close

Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

I was held at gunpoint by police - my cop story

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by IvanVic, Jun 19, 2017.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. IvanVic

    IvanVic

    Messages:
    9,037
    Likes Received:
    4,989
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
    This story should be interesting to any gun owner, and the details of it walk a fine line between privacy, constitutional rights, and police officers trying to keep us safe. Looking back on this night, I probably wouldn't change anything.

    Some disclaimers:
    • This happened in the last 10 years.
    • I will not name the police department.
    • I've mentioned the general area in which I live, but I've lived in multiple states so don't assume this happened where I currently live.
    It's late on a Saturday night. I was home alone, my wife was traveling out of state. I fell asleep on the couch watching TV, and sometime in the middle of the night I woke up and decided to eat a snack. I finished eating and began watching TV again as I fell back to sleep. Suddenly there was a knock at the front door. It was late, maybe 3am. This knock is extremely unusual. We aren't party animals who have people over at odd hours of the night. We are a boring married couple, no kids.

    I'm in the family room on the couch when I hear the knock. Next to me is a Glock 17. I pick it up, un-holster it and walk a few feet toward the kitchen so I can see the front door. Let me provide a crude illustration of the layout of the first floor. The red X is where I stood after grabbing my gun...

    house.png


    From that spot I can see both the front door and the rear sliding glass door. I start slowly creeping toward the front door, being careful not to make any noise. After a few steps, there's another knock. The person on the other side says "police department." 10 seconds later and I look out the peephole. There's nobody there. I can clearly see the porch and driveway. Nobody.

    I grab my phone, head upstairs and dial 911. I tell the operator that there's someone outside my home claiming to be the police, but I don't see anyone through the peephole. She asks for my address, I give it to her, and she confirms that it's the police. She tells me they are responding to a call in the area and wanted to know if I had heard anything unusual. Through the telephone I can hear the 911 operator speaking with the officers on the scene. I tell her no, I haven't heard anything unusual. She tells me the officers would like to speak with me about something that happened in the neighborhood (I don't recall the exact language here). She tells me to head back downstairs and go to the front door to speak with them.

    I leave my firearm upstairs and head back down the steps. I remain on the phone with the 911 operator the entire time. I tell the operator to let the officers know that I'm coming to the front door. She tells me to make sure they can see my hands when I open the door. As I crack open the front door, I accidentally set off our alarm. With everything going on I forgot to turn it off. After turning the alarm off I head back over to the door and open it slowly. Before any part of my body is visible, I stick both hands out to make sure they can see that I'm not a threat (the phone is wedged between my shoulder and my ear).

    As soon as my hands come out, I hear a flurry of commands that went something like "get the **** on the ground now!; keep your ****ing hands up!" There are 5-6 officers with their guns on me - at least one has a tactical carbine. They cuff me in the driveway, about 10 feet from my front door. As you can imagine I'm blown away, and have no clue what the hell is happening. I comply with everything and do not resist in any manner.

    One of them asks me "what were you doing with a gun?" I tell them I grabbed the firearm when I heard a knock at the door in the middle of the night.

    Apparently someone reported a gunshot in the area. There was no gunshot. I was awake for at least an hour and heard nothing. The report was real (I obtained a copy), but the person must have been hearing things. Bear in mind, this is a very nice community.

    One of the officers with a rifle starts to approach the front door and begins to enter the house. I tell them, in very clear terms, they are not to enter my home. He says they need to sweep the house. I reiterate my position, with more authority this time. I make it very clear they do not have permission to enter my home. They tell me they don't care if I have 10 pounds of blow in there, they just need to make sure nobody has been shot. Several of them enter the house. At this point there are 4-5 police cars in front of our house with their lights flashing. I'm sitting in my driveway handcuffed, in full view of five or six of my neighbors' houses. A few officers remain outside while two of them sweep the house.

    After they sweep the house, they start asking questions. Apparently they were walking through people's backyards in response to this call about a gunshot. They saw a light on in my house, and apparently felt this was just cause for jumping our fence and peeking in through our windows. I bold this statement because the entire incident hinges on this intrusion of privacy. None of this happens to me without them doing this. Before they even knocked on my door, they were in the backyard peeking through the sliding glass door. After they knocked, the officers in the backyard saw me with a firearm in my hand because they were looking through the glass.

    I explain to them that I have not been outside shooting, and that I was up having a snack and retrieved the gun after the mysterious knock. They seem skeptical, and ask if I'll take one of those tests that shows if I've fired a gun recently (it detects gun powder on your hand). I tell them that I'd be more than happy to take that test. They decline my offer, and essentially the whole thing ends here as they start to accept my story. They leave. Needless to say I am beyond furious, but I was not angry or hostile toward the officers, although I was certainly visibly upset about what happened.

    On Monday I immediately begin calling lawyers and the NRA's legal arm. I go the police department and obtain the audio recording of the 911 call in addition to the report. Every lawyer I spoke to felt the officers were in the wrong, and they also agreed that I handled the situation well, especially by calling 911. The governing opinion was that the police had violated my 4th Amendment rights, but it was a gray area and in addition to pissing off my local police department, I didn't stand to gain much by pursuing this. None of them tried to take my money, and ultimately I didn't pursue any legal action.

    I decided to speak directly with the chief about what occurred, and express my concerns as well as make sure his department knew I did not discharge a weapon that night. I sent his office an email, explaining that my wife and I are law abiding members of the community who make significant contributions (I give examples that I won't mention here because it's too specific), and I felt as though I was treated like a criminal that night. I spoke on the phone with the officer who works directly under the chief. We had a nice phone call and he communicated to me that he spoke with the officers on the scene, and they believed my story. We chatted some more and I told him my dad raised me right, and it would be unthinkable for me to discharge a firearm within the city limits at 3am in the backyard. He was a good guy.

    I've told this story to several people. The consensus was that I handled it well, although a few people online said I shouldn't have opened the door. Hindsight is 20/20. It's easy to say that after hearing the entire story, but I wager that had I refused to open the door, I would have made my situation a hell of a lot worse.

    I do not hate the police because of this. I tried to put myself in their shoes. I feel the same way about police as I did prior to the incident - most of them are good people, but not always, and I am always skeptical of people who work for governments. Police officers don't get a pass in that regard, as much as I respect what they do. It's a hard and sometimes thankless job.

    Lots of things go through my mind. What if we had a big dog? Could it have been shot as they swept the house? What if our alarm going off startled one of the officers and he sent a round through the front door? What if I had been on the back porch smoking a cigarette when they jumped my fence. I don't smoke, but if I did, I might have had that firearm with me on the back porch. I might have raised that firearm and flicked on my TLR-1 to see who the hell just jumped my fence. I could have been shot on the spot.

    Anyway, that's my story. I went around to each of my neighbors and explained it so they didn't think they were living next to a criminal, ha.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  2. ChuteTheMall

    ChuteTheMall Wallbuilder and Weapon Bearer

    Messages:
    70,100
    Likes Received:
    99,160
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2000
    Location:
    Colluder in Cahoots
    Yeah, I sent them to your house because I didn't like something you posted.

    By the way, what's your current address?

    :animlol:
     

  3. janice6

    janice6 Silver Member

    Messages:
    38,342
    Likes Received:
    31,789
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Location:
    minnesota
    Things can go to hell in a handbasket in no time at all, if two parties see the same event in differing perspectives and close their mind to another interpretation.

    I'm glad you were able to resolve this with no long term effects. Someone has to remain cool in the heat of the moment, and you did your best.
    .................
    I have been pulled over at midnight in the middle of Winter, only to have one gun trained on me through the back window of my car while the officer at my drivers door window was covering me with his.

    They saw something that told them a different story than what I had experienced. We talked it out calmly. They put the guns away and helped me out.

    Fatalities happen when each version of the story ignores the other. Then it's a recipe for escalation, and with guns involved, someone usually gets hurt.
     
    Mike_853, G19Tony, JArthurD and 3 others like this.
  4. Adjuster

    Adjuster

    Messages:
    15,948
    Likes Received:
    3,789
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    Port Richey Florida USA
    They should have pepper sprayed you. Now that would be a good story.



    /
     
  5. Adjuster

    Adjuster

    Messages:
    15,948
    Likes Received:
    3,789
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    Port Richey Florida USA
    Oh man, better yet a bean bag to the gut. Now that would be epic!



    /
     
  6. SmokeRoss

    SmokeRoss GTDS Member #49

    Messages:
    8,433
    Likes Received:
    3,679
    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Location:
    Alaska
    I wouldn't have opened the door.
     
  7. snerd

    snerd Horselover Fat

    Messages:
    18,808
    Likes Received:
    14,268
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Location:
    Oklahoma!
    Look..................... I'm really sorry about that. TBO was sick of your crap on here, so I suggested a little joke we could play on you. It got a little out of hand. But we sure laughed out loud later at the station!! :uglylol:
     
    JArthurD, Misty02, DonGlock26 and 4 others like this.
  8. huskerbuttons

    huskerbuttons

    Messages:
    7,138
    Likes Received:
    14,476
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Location:
    SW Ohio
    I was bit by the sheriffs office K9 today. He found me in a building and bit me, three different times. He found me in a corn field and bit me. He chased me across a creek and bit me. He chased me through a culvert pipe and bit me. He chased me when I ran from the traffic stop and made it about 10ft when he bit me again! Wednesday we'll do it all over again.
     
  9. snerd

    snerd Horselover Fat

    Messages:
    18,808
    Likes Received:
    14,268
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Location:
    Oklahoma!
    He even told me he thought you were going to blade there for a minute!
     
    Jor327 and nursetim like this.
  10. IvanVic

    IvanVic

    Messages:
    9,037
    Likes Received:
    4,989
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
    :laughabove:
     
    alf162 and Misty02 like this.
  11. snerd

    snerd Horselover Fat

    Messages:
    18,808
    Likes Received:
    14,268
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Location:
    Oklahoma!
    But if your story is on the up and up, I'd not be a happy camper either. Can't even eat a sammich in peace, in my own house?!
     
    Lee Elliott, Misty02 and nursetim like this.
  12. firefighter4215

    firefighter4215

    Messages:
    1,167
    Likes Received:
    61
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2009
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Probably don't point a weapon with a light on it at any bump or noise in the night. Otherwise, you clearly understand how things work. Comply, and complain or sue later. That's why the system exists. Resisting in that situation would not have made it better.
     
    Liecha, Mike_853, JohnnyE and 3 others like this.
  13. thetoastmaster

    thetoastmaster NOT a sheepdog!

    Messages:
    2,441
    Likes Received:
    163
    Joined:
    May 11, 2000
    Location:
    One Nation, Under Surveillance
    What would have happened if you hadn't answered the door?

    Just curious what the recourse would have been, since they all be admitted that they violated your civil rights.
     
    certifiedfunds likes this.
  14. Baba Louie

    Baba Louie

    Messages:
    6,702
    Likes Received:
    3,467
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2001
    HATS!
    Were
    They
    Wearing
    Their
    HATS?
    (for some reason that seems to be important to some people)
     
  15. itisbruno

    itisbruno Devious Member CLM

    Messages:
    38,184
    Likes Received:
    34,699
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Location:
    Raccoon City
    If I am not expecting someone, I do not answer the door. The doorbell rang Sunday, dog barked, I surfed GT.

    Someone I know will text or call to let me know they are going to visit. I don't care to see anyone else.
     
    Seroke, Mike_853, Glockworks and 10 others like this.
  16. Dukeboy01

    Dukeboy01 Pretty Ladies!

    Messages:
    3,052
    Likes Received:
    1,133
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2000
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    You handled your part of it exactly right, IMO.

    As far as the officers' tactics go, that wouldn't fly around here. We don't get all tacticool for a single 911 call on a single gunshot with no report of people down or property damage. You must live (or have lived) in a really, really nice neighborhood for such a thing to be considered exciting enough to warrant the response that it did. Around here, we'd circle the block, listen for any more gunshots, ask dispatch if the complainant wanted contact, and then go back to patrolling. Getting your rifle out of the trunk for a single, unconfirmed gunshot, jumping fences, and sneaking through backyards? Please.

    That said, as far as a violation of your 4th Amendment rights go, I'm not seeing it. Exigency is an exception to the warrant requirement after all. It wouldn't be that hard for them to articulate that as for entering your yard and ultimately your house.

    I'm not saying that those are good tactics. My department doesn't roll that way. I just don't see that any legal claim would get very far. Making a complaint to the chief was absolutely the better way to deal with it. Sounds like a training and supervision issue to me that hopefully got addressed. No need to go around spooking the taxpayers over noise violations.
     
    Davers, Liecha, Mike_853 and 21 others like this.
  17. Adub

    Adub

    Messages:
    1,352
    Likes Received:
    2,108
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2016
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Well, crap happens. Maybe a crazy person did hallucinate it, but if the cops get a call about gunfire at 3 am in a nice neighborhood, they're going to check it out. You're the type of taxpayer they are paid to protect.

    Their options ranged from a door to door search to doing nothing. They chose to look at (probably) the one house with lights on at 3 am. After all, in a suicide or murder suicide, people don't stay to turn off the lights.

    They knocked on your door, saw you walking around with a gun, and put two and two together. Instead of the armed homeowner awake at 3 am, maybe you were a burglar who had shot the homeowner and was in the process of raping the wife who was tied up upstairs?

    Call reporting gunfire + seeing man in house with gun = you're the perp

    They should have done a better job of apologizing after everything was straightened out, but considering the number or murder-suicides or thrill-kills lately, they'd be excoriated if they didn't investigate. After all, Jeffrey Dahmer was a slick talking guy who got the cops to return his gay lover to him after the guy had fled his house without his clothes.

    You're presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, but at the scene, you're presumed guilty until proven innocent.
     
    Davers, Mike_853, Glockworks and 5 others like this.
  18. nursetim

    nursetim

    Messages:
    18,976
    Likes Received:
    18,074
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    Location:
    liberalville N. M.
    Over all it sounds like a good outcome, no one was hurt. You suffered a little humiliation, but in the grand scheme of things, meh.

    I'm pretty sure if the officers had announced themselves initially, most of this could have been avoided. But hindsight is 20/20.
     
    janice6 likes this.
  19. larry_minn

    larry_minn Silver Member Millennium Member

    Messages:
    12,421
    Likes Received:
    3,407
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 1999
    Location:
    Minnesota
    IMHO they did not handle this professionally.
    In most of America you are allowed to have. A firearm in your hand inside home. Having gun in hand, retreating to safe place, call 911 is reasonable. ( ok also possible action of person who after shooting his drug dealer at 3am, realizes someone called Police, calls hoping to get ahead of it)

    BUT when they know you are comming to door, show hands. To treat homeowner cooperating such as that to start. IMO not professional. ( unless your actions on phone, relay warranted it)
    I had a Officer really ruin cooperation on my property yrs ago. I try to work with, cooperate...
    I wound up ordering him off property, suggesting I will call Sheriff. He left.

    Sometimes Cops do weird things ( that personally I disagree with)
    Yrs back Moorhead MN ride along. IIRC it was peeping Tom call. So driving around, looking for person @2am. There is house with lights, TV on. As well as porch light on.
    So Officer says he wants to talk to them, see if they have been out. (I think that's thin but don't say anything. He tells me to stay in squad (again 100% his call). He walks up like there might be danger. Then loosens lightbulb before rapping on door.
    I see person look out, FROWN. Look some more, pause.
    Finally weak flashlight that Officer trumps with Streamlight SL-20X. (What can I say I replaced switches,bulbs, battery packs on a few)
    Anyway Officer has him keep 2 cell wimp light down as he blinds homeowner, questions why he is looking in windows, took so long answering door... (officer did NOT announce he was Police)
    He does not fix light, returns to unit and enlightens me on his superior tactics. I was disgusted.
    If I noticed my outside light going off, then knock. I am moving AWAY from door, calling 911 as grabbing long arm.

    In fairness I should add other Officers were interrested in this from that PD. I was thanked for bringing it up. Offered more rides, given (IMO) much wider freedom as well. I kinda expected to be shunned. Unless threat I was not instructed to stay in squad. Offered a Streamlight, belt loop to carry it. (Of course just during ride)And shown shotgun release, cruiser ready....
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
    Liecha and Mike_853 like this.
  20. SmokeRoss

    SmokeRoss GTDS Member #49

    Messages:
    8,433
    Likes Received:
    3,679
    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Location:
    Alaska
    We would know if it had been my place, cause I wouldn't have opened the door for them.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.