must challenge. Alex is most guilty of trying to be a good steward of our RKBA. For this he should be punished? - I think not!
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  7. #7
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Time is of the essence - court date is July 27th!
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member crdonov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Time is of the essence - court date is July 27th!
    will do my best to help!!! is anyone else trying to help???

    xd-over

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    Quote Originally Posted by crdonov View Post
    will do my best to help!!! is anyone else trying to help???

    xd-over
    There's a lot of work... behind the scenes ;-)

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    The Portland Police seem to be untrainable. Between the open carry cookout, people showing up to city council meetings armed and the many times Boyscout has taken one for the team in Portland it shows a lack of respect for the law that they have sworn to uphold. When there is a group there is not much they can do. But they are like wolves waiting for the one sheep to fall behind and be alone so they can pounce. They have been plenty educated. It seems to be a lack of caring about doing what is right and that is the problem. What can we do? Protest outside the police station? Copblock? This incident is just going to make the police believe that they are making the city better and embolden them to pull more stuff like this.

  11. #11
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flashlight View Post
    The Portland Police seem to be untrainable. Between the open carry cookout, people showing up to city council meetings armed and the many times Boyscout has taken one for the team in Portland it shows a lack of respect for the law that they have sworn to uphold. When there is a group there is not much they can do. But they are like wolves waiting for the one sheep to fall behind and be alone so they can pounce. They have been plenty educated. It seems to be a lack of caring about doing what is right and that is the problem. What can we do? Protest outside the police station? Copblock? This incident is just going to make the police believe that they are making the city better and embolden them to pull more stuff like this.
    That is precisely why this must be responded to with some great vigor!

    Have to admit that to date I am disappointed in the response from Maine - are you less believers in freedom and liberty? Would you rather "Let Mikey Do it"? If you fear being out on point and taking the hit, at least be supportive of one of your own. If it takes being a bit insulting and in your face, I am not above that - you are presently an embarrassment! You are turning your backs by not responding to this.

    Virginians, Pennsylvanians, and other state forum members would not be sitting on their hands. Stand up Maine - live up to your heritage. Time is running out - if this fails, it will be your failure - don't let that happen!
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  12. #12
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    I'm more than willing to kick in more than I can afford. Heck, without suport I'd be up my own creek without means of locomotion or even the means to float.

    But I need to know if Alex has someone to stand up for him in court and make the judge look at the Catch-22 Maine laws seem to have put him in while he moved from legal carry inside the car to legal carry outside the car. Without a decent attorney to actually argue the case* he has little chance of surviving this episode with his reputation and body intact.

    I understand time is short until his next scheduled appearance, but he can (probably) request a continuance for additional time to secure legal representation. There is time to provide a bit more information.

    Please, Alex, do NOT accept a court-appointed public defender or a plea agreement.

    stay safe.

    *Lawyer's Rule:
    When the law is against you, argue the facts.
    When the facts are against you, argue the law.
    When both are against you, call the other lawyer names.

    Ask me how I know this.
    Last edited by skidmark; 07-16-2011 at 04:01 PM.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

  13. #13
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    PM sent to the two folks trying to drum up help for Alex.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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    Regular Member DrakeZ07's Avatar
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    Other than monetary funds, which I'm un-able to give but a couple bucks, How can I help this patriot?

    Has anyone considered getting in touch with the ACLU? I know they helped me get my job back after being fired for having my pistol in my car, perhaps they can provide some good names, funds, or added legal defense?
    Last edited by DrakeZ07; 07-17-2011 at 12:30 AM.
    I'm a proud openly gay open carrier~
    Trained SKYWARN spotter, and veteran Storm Chaser.
    =^.^= ~<3~ =^.^=
    Beware the Pink Camo clad gay redneck.

  15. #15
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    A sort of "consortium" is forming, headed by Shane with the other two of us from out of state. Yes the ACLU has been mentioned - right now time (a continuance) and a solid criminal defense lawyer are the priorities.

    Shake the bushes and someone give Shane a name of an attorney, hopefully with a recommendation. This cannot be allowed to remain in the control of the PPD. Hope that everyone recognizes the extreme good that Shane has done and is doing for Maine RKBA.

    There is continued embarrassment and chagrin at the lack of specific response from Mainers except for a select few - they need to rise up off of their collective arses and come out of the closet.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    A sort of "consortium" is forming, headed by Shane with the other two of us from out of state. Yes the ACLU has been mentioned - right now time (a continuance) and a solid criminal defense lawyer are the priorities.

    Shake the bushes and someone give Shane a name of an attorney, hopefully with a recommendation. This cannot be allowed to remain in the control of the PPD. Hope that everyone recognizes the extreme good that Shane has done and is doing for Maine RKBA.

    There is continued embarrassment and chagrin at the lack of specific response from Mainers except for a select few - they need to rise up off of their collective arses and come out of the closet.
    Penny Dean out of New Hampshire. She is licensed in Maine. I have no experience with her or references. I heard good things about her at Porcfest. She represents Gun Owners of New Hampshire.

    I have heard good things about Evan Nappen too.
    Last edited by Flashlight; 07-17-2011 at 08:52 PM.

  17. #17
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flashlight View Post
    Penny Dean out of New Hampshire. She is licensed in Maine. I have no experience with her or references. I heard good things about her at Porcfest. She represents Gun Owners of New Hampshire.

    I have heard good things about Evan Nappen too.
    Thank you,sir. If you have contact information on these, please forward them to Shane.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  18. #18
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    http://pennydean.com/

    Beware the pink background. And if that's the only bad thing I can say, that's pretty good.

    http://www.efnappen.com/

    Took me 35 seconds to find both of them, check their sites, and copy the urls. Sheesh!

    Shane - you seem to know the most about the situation except for the accused. You get him to call either/both of them, OK?

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

  19. #19
    Regular Member Baked on Grease's Avatar
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    Sending what I can to him now, from Virginia. I don't care what state you're from, we all stand together in the US.
    "A Right Un-exercised is a Right Lost"

    "According to the law, [openly carrying] in a vehicle is against the law if the weapon is concealed" -Flamethrower (think about it....)

    Carrying an XDm 9mm with Hornady Critical Defense hollowpoint. Soon to be carrying a Ruger along with it....

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baked on Grease View Post
    Sending what I can to him now, from Virginia. I don't care what state you're from, we all stand together in the US.
    Thank you sir, your generous donation is extremely appreciated!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    http://pennydean.com/

    Beware the pink background. And if that's the only bad thing I can say, that's pretty good.

    http://www.efnappen.com/

    Took me 35 seconds to find both of them, check their sites, and copy the urls. Sheesh!

    Shane - you seem to know the most about the situation except for the accused. You get him to call either/both of them, OK?

    stay safe.
    Talked to Evan about a month ago. He isn't Bar'd in Maine but said that he would brief any lawyer we get on how to argue the case. Xander called Mrs. Dean today.

  22. #22
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    I PM'd you some things he can do between now and when he is lawyered up. Let us know when he has representation and how to contribute to the cost of that.

    In the mean time, please let him know that there are some folks who are willing to stand not behind but along side him through this. And that there are probably more waiting in the wings to see if they can do so without the rest of the community pointing and making nasty faces at them. Unless I miss my guess there are probably a few "hometown" folks in that bunch.

    I'd sure hate to have to start checking to see that the lobster I can't afford was caught by folks from Taxachusetts or (heaven forbid!) Rhode Island.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

  23. #23
    Regular Member ep0k's Avatar
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    Tangentally related, I will be meeting with a PPD Police Lieutenant sometime this week or next to discuss some things about the upcoming Right To Carry Picnic. I'll take the opportunity to address the continued "untainability" of the PPD with regard to lawful carry and their tendency to harass us.
    v/r
    Forrest Brown
    Webmaster, Maine Open Carry Association
    forrest@maineopencarry.org

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    Thankfully, the immediate crisis (for Alex, if not the greater Portland community) is resolved - see:

    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...ttacked-thread

    I was trying to figure out if/where to contribute (and I'm from Texas!) when I discovered the thread above.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhenriksen View Post
    Thankfully, the immediate crisis (for Alex, if not the greater Portland community) is resolved - see:

    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...ttacked-thread

    I was trying to figure out if/where to contribute (and I'm from Texas!) when I discovered the thread above.
    All donations have been returned to their respective donors. Thanks everyone who contributed!

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