Skip to comments.Philly Police Harass, Threaten to Shoot Man Legally Carrying Gun
Posted on 05/17/2011 3:30:16 PM PDT by Moozle
A story in today's Philadelphia Daily News shows why it's so important that citizens be allowed to videotape cops - it can be citizens' only way to fight back against police abuse of power.
This incident happened several weeks ago in Philadelphia to Mark Fiorino, a 25-year-old IT worker who carries a gun on his hip at all times for self defense. He got the gun after several friends were mugged.
But he didn't count on attacks by police:
On a mild February afternoon, Fiorino, 25, decided to walk to an AutoZone on Frankford Avenue in Northeast Philly with the .40-caliber Glock he legally owns holstered in plain view on his left hip. His stroll ended when someone called out from behind: "Yo, Junior, what are you doing?"
Fiorino wheeled and saw Sgt. Michael Dougherty aiming a handgun at him.
What happened next would be hard to believe, except that Fiorino audio-recorded all of it: a tense, profanity-laced, 40-minute encounter with cops who told him that what he was doing - openly carrying a gun on the city's streets - was against the law.
"Do you know you can't openly carry here in Philadelphia?" Dougherty asked, according to the YouTube clip.
"Yes, you can, if you have a license to carry firearms," Fiorino said. "It's Directive 137. It's your own internal directive."
Fiorino was right. It was perfectly legal to carry the gun. But that didn't matter to the cop:
Fiorino offered to show Dougherty his driver's and firearms licenses. The cop told him to get on his knees.
"Excuse me?" Fiorino said.
"Get down on your knees. Just obey what I'm saying," Dougherty said.
"Sir," Fiorino replied, "I'm more than happy to stand here -"
"If you make a move, I'm going to f------ shoot you," Dougherty snapped. "I'm telling you right now, you make a move, and you're going down!"
"Is this necessary?" Fiorino said.
It went on like that for a little while, until other officers responded to Dougherty's calls for backup.
Fiorino was forced to the ground and shouted at as he tried to explain that he had a firearms license and was legally allowed to openly carry his weapon.
"You f------ come here looking for f------ problems? Where do you live?" yelled one officer.
"I'm sorry, gentlemen," Fiorino said. "If I'm under arrest, I have nothing left to say."
"F------ a------, shut the f--- up!" the cop hollered.
The cops discovered his recorder as they searched his pockets, and unleashed another string of expletives.
Fiorino said he sat handcuffed in a police wagon while the officers made numerous phone calls to supervisors, trying to find out if they could lock him up.
When they learned that they were in the wrong, they let him go.
But only temporarily. Fiorino posted the audio recordings on youtube, and now they are harassing him again:
A new investigation was launched, and last month the District Attorney's Office decided to charge Fiorino with reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct because, a spokeswoman said, he refused to cooperate with police... He's scheduled for trial in July.
If one listens to the audiotapes, it's hard to imagine how a reasonable person could charge Fiorino (and not the cops) for disorderly conduct.
Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/on-air/stossel/blog/2011/05/16/philly-police-harass-threaten-shoot-man-legally-carrying-gun#ixzz1MeNwF6Sj
The answer to either question does not lead a reasonable person to conclude that prosecution of the victim is in order.
I posted on the city's site here (Freep if you'd like): http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=23587514958&topic=18336&post=132255#post132255
Sorry about the links... Too used to sites that recognize..
...and the 71st of May....arrgh
Velcome to Amerika commrad.
“As a cop of five years, I have to ask two questions “
You guys have a tough job. It’s too bad there are unprofessional cops like this who do this kind of thing.
Guys like Dougherty are the reason for the 2nd Amendment
This being said, I just go along with the cops on confrontations outside the house. Granted their might be moral high ground on taking them on if they are way off, but I have a personal preference for taking care of these problems formally after the fact.
When Colorado became a shall issue state for CC the police started drawing there weapons and disarming permit holders during traffic stops. They learned pretty quick not to do that after a few abuse of authority cases. Still it is a dangerous job and I take my hat off to them. However there is no need for that kind of language from the cops. I would have immediately complied with their order to get down on my knees. I would have been fantasizing the whole while about how I was going to spend the money from the settlement.
Exactly. Comply, document/record, use the chain of authority,
then sue and or go public if justified.
Why do I get the feeling that all of the cops and the DA are of one race, and the victim is of another?
Hopefully Fiorino sues the city and the officers in question for anything he can make stick: abuse of authority, false imprisonment, deprivation of rights under color of law...
Cops like that deserve the felony convictions for deprivation of rights under color of law, for sure—make sure they’re never in a position of authority again.
The next week i was working at the same school when as I was leaving I found my car blocked by a county police cruiser and a hefty police sergeant standing by. As soon as I identified myself he launched into a profanity laced tirade about me telling his son ‘a bunch of f-——g lies’. I asked him if he really understood that Americans were free men not subjects of government and the 2nd Amendment was put in the Constitution to assure that a tyrannical government would never come to power. This produced a bigger explosion of rage and a warning not to ‘f-—’ with his son again or there would be ‘bad things happen to me’ (a direct quote I can remember to this day). Sgt Friendly then got in his cruiser and drove off.
I did keep my hear, knew his name and remembered his badge and unit number and I carefully typed letters to the commander of the county police and my county supervisor describing the incident. No further direct consequences followed for me but on three occasions county police cars did mysteriously appear as I was leaving either home or work and obviously trailed me for a while.
After I had entered service a tersely worded letter from the Public Affairs office of the police arrived at my folks house ‘regretting’ any misunderstanding that I may have had and assuring me the officer was only speaking as a parent not in an official capacity.
That was forty years ago , I can only imagine the pretensions and ignorance that are today rife in police agencies.
Having been a cop, I can say there are a bunch of good ones out there...
But there are some terrible ones too...Just the worst people you can imagine, and they ruin it for the rest of them.
Surprised they didn’t just take his recorder too. It is Philly after all.
That fascist piece of garbage should have gone to jail for threatening you.
This cop should be stripped of his citizenship for his arrogant despotism. While he is in exile, he should learn english so he can communicate in a middle class, professional manner.
I'll give the cop the benefit of the doubt that he was poorly trained and didn't know the law. But the cop was still a jerk who needs a job cleaning latrines.
He needs to sue their pants off.
I’ve read several accounts of this incident. My only criticism of the gentleman’s actions was they seemed to escalate rapidly into the confrontational when stopped by the police. You aren’t going to “win your case” on the street during an active stop, no matter how “right” you are. And you could end up being “dead right”....
IMO the wisest, (and safest, since the officer had his weapon drawn and pointed), action would be to comply with the officer’s orders as expeditiously as possible. Once his fears/phobias/ego have been “massaged” and you are publicaly/visibly under his control it might be possible to discuss his misconceptions with him, or get him to request the presence of his watch commander.
It takes a certain mentality - inculcated in training and during their “probie” period - to make a successful street cop. But they deal most often with a societal stratum where “face” is an important element in their personal safety. IOW you can’t afford to look “weak”, regardless of the circumstances once you’ve committed.
And there are “bad cops”. Cops that see the badge as excuse to bully/threaten/intimidate everyone unfortunate to cross their path. Every PD has them. Philly, unfortunately, seems to have more than its share.
But the gentleman’s real “violation” was documenting the level of bullying/ignorance and lack of “people skills” this BIB (bully in blue) evidenced. The PPD’s management has to play by the same rules as their street cops.
Any “slacking” is seen as weakness in Council, so he has to get the treatment. Once the account hit Facebook it was no longer a legality” issue, but one of face. >PS