In Norfolk, where it’s apparently hazardous to carry while black, things are starting to get nastier:
The 24-year-old Hampton resident said police told him to leave because he had a gun. Moore said he refused because the law allows him to display a weapon in public places. He said he was handcuffed, charged and led out of the building.
Norfolk police spokesman Officer Chris Amos confirmed that a summons was issued but declined to comment further.
Waterside receives city funding but is officially owned by a private entity, Waterside Associates, whose partners include the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, said NRHA assistant executive director John Kownack. Its policy prohibits weapons, yet weapons are not included on a list of prohibitions posted at Watersideâ€™s entrances, he added.
I’m going to guess they are charging him with criminal tresspass.Â I think most malls tend to be posted in the fine print.Â It’s always good advice that unless you’re absolutly positively sure you’re in a public place, not a public accomodation, but a place owned by the public, or a public right-of-way, to comply with an order to leave if you’re asked.
But the Norfolk Police are pretty clearly out to make sure that no one in their city can exercise their right unharassed.Â They’ve already settled once, no doubt other lawsuits will, and should be forthcoming.
But look at the difference in activism in Virginia vs. some of the things I’ve seen here.Â You have people who were going about their business, not looking for trouble.Â Trouble found them.Â It will happen.Â Now you have a pretty clear example of the police targeting young black men carrying guns lawfully.Â The racial component will help with public sympathy, because while people might not understand why someone would carry a gun, most of the public believes racial discrimination is wrong.Â And you’ll notice Phil Van Cleave playing that angle:
â€œI donâ€™t see a conspiracy here â€“ I see more ineptness,â€ he said. â€œAnd there may well be prejudice too.â€
Moore is black. Van Cleave and most of the others are white.
Moore said a friend who was with him at Waterside also was carrying a gun and also had challenged police when asked to leave. He said his friend, who is white, was not charged.
That’s going to raise some questions in the public’s mind.Â VCDL is doing alright here, if you ask me.