grass roots activism in action


October 7, 2008, 07:45 AM
I do not know where my post went, but it did not end up here.

Posting again:

Long story short - fella who chooses to open carry has a history of being harassed by the Norfolk (Virginia) Police Dept. Recently the settled a complaint for $10K and a no-discuss clause. A few weeks later a bus driver calls the cops because he is OC-ing while riding the bus home. Cops arrive and detain him, take his gun from his holster, and after some lengthy amount of time determine that they cannot figure out what law to try to arrest him under.

As happened in the previous cases, the incident is described to VCDL and on the Open Carry forum . Folks become upset over the incident and the fact that it has happened to him again!

It is decided that a visit to the Norfolk City Council meeting is in order to voice displeasure at the repeated misbehavior of the cops.

Check out the Virginia section of OCDO at . Look at anything on the first page that mentions "Norfolk". You will see an unorganized bunch of folks getting together under various topics and around various issues all coallesing to confront a city government that may just have lost its grip on reality.

Yes, there is a loon or two in the crowd. There always will be.

This is how activism ought to work. Discussing all the points, getting issues resolved ahead of time so that by the time the confrontation talkes place most folks are on the same page and can stick together.

Since I have one of those ANSI hats in that wonderful fushia color, you might see my picture in the paper or on TV as a part of the crowd. The only reason I am not planning on speaking is because I am well aware of a certain quality about my voice that makes those who do not know me well believe I am quite agitated and angry whenever I speak. Rather than run the risk of my voice "upsetting" folks, I have prepared written comments to be submitted, and have assisted several others in putting their comments on paper to be read to the City Council.

Check the OCDO forum on Wednesday and Thursday to see the reaction from the media - and remember to bring popcorn and duct tape. :D

stay safe.


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October 7, 2008, 01:04 PM
I see the second incident also made the papers.

Gun rights group fired up over clashes with Norfolk police (

By Harry Minium
The Virginian-Pilot
October 5, 2008

Once again, members of a guns-rights advocacy group are coming to City Hall, claiming their rights have been violated by the police.

The Virginia Citizens Defense League, a Northern Virginia-based group, said 100 or more of its members will descend upon Tuesday's City Council meeting to vent their displeasure, many with guns holstered to their hips.

The group is upset about a police confrontation involving a member carrying a weapon openly, which is legal in Virginia.

The group last came to the City Council in August 2007, when members protested the arrest of Chet Szymecki of Yorktown at Harborfest for openly carrying a gun. The charge was dropped; Szymecki has filed a federal suit against the city.

They also protested at that meeting about alleged harassment of Danladi Moore, a Peninsula resident who was stopped twice by police and questioned for openly carrying a gun shortly before the meeting.

The city paid Moore $10,000 in July to prevent what could have been long and costly litigation.

However, Moore said, he again was stopped, on Sept. 22, this time while attempting to ride a Hampton Roads Transit bus with a gun. Moore claims police took his gun, ordered him off a bus and threatened to arrest him before eventually giving the gun back and letting him go.

Chris Amos, police spokesman, said he couldn't respond to Moore's specific claims about his September run-in with officers.

"All I know is, we responded to a call for service," Amos said. "We are not at liberty to just refuse" to do so.

Amos said that after Moore's previous incidents, police leaders "sent a memo out in-house reasserting the rights citizens have to carry firearms in plain view." There hasn't been time to react to the latest incident, he said.

Philip Van Cleave, a Midlothian resident who heads the guns-rights group, said he believes Moore will sue the city over the latest incident.

"If Norfolk doesn't begin to get it right, Danladi may wind up owning a yacht or a castle somewhere," he said. "At some point, the people of Norfolk are going to get tired of their tax money being thrown away because the police are violating a basic right," he added.

City Council members acknowledged that the city may have erred, but they accused gun owners of being provocative.

Councilman W. Randy Wright has a concealed-weapons permit, has won awards for marksmanship and believes in gun rights, he said. Yet he said he is appalled by anyone who walks around with a gun in a holster.

"Walking around downtown with a gun on your hip, that's just somebody trying to get attention, somebody trying to embarrass the city," he said. "This is not Wyatt Earp in the wild, wild West. It's an urban city with lots of problems.

"It does absolutely nothing to further the rights of the Second Amendment."

Replied Van Cleave: "He's admitting the city has a lot of problems. That, in itself, is a reason to carry, because you may need to protect yourself."

Van Cleave said he wonders if the incident with Moore was racially motivated, as he is black.

Councilman Paul R. Riddick said that's ridiculous.

"When you see a guy standing downtown in front of a bank with a gun on, what would you expect the average policeman to do?" he said. "You'd expect him to find out what the hell is going on."

Riddick and other council members weren't aware of the financial settlement with Moore. "Before we issue another $10,000 check, we should go to the highest court in the land," he said.

Councilman Barclay C. Winn, who is a hunter, said the guns-rights group's actions are precisely why he won't joint the NRA - the powerful lobbyists the National Rifle Association.

"I believe in the right to bear arms," he said. "But I just don't understand why somebody feels the need to strap a gun on his side, knowing full well that people are going to be alarmed and upset. I don't understand why they have to be such big, bad macho men."

Van Cleave said this is not about being macho - it's about exercising a constitutional right.

"What the city of Norfolk is asking us to do is to give up one of our basic constitutional rights," he said. "Would you ask black citizens to sit in the back of the bus and shut up?"

Riddick left while Van Cleave's group spoke during last year's meeting, saying he didn't want to dignify the group by staying. The meeting was at times tense.

Riddick said he knows a way to ease the tension.

"We should call Bob's Gun Shop and have him deliver eight 9-millimeters to us," he said. "We'll keep them on our desk in case we need them."

October 8, 2008, 09:34 AM

Dan was arrested less than 3 hours after the city council meeting last night while walking with others at the Waterside recreation area. Others with him that were OCing were left to go their own way. Anyone withing driving distance of Norfolk needs to be in the room at the next meeting. I hope Dan ends up owning the city.

Here's the press release by

Look for Dutch Uncle's post on this page:

Well, well, well! I wasn't able to make it tonight because of some unexpected situations here at home, but I just got off the phone with Dan, and he just GOT ARRESTED AGAIN !!! Said about 70 people showed at the Council Meeting, and many people got up to speak for him, etc. Afterward, people went to Hooter's with no problem, but just as Phil and the others left, a Norfolk cop came up and told Dan it was illegal to carry at Waterside "because it is a public place". (***??!!) Dan was in the mall part of Waterside at the time. Dan tried to explain that the policeman had it wrong, and that he certainly could carry there legally, but the cop then arrested him for "trespass", disarmed him, cuffed him, gave him a citation and released him. Dan's friend Aubrey tried to film the interaction and the cop ordered him to stop. They didn't have a voice recorder. Another of our group who was there (Darrin), was simply told to leave, without being arrested, presumably because he didn't get into a dispute with the cop (?and perhaps becuase he is white??). When Dan pointed out the disparity, the cop told him not to try to bring race into it. Dan is on his way home now, and will be calling Philip.

I have carried with Dan at Waterside when he, Aubrey and I had dinner at Hooters some months back, and again when a group of us went to Harborfest this summer. I must have gone in and out of there half a dozen times that day. About 8 of us dined and OC'd at Waterside a few days after Dan's first Norfolk arrest last year. No problems in any instance.

October 8, 2008, 02:57 PM
Update from the VCDL Alert Today:

Last night over 60 VCDL members showed up at the Norfolk City Council
meeting to protest the Norfolk PD harassing a VCDL member, Danladi
Moore, who was open carrying on a bus.

A link to coverage by the Virginian-Pilot, along with video, is at the
end of this alert.

After the meeting, a dozen of us, including Danladi Moore, went to a
restaurant in the Waterside Mall. We had a great time - good company
and good conversation. All of us were open carrying as the restaurant
sold alcoholic beverages.

As I left the restaurant I said goodnight to Danladi as he and a
friend were heading up an escalator to the second floor.

Little did I know what was about to transpire in the next 50 seconds...

Upon reaching the second floor and stepping off the escalator, a
Norfolk police officer approached Danladi and his friend and told him
that he couldn't have a gun in a public building.

NOTE: It is my understanding that they Waterside Mall is actually
owned or partially owned by the City of Norfolk. If so, they CANNOT
ban guns there, of course.

Danladi said that, especially as public property, he most certainly
could carry there.

The officer the handcuffed Danladi, who is black, and issued a him
summons with a charge of trespass at that point and released him. His
friend, who is white and also open carrying, was escorted off the
premises and not handcuffed or charged. Hmmmm.

Boy, Norfolk PD just seems to be digging themselves in deeper and
deeper. I know that Dennis O'Connor, John Fenter, Richard Popkin,
and I walked past several officers while open carrying at that mall
and not a word was said to us.

On top of all this, I was approached by a 20ish black man after the
meeting, who said he had been open carrying as he walked down a street
in his neighborhood in Norfolk and an officer stopped him and asked
him about his openly carried handgun. The officer ask him for ID,
which he wasn't carrying (no need for a driver's license if you are
not driving). The gun owner did give his name and social security
number to the officer.

He said the officer told him that since he couldn't show proof that he
owned the handgun he was carrying, the officer was going to confiscate
the gun and charge him. Of course there is NO requirement to show
that you own the gun you're carrying. So, not surprisingly, the
actual charge was (are you sitting down?) carrying a CONCEALED
handgun!!! I saw the summons that the gun owner had with him.

Unbelievable. The officer sees the gun and then charges him with
having a concealed handgun.

An attorney was there and I hooked the two up.

Of course, keep in mind there are two sides to each story and I have
not heard the officer's side. Hopefully, whatever the truth is, it
will come out in court.

Finally, the City is requiring anyone who enters the Norfolk City
Council building to sign in and show ID. If you don't show photo ID,
they photograph you! Both requirements and the photograph are illegal
under Virginia's Freedom of Information law. That is because they can
be viewed as intimidation or road blocks to entry.

VCDL members were refusing to show ID and, at first, the guards were
blocking admission to them. Then, all of a sudden, the guards let
everybody in without any interference at all. The guards just stood
there shaking their heads.

The word must have come down from on-high to back off.

Here is coverage of VCDL at the City Council meeting (with video):

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