Home > Miscellaneous > Law Student Takes Cop To School After Being Illegally Stopped For Carrying Gun

Law Student Takes Cop To School After Being Illegally Stopped For Carrying Gun

Fourth Amendment rights in action

Steve Watson
June 25, 2012

Law Student Takes Cop To School After Being Illegally Stopped For Carrying Gun 270612cop

In a remarkable exchange that shows exactly why it pays to know your rights, a law student in Portland, Maine backed down a police officer who had stopped him for no reason other than he was carrying a gun.
After clearly stating that he did not consent to any searches or seizures, the student asked the officer what crime he had been suspected of committing.
The officer stated that he had received calls about a man carrying a gun.
“That is not illegal. Can I have my gun back and be on my way?” the student notes during the incident while filming it on his phone.
“In order to stop me you have to suspect me of a crime.” the man notes.
As Maine is a traditional open carry state, it is perfectly legal and acceptable to carry a firearm openly.
The officer, J McDonald, asks for ID, which the man declines to provide on the grounds that he has not been told he is suspected of any wrongdoing.
The student then notes that being detained without suspicion of any criminal activity violates Delaware v Prouse, and that stopping someone over a legally carried firearm violates US v DeBerry.
Seizure of the weapon with no reasonable suspicion is a violation of Terry v Ohio, and demanding ID without reasonable suspicion is a violation of Brown v Texas, the student also notes.
In a hilarious moment, a female police officer, off camera, asks the man what he has under his shirt, to which he replies “suspenders to keep my pants up”.
Eventually the officer concedes that the man is free to go and take his gun with him.
Although in this instance the stop was handled calmly by the officer, his assertion that it was “routine” highlights how the Fourth amenment to the Constitution is under constant attack every day.


Thankfully some Americans are still choosing to learn and defend their rights.  [emphasis added by TWG2A]


  1. June 27, 2012 at 11:39

    That officer’s reason for stopping that kid was so bad it’s not even freaking wrong. And to be detained until that supervisor shows up just to tell him he’s free to go is outrageous. That “cause for concern” is a bunch of bullshit. There is nothing remotely like that to justify a stop.

    And if that officer (or his lawyer) tries to say that stop was consensual, that is a load of shit too. That officer had that kid’s property and refused to return it. That means the encounter is no longer consenual, so it’s coerced.

    And I’m pretty sure that officer knew what he was doing was wrong. He’s just not used to people who know their rights. That kid ought to consider a 1983 lawsuit and take that fuck down a peg.

  2. June 27, 2012 at 14:52

    Good for the law student. But those of us that don’t know all the law’s are kind of screwed and the officers know this. Well we should all start learning about our rights.
    But congratulations to that law student and also for not being violent about anything. He kept his cool and so did the cops.

  3. Steve
    June 27, 2012 at 16:41

    I applaud this kid for knowing hs stuff and keeping his cool. I will say this though, far to many of us would not keep our cool when we feel we were pulled over without cause and cops know this too. Far to many new county and town cops are the bullies of the town with political pull who ENJOY intimidating others. Even though this jerk cop got schooled, I’m positive he is already thinking of what he can do next to the kid later on or who he could target next. I’ve seen far to many local cops in my life that are in their early to mid twenties, that have attitudes, carry guns, proclaim their authority, and still feel the need to prove themselves by showing off the witnesses their “perp” and the car camera. In one county I lived in, the teens hung out at the big local gas station/convienence store on Friday and Saturday night. The young deputies were there to, all in the name of duty (yeah right) and socialized with the teenage hotties. A few months later one of these officers was fired for using his position to gain favor with these younger girls…but it wasn’t until after doing it for years and too many complaints being swept under the rug. They only got something accomplished when the parents complained to the state police and they set up a sting. Still, he was only fired…not prosecuted.

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