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Thread: Stopped by police for "brandishing a weapon"

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    Stopped by police for "brandishing a weapon"

    I just wanted your opinions on here. I read this site alot, but I don't post much.

    I live in a small-ish town with little to no violent crime. A friend of mine left the hair salon on his motorcycle yesterday to head home. He lives about 1.5 miles from the salon. He was concealed carrying, and was pulled over by a deputy in our county. The deputy did not immediately get out of his vehicle, but commanded my friend to get off the bike, lay down on his stomach, and to put his hands on his head. My friend complied, and the deputy got out of his vehicle, drew his weapon, and put my friend in handcuffs. The deputy claimed he pulled my friend over because he saw my friend's gun on his side while on the bike. I'm not sure if the weapon was briefly displayed, or constantly displayed while on the bike due to the wind.

    Anyway, the deputy accused my friend of brandishing a firearm...along with other basic police officer scare tactics. After my friend disagreed with him (my friend was not aware of SB 234, however) for a while, he was eventually let go, but told by the deputy, "I had better not see your gun again."

    I would like to add that my friend does not have a recording of the encounter.

    The questions I have are as follows:
    Was this handled correctly by the deputy?
    Does my friend have any recourse?

    One of the scenarios that I was considering was that the deputy didn't know whether my friend was going to/from hunting, fishing, camping, or lawful target shooting as detailed in FL Statutes 790.25(3)(h), (j), and (k).

    Thank you for your input.
    Last edited by GoTigersGo; 11-20-2011 at 11:42 AM.

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    If it happened as described, then no, probably not handled properly by the officer.
    Was any kind of ticket or citation issued? Since he (correctly) had no recording of the event, did he at least think to make a note of the officer's name/number (boldy painted on the front fenders of the police car) with which to file a complaint or report of the incident?

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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    IMO, no, this was not handled properly by the LEO.
    Depending on how tech-gifted your PD is, the dash-cam may have a recording.
    Do a FOIA (freedom of information act) request for the recording, radio traffic, phone calls, paperwork, everything relating to this incident.
    And if there isn't any record, why not?
    The officer threatened your friend's life.
    I think that requires quite a bit of provocation / reason, as well as paperwork.
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    The dash-cam thing depends a lot on which County/City this took place in. They arent universal, or wide-spread in Florida.
    Smaller Counties/Towns with limited budgets sometimes dont even have any. Even here, in one of our largest Counties, few of the cars are so equipped- they are mostly distributed to DUI enforcement -designated vehicles and K9 units.
    Also, it depends on the position of the police car in relation to the subject. If not facing it, or in view of the cam, not likely to show much, if anything.
    And, without the officer's name/#, which they will ask for, they'll just shrug it off and wish you a happy day..
    And if it didnt result in an arrest, charge, or even a citation, there wont be a case # assigned to it to even bother them to look for.
    Last edited by j4l; 11-20-2011 at 12:51 PM.

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    No citation was issued, and I'm not sure if he got the deputy's information. I highly doubt he did, though, but I'll ask. I'm not sure he wants to pursue the issue, but as an avid reader of this and other forums, I was disturbed. I'm not sure if our county's police vehicles have dash cams, but I imagine they would, since we are just north of Jacksonville.

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    Ah, Nassau/Fernandina. Im about 10 minutes from you-just across the marsh lol.
    No, only some of the vehicles there have the cams. The most-frequent ones to do so, as far as I know, are ones that are assigned ,specifically, to DUI -enforcement. There was something in the news somewhere a yr. or two ago about the dept.s up there trying to secure the funds to get more cars equipped with them, but I dont recall the outcome of that.
    More often than not-due to the residents- those cars focus on the Amelia Island area.

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    Regular Member ADulay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoTigersGo View Post
    The questions I have are as follows:
    Was this handled correctly by the deputy?
    I believe it was a poor piece of police work at best.

    Having no other "reason" to put your buddy on the ground and handcuff him besides seeing a temporarily exposed gun on a motorcycle (I'm in that condition every day around here!) is pretty weak.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoTigersGo View Post
    Does my friend have any recourse?
    Probably not unless there was some paperwork involved. As he was released with his weapon intact and allowed to drive away, it's become a non-event.


    Quote Originally Posted by GoTigersGo View Post
    One of the scenarios that I was considering was that the deputy didn't know whether my friend was going to/from hunting, fishing, camping, or lawful target shooting as detailed in FL Statutes 790.25(3)(h), (j), and (k).
    I don't believe that would have worked here unless he did have some fishing gear with him or perhaps something showing that he was going to a range.

    Oh yeah, I forgot to add that there was NO WAY what you've described could be considered brandishing in any form.

    Here's hoping the officer learned something from this and won't go off on the next guy he sees in the same or similar condition.

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    Last edited by ADulay; 11-20-2011 at 02:04 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADulay View Post
    I don't believe that would have worked here unless he did have some fishing gear with him or perhaps something showing that he was going to a range.
    Thank you for your input. I'm not sure I completely agree with you here as far as showing something. He could easily have been meeting up with people that had all the targets, ammo, etc. The same would apply to meeting up with people who would provide all of the fishing gear.

    I do believe this situation was not handled in the best of interests. I have been thinking about getting dash cams for my wife and myself, and it's looking like this will end up being Christmas presents for the both of us. Does anyone here have any experience with these and have any recommendations?

    Thanks to everyone for their input.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoTigersGo View Post
    Thank you for your input. I'm not sure I completely agree with you here as far as showing something. He could easily have been meeting up with people that had all the targets, ammo, etc. The same would apply to meeting up with people who would provide all of the fishing gear.

    I do believe this situation was not handled in the best of interests. I have been thinking about getting dash cams for my wife and myself, and it's looking like this will end up being Christmas presents for the both of us. Does anyone here have any experience with these and have any recommendations?

    Thanks to everyone for their input.
    Not to re-hash the record/dont record issue, yet again- but. If you do so, do so at your own risk, and at least ask permission of the other party, or fully expect to at least face charges for doing so.
    Whether or not it ends up being prosecuted/convicted on doing so is another matter-but, the potential legal hassles are there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by j4l View Post
    Not to re-hash the record/dont record issue, yet again- but. If you do so, do so at your own risk, and at least ask permission of the other party, or fully expect to at least face charges for doing so.
    Whether or not it ends up being prosecuted/convicted on doing so is another matter-but, the potential legal hassles are there.
    I understand and appreciate the concern. I saw the thread of the gentleman arrested for "wiretapping" I believe. The police cannot expect privacy on a public street when their voice can clearly be heard inside of my own private vehicle that they are not inside of. Additionally, the police video and audio with their dash cameras, so where is the difference?
    Last edited by GoTigersGo; 11-20-2011 at 02:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoTigersGo View Post
    I understand and appreciate the concern. I saw the thread of the gentleman arrested for "wiretapping" I believe. The police cannot expect privacy on a public street when their voice can clearly be heard inside of my own private vehicle that they are not inside of. Additionally, the police video and audio with their dash cameras, so where is the difference?
    Despite the wishful-thinking of some, the statute doesnt cover private/public-except in regards to recording of telecom/radio intercepts. Verbal comms..depends on the court that tries it, it's very iffy, thus far.

    The Leon County commisioner case was not taken to trial simply because the defendant took a plea to a lesser charge, AND signed a legally-binding aggreement not to further discuss the case, or disclose to anyone else what she recorded.
    (that plus there wasnt an attorney in the entire State willing to touch her case, since she kept insisting on trying a defense based on the "private/expectation of privacy" debate. She was all but laughed out of the courtroom when trying to make that point for herself.)

    The difference for the Police is that they are the Police. There ARE provisions in the same statute for the use of the cams and recording devices by LEOS as part of doing their jobs. That same provision is not made for you and me.

    And again, for the record, this does not mean I LIKE this fact, or in any way support it- I merely advise against it, because the resulting legal troubles from it can out-weigh those for the weapons charges (short of firing the weapon).
    The gun charges can be a mere misdemeanor with a fine, and perhaps difficulty down the road of re-newing your CC permit.
    The wiretap charges are a 3rd degree felony in Florida, and can result-if an actual conviction happens- in actual jail time.

    Now, heading them off at the pass, when all the yahoos come crawling out of the woodwork later telling you "nah, dont listen to him-go ahead and do it" -be sure to ask them how many of them are willing to pay your legal expenses, if you take their advice..
    Last edited by j4l; 11-20-2011 at 02:43 PM.

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    I understand your viewpoint and appreciate your advice. I had formulated a reply, but ultimately decided to save it for another thread. I did not want to change the direction of this thread and the LEO encounter my friend endured.

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    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    I just don't believe this happened as stated.

    'His friend?' - then it's second hand. He doesn't know.

    I can't see a LEO proning out a guy on a MC, and cuffing him for that. Cops are not stupid - they know if they order the guy to keep his hands on his HBars, he's effectively 'secured' (he's straddling a bike - try it).

    The story seems too detailed for second-hand (he didn't have a recorder - how convenient, too). If you're carrying and riding, and mean to CC, (it's Florida. EVERYONE knows you can't OC/flash in Fla.) you don't leave your HG flapping in the breeze.

    If it is fair and accurate, then a call to the Chief is warranted, depending on if it's local PD or FSP.

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    Last edited by Badger Johnson; 11-20-2011 at 04:03 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    I just don't believe this happened as stated.

    'His friend?' - then it's second hand. He doesn't know.

    I can't see a LEO proning out a guy on a MC, and cuffing him for that. Cops are not stupid - they know if they order the guy to keep his hands on his HBars, he's effectively 'secured' (he's straddling a bike - try it).

    The story seems too detailed for second-hand (he didn't have a recorder - how convenient, too). If you're carrying and riding, and mean to CC, (it's Florida. EVERYONE knows you can't OC/flash in Fla.) you don't leave yrur HG flapping in the breeze.

    If it is fair and accurate, then a call to the Chief is warranted, depending on if it's local PD or FSP.

    $.02
    You're right, I don't know for sure. I'm only going by what I was told. I have never known my friend to lie, so I believe him 100%. And, in my opinion, you give the police too much credit. You can't generalize that 'cops are not stupid,' and be entirely accurate. From my life experience, there are stupid people in every occupation.

    Too detailed for second-hand? Really? He told me last night, and I relayed it today. If anything, the story is not detailed enough. I don't know exactly what was said by my friend after handcuffed. I don't know what part of the road before our subdivision he was pulled over, and I don't even know how long he was detained. But flame away...

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoTigersGo View Post
    You're right, I don't know for sure. I'm only going by what I was told. I have never known my friend to lie, so I believe him 100%. And, in my opinion, you give the police too much credit. You can't generalize that 'cops are not stupid,' and be entirely accurate. From my life experience, there are stupid people in every occupation.

    Too detailed for second-hand? Really? He told me last night, and I relayed it today. If anything, the story is not detailed enough. I don't know exactly what was said by my friend after handcuffed. I don't know what part of the road before our subdivision he was pulled over, and I don't even know how long he was detained. But flame away...
    Do forgive Badge, but as we see far too often in here with such ..descriptions of such incidents- be it 1st, 2nd, or 3rd hand- 9 times out of 10, some very key details are left out. Usually intentionally.
    As often as not-those key details end up sinking the original story like the Titanic in an Ice chest. So some degree of scepticism can be expected.
    Nothing personal, just a kind of "jading" that occurs.

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    I'm definitely not taking up for the cop; but I will say that if your friend was supposed to be concealed carrying, then if he would have truly concealed the handgun, none of this would have happened.

    If it's going to be carry "concealed", the gun must be concealed from the view of other people.
    Last edited by MilProGuy; 11-21-2011 at 05:41 PM. Reason: added bold font for emphasis
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    Quote Originally Posted by MilProGuy View Post
    I'm not taking up for the cop; but I will say that if your friend was supposed to be concealed carrying, then if he would have truly concealed the handgun, none of this would have happened.

    If it's going to be carry "concealed", the gun must be concealed from the view of other people.
    You are from Mississippi and may not be aware that Florida just modified it's concealed provision thusly;

    790.053 Open carrying of weapons.—
    (1) Except as otherwise provided by law and in subsection (2), it is
    unlawful for any person to openly carry on or about his or her person any
    firearm or electric weapon or device. It is not a violation of this section for a
    person licensed to carry a concealed firearm as provided in s. 790.06(1), and
    who is lawfully carrying a firearm in a concealed manner, to briefly and
    openly display the firearm to the ordinary sight of another person
    , unless the
    firearm is intentionally displayed in an angry or threatening manner, not in
    necessary self-defense.

    There is no case law to date that defines "briefly"
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    Regular Member OngoingFreedom's Avatar
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    As described, with the new law in mind, there was no offense. The offending officer's commanding officer should be given a complaint.


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    I do understand the initial skepticism, and I will admit that I do not have all of the details, just those relayed to me in the ten minutes I spoke with my friend. I have read countless stories on here that didn't seem real, and where people were trolling.

    As far as my friend should have been carrying concealed, that's why in my initial post, I indicated I wasn't sure if his gun showing was a perpetual thing while on the bike due to the wind, or a brief display as described in SB 234. I wonder how the lawmakers would define brief, anyhow. I would imagine, that it being on a motorcycle, the weapon was not concealed very well. Maybe he thought that since he lives only a mile and a half away, that it wouldn't matter.

    Thanks for everyone's input.

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    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironside View Post
    You are from Mississippi and may not be aware that Florida just modified it's concealed provision thusly;

    790.053 Open carrying of weapons.—
    (1) Except as otherwise provided by law and in subsection (2), it is
    unlawful for any person to openly carry on or about his or her person any
    firearm or electric weapon or device. It is not a violation of this section for a
    person licensed to carry a concealed firearm as provided in s. 790.06(1), and
    who is lawfully carrying a firearm in a concealed manner, to briefly and
    openly display the firearm to the ordinary sight of another person
    , unless the
    firearm is intentionally displayed in an angry or threatening manner, not in
    necessary self-defense.

    There is no case law to date that defines "briefly"
    Thank you for taking the time to post this information.

    I have a cousin in Florida who will be happy to learn this if he hasn't already.
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    Campaign Veteran StogieC's Avatar
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    GoTigersGo,

    I'd like to speak to your friend about this incident. This is absolutely unacceptable and is exactly the type of story our legislators need to hear about. Please get him to email me sean@floridacarry.org

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    Brandishing on a motorcycle?

    It has been my experience that most cops just make up the rules as they go along. They are certainly not very knowledgeable about gun laws. I don't think that reporting this incident would do any good at all, because the chiefs don't care either.

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    Regular Member 77zach's Avatar
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    I just can't imagine aggressively confronting another human over non-criminal or adiaphorous behavior, regardless of the "law". It takes a special kind of depravity.
    “If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind? ” -Bastiat

    I don't "need" to openly carry a handgun or own an "assault weapon" any more than Rosa Parks needed a seat on the bus.

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    Was this handled correctly by the deputy?
    No, this was handled incorrectly. No law was broken and the motorcyclist was detained, embarrassed, and put in a dangerous situation. This was precisely what SB234 was supposed to prevent.

    Does my friend have any recourse?
    No, qualified immunity is one helluva shield. As I've recently learned, the courts are having fun with this false concept called an "affirmative defense" which basically presumes people guilty, especially for state-permitted activities. The police have an audacious amount of leeway to harass and subject individuals to investigatory "punishment".
    Last edited by nigmalg; 11-21-2011 at 03:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StogieC View Post
    GoTigersGo,

    I'd like to speak to your friend about this incident. This is absolutely unacceptable and is exactly the type of story our legislators need to hear about. Please get him to email me sean@floridacarry.org
    I'll let him know. I can't promise that he will contact you, but I will try.

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