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Plymouth Township Denies My Right to Know Request but Hands Over Police Report

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I obtained two documents from Plymouth township today: (1) a response in denial of my PA Right-to-Know request and (2) the police report for their assault and violation of me. Click on the respective links to get the documents in PDF form. The first was available at 10AM this morning and the second around 2PM so I am releasing them promptly.

Runaround for the Police Report

Curiously, after digesting the first document and going back for the second, I was told that the police report had not been released yet. When the lady went to check on its status, she came back and told me that everything I wanted was in the first document. When I told the lady that the first document told me I could get the police report, and did not include it, a Karen Mabry (“lieutenant”) came out and said that the report was not ready and she could not tell me when it might be ready or how long these things take (a bit of stuttering here) and told me to come back on Monday.

Back at home, two gentleman who appeared to be detectives informed me that there had been a mixup and the document was indeed ready.

Analysis of the Police Report

Reading the police report, I notice first of all that it was written by the most junior officer. He was second on the scene and was not the last to leave. There is no mention of anyone calling them to report a possible child kidnapping! This is the most interesting tidbit for me since it reduces this to a man-with-a-gun call and makes even more outrageous and unfounded their violations of me.

Zinni claims in his report that I said I carry a pocket knife and firearm “for protection because of all the crazies out there”. I did not say this. I was not even asked why I carry the pocket knife. He also claims that I resisted their attempts to “console” my son. You bet! Their attempts to interrogate my son scared the crap out of him. They have no business speaking to him without my permission anyway.

Your Thoughts?

Your thoughts on the documents would be most appreciated. I may be too close to this to analyze them as thoroughly as I would like. Thanks.

Photo credit: thivierr. Photo license.

By George Donnelly

I'm building a tribe of radical libertarians to voluntarize the world by 2064. Join me.

21 replies on “Plymouth Township Denies My Right to Know Request but Hands Over Police Report”

I read the police report. Where is the probable cause for detaining and searching you? I saw none on the report. I also missed the part on the report where you gave them permission to search. They left out one or the other because cops ALWAYS go “by the book.” I know because I saw it on Law and Order. Yes, I’m being sarcastic.

George, you were well within your rights. Now that you know that violent thugs are roaming your neighborhoods impersonating peace officers.

I’m amazed at how you could keep your cool enough to remember who was who enough to hypothesize who wrote the report. I mean, maybe I underestimate what adrenaline can do to memory. You got a lot of guts too, going back to, while armed, and asking for what you should have a right to. Hopefully you won’t get more than you bargained for. Meaning, if they want, they could make you regret even going down this path.

So I’d like to tell you to keep up the good work, but I’m not sure I’d recommend it to anyone either. Either way, it’s obvious how totally insane this forced protection racket is.

I’ve been watching PiMP your activism recordings, studying sovereign theory and otherwise mentally preparing for something like this. This is inevitable for someone who lives non-aggressive principles today.

The report says who wrote it and I remember him specifically because he came off as the most reasonable person there.

What would you *not* recommend? Exercising rights? That’s all I have done: exercise rights and take advantage of the privileges they have granted me to participate in their enterprise (the report and right-to-know thing).

I guess it’s not so much that I don’t recommend it. You’re right, we should exercise our rights. On that level, I highly recommend it, for sure. But I think before I personally recommend something, I most should first do it myself. That’s what I meant.

Telling you to keep up the good work when I myself haven’t done anything close just seems silly. That being said, please do keep up the good work. Now I feel silly. :D

Thanks for openly carrying, George, and I’m sorry you and your son endured this outrageous BS. Exercising rights is like exercising muscles– by using them, you’re helping us all keep them. Thank you again.

Anthony, you have educated yourself and you write a lot of very cogent commentary. That right there is doing a lot. I did not do anything here, I was simply picked on, or got unlucky. Keep up your great work. :)

I don’t agree that people should thank me for open carrying. I don’t open carry as a political statement (which motivation I find spurious at best). I open carry because it’s the fastest draw. Period.

Do you ask the cop if you could cuff him for safety reasons?

Keep up the good work. There is little else more empowering than knowing the law and standing up for your rights in the face of diabolical power asshats.

Oh ya, did they have any reasonable suspicion that you were committing a crime? If not you should have asked if you were free to go. If they said they have no reasonable suspicion, they have to let you go. If they try to change the topic just keep asking those 2 questions over and over again while writing down their names and badge numbers. Audio or video recording the incidents is always helpful. The iPhone is great for this. You can record a video and instantly upload it to YouTube. This way the cop can’t take your camera and destroy the evidence.

It sounds like you’re wasting your time. All these actions (requesting police report, considering a lawsuit) are a waste of time. You’re fighting the bad guys on their terms.

What do you expect the police report to say? “We intentionally harrassed an innocent person!”? It’ll probably say “George Donnelly was acting in a threatening and hostile manner and we detained him!”

The bottom line is that it’s your word against the policemen, regarding the facts of what happened. A judge will always believe their version of the story ahead of yours.

Let it go and move on. Focus on resisting the State constructively.

It is no longer his words against policemen. The report George received contains probable cause (at least to the level which police and magistrates see it, if not ‘real’ probable cause) against the OFFICERS for various crimes. If George will not peruse a private criminal complaint, and unfortunately I think only he may have standing to do so, someone less virtuous should contact the DA of his county, demanding the DA write up police criminal complaint based on the evidence before him/her.

As for the RTK response, they’re always retarded. I don’t see how agencies can get away with blanket responses that don’t address each individual element of request because 1) the laymen can’t possibly know what records may or may not exist and 2) sometimes it’s quite hard to know which ‘exception’ the agency is trying to apply, therefore hampering one’s ability to appeal. An agency ought to be required to designate what records exist even though they are denying their dissemination and to only apply specific exceptions to each element, as best as possible (obviously that wasn’t done here.) Personally, I’d appeal it to the Office of Open Records within 15 days. http://openrecords.state.pa.us/ The task is a bit more troublesome when you are not regularly reading the law and reviewing the format of filings before the courts, but I think you could pull it off. If you don’t know of somewhere that you might access case law (like WestLaw, perhaps at the courthouse law library, public library, or school library) you can always sign up for 24 hour free trials at http://www.fastcase.com for both PA and US case law, and it appears there is no limit to number of sign-ups. Fastcase may or may not have annotated statutes up yet, which would be helpful in directing you to pertinent cases that have resulted from RTK appeals. The problem is that neither OOR office opinions nor CCP opinions would probably show up there, and I imagine few RTK appeals reach appellate level. The OOR office has all of its opinions up, however.

It sounds like you’re wasting your time. All these actions (requesting police report, considering a lawsuit) are a waste of time. You’re fighting the bad guys on their terms.

I asked for information from them because I want to present their side to the public as well. Also, a few skeptics here and there on gun forums have questioned whether the incident even happened. So eliminating any doubt is constructive.

The bottom line is that it’s your word against the policemen, regarding the facts of what happened. A judge will always believe their version of the story ahead of yours.

I think you are correct. However, one of the paradigms I use to analyze reality is the one that says we are already in a state of liberty (anarchy), we are simply under siege by an aggressive gang.

In a state of liberty, there is the common law and it has procedures for handling things like this. So I am going to experiment with this approach. At worst, I will expand my breadth of knowledge and produce another example of how corrupt the government is. At best, I may find another principled manner in which to enhance liberty.

Focus on resisting the State constructively.

I think I am. :) Thanks for your multiple insightful comments on this topic.

O. Rly , thanks for your many useful comments. I think I will appeal it.

Is it just me, or is the police report lacking in details? Your version of the story contained a lot more “happenings” then the police report does. Is that normal? It appears to me that the whole situation was “white washed” when the report was written up.

Incident reports aren’t there to speak the truth or benefit citizens. They exist to denote and justify the officer’s existence. What accidentally often happens, however, is even in many ‘well-crafted’ reports, officers incriminate themselves even when the goal is to do the opposite.

In fact, with all the investigation/non-investigation exceptions, I don’t know why we are even allowed to receive incident reports. Of course, when I read the investigation/non-investigation exceptions, it says to me that only things currently being investigated are excepted, not anything that has ever BEEN investigated. How else is one supposed to get any record of what their public servants are doing?

Horay for excercising your rights George! You were calm, collected, and did everything right. You did not give in to intimidation – and schooled the officers on the LAW (seems you knew more about it then they did).

As for the Denial – I think its interesting that it states you can appeal within 15 days – and you know if you appealed no day 16 you would be turned down – yet the Plymouth Police department did not have the police report ready for you in time. I personally believe the report was not ready nor written – and that after you exercised your right to obtain it – it was written – then you notified that “oh yeah – its done and it was a mistake someone told you otherwise”. The interesting thing I noted on the police report was that FOUR UNITS arrived to take care of a single w/m with a gun call. I would understand that if you were in the process of some crime (robbery, violence, etc) – but playing with your child in the park? Come on now Plymouth Police.

I have found in my past being an NRA member and right to carry concealed permit holder myself that it depends on the police officer you encounter on what happens next. Some police officers (typically more Western, PA where I live) have told me “As long as you don’t pull it out and point it at me…we don’t have a problem”. Others (typically in eastern PA near Philadelphia suburbs) have removed me from my car when I present my license to carry concealed permit (when being pulled over for speeding) and taken the weapon off me…claiming “for my protection”. Once while an officer was taking my weapon off me – another officer was just walking up to the scene and when the first cop lifted my shirt (as my hands were on my car) to remove my weapon – the second cop yelled “GUN” – drew his – and pointed it at me. Now that was a scary and very tense moment. Needless to say – first cop told second cop I was licensed and he was removing it and knew about it – and I was apologized to. But I again question – why did they have to remove it at all? For “allegedly” speeding?

Anyway – most policeman in general do not like it when Joe citizen arms themself. But as you know – tought – we are well within our right. I think you would have encounted alot more hassle had you been carrying in the open and NOT had a license to carry concealed (even though you’d still be within your right).

Great job on your passive and peaceful actions and manner, and especially the way you handled yourself during and after the intimidation. Only though this will folks like you and I be able to make officers realize we are well within our right to carry a firearm for self-defense…and are NOT a threat to society. And unless more people like yourselves stand up to aggressive and illegal behavior from police officers…it will only get worse in the future.

Bravo – I applaud you. BTW – I ALWAYS CARRY when leaving my house – ESPECIALLY when my family and young children are with me. Its like underwear to me – I don’t think twice about it. Nor do I ever look forward to having to use it. You need to read a book called “In the gravest extreme…”. Trust me on this one.

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