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Philly DA to Prosecute Open Carrier (Follow-up Story)

Philly DA to Prosecute Open Carrier (Follow-up Story)In a follow up story about Pennsylvania OC’er Mark Fiorino:

But only temporarily. Fiorino posted the audio recordings on youtube, and now they are harassing him again:

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.

If one listens to the audiotapes, it’s hard to imagine how a reasonable person could charge Fiorino (and not the cops) for disorderly conduct.

Read more at Fox Business

 

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  • http://profiles.google.com/snatale42 Stephen J Natale

     The sad reality is this, 1 the cops harassed a guy doing nothing wrong. 2 from the audio tapes this guy was looking for trouble, its one thing to have a voice recorder (just in case) but the reality is the guy continuously did not due what the cops told him to do. And responded to police instruction with questioning the cop at every turn. Do I agree with the cops NO. But doing nothing but arguing with them only hurts the law abiding gun owner. Complying with them, and then sueing them or placing formal complaints after the fact when they cross the line, however will slowly teach them a lesson. It sux we have to play this BS game, but it’s politics. If you want to win, you gotta play.

  • Dustin

    I don’t know. The guy didn’t seek out the officer. He was just walking down the street to the parts store. Also, carrying a tape recorder when you open carry is common practice. It benefits the carrier in the case of police harassment (which is often different), or in case the need arises to discharge your weapon. In either case, you have a recording of exactly what happened, which can really help fight against “he said/she said” charges. He also maintained a very even and polite tone and offered to produce verification that he was within his rights. The only order he refused was getting on his knees. While I may not agree with that action, it can be viewed as an unreasonable request as he was following the other orders (like keeping his hands in plain sight).

    What happened was that the LEO was very offensive from the get-go and refused him the opportunity to provide the documents which showed he was within his legal rights. The LEO also should have been aware of the law, not just because he’s a cop, but because it was a recent change that required very specific briefing before he left the station. In fact, being a higher rank (Sgt. IIRC) just provides more reason to know about such updates.

    All that aside, this new set of charges came way too late. They released him at the time of the incident and they’re charging him much later. Whether or not they succeed, it just reflects poorly on Philadelphia’s system. They look petty and vindictive.

  • cidav8r

    I agree Stephen.  100%.   The guy should have cooperated fully.  If he had, it wouldn’t have blown up into the situation it became and he would have been vindicated.  #1 rule: ALWAYS comply with police instructions – if you have a problem with it, sort it out later.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not going to get into an argument about what would have been the “smart” thing to do.  What I want to know is, is someone legally obligated to fully comply under these circumstances?  Was he legally obligated to drop to his knees as ordered?  It would seem to me that he was never officially arrested, otherwise the charge would have been resisting arrest.  So if no arrest was made, was he legally obligated to comply?

  • Chiefpropellerhead

     There is no doubt that the LEO was a jerk and totally unprofessional. If it were me I would have identified myself as a police officer, and ask the citizen what he was up to. He would say he was in the store to buy whatever. I would then ask him if he has a permit to open carry the firearm in public. I would advise him to keep his hands clear of the weapon and produce his identification and permit.  Depending on the citizen’s demeanor, I may even request that he put his hands on the wall or counter and disarm him for my safety and his. Then I would go about my business of identifying the person and his credentials.  Once I was satisfied he is a law abiding citizen, I would put the weapon back in his holster and then go about my business.

    I would also thank him for his cooperation.  If the citizen were belligerent or uncooperative, and if I felt in danger, then I would feel compelled to advise him of this, and call for backup and whatever else I felt necessary to control the situation. I said all of that looking at the situation from the LEO point of view.  If you have never been on that side of the equation, it is easy to forget how the other side may perceive what is going on.

    If a LEO issues a lawful order, then it is the citizen’s duty and or obligation to obey it. You will never win an argument on the street when it comes to this.  You will only escalate the situation and cause the LEO to become aggressive.  The time to deal with  the lack of professional conduct or illegal actions on the LEO’s part is in the courtroom whether it be civil or criminal. 

     

    • InThe Right

      Well Said!

  • Observer

    Should he have followed the cop’s orders?  No, because the orders were illegal. 

    Some people say that he should have followed them and then fought it out in the courtroom.  I disagree.  When that happens, the courts are very friendly to the police.  Now, because of his actions, he has a serious chance of winning in a civil trial against the cop and his department for violating his rights.

    No free citizen should ever have to obey illegal orders from any authority.  If that changes, then we no longer are free, and the government is free to do what it wants to do. 

    Plus, Philly needs a strong wake-up call that gun laws are state-wide and they cannot violate them at their own whim.  This might just be that wake-up call.

  • Ralphie

     I think alot of people are forgetting that LEO are the good guys.  These are Philly cops.  one of the toughest places in the country to be a cop. The d*** head open carry guy is not my hero nor does he represent or stick up for my rights.  I wouldn’t have lost 1 sec of sleep of the LEO put him down not knowing what the jerk was up too.

  • InTheRight

    I have a great deal of respect for LEO’s. There are those that are morons and make me wonder how they ever got through the selection process. Having been selected for Federal and State LE positions I just don’t see how these guys get past the process. Good at BS I guess. I hope someday we can end all of this crap and CCW holders will not be looked at as cowboys and be the target of poor politics.Many officials that run for government offices are trying to take our second amendment right away, kind of defeats the purpose of up-holding the government and the constitution doesn’t it!

  • J. H.

    You can play politics with this all day long.

    But the fact is, if you’re carrying or not, you don’t argue with the cops if you’re smart.