Video: Veteran Arrested at Gunpoint for Legal Open Carryby Mikael Thalen
Jul. 07, 2014
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A recently published cell phone video out of Wash. state shows an Air Force veteran being arrested at gunpoint for legally open carrying an AR-15 rifle.
The incident, which occurred on June 29, 2013, began when Vancouver police confronted Mack Worley as he walked down a public sidewalk towards his vehicle.
“Stop right there. Put the rifle on the ground,” an officer repeats over a police vehicle loudspeaker.
Worley, fearing for his safety, puts the rifle on the ground while a second officer demands he place his hands on top of his head.
“Am I being detained right now officer?” Worley asks.
After being forced to lift his t-shirt to prove he is not carrying a sidearm, Worley is repeatedly asked to turn off his cell phone by an Officer Rawlins. Refusing to do so, Worley again asks if he is being detained without receiving an answer.
“Just so you know officer, I don’t consent to any searches or seizures of my firearm,” Worley says as officers seize his property without probable cause.
Worley then begins documenting the names of the officers on scene, receiving a snide remark from a visibly unstable officer known as Hernandez.
Asking again if he is being detained, Officer Hernandez admits that no criminal suspicion has been acquired. Given the fact that the mere sight of a legally carried rifle does not equate to probable cause, Hernandez’s comments reveal the stop to be completely unconstitutional.
“No crimes have been committed at this point that we know of,” Hernandez says. “Maybe your gun is stole, I don’t know.”
Shortly after, an unnamed officer can be seen scattering Worley’s ammunition across the sidewalk. The officer wrongfully claims that Worley’s refusal to waive his Fourth Amendment is suspicious behavior before eerily foreshadowing the events to unfold.
Attempting to return to his vehicle, Worley is ordered to leave the parking lot by Officer Hernandez, forcing him to head the opposite direction. Walking down a public sidewalk, Worley is again ordered to change his direction by a second officer. Left with no options, Worley tries to alert the officer to his vehicle’s location as he is incorrectly accused of trespassing.
Boxed in with no where to go, officers suddenly converge on Worley before placing him under arrest for "trespassing with a weapon capable of producing bodily harm." Worley’s cell phone was confiscated as “evidence” for more than a year.
According to Worley, officers demanded he submit to a breathalyzer test or be put in a drunk tank once reaching the police station. In custody for four and half hours, Worley was denied access to an attorney, a phone call, water and his inhaler.
The following week, Worley plead not guilty to all charges. He has since set up a legal defense fund in order to file a civil suit against the department.
"This obviously isn't just for me, it's for everyone's rights. If they can do this to me, they can do this to anyone," said Worley.
Last November, a similar incident captured by police dashcam revealed the arrest of an Army master sergeant as he legally open carried during a hiking trip with his son. The veteran was absurdly accused of "rudely displaying" his rifle.