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Discussion in 'In the News' started by mzmtg, Feb 27, 2007.
From the VCDL Alert sent out last night:
Good for them!
I am impressed that this group is standing up for their rights. I wonder how this one will end up? I wonder what kind of retribution the police department will have back towards citizens exercising their rights, if any. Now that this issue is public how will this either help or hurt people carrying openly.
Should be interesting to follow.
Thanks for posting that mzmtg. Would you mind posting a link to the video when it goes live please? I very much want to see that.
Numbers talk when the written law is behind them. The officers SHOULD be fired and never allowed to work in a LEO capacity again...not even as a school crossing guard.
And before I get flamed with the comments like "officers are people too, and can make mistakes", I refer you to government's favorite response:
"Ignorance of the law is no excuse."
Newest VCDL Alert
The Manassas event on Monday has really a hot topic in the gun cyberspace. I believe that Gun Week is going to do a story on it as well.
Lots of positive and grateful emails flowing in.
Mark Anderson sent this:
As one of the 'hyper-aware, overcompensating ass-clowns' who was ejected from Tony's and run out of town on the night of January 13, WOW can hardly begin to explain how I feel about the turnout last night. I wish there were some way I could express my thanks personally to all of the VCDL members who came and stayed late to make their comments known, and to those who have filed formal complaints, and to others who have expressed support in other ways. This is truly a humbling experience for me and I know for others of the Tony's 7.
...I don't think the behavior of the Manassas police will be swept under the rug after this kind of showing.
Well done VCDL!
There was one not so nice phone call from a drunk in NoVA that screamed at the top of his lungs that I didn't understand the Constitution. Lots of flowery language. He hung up before I could even ask him to explain the Constitution to me so I would be better versed in the future.
Dennis O'Connor couldn't help but quip at the press when they go a little crazy in their prose whenever gun owners are involved:
"And in a scene reminiscent of the OK Corral, several reporters swaggered in packing cameras. You expect to hear "Need a tintype, pardner?" as they assumed an aggressive stance at the edge of the crowded room. These first amendment zealots never miss an opportunity to flaunt their so-called "rights," just like the in-your-face camera-toting newspapermen of the old west."
One of our EMs did say that he thought I was going to easy on the Chief of Police, Skinner. He said that even with an on going investigation, the police can still tell you who is being investigated and their current status (on paid/unpaid leave, working behind a desk, etc.)
Here is the link to NBC, Channel 4's coverage with video:
http://www.nbc4.com/news/11122593/detai ... dlineclick
Gun Rights Activists Fight City Of Manassas Police Conduct Internal Investigation
CITY OF MANASSAS, Va. -- A group in Virginia had a run-in with police when they went to a pizza parlor in the City of Manassas with guns on their sides.
The incident happened Jan. 18 at Tony's New York Pizza. Seven members of a group called opencarry.org met at the restaurant for dinner and to talk about their support for gun rights. Each man was armed, and although they had permits to carry a concealed weapon, they displayed their guns openly on their hips.
Virginia law requires them to do that in a place that serves alcohol.
Co-owner Joe D'Agostino, who was working that night told NBC4 some officers walked in and said some customers had complained.
"The officers came in and they told us they had received a call saying there were these armed men," D'Agostino said. "I'm not exactly sure from whom. They told us at that point we were the business owners and it was our choice whether we wanted the men to stay or if we wanted them to leave."
More than 100 gun-rights supporters packed the Manassas City Council chambers Monday night. They complained that the Manassas City police harassed the seven Tony's Pizza diners.
Philip Van Cleave of the Virginia Citizens Defense League said, "And the problem we have here is, we have police who went up to a restaurant owner, knowing they had nothing on the people sitting there and coerced them into getting them to leave."
D'Agostino said he supports everyone's rights until it interferes with his right to run a business.
"Do you need a gun to come here to Tony's, I don't think so," he said.
An internal police investigation is under way, NBC4 reported. It includes text message type e-mails that the officers allegedly sent between themselves that night, referring to the gun owners in some very derogatory terms.
More Potomac News coverage:
Complaint filed against city police officers
By ELISA A. GLUSHEFSKI
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
A Springfield man filed a complaint Friday against the Manassas
Police Department, saying that an officer's ignorance of Virginia's
open-carry weapons laws created an unnecessary and tense situation
for him and six friends at a city pizza restaurant.
On Jan. 13, Russ Troxel said he and six other members of a Second
Amendment rights Web site forum Opencarry.org met at Tony's New York
Pizza for dinner.
According to Troxel, they walked in with their guns holstered at
their sides and ordered their food.
Virginia is known as an open-carry state. While carrying a concealed
weapon requires a court-issued permit, no permit is required to carry
a gun in the open.
Around 8:11 p.m., a police officer responded to a call at the
restaurant from an unnamed diner who reported that the men were not
causing any trouble but their weapons made him uncomfortable.
Troxel said the man had approached two of his friends while they were
ordering their food and called them "yahoos" and "dorks."
About 30 minutes later a Manassas police officer arrived and, Troxel
said, "loudly and antagonistically" asked if the men were police
officers and, after learning that none were, demanded to see their
Within nine minutes, six other officers came to the Mathis Avenue
restaurant, according to the Manassas police department's call
The men tried to explain that because Tony's serves alcohol they were
required by law to openly carry their firearms, Troxel said, but the
first responding officer refused to listen and eventually became
One of the officers helped to defuse the situation, Troxel said in a
telephone interview Tuesday, but several others overstepped their
authority and were unnecessarily rude in doing so.
"The actions and attitudes [of the officers] is intolerable in a free
nation," Russ Troxel said in the complaint.
Police Chief John J. Skinner said he would like to comment publicly
but can't because the complaint is part of an internal investigation.
He would not release the names of the officers.
According to the department's call information log, obtained through
a Freedom of Information Act request, Officer Chad Hyland was the
first to respond, followed by Officers Joshua Thompson, Rickey
Clodfelter, Sean Ellis, Marc Hittle, Tina Pannell and Carrie Sutton.
Troxel also accuses police of "suggesting or implying" something to
the owner of Tony's to get him to ask Troxel and his friends to
leave. The men hadn't been confronted about the weapons by any of the
restaurant staff in the 45 minutes that they had been sitting there
until after police arrived, he said.
Joe D'Agostino, manager of Tony's, said that the restaurant does not
have a policy on openly carrying weapons.
But because they had received several complaints from regular
customers, he and the owner told the men they would have to put their
guns in their vehicles or leave, D'Agostino said.
Officers used derogatory terms to describe the men and their group in
several e-mails and messages sent within the department following the
incident, according to documents obtained through a Freedom of
Information Act request by Mike Stollenwerk, one of the founders of
Stollenwerk was not at the restaurant at the time of the incident.
In an e-mail Clodfelter sent five of the other officers the day after
the incident, he copied the state code that prohibits patrons from
carrying concealed weapons in any place that serves alcohol and
concludes that they were legally allowed to carry their guns openly
In the same e-mail, Clodfelter also wrote: "My guess is the
over-compensating ass clowns at Tony's were hyper-aware of all this,
and that's why they started crying like little babies when their
event got spoiled by the whole 'lets get the owner to tell them to
get the f-- out' thing."
A lieutenant in the department e-mailed other police departments in
the state on Jan. 17 asking if similar incidents had happened in
their jurisdictions, adding that his opinion "is that the group is
probing local [police departments] in order to see how they will
react" to those type of calls.
An hour later a captain of the Fredericksburg Police Department
replied that a group of men had "attempted the same type of act" in
the Fredericksburg area and that they were "lawsuit shopping."
Troxel said the group chose Tony's restaurant for its central location.
"We weren't lawsuit shopping," he said, adding that he also denies
that the group was testing the department's knowledge of open-carry
Use of vulgar or profane language is a violation of the department's
computer and electronic messaging policy, Skinner said.
He began a supervisory review of the incident in early February after
receiving the Freedom of Information Act request two weeks earlier.
He said it could take up to 30 days to get the findings of the
department's internal investigation.
***** Videos and pictures *****
As promised, here are some video of 6 of the many speakers. The
first video has me, Dennis O'Connor, and Jim Snyder. On the second
video there are three of the people who were harassed at Tony's -
Andrew Amarine, Michael Landstreet (listen to this guy's resume!),
and Mark Anderson:
Ian Branson posted pictures of all the speakers that night. He has a
superb picture of all the gun owners raising their hand to show
support for VCDL's position:
There will more photos posted to the VCDL site soon.
VA-ALERT is a project of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL).
VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to
defending the human rights of all Virginians. The membership considers the
Right to Keep and Bear Arms to be an essential human right.
VCDL web page: http://www.vcdl.org
Now thats very impressive!