2. April 2011 03:45
I was walking down Prospect St. in New Haven, CT on 4/2/2011 around 15:30. I saw a police cruiser directly in front of me on my right side. I also noticed an officer who was already looking a bit irate walking towards his car leaving the Yale skating rink there. He got in the car, started it up and went to leave in a hurry. He pulled about half a holeshot and then slammed on the brakes and started to back up. His window was coming down and he yelled out "Hey buddy". I was already a couple car lengths past him, but I turned around. In the audio you can hear a couple people near us on the sidewalk walking by who are alarmed by this cop shouting out. I had seen no alarm at all throughout the day in relation to my exposed firearm. Everyone in that area is always pretty nice.
The people walking on the sidewalk near us are alarmed, but I have a good idea this officer is yelling out to me so I say "Is he talking to me?" and they start to walk away. I walk back towards the cruiser to see what the officer wants. The officer proceeds to ask "Hey, are you kidding me?" I don't any realistic frame of reference to what he is asking about, so I ask "What are you talking about?". He says "Put away your gun". For reference, my gun is 'put away' since it is in my Desantis thumb break scabbard. I guess he wants me to pull my shirt over it. That is not an option for me. I ask him "Why?". He explains "Because you are on a college campus, have some common sense.". He is wrong. I am on the city sidewalk on Prospect St. regardless, he has no legal recourse since there is no law against carry or open carry on a college campus. I also dispute his 'common sense' of not carrying on a college campus. I have no idea why he would be within the confines of 'common sense' to carry openly but that same 'common sense' would somehow prohibit me from doing so.
I explain that I am not on a college campus, I am on a city sidewalk. He decides to try to intimidate me by asking me "Are you going to argue with me?". Nope. I am going to start stating my rights and allow him to make his own mistakes. He already seemed hell bent on making a good example of everything not to do as police officer, so why should I proceed any further with him. I reply "I am not sure I am doing anything illegal. Are you detaining me?". I see his face twist in anger and he asks "What?". I repeat my question and add "Am I free to go?". He indicates I am not being detained while I am asking and says "Can you just cover up your sidearm?". Since he is not making a lawful request I don't see the need to reply to his questioning. At this point he has all the power of any other irate citizen (read: Mark Vanaman) demanding that I conceal. No thanks.
I explain that since I am free to go, I will be on my way and tell him to have a good day. He is pissed and rips out of there in an obviously angry manner. I guess he has time to stop and harrass a law abiding citizen, but he has to make up some time by not using proper traffic safety rules. With all the pedestrians and vehicles on the street he is lucky he didn't hurt someone doing that.
So, no detainment, no ID, but a very rude and angry officer.
I am cautiously optimistic about New Haven. Maybe they 'got the memo' on OC being legal and this is just one officer who knows he has no legal power over me but thinks he can intimidate people out of things that don't meet his own personal approval.
View Larger Map