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Michigan Citizen Files Federal Lawsuit After Cops Harrass Him For Legally Carrying a Gun

In the state of Michigan, it is legal to openly carry a handgun. However, when a police officer in Grand Rapids responded to a March 3 call about a man doing exactly that, he drew his weapon and ordered the man to the ground. The interaction was captured on video and will likely be used as evidence in a federal lawsuit filed by open-carry advocate Johann Deffert. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. district court in Grand Rapids, lists Police Chief Kevin Belk, Officer William Moe and two other officers as defendants. Though the video only captures part of the incident, the police car’s dash cam captures minutes of audio. Police first dispatched an officer to investigate a “suspicious person” with a holstered firearm.

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  • PeaverBogart

    I hope his lawsuit is good and he gets lots of money and straightens out a bunch of cops.

    • DrSique

      A lawsuit won’t be straightening out any cops. It won’t cost them one penny nor will any lose their jobs. Once again, the taxpayers will be footing the bill for incompitence.

      • TheBitterClinger1

        if some jurisdiction you can bypass “the controlling legal authority” and go after the cop. If you CAN and if you DO there is generally less money to be gained but it might be worth trying.

        This cop needs a change of vocation.

        • tofjr

          I don’t know about this. Maybe the cops are not right but next thing you know you will have a bunch of ni**ers, Mexicans, druggies, and other malcontents roaming the streets like this guy hoping to hit the taxpayer lottery. And his well rehearsed diatribe smella a little bit like a setup. KAPITSH?

          • Tewana Secumbah

            Actually, I don’t think the undesirables will want to go around with guns because of the fear of being associated with the “criminal stigma” that rightfully belongs to them anyway. Either way, I don’t want my rights infringed upon just because of such a possibility. As for the “rehearsed diatribe” I think he armed himself with information along with his gun. That was a smart thing to do.

          • tofjr

            Can’t agree TE…We have enough nuts carrying firearms. I worked in law enforcement for 28 years and never carried an off duty weapon and still don’t even though the way things are going I am sorely tempted. A lot of well meaning people …even though they have good intentions get a little strange and make BAD decisions when they have access to a weapon.

          • Max_

            Yeah and if the good citizens are armed those malcontents will get blown away.. Hell give the good people of this Country a break, if only the bad guys carry guns that’s the problem, and we all know they do.. Its just that cops like to think that’s a special right just for them, and that they are all highly trained, but they are becoming just like a gang in their own right, Hell I am more scared of cops than the bad guys, at least I can fight back and kick the bad guys butts, but if you’re getting unreasonably hassled by a cop if you even try to block a punch from a cop that’s resisting arrest, and most are just a bunch of power hungry jerks now a days anyway.

      • Sunshine Kid

        Actually, that is not exactly true. If the cop is named as part of the lawsuit, then the government can hold the named individual pecuniary responsible. And, because of the name in the complaint, he CAN be suspended without pay and even dismissed.

    • rukovich

      The problem with getting lots of money is he gets it form the tax payer, you and I.

      • PeaverBogart

        Unless you’re in his district, it won’t cost you or I anything. It will come from the taxpayers in his district. Even if it did come from you and I, it’s just a drop in the bucket compared to what our government wastes and squanders.

        • rukovich

          Why add to the waste and squander? I am in his district and I end up paying for these drops in a bucket as you say.

          • jenjen

            If my tax dollars are paying to hold someone accountable for wrong actions, I am for it. Eventually, cops will get the message and less of my tax dollars will go to these types of incidences. If we aren’t willing to cough up a few bucks to get the point across, we might as well give up now!

      • BD

        Well so what if he get the money from you and I … maybe after the tax payer bleeds enough they will start see the problem and stop this…..

    • Tonto

      I wonder if it will. Cops are scared…especially around Detroit. People, in general, are getting tired of being pushed around. I think it’s only a matter of time before there are a few instances of bloody mayhem from a cop citizen confrontation. I know of a couple instances where civilians have fought cops and put a real country whipping on the cop…..or cops.
      Historically, some cops became cops just so they could mess with people….and it also seems that cops are overstepping their constitutional boundaries at the insistence of courts and lawmakers that don’t understand or ignore the Constitution more often. There will be confrontation sooner or later.

  • Daniel Gray

    He will. he violated the law and the cop needs to be smacked down for it

    • CQ

      Be clear – who do you think violated the law?

      • Daniel Gray

        The cop did…who did you think I meant?

  • Macjamm

    Well they didn’t beat him to death or shoot him like you see so often now a days, hell they even Let him go,, So all in all i would say he was fairly lucky.. All these Modern Cops think that ever sense 9/11 they have a licence to do what ever they want, and in many jurisdictions they do and they literally get away with murder, So like i said i think he was lucky.. More people should open carry so it becomes more excepted by the general public…

    • TheBitterClinger1

      he was fairly lucky? That cop will be “fairly lucky” if that CITIZEN doesn’t take stronger action than a lawsuit. “Why do you have a hand gun?” Well officer WHY DO YOU? Gee the citizen is not a felon. Well is the officer a child molester, rapist or thief? Can that officer PROVE he is not? So people got “fired up”–now that is a justification for thuggery. And that cop wonders why the man is upset about being put on the ground? If the man can not name the person who will do him harm he does not need a gun. OK get ALL cops to leave their guns home until they have absolute proof some one is aiming a gun at them–hypocrites.

      The days of filing lawsuits, ‘working within the system’, complaints are over. Stronger actions are needed.That officer is every bit as vile, corrupt and a thug as ANY out there. When the state fails to protect we are morally obligated to take action.

      • Macjamm

        I think asking the Cops why they have a gun is the best response, I have seen that in videos and the Cops always act all indignant and answer with the ingenious answer, well i am a Cop…Most people don’t seem to understand that Cops are just citizens that we pay to keep the peace, they have no special rights or at least they shouldn’t.. They are just people with all the same faults and weaknesses as the rest of us….

        • Sunshine Kid

          Well said indeed!

          • Patrick Henry

            Federal Civil rights lawsuit. When 2 or more conspire to violate a persons civil rights under the color of law it is a felony.

          • Sunshine Kid

            How many can we get to go after Obama, Pelosi, Reid and Holder?

      • mwl

        Instead of sueing the city and the state which only transfers the cost to your neighbor and other taxpayers. Sue each and every individual and make them pay. The get their stuff they worked for. Make them live in a project building and a 15 year old car. The police office came out of the car with a drawn weapon. This is how people get shot for no reason. If the officer has reason to stop this guy knowing the law which he did as he was supposed to then why the heavy bull action. Many states have open carry the idea is to see who has the firearm and if a person has open carry, then officers should recognize the law which he wasnt going to do because he thought he was above the law. The citizen knew his rights and that why they let him go. If law enforcement is videoing you you have the expressed right to video them. Walmart sells excellent car cams and security systems. If your gonna do this have your proof of what happened.


      Lucky? Lucky to be harassed, ordered to the ground, handcuffed (probably fade down in the snow, to boot) and held in de facto custody for, oh, how long? 15 minutes, half an hour, or more? Lucky to be strolling down the street, a citizen doing no harm to anyone, and have a gun drawn on you, a loaded gun, with what may have been a very nervous police officer, who might have mistaken a flinch for an attempt to break away, all for doing nothing illegal, giving the officer no grounds to do what he did? You look at luck in an odd way.

      • Macjamm

        You said the same thing as me..
        Lucky they didn’t mistake a flinch and blow him away..
        Did you read my entire comment?? or only the first couple of words…
        And yes i said the way Cops Act today he was indeed Lucky,, the way Cops act today being just about the entire point ….. Sorry if you misunderstood me….

        • Tonto

          I remember a Green Beret Vet was stopped by the police, one cop on one side of the car and one on the other. For some reason they approached the car with guns drawn….after all a green beret is dangerous. The rookie cop on one side had an “accidental discharge” as he was drawing his gun and the other cop blew away the guy in the car that had both hands in plain sight on the wheel. The poor innocent had enough lead in him to be a boat anchor. Cops got away with it because it was an “accident”

    • American Me

      I always carry concealed even though my state has legal open carry.A police officer told me I can open carry,but expect to have problems like this because people get nervous when they see a gun and call the police.So it would be best to carry concealed.

    • mwl

      Police are citizens with the powers to arrest only, by law. They do not have a separate bill of rights nor do they have an exemption to the laws of the land. Where this comes from is the obama regimes willfully disobeying laws, skewing laws to fit their needs and political agenda. Remember THE ONLY reason any law enforcement officer carries a gun to to protect HIM. There is NO law stating that any law office has to protect any citrizen for any reason. Why do you think HOLDER was able to have Fast and Furious buried because the laws are being disregarded, holder doesnt even answer the subpeonas, fienstein states American needs to be disarmed using any method, the DHS now has 1.7 billion rounds of hollow points that cannot be used in any war, but is quite easily used here in the United States.
      Hitlers first action was to disarm the populace and garner all information on each and very person until it wasnt needed any longer and people were just removed and forgotten.

  • Clay Weeks

    need to bust the Fat ars cops rear and take his badge. When cops don’t know or respect the laws, they are dangerous. He evidently knows where the donuts are!

  • Bar0Ranch

    You’re right — everyone should carry. I have been carrying for several years now and it is pretty much a non event. BUT, being in southern Arizona and NOT Michigan may have something to do with that.

  • rocky63

    Are nearly all cops idiots these days. He’s lucky they didn’t just shoot him as they’ve done in at least two other cases (one a child).

  • munkybiznus

    Cop needs to brush on thee “open carry”, “concealed carry” LAWS IN mI

  • Hammer

    to most brown shirt police bullies we have no rights. This is fastly becomeing the norm for all police departments throughout the country…They are sworn to uphold the law not make it but they seem to have forgotten that they also seem to have forgotten that they work for we the people not hitler……..Maybe it’s time to remind them of the facts…..

  • AG Dot Com!

    This is a combination of decades of indoctrination of fear of guns, taught by socialists in our schools and courtrooms, police who no longer “Protect and Serve”, but “Monitor and Detain” instead, and cowardly busybodies who – because of anti-gun indoctrination – feel it is their “right” to never be afraid, intimidated, spooked, worried, or anything else that might cause them to wet their pants or be offended.

    It is time to man up, America. If you can open carry, start doing it. If you can display firearms in a legal way, do it. If someone jumps on you for it, shut them down. If a cop harasses you for exercising your God-given rights (for that is what the Bill of Rights are), do NOT back down, remain polite and rational, and sue the living bejeezus out of the department. Drown them in lawsuits. Make it too expensive to harass the public.

    Wake Up, America.

  • ARMYOF69

    I hope he cleans them out of home and all financial comforts, including their pensions and all their toys.

  • a_browning

    In this case, “the police acted stupidly”

  • TheSunDidIt

    The cops regularly “over-reach” but, I’d have stopped and checked him out too. In Oklahoma it used to be legal to do the same with no permits. But, what they would ALWAYS nail you for in the old days was “disturbing the peace”. And, all that took was a complaint from anyone.

    • Sunshine Kid

      The only rebuttal to that would be to sue the complainant for a false complaint. A few public trials on false complaint charges, and there would be few, if any false complaints, only valid ones. But that is what justice is SUPPOSED to be about, and it isn’t.

      • TheSunDidIt

        Under the “disturbing the peace” laws in most states, there is fairly clear case law as to what that constitutes. I rest on the result of a jury of my peers.

  • commie hater

    That fat goverment agent was itching for a reason to shoot the law abiding American…

  • Mort Leith

    This police officer should be FIRED and the GR police dept needs to ALL be fired for total lack of our Constitution knowledge

  • dan from ohio

    I open carry here in Ohio when its warm.I have had no problems so far but I do carry an audio recorder just in case.I have walked right by police officers in restaurants and at gas stations and have never been stopped,they do bug eye you but haven,t approached me yet

  • Bitter Clinger

    Seems like citizens know more about the law than many cops. I love seeing open carry in my state, but CCW is way better tactically and doesn’t get the public all riled up

  • sikathelibsheet

    This guy is smart when it comes to knowing the law. He can site case law, when asked about Terry vs Ohio. I would suggest if someone wants to open carry they bone up on the laws so they can site it as easy and fluent as this guy.

  • Sunshine Kid

    If the liberals don’t like guns, they can simply not have guns if they like. But don’t try and stop me legally carrying a weapon.

    What I don’t understand is why you need a special license to hide a weapon on your person. If you are legally allowed to carry a gun, what does it matter WHERE you carry it? Remember that in the old days, if a gambler carried a hidden weapon, it was no big thing – except for the card cheat, and there weren’t too many of those.

  • Das1997

    Lawsuits are the only way to get them to leave us alone.

  • Chiron_Venizelos

    I wonder who the cops expect to have their backs if ever they’re in need of support, whether that support be in the form of back-up in a hostile fire situation or when they get lucky and arrest some dirtbag who claims his/her/it’s rights were violated. For a LONG time now, the cops have been picking on the good people and hiding behind a do-nut shop when the bad guys come out.
    It all comes down to this: The cops are thugs and the ONLY difference between them and the other thugs is they have a badge and the courts invariably side with them. I hope the citizen sues the cop and the city for a gazillion dollars.

  • Douglas W. Rodrigues

    The police are going to lose this one.

  • danhspoonhourdc

    Some people just don’t have commons sense. Let’s go back to the “code” time of the west; people open carried all over the place and the law did not question why you were carrying because the “times” required it for hunting for food, wild animals, Indians, bandits, and protection of family and property from any criminal element no matter what the origin. Today’s world has now evolved into a more dangerous situation; with the exception of the Indians who are no threat, we still hunt for food in certain locations, we still have wild animals, travel, shopping, day or night excursions, camping, schools, college campus, criminal invasion, terrorism, communism, churches, you name it; evil has no boundaries and can spring up anywhere. And some people, who are running around loose and have no clue as to reality want to know WHY we need and want to open carry or otherwise; to protect ourselves from evil which has us surrounded on all fronts? Are you kidding me?

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