Thursday, December 12, 2013

Colorado Springs, Colorado Man was in Danger of being Shot, When Police Illegally Arrested Him for Open Carry; City Paid Piddling Settlement, and Sought to Cover Up Entire Incident

Re-posted by Nicholas Stix

The only problem I have with the story below is that the victim, James Sorensen, settled for too little; $23,500 is such a piddling sum that it will not teach the Colorado Springs PD a lesson. Ten or 100 times that, on the other hand, and the requirement that the PD pay for advertisements in local newspapers, in which it publicly apologized to Sorensen, and explained its officers’ mistake, would have made a real impression on the Department.

Bang! Payday for man suing cops over guns
“This is bogus ... This is bullsh—”
By Joe Kovacs
Published: 1 day ago

Joe Kovacs is an award-winning journalist and, since 1999, executive news editor of WND. He is the author of two best-selling books: "Shocked by the Bible: The Most Astonishing Facts You've Never Been Told" and its 2012 sequel, "The Divine Secret: The Awesome and Untold Truth About Your Phenomenal Destiny."

Colorado Springs Police arrest James Sorensen in July 2012 for openly carrying a gun, despite the fact it's legal.

A man who sued police in Colorado Springs, Colo., for violating his Second Amendment rights has reportedly won more than $23,000 from the city, as local officers apparently did not know it was legal to “open carry” firearms at public parks.

The saga of James Sorensen began in July 2012 at a homosexual-pride festival, just one day after the shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., that left 12 people dead and 70 others injured.

He was openly sporting a handgun on his hip, which prompted police to take him into custody.

Sorensen’s arrest was caught on camera by his partner, who documented the discussion with officers who at one point threatened Sorensen with violence.

“Put your hands in the air,” an officer ordered Sorensen.

“Negative, sergeant,” he replied.

“Put your hands in the air,” the officer again stated.

“Negative, sergeant,” repeated Sorensen.

“You’re about to get the sh– kicked out of you,” the officer warned.

Over the course of his encounter with police, Sorensen can be seen on the video asserting his constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

“This is against the law! This is against … my Second Amendment rights, sergeant,” he exclaimed.

“Then hire an attorney when you get done with it,” was the officer’s response.

At one point, Sorensen actually phoned police headquarters, hoping to find an officer who knew it was legal to carry a gun in public.

“I need a real officer,” he said on the phone.

He later added: “This is bogus. I can’t wait to get this into court. This is bullsh–.”

KUSA-TV in Denver reported the four sergeants and three officers involved were simply unaware it’s legal to open carry in city parks and has been since gun laws changed statewide in 2003.

Authorities blamed the mistake on the criminal manual or “cheat sheet” that officers carry which, at the time of the incident, said it was still illegal in Colorado Springs to open carry in a city park.

The station found the city’s settlement of $23,500 with Sorensen through an open-records request, but Sorensen said a confidentiality clause precluded his further comment.

That clause read in part:

“Plaintiff recognizes and agrees that this confidentiality provision was a significant inducement for City Defendants to enter into this Agreement. … Any violation of this section shall be considered a material breach of this Agreement, and Plaintiff will be subject to repayment to City Defendants of the consideration set forth herein without restatement of the claims.”

In previous interviews with local news stations, Sorensen said, “They had the gall to say, ‘Ignorance of the law is no excuse,’ and yet they are the ones that are ignorant of the law.”

“We decided to file suit because we want to better protect our rights,” he explained, “and make sure everyone knows they can’t just treat citizens like crap.”

He told KRDO-TV: “I just hope people will do more to protect their rights instead of letting people just walk all over them.”

In the wake of the settlement, KUSA spoke with Joseph Sandoval, a professor of criminal justice at Metro State University and a former police officer, who noted Sorensen is very fortunate to be alive.

“A situation like this could turn very grave,” Sandoval told the station.

“If James would have resisted to the point of pulling his weapon on a police officer, there may have been a fatal mistake.”


Anonymous said...

The cops probably thought the man armed was there to blow away the marchers at the Gay Pride festival.

Anonymous said...

Police don't care about being sued. The money comes out of the city's coffers, their jobs are protected by the union so they continue on being ignorant of the law, bully and shoot innocent civilians, coddle many black criminals and there are no consequences. Jerry