Royal Oaks Police Harass Open Carrier

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In Michigan, open carry is legal without a permit or a license.  Here, a young officer stops a citizen who is openly carrying.  The citizen immediately asks if he is being detained and the officer tells him he is not being detained, whereupon the citizen turns to walk away.  The officer clearly wasn’t expecting that and orders him to stop, telling him that he is being detained.  Thus far there has been nothing to indicate that the officer has any sort of reasonable suspicion of a crime to justify the stop.  See Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 22 (1968); People v. Jenkins, 691 N.W.2d 759, 764 (Mich. 2005); People v. Custer, 630 N.W.2d 870, 876 (Mich. 2001).

Note that in Michigan, the Michigan State Police have issued a legal update that clearly states that the open carry of a firearm is not a crime.  Michigan also does not have a stop and ID law, meaning that the officer cannot stop someone and demand identification without reasonable suspicion for a crime.

The officer asks for ID, stating that the citizen may have a “mental injunctive order” or something.  The citizen refuses to provide ID, as is his right.  See People v. Williams, 234 N.W.2d 541, 545 (Mich. 1975); People v. Rivers, 202 N.W.2d 498, 501 (Mich. 1972).  Further, if the officer does not have a reasonable suspicion that the citizen has a “mental injunctive order”, or something, that is not the default position, that the possession of the weapon is illegal.  United States v. Black, 707 F.3d 531, 540 (4th Cir. 2013) (“Being a felon in possession of a firearm is not the default status. More importantly, where a state permits individuals to openly carry firearms, the exercise of this right, without more, cannot justify an investigatory detention.”).

The officer is obviously irritated by the refusal to provide ID, and wants to know what the citizen’s problem is, that he needs to see the citizen’s ID.  He then tries to get the citizen to turn off his own video, and the citizen wisely refuses, citing the First Amendment.  At that time (about 2:15 in the video), a second, more experienced officer shows up and tells the citizen that if he doesn’t want to give ID it is OK, he is free to go.

The younger officer looks like he got kicked in the teeth at that point.  He does, however, follow the citizen for the next 15 minutes.

From my perspective this is fairly clear cut.  The young officer was not prepared nor trained to handle this.  He had no idea what he could or could not legally do, and the fact that the citizen stood up for his rights surprised him.  He hesitated due to his confusion, which was actually a good thing.  Some officers are much more assertive in what they believe their authority is, and would have stepped off into a minefield by making an arrest or taking other illegal actions.

Officers are not used to be confronted in a calm and reasonable way where their authority is being questioned.  They don’t like it when it happens.  The young officer was also lucky that the more experienced officer showed up, because you could see that the younger one was losing his patience.

That is also the reason that the officer followed him for the next 15 minutes or so (the videos are available at the citizen’s Youtube channel).  Had the citizen jaywalked or spit on the sidewalk, the officer would have made contact under the guise of the minor violation.

Open Carry in Clifton Heights, PA; Mark Florino

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A good example of how to handle an open carry stop in Pennsylvania.

Mark (who has had several contacts with police while open carrying) determined that he was not suspected of a crime, refused to ID, and terminated the contact.

 

Does the DC Police Chief Understand what Civil Disobedience Really Means?

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Adam Kokesh has called for an open carry march on Washington, D.C. as an act of civil disobedience.  Basically what he wants to do is to push back against the government and stand up for Second Amendment rights.  The local authorities are obviously not supportive, as this video shows.

At 0:26 in the video, Cathy Lanier, the Chief of Police for Washington, D.C., describes civil disobedience.  She is under the impression that civil disobedience is mere protesting, but that violating the law is not included in civil disobedience.  Obviously she doesn’t know what she is talking about.

Civil disobedience became known first by the actions of Henry David Thoreau who was willing to go to jail in protest of governmental actions that he did not approve. Henry David Thoreau, Resistance to Civil Government (1849).  Indeed, the definition of civil disobedience is defined as “a refusal to obey laws, pay taxes, etc: a nonviolent means of protesting or of attempting to achieve political goals”,  Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition (2009), “the refusal of citizens to obey certain laws or pay taxes as a peaceful way to express disapproval of those laws or taxes”, Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary online (2013), “a form of political protest in which large numbers of people refuse to obey a law”, McMillan Dictionary (2013), and “refusal to obey governmental demands or commands especially as a nonviolent and usually collective means of forcing concessions from the government”, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (2013).

Now, I know that Adam is aware of exactly what civil disobedience consists of, which is violating a law.  In this case, he has discussed it in detail, including the recognition that the marchers would likely be arrested.

On CBS News DC.

Now there are two possibilities for Lanier’s statements.  First, she’s an idiot who doesn’t know what civil disobedience actually means, or second, she knows exactly what it means and is lying to the public to control the spin.  Either is not becoming.

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