Many times, officers have been known to push the limits of the law on the premises that the average “Joe-Shmoe” doesn’t quite understand his rights. This doesn’t seem to be the case for three, what seem to be, law students who went out to exercise their constitutional rights.
Now during the video, the officer asks what point the men are trying to make to which they reply that they aren’t trying to make a point, but rather, exercise their rights. A point can be made here that between the introduction of the video, the fact that they brought cameras, and how they don’t normally walk around with rifles on their back, they were ,in fact, trying to make a point.
The video starts out with what sounds like three men introducing their intentions for the afternoon of going around town with an AR-15 on their back. To no one’s surprise, they are quickly met by an inquisitive police officer.
The officer claims that they had received many calls in concern to the men and asks if he could see their ID’s as well as inspect the rifle. The boys quickly point out that they have done nothing wrong, and especially haven’t done anything to warrant the officer’s unconstitutional request.
As the men later state, the officer acted in a calm, collected, and professional manner that was much to be admired. The officer then begins to make his point that the men in fact haven’t done anything wrong, but in his profession, dealing with misdemeanor offenders and felons, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The officer demonstrates that he would just like to know if the men are from the area, that they aren’t felons, and if the gun is loaded or not. He is met with mild opposition as the men once again reinforce that they don’t have to answer his questions.
As the officer and the men both give-and-take a little, the men release their first names and allow the officer to inspect the rifle, but withhold their dates of birth and last names. After receiving this information, the officer did push asking if they were from the area. One of the men expressed, that was exactly what he feared would happen after giving the officer just some of the information.
After all, you know the saying, “If you give a mouse a cookie, he will ask for a glass of milk.”
In a cooperative and understanding discussion both parties part ways leaving with less than they had hoped for.
Do you think this officer was fair?