After police officers got rid of protesters who were surrounding a pickup truck on the streets of Charleston, South Carolina, on Saturday night, they arrested the driver and passenger of the vehicle for unlawfully carrying firearms, WCDB-TV reported.
What are the details?
Police told the station an officer noticed multiple protesters leave the main group and surround a Chevrolet truck in a parking lot.
But after dispersing the protesters, an officer eyeballed an AR-15 on the back seat in plain view, WCDB noted.
Upon further questioning, passenger Richard Ray, 59, told police there were handguns in the vehicle — one of them in the passenger side door compartment, the station said.
Image source: WCSC-TV video screenshot
The driver, 46-year-old Matthew Constantine, told police he had a handgun concealed in his waistband, WCDB reported. It was loaded, WCSC-TV reported.
Officers also found pepper spray, a wooden club, additional magazines, ammunition, knives, and a Taser inside the vehicle, the station said.
Neither Ray nor Constantine had concealed carry permits, and they were arrested and charged for unlawful carrying of a handgun, WCDB said, adding that Constantine and Ray were released on bonds — $25,000 and $10,000, respectively. They're scheduled for an initial court date in December.
According to WCSC, if you don't have a concealed carry permit, and you're in a vehicle, guns can be kept only in certain parts of the vehicle, such as in a closed truck, glove box, or center console.
What did the police chief have to say?
Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds told WCSC that Ray and Constantine weren't part of the protest, that their guns were seized, and investigators were still trying to figure out why the men were downtown and why they had the guns and ammo with them.
Reynolds added to the station that the incident underscores the prevailing "concern" of "danger potentially involved but in particular when it's a busy night right in the area of the peninsula ... where the protests were being held at a time when there's lots of people."
Protesters were angry that a Louisville, Kentucky, grand jury didn't return murder indictments against officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, WCDB reported, adding that two protesters also were arrested Saturday night.
WCDB added that the protest was illegal since no permit was acquired for it.
Saturday protests leave four arrested, Chief of Police wants to work together with protestors youtu.be