Skip to comments.Loveland police accused of violating rights of man with holstered pistol (ACLU defends gun owner!)
Posted on 07/19/2009 2:49:03 PM PDT by AAABEST
The American Civil Liberties Union has sent a letter to the Loveland Police Department alleging that officers illegally searched and briefly detained a man carrying a gun at South Shore Parkway.
On Thursday, the ACLU sent a formal complaint to Loveland Police Chief Luke Hecker and 8th Judicial District Attorneys Office chief investigator Elliot Phelps.
The organization is questioning the way police dealt with Loveland resident Bill Miller at South Shore Parkway on Oct. 7, 2008.
The ACLU has not sued the city but asked in its letter that the Police Department turn over all records connected to the incident, including internal review documents and discipline or training records of the officers involved.
A spokesman for the ACLU said the organization would wait for a formal response from both Hecker and Phelps before commenting.
The Loveland Police Department did not return several messages from the Reporter-Herald requesting comment Thursday.
Miller, 71, said Thursday that he isnt looking for anything for himself, such as an apology, but rather he wants to teach a lesson.
I would like to see police officers change the way they approach people with guns, Miller said in an interview.
I hope that (police departments) know they need to operate within the law and respect all of the constitutional rights of all the people.
Miller was carrying an unconcealed handgun in a holster attached to his waistband, he said, when he was approached by Loveland police officers who had received a report of a man with a weapon in the park.
Miller wasnt carrying the gun to protest or make a point, he said; he was trying out a new holster he had made.
The police officers, according to the ACLUs letter, seized Millers pistol without consent, and emptied it of ammunition.
The officers then ordered Miller to give them his drivers license, over his objections.
After checking with dispatchers, the officers found that both the gun and Miller were clear of any issues, and they returned Millers gun and license.
They also explained our and citizens initial concern over the weapon, the police incident report says.
Miller also said, the ACLUs letter says, that the officers told him he could expect similar treatment should similar encounters occur in the future.
From the time officers first contacted Miller to the time they left was about 16 minutes, according to a police incident report. No charges were filed.
Miller sent a formal complaint to 8th Judicial District Attorney Larry Abrahamson, according to a letter Phelps sent to Miller.
In that letter, Phelps told Miller the office considered the incident an internal matter for the Police Department.
Phelps said residents have a right to possess and carry firearms, but that there is a fine line between the protection of an individuals rights and the protection of a law enforcement officer.
I guess pigs do fly every now and again.
Yes there is and the COP crossed it.
“Phelps said residents have a right to possess and carry firearms, but that there is a fine line between the protection of an individuals rights and the protection of a law enforcement officer.
Now, show me the clause in the Constitution that elevates law enforcement officers above individual rights?
What legal premise do police officers have for confiscating the firearm in the first place? Would they act the same way if you substituted “a radio” in place of “a firearm”?
A blind hog will find an acorn once in a while!
Way to go Bill MIller! SEasoned citizens rock!
A trooper may disarm a licensee anytime he or she feels that safety is at risk. The trooper will return the gun at the end of the traffic stop when the threat to safety has passed.
So where is the problem if, after checking, the gun was returned and no voilation cited?
You have exposed why the ACLU has taken this case.
Down is always up with them.
The problem, such as it is, would be that the cop pestered the guy in the first place ... assuming that he wasn't presenting any threat to anybody.
The cop is in a tough spot in this situation, though. Somebody had called in, reporting a guy with a gun in a park.
While it's all very well for us to say that carrying a gun is OK (and I do think it is OK, in general), we can't ignore certain realities about our culture, such as the fact that "a guy with a gun in a park" may very well represent a real danger to others.
It is within the cops' purview to ensure that it's not.
Good point. I have read the story two times, thinking about what the CHL site says, and all the officers did was separate the person from the weapon, which you consent to when receiving the permit, for the amount of time it took to verify it was legit. 16 minutes is a little long, but not unreasonable. Just my opinion.
Trust but verify. That’s all the officer did. Someone else pointed out that the ACLU is so upside down that they are making a case where there is none.
I hope the ACLU gets him $5,000,000.00 plus lawyers’ fees. I also hope the cops get tried and convicted of violating his civil rights under color of law and do time in a federal pen.
This crap has to stop.
I guess pigs do fly every now and again.
I see an opportunity for the ACLU to lose and set precedent unfavorable to carrying. No cheers from me.
This incident took place in a Colorado city park. You might want to check out what the local laws say.
That kinda depends on what channel you're tuned to. Listening to right wing radio?
You're referring to laws governing conceal carry holders and state troopers during a traffic stop in Texas, not laws governing open carry and local police at a public park in Colorado - as is clear in the article.
Would it be too much to ask for you to buy a clue before posting?