|Open Carrier With Revolver|
Johann Deffert is suing the Grand Rapids Police for their treatment when he was stopped while openly carrying a handgun. Now, two versions of events are being put forward. In the official police version, as reported in mlive.com:
“Deffert was alone, and was loudly talking to himself,” Moe wrote. “Based on the area, and Deffert’s unusual behavior, R/O (responding officer) was concerned Deffert may have mental issues and was about to commit a violent crime.The responding officer then elaborates:
He secured Deffert in handcuffs. He then secured a .40- or .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol with attached flashlight.
“Deffert immediately began stating that he was exercising his right open carry,” Moe wrote. “R/O explained to Deffert, he had that right (to) open carry as long as he was not a felon or had any documented mental orders.
“R/O further explained to Deffert, R/O would release him as soon as R/O checked him in LEIN (Law Enforcement Information Network). Deffert stated he had neither. Based on Deffert’s answers and odd demeanor, R/O was not so sure Deffert did not have some psychological issues. Deffert would not elaborate on why he was talking to himself. He had no cell phone on him,” Moe wrote, in a four-paragraph narrative.The problem is that people who claim to have seen the dashcam video from the officers patrol car say that the video does not support the R/O's report. From the comments on mlive.com Tom Lambert , who claims to have seen the dashcam video, writes:
Tim and I are on the leadership of a group called Michigan Open Carry and are local to the GR area. The plaintiff contacted us after his incident seeking help. We reviewed his case (the video) and sent him to a qualified attorney.In a later post Tim Beahan writes:
I have tried to be open and honest about who I am, and the facts of this case. If you still do not believe me, I understand, but I feel there is nothing more I can do.
Tom Lambert writes:Having reviewed the video, the comments offered by the responding officer are a complete fabrication. I'm looking forward to his impending career change.
"But, his attorney, Steven Dulan said Deffert “repeatedly offered his identification to (police), who refused to retrieve it for several minutes, instead choosing to debate public policy with plaintiff.”"In a separate post:
This is backed up in the video. If the R/O just wanted to "check out" the plaintiff, why did he debate policy with the plaintiff instead of checking him out?
The dashcam video has not been released to the public. Deffert's lawyer is said to have the copy that Lambert and Beahan say they saw.
"Deffert would not elaborate on why he was talking to himself. He had no cell phone on him"
Both are not true as demonstrated on the video. Perhaps if the R/O had listened to the answers to his questions, this might not have turned out this way.
The Police in Warren, Michigan and Grand Haven have settled claims with open carriers who sued. It will be interesting to see if Grand Rapids Michigan does the same. A common requirement of such a lawsuit is training of the police to respect the second amendment rights of open carriers. Another common requirement is that plaintiffs are required not to talk about the settlement.
©2013 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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