I will be heading to San Antonio on Thursday and expect to arrive there early Friday afternoon for the Come and Take It San Antonio rally.
I received the communication below from a reader and it reveals some interesting information on the police preparations on the part of SAPD. It also reveals the Achilles' Heel of their plans. In any case, I'm going. Hope to see you there. (And for anyone who's not going but wishes they could, let me shamelessly rattle my tin cup for some gas money to get there.) I don't believe that bail money (or ER co-pay) will be required, but you never can tell. It's all up to the obtuse collectivists running San Antonio. ;-) -- Mike
I follow your blog daily. While I do not agree with everything, most of your analysis unfortunately is spot on. Thanks for your diligence in informing those of us who still care.I am writing to let you know some information concerning the upcoming Open Carry Event in San Antonio.This event will take place in my backyard so in preparation to attend I was doing a little research and found some information that may be of interest to all attendees. To give some framework to my concerns, I am an ex-SAPD officer and as such have contacts whom I questioned in regard to likely actions by SAPD during this event.While I was not totally stunned, I was dismayed to find that the department higher ups were actually formulating a vigorous response to this event. Given the worthless liberal, camera seeking clown of a police chief I suppose this was to be anticipated.I was informed that patrol officers attending in-service training courses and other meetings/roll calls have been informed that department heads (i.e. Knickers in a bunch Chief McManus) have determined that officers will be told/ordered to make arrests for disorderly conduct. Their reasoning/justification? Any citizens wishing to set up a confrontation with the police by open carrying a rifle will be considered to be acting in a manner contrary to the public peace and good order. Apparently officers no longer have the internal fortitude to see a firearm in the hands of legal citizens (sarcasm). Not a particularly well thought out legal premise considering it is entirely legal under state law to carry openly (cities cannot pass/enforce any ordinances which contradict state law) and particularly of concern is that the police officials/legal counsel are pre-constructing their own “probable cause” (quoted from source) for justification prior to even observing any law breaking conduct. The only applicable city ordinance for our consideration is that the firearms cannot be loaded within city limits. When outside city limits the firearms can be carried loaded without permit, etc. and many cities respect their citizens enough to not even pass an ordinance banning loaded firearms within their jurisdiction. State law 42.01 Disorderly Conduct (8) states an offense is committed only when a person displays a firearm or other deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm; so the act of carrying without intent to alarm is not unlawful, despite the implication made by SAPD, the misguided sergeant, who had his officers issue misdemeanor citations to the Open Carry advocates at the local Starbucks (re: You tube video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vN0GcahEvIc)Several interesting points need to be considered here. Many people do not know that the city of San Antonio is self insured. Let’s say that again, San Antonio is a self insured city, meaning they have to defend personally against all lawsuits themselves and must pay out of their own pocket/city budget for the unlawful screw-ups of their employees. Police officers screwing the public have cost them dearly in the past. One of the reasons I write this is to put this information out prior to the event so that any one arrested illegally will have recourse in the courts and the information to make it stick. Taking a lawsuit settlement from the city of San Antonio, when wronged by city employees, tends to piss off voters and politicians alike (particularly those politicians like the current mayor who is more interested in buying voters and influence to further his/their agenda and careers).Another point of interest; based on this information that the SAPD will not be enforcing state laws or city ordinance but that of internal ego generated policy it will allow for a lawsuit against individual officers and the entire chain of command individually as well as the city who failed to properly train, supervise, etc.. Police department “special orders” require officers to not “shirk” their legal duties and also it is clear both by law and policy that any individual officer making an arrest of this nature must act as the chief complainant so the burden for evidence is based on the arresting officers testimony. This is entirely negated when, as I will do and expect others to also do, the arrest incident is videotaped and publicly posted. Cockroaches, in any uniform and any rank, hate the light of truth.The regular patrol officers here in San Antonio, are in the main, professional in conduct. Interestingly, the department has had several incidents, not publicly discussed, where a lower ranking officer has declined, anywhere from respectfully declining to full outright indignant “stick where the sun don’t shine” refusal, to act against an individual citizen when so ordered to do so by a higher ranking officer (Sgt/Lt/etc.). Patrol officers are allowed, under law and legal process, complete and full discretion in whether or not to make an arrest. The arresting officer makes the written report and has to do the testifying regarding their lawful actions (or otherwise). Many officers have realized that the answer is simple to the quandary of an ordered arrest, if they disagree then they simply tell that superior ranking officer that they are also commissioned police officers granted under city charter and certified by Texas Standards TECLOSE (MBV note: Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education) and that if they believe “they” have witnessed a crime then they are “shirking” their duty if they do not make the arrest. Needless to say most overbearing superiors decline to follow through and settle with threatening and internally trying to punish the subordinate for “insubordination”. While I cannot say that it wouldn’t work today, in my time it was an epic mistake to screw with the regular troops when they were comporting themselves both legally and ethically. Most street officers will act with professionalism and exercise discretion. Those with true leadership in the command ranks will also support the lawful actions of the officers under their supervision/command. On the other hand there will be those politically correct/oriented types with their noses buried to the hilt up the backside of higher ranking officers as well as the Rambo-type “Only Ones” whose ego will not be denied, who will deny their own responsibility and act contrary to the constitution and state law.I could go on about how to handle oneself while at this event but the best advice I have is to just be a true American citizen exercising your constitutionally and state recognized rights. Be respectful but insist on respect in return. I personally have a couple of plans that may be invoked to expose any illegalities performed by any SAPD officer, Park Ranger, etc. but I sincerely hope that sanity will prevail, no bond money or lawyers will be needed. More than anything I want you to witness that true professional law enforcement exists in Texas, in other words, peaceful, lawful assembly fully respected by government officials/agents. Katy bar the door if I’m wrong.Sincerely look forward to meeting/seeing you here in SA.
LATER: I sent a copy of this to the Mayor and City Council of San Antonio with the note: "Posted on my blog this morning. And, I might add, we're seeking some adult supervision and cool heads in the SAPD."Mike Vanderboegh