American gun owner tempers are still hot over a disturbing police dash-cam video released last week showing a profanity-laced encounter between a Canton, OH police officer and an armed citizen, and the King County, WA Sheriff’s Office has forward the video link to all of its employees…probably as an advisory on how not to handle this kind of situation.
In Ohio, activists are using the video as an argument for changing the statutory requirement that armed citizens immediately notify police if they are armed, or face criminal charges. In this case, the citizen tried at least twice but the cop told him to “shut up.”
There is no such requirement in Washington State, but police and sheriff’s deputies, state troopers and game cops apparently presume that everyone they encounter is armed, and behave accordingly, usually with a harmonious outcome. Here’s the Forward to the video:
On June 8, 2011 the following unfortunate arrest took place in Canton, OH. Notifying the policy when you have a firearm is required by Ohio Law, but when this individual with a thirty-day old license tries to do that he is repeatedly ordered to look away, shut up, or interrupted and “forced” to change what he is speaking about by the actions of an aggressive cop who maintains verbal control of the situation.
A two man car dealing with three people put itself at risk when one officer started what appears to be an illegal search of the rear of the car without extracting or securing the driver – which would have given him an opportunity to notify.
What follows is horrific example of a police officer losing all self-control, threatening to beat the female, threatening to beat the driver and eventually saying he should have executed him “and wouldn’t have lost any sleep over it” that night.
This video is heavily modified with annotations and is Copyright Ohioans For Concealed Carry – you may embed but you may NOT re-use this video. Media may use/sample for reporting purposes video without eliminating OFCC icon, name, or URLs, and may bleep language as required.—Ohioans for Concealed Carry
If it were up to gun owners, there would now be at least one job opening in Canton’s police department, and criminal charges might also be pending. After all, several gun rights activists have observed, if a private citizen made the same kinds of remarks, including the suggestion that “I shoulda taken two steps back, pulled my Glock 40 and just put ten bullets in your ass and let you drop” he might now be behind bars, and at the very least, his gun would be in a police property room.
This column’s experience with King County has been good; the agency has a very good understanding of state firearms laws, and even has a training bulletin on open carry. Last year, during two separate unannounced visits to the King County courthouse for concealed pistol license renewals, the process each time took less than 20 minutes. Try that in some state east of the Mississippi, including Ohio, which probably explains why Bellevue’s Second Amendment Foundation has lawsuits filed in New York, New Jersey and Maryland over the arbitrary treatment of carry permit applications in those jurisdictions.
This column’s previous coverage here and here has gotten considerable attention over the past 72 hours.
Discussion over the Ohio incident remains cordial on the Northwest Firearms, WaGuns, Hunting-Washington, GunRightsMedia and TheHighRoad forums, but there are blistering remarks about the conduct of Canton officer Daniel Harless in his encounter with armed citizen William Bartlett. It was Bartlett, not Harless, who maintains his composure throughout the encounter, despite the clear attempts to intimidate him with veiled threats of execution and being shot in the mouth. Harless is now on administrative leave while the department investigates the June 8 incident.
That other law enforcement agencies might forward this video as a heads-up on behavior is probably a good idea, especially in Washington State’s most populous county. The Evergreen State — as noted by this column — has one of the highest per-capita numbers of active concealed pistol licenses in the nation, with more than 270,000 citizens licensed to carry concealed. One does not need a license to openly carry a firearm here. Tens of thousands of those licenses are issued to King County residents — though it is doubtful that any of the participants in Saturday’s shooting at a Kent low rider car show had a CPL. Odds are far better that they have police records. This column will discuss that shooting separately.
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