Oceanside, CA Police officer Matthew Lyons stops a citizen carrying a holstered gun and performs a validation check. The citizen is well within his rights to carry a weapon in public and the police officer agrees. In my estimation the guy obviously did this on purpose in order to be approach by an officer so he could try to make a statement about his right to bare arms. That point is a bit obvious, even the Lyons picked up on it. Despite the man almost purposefully attempting to provoke a reaction from the policeman, the cop stays civil and respectful. This is an excellent example of how the police should conduct themselves. Frankly, I think the guy that got stopped was caught off guard and expected to and wanted the opportunity to argue his point on camera.
If this were the type of discourse that took place between police and citizens we’d have less incidence like the one in Brooklyn recently at the Pete Rock & Smif-N-Wessun album release party. Let’s be honest, he’s walking around with a gun on his hip in post 9/11 America, this could have ended badly for either of them.
Of course, it goes both ways to some degree. Citizens should be civil in their dealings with officers as well. I would still say the burden weighs heavier on the police’s side as the authority figure in the disputes of law. If more police officers conducting themselves in this manner I think some attitudes towards law enforcement would change and people would see them in a much better light.
Stop by the Oceanside PD site and drop them a line in praise of Officer Lyons.
This is how a “Peace Officer” behaves. Respect to you sir.