Legally open carrying combat vet sues over Wyoming traffic stop

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by RussP, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. CA Escapee

    CA Escapee Finally!

    I agree. I thought the officer's probable cause was shakey in the first place. The officer really made the stop based on what another (phantom) motorist said, but he didn't observe the alleged violation?


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    #41 CA Escapee, Sep 30, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  2. Patchman

    Patchman Florist

    Well TDC20, I guess everyone's mileage will differ.

  3. An officer can write a ticket based on a report of a citizen in TN, but the citizen reporting the infraction has to sign the ticket as prosecutor and appear in court as such. I think I've done it once or twice in the 10 yrs I've been a LEO. This is not to suggest it's going to be for an offense such as speeding, but reckless or another offense that may not need "expert" testimony (so to speak) will fly.

    Normally when I tell a citizen the process they have to go through who's mad at another driver, they refuse to pursue the issue.
    #43 SgtScott31, Sep 30, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  4. SgtScott31
    Yea thats what I thought as well -had to do it for a DUI that almost rear ended me- and I called in to report it- unfortunately the LEO didn't see them weaving all over the road- they caught up to them at the Quick mart and I had to fill out a statement- they never called me to testify though! I don't know what WY law say on this? But as Dragoon said they can stop you on a verbale I guess! Guy should have just heard the LEO's out- told them no that wasn't me or Yes I legally passed those vehicle so what? Then the officer would have done what? Can't site or arrest without observing the crime! I highly doupt the RVers stuck around or made a statement.
    #44 Gunnut 45/454, Oct 1, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  5. TDC20

    frizz, is it possible that the cop that was waiting for him got the guy on radar for speeding? I'm guessing that's why he was able to nail him without the need for a sworn statement from you.

    In the audio, the officer stated at the end that the RVer didn't want to make a formal complaint, so he was releasing the MC.

    My bad. I didn't understand your original statement and had a mental picture of a guy standing alongside his bike, holding it up by the handlebars. I understand now, and I understand your reasoning for requiring someone to keep their hands on the handlebars (same as having a motorist keep their hands on the wheel).

    I'm not a fan of open carry. I live in a state that allows it, but I have never done it. If I'm armed, I would rather it be concealed for a number of reasons that I see as an advantage over OC'ing. However, I'm not aware of a lot of shootings happening with OC'ers, though I know of a few. As a cop, I would be more concerned about the gun I can't see/don't know about rather than one I can plainly see in the open. Every time I go to the range, it's a discrete possibility that the guy next to me could swing his weapon and pop me in the head, but do I ever worry about that happening? No, or I wouldn't go to the range. When I visited Israel a few years ago, all kinds of people had guns, some very young. I saw 18-20yr olds with M-16's at the bus stop, lots of security guards with Uzi's. I never felt safer in my life. It's about WHO has the guns. Now I understand, in the situation with a police officer and a stranger with an OC weapon, you don't know who the person is. But, if I was a felon in possession of a weapon, would I be wearing it OC? I'm all for officer safety, but I think some of this stuff over OC conflicts is borderline paranoia. I'm a hunter and I run into people in the woods or in the field with shotguns and rifles regularly, but the last thing on my mind is that they're going to shoot at me. How do you think game wardens handle it, checking hunters with loaded weapons all the time? "I'm not going to shoot you if you don't shoot me" seems like it works OK 99.999% of the time.

    One more thing about this particular incident. When the MC says he doesn't care about officer safety, he's just being a jackass. I know he said it to be argumentative about the stop, but it's still an ignorant and selfish thing to say. This particular stop, including recording, seems to parallel the all-too-familiar OC'er with recording trying to drum up an incident with LE that he can post on the internet. I found it interesting that his claim about the officers "allowing him to leave if his partner can cover him in case he makes a move" was conspicuously absent from the audio recording. I'm not saying it didn't happen, but if it did, why was it edited out?

    There's plenty of fail on both sides of this story.
  6. I don't want to be misunderstood. If I get called on a speeder in "X" vehicle, I'm not going to stop him unless I actually observe him speeding.Speeding is hard to prove unless you have been through RADAR/LIDAR training and get good at estimating speeds. We have to be consistent within 5mph before getting certified. Our vehicles have certified speedometers, and our equipment (RADAR/LIDAR) has to be checked/calibrated. I don't think I would give a ticket out to someone based on joe plumber's theory the guy was simply speeding. If a citizen approaches me and points out a car, says the driver is reckless, articulates the reckless driving/behavior, and wants to prosecute, then I don't have a problem writing out a traffic citation and allowing the reporting party to sign it. All moving violations in TN are misdemeanors. That's not the same for other states.

    DUIs and other crimes can be a little different. DUIs are one of those where an officer doesn't have to witness to arrest (just like domestic assault). State laws can vary though. In TN (where I am), citizen reports without me observing the erratic driving can be enough to stop a DUI offender, but every situation is different (and very fact-based). If a citizen gives an accurate description of travel, the vehicle, the driving observed, and I catch up within a reasonable time, I can stop without corroborating.

    If I just get a report of a blue vehicle driving bad on "x" road, I would try to get some of my own evidence before stopping.

    Bottom line, it's about knowing the law and specifically what the courts in my state have said when it comes to the issue at hand.

    As far as what to do with a motorcycle rider, it's up to the individual officer. I was not trained to leave him on the bike. It's a totality of circumstances approach. Obviously if I think he might run, he's coming off of it. According to SCOTUS we have the right to control occupants of any vehicle during a traffic stop. How we do so can vary from stop to stop.
  7. No doubt that the cop observed it. A big red SUV that's flying low and wobbling in his lane.

    If you're asking if there just happened to be a speed trap there, I don't think so. The location was out in the open, for one thing.
  8. Good point, Patch. The car my wife was driving gets crappy gas mileage.

  9. Bruce M


    Probable cause is the level of "proof" that is necessary for a custody arrest. Reasonable suspicion is generally closer to the level that needs to be articulated for the police to stop and make an inquiry. Several have already suggested that a complaint of bad driving may reasonably justify an investigative stop. My guess is that the nature of the complaint may help or hurt that justification. A simple complaint of a motorcycle speeding might be insufficient; however a complaint of a motorcycle speeding on a specific roadway in a specific direction along with a description of the bike and rider along with an estimated speed is probably adequate to justify some investigation, especially if the driving approaches a level that might be criminal or could be suspicious beyond a simple traffic violation.
    #49 Bruce M, Oct 1, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  10. CA Escapee

    CA Escapee Finally!


    That is true. I was thinking about cases where a person was stopped without strict probable cause (pc) and arrested on one or more charges. In the case I'm thinking about it was shown that the officer's pc was defective and the charges were dismissed.

    I do see your point for justification in making the stop, though.

    #50 CA Escapee, Oct 1, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  11. I hope he gets a big check and those cops get fired. We don't need these types on the government payroles.
  12. SgtScott31
    It good to know there are very informed LEO's like yourself on the beat! Thanks for the insight and be safe out there!:supergrin:
  13. Bruce M


    Out of curiosity for what would he get a big check?
  14. The lawsuit!
  15. Bruce M


    Ok On what grounds would the lawsuit provide him with a big check?
  16. Dragoon44

    Dragoon44 Unfair Facist
    Lifetime Member

    I know, I know!!!!

    For violating his constipational right not to get his feelings butt hurt!!!

  17. See page 1 & 2
  18. ICARRY2

    ICARRY2 NRA Life Member

    Neither are going to happen. And shouldn't.
  19. Did anyone else notice in the video the little text with the definition off arrest? For someone trumpeting on about knowing his rights he sure doesn't know the difference between arrest and detaining .
  20. FireForged

    FireForged Millenium #3936
    Millennium Member

    Exactly! :thumbsup: ........... and what does being a former combat vet have to do with anything?
    #60 FireForged, Oct 2, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012


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