Video: Police officer threatens concealed-carry driver with execution, beating; Update: Officer relieved of duty, under investigation

posted at 10:05 am on July 21, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Ohio’s concealed-carry law requires anyone stopped by police to immediately notify the officer if they are armed.  Failure to do so is a first-class misdemeanor that can result in a six-month jail term and a thousand-dollar fine, as well as losing the license to carry.  It’s usually not considered a death penalty offense, unless one gets pulled over in Beachwood Canton, Ohio, in a case highlighted today by Ohioans for Concealed Carry:

William pulled his car to the side of the road to let out two passengers, but only the female occupant managed to exit before the police pulled up and began screaming at all three parties. “Stay in that car, I’m not going to mess around,” screamed one of the officers at the two people attempting to exit the vehicle. The driver and concealed handgun licensee, William, remained seated in his vehicle when an officer entered the rear of the vehicle.

William stated, “I have a concealed carry, and…” when he was abruptly told to shut up. Dash camera video footage shows the driver turning his head, and his voice can be heard, but the words are inaudible. A few minutes passed while the officer continued to berate the two passengers. He proceeded to the driver’s side and tries to open the door but is delayed by a seat belt. William states “I have a conceal…” and the officer demands that he better tell the truth or else! This interruption causes William to “tell the truth” and his attempt to notify is interrupted. William exited the vehicle with his driver’s license in the same hand as his concealed handgun license. He held it up for the officer to see, and the officer said, “Why are you having that?” This gave William the opportunity to say, “I have a CCW, and…” The officer then said, “Do you have a gun?” William answered yes, causing the officer to grab it from William’s waist.

At this point, William was handcuffed and put into the police cruiser. The officer then started to berate William, stating: “I should blast you in the mouth right now … I’m close to caving in your head.” and “you’re just a stupid human being!”

The officer continued to berate the driver after arresting him and locking him in the back seat, offering such bon mots as “people like you don’t deserve to @#$%#$ move throughout public. Period!” Just after the discovery of the licensed firearm (and caught on tape), the same officer threatened to “put lumps” on a woman who had been outside of the car if he saw her in the area again. This seems to be an officer intent on delivering street justice more than law enforcement, and one with an anger management problem.

To be fair, even the concealed-carry community in Ohio acknowledges that they have a problem getting licensees to properly inform police during stops. Four years ago, Chad Baus wrote about the issue for the Buckeye Firearms Association, having heard about it from multiple law-enforcement sources. In Minnesota, it’s more of a practice than a requirement (there is no explicit legal language on the subject), but it’s a damned good idea. This past winter I was in a car accident outside of my house, and I made sure that the officer knew immediately of my status. He checked my license but otherwise treated it as no big deal — as it was in this instance. However, police officers are understandably sensitive about being aware of all firearms present at traffic stops, for very good reasons, most of which have to do with gravemarkers of their fellow officers who ended up getting surprised by them.  It’s not for nothing that Ohio included that requirement.

In this case, though, a fair viewing of the videotape shows that the driver did attempt to notify the officers on more than one occasion before stepping out of the car, and tried to do so when the officer approached his window several minutes into the stop.  He may not have done it very well, but it certainly doesn’t appear that the driver intended to keep the information from the police.  The officer told him repeatedly to keep his mouth shut while they checked out the other two people involved in the stop.  Threatening death and/or a beating to a man who tried repeatedly and finally succeeded in fulfilling his legal obligation to inform them is irrational and should be illegal.  The driver faces failure-to-inform charges, for which OhioCCW is raising funds, but the court and the city should be taking a look into the actions of this officer during the entire stop.

Addendum: My late friend Joel Rosenberg literally wrote the book on carry licensing in Minnesota, The Carry Book: Minnesota Edition.  Unfortunately Joel passed away before he could complete an edition that looked at the issue nationally, but even if you’re not in Minnesota, there is a ton of good advice for those who want to pursue carry licenses and handle firearms.  My particular favorite chapter of the book is titled, “Cowardice 201: A PhD Seminar in Advanced Staying Out of Trouble,” in which Joel reveals that the true secret of karate is to run faster than everyone else.  Self-defense starts with keeping out of situations where you will likely find yourself threatened.  Joel’s book is a sobering read, literally and figuratively.

Update: The website said Beachwood, but the videotape does say Canton.  Perhaps the driver was from Beachwood.  I’ve corrected the first paragraph to match the video.

Update II: The Canton Police Department has posted a statement today to its Facebook page:

I want to assure our citizens that the behavior, as demonstrated in this video, is wholly unacceptable and in complete contradiction to the professional standards we demand of our officers. As such, appropriate steps were placed in motion as dictated by our standards, policies and contractual obligations. Those steps included: The officer immediately being relieved of all duty. The incident has been referred to the Internal Affairs Bureau for what will be a complete and thorough investigation. As bad as the video indicates our officer’s actions were, there is a due process procedure to follow. That process is designed in the best interest of both our employees and the citizens at large. That process will be followed in this case as in all others. Anyone shown to be in violation of our rules and regulations will be help appropriately responsible as dictated by all the facts. ~Chief Dean McKimm

One e-mailer called the Canton PD and spoke to a lieutenant, whom the e-mailer described as “embarrassed” by the story and “truly remorseful.”  Some of the CPD’s commenters on the Facebook page object to the officer being essentially suspended with pay, but police get due process as well, and the union agreement with the city almost certainly has language governing that process.  It’s good to see that the Canton PD is taking this seriously.  Now, will the city drop the charges against the driver and restore his license status?

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That is the problem with People like Ed and other police sympathizers, they have no real experience with real cops, or they are family or close friends with cops which means the police community views them as “cops” and treats them as they do “their brothers” not has they would a “civilian”

the_ancient on July 21, 2011 at 6:19 PM

Most cops are products of some branch of the military…that’s where that “brother” crap comes from and the tendancy to see the lowly “civilian” population as the enemy. More and more of them (than in recent times past)have seen REAL battle action in Iraq and Afghanistan and are psychologically bent to explode in situations like this. He has no business being an officer of the peace in these United States.

Being a CWP carrier myself, I’m not sure how I would respond if a cop flew into me like that except probably similarly to this poor fellow…to be followed up with some major lawsuit action. I’ve been stopped twice since I’ve had mine and both times was let off with a warning BECAUSE I had a CWP…as the class instructor predicted would happen. Both times it was no big deal to the cops. Of course, I wasn’t in the wrong part of town, in the middle of the night, letting hookers out of car at the time either. Even so, it theoretically shouldn’t make a difference.

starman on July 22, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Being a CWP carrier myself, I’m not sure how I would respond if a cop flew into me like that except probably similarly to this poor fellow…to be followed up with some major lawsuit action.

Yup, indeed, this cop is a walking lawsuit for the city to handle.

Of course, I wasn’t in the wrong part of town, in the middle of the night, letting hookers out of car at the time either.

Yeah, probably would be wise not to make this particular guy the conceal-carry poster boy, lol.

whatcat on July 22, 2011 at 7:41 PM

More and more of them (than in recent times past)have seen REAL battle action in Iraq and Afghanistan and are psychologically bent to explode in situations like this.

starman on July 22, 2011 at 6:33 PM

I’ve got three years of combat experience in Iraq. Actually leaving the wire on a daily basis and participating in REAL battle action. I’ve found that I, and my cohorts, became psychologically bent to become more calm and matter of fact in situations like that. Of course all men tend to react a little different, but for the most part I found the more time a man spent on the two way rifle range the more calm he was under fire or stressful situations. With some exceptions.

And that “brother crap” is a bond most will never know and thus think little of it or even demean it and call it “crap”.

All that aside, this police officer appears to be a self-important douche who doesn’t deserve his position as an officer of the law. He should be forced to find a new occupation.

I also carry concealed, i.e. I reserve my constitutional right to bear arms.

CVMA-Dredd on July 23, 2011 at 12:36 AM

And that “brother crap” is a bond most will never know and thus think little of it or even demean it and call it “crap”.

CVMA-Dredd on July 23, 2011 at 12:36 AM

It becomes “crap” outside of the context of the military bond, which this is. When assclowns like this set themselves up as judge, jury and executioner of the citizenry on the pretext that their “brother” will cover for them….that’s crap.

If this guy has actually been in battle, he certainly doesn’t fit the model of calm and matter of fact that you describe. If he hasn’t, then he really has no business toddling around in the “brother” world does he?

BTW, thanks for your service to the country!!!

starman on July 23, 2011 at 9:25 AM

As this thread peters to a close, I’ll make one last comment for those tha might read it.

If a “view” relies on imagined complex conspiracies when there is an incredibly obvious (though less feverish & glamorous) rational explanation – then, yeah, it should be rejected out of hand. Refer to the cited Manson-Beatles example. Or the aforementioned “Twinkie Defense”.
whatcat on July 22, 2011 at 3:30 PM

A vast, intricate government conspiracy? It’s hard to talk to someone, or have a meaningful discussion when one person throws poor analogies and wildly exaggerates the other’s arguments.

But do we have a vast, intricate government conspiracy? Vast? Yes, it’s pervasive and intrusive in every area of civil life. Intricate? No more than an often repeated but erroneous rumor (or urban myth, if you want. I would call it a nationally propagandized agenda).

Vast? Of the top of my head based on statements and actions from the US Government:

Trans-fats are outlawed. Happy meals are outlawed. Raw eggs are outlawed to be served. Rare meat is outlawed. Growing liberty gardens are outlawed. Children’s lemonade stands are outlawed.

Carbon dioxide (a gas exhaled by every human with every breath) it outlawed. Gas and oil exploration and production is severely limited. Terrorists are called peaceful Muslims and Christians are called dangerous cultists.

Handguns are outlawed. Abortion laws are outlawed by judicial fiat. Legal gun owners are portrayed as dangerous criminals. Judges give cops the benefit of the doubt over citizens in he-said-she-said encounters.

A fish shuts down the most fertile valley in the US. A lizard stops oil exploration in Texas.

Companies dictating to in what states they can build plants. Unions may organize without secret ballots. Borders remain unsecured. Illegal aliens are no longer illegal and no longer aliens but undocumented workers. Terrorist don’t exist, rather human catastrophes happen.

Businesses are taxed to the point of leaving the country. And minimum wages assure that fewer workers are paid more.

GM is ‘nationalized’ (or nearly so) and secure bond holders are cheated of their investments. The healthcare industry is ‘nationalized’ (or nearly so) and insurance companies are squeezed to provide more services than can be paid for through premiums.

The US Government secures guns for Mexican drug cartels in order to blame legitimate gun owners and dealers in the US. The US Attorney General stonewalls inquiries about the ATF abetting sending guns to Mexico. And the US AG allows the baton-carrying New Black Panthers to intimidate voters in Pennsylvania, but arrests a seventy-year-old man for talking to women outside of abortion clinics.

And every man, woman, child, baby and bedridden nursing home patient owes an average of $45,000 to the US government and its bond holders.

And now the government wants to raise the debt limit and increase taxes.

Runaway government? Nevahhh!

flicker on July 23, 2011 at 1:16 PM

And I left out Kelo, taking private homes away from people to give to developers to collect more taxes.

Your one “psychotic” cop is just the aberration in an otherwise happy and supportive government, huh?

Tell the truth. You’re on disability aren’t you. (smile)

flicker on July 23, 2011 at 1:25 PM

This officer exploded with anger because HE has just made and unforgiveable mistake, it’s his own fault and he knows it. He has just spent five minutes with an unsecure weapon. His overaggressive interrogation of these people put him and his partner at risk. Searching a vehicle prior to securing ALL the occupants is a safety violation of the greatest magnitude, not to mention they had neither permission nor probable cause.

Pole-Cat on July 23, 2011 at 3:56 PM

flicker on July 23, 2011 at 1:16 PM
Trans-fats are outlawed. Happy meals are outlawed. Raw eggs are outlawed to be served. Rare meat is outlawed.

Oy – well, at least you left Twinkies out of your conspiracy.

I’m just as bemused by those who claim a cop just simply cannot be a nutcase (LEOs are immune from mental issues? Interesting theory) – that this incident was part of some vast secret government plan – as I am by those who claim Obama simply can’t be a bad President; all criticism of him is really based on some vast and entrenched racism.

whatcat on July 23, 2011 at 4:27 PM

starman on July 22, 2011 at 6:33 PM

There’s no theoretical about it.

“wrong part of town” There is no wrong part of town. However if there were a “wrong part of town” the cops would have approached with weapons drawn, they didn’t.
“in the middle of the night” Laws and rights change in the middle of the night? That’s a new one on me.
“letting hookers out of car” Where is it illegal to let “hookers out of car”?
How do we know they were hookers?

Other problems
The car wasn’t moving so there is no moving violation that would account for the cops stopping.
It doesn’t appear to be a no parking zone, or the cops would have stated it.

What we have is a car stopped, letting people out (or in).
If that’s probable cause we are in a police state.

DSchoen on July 23, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Where is it illegal to let “hookers out of car”?

I think the point is that associating with criminals is not too bright (if not a disqualifying or illegal activity) when you have a CCL.

How do we know they were hookers?
DSchoen on July 23, 2011 at 5:09 PM

This from a conservative blog:
“The woman is then questioned about whether she is soliciting sex. She is asked if she is carrying a “shooter” to which she replies in the negative. The officer accuses her of being a prior offender, to which she responds that she had been arrested many years ago for solicitation on two occasions but was no longer working as a prostitute.”

I think the crazed cop should be criminally charged, but if you check I believe you’ll find this happened in an area notorious for gangs, guns, prostitution, drugs, etc., where you’re not likely to get too many offenders fessing up to dealing, pimping, hooking, shooting.

whatcat on July 23, 2011 at 6:31 PM

flicker on July 23, 2011 at 1:16 PM

That pretty much sums it up.
Couldn’t possibly happen. This is America after all.

whatcat on July 23, 2011 at 6:31 PM

Last time I checked, hookers and pimps who were not imprisoned were citizens as well.
It may be illegal in some states for felons to associate, but I never heard of a law where a law abiding citizen MUST give felons, ex or otherwise, a wide berth.
This cop should be the recipient of his own threats.

And I wouldn’t lose ANY sleep over it.

Lanceman on July 24, 2011 at 2:56 AM

whatcat on July 23, 2011 at 6:31 PM
Last time I checked, hookers and pimps who were not imprisoned were citizens as well.
It may be illegal in some states for felons to associate, but I never heard of a law where a law abiding citizen MUST give felons, ex or otherwise, a wide berth.

What we are talking about here is a CCL holder packing heat during the commission of a crime, whether it be hooking or drug dealing going on in his backseat and whether he is aware of it or not. It’s wise for even non-CCL holders to be not be parking on the side of the road of a crime infested area while serving as chauffeur (at the least) to a known pimp, drug dealer, prostitute or like element. Certainly not a good time to have a handgun tucked in your waistband when the hooker, pimp, dealer, etc. is made by the cops.

whatcat on July 24, 2011 at 4:18 AM

The cop must be an Obama democart.

proconstitution on July 24, 2011 at 1:44 PM

whatcat on July 23, 2011 at 6:31 PM

Where is it illegal to let “hookers out of car”?

I think the point is that associating with criminals is not too bright (if not a disqualifying or illegal activity) when you have a CCL.

How did the driver “know” they were criminals?
Your assuming a lot. Did you watch the clip?

conservative blog:

Who cares? Right is right, wrong is wrong.

“The woman is then questioned about whether she is soliciting sex. She is asked if she is carrying a “shooter” to which she replies in the negative”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but according to the clip, the Cop’s didn’t ask these questions until AFTER they had pulled up behind the parked car and, in effect, put all persons under arrest.
RSP (Rear Seat Passenger.)

1:32 RSP ordered to remain in car.
1:52 RSP ordered to put hand on car (outside car).
2:05 RSP told if he moves his hand he’s going to jail.
2:35 Cop ask RSP what is your name Hoss?
2:36 RSP tells cop his name is Jerry Gordon (sic).

In most of the country, the cops have to have a reason to stop and question citizens.
In most of the country, the fact that “you exist” isn’t reason enough for the cops stop and question citizens.

What was the reason?, what was the probable cause? For the interrogation?

“What we are talking about here is a CCL holder packing heat during the commission of a crime, whether it be hooking or drug dealing going on in his backseat and whether he is aware of it or not.”

What, from the clip, tells you that a crime has been committed?
From the clip, could you see hooking or drug dealing going on in his backseat?

“whether he is aware of it or not”

Now your saying the driver is guilty of not being able to read minds or see into the future?

“while serving as chauffeur (at the least) to a known pimp, drug dealer, prostitute or like element is made by the cops.”

Help me out here, the cops from 50 yards away they spot a car stopped, all break lights on (3 bright red lights), they can tell from the back of the RSP head that he is a “known pimp, drug dealer, prostitute or like element”?

BTW, from the clip did you notice the cops sent the “known pimp, drug dealer, prostitute” on their way without taking them to jail?

Kinda sorta ends any claim that…….
A crime had been committed.
The RSP was/is a “known pimp, drug dealer, prostitute”.
The female was/is a “known pimp, drug dealer, prostitute”.
Next!

DSchoen on July 24, 2011 at 3:42 PM

What we are talking about here is a CCL holder packing heat during the commission of a crime, whether it be hooking or drug dealing going on in his backseat and whether he is aware of it or not. It’s wise for even non-CCL holders to be not be parking on the side of the road of a crime infested area while serving as chauffeur (at the least) to a known pimp, drug dealer, prostitute or like element. Certainly not a good time to have a handgun tucked in your waistband when the hooker, pimp, dealer, etc. is made by the cops.

whatcat on July 24, 2011 at 4:18 AM

I saw no obvious ‘crime’ unless the crime was being black or being a known prostitute.
And as a CCW myself I can tell you that ‘area’ is precisely the place I’d want my gat on me.
YOU sir, are intentionally or not, being too ambiguous on where one is ALLOWED to carry a gun. The laws of the various states tell you where you CANNOT carry. Anyplace else is above board.
I used to live in the ‘hood and I AM a law abiding citizen. Am I hamstrung by YOUR opinion simply because at the time it was the only place I could afford?
But the one thing that supercedes all of this bullsh!t is the fact is, the LAST person the fuzz have to worry about is a citizen who jumped through the hoops to get the license in the first place.
That steroid monster punk cop is just that – a punk, as is his equally worthless partner. Both of those sacks of crap should fry in their own juices and NEVER be allowed to own weapons again as they have clearly demonstrated they are unfit to bear the responsibility.
That driver had more control than I did. After about the 4th threat to my person while handcuffed, I’da gone off on that bastard cop.
If that stupid ‘roid cop is dumb enough to think no one’s watching, he’s an idiot.

Lanceman on July 24, 2011 at 7:53 PM

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