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Open Carry Activist Sues Ohio City Over Police Detention

May 15, 2013  | 

Screenshot via Ohioans for Concealed Carry.
Screenshot via Ohioans for Concealed Carry.
While openly carrying his Springfield XDM .40-caliber handgun, Tipp City resident Roy Call walked into a Riverside Speedway store at 4:30 a.m. Aug. 12, 2012 to buy a sports drink.

That's when—as claimed in a lawsuit against the city of Riverside, its mayor, and two police officers—Call said he was illegally detained and briefly had his gun confiscated. Call is seeking compensatory and punitive damages of $3.6 million in a lawsuit field in the United States District Court/Southern District of Ohio in Dayton.

But Riverside police Chief Mark Reiss said his officers acted correctly and all Call had to do was cooperate.

"Had he been truthful with the police and simply provided his identification so that they could have quickly ran it, that encounter would have been over very quickly, within a minute or two," Reiss said.

Read the full Dayton Daily News story here. View dash-cam video of the stop posted by Ohioans for Concealed Carry here.

Tags: Open Carry, Riverside (Ohio) PD, Small-Town Agencies


Comments (28)

Displaying 1 - 28 of 28

John Carp @ 5/16/2013 3:38 PM

These new "open carry" "activists" or perhaps anarchists are exhibiting
"Sovreign Citizen" like characteristics. They seem not to be worried so much about carrying a hand gun for personal safety, but more provoking negative attention and LE contact. Perhaps some, have already been turned down by their predominant LE agency for a civilian CCW Permit. I have twenty four years on the job, and was a firearms enthusiast prior to work in LE and will be again after retirement. I feel as though this has nothing to do with carrying a firearm for personal safety, or exercising constitutional rights, but another way to entrap and hamper Law Enforcement Officers.
In the case cited within the text, it is clearly not about remuneration of the cost of the handgun. When I last checked a SA XDm .40 retails for about $500.00.
Gals and fellas please be careful when approaching "man with a gun/open carry" subjects.
Most respectfully
john

Chuck @ 5/16/2013 3:40 PM

Carrying a sidearm also means being responsible. Just do what the officers ask of you and everthing wll be ok. Im against open carry for this very reason. I do support carrying concealed. Why advertise that you have a weapon, this just makes you an even bigger target

dave @ 5/16/2013 6:12 PM

John you fail to see the main issue here. Poorly trained officers. Open carry is LEGAL, you have no legal justification to stop and/or demand identification. This is a LEGAL activity, therefore you as a citizen are under NO OBLIGATION or LAW to provide identification. The officers and the Chief need to be retrained on the law and court findings. I am a 27 year officer and have been a police instructor for 20 year and teach warrantless search, stops, etc. An officer can't be entrapped if he follows the law as hard is it for some. As I always teach if it's a bad guy there will always be another day to get him. You do know you just can't randomly stop people on the street and demand ID, don't you?

Tom Ret @ 5/16/2013 6:15 PM

It pays to be respective to inquires from police officers. They likely don't know who you are or your intentions. Before making contact, the officers need to know what constitutes a violation in regards to open carry in their jurisdiction. Having a solid legal footing before acting is the key to not being sued at least successfully.

Capt. Crunch @ 5/16/2013 6:34 PM

The best thing for a police officer to do when he/she has a character like this is to pretend that they are in court and a jury is watching the incident.

Arby @ 5/17/2013 4:48 AM

I have to go with Chuck on this one. The comments about officers knowing the law and approaching on good legal footing are all true, but any citizen who openly carries just paints a target on their back. If I was a bad guy intent to doing some crime, the open carry idiot is the first one I'd target and it would be easy because VERY few of them have any situational awareness at all. Concealed is better - you can pick and choose how/when to respond most of the time.

Jason @ 5/17/2013 6:33 AM

Wrong answers everyone. If open carry is legal then law enforcement has no objective basis to "seize" a person carrying out such legal activity. Lots of i-phones are stolen every day where I work. That does not provide Reasonable Suspicion to seize, demand identification and run every pers0n walking down the street with an i-phone.

Second, do we really believe the the person calmly open carrying a pistol is a legitimate threat. Or, is this the kind of responsible citizen we want out there. Let's not forget that the Consitution has to mean something.

Jeff @ 5/17/2013 6:37 AM

Dave: I have to disagree with you. An open carry person has an obligation to identify themselves if the officers are responding to a call from the citizen who was concerned about the weapon. In this instance the officer was asked because the citizen was disturbed by this weapon and individual. Obviously, this individual was trying to provoke a response and we all need to be mindful of this tactic. Once the subject was being evasive the officers have the right to see if he could carry a weapon i.e. domestic violator, felon, etc. In our jurisdiction most businesses prohibit the carrying of firearms within, so we would be good to go immediately. This exercise of 2nd amendment rights is fine by me. But, if the person is being purposefully deceptive and difficult I'm not sure that moves the "gun" conversation forward.

ChiefDJ @ 5/17/2013 6:52 AM

IN reference to dave's response: The job of any police officer is respond to the complaint and make sure the scene is safe, which includes the police officer himself as well as bystanders. The first thing you do is ask the person for ID, this is no different than any suspicious person response. This complaint is different than just recognizing a person is wearing a firearm. The officers cannot pick and choose which complaints to handle; they respond to all complaints and make sure the best they can (at that time), and have so many seconds to recognize there is danger or no danger. Check your case law on this one dave. I disagree and believe that there is justification to stop and/or demand identification. HOW ABOUT THIS: The police officers respond to the call end up asking the guy for Id and the person tells the police "NO" I guess at the point the police should say “OK” turn to the caller and say: "I'm sorry the police can do nothing about this because its open carry season until they change the law. "The police have an obligation to identify the subject, which is called field interrogate that's why they make those FI cards. To finish your response by saying "You do know you just can't randomly stop people on the street and demand ID, don't you." What's that statement got to do with anything other than to slam that Chief and his officers? Shame on you Brother from another!

ChiefDJ @ 5/17/2013 6:52 AM

You are an arm chair quarterback that maybe should have had a few more years on the street before you started instructing. You know as well as I that law is matter of interpretation; what works in one county will not in another even though it’s the same state; other issues come into play? I know this area of Riverside they are constantly having shootings and store robberies. How are responding officers supposed to approach and deal with guns, especially with what is going on throughout the country? If that store does not want that guy in there with a gun they can refuse service, are they going to tell the guy carrying the gun not to come in there anymore? Would you? Nope call the police they will take care of the problem.

TH133 @ 5/17/2013 10:07 AM

You got it CheifDJ. I think Dave needs more time behind the badge. Most jurisdictions give you the right to investigate suspicious behavior and make the scene safe during that investigation. It is all in the report writting and how you articulate your investigation and PC. The best PC can get thrown out if you don't articulate it in a good report.

Tom Ret @ 5/17/2013 10:44 AM

If this case goes to court, the question likely will be, was the subject acting lawfully when contacted? If so, how is the stop justified,
especially if it went beyond having a brief conversation? If there is no legal basis for asking for ID, much less demanding ID and taking action if the response was negative, this subject will probably get some money. The officers' actions may have been restricted to just having a presence at the store until the subject leaves and getting a license # to help identify him. There are lots of times when the public wants the police to do something that they, the police, can not do legally. There is a reason why departments have policies that address this type of situation before they come up. Open carry may be poor judgement but not necessary a crime that can be acted upon. People who rob stores, at least in my experience, don't carry openly standing in the check out line.

Tom Ret @ 5/17/2013 5:17 PM

After reading the full article, the police apparently handcuffed and placed the subject in a patrol car and came up with his ID from his vehicle. So they searched his vehicle also if I read it correctly?. The officers can expect to be asked how exercising a civil right, which apparently allows open carry, constitutes suspicious behavior in of itself which obligates the subject to cooperate. The police have not articulated how other than being armed the subject was suspicious. Recent robberies at night is not suspicious behavior. So the question in my mind is not necessarily that the subject could have avoided what he went through by simply cooperating but if he had a duty to cooperate in the first place. If it is deemed that he had no legal obligation to cooperate then the arrest and confiscation of the weapon and search of his vehicle would be improper. The suspect was initially charged with obstructing but this has been dropped so the police are left with no sustainable charge as reported. My guess is the city will settle out of court. If it was me, I would have cooperated but I don't carry openly and this subject may have baited the police for such an encounter.

Corporal T.E./N.S.M. @ 5/18/2013 9:27 AM

People who refuse to provide ID to a LEO on purely constitutional grounds need to ask themselves, "Would I give that girl that pours my coffee the same cold shoulder?"

In the decade and a half beginning with the Columbine shootings, peaking with 9/11 and The Anthrax Scare, and highlighted throughout witch school and mall shootings, the public has come to expect an increasingly vigilant Police force.

So if you are openly displaying a weapon and dressed in civilian clothes, take 30 bloody seconds to show your D/L and C/P.

Somebody armed and acting like they've something to hide is going to get treated like somebody armed and with something to hide.

If you can tip your Waffle House waitress and the Men's Room attendant, thank a cop for watching your 6, pard'ner.

JimB @ 5/19/2013 12:33 PM

Let me open by saying that I do not advocate open carry. I think those who do it are, at best, misguided. Most of them are spoiling for a confrontation and can't wait to be contacted by the police so they can blow everything way out of proportion.

Having said that, let me ask, how does a legal activity constitute suspicious activity or a violation of law. Arby mentions that open carriers paint a target on their backs. That may be true, but it is their right to do that. Jeff says that open carriers have an obligation to identify themselves when contacted by the police in response to a citizen complaint who is "concerned about the weapon". So another citizens "concerns" about my legal behavior trump my legal rights? Let's look at it this way. Jeff is driving down a public street in my neighborhood. He's in a fully licensed, street legal vehicle, obeying all the relevant traffic laws. He happens to be driving a blue Honda Accord, which is a problem for me because two years ago my mother was run over by someone driving a blue Honda Accord. So that car makes me nervous. I call up the local PD and report the "suspicious activity" and ask the responding officers to stop Jeff and deal with the situation. Based on my report alone, who is going to go stop Jeff? If you answer yes, what is your justification for doing so? I assume some of you might follow Jeff for a bit and see if you can pick up some driving behavior or a violation to warrant a stop. But as I already mentioned, Jeff is a very conscientious driver and you get nothing off of his driving. So do you go ahead and stop Jeff and demand, or even politely ask to see his license? Let's say you do but he says (also very politely) "Officer, was I doing something wrong? Why did you stop me?" Everyone see where I'm going with this? Does anyone maybe go back to me, the original RP and say, "We're very sorry you are uncomfortable sir, but Jeff is completely with in

JimB @ 5/19/2013 12:43 PM

Sorry, character limit cut me off. To continue:

Does anyone maybe go back to me, the original RP and say, "We're very sorry you are uncomfortable sir, but Jeff is completely within the law and we have no legal justification for stopping him."

I realize a vehicle is different from a gun. But the fact remains, if open carry is legal in your state, then it's legal. It doesn't matter if we like it or if we think it's a good idea. If it's legal to walk down the street with an exposed pistol on my hip, then it's legal to walk down the street with an exposed pistol on my hip. Whether my legal activity makes some other citizen nervous really isn't my problem. And it shouldn't be the problem of the police either. Look, I know there will be situations where there are other factors at play that will warrant an investigative detention and questioning. If that's the case, fine, go for it! But don't just barrel into it because you think you are supposed to of because you think the guy is just being an A-hole. Remember, these guys are spoiling for a fight and can't wait to get you on camera looking stupid or, better yet, doing something that will earn them a payday. Don't give these open carry DB's the satisfaction! If there is bona fide suspicious activity, then investigate it. But make sure you can articulate the circumstances. I'll say that again, make sure YOU can define what constituted the suspicious circumstances. Don't rely on Joe Citizens definition of "suspicious."

JP @ 5/19/2013 6:06 PM

If the guy who was carrying the concealed weapon without his license to carry permit on his person, then he deserved to have his gun seized, and should have gone to jail !
I think he knew he was in the wrong but carried the weapon anyway....JP a retired chief of police.

Tom Ret @ 5/20/2013 7:47 AM

JP- since he wasn't carrying his pistol concealed, how is his carry permit applicable? If this goes to court, the plaintiff's attorney will likely ask the police, what crimes his client committed that resulted in this arrest, search and seizure. If I read the account correctly, they have none. The initial obstructing charge would not hold water, probably because being armed in and of itself does not constitute reasonable suspicion, so they dropped it. What the police are left with is an arrest with no charge based on activity that was legal at the time of the arrest. Booking the subject would have compounded his complaint and upped his money demand.

Bob @ VA @ 5/20/2013 9:03 AM

Good discussion. In a states with legal open carry like OH and VA, simply open carrying is not RAS to detain someone much less conduct an illegal search and seizure. An individual may be approach for a casual contact, but if they do not wish to engage in conversation, they are perfectly legal to walk away without providing ID. That's black letter law. Some may not like it, but you cannot make up your own laws because you wear a badge. Section 1983 cases like these have been routinely won by plaintiffs in exactly these circumstances. Awards vary, but certainly having had a firearm confiscated (even temporarily), been handcuffed and placed in a cruiser will all add to the damages awarded. In one case in Wisconsin (I believe), an individual was only awarded $1, but the local government paid all the legal and court costs for both parties (standard for the loser of a 1983 case) which ran over $400,000 if I remember correctly. This was a very expensive mistake by the officers involved.

As for the recording device, this is also perfectly legal in most jurisdictions. The courts have routinely ruled that police interaction with the public has no expectation of privacy. There are a few activists look for trouble and that's a problem, but this fellow seems to have been going about his business. Even non-activist open carriers often carry recorders because the exactly this type of incident. It provides excellent evidence in court to show the character/legality of the stop and who said what to who.

We do not get to choose which laws we like and don't. Legal conduct cannot be suppressed because a third party feels "uncomfortable". Such conduct flies in the face of the entire concept of civil rights.

makarov @ 5/22/2013 7:23 AM

The police think open carriers are "Sovereigns". Wow what a mistake. Open carriers are citizens exercising a right. They display their weapon for protection because it deters the criminal act. In addition, open carriers are usually highly educated in the gun and constitutional law. It seems that law enforcement has an issue with people who exercise their rights, something they swore an oath to protect. Remember the saying by police officers, ignorance of the law is not excuse. So who is ignorant here? As an ex special operations guy who hung around many Israeli police and Intel folks, I can tell you they laugh at our concealed carry law. The people in Israel open carry all the time and crime is low. Plus police figure at least they can see the weapon and it’s honest.

Makarov @ 5/22/2013 7:47 AM

All I can tell you is that this officer is a joke. Sgt Harold Jones was fired for incompetance from Randolf township before coming to Riverside. He has also has several disciplinary write-ups by his Police Chief; But as you can see, blue protects blue.

Jon @ 5/22/2013 12:06 PM

Hey CheifDJ. I retired with over twenty three years of service. Here is my take on the situation. Mr Call has a holstered weapon and he is waiting in line to cash out an energy drink at a convenience store. Hmm, anyone common sense cop could tell you there is nothing illegal or threatening about that scene. Sargeant Harold Jones should have just observed Mr Call or he could have started an informal interview like, “Hey buddy what’s you carrying?” “Hey I have one of those!” and If Mr Call walks away. Oh well, you cannot detain Mr Call because there is no Reasonable Articulated Suspicion of a crime (RAS) because open carry is legal. In addition, the location, and time of day, doesn’t provide (RAS) to stop an open carrier. After detainment a suspect only has to provide you by law their name, address, or date of birth. A person not providing answers to questions is no obstructing government business. The lady who said they were scared by the site of a citizen carrying a weapon has an issue. Sargeant Jones should have told her it’s legal and not to worry. This officer should be fire! He did everything wrong against all his training.

Howard @ 5/22/2013 12:42 PM

Everyone puts down open carry. I love it and have opened carried for 14 years. I do have a CCW license because it’s easier for driving but even then I open carry. I would like to dispel some of the falsehoods of open carry.
I like the fallacy; all open carriers do it for attention. I open carry to educate the citizen and for protection. I do not engage in conversations unless people want too. I go about my business and only about 10% of the people I run into notice and 90% approve.
CCW is better tactically compared to open carry. That may be true in some situations but not all. If you CCW the criminal doesn’t know you have a weapon until it’s too late and then at the end someone is going to the hospital. When you open carry, the criminal threat avoids you because you are not the soft target.
The criminal will notice you right away if you are armed and they will shoot you first. Really, criminals adrenal is pumping incredibly fast went they are doing a crime. All they are concerned about is getting the job done and leaving the scene. They are not looking for an armed person. If they do see one, they will probably run. Again criminals like the soft target.
If you open carry the cops must ID you because you could be a criminal. Really, criminals open carry in public. Wow they are ballsy. Criminals carry concealed and usually use a mule or someone like a girlfriend to carry behind there back so they can access the firearm easily.

Ima Leprechaun @ 7/29/2013 4:07 AM

Ohio has had "open carry" for over 50 years or more. There is no permit needed for this law it just allows open carry anywhere in Ohio. But the rules change quickly while in a vehicle or while drinking alcohol or near a school or church. To make a proper arrest under Ohio Law the Officer should have waited for him to enter his car with his weapon because under Ohio Law firearms must be secured out of reach of the driver. The gun must be unloaded and the bullets and gun not stored together unless in an approved gun case. I know its goofy but that is how it is written in the (ORC) Ohio Revised Code. It really helps to read the Criminal Code if you intend to be a cop. Many 24 hr gas station attendants in Ohio carry a firearm openly at night. I like open carry myself and I prefer it to concealed carry laws. With concealed carry, like in Florida you have to assume every contact you make will be armed and they probably are.

Ima Leprechaun @ 7/29/2013 4:13 AM

Not every state allows "open carry". In Florida "open carry" is against the law but concealed carry is legal by permit. Every state is different when it comes to firearms and drug laws.

@ 8/5/2013 11:49 PM

I live in tipp city and have been concerned about how the locals and local police would react to a responsible gun owner open carrying and just going about their day. Tipp city is a small town and that means that the local police are usually bored and are looking for something or someone to harass. Example: I was walking around with a friend of mine at around 10:30pm and a police s.u.v pulls up and the first thing the officer said was "where do you two live" of course my friend not knowing that the officer had no right to know this, told him exactly what the officer had asked and then her age and name. I refused to answer and Upon refusing to answer the officer's question I was asked more questions and after refusing to answer I simply walked away and that was that. I would hate to have found out how that would have gone if I was open carrying a firearm. I believe that every police officer should undergo a class about gun laws and be reminded that they are NOT the law but that they are just there to enforce it and to keep u.s. citizens safe.

BikerBry @ 2/10/2014 11:37 AM

Funny reading the Law Enforcement reactions to this. It DOES clearly demonstrate that cops seem to treat citizens like peasants and they exist to rule them. This is a prevalent problem with current law enforcement and why they are so ready to ruin peoples lives, harass them and abuse them. It makes me VERY sad to see it because they have a LOT of unchecked power and total power corrupts totally.

You should be a cop to do good. To improve the lives of the people of your community. Not to be a cowboy, not to be sheriff in the wild west, not to "rule" over the peasants, and not to stuff the state/city coffers through public harassment.

As a cop and someone who made AN OATH to the rights of the people, you should be there defending the rights of every citizen to OPEN CARRY if it is legal. You should reprimand every person that questions it weather you agree with it or not. IT IS YOUR OATH AND YOUR SWORN DUTY!

Rick Johnson @ 4/24/2014 9:19 PM

I get so tired of people knocking open carry. It's not only our right, but it makes more sense then concealed carry. It seems that the police are the ones who have the most problem with it and that concerns me. Show me a criminal who walks around with his gun on his side and I'll show you a stupid criminal. They don't! I don't understand why police are always talking about being worried by the man with a gun showing? And you can talk tactical advantage all day with concealed carry, but I don't buy it. Criminals want it easy. They just want the money. If they see someone with a gun they are going to look for another store to rob, not have a gunfight first and then rob the store.

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