VA Man Detained for (Legal) Possession of Guns
Apparently now just possessing a gun, without even committing a crime, can get you arrested. A Virginia man was ordered at gunpoint to the ground, handcuffed, taken to a police station and detained. And what prompted police to take such actions? Well, he was carrying two guns….legally.
Brandon Howard filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Richmond for “the unlawful arrest and detention” in violation of the First, Second, Fourth and 14th Amendments. He had been protesting President Obama’s leadership and calling for his impeachment when the officers detained him. He had been doing nothing illegal, including the carrying the firearms, which were being legally carried.
John W. Whitehead is the president of the Rutherford Institute and author. He shared his thoughts:
“Indeed, as this case shows, while it still technically remains legal to own a firearm in America, possessing one can now get you pulled over, searched, arrested, subjected to all manner of surveillance, treated as a suspect without ever having committed a crime, shot at and killed. This same rule does not apply to law enforcement officials, however, who are armed to the hilt and rarely given more than a slap on the wrist for using their weapons against unarmed individuals.”
So here is how it went down…
The events took place on August 26 of last year. Howard approached an overpass above Interstate 295 in Hopewell, Virginia where he held up a sign that read “Impeach Obama.”
He was legally carrying an AR-15 rifle over his shoulder along with a pistol in a holster. It was reported that Howard lawfully owned both of the guns. Further, he did not point or brandish them at any time during the protest.
A short time later, it was reported that a police officer pulled up to the area where Howard was protesting, but remained in his car and observed what Howard was doing.
Soon after, another three to five police cruisers arrived at the scene with emergency lights turned on. About eight officers exited the vehicles with their guns drawn and demanded that Howard drop his sign and drop to the ground with his hands spread over his head. It was reported that Howard complied with all of these orders.
Even though Howard did not make a single threatening action toward officials or anyone else, it was reported that one police officer asked Howard, ‘What do you think you are doing threatening people on my interstate?’ Howard simply explained to the officer that he had not made a single threat, but was only exercising his First and Second amendment rights.
Apparently this is not what police wanted to hear because it led to Howard being taken away in handcuffs. It was later reported that the officers did violate department policy and they would be sent to remedial training.