June 1st, 2013

Washington Man Harassed for Photographing Port, then for Carrying Gun 109

By Carlos Miller

A Washington man who began getting harassed by security guards for taking pictures at the Port of Tacoma seaport Thursday ended up drawing more suspicion when responding federal officers realized he was carrying a gun.

However, he was not breaking the law by taking pictures or by carrying a gun.

Photography from public places is legal throughout the United States, even of so-called sensitive infrastructures like port-of-entries, bridges, train stations and federal buildings – despite how many times authorities like to claim otherwise.

And the right to openly carry firearms is legal in Washington as long as you’re not a felon.

But the collection of videos posted by a man who goes by Rogue Reflections on Youtube shows that just because the law is on your side, doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be treated like a criminal.

In one video, a Customs and Borders Protection agent who pulled up and asked if he was “authorized” to take pictures of the port pulled out his own gun after noticing the gun the man was carrying, telling the other agent that, “he has a gun.”

“Is my hand on my holster, am I making any threatening gestures toward you?” Rogue Reflections asked as the agent kept yelling “gun” to fellow agents who were pulling up.

Eventually, a supervisor from the Port of Tacoma security office drove up and calmed the situation down.

“You say you’re just taking pictures? As long as you’re on public land, then that’s fine,” the supervisor said.

The man returned to the port on Friday, the following day, and came across another port security supervisor who also proved to be level-headed and told him he was fine as long as he did not enter the port property uninvited, adding that the right to open carry a firearm does not apply in the federally regulated areas of the port.

 

 


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  • Kenneth Bankers

    I have to say atleast the Supers have their balls on striaght.

    • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

      Not just the supervisors. The first (female) officer’s co-worker told her what Scot was doing was legal.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=647684635 Carlos Miller

        But he was the guy in the first video that told him he was breaking the law and that he was going to call the cops.

        Maybe the cops told him he was not breaking the law, which is why they didn’t respond.

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

          You’re right.

        • Rogue Reflections

          Carlos: The male party made first contact and was shut down. While the female was trying to intimidate, the guy called Customs. They are the ones who evidently advised him. He tried to fill her in, but she was so mad that her intimidation was met with me chewing my sunflower seeds and not really acknowledging her.

  • Rusty Gunn

    If the supes knew the law, why’n hell didn’t they train their hired help?

    • Phred

      It’s pretty hard to train people who are stupid to begin with.

      • Difdi

        Exactly. You can’t fix stupid. If they can’t manage to learn it in school, they probably won’t learn it in training. If they don’t learn it in training, they won’t remember being told it by their supervisor either.

        And that assumes that they don’t just decide the supervisor is crazy/ignorant and doesn’t know what he’s talking about and apply “the law” as they think it is.

  • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

    I agree with the guy in the white t-shirt and black baseball cap in the second to last video that this guy, in his righteous indignation, is completely oblivious to what a jackass he is being. Just because you have a right to openly carry a weapon while photographing civil infrastructure doesn’t mean that it is wise to do so, especially in this security climate. The photographer even acknowledges at one point that if he were “a felon or some criminal” that what he was doing would be “ludicrous.” He does so without a shred of self-awareness that it is no less ludicrous when you are not a felon and what you are doing is technically legal. Furthermore, by not identifying himself, he made it impossible for law enforcement to determine whether or not he is a felon or a law abiding citizen. It is unnecessarily provocative and, from a strategic communications perspective, only harms the cause of the defending the public’s right to document public spaces and the in-public activities of public officials.

    • Jeff

      Daniel, while you appear well spoken (written) and therefore likely intelligent, you are also very misguided. What country do you (we) live in? What kind of a country do you want to live in? Do you want to live in a government oppressive society? Do you want the government controlling, running, and basically caring for everyone – or do you want to live your life as YOU see fit within the laws of the MAJORITY – not the MINORITY? Why did countless upon countless American’s die trying to protect these freedoms? It’s your mentality and culture that needs to change here – not those of us trying to live in a free society. We live by rules and laws – not what some may want to be a rule or a law. I realize that in recent years especially with the buffoon of an administration we currently have in the Whitehouse, that this has been changing. But if we don’t stand up for our rights, we will lose them. There are some people that would want guns to be banned. However, that is not currently (and hopefully never will be) the case. We have to live with the rules and laws we currently have in place – which include allowing photography and the legal carrying of a gun. Until that is changed – hopefully never – that is the law of the land and that is what we then live under – now what some in the minority would like the law to be. Please sir, wake up while we still have freedoms to protect.

      • mm2kay

        Daniel thinks rights aren’t ok to be exercised all at once. It’s pretty hypocritical of the man with the white shirt to even tell the guy with the open carry to not open carry. You either exercise the right or you don’t it’s a choice, but if everyone decides to listen to people like the white shirt guy about not carrying because whatever reason they have, then the right will become lost.

      • IceTrey

        I don’t want to live within the laws of the majority. The majority are stupid. I want laws that defend individual liberty. That and nothing else.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ryancfrench Ryan French

      First: Despite anyone’s opinion on the matter, if open carry is legal in that state, then it’s legal. No “technically legal” about it and it is not a damn business of anyone. He was very nice to that civilian when he didn’t have to be.

      Second: I can’t see a felon open carrying. I would say someone who open carries obviously has nothing to hide. I would think that criminals want an element of surprise and not draw attention to themselves. But that’s just my common sense kicking in.

      Third: The man did not have to identify himself because he was never committing a crime. That is also a right he has despite this “security” situation you speak of. “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

      Fourth: We can argue all day on how wise or unwise it is to open carry. If he chooses easy access over concealment, that is his business. If people feel intimidated, threatened or insulted over that, tough turkey… see my first point.

      Fifth: You should be praising him by exercising not just one, but multiple rights that were upheld once a supervisor stepped in. Now, the officers have experienced a “rare” open carry situation and maybe they’ll handle it properly next time.

    • Jeffrey Marcus Gray

      According to people like Daniel S, we should only enjoy our rights if we are certain that we won’t hurt someone else’s feelings!

      Daniel people like you are puzzling.

    • Phred

      Rights are useless unless they can be exercised freely. We can debate all day whether or not open carry should be a right, but as long as it is, people should be able to exercise that right freely and without interference from a cop.

      BTW, I’m not a gun owner, nor do I care to be one.

    • IceTrey

      Of course it would be ludicrous for him to open carry if he was felon, because he would go to jail.

    • the sage

      “technically” legal? You are high on something.

    • io-io

      As Phred stated “Rights are useless unless they can be exercised freely.” I am going to make an analogy here. The US Navy conducts Freedom of Navigation patrols – which is sailing in international waters, claimed by other nations (South China Sea, etc.). They do this in order to maintain the right to be there and not to acknowledge the extra territorial claims of other nations. The Navy may start out with an oceanographic survey ship – and when harassed, winds up by sailing a full carrier battle group, some time later. Yes, I understand that this is an extreme example.

      In today’s society, we rarely see members of the population openly carrying weapons, and thus it causes concern in other members of the population as to what may be going on.

      If we are unable to freely exercise our rights – then we have effectively lost them.

    • Rogue Reflections

      Daniel: I am enjoying my freedoms. As a veteran of the United States Air Force, I was ready to defend the Constitution with my life – if necessary. As such, I will enjoy those freedoms and do so publicly. I will not decide to cower in fear that I may offend a person here or there in the process. Can you imagine if Rosa Parks decided to just be a good little girl, and go to the back of the bus, so as not to offend those poor white folk?
      Enjoy Your Freedoms

    • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

      You all come across like a bunch of libertarian cranks. Use your common sense. If someone were on the sidewalk in front of your house with a gun and a camera, videotaping your property, and you asked them who they were and what the hell they were doing and they refused to answer, would you salute their brave patriotic stance or go get your firearm? I’m as big a civil libertarian as they come. This is just antagonistic behavior that does nothing to communicate to the rest of Americans the importance of defending their rights. It only succeeds in further convincing the public that libertarians are extremist gun nuts.

      • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

        If they are on the sidewalk, they are in a public easement.

        If you went and got your firearm, that is not a problem either, unless you commit assault with a deadly weapon by pointing it at him or threatening. The guy with the camera is within his rights.

        • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

          I’m also within my rights to go into a black neighborhood and to start shouting the N word at the top of my lungs. It doesn’t mean that it’s a smart thing nor the right thing to do.

  • rick

    Imagine the effect an officer with weapon drawn, backing up, pointing and saying, “gun gun, he has a gun” has on other officers arriving at the scene.

    Officer Daniel did a terrible job assessing the situation prior to stepping out of his vehicle and then responded by responding in an unsafe manner.

    • the sage

      This officer is a liability concerning the safety of the law-abiding public and other law enforcement officers. He should be removed from law enforcement permanently.

    • Rogue Reflections

      @Rick: If I was arriving as a cover officer, hearing GUN GUN GUN and seeing him point, I would assume it to be an active shooter scenario and be more prone to open fire. Luckily I train with firearms and tactical shooting so I know to assess situations and acquire my target before discharging my firearm. There were a few moments this day where I cringed,,,just waiting for that burning feeling of a round being shot at me. Luckily none of that happened. When armed officers panic and pull their guns, it is a scary thing.

  • Jeffrey Marcus Gray

    Rogue Reflections,these videos are just awesome! You handle your self very well.

    Oh and by the way you beat me to it! I have been doing 1st amendment test around Jacksonville Floridas ports with much the same results. I just haven’t edited and published the videos yet.

    • Rogue Reflections

      Jefferey: Thank you.

  • Phil

    As someone who lost a friend who was an officer, I have to say that I completely understand the *precautionary* actions by the Police/DHS when confronted by an obviously armed man. Of several officers, ONE drew (but did not point!) his firearm at the man taking video; the others held back but wisely took positions on all side of him. If they’d all pulled their weapons and aimed then yeah I’d say it was a bit much. But to have just one officer draw (but not escalate by pointing) his weapon is just as reasonable as it is for him to have informed other officers that they were dealing with an armed subject. Officers want to go home to their wives and kids like the rest of us, and they constantly encounter dangerous people who wouldn’t mind taking them out. Bottom line: bring a gun, expect to get dealt with as a guy with a gun. Advertise that you’re armed and expect them to inform fellow officers that you’re armed.

    That said, I’m glad the supervisor was so calm. But let’s remember that the sup was coming in after the initial confrontation, assessment, and de-escalation of the situation. We was calm because he know everything was cooled down by that point.

    Finally, remember that cops don’t know why a guy might have a gun. He could some creep with a restraining order out to get his ex, or he could have been a disgruntled employee out for payback, or he… well, you get the idea. There are enough workplace shooting and violence for them to be cautious when an armed guy shows up to port offices/facilities.

    That said, his question about being “authorized” to take photos was stupid. However, the officer may have been trying to see if the video guy was going to be honest (as he was) or if he’d lie and make up something stupid about being “authorized” or some crap like that. Sometimes cops ask questions to see if they’re dealing with an honest, rational person, or some nut who should be wearing a tinfoil hat or is off his/her meds.

    • BusPass

      Cops don’t need to “know why a guy might have a gun.” So no, I don’t get the idea. It’s none of their business unless they observe the fellow with the gun breaking the law.

      I also don’t care “why” the cops ask questions; we have no obligation to answer them, and the police should leave it at that.

      • Difdi

        Not knowing why a guy has a gun (or not knowing the guy personally) is legally no different from not knowing why a guy has a book or a cellphone or shoes.

        Acting in a lawful manner in a public place does not constitute any kind of threat nor does it create reasonable suspicion (let alone probable cause) of a crime.

        This limits the level of force police can lawfully employ in response.

    • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

      Phil, I was an officer for over 20 years. I have lost fellow officers a number of times over the years, and have confronted numerous armed individuals, both criminals and law abiding citizens.

      While legal, Officer Daniels drawing his pistol was not necessary, and in my opinion, counter-productive. Washington is an open carry state. It is not appropriate for LEOs to draw a weapon on a citizen who is not committing a criminal offense nor acting in a threatening manner.

      • Jeffrey Marcus Gray

        ECLS,why did the Customs agent simply back away like he did? If he was truly concerned for his safety and/or better
        trained shouldn’t he have moved to take cover behind the engine block of the truck?

        • IceTrey

          Do Customs agents even have the authority to confront people on the street like that? I guess because Tacoma is within a 100 miles of the border Customs is free to do whatever the hell thy want.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            They were just outside of a port of entry, for goods, if nothing else. They were well within their operational jurisdiction.

          • IceTrey

            But their operation is enforcing federal customs laws not confronting law abiding citizens on a public street.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            They still had grounds to make contact, based on the call by port police / security to them for assistance.

          • IceTrey

            A call about perfectly legal conduct is not grounds for anything.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Do you know what was alleged in the call to Customs? Unless you can show that the allegation did not include illegal activity, you a making an assumption. I seriously doubt that the guard called in and said “I got this guy out here acting in a completely legal manner” – if they alleged anything that could be criminal, then Customs had a valid reason for contact until it was determined that he was committing no offense.

          • IceTrey

            Do YOU know what was alleged in the call to Customs? If they alleged anything criminal then they are criminals for filing a false report.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Possibly. It depends on what was said. If you notice the female security guard was on the radio. If the dispatcher called customs and relayed what the dispatcher believed to be true, it is not a false report, even if the information they provided was incorrect and demonstratively false. The female security guard did not communicate directly with customs police, so could not be charged with filing a false report.

          • Difdi

            She did talk to dispatch though, which would give her liability for false reporting (criminal for making a false report, civil for defamation), though you’re right about the dispatcher not being liable.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Only if her dispatch was law enforcement. If it was a security dispatch, then not.

            Defamation would be hard to prove.

          • PalmettoDude

            “Yeah, we have a guy here with a camera. We’re not sure what he’s doing and he won’t tell us. Can you send someone”
            Factual, yet not alleging anything illegal.
            The fact that CBP came out to check “unusual” activity isn’t the problem per se, it’s the behavior and attitude (of the officers).

          • Rogue Reflections

            I heard the call with my own ears. It was something like “we got a guy who is not cooperating and takin’ pictures.” It was the lady troll who asked me my name and business. Her co-worker tried to tell her that I was not breaking a law, as he contacted Customs while she was barking at me. She said I was being aggressive as well. I was not being aggressive, I was just asserting to her that my name and my business were MY business.

          • Rogue Reflections

            Yes, that area, even the public streets, are their jurisdiction. If anything happens that they cant handle, Tacoma Police Department assumes authority. As I understand it anyway.

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

          Probably because the officer was not very bright. Yes he should have moved to cover if he felt it was necessary to draw his sidearm.

          I would have stayed where I was, but I wouldn’t have drawn my pistol.

        • Rogue Reflections

          I saw his eyes. He was in panic mode. His breathing even turned rapid and shallow. He was not thinking clearly and his training did not take over.

      • Jim March

        Excuse me but drawing that gun was NOT LEGAL. It was an illegal assault and it put the cameraman in legitimate fear of losing his life or suffering great bodily injury.

        Are you aware of what that means?

        We must not under any circumstances allow cops to take on an attitude in which they can assault people at will. There are at least half a dozen videos Carlos has collected over the years in which the assaults were serious enough that it was perfectly legal to kill the officer committing the assault.

        This was one such incident.

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

          It was completely legal. It’s not assault under the circumstances shown on the video. At most, it would be a misdemeanor violation of ARCW § 9.41.270 (Unlawful display), and under subsection (3)(b), it does not apply to law enforcement. Further, to meet the elements of 2d Degree Assault in Washington, he would have had to point the pistol at the subject. State v. Murphy, 500 P.2d 1276 (Wash. App. 1972). He did not do so.

          Are you not aware of what that means? You have to meet the elements of the offense for that state for assault. The facts here do not meet those elements.

          I’ve seen the videos that Carlos has posted over the years. You would be hard pressed to convince a jury that killing any of the officers would be justified, with the exception of the Kelly battery and the BART incident.

        • the sage

          Even with his gun drawn and at his side, I bet I could put one in him right between the eyes before he could put one in me.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Maybe.

            But I doubt that you could get the others in time.

            Plus, you would not be justified in shooting Daniels in the first place.

          • the sage

            Yeah, but I was just considering the physics of the matter concerning my superb skill and speed with a pistol against a trained police baboon.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Just be careful. Some of us trained baboons are pretty good. I know two that were IPSC grandmasters.

            Others that didn’t compete were as good. Many of us practice standard drills, such as El Presidente, Bill drill, dueling trees, dots, pins, etc., on a regular basis.

            I doubt that Daniels practiced them, but you can’t always tell by looking.

          • Rogue Reflections

            @TheSage: I have their exact same training and I have taught law enforcement officials such tactics. He (Daniel – if he even wrote a report – could easily justify and articulate his action of drawing his weapon enough to satisfy any use of force board.) Having been on use of force boards and knowing what they look for, I know this to be true. My issue was not so much that he un-holstered his firearm. It was more that he was so panicked by a holstered firearm in an open carry state. Using my Canon 7D to shoot this video, BOTH of my hands were on the camera and it was at about chest level to do so. His eyes just went wild and his breathing turned different. This is not the way a trained professional should act in an open carry state. They can’t just go around pulling their guns on people who simply are enjoying their freedoms, in the name of “officer safety.” It seems all they have to say is “Officer Safety” and they think they can get away with anything they want. Many people have suggested I look into a lawsuit. Personally, I don’t see one in this matter. Like I say in comments in my videos, I am not out to get at Daniels or see him fired, or make money from this. If he is willing to learn from this and the Customs department gets some training on citizens with cameras, open carry, and chilling the heck out, I am happy. I am just so sick of being a photographer trying to create art and having to always look over my back for people in badges who may shoot me for doing so. I never set out to make it an “us against them” thing, but if “they” bring it, I will step up and answer..and hopefully not get shot in the process. LoL.
            -Rogue Reflections-

          • the sage

            My issue was not so much that he unholstered his firearm, but the way in which he repetitively yelled “Gun” to other officers that were just arriving on the scene after you had already declared that you were lawfully openly carrying.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Rogue, to be successful in a 1983 suit, you really need more than this. They didn’t use any excessive force, they didn’t seize anything, and any damages would be nominal. Plus you have to get past their qualified immunity. I think you have the right idea about a good outcome for this.

          • Rogue Reflections

            @ExCop: I agree. I like to think I am quite familiar with the nuances of the use of force continuum (as I have instructed law enforcement in such things.) Like I said, if I heard Officer Daniel was about to be fired for this (which would not happen) I would stand with him and ask for education and training instead. Since what he did caused no harm to me and I was only briefly detained, I would rather have education and training happen. Everybody wins in that scenario. If it went down another way, my thinking would be different. In this economy, with people who have families to take care of and support, I would not want to see an officer fired for this specific incident. If Officer Daniel realizes he was panicked and looks within himself to see why, the next time he encounters a citizen with a camera or legally carried and holstered firearm, he might react more calmly.

      • Difdi

        I live in Washington, and I’m an open carrier.

        If I saw a police officer look at/past me and draw his gun, I’d be really strongly tempted to turn to face the same way and draw mine. Because he obviously sees something dangerous and illegal, and I’d hate to get blindsided by it.

    • Phred

      Can average citizens draw their weapons as a “precautionary” measure when confronted by an armed cop? If the cops can, why can’t everyone else? After all, it’s just as likely that the cops are thugs or creeps. They just get to carry shiny badges.

      • IceTrey

        That guy was a Customs agent not a cop. What he did was brandishing and would get an ordinary person arrested.

        • Shawn

          Customs agents are still law enforcement.

          • IceTrey

            Whose job is to enforce federal customs laws not confront law abiding citizens on a public sidewalk. Especially not draw down on them.

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            He’s a federal law enforcement officer. He’s covered by the LE exception.

          • IceTrey

            You mean the exception that cops can do whatever the fuck they want because they are all a bunch of butt buddies that cover for each other?

          • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

            Nope. I mean the statute that says they are exempt, passed by the representatives of the people that elected them and signed by the governor of that state.

          • Difdi

            Actually he isn’t.

            If he were acting in accordance with statutory and constitutional law (state and federal) he’d be shielded. But upon seeing someone engaged in lawful behavior that is protected by statute AND constitution, he threatened deadly force against that person by drawing a firearm. Simply being lawfully armed with a holstered weapon has been ruled by the state courts to not create even reasonable suspicion, let alone probable cause or an actual threat. Since the armed individual was not on federal land at the time of the confrontation, state law governs the matter.

            If he were state rather than federal, he’d have stripped himself of qualified immunity by doing that.

        • Difdi

          Washington doesn’t have a brandishing statute per se, instead we have a clause about carrying in a place, time and manner that reasonably warrants alarm (the statute omits the word reasonably, but case law effectively adds it).

          A holstered, openly carried pistol (or slung rifle) does not warrant alarm. Drawing or unslinging it does, unless the purpose for doing so is defense of self, defense of others, or prevention of a crime. Police are exempted from the warranting alarm clause in the line of duty, but it would be difficult to justify if they’re doing so in response to the lawful exercise of a constitutional right.

          Washington has MUCH stronger constitutional protections for Bill of Rights areas than the US constitution does, and our courts and statutes reflect this.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ryancfrench Ryan French

      “Officers want to go home to their wives and kids like the rest of us,
      and they constantly encounter dangerous people who wouldn’t mind taking
      them out.”
      – Your right and that includes everyday citizens who decide to carry. A cop has no more right to safety than a citizen, who has a disadvantage of no backup when **** hits the fan.

      “Advertise that you’re armed and expect them to inform fellow officers that you’re armed.”
      – But the first officer did so in a very dangerous manor, he did not make it clear to the arriving officers that his gun was holstered. “He has a gun” is very general and probably made everyone’s blood pressure skyrocket.

      “Finally, remember that cops don’t know why a guy might have a gun.”
      – It should have been obvious. Someone who is armed and means harm to citizens is not going record the event and wait around outside the gate for the police arrival. Not to mention, open carry is legal in that state.

      • rick

        “Open carry…right hip.”
        Imagine if Officer Daniel (wisely assessing the situation before exiting vehicle) had calmly said this over the radio. It gives the necessary information to his fellow officers without causing alarm.

        • Rogue Reflections

          The reason Officer Daniel did not see it is because the security personnel only reported my filming. That seemed to frighten them more than the firearm. He was surprised. But like I said earlier, before the shift supervisor arrived, he was briefed. They mentioned my firearm in passing but the first thing they talked to him about was my camera. Oh that nasty camera of mine..so dangerous.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jeffrey.m.gray Jeffrey Marcus Gray

      When I open carry a gun I expect LEO’s to know the law and respect my rights. As citizens we encounter the same dangers as LEO’s everyday. Oh and here’s a news flash,we like to get home to our families safely too. Oh and hers another news flash we carry our guns to protect ourselves and our loved ones from criminals because cops are very good at showing up after or during a crime. I choose not to be a victim of criminals and I choose not to relinquish my rights because I might encounter a bunch of frady

    • Purten

      While being legal to open carry there, during an encounter, the police may disarm the citizen and give him his gun back after the end.
      If they choose not to do so, it is prudent to have at least one gun drawn by the officer and to advise the open carrier that any sudden move towards the gun will be dealt with deadly force.

      • Phred

        Can the citizen advise the officer of the same thing?

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

          No. Not without potentially deadly consequences. Why escalate things when the officers are already on edge? Especially if it is on video, you want to be seen as the reasonable party, like Scott was in the videos above.

          Officers do not always have a legal right to disarm a citizen, but the place to contest that is in the courts, not on the street.

          • Difdi

            It’s a gross misdemeanor to forcibly disarm a police officer in Washington state except under three specific circumstances (none of which applied to the incident in question; One might have, had the supervisor not calmed things down). If the gun discharges while the officer is forcibly being disarmed, the crime escalates to a class B felony. It is not, however, a crime to ask an officer to voluntarily disarm.

            Those three circumstances are when (pursuant to an arrest, citizen’s or otherwise) the officer attempts to draw his weapon to resist, at the direct order of a judge (which can be as simply as pointing a finger and yelling “get him”) or in direct self-defense against an unlawful use of force (excessive force). That last one is the one that might have developed in the incident.

            Generally, the only circumstances that last ones comes into play are pretty much the circumstances where you could lawfully shoot the police officer in question. And that’s a very rare circumstance indeed.

      • IceTrey

        Unless you are being legally detained cops don’t have the authority to seize your personal property. If they want to talk to you without detaining you they are just like any other citizen.

    • the sage

      Security and the cops should have never engaged, stopped or discussed any issue with this guy at all in the first place.

      • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

        Security should not have engaged, since they were observing him and it was clearly not criminal conduct.

        The Customs police had to contact him once security called, but should disengage when it was apparent that he was not violating the law. Which, by the way, is what happened.

    • Difdi

      So…you’re saying that if I want to go home to my family, if I see an armed cop I should draw my weapon and point it at him, because a law-abiding individual who is openly armed constitutes a direct and immediate threat to safety?

      If a cop is justified in drawing when he sees a citizen obeying the law, then the reverse is true. In many places, the police have less right to self-defense than private citizens do, because they are bound by regulations that private citizens are not.

  • Jeffrey Marcus Gray

    Carlos have made contact with this guy? If so, could you please pass my phone# along to him? I would love to talk with him.

    • Carlos_Miller

      I didn’t reach out to him. I had enough info to just post the story. The only thing missing I would liked to have had was his real name but I didn’t feel like waiting around all day for a response.

      • Rogue Reflections

        @Carlos: I just go by Rogue Reflections. Rogue will do. LOL.

    • Rogue Reflections

      Jeffery: I tried returning your message from my YouTube Inbox, but it got red flagged. It said something like I had to input my phone number to respond to your YouTube message. I will chalk it up to operator error on my part.

  • Jeff

    This is fascinating to watch. It seems so clear that this is much more an issue with the, often young, rank and file, line officer. You see the huge difference in the final video with the much more mature, experienced gentlemen. He clearly was doing damage control and did a great job of it! I’m telling you, the more I see these videos, the more I am convinced that many of these supervisors are just as frustrated on the inside as we are on the outside – they just can’t say that and have to at least attempt to work with their employees. I mean, what else can they do? But I’m very willing to bet they are very frustrated as well and would rather have these young, cowboys settle down and handles these situations in a better manner. Unfortunately it often takes maturity and that is often lacking with these younger officers that seem to want things like they have always been in their good ole boys network. I’ve seen this over and over again in the fire service – where the older guys just say it’s no fun anymore. They used to get to do whatever they wanted and that is slowly going away. If we keep at it, the same will happen with the police and you will have more and more of them on our side like this last supervisor in the final video. We need more like him.

    • Proud GrandPa

      Jeff,
      You nailed it. I wholeheartedly agree. In fact I can tell you something that at your stage in life you probably don’t know or even imagine yet. We older people who find ourselves in the position of training and disciplining younger staff in any organization do not feel frustrated. Good managers accept the situation as normal and we realize it is our responsibility as professionals to ameliorate problems. That’s a big part of what we get paid to do. It comes with the territory.
      .
      Problems that would have made us angry and frustrated fifteen or twenty years ago now make us smile. We see our younger selves in those we serve and lead. This is not so much self-control as a lifetime of good experiences overcoming problems. It is maturity and wisdom.
      .
      I am optimistic about the future of photography rights and open carry as well. Videos like these encourage me. The trend is positive. Be encouraged, Jeff.

      • Rogue Reflections

        It is vigilance in posting videos and not cowering to intimidation. I will tell you, for my first time out, I was pleased with the end results. I was trying just to keep my talking from quivering. LoL.

      • Rogue Reflections

        @Mason and Proud: Very astute observations.

  • http://meancreativity.com/ Mason Pelt

    The guy in the bottom video looked lik Alan Alda to me.

  • BusPass

    Lol @ border patrol…what a bunch of drama queens.

    • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

      Customs is not the same as the Border Patrol.

      • Difdi

        Not in the past, but they’re effectively under the same roof now.

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

          They are still different, as far as the job goes. You are either a Border Patrol officer or a Customs officer, and although both are under DHS, they are separate. Same way that Marines and Navy are part of the Dept. of the Navy, but separate.

          • BusPass

            Read my posts above. They aren’t so separate as you seem to think.

      • Rogue Reflections

        @ExCop-LawStudent: BusPass is just relaying what I said in my video, as I read the truck side. It actually said U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The side of the truck said Patrol. In the heat of the moment, I just kinda put them all together. It was me who misquoted what I read. Daniel was the Patrol division of the USCBP. I like how you catch this. I would like to talk to you more.

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

          I’m around here or at my blog on (normally) a daily basis, adjusted for study. Especially around finals.

      • BusPass

        A distinction without a difference.

        I live in the middle of border patrol territory and it’s common to see a green and white suburban marked “US Border Patrol” stop and two officers get out wearing blue and white uniforms that say “CBP Officer.” Sometimes they are even encountered at our non-border checkpoints.

        The USBP is about as seperate from Customs as the SEALS are seperate from the Navy.

  • Ian Battles

    How much longer will the police be ignorant of the laws they claim to enforce?

    “Ignorance of the law is no excuse”, officer…

    • benanov

      Cops don’t know firearms law generally because they are exempt from the bulk of it.

      • Difdi

        Good point. I will admit my knowledge of import/export law is rather thin to nonexistent, since I’m not in that business. I imagine someone who has been exempt from firearms laws since they were old enough to own one probably doesn’t educate themselves much on them.

        Still, you’d think they’d at least know what the statutes they’re enforcing say, before they draw a gun and use force to uphold laws that don’t exist.

  • Rob Mahon

    Maybe it’s just me, but the guy on the other side, OfficerDaniel-Rogue Reflections-CopOnPhone, IF there was any problem and OfficerDaniel had to shoot, then the other cop is right in the firing line. Terrible TERRIBLE policing there.

    • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

      LOL, yeah, I noticed that too.

  • hazy

    Good video. Most of the time when you can talk like this, police cannot challenge you for ID because you demand them to articulate probable cause and they cannot do so.

  • Rogue Reflections

    I want to thank PINAC for sharing my videos. I found it telling that the first few encounters I had were about filming and no mention of my firearm was made. Once Officer Daniel showed up, he was visibly surprised to see my firearm because it was only photography and filming that was reported to him. Even when his Supervisor (who was a mellow fellow) showed up, his guys briefed him on the photography and filming, a few other things and said “Oh ya, and he is armed.” It was strange to me that the people involved all feared the camera more than the firearm. Thank you again PINAC. Enjoy Your Freedoms.
    -Rogue Reflections-

    • rick

      Is there anything picture worthy at these locations or were you doing a 1st and 2nd amendment test?

      • Rogue Reflections

        @Rick: Literally the very second I put my camera up, I was approached by the guy who yelled at me “HEY!! YOU CAN’T TAKE PICTURES HERE!” That is when I switched to video. I was only able to catch the second time he approached me. The whole thing went down pretty quick. I have numerous pictures I have taken at the Port, but this day was pretty much a cop call once I raised my camera.
        I have heard about real time streaming, and am looking into it. I really know nothing about such things. The 30th was my first day EVER doing ANY video of this kind. It is a trial an error thing and I learned a lot about what to do next time. I would have liked to have made it all one video that made sense, instead of 5 different clips. I think the idea of this rel time streaming is genius. I used my Canon 7D in the videos I shot and will be looking into what I can do to get this real time streaming online. I have been a photographer, not a videographer. But now I am in this game to stay.
        -Rogue Reflections-

      • Rogue Reflections

        @Rick: I just realized that while I thought I answered your question, I seem to have sidetracked. I have wonderful photographs I have taken in the Port area. At least I think they are. When the sun hits the mufti colored crates, it really makes for wonderful industrial photographs. All the train tracks that go in multiple directions and people walking to and fro, make for a target rich environment for a photographer. I love the Port area.

  • Rogue Reflections

    So, my first experiment in making a few YouTube videos was quite interesting. I have always known many Americans voluntarily gave up their constitutional rights to law enforcement and other governmental authorities. I had absolutely NO idea how prevalent it actually was, until I posted my video. Hate mail after hate mail after hateful comment. People were angry that I made the cops lives difficult. People actually said they hope i get shot and killed. Although I don’t understand when people do, if they choose to voluntarily give away their rights, that is certainly their right to do so. But, when someone absolutely refuses to and will not comply with unlawful demands, they are looked at with SUCH contempt and disdain. I never had any clue how deep the sheeple mentality was until I started getting responses to my videos. I got to the point where I disabled the comment forum altogether. I guess I had the naive notion that the forum would provide for healthy debate, conversation, and exchange of ideas. Ah well.

  • Dustin Williams

    actually no your not. Its racial slurs and can be seen and interpreted as a hate crime and disturbing the peace. i doubt the cops would be called your more than likely gonna get the living shit beat out of you first and when the cops show they all say you tripped and fell down several times…

    • http://danielsieradski.com/ Daniel Sieradski

      The use of racial slurs is not a hate crime. It is only an indication of a hate crime if you are engaged in harassment or some other criminal act targeting a minority.

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