Florida man sues officers for concealed weapon (firearm) arrest


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Zen21Tao
August 6, 2007, 12:29 AM
http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20070805/NEWS/708050581

Officers are sued over gun arrest

North Port man wants statute on concealed weapons to be clarified
By HEATHER ALLEN

heather.allen@heraldtribune.com

NORTH PORT -- He was pulled over for a speeding infraction -- traveling 21 mph over the speed limit -- but a lead foot is not what got Jeffrey Poulakis in trouble.

It was the gun in his car's glove compartment.

He was arrested and charged with carrying a concealed firearm, but the charge did not go far.

Prosecutors declined to prosecute the case, citing case law that says a gun owner does not need a concealed weapons permit in order to carry a firearm in a vehicle.

And now, Poulakis is suing two North Port police officers, claiming that they violated his constitutional rights by arresting him on the weapons charge.

The federal lawsuit, which was filed in July, will ask the courts to decipher and clarify the ambiguous state statute that governs carrying concealed weapons in the state of Florida.

The head of the state's licensing division said the statute is not clear and only gives "hints" on how to interpret it.

"It's going to be an individual police officer's call," said W.H. "Buddy" Bevis, director of the state Division of Licensing.

On Nov. 21, 2006, officer Michael Rogers pulled Poulakis over for speeding. As Rogers approached the Jeep, he noticed Poulakis leaning over to his right "either concealing or retrieving something from under one of the seats or glove box" according to the police report.

In the report, Rogers writes that he and Sgt. Eric Stender were fearful that Poulakis may have reached for a gun, so they asked him to step out of the vehicle.

In the process, Poulakis would not make eye contact and admitted to placing a beer can under his seat, the report said. Rogers then searched the Jeep and, according to the report, Poulakis "reluctantly" told Rogers that there was a handgun inside in the center console.

Rogers and Stender retrieved the .357 caliber pistol and arrested Poulakis for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. His permit, according to the report, had expired on June, 13, 2004.

The law which the officers believe Poulakis broke says that anyone who carries a concealed weapon "on or about his or her person" has committed a crime.

But, according to Bevis, a concealed weapons permit is only needed if an individual intends to carry the gun on them. A permit is not necessary to keep it in a car's console or glove box.

"As long as you're not waving it, flashing it at people, and not a felon or something like that -- or drunk -- then just kind of leave it alone," Bevis said. "Your personal vehicle is an extension of your home by law."

In explaining why they dropped the charge, prosecutors cited the 2002 appellate court decision in Dixon v. State. In that case, the court ruled that as long as a gun is in a glove compartment, gun case, snapped in a holster or closed in a box with a lid, then its owner is not required to have a concealed weapons permit.

"So they arrest this guy for something that's not against the law," said Y. Drake Buckman, Poulakis' attorney. "It's just one of those things where the police didn't know the law and my client paid the price."

North Port Police Chief Terry Lewis says that even though the charges were dropped, the arrest was still justified.

And although Lewis would not comment on the specifics of the case, he said that rulings on the definition of a concealed weapon can vary.

In the end, he said, it all comes down to the judgment of the law enforcement officer and whether the officer believes there is enough probable cause to make an arrest.

"There's nothing that stands the hair up on a police officer more than a firearm," Lewis said. "In those cases, it's a judgment call."

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Geno
August 6, 2007, 12:32 AM
Well, there's the problem...the guy's name is "Bevis"!

Where's "Butthead"?!

Okay...There's "Butthead"...he's using a fake name now..."Lewis"...I knew it when I read his comment: "There's nothing that stands the hair up on a police officer more than a firearm," Lewis said. "In those cases, it's a judgment call."

I say it's a "lack-of-judgment" call. Otherwise, the guy would have been prosecuted.

Doc2005

B yond
August 6, 2007, 01:16 AM
huh huh huh m heh heh huh huh huh

Bazooka Joe71
August 6, 2007, 01:27 AM
What about the beer can? Last time I checked, drinking and driving is an arrestable crime.

.cheese.
August 6, 2007, 01:42 AM
There needs to be some system whereby it can be checked whether or not a violation of the law occurred.

Stuff like this happens too often it seems.

I propose a system whereby potential arrests having to due with a questionable detail of the law get called into some call-center with ADA-types. Could help avoid these misunderstandings.

Of course, this thread is going to be locked soon. Seems any criticism of a police event gets locked lately. I imagine it's some official policy of THR. - Or it could be due to the fact that a lot of members start making sweeping LEO-bashing comments. It would be nice if a thread could for one, not degrade into that.

I suppose one can dream.

Zen21Tao
August 6, 2007, 01:48 AM
Before the "Beavis and Butthead" jokes get started, Bevis is the last name of Florida's director of the State Division of Licensing NOT one of the officers or the guy arrested.


Also, I love the line at the end that says an officer's hair standing up due to the mere presence of a firearm is justification for him to violate a suspects Constitutional rights. This is simply pathetic, especially given that Florida is a VERY gun-friendly state and most officers I have met here support the 2nd Amendment

And let me say, as the thread starter, there is a big difference between honest criticism and bashing. This post is NOT meant to bash police officers and I hope other will respect this and not make police bashing comments.

Fn-P9
August 6, 2007, 01:55 AM
Defiantly a shady story on all counts. He may have been wearing the .357 and stashed it in the glove box then gave to beer can excuse. He may HAVE stuck the can under the seat. Not the best pro 2A story I have seen.

Autolycus
August 6, 2007, 01:56 AM
Originally posted by Bazooka Joe71: What about the beer can? Last time I checked, drinking and driving is an arrestable crime.

Not in every state. I am not sure about Florida but I know in some states you can have an open container as long as your not drunk.

Either way it sounds like the LEOs were not familiar with the law and now they are going to suffer the consequences.

vis-à-vis
August 6, 2007, 07:33 AM
Not in every state. I am not sure about Florida but I know in some states you can have an open container as long as your not drunk.

:scrutiny:

Dave P
August 6, 2007, 07:42 AM
"Not in every state. I am not sure about Florida but I know in some states you can have an open container as long as your not drunk."

FLA used to be this way - not anymore.


I am a bit confused - the weapons charges were dropped, but the man still wants to pursue a FEDERAL lawsuit?

"The federal lawsuit, which was filed in July, will ask the courts to decipher and clarify the ambiguous state statute that governs carrying concealed weapons in the state of Florida." --- I think I would feel better if it is just left alone.

joab
August 6, 2007, 07:54 AM
Not in every state. I am not sure about Florida but I know in some states you can have an open container as long as your not drunk.Open containers are illegal in Florida

prosecutors cited the 2002 appellate court decision in Dixon v. State. In that case, the court ruled that as long as a gun is in a glove compartment, gun case, snapped in a holster or closed in a box with a lid, then its owner is not required to have a concealed weapons permit.
Perhaps that is why they wrote that clearly and succinctly into 790.
There is nothing ambiguous at all


From all the movement I have a feeling that the gun was not in the console when the stop was initiated and that is what caused the drama

MP5
August 6, 2007, 08:03 AM
Unfortunate the guy was falsely arrested, equally unfortunate that such a boob (speeding, beer can in car) was on the road and, thanks to the publicity, is now representing all of us responsible gun owners :(

LaEscopeta
August 6, 2007, 08:11 AM
He may have been wearing the .357 and stashed it in the glove box then gave to beer can excuse.That' what I'm guessing (not saying I know one way or the other.) I understand old cops have a saying "If the suspect admits to a small crime early in an interrogation, he is hiding a larger crime.”

On another topic, I don’t think it is the presence of the handgun alone that makes the officers hair stand up. It is a concealed firearm in the possession of a speeder, who is suspiciously moving around in the car after you pull them over, who still has access to the weapon. “Registration and insurance card officer? Sure, just let me get them from the glove box…”

Ithaca37
August 6, 2007, 08:26 AM
What is with all of this the police must treat everyone as a bad guy crap? What every happened to innocent until proven guilty?

Most dangerous jobs:
1. Logging workers
2. Aircraft pilots
3. Fishers and fishing workers
4. Structural iron and steel workers
5. Refuse and recyclable material collectors
6. Farmers and ranchers
7. Roofers
8. Electrical power line installers/repairers
9. Driver/sales workers and truck drivers
10. Taxi drivers and chauffeurs

Cops aren't even in the top ten most dangerous jobs in the US. Do you think that logging works view askance every tree they come across? Cops have inflated egos because they wear a gun on their hip and everyone thinks they are gods. Give me a break. I am glad this guy is suing these idiots. I hope he wins.

U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Fatalities per 100,000
Year 1999
Commercial Fishermen
162

Timber Cutters
154

Air Pilots
65

Construction Laborers
37

Garbage Collectors
34

Truck Drivers
28

Electricians
12

Gardeners (non farm)
11

Police
11

Carpenters
7

IN 1999 cops were as likely to be killed as were non farm gardeners. Putting their lives on the line every time they make a traffic stop? I don't think so. The majority of police on-the-job fatalities are cause by vehicle accidents NOT shootings. This trigger happy gun-grabbing attitude so many support is not supported by the argument that they are putting their lives on the line. so you'll have to do better than that.

CDignition
August 6, 2007, 09:17 AM
North Port Is Just south of me, and their PD is pretty low brow...Along with alot of the residents there(its not a low cost housing area per se, but it is much lower cost area than surrounding areas and attracts alot of undesirables).

The law is not ambiguous at all. I don't understand how these boobs could have made this mistake. Other than trying to hose the guy for something, it looks like a power trip gone wrong Im sure they thought they had an airtight case)

sacp81170a
August 6, 2007, 09:25 AM
Open containers are illegal in Florida

That doesn't make it an arrestable offense. It may just get you a ticket and a fine. Any Florida LEO's care to chime in?

ID_shooting
August 6, 2007, 09:35 AM
Before this gets locked, and I am sure it will let me post what I glean out of the story...

Don't exceed the posted speed limit by > 20mph and you won't get pulled over much less arrested, even incorrectly, for carrying a gun.

What does this show about his judgment if he is willing to drive that fast in a vehicle built for off-road work and not street performance?

Mannlicher
August 6, 2007, 09:42 AM
This same issue has come up many, many times in Florida. My take is that the arresting officer uses a weapons charge as back up to other charges. The officer's reaction to guns varies county to county, depending on how often they can get away with it, and how often the local States Attorney will prosecute.
The way the law is written certainly needs to be clarified. Most of us though, are willing to just leave it alone, because God alone knows what the legislature might do if they changed the wording.

TX1911fan
August 6, 2007, 09:44 AM
While the open container may have been an arrestable offense, that is not what they arrested him for. They arrested him for the firearm. They can't go back now and have a do over.

The federal lawsuit is a good idea. It should help to clarify the law, or invalidate it. If it indeed is up to the individual officer, then it should be invalidated as arbitrary and capricious. If one person gets arrested for doing the same thing another person does but does not get arrested, then that law is unconstitutional.

joab
August 6, 2007, 09:50 AM
No open container is not an arrest able offense, but I know very few people who would rife around with an open can of beer the way they would an open bottle of whiskey/ You can't put the top back on a beer and sip it later in the week
If it's open you are probably drinking it

The general rule down here is if it has condensation on it you get the ticket and the test

Cops aren't even in the top ten most dangerous jobs in the US.The problem with using old and tired argument is that there has been ample time for a new and fresh counter argument to emerge

The jobs you compare cops to is like comparing apples to oranges, the dangers are different
Why not post a list of jobs where you are more likely to be killed intentionally by another human and ask if those professionals view other humans as a potential threat

And yes I would just about bet a weeks pay that lumberjacks view every tree they are preparing to engage askance, especially if it is acting suspiciously

Geno
August 6, 2007, 10:40 AM
According to one of my Michigan State Police friends,

"Police have only themselves to blame for case laws that they don't like. Legislated laws are left vague to allow for good officers' good judgment. When good officers make bad judgments, and lack common sense, case laws arise out of the judicial process." That is what will happen here.

Recently in Michigan there was a gentleman carrying more than one pistol. The officer was intent on arresting him because the MCPL says that one can carry "...a pistol...". The officer interpreted that to mean one, and only one. The argument carried on between the deputy and his sergeant for a very lengthy period. I have that event posted here. Search under my nick and Southfield PD.

Ultimately, the M.A.G. was asked for clarification. The A.G. stated that people are free to carry however many firearms they can conceal, and that the legilature never entertained nor intended any such concept as people being able to carry one, and only one. Here's the funny part. The officer was in physical possession of a photocopy of the Michigan A.G.'s letter, had attended the weekly update re: that fact. He still intended to arrest the gentleman.

At that point in his lecture, the sergeant smiled at us and said, "If this ever happens to you, comply with the officer's request! Then, lawyer up and sue them! After you win, laugh all the way to the bank!"

Doc2005

XDKingslayer
August 6, 2007, 10:44 AM
North Port Is Just south of me, and their PD is pretty low brow...Along with alot of the residents there(its not a low cost housing area per se, but it is much lower cost area than surrounding areas and attracts alot of undesirables).

The law is not ambiguous at all. I don't understand how these boobs could have made this mistake. Other than trying to hose the guy for something, it looks like a power trip gone wrong Im sure they thought they had an airtight case)

North Port is just north of me and it's cops are anything but low brow. They're nothing more than revenue generators. They spend all of their time on speeding traps and DUI checkpoints.

In fact, in the days following Hurricane Charley, when Port Charlotte had officers from all over the state standing in the summer sun and heat in our intersections guiding traffic because all the stop lights weren't functioning, I found a North Port cop, hiding under a shady oak tree, sitting in his air conditioned car doing what? Running a speed trap...

I'm sure he wondered why every car that went by him was giving him the middle finger. I watched as over 3 dozen cars past him all flipping him off.

Most Florida cops have no idea of their own gun laws. And hardly any agencies are training their cops in them. I'm glad this guy is suing North Port, maybe they'll start to educate their officers on the laws they're expected to uphold.

El Tejon
August 6, 2007, 10:46 AM
Good for him. More gun owners should seek remedies in federal court to show the government that we are not passive sheep.

The precedent has been shown to us by the NAACP. No way we should have to sit in the back of the bus too.

Robert Hairless
August 6, 2007, 10:47 AM
An ambiguous, unspecific, or otherwise unclear law is impossible for a law-abiding citizen to comply with.

yhtomit
August 6, 2007, 10:50 AM
I am told by a Mississippian of my acquaintance that the car-is-home-extension rule holds there as well -- can keep guns in the car just fine. And the guy I know who says this does keep a (cheap, old, but working) gun in his car -- so I hope he's right about the law ;)

When it comes to the beer can, though -- was he actually drinking, or just trying to put a previously emptied can out of sight? I've never been in quite that situation, but I could imagine that often enough there are cans in the car (need not be beer -- substitute Coke, etc) which would be there after legal consumption but before car-tidying / recycling / etc, and if I were stopped by the Police, I'd rather any *beer* can not be in sight, even if I only picked it up to reduce litter in a national park and was bringing it home to dispose of it.

timothy

alex_trebek
August 6, 2007, 10:50 AM
I think this lawsuit is clearly flawed, based on the story presented in the media. However, it will still cost the department money in fighting the lawsuit. This might set some sort of precedence in the local police department regarding criteria that has to be met in order to arrest someone for weapons possesstion.

While i think that the flagrant use of lawsuits only hurts the public by increasing the cost of goods and services, it is nice to see the effect help secure the rights of citizens every once in a while. Still may not be worth cost, but that is a debate for another thread.

sacp81170a
August 6, 2007, 11:10 AM
When it comes to the beer can, though -- was he actually drinking, or just trying to put a previously emptied can out of sight?

Generally, a beer can or bottle doesn't have to be opened before it's considered an "open container". If it's a can or bottle of a size that normally comes in a six pack, then a single can is considered "open". If it's in a large bottle with the seal unbroken, it's not. Likewise, a six pack with a can missing is considered to be an open container. At least, those are the rules in my jurisdiction. I can't speak for other jurisdictions.

benEzra
August 6, 2007, 12:01 PM
What about the beer can? Last time I checked, drinking and driving is an arrestable crime.
It's not clear if the can was an old empty, an unopened new can, or a can half full of beer. Who knows.

Presumably they ran a breathalizer on him and he passed, or else they'd have charged him with DUI.

ceetee
August 6, 2007, 12:06 PM
The law is hardly ambiguous. It states clearly how a person may carry a firearm legally, and how a person carrying a firearm illegally is to be defined. As to the open container, it's my understanding that an open can is just that. It doesn't matter if it's been open for two minutes or two years; it's against the law here. If it were me, I'd also press a lawsuit, if for no other reason than to punish the arrogant jerks that arrested me unlawfully...

RPCVYemen
August 6, 2007, 12:59 PM
I am sure happy to have some speeding drinking driver standing up for my gun rights!

Mike

XDKingslayer
August 6, 2007, 01:42 PM
An ambiguous, unspecific, or otherwise unclear law is impossible for a law-abiding citizen to comply with.

The 790 laws are anything but ambiguous, unspecific, or unclear.

In fact, when you get your paperwork to apply for a CCW the 790 laws are in there and each and every law is explained in simple, plain English by Florida. If you can't figure out the 790 laws after all of this, you simply don't have the intelligence required to responsibly own a handgun.

Even the 790 laws in the CCW handbook give the glovebox as an example of a legal place to keep a firearm.

And you can keep it there WITHOUT a CCW permit.

W Turner
August 6, 2007, 03:00 PM
1. He wasn't charged under the open container law

2. Speeding is a ticketable offense, not an arrestable one unless you refuse to sign the ticket.

3. He was charged with carrying in a concealed weapon that was FOUND by the police in the CONSOLE of his vehicle. The console is expressly allowed as a place to store a weapon for non-CCW permit holders.

4. The police (apparently) did not actually see him conceal the weapon in the console after being pulled over, otherwise I am sure they would have testified to that.

5. The officers made an arrest that was based on their assumptions and interpretations.

The cops were wrong when they arrested him. Period. Even the criminal court judge has ruled that way. Therefore he never should have been arrested and the police violated his rights by arresting him unlawfully.

He's using the court system to right a wrong same as the cops tried to do. Just so happens that he's more right than they are in this case.

Where's the problem?

W

10 Ring Tao
August 6, 2007, 03:12 PM
Pretty sad all of the assumptions that get thrown around. We really are our own worst enemies.

The fact nothing happened after the arrest says plenty, and I hope these cops, who forgot their job is to enforce, not interpret, the law, are in some way heavily and negatively effected in court.

Geno
August 6, 2007, 03:19 PM
ceetee:

Excellent point, and reinforces the fact that even where a law is clear, or as in the case of the Southfielde PD, the officer had a photocopy of the AG's opinion, he still was going to arrest the man?! Like my MSP friend said, "...case law...". I also agree with El Tejon...we will see much more federal case law. I agree that we need more case law at the federal level!

Doc2005

Steve499
August 6, 2007, 04:23 PM
" When in doubt, don't" was the motto when I went through the patrol academy. If a policeman isn't POSITIVE about what is or is not against the law, and arrests someone anyway, he's gotta expect some negative repurcussions. I spent my entire career in law enforcement so I'm not anti-cop at all, but if I had been the one arrested in this case, the arresting officers would be hearing from my lawyer. Examples are valuable and serve to dampen future behavior of a similar nature.

10 Ring Tao
August 6, 2007, 04:30 PM
Hey doc, I searched and didn't come up with anything related to southfield PD. Care to link?

Domino
August 6, 2007, 05:06 PM
I am sure happy to have some speeding drinking driver standing up for my gun rights!


You don't even know for a fact that he was drinking while driving. As stated above the beer can could have been full, opened, empty, or just away from a sixpack. It seems to me that if he had been drinking and driving than he would have certainly been charged for it.

The cops arrested a man who didn't commit an arrestable crime. The cops clearly didn't know the law and are fault here, thats all there is to it. I hope they get whats comming to them.

joab
August 6, 2007, 06:47 PM
The federal lawsuit, which was filed in July, will ask the courts to decipher and clarify the ambiguous state statute that governs carrying concealed weapons in the state of Florida.This is the part that bothers me

The law is simply not ambiguous so why sue to have it deciphered?

10 Ring Tao
August 6, 2007, 07:01 PM
The law is simply not ambiguous so why sue to have it deciphered?

Its clear to us, the ones who pay attention. Those who give it minimal attention, if at all, need to be slapped upside the head with it. Only then will the proper interpretation be widespread.

TX1911fan
August 6, 2007, 08:03 PM
This is why I think it is an arbitrary law:

In the end, he said, it all comes down to the judgment of the law enforcement officer and whether the officer believes there is enough probable cause to make an arrest.

Or at least being enforced in an arbitrary and capricious manner, which is unconstitutional. Hence, if this is the policy, to just let the officer decide, then the Federal court will be able to strike the policy and tell them to enforce the actual law, rather than let an officer decide if he likes it or not.

joab
August 6, 2007, 08:57 PM
Those who give it minimal attention, if at all, need to be slapped upside the head with it.I disagre
It is plain to anyone who has passed 6th grade English
I have read the application for LEO and some of the tests
They are well above 6th grade English

This is why I think it is an arbitrary law:Again I disagree
The law is not arbitrary and does not lend itself to arbitrary enforcement

The proper way to carry a gun in a vehicle in Florida is clearly spelled out

The chief can say it's up to the discretion of the officers all he wants to
I can say I'm can say that I'm smarter than Hawkins, it don't make it true

Case law has already clearly decided the statute

It takes courage to admit that you're wrong and accept the consequences, somebody in North Port needs to get some or the people of North Port need to find someone that has some
If not they get what they earn

CDignition
August 6, 2007, 09:43 PM
lol. The internet is entertaining, all these silly posts. The cops screwed up, plain and simple.

Weather they knew it or not matters none(same rule applies to you, Ignorance of law is no excuse)... They need to be reprimanded, or get more training.

akodo
August 6, 2007, 11:58 PM
I am a bit confused - the weapons charges were dropped, but the man still wants to pursue a FEDERAL lawsuit?

If I grab a guy and drag him to my home and lock him in my closet, that is kidnapping, and if they want to push it, a violation of that person's civil rights/liberties.

A police officer cannot say "That is the ugliest tie I have ever seen! I am taking you jail for a fashion violation!" The cop can call it assault with a deadly weapon (ugly tie assaulting his eyes) or disturbing the peace, or what have you. Of course, eventually it will get thrown out, however, in the meantime you cannot be going about your daily business, you are sitting in the station in handcuffs. The police cannot be allowed to just let you out of lockup 24 hours later with a 'my bad!' Federal lawsuit is how you make the department pay finanially for the deprivation of your rights, it is NOT about clarifying the law.

Of course, such suits only work when the police officer knew, or should have know what he was taking the guy to jail for was NOT illegal. This is akin to how "Filing false police reports" etc works for regular folk. If you see a man prying up a garage door next door, and you call the cops "burglar next door!" but it turns out to be the homeowner who locked himself out...that is entirely acceptable, as it was reasonable. However, if you dislike the neighbor, and decide to give him a rude suprise by calling 911 at 3am and telling them "burglar next door!" that will get you into trouble.

Kilgor
August 7, 2007, 12:50 AM
sacp81170p wrote:
Generally, a beer can or bottle doesn't have to be opened before it's considered an "open container". If it's a can or bottle of a size that normally comes in a six pack, then a single can is considered "open". If it's in a large bottle with the seal unbroken, it's not. Likewise, a six pack with a can missing is considered to be an open container. At least, those are the rules in my jurisdiction. I can't speak for other jurisdictions.

I have to say that your definition of open container strikes me as insane. :eek: Five unopened beers linked together with plastic rings are an open container??? What if they weren't tied together?

Of course arguing the definition of open container in Arkansas is a spurious task because Arkansas DOES NOT HAVE AN OPEN CONTAINER LAW. I live in NW Arkansas, so your post caught my attention. Would you please show me the Arkansas Code on this? The only thing I can find in the Arkansas code concerns boats and it specifically says that open containers do NOT constitute probable cause.

5-76-102. Unlawful acts

The consumption of alcohol or the possession of an open container aboard a vessel does not in and of itself constitute probable cause.

LaEscopeta
August 8, 2007, 08:18 AM
Cops aren't even in the top ten most dangerous jobs in the US.Hey, does this same logic apply to you? The odds of you getting killed by a home invader are less then the odds for a logger or a Commercial Fishermen dieing on the job. Does this mean you don’t have the right to be prepared to defend your self in your home? But you are saying cops don’t have the right to prepare to defend them selves when making a traffic stop?

(None of the above relates weather the cops should or should not have arrested the driver in the original post.)

Black Adder LXX
August 9, 2007, 06:46 PM
North Port Police Chief Terry Lewis says that even though the charges were dropped, the arrest was still justified.

And although Lewis would not comment on the specifics of the case, he said that rulings on the definition of a concealed weapon can vary.

In the end, he said, it all comes down to the judgment of the law enforcement officer and whether the officer believes there is enough probable cause to make an arrest.

"There's nothing that stands the hair up on a police officer more than a firearm," Lewis said. "In those cases, it's a judgment call."

Translation: We screwed up and won't admit it. I LOVE it when folks own up to their mistakes like that! I bet the homeowners in that area are really glad their taxes are going to fight the suit that's coming.

drbironhead
August 9, 2007, 07:02 PM
I just move from North Port the police are very timid if u tell them u have a fire arm. if u go south less then a mile to Charlotte county and u get pulled over and u tell the deputy u have a fire arm concealed he doe sent care hell he'll ask you what you are carrying for small talk sake. In north port they'll call for back up tell u to get out of the car take your gun from u unload it and put it in the trunk of your car. most of the cops their are snot nose kids out of college. One cop was shocked that i was carrying hollow points and wondered were i got them. so that story wouldn't surprise me one bit

Ithaca37
August 9, 2007, 08:51 PM
Hey, does this same logic apply to you? The odds of you getting killed by a home invader are less then the odds for a logger or a Commercial Fishermen dieing on the job. Does this mean you don’t have the right to be prepared to defend your self in your home? But you are saying cops don’t have the right to prepare to defend them selves when making a traffic stop?

I don't view everyone I see as a potential robber/murderer/rapist/whatever. I am not saying cops don't need to be careful, but the notion that they need to view and everyone as a criminal due to the likelihood they will face a deadly force encounter is ludicrous (not mention just plain un-American) and simply not supported by the data. The fact that the possibility exists that a cop might need to defend himself is why he carries a gun, the same as why other people carry too. But you don't go whipping your gun out every time you meet someone you don't know do you?

joab
August 9, 2007, 11:11 PM
But you don't go whipping your gun out every time you meet someone you don't know do you?No and neither do cops

I don't view everyone I see as a potential robber/murderer/rapist/whatever. I do, and I'm probably alive today because of it

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