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Seized by the Manchester, New Hampshire PD for Open Carry

Discussion in 'Legal' started by mvpel, Mar 30, 2004.

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  1. OF

    OF Member

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    And in this case, you are 'reasonably' certain that this man posed enough of a threat that he be taken down forcefully? What exactly would lead you to that decision? I'll tell you what: the 'us vs. them' attitude, that's what. The increasingly prevalent attitude among the police that they are superior to the general population. That is what led these cops to decide with no reason at all to tackle this man. That is what made these cops feel they were perfectly justified in berating him for his choice to exercise his legal rights. That is why he was acosted, harrased, berated, belittled and will now be stonewalled. This man needed to know who was in charge, and it sure as hell wasn't going to be anyone but the cops.

    Again, this is exactly where the 'us vs. them' attitude comes from. People are sick to death of being assumed to be law-breakers. The fact that we are all suffering for the mistakes of the few is what drives that attitude. People need to make a stand, and that is what mvpel is doing. His legal action is going to help alleviate this 'us vs. them' problem. It's the only way. It will not be curtailed by complaining about it. And the 'good cops' need to get on board and help do something about "the few" we are always hearing about that are pushing this increasingly poor relationship to the brink.

    If this man was not the absolute definition of a law-abiding citizen exercising their rights, I don't know what is. I hope someone loses their job over this at the very least. Enough is enough. Law abiding citizens should not fear the police in a free society. It's disgusting.

    - Gabe
     
  2. dwkennedy

    dwkennedy Member

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    I think if mvpel was dressed in a cop-esque outfit (ala security guard), complete with a duty belt, big honkin' service handgun, cuffs, a nightstick, pepper spray, a radio, and a big badge that said "mvpel private security service[/b]", in not-too-readable flowery script, the sheeple might have taken a look but would have went back to grazing without a second thought. I suspect the cops wouldn't have body slammed him either, even if they had been called.

    There's something wrong when it's ok to be a hired security guy, protecting some rich guy's money and property, but it's not socially acceptable to protect yourself and your family. I think whoever dropped the dime AND the cops need to think hard about what they're doing. If they want to go on a crusade against their perceived social ill of open carry they need to do it in the legislature, not on the street.
     
  3. Werewolf

    Werewolf Member

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    As long as the safety of the individual Police Officer takes priority over the oathes they took and rights and freedoms of those they are sworn to protect there will always be an us vs them mentality.

    12-34hom - Your whole argument (and I may be misreading what you're saying) seems to be based on the contention that the police were justified in violating MvPel's rights and freedoms because it was necessary to assure their safety. Well - all I have to say to that contention is HOGWASH!

    It is a fact of life that a police officer's duties (does duty even mean the same thing today as it did 50 years ago) may place him or her in harm's way. They volunteered for the job - no one made them take it.

    When I joined the military I swore an oath and along with millions of others - many of whom died for that oath - was willing to accept the risk that went with it.

    The police swear an oath as well. So what makes them any different from all the rest of us who swore oathes to serve and protect? What makes their lives more valuable than those of the military or the public they are sworn to protect?

    We may not like it but if a police officer has to die on occasion to keep from violating the rights and freedoms of the people he or she serve then so be it. Freedom isn't free as the saying goes. There is always a price to pay. Often the price is high. For many Americans thruout our history the price paid was their lives. If the folks that choose to protect us and our freedom aren't willing to pay that price then they need to find other employment because they aren't fit to be police - they're only fit to be the sheep they are.
     
  4. Bizzow

    Bizzow Member

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    I guess I'm hallucinating all those local cops that turn their strobes on to simply go through a red light :rolleyes:

    Drunk with power is simply a phrase to describe someone's beyond-the-acceptable-realm of actions due to their position of authority. I would certainly say those cops that accosted mvpel were drunk with power - they assumed they could do no wrong and physically restrained the man for no lawful reason whatsoever. I would certainly say the officer(s) that are ignoring mvpel's letter are drunk with power in their attempts to convey that their authority precludes them from having to take even the barest of action. We might not agree on these points, but nonetheless, I don't think you can deny that these men are abusing their authority.
     
  5. tcsd1236

    tcsd1236 Member

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    Problem with this statement is that anyone we deal with on calls CAN be a criminal, or a person with criminal intent. Criminals don't come in one shape, color, sex, race, etc. There is a wall down in DC with the name of every dead US LEO over the history of this country , and many of them are there because they let their guard down when they shouldn't have, they assumed that the person they were dealing with was ok to relax around. I am sorry that you feel like you are being treated like a criminal. Even criminals bristle at what they claim is conduct that "treats them like criminals". Go figure.The bottom line is that threats to officer CAN come from anyone until it is proven otherwise.
     
  6. ojibweindian

    ojibweindian Member

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    Have you ever heard of the Golden Rule?

    If the "job" is too hazardous for you, then maybe it's time to consider another occupation.

    Also, the converse of your entire post is also true, i.e. any cop that us "civilians" come up against could be a criminal, or a cop with criminal intent. Bad cops don't come in one size, shape, color, ethnic background, et cetera, either.
     
  7. tcsd1236

    tcsd1236 Member

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    You have to be kidding. The Golden Rule?? Ha. Tell that to a widow at an officers funeral: "sorry he's dead...but at least he applied the golden rule".What a crock, people. Its no wonder you are upset; you have some very unrealistic expectations that you are holding officers to.
    And yes, this job can be dangerous. Thats why we take appropriate precautions.
     
  8. tcsd1236

    tcsd1236 Member

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    No lawful reason? They were conducting an investigation based on a complaint their agency had received. Thats as legitimate a reason as you can have.They didn't just choose him out of a crowd to harass him for no reason.
     
  9. ojibweindian

    ojibweindian Member

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    The same could be said of innocent people killed by over-zealous cops.
     
  10. Bizzow

    Bizzow Member

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    to tcsd

    There's nothing wrong with keeping your guard up, but there is a great deal wrong with lawlessly accosting someone doing NOTHING WRONG. What you seem to be saying (which I hope you don't really believe) is that in interest of personal safety, cops should be able to handcuff or restrain ANYONE for any reason because it's possible they could be a threat. I don't know about you, but there's nothing of the American "innocent until proven guilty" sentiment behind such policies.

    Oops, pardon me while I go beat my neighbor across the street...he just pulled up in a Ryder truck and hey, HE JUST MIGHT BE PLANNING TO BLOW UP OUR BLOCK WITH A FERTILIZER BOMB! Darn...I wish those pesky criminals would wear a big "Hey, I'm a CRIMINAL" sign on their foreheads.
     
  11. cordex

    cordex Member

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    Whose?
    The officer on the scene?
    If so, then it is a matter of what you consider "reasonable".

    That screening process can - under the best conditions - determine who already has a tendancy towards criminal behavior, and usually determine if an individual has already been convicted of a crime.

    I'm not convinced that such a screening process is as efficient as you believe. Additionally, a police officer's position is one of authority. Authority attracts - along with good and honest people - those who would abuse it.

    I believe that most cops are good folks, or at least regular people just trying to do their job. I also believe that there are bad officers who make the good ones' job much tougher. However, when the good officers don't stand up and condemn the actions of the bad ones (or even just condemn the bad actions of normally good officers) it tremendously hurts the relationship between the police and the public in general. It makes the good officers who stand by and do nothing, or even defend wrongful actions appear to be in cahoots with the rare bad officer and thus bad themselves.

    I'm reasonably certain that 12-34hom and tscd1236 are great officers who do a good job. However, when they defend the actions of police who assault a man for complying with the law, I'm forced to reconsider exactly whose side they're on.

    There's much to be said for institutional loyalty, but if not coupled with internal policing, the institution is condemned jointly for the actions of the few and the inaction of the rest.
    Letting your guard down (going into condition white) is very different from refraining from assaulting someone for lawfully carrying a weapon. You do see this, don't you?
    Very true. Yet a few police seem to be able to get by without slamming everyone they come into contact who might hurt them into bookshelves.
     
  12. ojibweindian

    ojibweindian Member

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    Like the cop who shot a N.C. family's dog on the shoulder of a TN. highway? Everybody remember that? Was that an "appropriate precaution"?
     
  13. jnojr

    jnojr Member

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    I believe I see 12-34s point, that being "The simple fact of the matter is, if you carry a firearm openly, you're going to attract undue attention". And that's usually the type of argument I make... it doesn't matter what's "right", it matters what is. In that context, yeah, all mvpel would have to do would be to pull on a jacket. But the problem with that is another erosion of our rights. We cannot tolerate an answer to a violation of our rights to be "well, just don't exercise that right, or exercise it less conspicuously". That gets us to the same result as if the right was simply legislated away in the first place, and makes it easier for it to be legislated away in the future. The sheople are already too unused to the idea of a law-abiding citizen carrying a handgun, or owning an "assault rifle". We need more people like mvpel carrying openly and responsibly.

    As for cops being "drunk on power"... I'm taking some criminal law classes taught by a guy who was an L.A. County deputy Sheriff for many years, as well as other LE jobs. Basically, a lot of his stories pretty much confirm that LEOs tend to develop an "us vs. them" mentality simply because their job is so different than everyone else... they deal with the lowest dregs of society on a daily basis, and every contact they make they have to be ready for anything. Anyone who isn't a brother bears watching. On top of that, the job really doesn't pay very well... you start out at less than $50K and probably top out around $80K around here. So little things like getting through reds, immunity to most tickets, etc. is a "perk of the job", but it also helps to reinforce the "I'm different from everyone else" mentality. 50 years ago, when police officers were the objects of respect, there was probably a lot less of that sort of thing. Police officers were always polite and respectful with citizens, and that went both ways.

    I believe the officers in mvpels case absolutely over-acted. I hope he's able to effect a change in their training. I also believe police officers have a very difficult job that is constantly made harder by "citizen review" of their every action. We don't know what information those officers were acting on... it's possible the 911 caller made it sound like mvpel was glaring around the room, fondling his gin, muttering about the Second Coming... who knows? And here's a bunch of Monday morning quarterbacks constantly second-guessing... "You used too much force". Oh wait... in another case, they didn't use *enough* force! You didn't get here fast enough! Why the hell are you bothering me on my property? The cops are never right.

    I'm anxious to see how this works out.
     
  14. Bizzow

    Bizzow Member

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    None. Zip. Zero. Nada. Zilch. He was breaking NO LAW yet the police responded by BREAKING THE LAW with him. Do you see that or not? If you can't see he was breaking no law, was not posing an immediate threat to himself or others, and was quite oviously rational, please let us know so we can ignore any and all future posts on this subject that you may make.
     
  15. 7.62FullMetalJacket

    7.62FullMetalJacket Member

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    My cash is on Mr. Pelletier. Where is yours.
     
  16. OF

    OF Member

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    I can't believe I'm hearing this. You don't see any difference between a criminal complaining about being treated like a criminal and a law-abiding citizen complaining about being treated like a criminal?
    No one is asking you to 'let your guard down'. It's a dangerous job, we all understand. There is, however, more than a bit of a difference between 'keeping your guard up' and pre-emptively tackling someone minding their own business becuase you feel there is a possibility maybe they might do something...even though they are just standing there looking the very model of a law-abiding citizen.
    Like I said earlier, I feel for you, I really do. It must be tough. Get over it. That's the job. The answer to keeping officer's names off the wall is not to pre-emptively tackle anyone you feel like tackling. The only place where the police are safe is a police state. And that will never happen here. There are many in this country, who are now your friends, that will quickly become your enemies long before that is ever allowed to come to pass.

    You need to understand that the citizens of this country are not going to put up with this attitude from their police officers. It will get worse and worse and then it will snap. It is your obligation to keep that from happening.

    Keep your guard up, you would be a fool not to, but do not overstep your authority. Law-abiding American citizens are more and more in fear of their own police, and that path has no good ending for anyone. It has to stop.
    This is the unfortunate truth of the matter. The people responsible for forcing citizens to be making this 're-evaluation' need to wake up and smell the coffee. People are only going to take so much of this.

    - Gabe
     
  17. OF

    OF Member

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    If there wasn't such, literally, unbelievable abuses of power - like the case in question - there wouldn't be so much pressure re: citizen review. The citizens are only going to take so much crap from the police. This erroding relationship is going to be felt in tighter and tigher restrictions and review, leading to more resentment by officers of the conditions they are forced to deal with, leading to less and less respect shown to citizens out on the street. It's a downward spiral and we're on the path. There is only one group who can stop it: the cops.

    - Gabe
     
  18. mvpel

    mvpel member

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    No lawful reason? They were conducting an investigation based on a complaint their agency had received. Thats as legitimate a reason as you can have.They didn't just choose him out of a crowd to harass him for no reason.

    We have not yet recieved a copy of the 911 tape, it is looking like we'll need a court order. The dispatch report said "WEAPON POSS / CARRYING".

    News flash - that's legal in New Hampshire.

    If they were "conducting an investigation," the least they could have done is observed my behaviour for 10 seconds, and connected that to the fact of the legality of open carry in New Hampshire, and done some simple arithmetic that should have led them to the conclusion that I was not someone who needed to be assaulted.

    The cop in the Terry v. Ohio case spent 10-15 minutes observing three individuals in the process of "casing" a store in preparation for a robbery before approaching them, identifying himself as a police officer, asking their names, searching them, and disarming them. He had a "reasonable suspicion" given the totality of the circumstances, based on his observations, that a crime was being planned.

    What "reasonable suspicion" could they possibly have had here? I was comporting myself just as any other patron of the bookstore, strolling the aisles and ocassionally picking up a book to browse through. Furthermore, I was about 100 feet and a number of shelving units away from any of the cash registers.

    The only difference between me and the rest of the patrons of that store is that I was visibly armed, and in New Hampshire, that is NOT enough to constitute reasonable suspicion!!! Or even mere suspicion, for crying out loud!

    A bedwetter who hyperventilates at the sight of a gun needs to be given therapy and medication, not a team of police officers grabbing an innocent person on their behalf.

    BEDWETTER: Officer, officer! There's a guy here wearing an NRA baseball cap! I'm scaaaaared!

    COP: Never fear, madame! I'll handle this!

    [GRAB] [DETAIN] [SEARCH SEARCH SEARCH]

    Ten minutes later...

    COP: Here's your NRA cap back. You shouldn't wear that in public, it scares people.
     
  19. tcsd1236

    tcsd1236 Member

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    "I can't believe I'm hearing this. You don't see any difference between a criminal complaining about being treated like a criminal and a law-abiding citizen complaining about being treated like a criminal?"

    My point was that even criminals complain they are treated like criminals. It is a meaningless, unquantifiable issue of perception; some people complain that we are treating them like criminals if we aren't all smiles and hugs when we deal with them.

    "No one is asking you to 'let your guard down'. It's a dangerous job, we all understand. There is, however, more than a bit of a difference between 'keeping your guard up' and pre-emptively tackling someone minding their own business becuase you feel there is a possibility maybe they might do something...even though they are just standing there looking the very model of a law-abiding citizen."

    Noone tackled anyone that I saw. They approached him, took control of the weapon and escorted him from the business. And certainly, in the responses of others here, I see comments that equate with behavior they want officers to use that equates with "letting your guard down".

    "None. Zip. Zero. Nada. Zilch. He was breaking NO LAW yet the police responded by BREAKING THE LAW with him. Do you see that or not? "

    No, I don't see that.

    "A bedwetter who hyperventilates at the sight of a gun needs to be given therapy and medication, not a team of police officers grabbing an innocent person on their behalf."

    and

    "If you can't see he was breaking no law, was not posing an immediate threat to himself or others, and was quite oviously rational, please let us know so we can ignore any and all future posts on this subject that you may make."

    As I said earlirer, gun owners sometimes don't realize that what they take for granted and normal is not viewed the same way by others. If open carry is as common in your state as has been claimed in this thread, you carrying openly would no have received a second glance. Since it did draw attention, I must presume that it is not as common as has been claimed.
     
  20. gunsmith

    gunsmith member

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    if open carry is legal

    it's legal
     
  21. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    Michael says ...
    This surely is about the crux of the whole matter. This was gun in waistband .. NOT in hand! This is why it is so hard to accept that an assault was remotely deemed necessary. Had this short observation period been executed then ''perceived threat'' would I am sure have been seen as infinitessimally small .... and then nothing more might have been needed than ''Excuse me Sir - but you are upsetting some sheeple, altho you are being lawful''.
     
  22. dwkennedy

    dwkennedy Member

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    Who knows what the police where told when they were summoned to the book store. Perhaps someone filed a false report that would have led them to believe he was an immediate threat. Maybe they said he threatened customers with his gun, beat up three guys and then went to the Sci Fi section to browse. Hopefully this information comes out in the wash.

    But I think we can be pretty sure that they didn't handle the situation very well after that. I didn't get the third degree when I went down the the Sheriff's office to apply for a CCW license. Of course we have only mvpel's report of the encounter, but sounds like they were engaging in some sort of public debate on the fully legal activity of open carry, when they should have said "Have a nice day" and went back to work.

    Without the public's cooperation and trust, police are in MORE danger and will have a tougher time getting their job done. Shouldn't the police department communicate with the public they are supposed to be protecting, and explain their actions? I'm sure the department is thinking about the potential legal hot water they're in. But why not be helpful in making public information available to the public? Shouldn't they be eager to show their side and convince the people they're serving that they were acting in a responsible manner? Even if they feel mvpel and others who believe in personal armed self-defense are gun-totin' crackpots, shouldn't they apply a little PR and try to sway the 'crackpots' to their side?

    Can mvpel or any other peaceable armed person expect to be stopped and questioned every time he or she crosses the path of a Manchester LEO? If this isn't a policy in general, then what specifically set them off in this case?

    Will Macnchester LEOs continue to debate public policy (open carry, armed self-defense, war on terror) on the clock?

    But hey, maybe they were asking semi-random questions (voluntarily answered by mvpel) just to judge his demeanor and figure out if there was a reason he was armed in the bookstore, other than the obvious answer of looking at books. But again, a lot depends on what they were told going in to the situation.

    I'm inclined to believe the simple act of legally, openly carrying a gun in public doesn't give the police go-ahead to get physical with, detain and question people. Maybe my judgement has been colored by reading too much L. Neil Smith lately?
     
  23. labgrade

    labgrade Member In Memoriam

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    "As I said earlirer, gun owners sometimes don't realize that what they take for granted and normal is not viewed the same way by others."

    So what "others" may think. Cops should know the law.

    If it's legal, then there shouldn't even have been contact, other than perhaps a "Sir, you're scaring sheep. (wink, wink) Perhaps reconsider your method of carry."

    I carried perfectly legal a while back, was drawn upon by 3 LEOs - handguns pointed at my chest - handcuffed & arrested for doing nothing more than checking on a neighbor = all perfectly legal. $2K+ in legal costs to date & tell y'all what, friends & neighbors, it sure sets up an "us versus them" attitude with me.

    Cops so scared of everyone they come in contact with ought to join the Million Mom's Disarmament Campaign.

    Frankly, the defense of the couple LEOs defending this are insulting on so many fronts, & what's more disturbing is that I agree with them at some level - having the T-shirt.

    The "us versus them" mentality is becomng more prevalent due to the actions of LEOs who violate the rights of citizens - & "officer safety" is no defense.

    I take my own chances on the street every day I go out & about - without the implied sanctity of society - & have yet to violate a single person's rights while doing so.
     
  24. thumbody

    thumbody Member

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    1 question. Do you ever carry off duty?
    If so this could just as easily have been you!
    Even if concealed someone could notice your gun.Would this give any officer the right to manhandle you?Or is it just non leos that this is acceptable procedure for. If you are so concerned about the possibility of being harmed get a new job. If Im driving a vette does that give you the right to force me off the road because I may break the speed limit 2 miles down the road?
    From the account I read if mvpel had not dropped the book and shielded his face He would have probably been eating the bookshelf.This is excessive force and assault. I hope you do not treat your local citizens this way.Please realize you're no more important to your family than we are to ours. We all deserve to be treated with respect.

    I get the impression you are one of the leos who think the badge makes you you above us. You have no right to accost anyone who has broken no laws!
     
  25. txgho1911

    txgho1911 Member

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    Are ANTI-leo'S TROLLS in drag?

    Don't feed the TROLLS. Some career cop on his way up the ladder has got to play the part. Even when they are the HERO only in their own mind.
    What oath have these trolls taken. To what constitution.
    Open Carry is legal in NH.
    This thread may need to be locked up now so Mvpel can post updates.
    Some people who work must limit review time and hagling adds lotts of additive and filler. The beef is harder to find now.
    If the act of open carry is so scary then start a new thread to vent your worry.
    Mvpel, you may need some admin assist to limit this thread or rebase the updates elsewhere. I am looking forward to more respect of the 2nd Amd. I know it will mean more work,even pain like yours by many more of us.
    Mannchester PD may have some wind of this story on the internet allready. I have noticed a copy on 3+ sites plus many other refrences and links.
     
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