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  1. #1
    Bigdaddy1 is offline Officer First Class
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    What if you morally object

    What if your department decides to enact a policy that you find offensive, or perhaps even illegal? Would you stand up or comply with the objective?

    Example;

    Regardless of your personal opinion on civilian carry, if your department were to issue a memo, or verbal instructions to "take down" any open carriers you see. Knowing this is a violation of the 2nd amendment do you capitulate or object?

  2. #2
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    A police officer is under no obligation to obey an ILLEGAL order. If it clearly violates the state code or US Constitution, the officer should inform their superiors and should not obey it.

    However, it's pretty rare for police brass to issue an order like that.

    Immoral is a tougher question. Your baited inquiry about open carry is a bit of a red herring for a lot of us: it's not a moral issue at all, it's a simple question of legality. If I'm given an order that I might be morally opposed to, I have to weigh my obligations. For example, if I'm ordered to protect people trying to enter an abortion facility but I'm morally opposed to abortion -- I have to assess which moral obligation (to protect the people and obey lawful order vs. somehow facilitating an abortion) is greater. I'm not going to address my personal answers; they're the result of my own moral formation.

    If it's something I simply don' like or find unpleasant or offensive -- that's why they call it work. Tell me to work dispatch, even though I don't generally enjoy it -- and I'm working dispatch. That's my job.
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  3. #3
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    The question is hard to answer because I cannot imagine my Department issuing instructions that oppose the law or constitution and I am not sure of your definition of “take down” in the example.

    Using the same broad strokes as the question, I would not knowingly violate a person’s constitutional rights as I understand them, nor would I violate any law, as I understand it, at the direction of my Department or any other entity.

    I have followed lawful orders with which I did not agree and I suspect that I would follow any lawful order to which I object, depending on the strength and reason for objection. If I ever find myself in a position where I feel my objections would stop me from following a lawful order, I would need to resign or request reassignment.

    As for the example, I cannot see this happening outside of an unimaginable, horrendous breakdown of society through some natural or man-made catastrophe. Even then, I feel that any such order would be on a case-by-case basis, rather than a blanket order. If the example is purely hypothetical, I still refer to my answer above.
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  4. #4
    Bigdaddy1 is offline Officer First Class
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jks9199 View Post
    A police officer is under no obligation to obey an ILLEGAL order. If it clearly violates the state code or US Constitution, the officer should inform their superiors and should not obey it.

    However, it's pretty rare for police brass to issue an order like that.

    Immoral is a tougher question. Your baited inquiry about open carry is a bit of a red herring for a lot of us: it's not a moral issue at all, it's a simple question of legality. If I'm given an order that I might be morally opposed to, I have to weigh my obligations. For example, if I'm ordered to protect people trying to enter an abortion facility but I'm morally opposed to abortion -- I have to assess which moral obligation (to protect the people and obey lawful order vs. somehow facilitating an abortion) is greater. I'm not going to address my personal answers; they're the result of my own moral formation.

    If it's something I simply don' like or find unpleasant or offensive -- that's why they call it work. Tell me to work dispatch, even though I don't generally enjoy it -- and I'm working dispatch. That's my job.
    My example wasn't baited at all, this actually happened in Milwaukee. Police chief Flynn instructed his officers to "take down to the ground" any open carriers and then determine if they are legally able to have a gun. As the open carry of firearms is legal (and guaranteed by the Constitution and the SCOTUS) if you were instructed to impede this right would you? Would you be a whistle blower?

    There is a group called Oath Keepers ( Oath Keepers » Oath Keepers – Guardians of the Republic ) that officials pledge to guard the Constitution, that if they are given orders that conflict with our Constitution that they will not comply.

    I concede that the morally objective part would greatly depend on what you are asked to do, as the task may be legal but offensive. I do get people that occasionally will ask me to falsify some document to prove or disprove something. I decline but there are some that wont.

  5. #5
    Bigdaddy1 is offline Officer First Class
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cidp24 View Post
    The question is hard to answer because I cannot imagine my Department issuing instructions that oppose the law or constitution and I am not sure of your definition of “take down” in the example.

    Using the same broad strokes as the question, I would not knowingly violate a person’s constitutional rights as I understand them, nor would I violate any law, as I understand it, at the direction of my Department or any other entity.

    I have followed lawful orders with which I did not agree and I suspect that I would follow any lawful order to which I object, depending on the strength and reason for objection. If I ever find myself in a position where I feel my objections would stop me from following a lawful order, I would need to resign or request reassignment.

    As for the example, I cannot see this happening outside of an unimaginable, horrendous breakdown of society through some natural or man-made catastrophe. Even then, I feel that any such order would be on a case-by-case basis, rather than a blanket order. If the example is purely hypothetical, I still refer to my answer above.
    Take down, as in tackle to the ground and disarm. Yes this did happen in Milwaukee recently as I described in my other response. Unfortunately I did not hear of any officers that had objected to his policy. Flynn actually made this statement in a press conference in an obvious attempt to dissuade carriers.

  6. #6
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    You said this happened "recently." But Chief Flynn made that comment well over a year ago (April 23,2009 if I do recall). Not to mention, he made those comments just as the Wisconsin AG was hashing over their relatively unknown open carry law. At this point in WI I believe open carry is an accepted practice (among law enforcement agencies anyway). But at that time, it was new, different, and scary, and no one really knew what the law actually was. You look kinda like a liar when you leave things like that out.

    Sounds to me like you were attempting to bait us into some large, goofy argument over a "hypothetical situation" that's already occurred, been hashed over, and is now part of history.

    You obviously set this "scenario" up based on something that happened over a year ago in the real world (Milwaukee, WI) and wanted to compare our responses.

    Anyway, to answer your question......"no."


    By the way, you mentioned you didn't hear of any officers who objected to Chief Flynn's policy....did you hear of any that did? I mean, actual news stories, not some guy/gal who posted on a message board. I've been googled for the better part of the last 20 minutes and all I'm coming up with is people who disagree with the Chief...no news reports of some poor, frightenend OC'er getting his rights infringed by the big bad chief
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  7. #7
    Bigdaddy1 is offline Officer First Class
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmur5074 View Post
    You said this happened "recently." But Chief Flynn made that comment well over a year ago (April 23,2009 if I do recall). Not to mention, he made those comments just as the Wisconsin AG was hashing over their relatively unknown open carry law. At this point in WI I believe open carry is an accepted practice (among law enforcement agencies anyway). But at that time, it was new, different, and scary, and no one really knew what the law actually was. You look kinda like a liar when you leave things like that out.

    Sounds to me like you were attempting to bait us into some large, goofy argument over a "hypothetical situation" that's already occurred, been hashed over, and is now part of history.

    You obviously set this "scenario" up based on something that happened over a year ago in the real world (Milwaukee, WI) and wanted to compare our responses.

    Anyway, to answer your question......"no."


    By the way, you mentioned you didn't hear of any officers who objected to Chief Flynn's policy....did you hear of any that did? I mean, actual news stories, not some guy/gal who posted on a message board. I've been googled for the better part of the last 20 minutes and all I'm coming up with is people who disagree with the Chief...no news reports of some poor, frightenend OC'er getting his rights infringed by the big bad chief

    Not trying to bait anyone, this question was intended to see what the average LEO's (not saying that anyone here is average mind you, you all seem outstanding) attitude was toward this hot button issue. Seems like so many LEO's feel that citizens should not be armed. I read on other sites how the pro-2a people reacted to his statement (wasn't very positive), but I don't remember any LEO's response. I know a few LEO's are active members of the Open carry group. By the way, if open carry is so accepted, the Brookfield Police would not have sent 8 officers to "investigate" the Culvers restaurant.

    I don't consider a year ago to be ancient history, its still pretty recent. I primarily mentioned it because it was so recent. It wasn't something that happened in the 20's or 30's where there was no ACLU or other rights organizations. No I did not hear of any police officer that had spoken out about Flynn's policy in any press release or other media story. I am glad to see that you consider it to be a rights infringement though.

    I did also want to see if anyone here has heard of or is a member of the Oath Keepers?

  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=Bigdaddy1;529384] Seems like so many LEO's feel that citizens should not be armed. QUOTE]

    Must not know very many LEOs...
    Never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way" ~Martin Luther King, Jr

  9. #9
    berserk is offline The reason they do psych evals
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolven View Post
    Must not know very many LEOs...
    That's what I was thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigdaddy1 View Post
    I did also want to see if anyone here has heard of or is a member of the Oath Keepers?
    I've heard of them. It strikes me as a political fringe group. By creating some special covenant that they will not obey unlawful orders, they are implying that the rest of us don't also feel that way (despite the fact that it's in our job description). They are also implying that their group has some particular understanding of what orders would be wrong to follow. I'm not interested.

  10. #10
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    I don't have to join a group to know what my convictions are and I would rather reserve my judgement/decision for when it is needed.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigdaddy1 View Post
    Not trying to bait anyone, this question was intended to see what the average LEO's (not saying that anyone here is average mind you, you all seem outstanding) attitude was toward this hot button issue.
    I'm not so sure about this. Things that make you go hhhmmmmm.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolven View Post

    Must not know very many LEOs...

    Indeed.
    The average U.S. citizen is much more dangerous behind the wheel of a vehicle than they are because they have access to a firearm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigdaddy1 View Post
    What if your department decides to enact a policy that you find offensive, or perhaps even illegal? Would you stand up or comply with the objective?

    Example;

    Regardless of your personal opinion on civilian carry, if your department were to issue a memo, or verbal instructions to "take down" any open carriers you see. Knowing this is a violation of the 2nd amendment do you capitulate or object?

    It doesn't seem to me that detaining someone who is open carrying long enough to determine if they have a permit would be a violation of the second amendment, nor the fourth amendment. How the individual officer handled the detention would depend entirely on the situation and the officer. Our actions must be "reasonable" (we don't have to be right all the time), to our superiors and a jury if it came to that.

    If you wanted to know our opinion on open carry, all you have to do is ask. Don't ask questions that some of us will see as baiting us into a debate. Where I work, to carry an offensive weapon without a permit is an offense that will get you taken to jail.

    My opinion on open carry is this: I don't know why you would, but to each his own. There is another thread about this where the dead horse was beaten and my opinions are pretty much in line with the other coppers on this forum.

    Covman

  14. #14
    Bigdaddy1 is offline Officer First Class
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    [quote=Wolven;529386]
    Quote Originally Posted by Bigdaddy1 View Post
    Seems like so many LEO's feel that citizens should not be armed. QUOTE]

    Must not know very many LEOs...
    No, not really. I knew a few but I wouldn't call us friends. My older brother used to own a private armed security company. A lot of retired LEO's (and even some not retired) used to work for him. Every now and then I will talk with them and the subject of firearms came up they all had the same attitude about them. Your not a cop, you shouldn't carry one. They didn't care that I owned them, just that they should stay at home. That is one of the reasons I came to this forum. I wanted to get a more in depth picture of some of these issues from the "other side".

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigdaddy1 View Post
    What if your department decides to enact a policy that you find offensive, or perhaps even illegal? Would you stand up or comply with the objective?

    Example;

    Regardless of your personal opinion on civilian carry, if your department were to issue a memo, or verbal instructions to "take down" any open carriers you see. Knowing this is a violation of the 2nd amendment do you capitulate or object?... As the open carry of firearms is legal (and guaranteed by the Constitution and the SCOTUS) if you were instructed to impede this right would you? Would you be a whistle blower? .
    To "take down" is not a violation of the 2nd Amendment. It would potentially be a violation of 4th Amendment Rights which is what the lawsuit would claim should you file one. It is clear that you are putting in a plug for the Oath Keepers. How many Oath Keepers have moved on to another career field because they could not reconcile the difference between their personal convictions and the SOP of their departments? How many walk the talk?
    The problem is that unless something has been ruled clearly "illegal" by the courts, an objection based on your interpretation of the CONUS is not so cut and dry for an Officer on the street as you would suppose it to be.
    Your post(s) sure take the long way around to get to your real question. It is obvious that you are asking if Officers here would follow an order to "take down" and dissarm Open Carriers before questioning them if indeed that order were given. Do we have evidence that Chief Flynn even gave this order or if it is still in effect? More likely is that he was just blowing hot air.

  16. #16
    Bigdaddy1 is offline Officer First Class
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    Quote Originally Posted by covman454 View Post
    It doesn't seem to me that detaining someone who is open carrying long enough to determine if they have a permit would be a violation of the second amendment, nor the fourth amendment. How the individual officer handled the detention would depend entirely on the situation and the officer. Our actions must be "reasonable" (we don't have to be right all the time), to our superiors and a jury if it came to that.

    If you wanted to know our opinion on open carry, all you have to do is ask. Don't ask questions that some of us will see as baiting us into a debate. Where I work, to carry an offensive weapon without a permit is an offense that will get you taken to jail.

    My opinion on open carry is this: I don't know why you would, but to each his own. There is another thread about this where the dead horse was beaten and my opinions are pretty much in line with the other coppers on this forum.

    Covman
    You are correct, I prolly should have just came out and asked.

    This is one area that many pro-2a citizens have a problem with. The 2nd Amendment is a right, not a privilege. The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. You may be required to have a permit for a privilege, but not a right. The recent SCOTUS (McDonald VS Chicago) ruling "affirms" that it is an individual right via incorporation with the 14th Amendment.

    As for why we would, (no I did not read the thread you mentioned, yet) there are many reasons. In Wisconsin there is no other carry method. If you carry you carry on your hip. I can only speak for myself but some of my reasons are I am too old to be brawling in the street, so it is better to deter than defer. I have a bad back (I can barley walk) so I can not run away. If meet with a life threatening situation I would have no choice but to fight as flight is not an option. Some of the old cliché's that show my point also are when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. I carry a gun because I cant carry a cop.

    Thanks for listening.

  17. #17
    Bigdaddy1 is offline Officer First Class
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    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor View Post
    To "take down" is not a violation of the 2nd Amendment. It would potentially be a violation of 4th Amendment Rights which is what the lawsuit would claim should you file one. It is clear that you are putting in a plug for the Oath Keepers. How many Oath Keepers have moved on to another career field because they could not reconcile the difference between their personal convictions and the SOP of their departments? How many walk the talk?
    The problem is that unless something has been ruled clearly "illegal" by the courts, an objection based on your interpretation of the CONUS is not so cut and dry for an Officer on the street as you would suppose it to be.
    Your post(s) sure take the long way around to get to your real question. It is obvious that you are asking if Officers here would follow an order to "take down" and dissarm Open Carriers before questioning them if indeed that order were given. Do we have evidence that Chief Flynn even gave this order or if it is still in effect? More likely is that he was just blowing hot air.
    Actually I have NO experience with the Oath Keepers. I was hopping to gather some info here. Some people on the OCCO site spoke of joining that organization. I work at a auto dealerships service department. I don't think I will be asked to act against any of the Constitutional laws, and if I were asked I don't think it would make a difference. I guess I am trying to figure out why someone that has no bearing on the Constitution would benefit either party by joining?
    No Flynn has recanted his media statement (yes, he actually admitted in a press conference). And there really has been little press regarding open carry in Milwaukee. After Flynn made his statement there was a lot of talk about law suits and civil right violations. I suspect Chief Flynn decided wisely to back off that stand.

  18. #18
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    Your question was in two parts, and requires two answers.

    1. If the policy was one I objected to, I would find another job or learn to live with it - depending on the policy. The specific policy you mentioned? I'd be job hunting.

    2. If the policy was illegal, then it would not be followed.

    Bear in mind that it isn't you or I that gets to decide what is legal, it's ultimately nine boys and girls in black robes.
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  19. #19
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigdaddy1 View Post
    Not trying to bait anyone, this question was intended to see what the average LEO's (not saying that anyone here is average mind you, you all seem outstanding) attitude was toward this hot button issue. Seems like so many LEO's feel that citizens should not be armed. I read on other sites how the pro-2a people reacted to his statement (wasn't very positive), but I don't remember any LEO's response. I know a few LEO's are active members of the Open carry group. By the way, if open carry is so accepted, the Brookfield Police would not have sent 8 officers to "investigate" the Culvers restaurant.

    I don't consider a year ago to be ancient history, its still pretty recent. I primarily mentioned it because it was so recent. It wasn't something that happened in the 20's or 30's where there was no ACLU or other rights organizations. No I did not hear of any police officer that had spoken out about Flynn's policy in any press release or other media story. I am glad to see that you consider it to be a rights infringement though.

    I did also want to see if anyone here has heard of or is a member of the Oath Keepers?
    Yes, you were trying to bait us. You openly admitted you have an agenda as an open carry proponent. You then post a hypothetical challenge regarding open carry, using stale facts. Bluntly, I suspect you were hoping to get a response along the lines of "an order is an order." I haven't chased down what Chief Flynn said. It's possible he advised his officers to tackle anyone with a gun -- but I suspect the order was more along the lines of "detain the person, and determine whether they are in legal possession of the firearm" with an addendum similar to "do what you have to in order to detain 'em -- take 'em to the ground if that's what it takes..."

    At the moment -- I kinda suspect that you'll find yourself posting in the Holding Cell before long...
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  20. #20
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    ok. I have not been back very long but who is this guy (Bigdaddy1) and what is his agenda.....eeerrrr hhhmmmmm sniff, sniff, sniff could it be............................ ............................no t tryng to jump to conclusions, but WTF?????

 

 
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