Traffic stop ends in APD complaint | KXAN.com
Sounds like the officer needs to go back to the academy.
Traffic stop ends in APD complaint | KXAN.com
Sounds like the officer needs to go back to the academy.
It seems more dangerous to me to unholster a weapon and reholster a weapon than to just leave it alone. Secondly, Handcuffed? Wow. Then wouldn't return the legal firearms legally carried... I didn't think police could just search your car without cause anyway, either. The video may reveal some tempers or actions the report does not.
Guess we need to drive more carefully! I don't speed and am careful to obey all traffic laws. I don't want to have to pay for a ticket and I would prefer policeman stopping those who pose a danger or drive recklessly.
The statutes don't say that after their done writing the ticket they give them back. Sure Ou requested a supervisor on the scene, but that didn't mean the contact with the officer was over. By my reading the officer was within the law by keeping control of the firearms.
Here is a copy of the statute.
Sec. 411.207. AUTHORITY OF PEACE OFFICER TO DISARM. (a) A peace officer who is acting in the lawful discharge of the officer's official duties may disarm a license holder at any time the officer reasonably believes it is necessary for the protection of the license holder, officer, or another individual. The peace officer shall return the handgun to the license holder before discharging the license holder from the scene if the officer determines that the license holder is not a threat to the officer, license holder, or another individual and if the license holder has not violated any provision of this subchapter or committed any other violation that results in the arrest of the license holder.
Here's the article....Quote:
AUSTIN (KXAN) - A former Central Texas police officer has filed a complaint against an Austin police officer after a Labor Day traffic stop that involved two guns.
Steve Ou was a passenger in a car pulled over on Monday for entering an intersection and getting stuck in a line of traffic when the light turned red. He and the driver were both licensed to carry a concealed handgun.
"It was interesting to me that this one officer immediately decided to handcuff us and take our weapons from us because I've never encountered that from any other law enforcement agency," said Ou.
Ou is a former Elgin police officer who was fired from the force in December 2008 for allegedly using a club to break a suspect's car window after a high speed chase. He had 10 years of law enforcement experience.
The driver of the car involved in the traffic stop recently graduated from a Central Texas law enforcement training academy. He refused to allow the officer to search his vehicle, telling Austin News off camera that he had recently purchased ammunition that was in the vehicle.
"I can hear my friend say I don't have any guns in the car, don't have any drugs in the car, don't have anything illegal in the car, but I don't want you to search my vehicle," said Ou.
While the officer was writing a ticket, Ou called APD dispatch to request a supervisor come to the scene.
"I wanted to file a complaint against how he was treating us," said Ou.
Then, Ou claims the officer refused to return the men's guns unless they left before the supervisor arrived. Texas law allows an officer to take a person's firearm, but they are also required to return it if the person is not detained.
"He refused to give it back to me citing officer safety and saying that if he gave it back that we may kill him or harm him," said Ou. "I thought that was kind of strange because I called and asked for another officer- a supervisor."
Ou claimed even with the supervisor present, the officer wanted to secure the guns in the trunk. They again refused him access - and suggested he leave the guns near a fire hydrant about 30 yards away, then drive away so he did not feel threatened. He said that is exactly what the officer did.
Ou filed a complaint with the Police Monitor's office which means Austin police will conduct an internal investigation.
An APD spokesperson said they take all complaints seriously, but the cannot comment on an any active internal investigation.
Ou said he believes the officer's in car camera captured the incident on video.
If the article is more or less accurate, the APD handling of this seems wrong. If either had an attitude, it may explain the behavior of the responding LEO.
On the face of it, this doesn't make sense to me.
I'm with Ou (passenger) and his friend the driver.
As pressured as it may have felt the driver was correct/proper, lawful and _wise_ to not allow a search of his vehicle as at the officers _request_.
There was no probable cause.
Ou calling for a supervisor was rational.
The officer disarming them both was lawful.
His as stated concern for his own safety and by that request to trunk the weapons, rather than return them in hand to the owners, was lawful as well.
The refusal by the driver to allow as much so as to not suffer an inspection of his vehicle was also proper, and wise, and lawful.
The ultimate conclusion they came to worked but it could and should have been handled better, especially with the supervisor being on site.
I'm with Ou in wanting to file a citizens complaint.
Will it go anywhere, likely not.
Should it....No. IMHO.
If he was in fear, he should have waited until the supervisor arrived and let the supervisor give the guns back to them.
The supervisor arriving on site does not reduce the officers concern for safety.
If anything it increases...As he has concern for himself and now his fellow officer as well. Further the armed citizen does not become inert because the super is on site. He remains armed as well as further annoyed/agitated due to having been detained and having secondary interaction with the supervisor.
- Devils Advocate
Yea Janq, just tryin to understand, but the civilian was the one calling for the supervisor.
Maybe place the guns on the front seat with the 2 civilians standing away from the car.
Just when would the stop be over, or in Texas, does it all fall on the feeling of security of the officer?
No wants, no warrents, one a LEO academy grad, both CC lisence holders, if the officers didn't feel secure with these 2, what would the average citizen expect?
They both are civilians.
One is a former LEO and the other is an academy graduate though not indicated as being an employed LEO.
The former LEO passeneger, Ou, called for the supervisor...assumedly using the agencies business number and not 911. I as a rule keep the local PD business numbers programmed into my phone as well as that of the nearest state police barracks too.
The stop is over when the officer(s) physically remove them self from the scene.
Placing the guns on the seat would not have been my own personal selection.
I would have safed both guns and emptied the magazines. Then reholster the guns on to the persons bodys followed by leaving their ammunition and magazines on the hood of their car.
Agreed, if the officers did not feel safe with these two then well you and I as Joe Blow-Citizen could expect nothing but trouble.
I personally would have made the choice, albeit uncomfortable, to refuse a request to search my vehicle. They can detain me on site for an hour if they like. I would not/will not allow it...Knowing now what I know, and better.
I wouldn't allow the search either. Don't even know if the traffic stop was a good stop or not, not enough info from the press report, ie, traffic flowing when they entered the intersection on green light but stopped, with them stuck in the intersection. But regardless, I agree with your way to return the weapons.
Well this Federal ruling may soon stop all this BS
On September 8, 2009, United States District Judge Bruce D. Black of the United States District Court for New Mexico entered summary judgment in a civil case for damages against Alamogordo, NM police officers. The Judge's straight shootin' message to police: Leave open carriers alone unless you have "reason to believe that a crime [is] afoot."
The facts of the case are pretty simple. Matthew St. John entered an Alamogordo movie theater as a paying customer and sat down to enjoy the movie. He was openly carrying a holstered handgun, conduct which is legal in 42 states, and requires no license in New Mexico and twenty-five other states. Learn more here.
In response to a call from theater manager Robert Zigmond, the police entered the movie theater, physically seized Mr. St. John from his seat, took him outside, disarmed him, searched him, obtained personally identifiable information from his wallet, and only allowed him to re-enter the theater after St. John agreed to secure his gun in his vehicle. Mr. St. John was never suspected of any crime nor issued a summons for violating any law.
Importantly, no theater employee ever ordered Mr. St. John to leave. The police apparently simply decided to act as agents of the movie theater to enforce a private rule of conduct and not to enforce any rule of law.
On these facts, Judge Black concluded as a matter of law that the police violated Matthew St. John's constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment because they seized and disarmed him even though there was not "any reason to believe that a crime was afoot." Judge Black's opinion is consistent with numerous high state and federal appellate courts, e.g., the United States Supreme Court in Florida v. J.L. (2000) (detaining man on mere report that he has a gun violates the Fourth Amendment) and the Washington Appeals Court in State v. Casad (2004) (detaining man observed by police as openly carrying rifles on a public street violates the Fourth Amendment).
Mr. St. John's attorney, Miguel Garcia, of Alamogordo, NM was pleased with the ruling and look forward to the next phase of the litigation which is a jury trial to establish the amount of damages, and possibly punitive damages. Garcia said that
"[i]t was great to see the Court carefully consider the issues presented by both sides and conclude that the U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from detaining and searching individuals solely for exercising their rights to possess a firearm as guaranteed by our state and federal constitutions."
Notably, Judge Black denied the police officers' requested "qualified immunity," a judicially created doctrine allowing government officials acting in good faith to avoid liability for violating the law where the law was not "clearly established." In this case, Judge Black concluded that
"[r]elying on well-defined Supreme Court precedent, the Tenth Circuit and its sister courts have consistently held that officers may not seize or search an individual without a specific, legitimate reason. . . . The applicable law was equally clear in this case. Nothing in New Mexico law prohibited Mr. St. John from openly carrying a firearm in the Theater. Accordingly, Mr. St. John's motion for summary judgment is granted with regard to his Fourth Amendment and New Mexico constitutional claims. Defendants' motion for summary judgment is denied with regard to the same and with regard to qualified immunity."
Judge Black's opinion and order is welcome news for the growing number of open carriers across the United States. Though police harassment of open carriers is rare, it's not yet as rare as it should be - over the last several years open carriers detained without cause by police have sued and obtained cash settlements in Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Virginia (see additional settlement here), and Georgia. More cases are still pending in Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
First of all the two people in this post were stopped for blocking an intersection, and secondly Texas law as I posted earlier gives the officer the ability to disarm the individuals for the duration of the stop.
Nothing similar between the two.
If the two people in the car had called and requested a supervisor on the scene, the stop was definately not over because the two men, not the officer decided to prolong the stop while waiting for the supervisor. If the two men wanted the stop to be over they should have waited till the officer returned the weapons, ended the stop, then they were free to call the supervisor, go the the station, or do whatever else they wanted to do in pursuit of making their point about being disarmed.
Ou definately remembered enough about Texas law to refuse the search of the vehicle. He should have remembered the part about the officers ability to disarm them whether he liked it or not.
Well if seems both the man in the theater and at least the passenger in the car were disarmed even though they were not suspected of committing any crime Texas statue says they can disarm you federal Judge days you can sue them if they do. They get sued enough they will stop doing it.
If the sight of a law abiding citizen legally carrying a gun is so terrifying to you you feel you have to disarm them find another job.