Why it can be valuable to carry a gun and a recorder

Carrying a gun protects people from criminals, but it turns out that carrying a tape recorder can also pretty important. The Phildelphia Daily News yesterday showed just how valuable a tape recorder can be. Some police in Philadelphia apparently didn't know what Pennsylvania and Philadelphia laws are on law-abiding citizens carrying handguns. Given that there are about 800,000 concealed handgun permit holders in Pennsylvania, there could be a lot of misunderstandings. Police are extremely important in stopping crime, but even they can make mistakes. Hopefully because this incident was taped there will be a few less mistakes in how Philadelphia police treat permit holders in the future.

On a mild February afternoon, Fiorino, 25, decided to walk to an AutoZone on Frankford Avenue in Northeast Philly with the .40-caliber Glock he legally owns holstered in plain view on his left hip. His stroll ended when someone called out from behind: "Yo, Junior, what are you doing?"
Fiorino wheeled and saw Sgt. Michael Dougherty aiming a handgun at him.
What happened next would be hard to believe, except that Fiorino audio-recorded all of it: a tense, profanity-laced, 40-minute encounter with cops who told him that what he was doing - openly carrying a gun on the city's streets - was against the law.
"Do you know you can't openly carry here in Philadelphia?" Dougherty asked, according to the YouTube clip.
"Yes, you can, if you have a license to carry firearms," Fiorino said. "It's Directive 137. It's your own internal directive."

Unfortunately, referencing the actual law correctly didn't have the desired effect on the police.

Fiorino offered to show Dougherty his driver's and firearms licenses. The cop told him to get on his knees.
"Excuse me?" Fiorino said.
"Get down on your knees. Just obey what I'm saying," Dougherty said.
"Sir," Fiorino replied, "I'm more than happy to stand here -"
"If you make a move, I'm going to f------ shoot you," Dougherty snapped. "I'm telling you right now, you make a move, and you're going down!"
"Is this necessary?" Fiorino said.
It went on like that for a little while, until other officers responded to Dougherty's calls for backup.
Fiorino was forced to the ground and shouted at as he tried to explain that he had a firearms license and was legally allowed to openly carry his weapon.
"You f------ come here looking for f------ problems? Where do you live?" yelled one officer.
"I'm sorry, gentlemen," Fiorino said. "If I'm under arrest, I have nothing left to say."
"F------ a------, shut the f--- up!" the cop hollered.
The cops discovered his recorder as they searched his pockets, and unleashed another string of expletives.
Fiorino said he sat handcuffed in a police wagon while the officers made numerous phone calls to supervisors, trying to find out if they could lock him up.
When they learned that they were in the wrong, they let him go. . . .



Blogger Left Coast Conservative said...

This should, at a minimum be a complaint to the police department, if not a law suit. There is no excuse to police officers to be this ignorant of state law or of the policy of their department.

5/17/2011 2:09 AM  
Blogger John A said...

AFter the police were found in error
A new investigation was launched, and last month the District Attorney's Office decided to charge Fiorino with reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct because, a spokeswoman said, he refused to cooperate with police... He's scheduled for trial in July.


5/17/2011 8:36 PM  
Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

Typical abuse of authority under color of the law.

Title 18, U.S.C., Section 242
Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law

So, instead of prosecution of the offenders under Federal Law, the victim is persecuted. Go figure...

5/18/2011 10:34 AM  

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