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Thread: Stopped for OC in Spokane

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    Stopped for OC in Spokane

    I go to the Spokanimal Dog Park regularly to excerise my American Bulldogs, most of the people there know me & because of research & reading I have now excerised my right to open carry more often. Obviously there are a few new people in & out of there who don't know who I am, I realized I was getting a few funny looks but thought nothing of it since I have been OCing almost everywhere now. I went to leave the park about 4 p.m. (we usually don't go til about 5-6 but had things to do later) & there were 2 squad cars. I thought nothing of it & exited the park & began walking to my car.

    The officer greets me & I reply with a what's up n have to immediately tell my dogs to behave. With about 160 lbs of dog looking at him as if he were lunch he politetly requested I put my animals in the car so I did. I returned & he asked me for my ID, before I reached for it I asked if I had done something wrong. He said that he had recieved a call about someone carrying a firearm openly & that they were scared. I said I was carrying a weapon (he could see it lol) & said that I was doing nothing wrong. He asked me if I had a WA CPL I told him I did but at the time I did not have the card on me because I had lost it. He politely asked for my ID again & respectfully I declined due to I had done nothing wrong. He completely agreed & asked if he would be able to search me for any other weapons. I informed him that I did not consent to any search but I would not resist if a search were forcefully done. Another officer approached behind me & asked me to lift my arms, he pulled my firearm from my holster removed the magazine & pulled the slide back. He found my Benchmade knife & that was it, reset my firearm to where it was & began to hand it back to me. I said I would e much more comfortable with having him reholster the firearm for me.

    The officers said thank you for my cooperation, shook my hand & let me be on my way. It was my first real encounter with LEO about my OCing, I felt it went very good & in no way were either or them hostile towards me.

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    Campaign Veteran Schlitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fhsantos View Post
    Another officer approached behind me & asked me to lift my arms, he pulled my firearm from my holster removed the magazine & pulled the slide back.
    That's cool...if you live some country with no constitution.
    Last edited by Schlitz; 09-23-2011 at 07:17 PM.
    “The claim and exercise of a constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime.”
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    Regular Member SpyderTattoo's Avatar
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    So they violated your Fourth Amendment rights and illegally siezed your weapon without a warrant and without your consent. I think you need to make a formal complaint immediately.

    I think you handled yourself very well though. No fault to you. Shame on those cops.
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    That's good that they did not arrest you or harass you, but they had no reason to check your firearm in the first place. Also I can't believe he violated the basic firearms safety rules and tried to hand the weapon back to you loaded. Sounds like those two need a refresher on firearms training.

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    From what I gathered about the complaint of the man with a firearm was that I seemed shady & I had my hand on my gun. Shady I can see, I'm no small guy, I am of darker skin, & my dogs althought nice are intimidating. As far as my hand on my weapon I informed him of my short military background, I was always taught that you should always know where your weapon is. No I don't use my hand, but I do have my forearm firmly against the gun with my hand in my pocket. It's something I have a hard time growing out of is all, if the seriousness of the threat was to where they had to check my weapon there were no real issues to me. They were both very polite about it & gave me no real hassle. If they had been more aggressive about it I would say something, but they were just another couple of guys doing their jobs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fhsantos View Post
    From what I gathered about the complaint of the man with a firearm was that I seemed shady & I had my hand on my gun. Shady I can see, I'm no small guy, I am of darker skin, & my dogs althought nice are intimidating. As far as my hand on my weapon I informed him of my short military background, I was always taught that you should always know where your weapon is. No I don't use my hand, but I do have my forearm firmly against the gun with my hand in my pocket. It's something I have a hard time growing out of is all, if the seriousness of the threat was to where they had to check my weapon there were no real issues to me. They were both very polite about it & gave me no real hassle. If they had been more aggressive about it I would say something, but they were just another couple of guys doing their jobs.
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fhsantos View Post
    From what I gathered about the complaint of the man with a firearm was that I seemed shady & I had my hand on my gun. Shady I can see, I'm no small guy, I am of darker skin, & my dogs althought nice are intimidating. As far as my hand on my weapon I informed him of my short military background, I was always taught that you should always know where your weapon is. No I don't use my hand, but I do have my forearm firmly against the gun with my hand in my pocket. It's something I have a hard time growing out of is all, if the seriousness of the threat was to where they had to check my weapon there were no real issues to me. They were both very polite about it & gave me no real hassle. If they had been more aggressive about it I would say something, but they were just another couple of guys doing their jobs.
    The officers had no RAS, no PC, you were breaking no laws, they violated your rights and you give them a pass because they were nice about it. Sorry, but I don't get that at all.
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    fhsantos, you describe almost exactly what is in the SPD training bulletin on how the cops should handle an OC incident. The SPD was issued an incorrect training bulletin a few years ago and obviously it has not been updated. I should really have another chat with the police training coordinator. For now go ahead and file a complaint, at least it will be on record.

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    Quote Originally Posted by .45ACPaddy View Post
    Remember, if you give them an inch, they'll take a mile...
    That's a very good point, I didn't realize they had actually stepped out of their boundries that far. I will definitely report their actions, I thought what they had done was perfectly okay. I'll keep you guys updated.

  10. #10
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Must have been the two bad apples on the force.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    The officers had no RAS, no PC, you were breaking no laws, they violated your rights and you give them a pass because they were nice about it. Sorry, but I don't get that at all.
    I don't get it either.

    Quote Originally Posted by SpyderTattoo View Post
    So they violated your Fourth Amendment rights and illegally siezed your weapon without a warrant and without your consent. I think you need to make a formal complaint immediately.

    I think you handled yourself very well though. No fault to you. Shame on those cops.
    +1 And also publish their names here online. That way when others have problems with these cops violating peoples rights, their names pop up and they can search for the complaint, because "justice system" and police don't seem to have a history of being totally forthright about problem officers.
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    Regular Member SovereignAxe's Avatar
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    When it comes to the 4th Amendment, your gun has the same protection as your bags, your pockets or your wallet. The only special consideration it gets is that you need a licence (in your case) to conceal it. What is the point of them taking the gun out of the holster and checking it? It's not illegal to keep it loaded-so what will they gain from opening the slide?

    True, you could have incendiary rounds or something, but once again-4th Amendment. They have no reason to believe you might be carrying a gun with incendiary rounds, so there's no reason to stop you and search your weapon to find them.

    Definitely file a complaint to the PD
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    fhsantos great job on your 1st LEO interaction. Yes your rights were violated and I would file a complaint. See you tomorrow morning I will buy your coffee and donuts.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    fhsantos - please don't take the replies here as critical of you personally. There were so many overtly wrong things with the detention of yourself, that they 'old hands" were appalled.

    Hope you stay, learn and prosper.
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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Overall you seem to have handled it well,
    and you're learning more about exactly how bad what they did to you is,
    so you're less likely to put up with it in the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by SpyderTattoo
    So they violated your Fourth Amendment rights and illegally siezed your weapon without a warrant and without your consent. I think you need to make a formal complaint immediately.
    Quote Originally Posted by SovereignAxe
    What is the point of them taking the gun out of the holster and checking it? It's not illegal to keep it loaded
    Quote Originally Posted by gutshot
    What was the point of the check? If they were going to just put it back, what was accomplished? What did they learn that lessened any "threat"? It seems like they just wanted to assert their authority
    Quote Originally Posted by gutshot
    This was an illegal stop, an illegal detainment, an illegal search and an illegal seizure.
    All of that, with the bolded parts more so.

    Quote Originally Posted by fhsantos
    I didn't realize they had actually stepped out of their boundries that far.
    ...I thought what they had done was perfectly okay.

    Santos, I'm not trying to be mean, really I'm not, but didn't your high school civics/government class cover the Bill of Rights?
    How about dinner-table conversation with your parents?
    Apparently true education isn't so common any more.
    Your statement there is waaaay too common an attitude among the general US population,
    and is a big problem for people who think that the gov't in all its forms should follow the law, starting with the US Constitution (that would be most people on OCDO, for starters).

    I'm glad you've been learning from people here, & the resources we can point you to, & I hope that you in turn educate others.
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    Well, OK, the second worst nightmare.
    The first would be an educated populace that cares enough to stand up to wrongdoing, esp. when those citizens are armed.
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    Guys,

    I hate to say this, but 9/10 of this police encounter was consensual, based on the OP.

    The non-consensual weapons search turned it into a detention, I believe, in my non-lawyerly opinion (you can't search a person non-consensually without also seizing their person.)

    Thus, I suggest any formal written complaint should focus on the ridiculous pointlessness of the encounter. (The cop repeatedly agreed nothing wrong had been done, so there was no real point to an encounter, even a consensual one.) And, then the complaint should beat the hell out of the non-consensual search. It sounds to me like they maybe searched him for an unlicensed concealed back-up weapon, hoping for an arrest. Certainly, and this is very important, they did not search him because they thought he was dangerous and they needed to get control of the gun for officer safety.

    If they thought he was dangerous and they had reasonable articulable suspicion (RAS) for a detainment in the first place, they would have seized the gun at the outset. Giving the gun back immediately simply reinforces that the gun was not seized for officer safety--the only legitimate reason, when combined with genuine RAS, for a temporary weapon seizure of which I can think at the moment.

    All this changes if a CPL is needed to OC in Washington state, though.

    Also, just for fun, I'd try to dig up whether the scared-of-guns complainer gave his name. There is case law (law contained in court opinions) about the reliability of tips and accusations. Florida vs JL is one such case. We like the case because the court expressly said it would not make an exception for guns to standard detainment doctrine. But, the case was really about an anonymous call that a juvenile had a gun hidden under his clothes at a bus stop or some other public location. So, if the painty-wetting caller refused to identify herself, meaning it was an anonymous tip, the anonymous nature may give some additional weight or another bullet point to the complaint.

    For all we know, the caller may have been a Brady supporter just trying to get a gunner in trouble. Or, maybe just trying to harass the gunner by making false accusations.
    Last edited by Citizen; 09-23-2011 at 10:08 PM.

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    I'm in agreement with pretty much everything in this thread. Santos, I think you handled it well. I myself have never had this type of encounter in the year or so I've been OC'ing so I cannot say how I would have handled. We can all get prepped on how we will handle a LEO encounter but when the time comes, adrenaline is pumping etc. it may turn out completely different than you have practiced especially if it is your first encounter. Anyway imo the entire point of being here on this website is to further educate ourselves and as long as you take away some additional information from here then its all good and you'll have some extra ideas on how to handle it in the future should it happen again. Anyway, hope to see you in the morning!

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    Originally Posted by Grapeshot

    fhsantos - please don't take the replies here as critical of you personally. There were so many overtly wrong things with the detention of yourself, that they 'old hands" were appalled.

    Hope you stay, learn and prosper.
    I won't be leaving the forum, I didn't join the forum because I knew everything there was about open carry in the state of Washington. It is a learning experience, I'm not a lawyer, cop, nor a politician, I do not know the laws inside & out. I posted it on here to see if I had handled it right, so for those of you who seem to think I'm just ignorant because I don't exactly see it your way. Please realize I am still young (23 yrs), I do not know everything (my age says it all), I love my country & the things it stands for (I did serve and deployed), I'm here to learn. There's no need to e a dick about things, if you want people to understand. Pushing them around or talking down to them makes you just as bad as any other politician. I appreciate all the information, the heads up, and the suggestions. I will not be posting anyones names on here, that's just asking for trouble. Thanks everyone

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    Regular Member Motofixxer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fhsantos View Post
    I informed him that I did not consent to any search but I would not resist if a search were forcefully done.
    I won't repeat what has been previously stated but I do agree with the comments. I would also add that the statement "I would not resist if a search were forcefully done", I believe opens the door to a consensual search or seizure, or at the least creates ambiguity of your intent. It opens the door to further potential violations. I won't hint additonal ideas.
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    Regular Member OrangeIsTrouble's Avatar
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    You stood your ground and covered your ass. Only thing I can add is to get a recorder.


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    Originally Posted by Grapeshot

    fhsantos - please don't take the replies here as critical of you personally. There were so many overtly wrong things with the detention of yourself, that they 'old hands" were appalled.

    Hope you stay, learn and prosper.
    Originally Posted by fhsantos
    I won't be leaving the forum, I didn't join the forum because I knew everything there was about open carry in the state of Washington. It is a learning experience, I'm not a lawyer, cop, nor a politician, I do not know the laws inside & out. I posted it on here to see if I had handled it right, so for those of you who seem to think I'm just ignorant because I don't exactly see it your way. Please realize I am still young (23 yrs), I do not know everything (my age says it all), I love my country & the things it stands for (I did serve and deployed), I'm here to learn. There's no need to e a dick about things, if you want people to understand. Pushing them around or talking down to them makes you just as bad as any other politician. I appreciate all the information, the heads up, and the suggestions. I will not be posting anyones names on here, that's just asking for trouble. Thanks everyone
    Welcome to OCDO.

    It will always be your choice on how much or little you exert your rights. They are your rights, after all.

    I don't think you handled things poorly. IMO, you did handle things naively, but I would not have been any different when I first started to OC.

    Also, understand, many of us have experienced violations of our rights, from subtle to blatant and we refuse to tolerate such behavior in the future. Most of us will post our responses as to how we would have handled the situation. I would tend to say, as a group, we have an extreme libertarian leaning. It is still up to you to choose how you handle things in the future.

    I would like to offer my opinion for your consideration in regards to posting names. I don't believe that posting those names would be asking for trouble. The officers (in my opinion) were asking for trouble the moment they decided, based on their corrupt training, to violate your rights.

    Again, welcome to OCDO. Carry safe.

  21. #21
    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    May I add a couple of words to your complaint.

    "A pistol in it's holster has never harmed anyone, it is only dangerous when removed from it's retention. Whay would the officers want to endanger anyone by removing a completely legal carry?" (not counting the fact that removing the weapon was unnecessary and illegal.)

    Item two: I'm not so much for asserting the 4th ammendment as I am the Washington State constitution Article 1 section 7. We are in Washington, and our state constitution's wording is stronger than the US constitution's

  22. #22
    Regular Member Schlepnier's Avatar
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    I've had my own LEO encounter already and it is always good to be professional and polite, however as others have noted you should have refused the search as you effectively complied to an illegal act. not only did they commit a federal crime in the act of it, they also violated WA state RCW 9A. 80. 010. which is a gross misdemenor that those officers should be charged with.

    The answer is real simple
    What crime are you investigating? what is your RS to make a legal terry stop? if it is not a legal terry stop(you would have to have been in the commision of a crime so i think you would notice) i am under no legal compulsion to be detained, answer any questions, or submit to a search.

    This is how it should have played out-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ifv5qfuXmKQ
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    I appreciate the youtube link, helps out a lot. I've looked at a few but most are guys just wanting to really push their limits by looking for trouble, this guy just sounds like he actually is eing harrassed.

  24. #24
    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenIsFaster View Post
    You stood your ground and covered your ass. Only thing I can add is to get a recorder.
    +1 seems that is one of the most preached things on here. Record, record, record. Isnt there a saying "if you dont have pictures, it didnt happen", should be If you dont have a recording it didnt happen. Is it the encounters that bring people to OCDO? They come here looking for advice, after they have an encounter? Too bad they dont come here and learn how to handle it before it happens, then we would see so many encounters that are consensual within someones first 30 post's.

    FHSANTOS, Are you going to post a copy of the police report when you get it. I would like to see how they do the write up. It would be awesome to get the dispatch recording too.
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  25. #25
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fhsantos View Post
    I appreciate the youtube link, helps out a lot. I've looked at a few but most are guys just wanting to really push their limits by looking for trouble, this guy just sounds like he actually is eing harrassed.
    Don't take this personal, but..... I like to ask people why they feel it's ok for police to "look for trouble" (proactive law enforcement), but it isn't OK for non governmental minions to Proactively police the police? I personally encourage it and would like to see more of it. It isn't looking for trouble when you are trying to keep our government employees on the up and up. And in my opinion more constitutional than "proactive" policing. After all "What do they have to hide". (Oh and they have no right to hide anything from the public, like the public does from them)
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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