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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“To be fair” should NEVER have been applied to this particular officer, Ed. His actions deserve NO benefit of the doubt. Obviously the PD agrees. Very disappointed in you.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on July 21, 2011 at 4:49 PM

I got the impression that this cop doesn’t like CC Permit holders in general, based upon the things he was saying. Anyway, I hope he loses his job over this, even if he’s a good cop otherwise.

Dork B. on July 21, 2011 at 4:49 PM

Eastern Ohio is a bad place to g et stopped. Had some run ins with them during my teenage years. Not friendly types.

unseen on July 21, 2011 at 4:50 PM

My rules of arrest, search and seizure are rusty as I left the police force 35 years ago. However, this looked like an illegal search. What was the probable cause? Since when do you place people in custody for being out of a car?

chicken thief on July 21, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Police training isn’t quite what it used to be.
How about Brother Partner. See no evil. Hear no evil.

JellyToast on July 21, 2011 at 4:56 PM

I’m sure this cop will find another good Union gig – probably teaching Physical Education at a local middle school.

Dork B. on July 21, 2011 at 5:03 PM

That facebook page is no longer available.

This victim of police brutality needs a good lawyer. Sue the department like there is no tomorrow. This cannot be the first time this cop has blown a gasket like that.
This is more than just about concealed carry, this cop threatened to murder an innocent man. Not only that, the way in which he performed his duties were reckless. Beside the obvious fact that he threatened to murder, no…. desperately wanted to murder an innocent man, he endangered himself, his brother partner and well as innocent people in the area.

His incompetence would not allow the driver to follow the law. He could not see nor understand that the driver was trying to inform him. He could not even see what was in the drivers hand. He was blind to it. What if that had been a real gun? What if that driver had been a deranged madman. They would all be dead.
This cop is walking around ready to snap. And probably already has and it has been covered by the department more than once. I am willing to bet that this cop has intimidated and gone ballistic more than once. His own partner was ignoring it. Maybe fearing it as well… looking the other way. Did his partner.. who should also be suspended, even intervene when he threatened to execute this man? No. The partner should be suspended and kicked off the force as well!
This partner’s duty is to uphold the law. Not cover for his “bro” while his “bro” intimidates and threatens to execute people during traffic stops.

JellyToast on July 21, 2011 at 5:07 PM

The Canton FB page is.. gone:

This content is currently unavailable.The page you requested cannot be displayed right now. It may be temporarily unavailable, the link you clicked on may have expired, or you may not have permission to view this page.
■Return home.

Someone in Canton really screwed up now.

upinak on July 21, 2011 at 5:07 PM

That facebook page is no longer available.

JellyToast on July 21, 2011 at 5:07 PM

It will be back! Tomorrow at 8am!

Lanceman on July 21, 2011 at 5:16 PM

He was “suspect” being white in a predominantly black neighborhood one block from the interstate. He got pulled over when he realized he made a mistake and tried to turn around and go back.

Fallon on July 21, 2011 at 4:30 PM

His crime was “Driving While White”. Part of the Social Justice System.

BobMbx on July 21, 2011 at 5:20 PM

A few hours? If there’s no investigation occurring, then that’s a long Terry Stop according numerous papers written about the topic. That could be considered a de facto arrest which would expose the cops to a malicious, wrongful arrest suit.

blink on July 21, 2011 at 4:51 PM

They were Chicago cops. My son wanted nothing more to do with them ever again. It is a corrupt town all the way down to its core, including the police. One nineteen year old against 7 or 8 cops. Even with a completely clean record. Whose word do you think they (the Chicago courts or internal affairs) are going to believe?

Now the new top cop is another nutcase.

Fallon on July 21, 2011 at 5:29 PM

Makes you wonder how he passed the psychological test…

Seven Percent Solution on July 21, 2011 at 5:39 PM

runawayyyy on July 21, 2011 at 4:29 PM

You shoot your way and I’ll shoot mine. And I guarantee you that I am as proficient as you think you are.

csdeven on July 21, 2011 at 5:43 PM

“To be fair” should NEVER have been applied to this particular officer, Ed. His actions deserve NO benefit of the doubt. Obviously the PD agrees. Very disappointed in you.

Aslans Girl on July 21, 2011 at 4:49 PM

You’ll find that phrase in almost every Ed post that deals with something controversial , no matter how incredibly obvious it is that a search for some remote relativism is patently ludicrous. “Sure, Stalin wasn’t nice – but to be fair…..”.

Some Minnesotans, such as Ed, carry the “Minnesota Nice” thing a bit too far and find it nearly impossible to take a firm stand on just about anything. I know whereof I speak, lol.

whatcat on July 21, 2011 at 5:48 PM

Perfect example of Roid Rage and why Cops should be busted out on the first offense. I have a buddy on the Houston PD, and he is always telling me stories about the juicers going bonkers on folks. I guess “Courtesy” is not part of their PD motto…

rgranger on July 21, 2011 at 5:50 PM

If anyone thinks anything will happen to this cop they are delusional, Cops can literally kill someone for no reason and still keep their job…

This cop will get a few days paid vacation, the Brass will do some PR with the pheasants errr citizens, and the cop will be back on the force, probally with a promotion

At most he will have to spend a few days in training learning how not to get caught next time….

It’s good to see that the Canton PD is taking this seriously.

Please…… This is all for the Newspapers and Public, they are not taking anything seriously if they were it would not be an IA investigation but a CRIMINAL investigation… Sadly today the cops are above the law…

the_ancient on July 21, 2011 at 5:52 PM

whatcat on July 21, 2011 at 5:48 PM

Thanks for the laugh. It’s so true. I personally don’t have a wishy-washy bone in my body so sometimes when I see it I get exasperated.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on July 21, 2011 at 5:53 PM

the_ancient on July 21, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Does the governor have any say in this matter? Like, couldn’t he call for an investigation if nothing happens to this insane cop? Kasich is the one who wanted OH to have the CCW, right? Surely he’s keeping an eye on this and couldn’t he sic the AG on the department if need be? Kasich is a great guy so I think if he can do anything he will.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on July 21, 2011 at 5:55 PM

whatcat on July 21, 2011 at 5:48 PM

Thanks for the laugh. It’s so true. I personally don’t have a wishy-washy bone in my body so sometimes when I see it I get exasperated.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on July 21, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Life ain’t easy for Gopher State folks….
:)

whatcat on July 21, 2011 at 5:56 PM

I’ve known cops both socially and incidentally to my job. I used to frequent a cop bar and I talked with all of them. Some are very nice — sort of like vacuum cleaner salesmen who doesn’t throw dirt on your carpet.

But I’ve never known an honest cop or trooper — that is, one that didn’t say that they could always pull anyone over on a whim, such as for saying someone failed to use his turn signal. Where I live now, one cop told me, as he sipped his beer, that he had just run his bike at 63 through a town with a 25mph limit, was pulled over and told politely by his coworkers to keep his speed down. He then said he pulls people over just to “ask if they are doing okay”.

And where I’m from, when it’s one man’s word against another, and one person is a cop, judges always take cop’s version because they’re considered to be impartial professionals — even in towns that make half their income from speeding tickets.

With all due respect to the honest ones, and I’m sure there have to be honest cops out there, I don’t think I’ve ever met one.

flicker on July 21, 2011 at 5:57 PM

Stop buying into the propaganda. People who hold handgun permits DO NOT pose a special threat to police, or anyone else. They are less likely to commit crimes, and more likely to be able to do something about crimes if progress.

I luv ya Ed, but you have to do better than this.

novaculus

I think you need to do better. Ed said nothing about which gun owning demographic was the most law abiding, or the worst, and he didn’t say anything about permit owners posing a special threat. All he said was cops are understandably nervous in the presence of guns because cops have been killed in the past. He was right.

xblade on July 21, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Perfect example of Roid Rage…

rgranger on July 21, 2011 at 5:50 PM

The uniform that looks two sizes too tight is a dead giveaway. Like a WWE maniac with a badge and a gun (“my Glock 40!”). Scary.

infidel4life on July 21, 2011 at 6:02 PM

Btw, just in case you didn’t already know it, “must be nice to have money” is a bribe solicitation.

blink on July 21, 2011 at 5:47 PM

LOL Actually, I didn’t realize that, neither did son. Though, he did think they might just take his girlfriend’s iPod.

Fallon on July 21, 2011 at 6:02 PM

Wow. I’ve seen this post up all day, but only just now watched the video. If that cop doesn’t lose his job over this, God help the people of that city. He tells the guy he should have just “executed him” and “let him drop” and that his partner would have been happy to lie for him to cover up the murder of an innocent citizen, and then tells the guy he’s going to pull him over for the rest of his life every time he sees his car and have him arrested and have his car towed. This guy has NO BUSINESS being a cop. There is just no way in hell they can put that psychopath back on the street — for God’s sake, he’s admitted on tape that he’s cool with murdering people who piss him off, or that he’ll abuse his police power to stalk them and arrest them on phony charges. This guy had better be fired — and he had DAMN WELL better lose his pension. Imagine — just imagine — the innocent people this psycho has jacked up over his career. The prosecutor in that town is going to be a busy, busy boy or girl retrying every case this wacko cop ever had a hand in. What a freakin’ trainwreck the guy is. Wow.

Rational Thought on July 21, 2011 at 6:02 PM

Some Minnesotans, such as Ed, carry the “Minnesota Nice” thing a bit too far and find it nearly impossible to take a firm stand on just about anything. I know whereof I speak, lol.

LOL, so true.

AUH2O on July 21, 2011 at 6:02 PM

xblade on July 21, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Maybe what novaculus meant was that the very fact that a citizen has a CCW license, proves that they are law-abiding (or they wouldn’t bother having one, would they) and therefore are less a threat than someone who doesn’t. It shows that said citizen has gone through the right channels. I don’t know if OH does background checks before issuing a CCW, but if they do, that would make a CCW carrier even more law-abiding.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on July 21, 2011 at 6:03 PM

Remember the reason for CCW is not to get in a shoot-out but to change the mental state of someone who sees you as a victim. In that regard if you do want to CCW (and don’t live in a Gold Star State) learn the laws and hope that in the very near future the 2nd Amendment will be incorporated via the 14th. CCW is only effective if you practice, practice, practice… and carry.

A look at NAA will get you their President’s view on the rationale behind carrying:

So many of my customers refer to the minirevolver’s “American Express” characteristic (“I never leave home without it!”), which speaks to its great utility. I’ll admit I get annoyed by the comments of ignorant people who make disparaging remarks about the small frame size and caliber of the weapon. “I only carry a .45″, they boast. “Where is it?” I inquire. “Back at home,” they admit. Point made: we would never suggest that our .22 caliber mini is better than a .45; it is unarguably, however, better than nothing, which is the void our product is designed to fill.

Another ignorant remark questions the “effectiveness” of such a small weapon/round, to which I reply “I don’t care about the frame size or caliber of any gun; if it’s pointed at me, it will absolutely change my behavior.” There are reams of evidence that show that simply brandishing a gun will avert a potentially threatening situation.

In the run-up to the 2008 election and just after it the US went on a firearms purchasing spree followed by an ammo purchasing spree. And yet violent crime in all categories has gone down, not up. An interesting set of papers could be done on the sociological impact of a well armed society being less violent than an unarmed one with citizens left at the perils of criminals and an authoritarian police state that feels that you are not entitled to your natural rights of self-defense.

It is hoped that this police officer is an outlier, although the trend has been for better armed police (due to the ways Americans have had obstacles to self-defense put up via the federal, state and local governments) that seeks broader powers as a whole (via no-knock raids, random stops, etc.) which has an impact on society. Even as that has gone on, however, support for restrictions on personal firearms has gone down steadily, constantly and what was a bare majority post-war is now a minority for wanting more restrictions. The ‘gun culture’ is not an aberrant part of society but one that indicates how well it is functioning and the more normalized and expected it is for a citizen to be armed and learn to defend himself, the less external policing that is needed. Victorian Britain got its Bobbies because there were numerous ranges in setting we would be aghast at today: like bars. There is an image of Queen Victoria cutting the ribbon of a shooting range for Parliamentarians that just happened to be at their tavern… yet their police didn’t have to carry much more than a night stick.

If I am attempting to show respect and follow the law for a police officer who has a hard job, is it too much to ask that an officer also follow the law and then show some courtesy and respect to me, as a citizen? They are officers of the law, yes, but they are NOT THE LAW itself. They are citizens granted special duties for law enforcement, but they are in no way greater than citizens and should be expected to uphold the law for themselves as they do for the citizenry. You are a citizen FIRST. That means being CIVIL with your fellow citizens. If you don’t expect that of your law enforcement officers, then you are describing a tyrannical police state.

ajacksonian on July 21, 2011 at 6:06 PM

All he said was cops are understandably nervous in the presence of guns because cops have been killed in the past.
xblade on July 21, 2011 at 5:59 PM

More people have very probably died from slipping in the bath tub, but normal people do not go apesheet berserk at the sight of a shower like this psychotic cop did (for absolutely zero reason). Total nutcase, he belongs in a rubber room.

whatcat on July 21, 2011 at 6:06 PM

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.”

He should be furious that one of his officers stood by and did nothing while another officer aggressively threatened to execute a handcuffed law-abiding citizen by unloading 10 bullets from his Glock into his body .. or sticking the barrel of his Glock into the same man’s mouth. Take your pick, I guess. Then, after the execution, bragging about how they’d cover it up.. because his brother partner would be an expert witness.

This is sick. Absolutely sick.
This cop is a time bomb and this event being exposed like this may have actually saved a life somewhere down the road.

The next traffic stop victim may not have been so lucky! All you would have heard was “man/woman/family killed during routine traffic stop by police officer. Police say CCW permit holder pulled gun and threatened police.” The truth, based on this cops own words we have heard on this video.. may have been something very different.

And it cannot be stressed enough.. the other cop is just as guilty! Just because he wasn’t threatening execution he’s not innocent. He stood by and did nothing while his partner did!

JellyToast on July 21, 2011 at 6:06 PM

Some Minnesotans, such as Ed, carry the “Minnesota Nice” thing a bit too far and find it nearly impossible to take a firm stand on just about anything. I know whereof I speak, lol.

LOL, so true.
AUH2O on July 21, 2011 at 6:02 PM

Kind of an over-under thing, the number of times that Ed will will invoke the term “fair” and posit some relativism. Gotta have at least 12 pairs of hands so as to have ample “on the other hand” at hand, as it were :)

whatcat on July 21, 2011 at 6:12 PM

And it cannot be stressed enough.. the other cop is just as guilty! Just because he wasn’t threatening execution he’s not innocent. He stood by and did nothing while his partner did!

JellyToast on July 21, 2011 at 6:06 PM

Totally agree. Watching that video, I cannot understand why they haven’t BOTH been suspended in advance of what should be their certain firing.

Rational Thought on July 21, 2011 at 6:14 PM

Can someone explain the legal status of the cruiser video? Can a cop dump it? Do they even have access to the camera control? Is it sealed? I’m just surprised the video even made it out to the public.

ToddW on July 21, 2011 at 6:14 PM

He stood by and did nothing while his partner did!

JellyToast on July 21, 2011 at 6:06 PM

That’s kinda understandable to me, the nut-cop might have become even further unhinged and escalated things beyond where he had already put them. But hopefully he will be instrumental as a witness in seeing headcase cop punished and treated for what is clearly a major malfunction.

whatcat on July 21, 2011 at 6:16 PM

Sheesh, what a nightmare.

null on July 21, 2011 at 6:17 PM

ToddW on July 21, 2011 at 6:14 PM

That’s another good question. How come cops can video a stop, but the one being stopped is breaking the anti-wiretapping laws (in many states) if he makes a similar resording?

flicker on July 21, 2011 at 6:18 PM

Does the governor have any say in this matter? Like, couldn’t he call for an investigation if nothing happens to this insane cop? Kasich is the one who wanted OH to have the CCW, right? Surely he’s keeping an eye on this and couldn’t he sic the AG on the department if need be? Kasich is a great guy so I think if he can do anything he will.

-Aslan’s Girl

No, most Disciplinary Actions are done by “Citizen” Review boards that are stacked with cops and former cops, and they never fire anyone. The “recommendations” of the Review Boards are final and no one can overrule them.

Their is no safer occupation for a criminal than a Cop.

With all due respect to the honest ones, and I’m sure there have to be honest cops out there, I don’t think I’ve ever met one.

flicker on July 21, 2011 at 5:57 PM

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

All he said was cops are understandably nervous in the presence of guns because cops have been killed in the past.
xblade on July 21, 2011 at 5:59 PM

And as for that garbage… I’ll tell you what.. a lot of law abiding people are also freaking understandably nervous in the presence of so much crime, murder and drugs in our streets! And when they are routinely stopped by a cop, they shouldn’t have to be treated like they are nothing but filthy cattle! Profanity should never be used against the people!

Don’t give me this horse crap about how nervous cops are around law abiding gun owners! More firearms accidents happen by police than by gun owners! More criminals are captured by law abiding gun owners than by police! Cops accidentally shoot themselves more than any of them have been accidentally shot by a law abiding gun owner!

Besides all the obvious incompetence and just plain evil in this video.. these officers were incredibly disrespectful to these people! They ordered them around like they were pigs! “Shut up.. Do this.. Stand here” There was zero professionalism! This is a disturbing trend in many of these videos. Police who have absolutely no respect for the citizenry!

JellyToast on July 21, 2011 at 6:19 PM

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
the_ancient

Sorry to burst your bubble here, but I’m a “police sympathizer” and, in fact, one of my family is of high rank in the NYPD. However, thugs like this one do not deserve sympathy, much less support. Needs to punished and put in a straightjacket.

whatcat on July 21, 2011 at 6:30 PM

Needs to punished and put in a straightjacket.

whatcat on July 21, 2011 at 6:30 PM

And you think that’s ever going to happen? 25 cents (that’s my max bet — which shows how serious I am) says he gets slapped on the wrist, returned to duty with back pay, and promoted within three years.

flicker on July 21, 2011 at 6:39 PM

Is Daniel Harless’ badge number ED-209?

Bludgeon on July 21, 2011 at 6:41 PM

What does ED stand for again? I’ve been watching the ED Show recenty, but I still can’t figure it out.

flicker on July 21, 2011 at 6:43 PM

ED-209

Bludgeon on July 21, 2011 at 6:48 PM

Know what really bothered me the most? The officer KNEW his actions were being filmed by the dash cam.

And still . . .

BigAlSouth on July 21, 2011 at 6:52 PM

Yeah, I googled it. I thought it meant something else. I thought with Ed Schultz advocating it, and with Harless’ rages it meant Erectile Dysfunction. My bad.

flicker on July 21, 2011 at 6:52 PM

With a respectable A-G with a brain in DC, this would be a case for the Civil Rights Division.

slickwillie2001 on July 21, 2011 at 6:57 PM

Refusing to incriminate yourself and refusing consent to searches are rights guaranteed by the Constitution, and no threat a cop can make can override them. If he’s going to arrest you, peaceably comply, then sue like mad.

MadisonConservative on July 21, 2011 at 2:30 PM

Please try that on the TSA and get back to us on the results.

AnotherOpinion on July 21, 2011 at 6:57 PM

Refusing to incriminate yourself and refusing consent to searches are rights guaranteed by the Constitution, and no threat a cop can make can override them. If he’s going to arrest you, peaceably comply, then sue like mad.

MadisonConservative on July 21, 2011 at 2:30 PM

I went through this one night a few years ago. K-9 officer. Dog walked around my vehicle and the dog sat down. Don’t know what that means…officer searched my vehicle…found nothing…because nothing was there to be found in the first place.

He was bound and determined to search my vehicle for drugs in spite of running me and having found out that I have 0, nichts, nada, zilch on my record.

By God, he manufactured a reason to violate my Fourth Amendment rights.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 21, 2011 at 7:05 PM

If I were a lawyer (I live 20 minutes away from this) I would re-open every single case related to an arrest by this officer. I would flood the judicial system with every appeal I could make.

bds1976 on July 21, 2011 at 7:07 PM

The cop was misdirecting his anger.

He botched the stop by failing to secure the driver while he was messing with the passengers for five minutes, even searching the backseat — all before attempting to engage the drive. That was a mistake and a potentially deadly one — as the driver could have been armed. When the cop realized the mistake and its potential magnitude (he was armed), he overreacted and misdirected the anger, that he should have had at himself, at the driver. It is understandable, but understandably unprofessional.

He should be an ex-cop. Not an inmate, but no longer on the force. One less pension for the tax payers to fund.

tommylotto on July 21, 2011 at 7:08 PM

Big lawsuit here. Hope the guy has the funds to pursue it. This is multi-million.

riverrat10k on July 21, 2011 at 7:10 PM

BigAlSouth on July 21, 2011 at 6:52 PM

Actually, I know a smaller version of Harless. He’s smart, highly trained, superiorly capable, a leadership type, military, physically tough (in a 24-hour marathon kind of way), self-motivated and usually right. He also has a rather poor temper when he’s tired and things don’t go his way, and shouts at and belittles people.

Harless is probably pretty much the same: smart, exceptionally trained, internally motivated, intolerant of mistakes and supremely confident.

That’s why he didn’t mind the camera. He was certain that he was 100% in the right.

Harless was so pissed because he himself misjudged the situation and the possiblity of a gun. And then, in his exquisite embarassment, he made a scapegoat out of the driver to save face. This will happen again.

flicker on July 21, 2011 at 7:17 PM

tommylotto on July 21, 2011 at 7:08 PM

I agree entirely. Except that he did threaten the driver with murder and that’s a crime.

flicker on July 21, 2011 at 7:22 PM

Officer ‘Roid might well have stumbled upon this site. Heck, he’s got nothing else to do during his suspension — other than, of course, eating lots of bananas and defecating all over his cage.

If you are reading these comments, Officer, I have only one question:

How tough are you now?

Oh, and by the way, every decent, professional LEO out there sends you a big, hearty, and utterly caustic, “Thanks a lot, pal!”

Dion on July 21, 2011 at 7:43 PM

If I were a lawyer (I live 20 minutes away from this) I would re-open every single case related to an arrest by this officer.

bds1976 on July 21, 2011 at 7:07 PM

That’s an outstanding point – everyone who’s been arrested by this arseholio should do a FOIA for the video of their arrest.

I’ll bet this isn’t the first instance of this guy’s bigotry against civilians.

HondaV65 on July 21, 2011 at 8:19 PM

One more thing. I lived across the street from a police captain for a few years, and it was nice to see his “unmarked” car so close by. But this guy, Harless, I would not want him living anywhere near me. I doubt he would make a decent backyard barbecue guest.

He was being a hapless jerk before he was ever told of the gun.

Equal protection under the law… right, unless you’re above it.

With his death threats and self-righteous indignation, I think 3-5 would do him good.

flicker on July 21, 2011 at 8:23 PM

With his death threats and self-righteous indignation, I think 3-5 would do him good.

flicker on July 21, 2011 at 8:23 PM

and with his idiocy…That driver could have been amped up on drugs and shot both he and his partner. I can’t say I’d mourn the guy. Oh, that was cold, wasn’t it? So sorry. I really don’t want him dead, but I do want him off the streets wielding a badge he clearly does not deserve to have.

bridgetown on July 21, 2011 at 8:51 PM

Sorry to burst your bubble here, but I’m a “police sympathizer” and, in fact, one of my family is of high rank in the NYPD. However, thugs like this one do not deserve sympathy, much less support. Needs to punished and put in a straightjacket.

whatcat on July 21, 2011 at 6:30 PM

How does that “burst my bubble” I am sure you feel that the “vast majority” of cops are “honest law abiding folks looking out for the public’s well being” and not power hungry jackboots violating a persons rights every chance they get…..

the_ancient on July 21, 2011 at 9:15 PM

Sorry to burst your bubble here, but I’m a “police sympathizer” and, in fact, one of my family is of high rank in the NYPD.

Every corrupt, illegal military force has its enablers. Bubble intact.

vermin on July 21, 2011 at 9:20 PM

Most cops act like thugs, but the one in the video is is extreme. “To serve and protect” is a stale joke, as they do neither.

The driver needs to sue the city, the police department and both of those cops for threatening his life with murder, illegal arrest, violation of his civil rights, etc. Since when is it illegal to pull over on the side of the road and get out of a car or to be black?

woodNfish on July 21, 2011 at 9:21 PM

I heard a lot of accusations of stupidity, but I could only identify two idiots in the video and neither one came from the gold car.

mbrans on July 21, 2011 at 9:37 PM

I believe people can always learn. But I’m usually wrong. Three to five in a minimum security prison, certainly couldn’t hurt much, and might help.

Criminality is criminality, especially in uniform.

Just saying he couldda-shouldda-wouldda shot him ten times and left him for dead (while his partner wanders off so as to “not hear” the threats) is far more than just a movie nightmare for many people. And while he has time to think about how he Abused the Blue, maybe he can work on his aggression.

But he should never wear a uniform again. Or carry a baton for that matter. Ever.

flicker on July 21, 2011 at 9:37 PM

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.

This just creates opportunities for mischief as the video shows.

Cops get killed by people licensed to carry? Idiot cop gives good cops a bad name.

I’m glad we are not required to inform in Indiana.

Apparently this jackass thinks the gun will jump up and start shooting all by itself if the magic words are not said in time.

aikidoka on July 21, 2011 at 11:23 PM

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.

This just creates opportunities for mischief as the video shows.

Cops get killed by people licensed to carry? Idiot cop gives good cops a bad name.

I’m glad we are not required to inform in Indiana.

Apparently this jackass thinks the gun will jump up and start shooting all by itself if the magic words are not said in time.

aikidoka on July 21, 2011 at 11:23 PM

That’s true. All the cop has to say is that the carrier did not notify. Cop cameras barely catch conversations if at all. Not a well thought out law.

slickwillie2001 on July 22, 2011 at 12:09 AM

I’ve had officers give opportunity… “Anything inside the car I should know about?”… and also be so ‘f-in’ controlling that almost no words are allowed to be spoken during the entire stop.
-
This cop set the stage for this to happen by being overly aggressive. Had he not done that, the reaction would at least be understandable, though still beyond my desire to let slide if I were to be a juror on the case.
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I recently was given a ticket for 70mph in an alleged 40mph zone (actually it was a 65mph zone).
-
The cop was set up in front of the legal work-zone on the Pa Turnpike at 1:00am. He took a reading at least 1/2 a mile before the signs started… and was as aggressive as this dick once he pulled me over.
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I am always wide awake and at the top of my game at 1:00 because I am just leaving work and the shutdown is very detailed and involves special safety measures be followed for the last hour of the night (stowing the pyrotechnics and like that)… Right up to arming the alarm as I leave I’m moving and paying attention for anything out of the norm.
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I knew for a fact that I did not pass any construction signs prior to having the trooper pull out behind me. I had only left the building 15 minutes prior, and only been on the TP about 6 mins…
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The peckerhead of a cop started yelling at me as he approached my car, and never toned it down through the 10 minutes of the stop. Also, I never saw his face… He kept his headlights and flash-light in my eyes the entire time.
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So I plead not-guilty and tried to gather info about the work site… to use as a defense. Basically, none is available. Maybe with an FOIA filing, and knowing the specific questions to ask (the PTA phone call would not say anything useful other than “be specific” in the FIOA request. Gee… thanks.
-
When I went to court… there were 2 other not-guilt people there for that officer, location and time-frame.
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The officer never showed… The judge was a smart-ass about the cases and the no-show cop… And I was pissed because I knew the cop had been shooting fish in a barrel and was not willing to have his ass in court in case someone showed up with solid evidence. I think him and the judge were both in on the joke.
-
I asked about seeing the prosecutor a few weeks before the court date but was told that they didn’t do prosecutors in that town… “Just the judge and the officer”.
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I very briefly made my disgust about the scam being perpetrated known to the clerk and the others in the courthouse when I went there seeking info the first time… ‘This is a $2,000 ticket including the insurance surcharges… and I was not inside the work-zone’… basically.
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On the day of the trial when I signed in the clerk gave me a very deer in the headlights look…
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So as I left the court house I caught up to the guy who was dismissed before me… and then the woman who was right after me came out… and walked over to us.
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I asked them if they saw any signs… They both said ‘no’… The guy… said that he assumed that they were blocked by the truck that he was passing… The signs required by law are not that easy to miss…
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The woman’s mother said that all she knew was that as they passed by the cop she said to the daughter ‘you better slow down’… but she also said “no” to the signs.
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It was funny because as the woman had walked up to us she said… “That cop was an asshole”… Me and the other guy had just agreed to that a minute prior…
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So how many of these does it take for someone who supports the police to start to ‘feel’ otherwise? Not many… I’m about over it but for a few weeks I was leaning anti-cop.
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I only takes a few bad apples guys… Do some self-policing or risk becoming untrusted by the law abiding masses.
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RalphyBoy on July 22, 2011 at 12:29 AM

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

Three stooges with guns. Fire Moe. Retrain Larry. Revoke Curly’s license.

rukiddingme on July 22, 2011 at 12:38 AM

The Cop in a CYA created a story on the spot that he saw the “bulge of the gun” then the driver told him he had a CCW.
That was an obvious lie.
Clearly the driver told him of his CCW and then the cop took the gun.

What I don’t get is the probable cause?
Is it illegal to be in your car on the side of the road?

DSchoen on July 22, 2011 at 2:05 AM

First feverishly panicked loony screams:

“hungry jackboots violating a persons rights every chance they get”
the_ancient on July 21, 2011 at 9:15 PM

Next delusional non compos mentis sobs along:

“corrupt, illegal military force”
vermin on July 21, 2011 at 9:20 PM

Drat! They’re on to Cheney’s secret plan to toss ‘em into black helos, take away their hallucinogenics and lock ‘em up in the subterranean FEMA camp under DisneyLand in a cell with Elvis, Bigfoot and JFK’s brain!

whatcat on July 22, 2011 at 5:51 AM

Same thing happened to me. I was on my way boating and there was an escaped five foot two inch convict on the loose. In the 12 miles to the lake I got stopped three times by PA state police that were very courtious and respectful. They were doing there job. I got stopped last by two local cops that made me exit my vehicle and they wanted ME to search my boat (I am 6’4″ and obviously not the guy). I told them I had a legal weapon that they may see when I do that. The one cop ratcheted a shell into his shotgun and pointed it at my head! Checked the boat and let me go without even checking my gun. Just poor training.

Redglen on July 22, 2011 at 9:05 AM

This is one case of video being the only thing saving a citizen from a runaway government.

KMC1 on July 22, 2011 at 9:54 AM

one cop ratcheted a shell into his shotgun and pointed it at my head

PA state police that were very courtious and respectful.
Redglen on July 22, 2011 at 9:05 AM

Courteous and respectful? Oy.

This is one case of video being the only thing saving a citizen from a runaway government.
KMC1 on July 22, 2011 at 9:54 AM

Nah, this incident wasn’t planned and carried out at the behest of the Feds or State officials. Just an unhinged cop who should be fired and jailed in a mental prison facility ASAP. At any rate, no high-up Special Ops involved in this.

whatcat on July 22, 2011 at 10:38 AM

whatcat on July 22, 2011 at 10:38 AM

I disagree.
Its because of an encroaching government that this “cop” felt he was justified in threatening an innocent citizen with bodily harm and death, simply for the “crime” of legally possessing a sidearm.

KMC1 on July 22, 2011 at 11:01 AM

First feverishly panicked loony screams:

“hungry jackboots violating a persons rights every chance they get”
the_ancient on July 21, 2011 at 9:15 PM

Next delusional non compos mentis sobs along:

“corrupt, illegal military force”
vermin on July 21, 2011 at 9:20 PM

Drat! They’re on to Cheney’s secret plan to toss ‘em into black helos, take away their hallucinogenics and lock ‘em up in the subterranean FEMA camp under DisneyLand in a cell with Elvis, Bigfoot and JFK’s brain!

whatcat on July 22, 2011 at 5:51 AM

Who said anything about FEMA Camps, it is an undeniable fact that todays police forces are militarized power hungry control forces that view ordinary citizens as “the enemy”. it is “us vs them” and every person they encounter is a threat/criminal to them….

the_ancient on July 22, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Now, will the city drop the charges against the driver and restore his license status?

This is only half of what is required to right the situation, the other half being subjecting the officer to trial for his threatening to kill someone and verbal abuse, just as any other civilian would be tried. And then serving his sentence, just as any other civilian would.

What do you think would have happened if you had done that to another citizen?

DrRansom on July 22, 2011 at 11:11 AM

CPD Facebook page back up this morning.

Mike Morrissey on July 22, 2011 at 11:12 AM

HondaV65 on July 21, 2011 at 3:32 PM

LP is corrupt…Like that’s a surprise…

Gohawgs on July 22, 2011 at 11:19 AM

whatcat on July 22, 2011 at 10:38 AM

I disagree.
Its because of an encroaching government that this “cop” felt he was justified
KMC1 on July 22, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Nah, that’s Rube Goldbergian connect-the-dots pretzel logic of the same type that led Charles Manson to blame the Beatles for the Tate-La Bianca Murders in 1969 – “Why blame it on me? I didn’t write the music.” Helter Skelter and all that, y’know.

Crazy people are certainly capable of doing crazy things all by their lone selves, n’est-ce pas? That’s what happened here.

whatcat on July 22, 2011 at 11:26 AM

it is an undeniable fact that todays police forces are militarized power hungry control forces that view ordinary citizens as “the enemy”. it is “us vs them” and every person they encounter is a threat/criminal to them….
the_ancient

We all agree that Darth Cheney’s secret plan to control your thoughts with radio waves is a terrible thing. He already got Chupacabra killed by the secret hit squads for wrongthink, but keep up the struggle and take care – remember to look under your bed every night. Godspeed in your ongoing struggle against the Illuminati!

whatcat on July 22, 2011 at 11:35 AM

This is one case of video being the only thing saving a citizen from a runaway government.
KMC1 on July 22, 2011 at 9:54 AM
Nah, this incident wasn’t planned and carried out at the behest of the Feds or State officials…no high-up Special Ops involved in this.

whatcat on July 22, 2011 at 10:38 AM

When the second cop turned his back on the secured driver — he let him hang in the breeze during the bad cop’s threats. Maybe it was fear of escalation, but it was more likely professional courtesy.

This driver had as much right to carry a gun as any cop, and the cop didn’t respect that. Hell, he didn’t even respect anyone in that car on a human level. And not once did the other cop step in to calm things down.

That’s not a single “unhinged” cop. That’s the system from top down. The government’s judges say that cops have no legal responsibility to prevent crime. But legislators supported by police unions grant cops nearly sole authority to carry defensive weapons. Judges take the word of cops over citizens. And citizens have virtually no protection against unconstitutional encroachments by cops unless there’s a camera running. And yet legislatures outlaw video-recording cops during our own stops in many states.

Yeah, in this case one dash cam saved one law-abiding citizen from a runaway government.

flicker on July 22, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Yeah, in this case one dash cam saved one law-abiding citizen from a runaway government.

flicker on July 22, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Only in the same sense that not accepting rides from strangers saves a person from being abducted by Martians.

whatcat on July 22, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Now you’re saying that there’s no such thing as a runaway government?

Now you’ve lost all credibility.

Out.

flicker on July 22, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Now you’re saying that there’s no such thing as a runaway government?

Now you’ve lost all credibility.
flicker on July 22, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Yeah, it’s not nearly as credible as thinking that if someone is unhinged and acts on his/her psychosis, it must be an intricate, massive government plot. As I noted, Manson could only come up with Beatles music – he’s just not an imaginative psychotic, I suspect. Better than blaming Twinkies, though.

whatcat on July 22, 2011 at 12:24 PM

whatcat on July 22, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Sure.
And the constant assualts on the 2nd Amendment is just a coincidence.
Like Operation Gun Runner, or Operation Fast and Furious.

Completly unconnected…..

KMC1 on July 22, 2011 at 1:30 PM

flicker on July 22, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Yep.
Exactly.

KMC1 on July 22, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Now you’ve lost all credibility.

Out.

flicker on July 22, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Read what whatcat has written, flicker. You are trying to reason with a moron. It is a lost cause.

woodNfish on July 22, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Read what whatcat has written, flicker. woodNfish on July 22, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Yeah. I would rather think he has an agenda, whether it’s
“cops can’t do any wrong unless they’re psychotic cause my daddy’s a police captain”, or,
“I’m a cop and I like it just fine the way it is”, or
“I’m a paid shill for the police unions”.

Whatever his reasons, I doubt he’ll ever accept another point of view.

flicker on July 22, 2011 at 2:04 PM

But thanks,

flicker on July 22, 2011 at 2:07 PM

And the constant assualts on the 2nd Amendment is just a coincidence.
Like Operation Gun Runner, or Operation Fast and Furious.
Completly unconnected…..
KMC1 on July 22, 2011 at 1:30 PM

No, I agree that the cop here just couldn’t be an out-of control nutcase but was obviously the sinister mastermind of a vast grand conspiracy, dating back God only knows how many scores of years. If only, when he was laying out the secret plan, one of the his subordinates – e.g. the Secretary General Of The UN or one of the Bilderbergers – had thought to suggest they turn the cam off. Perfect plan otherwise.

whatcat on July 22, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Whatever his reasons, I doubt he’ll ever accept another point of view.
flicker on July 22, 2011 at 2:04 PM

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

Well, another one of these videos! Oh, goody!

Well, first off, the guy had approx. one minute to tell the officer of his license and weapon plus all the time prior to that when he was sitting in the car while it was being searched (more on that stupid stunt later). Instead, he opted to spend that time lying about where/how/when he knew this known prostitute. Guy should have made that CCL notification top priority and done it promptly, as required by law.

That said, it’s understandable why the officer would be upset with him. It looks, however, that the officer violated the unwritten rule of “ream ‘em or write ‘em.” You can go off on someone verbally, to a degree, if you aren’t going to charge them. However, if you’re going to charge them, it’s best to remain as calm as possible. Either the tongue-lashing or a formal charge; doing both is rare and not really advisable except under extreme circumstances. Based on what I can see in the video, these were not those extreme circumstances. Also, I feel he went on a bit too long with the scolding. Enough – your point was made after the first round of that stuff. Now, you’re really just looking like a dick – case in point, “. . .a nice witness as I executed you because you’re stupid.” *facepalm*

Then, he’s going off about the guy with the gun in the car while he’s searching it – well, that’s YOUR FAULT EITHER WAY, OFFICER! What if he didn’t have a CCL and still had the gun – would that make you feel better?!? You should be assuming everyone you encounter is armed and acting accordingly. Very, very bad tactics leaving ANYONE in a vehicle you are searching. I’ve NEVER seen that in my eleven years of law enforcement experience and hope to never see it again. Piss poor officer safety. Piss poor.

As to why the plate didn’t come back earlier, could be a computer issue of slow returns or, more likely, dispatch sucks. ;)

In a nutshell: guy was up to no good and decided to use the first minute of the contact to lie about why he was there instead of telling the officer about the CCL? Arrestable offense? Maybe, that’s up to the officer involved. But the officer’s behavior after the guy was cuffed and stuffed was not cool and not something I would want to see one of my charges doing. Should the officer be fired or the guy lose his CCL? No on both counts.

And they all lived happily ever after. . .

RedNewEnglander on July 22, 2011 at 4:47 PM

In a nutshell: guy was up to no good and decided to use the first minute of the contact to lie about why he was there instead of telling the officer about the CCL? Arrestable offense? Maybe, that’s up to the officer involved. But the officer’s behavior after the guy was cuffed and stuffed was not cool and not something I would want to see one of my charges doing. Should the officer be fired or the guy lose his CCL? No on both counts.

RedNewEnglander

I agree with you he should have flat out, right off the bat told the one of the officers “the law require me to tell you I have CCL and that I have a firearm”.

But after that, we part ways, RedNewEnglander. The cop here is a total headcase and should have been weeded out long before this. Now he should be fired and held to account for civil rights violations – not to do with the CCL question – but no one can threaten another person with violent murder and allowed to escape punishment, civil and/or criminal. Repeated murder threats goes a bit beyond “not cool”.

While it is impossible – and not desirable – to retrain the offending officer, I think the CCL guy may be re-trainable to be aware of his responsibilities – especially in encounters with LE. If he cannot learn that, then it’s no CCL for him. He gets the dunce cap, while the crazed cop get the straightjacket – that’s happily ever after.

whatcat on July 22, 2011 at 5:33 PM

RedNewEnglander:

Should the officer be fired or the guy lose his CCL? No on both counts.

What a surprise. A cop think a bad cop should not be fired.

sandberg on July 22, 2011 at 5:58 PM

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