A police officer's dash cam in Canton, OH caught a disturbing exchange last month between a cop and a driver during a traffic stop. In it, the cop can be heard (and seen) berating a man for not telling the officer immediately that he had a concealed carry permit and thus a concealed weapon, even saying at one point he should have killed the gun owner. But there's just one problem: the man tried several times but the officer cut him off.
That is a problem. In Ohio (as in many states), the law requires concealed carry gun owners to immediately inform law enforcement if they have a weapon when they are pulled over. So when the man, named William, was not allowed to do so immediately, and the cop eventually found out, that created an issue.
“I could blast you in the mouth right now!" the officer says in the video after finding out about the man's gun. "I’m so close to caving in your Godda**ed head,” he adds. "You fu** with me! You’re just a stupid human being!”
He continues: "Fu**ing talking to me with a Godd***ed gun! You want me to pull mine and stick it to your head? ... I tell you what I should have done. As soon as I saw your gun I should have taken two steps back, pulled my Glock 40 and put ten bullets in your ass and let you drop."
"And I wouldn't have lost any sleep!" he screams.
The officer can also be heard threatening to "put lumps" on a woman also involved in the traffic stop.
William, luckily, didn't get his mouth blasted or his head caved in. But now, he is being charged with failure to notify -- even though he tried.
Ohioans For Concealed Carry (OFCC) obtained the video and explains what happened on June 8, 2011:
Early that Wednesday morning, William pulled his car to the side of the road to let out two passengers, but only the female occupant managed to exit before the police pulled up and began screaming at all three parties. "Stay in that car, I'm not going to mess around," screamed one of the officers at the two people attempting to exit the vehicle. The driver and concealed handgun licensee, William, remained seated in his vehicle when an officer entered the rear of the vehicle.
William stated, "I have a concealed carry, and..." when he was abruptly told to shut up. Dash camera video footage shows the driver turning his head, and his voice can be heard, but the words are inaudible. A few minutes passed while the officer continued to berate the two passengers. He proceeded to the driver's side and tries to open the door but is delayed by a seat belt. William states "I have a conceal..." and the officer demands that he better tell the truth or else! This interruption causes William to "tell the truth" and his attempt to notify is interrupted. William exited the vehicle with his driver's license in the same hand as his concealed handgun license. He held it up for the officer to see, and the officer said, "Why are you having that?" This gave William the opportunity to say, "I have a CCW, and..." The officer then said, "Do you have a gun?" William answered yes, causing the officer to grab it from William's waist.
At this point, William was handcuffed and put into the police cruiser. The officer then started to berate William, stating: "I [could] blast you in the mouth right now ... I'm close to caving in your head." and "you're just a stupid human being!"
You can watch the events unfold below, and OFCC gives a play-by-play with some included text. WARNING, though, it does contain some graphic language:
OFCC says the local police are investigating the issue and the officer's conduct.
Police officers do have the right to take their own security seriously. But as Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air explains, this seems different:
In this case, though, a fair viewing of the videotape shows that the driver did attempt to notify the officers on more than one occasion before stepping out of the car, and tried to do so when the officer approached his window several minutes into the stop. He may not have done it very well, but it certainly doesn’t appear that the driver intended to keep the information from the police. The officer told him repeatedly to keep his mouth shut while they checked out the other two people involved in the stop. Threatening death and/or a beating to a man who tried repeatedly and finally succeeded in fulfilling his legal obligation to inform them is irrational and should be illegal.
OFCC is now trying to raise funds for Williams defense.
What do you think?
On the blog Wednesday, Meredith posted a video of an officer calmly and respectively checking and interacting with a gentleman who was legally and openly carrying an unloaded firearm in California. It's worth noting how that officer handled his situation:
Although they are different -- one man was carrying concealed and the other carrying openly -- the juxtaposition of the officers' reactions are interesting.
Read Meredith's thoughts on it here.
The identity and history of the officer involved has been revealed. Read about it in our follow-up report.