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Philly OC Abuse Case Getting Media Attention

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.

22 Responses to “Philly OC Abuse Case Getting Media Attention”

  1. Paul L. says:

    “It was a setup. He’s done this kind of thing before,” said Evers, the police spokesman, referring to Fiorino’s encounters with authorities. “He did it intentionally, and he audiotaped it.”
    If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about

  2. Did the Philly Police Lawyer admit to the press that they failed to teach the MPOTEC Open Carry training like they were required to?

    http://www.thecrimsonpirate.com/rtkba/archive/MPOTEC_OC_Update_2009.pdf

    “Our officers weren’t up to speed [because] we never really addressed it,” said Lt. Francis Healy, the department’s lawyer.

    Yes he did. Bad Lawyer, no donut. Good for our side though.

  3. Dannytheman says:

    He was on Don Giordano this morning and Michael Smirconish this afternoon, too!

    I do not often open carry, but I like to take my jacket off occasionally,too!

  4. Guest says:

    Interesting that a police official admitted the failure to train — a tort in Pa.

  5. Guest says:

    BTW, this police directive is a statement of an unlawful police policy that would make this into a civil rights case:

    A. SINCE A SEPARATE LICENSE IS REQUIRED IN PHILADELPHIA AND IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR ANY OFFICER TO KNOW WHO DOES AND DOES NOT HAVE A VALID CONCEALED CARRY LICENSE, IT IS ENTIRELY REASONALBE FOR OFFICERS TO TEMPORARILY
    DETAIN AND INVESTIGATE ANY INDIVIDUAL CARRYING A FIREARM EXPOSED TO DETERMINE IF THE PERSON IS
    OPERATING WITH THE LAW.

    B. IMMEDIATLEY SEIZE ANY FIREARMS FOR OFFICER SAFETY DURING THE STOP AND UNLOAD THE FIREARMS IF POSSIBLE, BUT ONLY IF IT CAN BE DONE SAFELY.

  6. Sterling Archer says:

    Does anyone remember the name “Lt. Francis Healy”?

    No? Let me help jog your memories…

    “Officers’ safety comes first, and not infringing on people’s rights comes second,” Healy said.

    http://reason.com/blog/2010/09/02/and-thats-the-problem-lt-healy

    Do you remember him now?

    This POS is a disgrace to the uniform and should be forever barred from public service.

  7. Guest says:

    Consider this from 3d Circuit case (U.S. v Ubiles):

    T”his situation is no different than if Lockhart had told the officers that Ubiles possessed a wallet, a perfectly legal act in the Virgin Islands, and the authorities had stopped him for this reason. Though a search of that wallet may have revealed counterfeit bills–the possession of which is a crime under United States law, see 18 U.S.C. SS 471-72– the officers would have had no justification to stop Ubiles based merely on information that he possessed a wallet, and the seized bills would have to be suppressed.”

  8. Pyrotek85 says:

    @Paul L.
    “If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about”

    Isn’t that what they always tell citizens?

  9. sotr says:

    Pyrotek, your forgetting the double standard of Law Enforcement ! Do as I say, not as I do !

  10. Adam Z says:

    Question for Sebastian/Mike F (if you’re reading this post) and to anyone who has a better knowledge than I do…

    Would the charges from the Philly DA be a non-factor against Mike F – because of the saying “fruit of the tree is poisoned” or however the saying goes. I.e. If Sgt. Pottimouth knew the law, then after Mike F declaring he had a permit, Sgt Pottimouth checks the CCL and the whole situation is done and over…and no “reckless endargement and disorderly conduct charges” would not have come around nor be allowed?

    Also, will the hearing be in the front of the famous Judge Paula Patrick who was highlighted on SIH back in December 2010? Here is a link to this famous Philly “gun” judge…

    http://www.snowflakesinhell.com/2010/12/20/problems-prosecuting-gun-crimes/

  11. Wes says:

    The Philly PD should have said sorry and dropped the whole thing. That guy is going to get five figures from this because the Philly PD doesn’t know the meaning of the word “quit,” just like they didn’t know the gun laws of their own city.

  12. Chas says:

    America’s urban thug mayors run thug police departments. Who would have guessed?

  13. rwilson451 says:

    It seems to me I remember two PA supreme court cases that decided that open carry isn’t disturbing the peace etc. Commonwealth vs Ortiz and commonwealth vs Hawkins I think. Spelling might be wrong.

  14. Bubblehead Les says:

    I just remember what a pleasure it was that I could OC in Pittsburgh at the NRA Con, and I’m a Buckeye. Surely it could be brought before the Judge that if one is allowed to OC anywhere in Pennsylvania except for Phillie, then any argument that Philadelphia is somehow some Unique Area like the Land of OZ is Specious. Kinda like saying that Slavery is OKAY in this section of the State, but Illegal in the Rest of the State.

  15. Sebastian says:

    OC in Philly is different, in that it requires a License to Carry to be able to do so. State law treats Philadelphia slightly differently than the rest of the state.

  16. mobo says:

    And let’s just be honest here – the police know what a criminal looks like, and this guy clearly doesn’t fit the description. I don’t mean this in coded racial terms, either. “Urban ghetto thugs” come in every color these days, and it doesn’t take a genius to spot them on the street.

    I don’t believe for one second that the police on the scene were actually in fear for their lives. They saw an easy prey and tried to bully him into submission so they could congratulate themselves for facing down a “dangerous armed suspect”.

  17. Sage Thrasher says:

    +1 mobo. You called it: “I’m going to bully this guy because I can,” end of story.

  18. Jujube says:

    mobo

    What does a criminal look like? Seriously, that blond medical student that was running around killing women he met on Craigslist looked nice enough to take home to meet mom. Ted Bundy and Dennis Rader looked like nice guys too.

    You simply can’t judge a book by it’s cover.

  19. mobo says:

    Jujube,

    You can’t *always* judge a book by its cover, but 99.999% of the time you can. And 99.999% of the problem in Philly is ghetto thuggery.

    All that aside, police are supposed to be able to articulate reasonable suspicion of a crime. It is perfectly reasonable to approach a person calmly and ask to see his permit, provided that person appears to be acting lawfully. It is not reasonable to immediately draw a firearm and threaten to kill him.

    Does the fact that police can’t say with absolute certainty who is a criminal mean that they are justified in treating all of us as potential criminals?

  20. mobo says:

    Oh, and a simple traffic stop probably wouldn’t have revealed Ted Bundy as a serial killer anyway. Nice try.

  21. Jujube says:

    Timothy McVeigh was stopped by an “ordinary traffic stop.”
    http://www.news-star.com/news/x844642367/Trooper-who-arrested-Timothy-McVeigh-shares-story
    But what do “ordinary traffic stops” have to do with anything?

  22. mobo says:

    Look, you know what I was getting at. Everything else is just an excuse for police misconduct. No reasonable person can conclude that the police acted properly here. That asshole cop should be working for GM as a crash test dummy.

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