If I do it it's a threat, but if a LEO does it it's not?

Most CHL/LEO contacts are positive, how about yours? Bloopers are fun, but no names please, if it will cause a LEO problems!

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Re: If I do it it's a threat, but if a LEO does it it's not?

Postby C-dub » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:13 am

gigag04 wrote:
C-dub wrote:For those LEOs that choose to NOT disarm someone they usually qualify it with something like, just keep your hands away from it or don't touch it or something similar. However, LEOs rest their hand on theirs all the time even when they are talking with someone. Why isn't that perceived as a threat or intimidation? Or is it, but it's okay if a LEO does it? I don't get it.

You are being detained while the LEO investigates a crime, a significant component of his job description. Any illusions about who is in charge in that situation should be cleared up here, rather than there.

I have read many comments as of late about LEOs with "power trips" and what not. I would like to broach the subject of citizens with authority complexes...not directed at you, C-dub, but it came up while I was replying. At some basic level, if I contact any of you during a traffic stop, family violence investigation, narcotics call, or any other criminal investigation, I am temporarily seizing you, and depriving you of your free will. Much of what we as LEOs do on a contact, even though it is annoying, is because we can. Sometimes, there might even be a reasonable explanation behind it. You might not like, but that is how it is. If cops wanted to be liked, they would have served as firefighters. :smilelol5:

Some examples:
-sit on this curb, cross your legs
-don't put your hands in your pockets
-come here
-don't handle any weapons
-turn the car off
-turn around, put your hands behind your back

So the long answer is, they can tell you do that because it is a lawful order. As a follow up, they can rest their hand on their gun (if this is the ONLY action we are discussing) because odds are, a court would hold that such behavior is not a threat. It may be lazy, tactically unsound or whatever...but not a threat.

If you do it, it would be perceived as a threat, because your were just lawfully ordered by a peace officer not to do it.

:tiphat:

I sort of put this question into the "why can I not do everything the police can, but without the experience or authority" box in my head, but I'm trying not to, since I like you C-dub. :cheers2:

It sounds like it is less about the "threat" and more about who is in control. And I can understand that in most situations. Since most or at least a lot of LEOs are trained in reading body language it would seem reasonable for one to be able to tell if someone is a real threat or not. In many of these videos we often hear the LEO say they know or don't think the person is a threat, but to still keep their hands off the gun. Besides, if they really thought they were a threat wouldn't they disarm them?

I keep thinking that one of these days I'm going to drive through your town and we can meet, but based on your schedule that won't be very likely. Might be fun, though. I'd love to get to see that rifle you put together.
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Re: If I do it it's a threat, but if a LEO does it it's not?

Postby VMI77 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:54 pm

C-dub wrote:This may not be the correct place for this, but it's a question that has been in my head for a while now and with the other thread on disarming running I thought I'd ask.

For those LEOs that choose to NOT disarm someone they usually qualify it with something like, just keep your hands away from it or don't touch it or something similar. However, LEOs rest their hand on theirs all the time even when they are talking with someone. Why isn't that perceived as a threat or intimidation? Or is it, but it's okay if a LEO does it? I don't get it.


All I can say is that I've been stopped several times while armed and I've never been disarmed and never been told to keep my hands away from my gun or anything similar. In fact, the last few times, after handing my CHL and DL over I haven't even been asked if I have a gun with me.
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Re: If I do it it's a threat, but if a LEO does it it's not?

Postby glbedd53 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:41 pm

Hey Handog, I wondered if you were still out there.
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Re: If I do it it's a threat, but if a LEO does it it's not?

Postby C-dub » Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:49 pm

VMI77 wrote:
C-dub wrote:This may not be the correct place for this, but it's a question that has been in my head for a while now and with the other thread on disarming running I thought I'd ask.

For those LEOs that choose to NOT disarm someone they usually qualify it with something like, just keep your hands away from it or don't touch it or something similar. However, LEOs rest their hand on theirs all the time even when they are talking with someone. Why isn't that perceived as a threat or intimidation? Or is it, but it's okay if a LEO does it? I don't get it.


All I can say is that I've been stopped several times while armed and I've never been disarmed and never been told to keep my hands away from my gun or anything similar. In fact, the last few times, after handing my CHL and DL over I haven't even been asked if I have a gun with me.

I have no first hand experience in this area, so maybe all those youtube videos are anomalies relative to the whole picture.
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Re: If I do it it's a threat, but if a LEO does it it's not?

Postby srothstein » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:14 pm

E.Marquez wrote:
srothstein wrote:
E.Marquez wrote:the SCOTUS has opined, DUI check points DO NOT violate constitutional rights.


Minor technical correction, but it may help with this discussion. SCOTUS did not rule that DWI checkpoints do not violate the Constitution. In fact, they ruled just the opposite.

I beg to differ.

6-3 decision in Michigan Dept. of State Police v. Sitz (1990), the United States Supreme Court found properly conducted sobriety checkpoints to be constitutional.



This was what I said. Checkpoints in general are not constitutional but properly conducted ones are. i even listed some of the conditions making it properly conducted, such as the state law defining how it would operate.

The articles use shorthand like saying the court upheld DWI checkpoints when the court really upheld the specific example being questioned and not the generality of checkpoints, even DWI checkpoints.
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Re: If I do it it's a threat, but if a LEO does it it's not?

Postby baldeagle » Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:01 pm

handog wrote:Because you and I, as members of the general public are presumed scum bag criminals until proven otherwise. You could be an escaped convict after all. The LEO has a badge and can draw on you at will. He's the good guy. Why should you feel threatened if one of Austin's finest has his hand on his holstered hand gun while questioning you.

I think that's stretching it a bit. Put yourself in the shoes of a cop sometime. If he (or she) has a reason to suspect you might be up to something, it's because he's observed some behavior or noticed something on or about your person that raises his suspicions. At that point he knows nothing about you, but his job and his life depend on him being alert and observant and not relaxing.

He doesn't have to assume the worst about you, but he'd better not assume the best either. There are many dead cops that could testify to the danger of assuming the best about any person they stop. You might be a law abiding citizen, but you might also be a killer with a loaded gun looking for a cop to kill. So he has to use his skills to determine which category you are in before he can either exclude you from further interrogation or make an arrest based on probable cause.

handog wrote:That isn't the only way they use intimidation. Ever have your constitutional rights suspended at a DUI road block. Basically pulled over without probable cause. The police have great latitude in what they can do, once they have you stopped and under their control. Like the hand on gun, the desired effect is to establish a sense of fear and intimidation among the population.

I seriously doubt that is the goal of most cops.
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Re: If I do it it's a threat, but if a LEO does it it's not?

Postby mikedude » Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:42 pm

C-dub wrote:This may not be the correct place for this, but it's a question that has been in my head for a while now and with the other thread on disarming running I thought I'd ask.

For those LEOs that choose to NOT disarm someone they usually qualify it with something like, just keep your hands away from it or don't touch it or something similar. However, LEOs rest their hand on theirs all the time even when they are talking with someone. Why isn't that perceived as a threat or intimidation? Or is it, but it's okay if a LEO does it? I don't get it.


First thought is that the LEO is just that, an LEO, probably doing an enforcement action. We put our hands on our guns to be ready for a threat, and with all that crap on the belt there is no where really to place the hand. Pockets are a no non. A chl holder is a citizen, and if the officer feels safe not disarming him, then telling him to keep his hands off the gun buys time. If that chl holder then reaches for the gun, the officer has a little more time to react.
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Re: If I do it it's a threat, but if a LEO does it it's not?

Postby handog » Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:30 pm

glbedd53 wrote:Hey Handog, I wondered if you were still out there.


Never really left. No I wasn't in jail. ;)

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Re: If I do it it's a threat, but if a LEO does it it's not?

Postby C-dub » Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:07 pm

mikedude wrote:
C-dub wrote:This may not be the correct place for this, but it's a question that has been in my head for a while now and with the other thread on disarming running I thought I'd ask.

For those LEOs that choose to NOT disarm someone they usually qualify it with something like, just keep your hands away from it or don't touch it or something similar. However, LEOs rest their hand on theirs all the time even when they are talking with someone. Why isn't that perceived as a threat or intimidation? Or is it, but it's okay if a LEO does it? I don't get it.


First thought is that the LEO is just that, an LEO, probably doing an enforcement action. We put our hands on our guns to be ready for a threat, and with all that crap on the belt there is no where really to place the hand. Pockets are a no non. A chl holder is a citizen, and if the officer feels safe not disarming him, then telling him to keep his hands off the gun buys time. If that chl holder then reaches for the gun, the officer has a little more time to react.

See, I get this. It makes sense and I understand having your hand on your gun to be ready and if you're just resting it there, but if I do it I would either get shot or arrested. It's just a little pet peeve about something I've noticed over the years. I have had very little LE contact in an official capacity, but I've seen officers talking with others quite a bit and nearly all seem to rest a hand on their gun.
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Re: If I do it it's a threat, but if a LEO does it it's not?

Postby mikedude » Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:12 am

C-dub wrote:
mikedude wrote:
C-dub wrote:This may not be the correct place for this, but it's a question that has been in my head for a while now and with the other thread on disarming running I thought I'd ask.

For those LEOs that choose to NOT disarm someone they usually qualify it with something like, just keep your hands away from it or don't touch it or something similar. However, LEOs rest their hand on theirs all the time even when they are talking with someone. Why isn't that perceived as a threat or intimidation? Or is it, but it's okay if a LEO does it? I don't get it.


First thought is that the LEO is just that, an LEO, probably doing an enforcement action. We put our hands on our guns to be ready for a threat, and with all that crap on the belt there is no where really to place the hand. Pockets are a no non. A chl holder is a citizen, and if the officer feels safe not disarming him, then telling him to keep his hands off the gun buys time. If that chl holder then reaches for the gun, the officer has a little more time to react.

See, I get this. It makes sense and I understand having your hand on your gun to be ready and if you're just resting it there, but if I do it I would either get shot or arrested. It's just a little pet peeve about something I've noticed over the years. I have had very little LE contact in an official capacity, but I've seen officers talking with others quite a bit and nearly all seem to rest a hand on their gun.


I hear ya. No contact in official capacity is a good thing. I have noticed over the years it is usually the same "frequent flyers" that have the repeated contacts. Difference is being on duty making the contact in an official capacity. Hand on gun is not pointing it at somebody, displaying it or even having it out of the holster. I was taught a long time ago to approach a car with my hand on my gun. Here in TX I see the officers walk up on initial contact with the ticket book in their gun hand. It kills me every time I see this and I want to stop and ask them WTH are they doing? Complacency kills. That is such poor officer safety. There is a good video floating around officer has flashlight in gun hand when he walks up. Shots fired, I think he was hit. He lost time. :fire
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Re: If I do it it's a threat, but if a LEO does it it's not?

Postby chuckybrown » Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:29 am

I believe this is why officers walk up to cars with their hand on their weapon:

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas ... 154449.php
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Re: If I do it it's a threat, but if a LEO does it it's not?

Postby Dragonfighter » Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:20 am

chuckybrown wrote:I believe this is why officers walk up to cars with their hand on their weapon:

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas ... 154449.php


Yeah, I would bet that examples of LEOs being caught unawares outnumbers the examples of Jerks and may serve to explain at least some of them being jerks.

FWIW, the only time I have had a cop put his hand on a gun in anything but a resting posture was a DPS stop some 30 years ago. He pulls over a long haired, bearded guy at 3 something in the morning. When reaching for the registration I remember the .357 in the glove box and say, "Uh, there's a gun in the glovebox." He takes one step back, tickles the grip of his side arm and says, "Just come out with the paper and we'll be fine." I did, we were and I got a warning.

I have, as of October, joined the ranks of those disarmed at a stop and other than being asked a couple of times where the weapon was I only had a, "Just leave it alone," once and a long time ago.
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