UPDATES: Seized by the Manchester, NH Police for Open Carry


April 22, 2004, 01:22 PM
:fire: Argument and discourse is fine, but I believe that it has been established that Mr. Pelletier is well within his rights to pursue FACTS and then decide how to proceed. The other thread, here (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&postid=955460#post955460) , can be used to continue the discourse.

I am requesting the the Moderators please float this so that we can keep up with Mr. Pelletier's progress without wading through the "rigorous and endless" should-have-known-better/all-cops-are-JBT simmer fest (not quite flames).

Just FACTS and progress reports, PLEASE.

Yours truly,


[mod note: seconded by burbanite, thirded by buy guns, and sixthed by boing]

If you enjoyed reading about "UPDATES: Seized by the Manchester, NH Police for Open Carry" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
April 22, 2004, 04:39 PM
Ditto! :)

Oh .. 7.62FMJ ..... I found you the dead horse!:p

April 22, 2004, 04:55 PM
Mods can it be locked so only MVPel can post to it? and floated?

Art Eatman
April 22, 2004, 08:04 PM
Okay, I'll go along with the float.

For courtesy: Only MVPel can add posts.

I'll delete any other posts. :)


April 23, 2004, 03:45 AM
please clarify.

only he can post in THIS thread or the OTHER thread?

[mod edit - Only mvpel can post in this thread. The other thread is so filled with debate, you could miss an elephant in it. ;) ]

April 23, 2004, 12:20 PM
Here's the The letter of complaint that I sent to the Manchester PD on March 30, (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&postid=955460#post955460) and its discussion thread.

Later in that week, thanks to a referral by MissileCop, I was put in touch with Penny Dean of Concord, a firearms and family law attorney, who also turned out to be the Gun Owners of New Hampshire (http://www.gonh.org/) attorney. I sent her a $500 retainer to get her assistance in preserving and obtaining copies of the 911 call records, and any future legal issues arising out of this incident.

In repsonse to Penny's public-records request, the Manchester Police stated that they had classified information pertaining to this incident as part of an "internal investigation," which is not subject to RSA 91-A public records requests.

They interviewed the store manager, John Cowhig, without informing us, as part of that internal investigation, and he refuses to talk to either Penny or myself. Probably the bookstore's legal department got involved and they're in CYA mode.

The police have also requested to interview me, but Penny's inclined to let the letter stand on its own as all I have to say on the matter. We'll see.

There was no videotape in the store - given the high bulk-to-cost ratio and the sensor alarm at the exit, video surveillance is not cost-effective in a bookstore.

We're also interested in finding other witnesses - we can't get the name of the 911 caller or a copy of the tape without a court order. We may try a newspaper ad or leaflets at the store.

The only documentation they've provided to us so far is a copy of the dispatch report, showing a "CFS" of "WEAPON POSS / CARRYING".

I spoke with Dave Workman, of the Second Amendment Foundation (http://www.saf.org/), who is planning to do an article on this incident. He's spoken with Penny, and was planning on speaking with the Manchester police chief. Haven't heard any details from him yet.

My mom, a Michigan attorney, is doing some legal research on Terry v. Ohio and qualified immunity.

We are currently in an information-gathering and waiting mode. We're going to give the Manchester PD a chance to come back with their conclusions before we decide on the next course of action, now that the 911 records are preserved.

If you are interested in in contributing to the legal fund, make payable to "Law Office of Penny S. Dean", with a memo of "Pelletier Fund - File No. PELLET-001" and send to:

Penny S. Dean
Attorney at Law
59 Warren St
Concord, NH 03301-3951

April 23, 2004, 01:32 PM
And I found Graham v. Connor (http://www.thehighroad.org/library/4a/cases/Graham%20v.%20Connor%20-%20490%20U.S.%20386.html) which appears as though it might be applicable.

A diabetic ran out with a friend to a convenience store for a bottle of juice when his blood sugar was getting too low, and was observed by a police officer running into a convenience store, then running out again (the line was too long to wait through) a short time after.

The officer stopped the car, cuffed them, and slammed the diabetic on the hood with the help of his backup, and held them until they got word from the convenience store that they hadn't been robbed.

The lower court ruled against the diabetic victim, but...

On certiorari, the United States Supreme Court vacated and remanded. In an opinion by Rehnquist, Ch. J., joined by White, Stevens, O'Connor, Scalia, and Kennedy, JJ., it was held that (1) all claims brought under 1983 in which it was alleged that law enforcement officers used excessive force--deadly or not--in the course of an arrest, investigatory stop, or other seizure of a free citizen were properly analyzed under the Fourth Amendment's "objective reasonableness" standard, rather than under the more generalized standard of "substantive due process" pursuant to the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, because the Fourth Amendment provided an explicit textual source of federal constitutional protection against such physically intrusive governmental conduct, and (2) under the Fourth Amendment standard, the inquiry is whether the officer's actions in using the force alleged to be excessive are objectively reasonable in light of the facts and circumstances confronting the officer, without regard to the officer's underlying intent or motivation.

I wasn't subjected to "excessive force" by any means, but to a "seizure," defined as follows:

A seizure triggering the protections of the Federal Constitution's Fourth Amendment occurs only when government actors have, by means of physical force or show of authority, in some way restrained the liberty of a citizen.

By this standard, also, my Fourth Amendment-triggering "seizure" continued well after I was released from physical restraint by the officer - actually until I was told by the Sergeant standing at the entrance to the bookstore that I was free to go.

April 23, 2004, 01:56 PM
[26] A police officer is not entitled to seize and search every person whom he sees on the street or of whom he makes inquiries, and before he places a hand on the person in search of anything, he must have constitutionally adequate reasonable grounds for doing so; in the case of the self-protective search for weapons, he must be able to point to particular facts from which he reasonably inferred that the individual was armed and dangerous.

"Armed" is a given, of course, but "dangerous?"

April 24, 2004, 03:56 PM
Penny Dean spoke with the Manchester PD on Friday, and we've declined their request for an interview, leaving my letter of complaint to be the sum of my statement for the time being.

She's also asked me to recount in excruciating detail the events of the evening, I'll be working on that this weekend between house projects (need to finish installing the laminate floor in the bedroom) and will send that in to her either this weekend or Monday. Might stop in at B&N to refresh my memory a bit and make some measurement estimates. I probably won't post it here, though.

April 27, 2004, 12:39 PM
We've gotten a fax of the table of contents of the Manchester PD Policy and Procedure guide. Still working on getting the rest of it through the 91-A public records channels. However, it doesn't look like there's any section that's dead-on relevant - maybe the "criminal investigation" section, or "legal process," "professional conduct," or "search and seizure," etc, hard to tell at this point.

I was sent another legal reference where a teenager was grabbed and searched by police based solely on an anonymous tip that he was carrying a concealed firearm, and the Supreme Court reversed the conviction, noting that:

The reasonable suspicion here at issue requires that a tip be reliable in its assertion of illegality, not just in its tendency to identify a determinate person.We're still working on getting the 911 tapes, so we've yet to determine what the precise content of the police's "tip" was, but knowing my own experience of the incident, there's no valid "assertion of illegality."

Also, I'd like to extend my thanks to Dennis Curran for his contribution to funding this effort.

April 29, 2004, 09:53 AM
Nothing new to report at this point.

May 3, 2004, 09:42 AM
The Manchester PD's internal investigation is ongoing. I haven't had an opportunity to look for witnesses yet, I plan to get pricing on an ad in the Union Leader today.

May 4, 2004, 12:09 PM
Dave Workman, of the Second Amendment Foundation, has written an article that is slated to appear in the next GunWeek (http://www.gunweek.com/) newspaper, I believe the May 8 edition.

May 6, 2004, 03:59 PM
It appears on page 7.

The Manchester Police declined comment, citing the internal investigation.

The reason I look like a vampire in the photo is that the brightness and contrast had to be severely tweaked in order to get the firearm to show up in a B&W printing.

May 6, 2004, 05:27 PM
Michael ... I don't receive Gun Week .... any chance the article will be on line anywhere? if not now then perhaps later.

Art Eatman
May 6, 2004, 09:04 PM
P95 and others, use the PM or email feature. This thread is for mvpel's posts only. :)

May 7, 2004, 03:20 PM
Lt. Kelly just called, interested in speaking with my wife about the incident. I told him that she didn't know anything had happened until we got home, and he said "ok, thanks anyway," and hung up.

Hopefully this means that their investigation is nearly done.

May 10, 2004, 08:30 PM
The May 10 edition of GunWeek is up on the website (http://www.gunweek.com/), but Dave Workman's article on this situation is listed under the "Articles appearing exclusively in the print edition of this issue of GunWeek" heading, with the headline: "NH Man Angered over Police Conduct in Open Carry Beef".

The Gun Owners of New Hampshire had a board meeting last week, and Penny indicated that my situation was discussed there. No details, though, so far. She called and scolded Lt. Kelly for trying to contact my wife ex-partae.

Also, it appears that the problem we're having with our adoption home study is one of a cultural disconnect between the headquarters' Massachusetts "only police should have guns" attitude, and the reality of daily life in New Hampshire.

We're looking into switching to a New Hampshire-based agency for the home study. Quite frustrating, though, considering we'd have it nearly done by now if it weren't for this.

June 7, 2004, 10:04 AM
I just got an email alert from GOA describing the incident, it names names and asks us to email the Manchester COP and our legislators. Should it be posted here, by mvpel I presume?

June 7, 2004, 10:11 AM
Buck .... mvpel is no longer here .... but is IIRC posting over on TFL. I think there is a thread running over there.

June 22, 2007, 03:28 AM
May I ask why he isnt here...Just found this, just curious...never mind...just noticed 2004

If you enjoyed reading about "UPDATES: Seized by the Manchester, NH Police for Open Carry" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!