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It was a beautiful autumn day in the Delaware Valley – until some thugs on the payroll of the Plymouth, PA police department assaulted me and terrorized my son just steps from my home. How did this happen? On this warm fall day I took my little one out for some needed exercise in the nearby park, to see the falling leaves and let him win foot races in classic turtle-and-hare style. I did all this while securely carrying a holstered firearm on my hip because my son is simply too precious to put at risk.
Unwilling to Prove He is a Cop
Back on the street, outside the park, just steps from our home, a dark blue crown victoria pulled up behind me and asked if we could talk. I asked about what? He said I was carrying a gun. I said that open carry is legal in Pennsylvania. He claimed he was a cop so I asked for badge, badge number and bond number but he did not comply except for a brief glance at the badge on his belt.
Am I Legally Required to Provide Identication?
He asked if I had ID and I asked him if I was legally required to give it. He said it would make it easier or some other nonsense so I did not give it. Looking back, had I reached for it I might be in jail or worse right now since my pistol was on the same side as my wallet. Later he claimed that I refused to cooperate in his “investigation” and when I denied it he claimed I was lying.
Cuffed Before I Knew it Without Justification
My son immediately sensed that something was very wrong and hugged my right leg. I felt threatened by the way the man moved, too. I comforted him with my right arm which made this guy very nervous. He demanded I stop moving my hands. I put them up. I had not moved my hand towards any weapon or even thought about defending myself against the person. I told him I was peaceful and was not aggressive. But before I knew it he had my hands cuffed behind my back. He took my firearm out of the active retention holster, removed a pocket knife that was clipped onto a pocket and, amazingly, reached into a closed cargo pants pocket and removed my wallet!
I Do Not Consent
I immediately made it clear that I did not consent to any searches and informed him that he was violating my fourth amendment rights. He chuckled. I demanded his identification again. I told him I had to verify he was really a cop. But he did not comply. I still can not believe he so blithely searched me like that.
Six Thugs for a Peaceful Dad
In addition to Mark Anthony Lacy (badge number 142, “Juvenile Detective”, pictured above), the one who cuffed me, five other cops showed up. That’s a total of six cops who wasted at least 30-45 minutes on this. There was O’Brien (badge number 137 I think) in a white shirt (a “lieutenant”), Bolinsky, Zinni, another one in plain clothes who showed no evidence of being a cop and a portly one who never got out of his car. When I mentioned near the end how wasteful this was, they told me not to worry about how much it cost because I don’t reside in their jurisdiction anyway.
There were ongoing attempts to verbally intimidate me, primarily by Bolinsky. He told me to shut up and stop talking several times. In response to which I asked if he was also violating my first amendment right as well as my fourth. I addressed them as “sir” and “gentleman”. I was not rude. I did not blabber but I did take advantage of their pauses in speaking and their questions and statements to refute their weak justifications, guilt trips and other bullshit.
It’s About Doing What’s Right
After demanding they return my wallet and cease violating me, O’Brien said it sounded like I had good basis for a lawsuit and lots of damages. Several of them laughed because they know the courts are part of their same gang. But I said, it’s not about lawsuits. It’s about doing the right thing. Are you peace officers or law enforcement officers? Right now, you’re a law enforcement officers and you’re hassling me for nothing.
NOT Peace Officers
Later one tried to twist my words into support for LEOs in general saying I called them peace officers. I said, I would have complete respect for you if you were peace officers (without the state monopoly, which I left out) but right now you are aggressing against me and you are not acting as peace officers.
I Might be a Child Kidnapper
Bolinsky made special pains to convince me they were right to check me out since I was with a child. I might be a child kidnapper. He said if it was my son kidnapped, he would go all out for that and implied he would risk his life. I said I appreciate that and understand, but you overreacted. You did not have to do an unwarranted search and assault in order to find out if I was the boy’s father. And I told him that since I carry everywhere and am very careful about security in general that it’s unlikely my son would be kidnapped in the first place. Also, the FBI works kidnapping cases, so it’s pure blather.
Ooops, Made a Mistake
When Zinni appeared, he gave me the good cop routine and I was already in cuffs. I thought I was about to be arrested and taken away. I did not want my son to be in the charge of social services even for a moment so I gave him my address and asked him to take the boy to my wife. What a screw up. They forgot the address later on and asked for it again but I didn’t give it again. My driver’s license has a Philly address on it.
Attempt to Establish Rapport
As soon as he appeared, Bolinsky asked me if I was an NRA member, trying to profile me as a conservative type I suppose. So, instead of answering, I asked him if he was an NRA member. Yes, he said. That’s just him trying to form a rapport.
First on the Scene a LIAR
Lacy (who arrived first) claimed he had already promised to provide his business card at the end of the encounter, after I asked repeatedly for their ID. That was a lie. But he claimed I lied, instead and proceeded to invent two other lies, apparently trying to discredit me in front of the other cops.
Finally Asked My Son
Bolinsky asked for my son’s name and I refused to provide it. I should have asked him for his son’s name. When finally they asked my son if I was his dad, he nodded. He was huddling against my left leg and they claimed it looked like I had him scared. He is scared of YOU I told them. It was another attempt to get the advantage over me but it failed. Before that Bolinsky asked me three times if I was his dad. I answered him clearly the first time, I said. “I am his father.” So the next two times I said “I already confirmed that for you, sir”.
“What a Nice Day” Says the Thug
The other plain clothes person near the end said “What a nice day!” I said yes, it is a beautiful day to go for a walk with your kids, except when people like you come and assault me like this. Then he said he would not carry a firearm if he was out walking with his son. I said, that’s terribly dangerous. It’s a crazy world out there and my son is too important to me for to take any chances. Isn’t yours? And you know when seconds count the police are minutes away, I added.
Peppered with Questions and Claims
They constantly peppered me with questions and statist-perspective claims meant to get me to cooperate and submit. I always rebutted their nonsense and clearly stated how they had violated the rights they were supposed to respect and protect.
They checked me several times on their computer and then when they were ready to let me go they checked my firearm and it all came back negative of course. Zinni claimed I was obstructing justice for not providing personal information they demanded, which was a lot. That claim can give one a panic attack when they have you in that position of stress they create. But it’s just more bullshit to get you to submit.
Outright Refusal to Identify
Near the end I demanded their badge numbers, names and bond numbers (again) and they outright refused to give them to me. I was able to see Bolinsky and Zinni’s names because they’re embroidered on the shirts. They said I should go to the police HQ. I said, no thanks. if you’re violating my rights wantonly out here I don’t dare risk going into your own house.
Who’s in Charge? The Thug, Of Course
When all but O’Brien and one other person had gone O’Brien snarled at me asking if I thought I was in charge, how dare I ask for their information. “What makes you so special,” he asked. I said, you have the guns and the willingness to use aggression – you’ve proven that today – so clearly you are in charge. I could have had the same exchange with a mugger.
One made a snide comment about numbers not being good with the bible so I shouldn’t be asking for them. This was another attempt to refute my logical self-defense against their aggression with ridicule based on some assumption from random profiling. A guy exercising the right to open carry a firearm on an autumn walk in the park at 1:30PM on a weekday must be a bible nut conspiracy theorist. (People who study the bible are not nuts of course.) This is like when democrats claim I am a birther because I said something critical of Obama and they have no reasoned rebuttal.
When finally I was released and picked up my son to comfort him the O’Brien character gave me the “I am going to sock this SOB” look but since I was holding my son he didn’t do it – this time. He was the last one to leave the scene and there would have been no adult witnesses had he chosen to commit further aggression.
They handed me back my firearm, then my mag and left the rounds 10 feet away. Of course they were fully armed and even Bolinsky had a four extra magazines sitting on his belt.
See Son: Words Work
I sat down and talked with my son for several minutes, hugging him and telling him, look it works, you can face the bad guys and talk sense into them until they leave you alone. We can deal with people just with words and not with violence – even when they assault us. I hope I can continue teaching him this. He got some extra attention this afternoon, which is why this posting is delayed.
Not Angry, Relieved
I am relieved about making it through without significant caving or mistakes. I looked them in the eye and talked to them like equals. I did not bow down or mince words. I stood up for myself without doing wrong or being rude. I am not even angry about it. I am traumatized but not angry. I’m not “out for justice”. I am not planning to file a lawsuit. I just want the aggressors to STOP. I may visit them at their lair, still debating that one. I am so disappointed I did not get it on audio or video.
Oh and it turns out an older lady walking an angry little dog called the cops on me. Man with a gun in a blue shirt, khaki pants and a little boy. Textbook aggression.