Colorado Awards Man $23,500 After Wrongful Open Carry Arrest
December 20, 2013 10:01am PST
An Army veteran was walking through a park while open carrying his pistol when he was stopped and detained by police. Even after warning officers that they were violating his second amendment rights, they still ended up arresting the man on unknown charges. As it turns out, the man was right and was awarded $23,500 by the state of Colorado.
James Sorensen and his partner were leaving a homosexual event titled PrideFest in Acacia Park in Colorado Springs on July 21, 2012—the day after the Aurora shooting. While having his pistol safely holstered to his hip, he was stopped by police and questioned about the .40 caliber weapon.
The questions quickly turned into police informing Sorensen of his “criminal” activities. According to police, it was against the law that the man was carrying a firearm through a public park. When Sorensen informed officers that he was doing nothing wrong and that they were in direct violation of his Second Amendment rights, they said, “Sir, ignorance of the law is not an affirmative defense.”
A police officer showed up, and although he didn’t know any of the specifics, decided to display his dominance over Sorensen. As he spoke back to the thug about the violation of his rights and the state’s law, the officer stated, “You’re about to get the shit kicked out of you.” The officer clearly had no respect for the man, and ended up throwing him in the back of a cruiser without telling him what he was being arrested for or reading his rights.
As the man continued to confront and question the police, they informed Sorensen that’s what court is for and urged him to hire an attorney–that’s exactly what he did.
“Sorensen accused the officers involved of unlawful arrest, unreasonable search and seizure, unreasonable violation of speech rights, unreasonable violation of the right to bear arms, failure to train and failure to supervise. He claims too that he was never read his Miranda Rights.”
After a long court case the state of Colorado had agreed to pay the man $23,500 for his wrongful arrest. Of course police are still stating that they did nothing wrong and in fact blame a, “outdated 40-page ‘cheat sheet’ on local laws.”
The settlement for the court clearly labeled that if Sorensen were to take the money that the parameters of the settlement were to remain confidential. They clearly stated that the fact settling with the veteran, “does not constitute an admission by City Defendants of any liability, wrongdoing, or violation of any law.”
(See also: 13 Year Old Arrested After Burping In Class)
However Colorado Springs Police Chief Pete Carey mentioned that there was an internal review discovering that, “Policy violations were discovered and appropriate administrative action was taken.”
In order to make sure an incident like this wouldn’t happen again, police “made updates to reference guides used and instituted more periodic reviews of these documents.”
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