You are a TX peace officer and I very much respect your knowledge of the interworkings of PD across our great nation. In response to this post at Colt CCo http://www.coltcco.com/?p=187 I would very much like to see what you would think about this.
Let me say this, I have never had such an incident in TX – I reside in a small rural town SW of FTW but I commute to FTW every day for work. I have a Texas CHL and have had one for over six years. I have been stopped a few times for minor traffic violations. Officers I have encountered have been the paragons of courtesy and efficiency. They go out of their way to be nice. However, in recent days we have been seeing (usually up north) officers resorting to saying “I can make something up . . .” as in the above post and in the Kuehnlein video (see http://www.thenewspaper.com
I am saddened and more than a bit annoyed at the events described by ColtCCO. I find myself quite unable to comprehend the mindset of the officer in question.
As a peace officer, he should have known that the citizens of the State he is in have access to a legal CCW option. Common-sense would appear to indicate that it might be best to ascertain if ColtCCO was in possession of a CCW before flying off the handle and assuming that he didn't -- especially given the totality of the circumstances surrounding the incident as described by ColtCCO.
I am not an officer in that department, or that State, so I don't know all the particulars. All I can do is compare the incident described to my own experience, and my own department.
If an officer in my department acted as described by ColtCCO, I would have serious misgivings about that officer on several fronts.
His knowledge of the law would appear to be lacking. As peace officers, knowledge of the law is a vitally important part of our job. Not knowing the details of the law, or trying to apply the laws of a different State, at best can cause you to lose cases, and at worst it can ruin lives.
His tactical sense would appear to be lacking. The officer made contact with multiple subjects -- ColtCCO and his girlfriend -- with at least one firearm, and was alarmed enough to put ColtCCO on the wall. If he was alarmed enough to initiate immediate physical contact with multiple armed suspects, then it would follow (in my experience) that he was alarmed enough to call for back-up and have said back-up present before making the contact.
The fact that back-up apparently wasn't summoned suggests to me that the officer wasn't really that alarmed -- and if so, why the wrist-lock and the slam?
The fact that the officer cites a non-existent Ohio law as an excuse, presents the worrisome scenario that he's lying to save face (and his arse), or -- and this may be even more worrisome -- this is the second State that this law officer hasn't bothered to learn the law of the land.
The statement that the officer would "make some reason" to arrest a citizen is inexcusable.
Not knowing the law you are attempting to enforce, lying to cover your arse and putting yourself and the public in danger due to poor tactics are all grounds for suspension without pay.
A public statement in front of witnesses regarding intent to frame a citizen is grounds for termination. Not only is it unlawful; a violation of his oath; and a violation of multiple civil rights, but that one, single stupid act has now tainted every case he's ever made in the past, and every case he will be involved in in the future.
I'm here to tell you, if that officer uttered those words in front of witnesses, every defence attorney in that area is going to hit his knees and thank God for the early Christmas present just as soon as he finds out about it.
Every case that officer is involved in now, has been involved in in the past, or will be involved in in the future he's going to have to prove that he did NOT "make up a reason to arrest" to a jury -- ever tried to prove a negative? There's your reasonable doubt. In spades.
According to ColtCCO's account, the department has placed a written reprimand in that officers file, and has stated that this carries certain consequences. I don't know that department, don't know anyone from it and have never heard anything good or bad about it. There are departments in which a letter of this sort is a career-killer. I have worked for an agency in which a written reprimand of this kind meant that there was no chance for promotions, transfers, special duty or any other advancement.
On the other paw, there are departments in which a letter of this kind is meant to mollify the complaining citizen and no more. Every other department in the country falls somewhere on that spectrum.
Like I said, I don't know that department, so I honestly can't take a guess as to how punitive the letter actually is.
As far as the two separate incidents where
Granted, two such incidents are two too many -- but let's not attach statistical significance to them ... yet.
Again, thank you for your question, and thank you for reading.