What are your "complaint" options?

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Ruark
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What are your "complaint" options?

#1

Post by Ruark » Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:35 am

I think it goes without saying that some LEOs are going to perform excessively invasive investigatory stops. Say, instead of just glancing at your CHL and saying "have a nice day," the LEO takes your gun ("for your own safety, sir"), goes an sits in his car for 10 minutes checking for warrants, several other LEOs arrive for backup, your gun is unloaded and the shells scattered on the ground, a crowd gathers, etc. All this has happened to people lawfully carrying in other states.

We've often read on here that in such a case, a complaint should be filed, maybe a lawsuit. But that's easier said than done; there are many of us who can't afford to pay some lawyer $350 an hour to sue a city government. What other avenues of action could be taken, given that nobody wants to take the case pro bono? It might be useful to know just what the options are.
Last edited by Ruark on Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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anygunanywhere
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Re: What are you "complaint" options?

#2

Post by anygunanywhere » Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:41 am

Ruark wrote:I think it goes without saying that some LEOs are going to perform excessively invasive investigatory stops. Say, instead of just glancing at your CHL and saying "have a nice day," the LEO takes your gun ("for your own safety, sir"), goes an sits in his car for 10 minutes checking for warrants, several other LEOs arrive for backup, your gun is unloaded and the shells scattered on the ground, a crowd gathers, etc. All this has happened to people lawfully carrying in other states.

We've often read on here that in such a case, a complaint should be filed, maybe a lawsuit. But that's easier said than done; there are many of us who can't afford to pay some lawyer $350 an hour to sue a city government. What other avenues of action could be taken, given that nobody wants to take the case pro bono? It might be useful to know just what the options are.
Class action against those departments that allow these incidents. There is never just one.

Hopefully there are lawyers that support the 2A who will step forward.
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Re: What are you "complaint" options?

#3

Post by Abraham » Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:12 am

Is this in regard to O.C. and possible LEO harassment or am I off base?


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Re: What are you "complaint" options?

#4

Post by Ruark » Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:16 am

Abraham wrote:Is this in regard to O.C. and possible LEO harassment or am I off base?
Yes, exactly.
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Re: What are you "complaint" options?

#5

Post by baseballguy2001 » Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:38 am

In my town, a CHL was disarmed, her gun confiscated, and she was told she could retrieve it at the station. She filed a complaint with the local PD, a IA investigation was initiated, and nothing was ever made public again. I think this is going to be the model all over the state. Complaints about illegal invasive open carry stops will be made, the PD will go thru the motions of an investigation, and nothing will ever come from it, or ever be made public. I can hear the excuses now -- "it's an ongoing investigation" "It's a personnel matter" The illegal stops will happen, the MWAG calls will certainly happen. PD's all over the state have a good amount of time to educate their officers and 911 operators. Let's hope they do it.
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Re: What are you "complaint" options?

#6

Post by puma guy » Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:58 am

I'm going to be optimistic. I am hoping there will be only a few isolated incidents once there is education and some training on the law. Hopefully there won't be blanket policy to do stops simply for OC. Of course there's always Austin. I am hopeful that slowly we can have an educated police force and public and that the new law doesn't spawn in your face tactics by OC groups with mass gatherings and marches.
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Re: What are you "complaint" options?

#7

Post by timtheteacher » Mon Jun 01, 2015 10:01 am

Ruark wrote:I think it goes without saying that some LEOs are going to perform excessively invasive investigatory stops. Say, instead of just glancing at your CHL and saying "have a nice day," the LEO takes your gun ("for your own safety, sir"), goes an sits in his car for 10 minutes checking for warrants, several other LEOs arrive for backup, your gun is unloaded and the shells scattered on the ground, a crowd gathers, etc. All this has happened to people lawfully carrying in other states.

Why are you assuming the "worst case scenario?" I think that something as you have described will in all honesty be few and far between. Departments will brief their officers as this is a very big change. If you present a "combative" attitude it could be reflected in how the officer approaches you. Just my 2 cents...


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Re: What are you "complaint" options?

#8

Post by arthurcw » Mon Jun 01, 2015 10:16 am

there may be some of these stops, but it will be limited to a few cases early on. The LEO orgs now know this could be a problem for them and if they don't want to be totally handcuffed with an even more exuberant change to the law than the Dutton/Huffines amendment, they will keep this to a minimum. I make no predictions about Austin, however.

But the same goes for us. If you act like a jerk, it could lead to repressive changes to the law.

Everyone be calm and smile.


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Re: What are you "complaint" options?

#9

Post by EastTexasMike » Mon Jun 01, 2015 10:33 am

Judging from certain news coverage and some comments from some LEO friends, I fear that the general consensus among some LEO right now is that they will be free to stop OC'ers at any time for any reason or no reason and demand ID and CHL. The way the "no stop" amendments were added then dropped seems to have given many the impression that eliminating that language means that just the fact of OC is enough to allow stops.

However, it is still seven months until this law takes effect. I HOPE that in that time further clarification will be provided to LEO and we will have minimal problems.

I will make sure at first that I have my cell phone handy though!


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Re: What are you "complaint" options?

#10

Post by TXBO » Mon Jun 01, 2015 10:36 am

We've got seven months to imagine the worst but in the end, I think it will largely be a non-event.
I expect incidents to be rare.


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Re: What are you "complaint" options?

#11

Post by pt145ss » Mon Jun 01, 2015 10:44 am

I'm not sure the Dutton/Huffine amendments would have done much of anything. I may be mistaken, but I believe case law already protects the citizenry from unreasonable contact by LEOs. Although the standard is fairly low, an officer would need to be able to articulate specific behavior and/or circumstances to establish reasonable suspicion. I think we may have some officers who take advantage of these low standards (at least at first), but I would like to think that most officers simply want to do their job and go about their business of catching real bad guys... I think the large majority of officers are professional enough to recognize the importance of the 4th amendment and don't set out to violate those rights just because they can. I would think (hope) that most cases where an officer violates someone's 4th amendment rights it was out of necessity or out of unclear guidelines. If we see a trend of systemic or chronic violations of the 4th amendment on open carriers, I think the courts and case law would be on our side.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Reasonable suspicion is a legal standard of proof in United States law that is less than probable cause, the legal standard for arrests and warrants, but more than an "inchoate and unparticularized suspicion or 'hunch'";[1] it must be based on "specific and articulable facts", "taken together with rational inferences from those facts",[2] and the suspicion must be associated with the specific individual.[3] If police additionally have reasonable suspicion that a person so detained is armed and dangerous, they may "frisk" the person for weapons, but not for contraband like drugs. Reasonable suspicion is evaluated using the "reasonable person" or "reasonable officer" standard,[4] in which said person in the same circumstances could reasonably suspect a person has been, is, or is about to be engaged in criminal activity; it depends upon the totality of circumstances, and can result from a combination of particular facts, even if each is individually innocuous.


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Ruark
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Re: What are you "complaint" options?

#12

Post by Ruark » Mon Jun 01, 2015 10:56 am

timtheteacher wrote:
Ruark wrote:I think it goes without saying that some LEOs are going to perform excessively invasive investigatory stops. Say, instead of just glancing at your CHL and saying "have a nice day," the LEO takes your gun ("for your own safety, sir"), goes an sits in his car for 10 minutes checking for warrants, several other LEOs arrive for backup, your gun is unloaded and the shells scattered on the ground, a crowd gathers, etc. All this has happened to people lawfully carrying in other states.

Why are you assuming the "worst case scenario?" I think that something as you have described will in all honesty be few and far between. Departments will brief their officers as this is a very big change. If you present a "combative" attitude it could be reflected in how the officer approaches you. Just my 2 cents...
By no means am I espousing a "combative" attitude. Please don't make that assumption just because I state a dislike for a "papers, please" LEO stop. I am always polite and cooperative with LEOs.
-Ruark


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Ruark
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Re: What are you "complaint" options?

#13

Post by Ruark » Mon Jun 01, 2015 10:58 am

I appreciate the input here, and it's a viable topic of conversation, but I'm hoping we can get back to the original question: in the case of investigatory stops without PC, what complaint options are available besides a $350-an-hour lawyer?
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Re: What are you "complaint" options?

#14

Post by KC5AV » Mon Jun 01, 2015 10:58 am

I think there should be a repository created, whether here, or on some other website, where those who feel their rights might have been violated can make a written record of the instance. That way, when the legislature meets in 2017, we can have specific examples to present if there is any attempt to modify open carry.
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Re: What are you "complaint" options?

#15

Post by juno106 » Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:04 am

While i am not admitted to the Bar in Texas, i do have a law degree. If there are others here who can practice law in Tx and willing to do some pro bono, i would be willing to do some pro bono "grunt work" under their supervision.
Ruark wrote:I appreciate the input here, and it's a viable topic of conversation, but I'm hoping we can get back to the original question: in the case of investigatory stops without PC, what complaint options are available besides a $350-an-hour lawyer?

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