Several questions were brought up on Gun Watch that seemed deliberately ignored in the original stories. Now we have some of the answers.
First question, was the vehicle a marked sheriff department vehicle or was it unmarked?
From an AP story on Yahoo:
According to court records, the deputy and his partner stopped their vehicle, then flashed their headlights and honked their horn, a common practice used by law enforcement to trick drug smugglers into thinking the car is there to transfer their narcotics load and lure them out of hiding.I doubt that the deputies were trying to act like drug runners in a marked squad car.
The deputies then got out, also dressed in camouflage but clearly marked with sheriff's patches on their clothing, and began to track what appeared to be fresh footprints, authorities said.
Second question, what did the deputies do to identify themselves?
They were wearing camouflage, not regular uniforms. Almost certainly, they did not have badges pinned to their camouflage, as it rather defeats the whole purpose of camouflage.
When another man challenges them, they say... We are deputies, not drug runners! And they point to a patch on their camouflage outfits, and to the word Sheriff in camouflage.
At night. In the dark. Illuminated by flashlight. But, they refuse to produce I.D.
They call for backup, and everybody waits until the backup arrives. At that point, Mr. Malley cooperates and is taken into custody, and charged with aggravated assault.
It was a bad situation. I think both sides handled it pretty well. That is, up until they arrested Mr. Malley, who was only acting much as they would have done had the situations been reversed, only with more restraint.
One wonders how many times this scenario has occurred, where both parties apologized, said, "we need better coordination" and left without any arrests or news stories.
It was almost certainly an unmarked vehicle. We know that the deputies were in camouflage instead of regular uniforms. It is unlikely that they were wearing badges. They were deliberately acting like drug runners. They refused to show ID.
I think all charges against Mr. Malley should be dropped.
Arizona has a defensive display law that allows a citizen to display a firearm if he has legitimate reason to fear for his safety.
©2013 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.