Illegal Immigration Counter Protesters Detained
The topic of discussion on the Bryan Suits radio show on 570 KVI earlier this evening was a call by a Seattle area citizen, Eric, who called to say that while thousands of illegal immigrants marched a couple of feet away, 5 United States citizens, he being one of the 5, who should be covered by all of the constitutional amendments, including the 1st and 2nd, were detained by the Seattle Police Department for over 2 hours because... well hard to say really. The reason for Caller Eric's call into the show was, surprise, surprise, the medias total lack of coverage of what should be a fairly big story. U.S. Citizens constitutional rights infringed in order to protect illegal aliens non existent right to hold a protest march.
Now I am a regular listener of the Bryan Suits show, as you should be, especially if you, like me, are in the male 35-64 year old demographic, and as Bryan can testify, I am also a regular emailer, but did not catch every single minute of the show since the 5pm to 8pm time slot is right in that end of the work day - drive home - eat dinner time window so I may have missed out on some of the conversation but here is a recap as best as I can recall. Full disclosure on my part requires that I state my Father is a 25 year retired Seattle Police Officer and I may or may not own a gun, try breaking into my house and you may or may not get an answer right then and there.
It all started with a 911 call from someone the police say was not part of the march claiming that there was a group of people with signs opposed to the marchers who were armed. The caller said he saw a gun holster sticking out from a partly open jacket. The police responded to the call and found the counter protesters and asked if any of them had weapons and sure enough, 3 of the 5 had guns and one had a switchblade or some sort of knife. Caller Eric said he was the one counter protester that did not have a weapon. At that point they were cuffed and taken to the West precinct where they spent the next 2 plus hours being detained until the march was over. The problem is they had not violated the law as the 3 with guns had valid concealed carry permits and as best as I can tell while switchblades appear to be illegal, there was no mention of the person carrying the knife being arrested or charged with a crime.
A Seattle Police officer, who called himself Steve, called into the show to give his version of the events. While for the most part, the stories matched, Office Steve's main point was they felt they were doing the appropriate thing in order to potentially avoid a violent situation and needed to take the people to the station in order to do a proper investigation. As Bryan Suits said, it was kind of a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation for the police but he, along with myself, kept asking under what authority were these people detained and why did it take over 2 hours to finish the investigation and let them leave? Bryan's conclusion, as was mine was it seems fairly obvious that the message from the police hierarchy was to hold these people until the march was over. One thing that bothered me about the conversation with Officer Steve was how Suits had to explain to him it is legal to openly carry a firearm. In the State of Washington you must have a concealed carry permit to have a concealed weapon but not to openly carry. Officer Steve made a comment that implied he thought since the holster was partly visible, that was in some way a violation of the law since the weapon was no longer concealed, which is not the case.
Later a female caller gave Bryan a ring and said she was one of the counter protesters who was packing heat. The first question from Bryan was in effect, what were you thinking bringing a gun into a situation like that even though you are totally within your rights to do so? Her response was she always has her gun with her, expect in bars and other "gun free zones" or as I like to call them, "potential sitting duck shooting galleries". She mentioned that the gun was in her purse and they told the officers when they first asked about the weapons that they had valid permits for them. She said once at the station they were told they would be released once the march was over which contradicted what Office Steve said about it just taking that long to finish the investigation and there was no intent to simply hold them until the march was over.
Now last I checked, United States Citizens have a 1st amendment right to free speech and even in Seattle we have a 2nd amendment right to keep and bear arms and it sure seems to me like those and potentially others were violated. I do know one thing, if I were one of the Seattle 5, I would "lawyer up" and have filed a lawsuit against the City yesterday, because as I emailed Bryan, until the city gets hit with a lawsuit and pays a big judgment, expect this kind of thing to keep on happening. My one question of any city official is when did POTENTIALLY preventing a violent situation supersede our constitutional rights?
Thursday on the Bryan Suits show, where you can listen to live over the internet by going here, the hope is someone from the City will be on to discuss this topic in further detail. Also, its Led Zeppelin Thursday, so get your request in early.
If anyone has any additional information, clarification or corrections, please post them in the comments and I will update accordingly.