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Thread: Bellingham police draw down on Open Carrier

  1. #1
    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    Bellingham police draw down on Open Carrier

    Episode two (not recorded)

    I was walking my dogs this morning at Bloedel Donovan Park. The local gang bangers had tagged the three main buildings and I stopped to talk to the guy that runs the place (wayne). I offered to help pait it over, but he had to wait for the LEOs to take photos.
    I walked on and was down by the water when the PD arrived. As I passed the building I motioned to wayne that his LEOs had arrived.
    I continued our walk and saw another LEO coming around my side of the building. So I called to him and directed him to were the others were inspecting the tag. He was speaking with someone on his radio on and off. Conversation was light until he said "Are you carrying a fire arm?" I replied "yes, yes I am, aren't you?" "guns aren't allowed in the Park.".......... "I think you are wrong"......
    Now it starts. No, I did not record. No, I don't carry a recorder. No, I am not going to argue about recorders.
    He tells me "officer safety" because I am getting louder. Now his weapon comes out. I ask him what I am doing illegally. He tells me that I cannot get loud with him because I am armed. I say that I always get louder when confronted with stupid. "Got any ID?" I tried to explain the actual law to him (he did not want to hear that from me) so I gave him a brochure. He would not look at it (officer safety again) and kept his eyes on me at all times. I repeatedly asked him to "Put the pistol in the holster". He put it away, but kept drawing over and over every time I moved.
    The Park manager (wayne) and his boss heard us arguing and came over to see what was going on. He mediated a bit and told the LEO that I was a regular in the park, I was an OC advocate well versed in the law, and that it was legal to carry there. The officer eased up and reviewed the brochure. Things got better after that. I apologized for calling him "stupid" about the law, and he apologized for being "stupid" about the law. He admitted that his misunderstanding of OC law will give him the opportunity to break out the training bulliten and review it again.
    The Sergeant he called showed up and We told him evrythig was good and they redirected to graffiti and I continued to walk dogs

    I think this worked out to be a training opportunity. The officer involved came away with a better understanding of the law and what appeared to be a better attitude to OCers
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Washi...66874943419858

    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

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    Regular Member waterfowl woody's Avatar
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    first I want to say WOW! At least in the end everything worked out. good story. Is there anything different you would do after having this experience? I am refering to how the conversation or your reactions went at the moment. of course you were not doing wrong and I am looking for your experience advice for this encounter as many of us will be in this situation one day. looks like you also got a cop out of making a mistake, I like how it turned out. you and the new officer friendly terms?

  3. #3
    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    Yes, we walked away without animosity.
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Washi...66874943419858

    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

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    Wasn't it Bellingham that paid out some $$ last year? I believe it was SVG involved too. It seems some places don't learn from their original mistakes?

    Well handled on your part. It seems you were calm, and the public was educated. That's what OCDO is all about. Well done!

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    Regular Member Batousaii's Avatar
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    Good on your part ~ BUT...

    ... The officer pointed a loaded weapon at a legal citizen who posed no threat, thats a very big deal. If he is allowed to maintain this habit, then we will have another wood carver incident down the line. Officer safety is a B.S. call in a situation like this, and his department needs to hear about it. Officers are people too, and need to be treated the same as you and me when it comes to dangerous exhibitions with their weapons. What if you had pulled your weapon on someone for raising their voice? .... you would have been charged with some serious crimes right? He needs to be reprimanded with a serious tone.

    I am really glad your ok, and that fool didnt burk you.

    Bat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    If only cops were required to join this site and be required to read, at a minimum, their state's forum. Then given a test. I'll betcha that the world would be a much better place.
    Alternatively, they should be trained to follow the law.

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    cops on this forum

    Im just curious if there any cops that are members of this forum, and if so, do they spread the work about open carry? Il probably get some flack for this, but I am considering a LE career too.

  8. #8
    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    I can guarantee you, had he shot you, all he'd have to do is say 'The guy made a threatening gesture'. Good shoot. Thus, it's a really good idea to file on him. I also guarantee you he knew you were not a real threat, and knows the difference between a lawful citizen and a bad guy and you weren't a bad guy.

    It's all jealousy, imo.
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    Campaign Veteran Schlitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batousaii View Post
    ... The officer pointed a loaded weapon at a legal citizen who posed no threat, thats a very big deal. If he is allowed to maintain this habit, then we will have another wood carver incident down the line. Officer safety is a B.S. call in a situation like this, and his department needs to hear about it. Officers are people too, and need to be treated the same as you and me when it comes to dangerous exhibitions with their weapons. What if you had pulled your weapon on someone for raising their voice? .... you would have been charged with some serious crimes right? He needs to be reprimanded with a serious tone.

    I am really glad your ok, and that fool didnt burk you.

    Bat.
    As much as I want to say he learned from it and you should leave it at that, Batousaii is right. Ignorance is NO EXCUSE for breaking the law. If you had done the same to someone else in front of this officer you'd be shot dead or at least arrested. File a formal complaint. If you want to be a big boy and carry a badge and wave a gun around at people you need to know the rules.

    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post

    It's all jealousy, imo.
    Agreed. +1
    “The claim and exercise of a constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime.”
    [Miller vs. U.S., 230 F. Supp. 486, 489 (1956)]
    “There can be no sanction or penalty imposed upon one because of his exercise of constitutional rights.”
    [Sherar vs. Cullen, 481 F2d. 946 (1973)]

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    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    The Sergeant and his partner were well versed on Open Carry. The OI admitted he was a bit short on knowledge and would use the opportunity to learn and teach others. The only thing I was upset about was the "ratchet holster" that kept throwing his weapon out and into his hand so often. For that, I raised my voice.
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Washi...66874943419858

    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by briehl12 View Post
    Im just curious if there any cops that are members of this forum, and if so, do they spread the work about open carry? Il probably get some flack for this, but I am considering a LE career too.
    There are a number of LEOs, past and present, on this forum who are proponents of OC and the benefits thereof.

    No flack for considering a career in LE, in fact you are to be congratulated.
    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time.

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  12. #12
    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    No flack for considering a career in LE, in fact you are to be congratulated.
    Roger that, I support law enforcement 100%.
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Washi...66874943419858

    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

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    Awesome. Thank you. Too bad the econmoy is the way it is. Tested with King County and passed, then the budget cuts came. Hopefully next year.

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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSG Laigaie View Post
    Roger that, I support law enforcement 100%.
    Even officer Birk?(Or any other of the 20% of encounters that the SPD violate your constitutional rights) You might want to rephrase that to 98.3% or something like that...
    Live Free or Die!

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    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    I see this as a way to get them to publish a training bulletin on Open Carry. I had a similar incident in Federal Way. The officer was a transplant from Texas who had not been trained on Washington Gun laws.

    Do you want to initiate the process I can provide sample copies to get things rolling.....?
    Do you want to get your Oregon Concealed Handgun License? Sheriff Dickerson of Columbia County Oregon will be at the Puyallup WAC show in October. Everything you need to get your Oregon CHL is linked through the website or you can use the information from the website and make an appointment and apply at his office in St Helens, Oregon.
    http://www.washingtongunrights.com/ccso

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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    Very good MSG, you handled it well.

    IMHO: I think officer unfriendly got a bit of OJT. I would suspect that he got a little more training later. Personally, I do not think I would go any farther with this encounter. He was told by you, he was told by his supervisor, and he has your OC brochure, I think that should be sufficent.

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    Regular Member MadHatter66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by briehl12 View Post
    Im just curious if there any cops that are members of this forum, and if so, do they spread the work about open carry? Il probably get some flack for this, but I am considering a LE career too.
    I worked for a number of departments, and the word was really well spread, at least in my area. There are some rogues out there that just flat out refuse to comply, for whatever reason. They tend to be the officers who are out to prove something though and usually don't last long... But having worked in LE, yes the word is out there and they are acutely aware of OCDO and some of the officers look at OCDO as "people out there that will try to provoke you." Meaning we provoke the cops into violating our rights . Most of them will say that they know of OCDO, and that "they know the laws better than we do." I know quite a few guys who would read through the forums to see what is going on and who the OCer's in their area are, but also they will read through the forums to find out some of the info about the laws.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Batousaii View Post
    SNIP The officer pointed a loaded weapon at a legal citizen who posed no threat
    I don't see that in the OP. The thread title certainly gives that impression, but the OPer's incident report does not indicate the cop's gun was pointed at the OCer. If the cop did actually point the weapon at the OCer then its game-on for a full formal complaint for assault.

    I had a longer post written out, but as I wrote it, various angles occurred to me, forcing me to go back and revise. Finally, I realized that this encounter, like so many others, is dependent on exact facts. I counsel thinking carefully before doing anything further. I'm not saying don't do anything further; I'm saying think carefully. Below is why I say that:

    Lets not overlook something really, really important. The cop is to be commended for shifting gears and apologizing as soon as he realized the error of law. When was the last time anybody heard a cop apologize for something like this? Whether the error was corrected by the citizen, the park employee, or his command after an internal affairs investigation is not really the point, I think. It matters less who makes the correction, than that the correction got through. By the cop's own actions, the correction got through. The cop recognized his responsibility on the spot. Nobody had to beat it into him across a supervisor's desk or in federal court. Genuinely good cops seem such a rarity anymore, I would weigh carefully about what and whether to complain.

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    Regular Member Stretch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gogodawgs View Post
    Even officer Birk?(Or any other of the 20% of encounters that the SPD violate your constitutional rights) You might want to rephrase that to 98.3% or something like that...
    I support law enforcement 100%.

    I do not support all law enforcement officers.

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    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schlitz View Post
    As much as I want to say he learned from it and you should leave it at that, Batousaii is right. Ignorance is NO EXCUSE for breaking the law. If you had done the same to someone else in front of this officer you'd be shot dead or at least arrested. File a formal complaint. If you want to be a big boy and carry a badge and wave a gun around at people you need to know the rules.


    Agreed. +1
    Quote Originally Posted by M1Gunr View Post
    I see this as a way to get them to publish a training bulletin on Open Carry. I had a similar incident in Federal Way. The officer was a transplant from Texas who had not been trained on Washington Gun laws.

    Do you want to initiate the process I can provide sample copies to get things rolling.....?
    Quote Originally Posted by Stretch View Post
    I support law enforcement 100%.

    I do not support all law enforcement officers.
    What ever happened to "ignorance of the law is no excuse".

    Thing I have a hard time with, is how is is legal for a cop to draw and point his firearm at us and we cant do anything but stand there and hope not to get shot. If the Tables were turned we would be arrested. This needs to change. They should have no right to endanger our live by pointing a loaded firearm at us. I wonder if you could do a citizens arrest for him brandishing a firearm?
    Last edited by amzbrady; 12-19-2011 at 07:17 PM.
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  21. #21
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    It could be a good followup to contact the department and compliment the Sargent

    Quote Originally Posted by MSG Laigaie View Post
    Episode two (not recorded)

    I was walking my dogs this morning at Bloedel Donovan Park. The local gang bangers had tagged the three main buildings and I stopped to talk to the guy that runs the place (wayne). I offered to help pait it over, but he had to wait for the LEOs to take photos.
    I walked on and was down by the water when the PD arrived. As I passed the building I motioned to wayne that his LEOs had arrived.
    I continued our walk and saw another LEO coming around my side of the building. So I called to him and directed him to were the others were inspecting the tag. He was speaking with someone on his radio on and off. Conversation was light until he said "Are you carrying a fire arm?" I replied "yes, yes I am, aren't you?" "guns aren't allowed in the Park.".......... "I think you are wrong"......
    Now it starts. No, I did not record. No, I don't carry a recorder. No, I am not going to argue about recorders.
    He tells me "officer safety" because I am getting louder. Now his weapon comes out. I ask him what I am doing illegally. He tells me that I cannot get loud with him because I am armed. I say that I always get louder when confronted with stupid. "Got any ID?" I tried to explain the actual law to him (he did not want to hear that from me) so I gave him a brochure. He would not look at it (officer safety again) and kept his eyes on me at all times. I repeatedly asked him to "Put the pistol in the holster". He put it away, but kept drawing over and over every time I moved.
    The Park manager (wayne) and his boss heard us arguing and came over to see what was going on. He mediated a bit and told the LEO that I was a regular in the park, I was an OC advocate well versed in the law, and that it was legal to carry there. The officer eased up and reviewed the brochure. Things got better after that. I apologized for calling him "stupid" about the law, and he apologized for being "stupid" about the law. He admitted that his misunderstanding of OC law will give him the opportunity to break out the training bulliten and review it again.
    The Sergeant he called showed up and We told him evrythig was good and they redirected to graffiti and I continued to walk dogs

    I think this worked out to be a training opportunity. The officer involved came away with a better understanding of the law and what appeared to be a better attitude to OCers
    You already taught a lesson to the officer that did not know the law. Now you could reinforce the point by writting a letter to the department complimenting the Sargent on knowing the law and acting appropriately. Police officers get lots of complaints and learn to ignore them. Write a letter complimenting one of them and it is likely to get talked about all over the department. An alternative would be a letter to the editor in the local paper doing the same thing. Letters complimenting police are rare, so there would be a good chance of it getting published.

    Positive reinforcement for positive actions can work very well.

  22. #22
    Regular Member fire suppressor's Avatar
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    My first reaction is wow I can't believe that happened after that department lost that law suit last year that is a department who dose not learn from their mistakes. My only constructive criticism is I do not think I would have personally called him stupid. I'm not trying to say you did something wrong or slam you but I have found in my experience when dealing with police even if they are in the wrong like they are here it still benefits you to keep a respectfully attitude towards them. Could this be our first documented case of a incident adverted by a pamphlet?
    "Fight like you train, train like you fight"

  23. #23
    Regular Member skiingislife725's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fire suppressor View Post
    My first reaction is wow I can't believe that happened after that department lost that law suit last year that is a department who dose not learn from their mistakes. My only constructive criticism is I do not think I would have personally called him stupid. I'm not trying to say you did something wrong or slam you but I have found in my experience when dealing with police even if they are in the wrong like they are here it still benefits you to keep a respectfully attitude towards them. Could this be our first documented case of a incident adverted by a pamphlet?
    Sounded more like incident averted by another citizen coming in and talking the cop down. I'm hoping this guy is just a transplant and not a regular...one lawsuit in the past year isn't enough?

  24. #24
    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1Gunr View Post
    I see this as a way to get them to publish a training bulletin on Open Carry.
    Done...... with the help of SVG when he had his incident. As a matter of fact the OI and I discussed the one Bellingham uses.

    "Citizen said
    Quote Originally Posted by Batousaii View Post
    SNIP The officer pointed a loaded weapon at a legal citizen who posed no threat

    I don't see that in the OP. The thread title certainly gives that impression, but the OPer's incident report does not indicate the cop's gun was pointed at the OCer. If the cop did actually point the weapon at the OCer then its game-on for a full formal complaint for assault. "

    Well, yes he did point the weapon at my chest on several separate occasions. And no, I am not going to drag this guy thru the mud just because I can. He learned something. I was never in harms way, even when he had his weapon out of his holster. Trust me on this one. I do not believe this LEO will have a problem with OC in the future. "game-on for a full formal complaint for assault. " is not warranted in this case and would create more heat than it would alleviate.

    EDIT: Almost forgot. I do not care if you are a LEO, a priest, or the POTUS. If you draw a weapon and wave it around (brandishing) I will refer to the act and the person performing it STUPID. As in "Put the weapon away, you're acting stupid" or"Stop sweeping me, you're being stupid". and those may have been actual quotes. I was insistant on this and I may have verbally intimidated the officer.
    Sorry it took so long to respond, I watch football on Monday nites. Go Geelong!!
    Last edited by MSG Laigaie; 12-19-2011 at 10:40 PM. Reason: forgot the "stupid" part
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Washi...66874943419858

    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

  25. #25
    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSG Laigaie View Post
    Done...... with the help of SVG when he had his incident. As a matter of fact the OI and I discussed the one Bellingham uses.
    Is there a copy available to the public?
    Do you want to get your Oregon Concealed Handgun License? Sheriff Dickerson of Columbia County Oregon will be at the Puyallup WAC show in October. Everything you need to get your Oregon CHL is linked through the website or you can use the information from the website and make an appointment and apply at his office in St Helens, Oregon.
    http://www.washingtongunrights.com/ccso

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