The Virginia Citizens Defense League reports three Fairfax County, VA police officers are involved in a false arrest of a North Carolina man.
We haven't had any issues with the Fairfax County police in quite a while now. I have found them to be one of the best run police agencies in Virginia, stated Philip Van Cleave.
However, three officers tarnished that image last week when they unlawfully arrested a North Carolina resident who was legally carrying a handgun and had a North Carolina CHP.
Hold on tight - this is a weird story.
The gun owner was pulled over for running through a red light, a charge which the gun owner disputes.
The gun owner, believing that he had to disclose he was lawfully armed as they do in North Carolina, dutifully told the officer he had a NC CHP and was indeed armed.
The officer seemed to ignore the statement, but very shortly two more patrol units pulled up. The next thing the gun owner knew he is in a "felony stop" mode. He was asked to walk backwards towards the officers, who then disarmed and handcuffed him.
While trying to unloaded his gun, THEY DROPPED IT ONTO THE ROAD!
The two officers and a SERGEANT then proceeded to tell him that he was under arrested for:
1. Having hollow point bullets, which they claimed were illegal in Virginia (!)
2. Taking a loaded gun across the state line, which the gun owner was told was a FELONY (!)
3. Having a concealed gun that the police said he couldn't have since he was from North Carolina (!!)
His car and gun were impounded and he was taken off to a magistrate.
The magistrate looked at the charges and told the police officers that they had just made a false arrest.
The officers pointed out the possession of hollow point bullets. The magistrate asked, "are they teflon coated?"
"No," replied on of the officers.
"Then they are legal."
Trying to find something that would stick and justify the false arrest, one of the officers said, "We couldn't verify that his North Carolina permit is valid."
The magistrate looked at the permit, noticed the phone number on the back where one can call to verify the permit, called the number, and within a few minutes found out the permit was indeed valid.
The gun owner was ordered to be released.
After being released from custody, the gun owner was given a hard time by another officer about getting his gun back, but he did finally get it back.
If all of that isn't bad enough, the arresting officer went ahead and gave the gun owner a ticket for the alleged offense of running a red light!
In essence, with that brilliant move, the officer was practically BEGGING the gun owner to PLEASE sue Fairfax Count for the false arrest!
I have already talked to my high-level contact with the Fairfax County PD about this entire situation and the gun owner has filed a formal complaint.
In the past, Fairfax County PD has been very good when such internal investigations are required. Now we will wait and see what happens.
What is clear is that Fairfax County PD needs to educate its officers on:
1. Possession of hollow point bullets
2. Reciprocity laws
3. Lawful carriage of firearms across state lines
4. Safe gun handling (a few years ago unsafe gun handling by an officer cause a gun to discharge, killing an unarmed, handcuffed man)