Folks might remember the YouTube sensation from a month or so ago of a Philadelphia man who was threatened by a Philadelphia Police officer for legally carrying a firearm. You might also remember that the City is charging him with reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct. This weekend activists held a protest to demonstrate against this kind of treatment. This, to me, is a textbook example of how to use open carry effectively as a form of protest.
Today, the media is on fire with the story. First, from the Daily News, complete with a transcript. Next John Stossel has picked up on it at Fox News Business. The Daily News notes that they will be retraining officers on open carry:
“Our officers weren’t up to speed [because] we never really addressed it,” said Lt. Francis Healy, the department’s lawyer.
“In the last several weeks, we’ve done a lot of training and put out a lot of information about what is allowed and what’s not allowed. Right now, our officers are better-versed on the subject matter.”
Of course, this isn’t entirely true, as this directive from last year demonstrates. This is a very interesting case, in addition to being an utter disgrace. Pretty clearly Fiorino has a pretty good case for a Civil Rights lawsuit, but we’ll have to see what happens with these charges. It’s hard to believe that they will stick, given he was exercising his rights and was within the law.