Manassas Police Harass the Law Abiding

Discussion in 'In the News' started by Malum Prohibitum, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Not only do they harass the law abiding, but they tried to get them to break the law! :shock:

    Keep the following in mind as you read this. It is illegal in this jurisdiction to conceal a firearm while in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Therefore, open carry is the only option legally available to these 7 men.

    From the VCDL Alert:

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    2. Manassas City Police Harass Individuals Open Carrying at Restaurant
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    When you review the following report on how the Manassas City Police Department (MCPD) harassed 7 individuals lawfully open carrying in a restaurant that serves alcohol, think of what might have happened if HB 2943 was current law. Would they have placed the individuals under arrest so they could engage in a fishing expedition and search them and their vehicles?

    The MCPD owes the citizens of Virginia answers to the following questions:

    - Does the MCPD have a policy encouraging its officers to harass citizens lawfully open carrying a firearm?

    - Does the MCPD have a policy encouraging its officers to attempt to get permit holders to unlawfully conceal their firearm in a restaurant that serves alcohol?

    - Does the MCPD have a policy encouraging its officers to strong arm private businesses to eject law abiding customers from their premises just because they are lawfully open carrying a firearm?

    - Why did the entire on duty police force respond to a call when the caller acknowledged that the individuals weren't doing anything wrong?

    - What steps is the MCPD going to take to make sure the abuse of power demonstrated by the officers in this incident aren't going to be repeated again?

    EM Mike Stollenwerk submitted a FOIA request for any records pertaining to this incident:

    The 911 call: http://www.vcdl.org/Tonys/Tonys_911.mp3
    FOIA response: http://www.vcdl.org/Tonys/MCPD_FOIA_Response.pdf

    When you look at the officer's communications in the FOIA, it's disturbing to see just how much disrespect they show towards law abiding gun owners. In the internal police communciations, the citizens were refered to as "ass clowns", "tards", and "f'ing retards". Had they been 7 black men, 7 Muslims, 7 Jews, or 7 Hispanic men, what epithet(s) would these officers have used?

    All of this, including the use of abusive language by the police during the encounter, adds up to a stunning lack of respect and regard on the part of MCPD officers for the law and the law abiding general public.

    Upon receiving the FOIA request, the MCPD police chief broadcast an email to other VA police agencies in search of similar "incidents" and intelligence on VCDL yielded a couple of gems. One police department made a suggestion that it would be good to "review gun laws with the troops", and another opined, "I hope your liability insurance is paid up".

    The following report was compiled from inputs from individuals involved in the incident at Tony's Pizza.

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    On Saturday evening, Jan 13, seven individuals met for dinner at Tony's Pizza in Manassas. Since Tony's serves alcohol, all seven switched from concealed to open carry when they entered the restaurant to be in compliance with Virginia law. The meet up had been organized via OpenCarry.org, but most, if not all, of the participants were VCDL members.

    During the course of ordering our meal at the counter and waiting for it, another patron, who identified himself as a "former Marine" took umbrage at the sight of 7 law abiding citizens openly carrying firearms. Several of the 7 attempted to educate him as to VA law, but he was having none of it.

    He and his wife sat down near us and quietly ate their meal, and after about an hour, left. After exiting, he made a 911 call from the parking lot.

    In that call, he stated that there were 6 individuals (he apparently couldn't count) who were carrying guns and that he wasn't "comfortable with that". He acknowledged to the 911 call taker that we probably were legal and weren't doing anything wrong.

    To her credit, the 911 call taker advised the guy that what he had observed appeared to be legal and it didn't matter how either of them felt about the matter. With the caller persisting in stating how uncomfortable he was, she dispatched one police officer to check things out. Almost immediately, the remaining 8 on duty Manassas patrol officers signed themselves on to the call.

    Soon, these officers began arriving at the restaurant. The first one came in, demanded to see ID, explained that open carry was illegal, and told us we had to carry concealed. This is, of course, completely wrong and we politely tried to explain the law to this officer, but the officer became increasingly agitated. Within a minute or so, we were surrounded by over half a dozen officers and were now attracting the attention of other patrons, who had mostly ignored us.

    At this point, an older, calmer officer interrupted his agitated colleague and suggested we finish up and leave, despite having no basis for making such a request. Several officers went up front and got the owner, who then came back and said some of his customers were distressed and asked us to leave. We did so immediately.

    Once outside, one of our party had a copy of the ABC letter explaining the legality of open carry and a copy of the VA State Police web page. When approached, one of the group of officers said, "don't come over here and fight us" and that he "didn't need to see our damn letters". His supervisor, wasn't interested in talking either.

    Moments later we all departed, never having shown any ID as demanded by the first officer on the scene, as that officer either became distracted or realized he had no probable cause to demand it.

    At this point, the Tony's 7 are reviewing their options.
     
  2. slabertooch

    slabertooch New Member

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    Love the email statement "Hope you have your liability insurance paid up...". read the PDF, the officer radio traffic can be difficult to decipher but worth the effort.[/quote]
     

  3. luke0927

    luke0927 New Member

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    i don't have time to read the .pdf right now but i will later today....i wish they could slap them a lawsuit for harasement or something......what the hell is wrong with people today......these guys were doing nothing wrong....i hope they never do business with that place again after the owner asked them to leave.
     
  4. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Listen to the mp3 of the 911 call. :D Why was the dispatcher so reasonable when the officers were so unreasonable?

    "Uh, are you from Virginia?"

    "Whether you are 'uncomfortable' has nothing to do with it; the laws allow people to carry . . ."

    "I suggest you familiarize yourself with the laws . . ."

    That dispatcher ought to get a medal from VCDL!
     
  5. pro2am

    pro2am New Member

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    Interesting read on the FOIA response. Did you notice that the statement "second amendment rights" was in quotation when trying to explain VCDL's response. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I read quotations like that as dismissive.

    Sounds like the PD has some 'splainin to do.
     
  6. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, I took it as dismissive, too. He was saying that VCDL goes around trying to get officers to violate their "right to bear arms." Well, is it entrapment? :D

    The Manassas chief pleads for help from other agencies in developing info about VCDL, admitting in the email that the VCDL people were breaking no laws.

    One warns him that they already sued in his area, so he hopes the liability insurance is paid up. Another wrote, "They are lawsuit shopping. This might warrant a quick reminder to the troops about state law."

    Well, why is it the dispatcher knew but the "troops" do not? Really?

    I think they knew, they just wanted to bully them.

    Anyway, VCDL is doing a great job of educating the local governments in Virginia.
     
  7. luke0927

    luke0927 New Member

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    i just read the .pdf im at work so cant listen to the call yet put props to the VCDL and standing up for these guys rights......it will be interesting what comes of this.....i guess i need to read on the GA law some more however im not a lawyers so some of it leaves me scratching my head.....in the GA law does it also state that open Carry is not allowed in a place where alcohol is consumed on the premises?
     
  8. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Manassas is in Virginia. So is the VCDL.
     
  9. luke0927

    luke0927 New Member

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    yes i saw that i am not familar with them but i actually went to the website to see what they were about.....i was just questioning the GA law i know it says no concealed carry where alcohol is consumed on the premises just wondering if it was left vauge like their law was or does it state no concealed as well as open carry?
     
  10. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    It states no carry to or while at.

    Case law has extended this even to parking it off site where it would be available to be retreived.

    You realize the laws are word for word reproduced here on this site after a painstaking effort by the site's owner, right?

    What I mean is, there is much, much more to this site than just the discussion forums.
     
  11. luke0927

    luke0927 New Member

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    yes i have looked over them....i have not read them word for word as i need to.....I have glanced over them but when i was reading through some of them as i stated earlier some of the things left me scratching my head....as one part seemed to counter act another and so on.....thats why i realy only cary in my vehicle and on my property etc....i rarely take me pistol with me into places as i don't want to violate any laws.....i have come here to read,learn,and discuss GA firearm laws to make sure i know my rights and what i can and can not do.

    Luke
     
  12. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    They certainly do that!

    No need to avoid carrying, though. Where is it you go during your day that worries you?
     
  13. luke0927

    luke0927 New Member

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    on my day to day activities now where really my main customers site that im at ADP ( i work for EMC in the data storage industry) we are gated and secured etc......i do have to do some work down in Atlanta when i visit customers i allways carry....but have left my pistol in the truck as i dont have a small enough pistol i like to conceal on me (working on that now thought)....i would just like to carry when going to the mall, out to eat, movies etc...anytime i know i may be in a crowd or out at night.
     
  14. Rammstein

    Rammstein New Member

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    Strip that little girl of his Eagle Globe and Anchor!

    How can a Marine be uncomfortable around guns?
     
  15. USMC - Retired

    USMC - Retired New Member

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    Those things scare the heck outta me! If someone had one out around me I would run for cover and grab a firearm! :lol:
     
  16. Rammstein

    Rammstein New Member

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    bah!
     
  17. geaux_tigers

    geaux_tigers Member

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    Now that's what i call data security. Is this going to be a new product offering? SecurID Plus?
     
  18. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Click on the Gun Laws tab at the top and look at the unofficial Attorney General opinions. There is a good one on malls.
     
  19. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Unfortunately, this lack of respect by government toward its subjects is becoming too commonplace.

    There is no cure for deliberate ignorance. Who wants to bet the police at the scene already knew what was in the ABC letter?
     
  20. Rammstein

    Rammstein New Member

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    Subjects? I'm not from Great Britain! :D