Wednesday, May 10, 2017

OH: Cleveland Attempts to Steal Another Gun

On March 24 in 2015, in Cleveland, Brian Bridges shot a man in self defense. He had a concealed carry permit from Ohio, and was never charged with a crime.  But the accomplice of the man who was shot was charged.  From
That trial wasn't to be— the defendant pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in October 2015. But now, in 2017, Bridges still hasn't gotten his handgun and other items back, the complaint alleges.
Bridges claims Cleveland police unlawfully seized his property, “including a Glock 21 semiautomatic handgun, ammunition, holsters and a redcherry piccolo,” to be used as evidence in Akins-Daniels’ case.

Despite the fact that the criminal proceedings against Akins-Daniels are over, police have not returned Bridges’ guns, he says.

Bridges noted in his complaint that he is a professional security guard and has a license to carry a concealed handgun.

He sued for replevin and violation of the Second and Fourth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Bridges seeks $20,000 in compensatory damages and $50,000 in punitive damages. He also wants an injunction to stop the city from “enforcing any policy and/or actions that infringe upon a lawful gun owner’s right to keep and bear arms.”
n. under Common Law, the right to bring a lawsuit for recovery of goods improperly taken by another. In almost all states the term replevin in no longer used, since the states have adopted "one cause of action" for all civil wrongs.
 This isn't the first time Cleveland has been sued for keeping a firearm without justification. In effect, this is legalized theft. It usually costs more in legal fees to obtain a court order to have the property returned than the gun is worth. It is a common problem in urban areas.

In February of 2013, Cleveland searched the car of Derrick J. Washington, a witness who reported a shooting that he heard. The police wrongly stated that there was a warrant for Washington's arrest. He showed them his concealed carry permit and told them his gun was in a locked container in his car.
They searched his car and found the pistol in the locked box. The police had confiscated Washington's pistol and concealed carry permit. They then arrested Washington.

Derrick J. Washington spent three nights in jail while they discovered the error. The city prosecutor refused to charge Washington. Washington repeatedly asked for his pistol back. The city refused. Washington sued in federal court. The city settled with Washington and returned his pistol in November of 2013. He also received $1,000 for his trouble, $5,500 in attorney fees, and $250 in court costs.

In the current case, Brian Bridges' attorney Michael J. Connick is suing in the  Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, which is where Derrick J. Washington started his lawsuit. At least Bridges was not arrested and forced to spend three days in jail.

I suspect the lawsuits will have the same result, but courts can be chancy. The city may not  decide to settle, or they may settle before the case reaches the federal court.

We should find out in the next few months.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch


Anonymous said...

Violation of civil rights is a federal crime, this case should be filed in federal court, 20k or 50k is not nearly enough to bring that city to its knees. the cap on these violations is 15 million each. When law enforcement breaks the law under color of law they instantly loose their authority as law enforcement officers. they are no longer cops. This is a federal crime , theft of a fire arm. Minimum sentence is five years. These kinds of cases are exactly what we need to put law enforcement in its place. we have a right to carry whether they like it or not. they damn well better get used to it. stop this criminal harassment, NOW! they loose their authority because they violated the law. It is a violation of their oath of office. they are to enforce the law not break it at will. opinions and personal preferences are not law.

Projectilist said...

"...Cleveland police unlawfully seized his property, “including a Glock 21 semiautomatic handgun, ammunition, holsters and a redcherry piccolo,”

I had to look up the redcherry piccolo. It's a tomato. Give the man his tomato back!

Anonymous said...

Being an FFL, and ALL my FireArms are Inventory, and listed in my "Bound Book", should ANYONE take Possession of my FireArm by "Use of Force", or under "Color of LAW" My First Call would be to the local ATF Office, and report the loss as a "Theft of Inventory" and insist that ATF investigate, and Charge the Offending Person, under the Gun Control Act of 1968, as amended... This would be a Federal Felony Charge... There is NO Exemption in that Federal Statute for State or local LEOs. Only a US Marshal, or ATF Agent with a Warrant, can take Possession of My Inventory, without a corresponding entry in my Bound Book.

Anonymous said...

When I had my FFL and closed my shop and turned in my bound book records the ATF asked to re produce my paperwork to be the standard they wanted all FFLs to use. A friend of mine had a print shop and we worked together to design what was needed. I made a perfect score on the pre license test. I was told that someone would check on me in about three months. Nine months passed and no audit. I called and asked for the audit. about a week later an agent showed up. Opened the door to my shop and showed his credentials and said ATF I'm here to audit your books. I said finally and he looked shocked and said you want to be audited I said sure I need to know if anything needs to be corrected. He said well OK lets take a look. I passed with flying colors and never saw another agent. I had 200 copies of my license out and could get anything in three days.