Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wisconsin Open-Carry Case

(Milwaukee, Wisconsin) Last July, a local woman, Krysta Sutterfield, attended services at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Brookfield carrying a holstered sidearm. Despite no disturbance being reported, someone called police who responded with guns drawn.

Sutterfield was taken into custody although no charges were ever filed. It's legal for citizens to open-carry in Wisconsin.

As a consequence of the aggressive involvement of the police, Sutterfield and the gun-rights group Wisconsin Carry, Inc., filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Wisconsin against the city and the police officers.

Resolution came with the defendants offering a settlement of $7,500 to the plaintiffs without admitting liability.
Nik Clark, president of Wisconsin Carry, said he was pleased to announce the judgment on behalf of his group's thousands of members and on behalf of "law-abiding citizens" who legally exercise their right to carry in the state.

"As open-carry is perfectly legal in Wisconsin and the officers were aware she had threatened no one and caused no disturbance, the officers had no reasonable articulable suspicion, which the law requires, to stop and detain our member against her will," Clark said. "In addition, by drawing their guns on a law-abiding citizen who had done nothing wrong, the officers used an unlawful threat of deadly force during their detainment of our member."
Case closed.

Notably, other Wisconsin cities have pending lawsuits in similar gun-related cases. Heh.

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