UPDATE:Meet the Man Who Caught Cop on Camera Forcibly Removing His Pro-Gun Sign…and Why His Attorney Says It Could Be a ‘Really Big Deal’
A man in Somers, N.Y., hatched a plan to catch the individual responsible for allegedly stealing his pro-gun signs repeatedly from his front yard. He bought a trail cam, set it up near the sign -- and then waited.
When he learned that his sign had been taken yet again, he was elated because he knew he had finally caught the person responsible on camera.
He just didn't expect that person to be a uniformed police officer.
Assuming the photos are entirely authentic, a police officer with the Somers Police Department appears to have been caught on camera ripping the sign, which reads: "Protect the Second Amendment," from the man's front yard. It wasn't immediately clear if the police officer had removed the sign previously too or if the action was ordered by Somers PD.
TheBlaze has left messages with the Somers Police Department as well as the man who claims his signs were removed from his property on multiple occasions.
Here's the photo evidence, which the man posted on the pro-gun forum NYFirearms.com on Monday (also notice the timestamps of the photos):
The man, who TheBlaze has been unable to contact so far, goes by the username "thecelt" on the forum. He explained exactly how the situation developed in a series of posts:
I sent an extra $20 donation to scopeny and they give you a repeal the safe act sign... I put it up and one scumbag neighbor called the town building inspector to complain. I got a letter for being in violation of a town code. As per advice on this forum from nyshooter I could fight it on grounds of my 1st amendment rights... so I called the town BI and after telling him ill fight it in court he asked what kind of sign it was so I said a pro2a sign so he said leave it up. A week or so later he called me back because the [neighbor] cried again and I said that I'm leaving it up. A day or so later my sign went missing...So I wanted to buy a trail cam first so I could catch the thief and press charges(can't justify spending the money on one yet) before putting up another sign but I decided to make a sign of my own with plywood and I'm going to drive a couple 2x4 stakes in the ground so someone would have to really work to remove it.. here is a picture of the sign... tomorrow ill get a pic of it installed. Btw the stencils took quite a while to make and I rushed the paint work because I didn't want to wait for one side to dry filly before doing the back side (both sides are the same)
One can understand why he first thought one of his neighbors, who was clearly against his Second Amendment sign and underlying message supporting the repeal New York's so-called SAFE Act, was responsible.
But after setting up his camera, which he reportedly bought with the help of donations from fellow members on NYFirearms.com, the man learned that a police officer had taken his sign -- at least on this occasion.
"Very strange turn of events...and im not quite sure where to go with this now," he wrote. "[It's] the freaking SOMERS PD."
It is entirely possible that the Somers Police Department had the "legal" right to remove the sign, though many on the forum say the man's constitutional right to free speech was violated regardless.
As the man who posted the photos points out: "this is my property, although i have to find out if the town claims any rights to property on the edge of the road as this was about 4-5' in from the edge of the roadway." He also admitted that he was instructed to remove the sign once by the town's building inspector, though he claims he ultimately was told he could leave it up.
In his final post on Monday, "thecelt" said he was seeking legal advice before taking any action or notifying the police department.
However, he also said he was "highly offended my constitutional rights are being violated and i certainly expect some action to be taken."
Featured image via NYFirearms.com. This story has been updated.