Friday, 22 July 2011

Police Officer Berates Man with Legal Gun

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Recent news stories publicize a number of problems emanating from local law enforcement, some of which are indicative of a decreased understanding of constitutional rights while others which reveal perhaps law enforcement officers’ heightened sense of authority. Some incidents reveal both, like a recent disturbing exchange between a police officer in Canton, Ohio and a legal gun owner.

The Blaze reports:

A police officer’s dash cam in Canton, OH caught a disturbing exchange last month between a cop and a driver during a traffic stop. In it, the cop can be heard (and seen) berating a man for not telling the officer immediately that he had a concealed carry permit and thus a concealed weapon, even saying at one point he should have killed the gun owner. But there’s just one problem: the man tried several times but the officer cut him off.

Ohio law does require those engaged in a legal stop to immediately inform the officer that they have a weapon. Unfortunately for the man in this particular exchange, the officer refused to allow him to speak. Therefore, when the cop eventually found out about his weapon, a much larger issue was created.

During the stop, a man identified as "William" pulled his vehicle over to the side of the road and let out two passengers. The officer appeared immediately angry and screamed at the passengers and demanded that they stay in the car.

As the officer approached the vehicle, William began, “I have a concealed carry, and…” but was abruptly interrupted and told to shut up. Video footage shows the driver turning his head and speaking to the officer, though his words are inaudible.

The officer continued to reprimand the two passengers that attempted to leave the vehicle before approaching the driver’s side and opening the car door.

William again began, “I have a conceal…” but the officer interrupted and demanded that William “tell the truth or else!”

A number of attempts to inform the officer were made, and each one was interrupted.

When William eventually exited the vehicle, he held up his concealed handgun license to the officer. The officer responded, “Why are you having that?” to which William replied, “I have a CCW, and…” The officer interrupted him to ask, “Do you have a gun?” When William answered yes, the officer grabbed the weapon from William’s waist, handcuffed him, and put him into the police cruiser.

And the officer’s behavior after that was even less professional than before:

“I could blast you in the mouth right now!” said the officer during the encounter, which was captured on video from the camera that sat on the officer’s dashboard. “I’m so close to caving in your God d*mned. You f**** with me! You’re just a stupid human being!.”

The tirade went on:

“F***ng talking to me with a God d*mned gun! You want me to pull mine and stick it to your head?...I tell you what I should have done. As soon as I saw your gun I should have taken two steps back, pulled my Glock 40 and put ten bullets in your ass and let you drop. And I wouldn’t have lost any sleep.”

The officer then went on to threaten a woman involved in the traffic stop.

Even worse than the treatment the legal gun owner received by the officer is that he is now being charged with "failure to notify."

The "Police Department - Officer Code of Conduct" posted on the city of Canton's website, notes, in part:

  • The Ohio Supreme Court has held that Law Enforcement Officers are held to a Higher Standard of Conduct and may be terminated for conduct that may not otherwise be serious in another office setting.
  • All citizens will be treated equally with courtesy, consideration and dignity.... They will conduct themselves in appearance and deportment in such a manner as to inspire confidence and respect for the position of public trust they hold.
  • Consistent and wise use of discretion, based on professional policing competence, will do much to preserve good relationships and retain the confidence of the public.
  • The use of force should be used only with the greatest restraint and only after discussion, negotiation and persuasion have been found to be inappropriate or ineffective.  While the use of force is occasionally unavoidable, every police officer will refrain from unnecessary infliction of pain or suffering and will never engage in cruel, degrading or inhumane treatment of any person.

Photo: Canton Mayor William J. Healy II is shown with the emblem of the Canton Police Department

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