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Video: Colo. Man Arrested for Open Carry In Park

August 15, 2012  | 

VIDEO: Man Arrested for Open Carry In Park

The Colorado Springs Police chief has taken responsibility for the illegal arrest of a man who was openly carrying a handgun in a city park, and promised to provide proper training to officers.

At a Tuesday City Council meeting, Chief Pete Carey acknowledged he must "make sure my guys are trained and they have the right resources, that they're taking the right action," reports The Gazette.

On July 21, Colorado Springs PD officers arrested 24-year-old James Sorenson in a public park during PrideFest. Sorenson then posted a cell phone video of the arrest on YouTube, reports Fox21 News.

In the video, Sorenson argues with officers and asks to see a public sign prohibiting weapons prior to the arrest.

Comments (22)

Displaying 1 - 22 of 22

Rev. Lowrey @ 8/15/2012 6:47 PM

I think "illegal arrest" kind of says it well. Open carry is not an offense. I don't own a gun, but if I thought I needed one I'd wear it 24/7. What good is it in a drawer across town if you need it? I hope the training the Chief is handing out is based on the law and not his opinions.

Tim @ 8/15/2012 7:43 PM

I don't care who is right or wrong, when a Police Officer tells you to do something, do it and let the courts figure it out. He is lucky he wasn't shot.

Nyx @ 8/15/2012 9:58 PM

We do this all the time down there at that particular park. It can be very dangerous down there (depending on the time of day of course). But it drives me crazy that CSPD uses their power to the max, and everyone is frightened of them.

Glad they've got that sorted out... Seems to me thats an obvious 'duh', but hey, I just live here.

Jkraemer @ 8/16/2012 1:51 AM

Open carry scares lots, even some cops, so stigmatized by the against guns agenda. Although I grew up around guns, it bothers me as well. These days I have concerns because of the same stigma imposed. I resist the stigma, but it is still there. Regardless, I still believe the right of the civil to own and carry guns ought to remain in place. When a child riding a school bus kids brought their rifles on the bus for our school's gun club. The bus driver checked each gun for the bolt removed, and some drivers had a gun rack the rifle was placed in. No one thought about it, kids were shooting up paper targets at school, not other kids and staff. Although I understand the stigma concerning guns these days, I remain in favor of the civil retaining their rights, certainly over that of actual criminals unlawfully exercising their option to own and carry guns. Google search for the story: Is the 4th of July still the day we celebrate our Independence?

Terry L. Kiser, Sr @ 8/16/2012 11:20 AM

I'm more scared of the guns I can't see than the ones I can. I support open carry, with limitations. No bars, no carrying at parties or events selling alcohol, no possession of a gun while drinking, no guns where they are not wanted on premises. No carry by persons under 21 with exception of prior or present honorably discharged, military. Simple stuff.

Cecilio Mendez @ 8/16/2012 11:30 AM

LEO's have some discretionary space to operate, when intervening with presumed violators. And arrest can, and should, be made when the officer have reasonable doubt and there is no way of confirmation, one way or another. In this particular case, there is no mention if the officer used his radio to verify the information provided by the alleged violator. As the Chief admits, he (the Chief) knew it was not a violation. A short conference, via radio, with the chief would've cleared the situation for all. My opinion is based on what is presented in the article. I was not there and do not know ALL the details.

Mark @ 8/16/2012 4:36 PM

Carrying a gun openly in public, although legal in many jurisdictions, is poor judgement. This probably could have been handled more tactfully by more mature officers and diffused rather than bveing forced to an issue.

Eric @ 8/16/2012 4:53 PM

Common sense! ... this citizen is a fool, looking for trouble and confrontation. The recent mass shootings in this state .. ect. It is illegal to carry firearms into Parks, schools, government buildings ect. I don't see signs saying its illegal to drink n drive ... try open carry in a crowd when potus is in town.. fool!

Andy S @ 8/16/2012 4:57 PM

Not knowing the City or State codes regarding open carry it appears that possibly the officer's lacked proper training. It appears that many officers present may have been an over kill. With that many officers present it appeared the problem escalated. They never told the suspect why he was being arrested although with all the resent shootings I can understand why they were concerned. It also looked like the suspect was looking to file a lawsuit and attempted to bate the officers as well.

Bill @ 8/16/2012 5:45 PM

I have to agree with Mark. I support gun rights, but some of these folks who carry handguns openly are asking for trouble. I was in a restaurant recently and saw an open-carry type sitting in a booth eating, his back to the door of the establishment. I had my off-duty handgun concealed and remarked to my wife as we took a seat far away from this goof, that had I wanted to, I could have screwed my gun in this guy's ear and had the drop on him before he even knew what was going on. I knew he had a weapon, but he didn't know that I did as I passed by a few feet away. This fellow looked like a character in a Jeff Foxworthy skit with his Condition One 1911 pistol exposed for all the world to see. If I had been a bad guy intent on violence, he would have been the first to go.

TripWire @ 8/16/2012 6:09 PM

Actually Eric, as the officers later found out (if you would have bothered to actually read the article you would know this) it was actually legal to carry openly in the park within that particular jurisdiction.

It really isn't up to us to judge whether his conduct was smart as long as it was legal. Was he looking for a confrontation? Probably. Although the officers should have known or found out what the law was, they handled this loudmouth pretty well.

John @ 8/16/2012 6:15 PM

I believe concealed carry is the correct way to carry in public. With that said, I do care who is right or wrong. L.e.o.'s should not be able to interpret or (even worse) make up laws as they see fit. If in doubt, the subject's information should be obtained, a teachable moment utilized and the subject released if there is no threat to public safety.

DaveSAM25G @ 8/16/2012 9:02 PM

There are folks that are ouyt there testing this type situation to see what happens - has happened in Albuquerque and Santa Fe numerous other locations-For Colorado...Break out the Blue Book and City Ord verification of statutes...This was preventable all the way around...Cheat sheets in units/brief cases need to be kept updated...The last Sgt who arrived last needs some communication skills interacting with public and he really caused the guy to become vocal by how he addressed person...There is going to be some liability here...There is a footbeat or used to be that patrolled this park on a regular basis as it has been know to have some issues with down and outs transients and drugs...I have been to this park while stationed in the Colorado Springs Active duty before retiring and had a guy try to sell us drugs then accuse us of being DEA...Luckily there was an officer in the park foot-beat who took care of this individual who had drugs on him and warrants outstanding...The officer even apologized for the way the guy acted (As all of us were from other states just active duty there) we appreciated that but not his issue...It was 1986 - I will say respect is a two-ways steet also...treat others the way you wish to treated and talked to does not alway work but give it a shot anyway first then go from there as needed!

Marty B @ 8/17/2012 2:59 PM

All the comments here either missed or didn't comment because of what was going on when this individual was arrested.
This guy was arrested during a Gay Pride event. I'm not saying the officers were targeting the individual because he might of been gay but because he might not have been gay and that he might have been there to do some harm to gay folks or those that support them.

Personally I think the guy is an idiot for doing what he did... He had the legal right to be there and carry the weapon... however he exhibited very poor judgement.

TripWire @ 8/17/2012 10:34 PM

Where I am, Michigan, open carry is legal and I don't have a problem with that except for the individuals and groups that go around open carrying as a means of "teaching" the public about open carry laws. I am VERY supportive of the 2nd Amendment and believe in the individual right to carry concealed (with CCW), or openly. However, I am of the belief that one should only carry to protect yourself and your loved ones. If you are openly carrying only to protest or to try and bait police into a confrontation then I think you are playing a dangerous and unnecessary game. If I heard the above video correctly one of the officers only stopped to talk to the guy after he walked back and forth in front of the officers several times. If true this would seem like he was baiting the cops into a confrontation and I do have a problem with that. If you carry, great, but go on with your business, it's not your responsibility to "teach" the police or the public about the gun laws.

Tired @ 8/18/2012 6:18 AM

I am tired of posts by non leo. I thought this was a police website.

Rick @ 8/18/2012 12:40 PM

I'm very pro 2nd Amendment, but these open carry folks are giving gun owners a bad name. They scare the public and give gun owners a bad reputation. They tie up law enforcement who are stretched too thin as it is. Here in CA they pushed it so far so often that the liberal CA law makers changed the law to make it illegal to open carry. It seems these open folks want to cause that to happen in every state. If you can still legally open carry do so with repect to others and with common sense or you will lose that abililty like here in CA.

AJ @ 8/20/2012 6:50 AM

Did I just read that someone would have radio'd the chief? Anyone in an agency over 12 sworn tell me the last time you radio'd the chief. My city has the public display of a weapon prohibited if it tends to incite an immidiate breech of the peace. All it takes is one concerned citizen to say something and we can take action in a situation like the one here. Wanna pack heat? Get a CCW and rememeber what the first "C" stands for. You're open carry does nothing but make you the bad guys first target!

You Smell @ 8/21/2012 12:46 AM

A lot of crazy people who go on shooting sprees like the concept open carry like the deranged killer in Colorado. Apparently he made no attempt to hide the assault rifle he used to killed 12 people.

John @ 9/7/2012 1:33 AM

As typical with all other areas of the country, the fact that CSPD has hired some officers who are not concerned with "Protecting and Serving" but are instead focused solely on "Bullying and Harassing". A badge and a gun do NOT confer additional rights to police nor does it give them license to treat citizens as they please in direct contradiction to the law and the constitution they were sworn to uphold. Events such as this are a disgrace to the profession and shame all police officers, even those who do not abuse their positions of authority.

B. Taylor @ 3/1/2013 12:55 PM

Taking responsibility would be firing these officers. Colorado Springs doesn't need police officers who don't know the law. This has been the law for nine years so there was no excuse for them not being aware of it. And one officer told Sorensen he was ignorant of the law! They threatened to assault him during an illegal arrest and weren't punished. The black officer at the scene was nothing more than a bully. These officers made fools out of the CSPD.

L.Rainey @ 3/4/2013 8:19 PM

@ AJ. If that really is the case then you and your Dept. would be in direct violation of the Firearms Preemption Law. Soon enough you'll harass the wrong law abiding citizen and someone WILL sue you. Where are you, maybe I'll swing through and get paid. Dumbass!!!

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