Skip to comments.My yearly detainment in Portland.(ME open carry)
Posted on 05/27/2012 7:20:05 AM PDT by marktwain
I guess it's that time of year again. It seems every spring I get stopped by the Portland PD.
I got video this time
I also wrote an email to the police chief:
On 26MAY2012 at about 17:15 I was stopped by Officer J McDonald. I recorded a video of the stop for my protection. You can view the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfdEbe7e9GE
Officer McDonald claimed to have received calls that I was walking around with a holstered firearm. This is a legal activity in Maine. He stopped me, put on gloves, and removed my weapon from me. I told him I do not consent to any searches or seizures. He unloaded my firearm and before ejecting the round from the chamber, he pointed my loaded firearm at my legs. This is unacceptable behavior.
There are many things that need to be taken into account here. Terry v Ohio requires three criteria to be met in order to disarm an individual. The officer must have a suspicion that the individual is armed. The officer must have a suspicion that the individual is dangerous. Thirdly, the officer must have a reasonable suspicion that the individual has committed or is about to commit a crime. Officer McDonald admitted in this video that the only reason he stopped me was for the legal carrying of my firearm and that he did not have any reason to suspect me of crime. Therefore, the seizure of my firearm was not allowed under Terry.
Secondly, having no suspicion of crime, why was I not free to go? Delaware v Prouse says that an officer cannot detain someone without reasonable suspicion of crime. McDonald had none. This is a sign of poor training and I want to bring it to your attention so that it can be easily remedied. All of your officers should know that they must have a suspicion of an actual crime before making a detainment.
Thirdly, Officer McDonald demanded my ID and would not return my firearm to me when I requested to end the encounter. Maine law in Title 17A Sec 15-A only requires someone to provide their name and DOB if the officer is issuing a summons to the individual. The officer said he needed to see my ID to ensure that I was not a felon. When asked if he had any reason to believe I was a felon, he said he did not. Again, he is making demands and detaining me without suspicion of any criminal activity. Terry requires more than a mere hunch to initiate a detainment. Hiibel v Nevada and Brown v Texas both require reasonable suspicion of crime before demanding an ID.
Officer McDonald admitted that the only reason why he stopped me was because of my legally carried firearm. I would like to point you to US v DeBerry from the 7th Circuit. In that ruling a federal judge said that a the presence of a firearm where legal to possess cannot by itself be reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
I believe that a lot of progress has been made under your direction to restore proper and legal police work in your city. I strongly believe that through proper training incidents such as this can be avoided. My suggestion to officers responding to a legally armed man in the future is this: Attempt to initiate a consensual encounter. If the individual does not consent to a police encounter, then observe that individual until such time that the officer develops a reasonable suspicion that crime is afoot. Only then should a detainment be made.
If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to call. I am not a litigious person, but I do not appreciate violations of my rights.
Signed, XXXXXXXXXX Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Last year when they had the fires in Arizona a man I know was forced to evacuate and according to the Sheriff’s department his door was open so they had to enter the residence and investigate. He returned to a note from the sheriff that he had too many guns.
l think I might have added a paragraph noting that, since this had been brought to his attention, the next occurrance would lead to a complaint to the Justice Department against the officer and the entire chain of command up to and including Police Chief himself for “deprevation of rights under color of law”. The city wouldn’t pay, the individuals would pay with time in jail ... and “ignorance of the law” would be no excuse.
That is a good idea. You could send him an email to that effect.
Edumacating the LEOs one peckerhead at a time.
I do appreciate you bringing this matter to my attention Mr. Weingarten. Thanks...Mike
Michael J. Sauschuck
Chief of Police
Portland Police Department
109 Middle Street
Portland, Maine 04101
“Leadership, Integrity, and Service”
I recently viewed a video which shows Officer J. McDonald illegally
stopping a citizen who was legally exercising his right to bear arms.
It appears that the purpose of the stop was to create a chilling
effect against the exercise of that right.
I believe that better training can prevent the commission of such
illegal and unconstitutional activity by Portland P.D. officers in the
Here is the link to the video:
They don’t have his name. That was the whole point. He refused to give his id and was released.
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