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1st LEO encounter with OC/Digital recorder/CWP

razor_baghdad

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Scenario: Traveling south on Loudon County Parkway…hit the dog-leg right, down by Gouviea Street…..headed to Silver Eagle. The speed limit nose dives from 45 to 25 (25mph sign is (8.5” x 11”…but yes…it’s there) well before the 75 degree turn. I didn’t see it. I hit the turn at about 35 and yes, an LEO was right behind me. He made the turn onto Gouviea with me and hit the digitals…

At that point I pulled over and moved the pistol from on top of the center seat console onto the dash, put my hands out the window, wallet in hand and waited.

LEO: “I see the pistol on the dash. Please don’t make any attempt at reaching for the pistol. Are you active duty? (several
SF

/mil. stickers on the vehicle).


Me: No sir, I’m retired…(as I’m fishing my license out of the wallet and he sees the CAC, retiree card.)

LEO: Do you have a concealed carry permit? (I’m pretty sure I don’t have to answer that question as I’m OCing in the vehicle as the LEO already acknowledged)…

Me: ‘Yes, I do.’….

(To me, demeanor in the initial response is crucial. I could’ve been the activist and said ‘I don’t think I have to answer that question’, but ...... ‘Yes, I do.’ (This question, IMO, becomes important later)

LEO: ‘You were doing 45 in a 25 back on LCP’

LEO takes license and heads to vehicle.

At this point I kicked myself and realized [duh] I had a digital recorder and then turned it on. :cuss:

LEO returns: ‘I’m not seeing your concealed carry permit in our system. (He THEN sees the digital recorder next to the pistol :what:and asks me ‘Please exit the vehicle and step to the back and keep your hands visible’. (in front of his vehicle where a vidcam and microphone are on anyway)

(At the back of the vehicle)

LEO: ‘Let me see your CWP’

Me: (I dig the permit out) but also stated:. ‘I'm certain that in the State of Va I don’t need a cc permit to open carry in the vehicle, sir’.

LEO: ‘You mean to tell me you carry your pistol on the dash like that’?

Me: ‘No, sir, it lays on the center console in full view of all the occupants in the vehicle’.

At this point he blinks at me a few times, probably realizing that he’s dealing with a semi-literate on Va state laws OCer who has a CWP also, and that he’s probably not gonna be able to walk-on/intimidate me.

LEO: ‘Oh, I know the state OC laws, I want to know why your CWP isn’t showing up in the system’ (but stated more as a question)…btw…he was being very courteous and never flexed muscle/intimidated.

(IMHO he never should have asked me on initial response if I had a CWP as I was OCing. This becomes evident later because when my plates were run through the system, the CWP would show up then also, which it didn’t.)

LEO: ‘Trust me, I don’t mind OC, I just need to figure out why you’re not on our books’. (gets on cell-phone at this point as he steps away from me) (2[suP]nd[/suP] vehicle LEO covers down on me.)

LEO returns: ‘It’s probably because it’s new’.

(I have a feeling he called his Sup and his Sup advised to let me go)

Me: ‘It’s fairly new, I just got it last week.’

LEO: ‘Have a nice day, slow down and be safe.’

Back to initial response about CWP, if I go into the hard-core ‘I have 1A, 2A rights’ mode, I’m probably digging a hole and begging to eat a few more tickets, speeding, no turn-signal here, tires too big for the truck…kinda stuff. As it was I didn’t receive a ticket.

I think the LEO knew he crossed a line by asking for the CWP and then had to backtrack after asking about the CWP and then running the license, making the inquiries to higher.

What would have been your initial response upon LEO approach to your vehicle? ;)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Too bad this thread closed. I learned a lot about my screwups and was hoping to learn more.

DA: Couldn't agree more with you. +1,000,00.
It sickens me to see a board filled with so much phuckin hate towards a group of people.

Being the DA I try to see both sides. But in this case I cannot. The fear and bad mouthingjust defy all logic

This thread was about OC in a vehicle, not about cop-bashing or mind-reading.....not my intent at all.

FWIW....my vehicle sits about 6' off the ground. He didn't see me place the pistol on the dash, I couldn't see his face in the rearview my truck sits up so high...no biggie.

I was in the right by OCing in the vehicle and wasn't concerned about the recording, pending lawsuit BS, CWP...I don't think that way...ever.




 

SaltH2OHokie

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I don't normally unholster when in the car unless I'm on a long trip, so whether that leaves me 100% concealed or concealed by nature of the seat and seat belt, I'll likely just hand him my license and registration calmly and just as calmly inform him that I am legally carrying, what would make him most comfortable with the stop and I'll go from there. My friend who is a cop in Newport News said that when he encounters legal carry he usually gives them a "thanks for telling me" and that's where the conversation ends about the weapon.

I'm not really of the opinion that the majority of LEO are out to get me and as such, I'm going to play the odds that the one that has me stopped is in that friendly (or neutral) majority. If it bites me in the ass one day, maybe I'll change my tune, but for now, that's my thoughts...sounds like from the way your story reads you're at least somewhat similar in your thinking...
 

skidmark

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Generally, you done good. Sometimes it is difficult to remember to start the voice recorder, so no significant loss of points there. Sounds like you knew about the drastic change of speed, but just did not see the itty-bitty sign as you flew past it. (Arguing 35 in a 25 vs. 45 in a 25 on the side of the streetis not productive, in my limited experience, but having a recording of your statement denying the higher speed could prove worthwhile at your hearing.)

I'm thinking that the cop was thinking that you moved your handgun from wherever it was to the dash - and he even asked you about that. That formed a basis for him to try to determine if you might have been carrying concealed until he lit you up, which then got him wondering why your CHP was not "in the system."

Personally, I'm also wondering why your CHP is not in the system. The Clerk of the Circuit Court has a bit of computer work to do before or immediately after handing your CHP to you. Part of that includes electronically recording the existence of the CHP, which then ties in withthe stae police database that cops use to look up your registration info. At two weeks old your CHP should have been in the system.

Fortunately, it is not your problem to remedy. However, if some other cop wants to check your CHP and it is not in the system you might begin experiencing additional officer-safety actions on the part of the cop.

Back to the original stop - I've always heard it as good advice to leave the handgun where it was before you noticed the cops were noticing you. I was told it prevents them from claiming a "furtive movement" on your part which could be the basis of an extended conversation and/or sightseeing trip through your vehicle. It's up to you to inform them ahead of time or not about the presence of the handgun. I've always taken the position that I will do so before any movement of my hands off of the steering wheel or complying with any order to exit the vehicle. I might inform the cop before then, depending on circumstances. (My favorite isas an OBTW comment as I'm leavinga sobriety checkpoint. ;))

stay safe.

skidmark
 

razor_baghdad

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Thanks all and yah, salt, I do think that way, pro-LEO, much respect out for professionals doing a tough job.

BTW, the vehicle is a 4 x 4 Dodge Ram 1500 King Cab w/33" tires and a 4" lift, no wheel flares....yet another ticket for extended tires which will be remedied soon, and I only unholster in the vehicle when I sense 'something' about to happen....ie....'dangerous' intersection, police on my a$$..;):D

This was my second trip down the LCP, but the last time was at 0600 in the morning and while passing the very same corner the mph sign is posted, I was looking for the SE Bldg...again....:shock:

and trust me with him on me, I was trying to do everything right to avoid just such an encounter....

I could barely see the top of his head and digitals so no furtives could have been observed while unholstering....hint....:?:)
 

gotm4

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The VA CHPs can take several weeks to get to VA VSP.
Often when selling handguns to people (at the gunstore I work at), people with new permits don't show in the system from the VSP Firearms Transaction center (Richmond). They call up saying they don't see the permit and we have to copy the permit, make them larger and fax them down to VSP (for the 1 handgun 30day exemption). Some counties send down the info to VSP slower/faster than others.
 

ProShooter

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razor_baghdad wrote:
At that point I pulled over and moved the pistol from on top of the center seat console onto the dash, put my hands out the window, wallet in hand and waited.Very, very dangerous move - not recommended.


LEO: Do you have a concealed carry permit? (I’m pretty sure I don’t have to answer that question as I’m OCing in the vehicle as the LEO already acknowledged)…If he saw you moving the pistol onto the dash, its reasonable for him to assume that perhaps you had it concealed prior to the stop. I think his question of asking about a CHP is not totally out of line there.


Me: (I dig the permit out) but also stated:. ‘I'm certain that in the State of Va I don’t need a cc permit to open carry in the vehicle, sir’.True, but again he may have seen you moving the pistol from the low spot in the passenger compartment to the dash.


Back to initial response about CWP, if I go into the hard-core ‘I have 1A, 2A rights’ mode, I’m probably digging a hole and begging to eat a few more tickets, speeding, no turn-signal here, tires too big for the truck…kinda stuff. As it was I didn’t receive a ticket.You are correct about possibly digging a hole - I always tell my students that you are never going to win an argument with an officer on the side of the road. If you switched into "2A mode", you probably would have gotten a ticket rather than a warning.


What would have been your initial response upon LEO approach to your vehicle? I would have pulled over, turned my hazard lights on, not touched an open carried handgun and just kept my hands on the wheel in plain view. Dont reach for your wallet/permit/etc until you've made him aware of the gun's presence. Then just comply with his directions and hope for a warning rather then a ticket (which you fortunately got anyway)


 

Sheriff

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Razor, this is not a trick question.I know you couldn't read the cop's mind, but if you will, give me your honest opinion of how thecop felt about a citizen being in possession of a firearm in a vehicle. In answeringI of course would ask that you put ALL anti-cop or pro-cop thoughts aside.
 

SaltH2OHokie

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Sheriff wrote:
Razor, this is not a trick question.I know you couldn't read the cop's mind, but if you will, give me your honest opinion of how thecop felt about a citizen being in possession of a firearm in a vehicle. In answeringI of course would ask that you put ALL anti-cop or pro-cop thoughts aside.
That's a loaded question, which I think was answered by the facts: He was pulled over for speeding, which he admitted he was doing. The officer saw the gun, at no point did he relieve him of it (at least not in the story) and let him go without a ticket for ANYTHING. He obviously could have ticketed him for a number of things, as the OP alluded to, but instead let him go with a warning. Seems pretty cut and dried to me.

Of course, you're correct, none of us know the real answer to that question (unless that officer happens to be a member) and my answer is but a guess based on the facts presented.
 

Citizen

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razor_baghdad wrote:
SNIP LEO returns: ‘I’m not seeing your concealed carry permit in our system. (He THEN sees the digital recorder next to the pistoland asks me ‘Please exit the vehicle and step to the back and keep your hands visible’. (in front of his vehicle where a vidcam and microphone are on anyway)


Well handled, Razor.

The cop removed you from the vehicle over the recording!

I'd raise hell about a 1st Amendment violation--deliberately preventing you from recording the encounter. Clearly he wasn't concerned about the gun itself. He left you and the gun in the car with the gun on the dash in easy reach while he went to the patrol car. I assume he didn't walk backwards to the patrol car.

Whether the cop seizes the recorder himself, orders you to turn it off, or takes you to the back of the car, he's defeated the purpose of the recording.

I'd check around first and see if its too late to get a ticket for speeding or not. Then I'd have an admin delete this thread. Then, ifa delayed-action ticket was reasonablyunlikely, I would fire off a blisteringly worded formal complaint complete with every scrap of case law in any federal circuit I could lay my hands on.

And, I'd tell the local press. There is bound to be a sympathetic small-circulation reporter in your area.

Don't be misdirected by assertions that the officer can remove you from the car. (As far as I know he can, for officer safety). But, that isn't the point. The point is defeating the recording.



Lesson for the forum. Don't leave your voice recorder in view if you can help it.



Geewhiz, guys. 169 views to this point, and 7 or 8 responses and nobody saw the 1A violation? We have so gotta work on comparing police actions to the Bill of Rights. Step by step. Every word and actionof the LEO(s). Ask yourself, "Is this legal?"
 

ProShooter

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Citizen wrote:
Well handled, Razor.

The cop removed you from the vehicle over the recording! You dont know that for sure, the OP merely said that the officer saw the recorder. The OP has no way of knowing what the officer really did see or what his reasons were for asking him to step out of the car.

I'd raise hell about a 1st Amendment violation--deliberately preventing you from recording the encounter (again, facts not in evidence). Clearly he wasn't concerned about the gun itself. He left you and the gun in the car with the gun on the dash in easy reach while he went to the patrol car. I assume he didn't walk backwards to the patrol car.

Whether the cop seizes the recorder himself, orders you to turn it off, or takes you to the back of the car, he's defeated the purpose of the recording.

I'd check around first and see if its too late to get a ticket for speeding or not. Then I'd have an admin delete this thread. Then, ifa delayed-action ticket was reasonablyunlikely, I would fire off a blisteringly worded formal complaint complete with every scrap of case law in any federal circuit I could lay my hands on (WHY? Complain that you didnt get a ticket? Complain that the officer asked you to step away from the car, which he is entitled to do? Please dont start recommending to posters that they should poke a sleeping bear with a stick.)

And, I'd tell the local press (another winning idea! Screw everyone else who make get a warning instead of a ticket or piss off the cop so that he strokes the next OC'er...brilliant!) There is bound to be a sympathetic small-circulation reporter in your area (oh yes, we all know how much the press stands up for the rights of gun owners).


More important lesson for the forum - dont get sucked into the internet postings that will lead you down the path of trouble.
 

ed

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ProShooter wrote:
razor_baghdad wrote:
At that point I pulled over and moved the pistol from on top of the center seat console onto the dash, put my hands out the window, wallet in hand and waited.Very, very dangerous move - not recommended.


LEO: Do you have a concealed carry permit? (I’m pretty sure I don’t have to answer that question as I’m OCing in the vehicle as the LEO already acknowledged)…If he saw you moving the pistol onto the dash, its reasonable for him to assume that perhaps you had it concealed prior to the stop. I think his question of asking about a CHP is not totally out of line there.


Me: (I dig the permit out) but also stated:. ‘I'm certain that in the State of Va I don’t need a cc permit to open carry in the vehicle, sir’.True, but again he may have seen you moving the pistol from the low spot in the passenger compartment to the dash.


Back to initial response about CWP, if I go into the hard-core ‘I have 1A, 2A rights’ mode, I’m probably digging a hole and begging to eat a few more tickets, speeding, no turn-signal here, tires too big for the truck…kinda stuff. As it was I didn’t receive a ticket.You are correct about possibly digging a hole - I always tell my students that you are never going to win an argument with an officer on the side of the road. If you switched into "2A mode", you probably would have gotten a ticket rather than a warning.


What would have been your initial response upon LEO approach to your vehicle? I would have pulled over, turned my hazard lights on, not touched an open carried handgun and just kept my hands on the wheel in plain view. Dont reach for your wallet/permit/etc until you've made him aware of the gun's presence. Then just comply with his directions and hope for a warning rather then a ticket (which you fortunately got anyway)


+1

The only thing(s) that I was really curious about was.. you mentioned the LEO asked if you had a concealed carry permit... and then you go back to calling it a CWP. Neither are correct.. and in a court of law it "could" come back to bite you as you may not have a CWP when Virginia only issues a "CHP". Also.. if a LEO calls it anything other than a CHP.. thats a clue that they might not know as much about the laws as you do. Finally.. there are other laws regarding signage and things like that. I don't think an 8.5 x 11 is a VALID sized Speed Limit sign and would have been dismissed..
 

Citizen

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ProShooter wrote:
Citizen wrote:
SNIP The cop removed you from the vehicle over the recording! You dont know that for sure, the OP merely said that the officer saw the recorder. The OP has no way of knowing what the officer really did see or what his reasons were for asking him to step out of the car. (ProShooter's comment in red)

That's not what the report says. Read it again. Read the officer's timing.

There is no reason to sit around and wait for an officer to declare expressly that he is removing you from the car to prevent recording. I have yet to hear of one who expressly declared, "This is a detention."

Our right to petition the government for redress of grievances (1A) is not limited to certain fact patterns. It does not have to wait until the conclusions and proof are undeniable.

My analysis of the event is by no means outlandlish. Its not like its so far out of the park as to be insane.

Its not even a stretch.
 

SaltH2OHokie

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The OP didn't try to take the recorder with him. If he did, and the officer told him not to, then I'm right behind you...but since that fact pattern isn't present, I'm forced not to assume. Makes an a$$ out of you and me :lol:
 

Citizen

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SaltH2OHokie wrote:
The OP didn't try to take the recorder with him. If he did, and the officer told him not to, then I'm right behind you...but since that fact pattern isn't present, I'm forced not to assume. Makes an a$$ out of you and me :lol:

Recall that the recorder was laying on the dash "next to the pistol" and the officer had earlier, before the voice-recorder was put there, told the OP, "...please don't make any attempt at reaching for the pistol."

Even if I hadn't been asked not to reach for the pistol, I absolutely would not have tried to retrieve that voice-recorder to take it with me.
 

possumboy

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I went to REI and purchased a travel strap withmultiple releases. It came with two releases that attach to my devices.

The D/VR I have records the entire day so I always wear it with it turned on. I have two sets of rechargable batteries that I cycle through each day - that is the down side.
 

ProShooter

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Citizen wrote:
ProShooter wrote:
Citizen wrote:
SNIP The cop removed you from the vehicle over the recording! You dont know that for sure, the OP merely said that the officer saw the recorder. The OP has no way of knowing what the officer really did see or what his reasons were for asking him to step out of the car. (ProShooter's comment in red)

That's not what the report says. Read it again. Read the officer's timing.

Its not even a stretch.
A stretch is exactly what it is.......

The OP said...

LEO returns: ‘I’m not seeing your concealed carry permit in our system. (He THEN sees the digital recorder next to the pistol :what:and asks me ‘Please exit the vehicle and step to the back and keep your hands visible’. (in front of his vehicle where a vidcam and microphone are on anyway)


The only person who knows what the officer saw, is, are ya ready? THE OFFICER! If the officer said "turn that voice recorder off", well then, we'd all know...but he didnt, so again, your guess is simply that, a guess.
 

nitrovic

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ProShooter wrote:
Citizen wrote:
ProShooter wrote:
Citizen wrote:
SNIP  The cop removed you from the vehicle over the recording! You dont know that for sure, the OP merely said that the officer saw the recorder. The OP has no way of knowing what the officer really did see or what his reasons were for asking him to step out of the car.  (ProShooter's comment in red)

That's not what the report says.  Read it again.  Read the officer's timing.

Its not even a stretch.
A stretch is exactly what it is.......

The OP said...

 LEO returns: ‘I’m not seeing your concealed carry permit in our system. (He THEN sees the digital recorder next to the pistol :what: and asks me ‘Please exit the vehicle and step to the back and keep your hands visible’. (in front of his vehicle where a vidcam and microphone are on anyway)


The only person who knows what the officer saw, is, are ya ready?  THE OFFICER!  If the officer said "turn that voice recorder off", well then, we'd all know...but he didnt, so again, your guess is simply that, a guess.


 

I was thinking the same thing. As always, the normal crowd jumps in and tells us what the officer was thinking. The officer didn't arrest him, didn't disarm him, wasn't belligerent, and on top of that, doesn't give him a ticket!!! Wow, what a dic#. These poor officers can't win on this site.
 

nitrovic

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Citizen wrote:
ProShooter wrote:
Citizen wrote:
SNIP  The cop removed you from the vehicle over the recording! You dont know that for sure, the OP merely said that the officer saw the recorder. The OP has no way of knowing what the officer really did see or what his reasons were for asking him to step out of the car.  (ProShooter's comment in red)

That's not what the report says.  Read it again.  Read the officer's timing.

There is no reason to sit around and wait for an officer to declare expressly that he is removing you from the car to prevent recording.  I have yet to hear of one who expressly declared, "This is a detention."

Our right to petition the government for redress of grievances (1A) is not limited to certain fact patterns.  It does not have to wait until the conclusions and proof are undeniable.

My analysis of the event is by no means outlandlish.  Its not like its so far out of the park as to be insane.  

Its not even a stretch. 

The officer has every right to ask the driver to step outside the car. If the officer said, "step out because you are recording me", then maybe you have a point. The officer never even MENTIONED the recorder, plus the fact that the officer was already being recorded. Stop with the lies and cop bashing please.
 

nitrovic

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Sheriff wrote:
Razor, this is not a trick question.  I know you couldn't read the cop's mind, but if you will, give me your honest opinion of how the cop felt about a citizen being in possession of a firearm in a vehicle.  In answering I of course would ask that you put ALL anti-cop or pro-cop thoughts aside.

You have GOT to be kidding me. "How the cop felt"??? Give me a break. Now what, is Doug going to come in and cut/paste something that has nothing to do with this? You guys really are a hoot.
 
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