So four young women entered a local Wal-mart in Marshfield, Missouri for a bite to eat. Missouri is an “open-carry” state. It appears they are also getting their food at Subway inside Wal-mart. Apparently someone called the police to complain about them carrying their firearms. The owner of the restaurant didn’t ask them to leave, but lo and behold the cops are on the scene.
What’s most concerning about this event is the fact that several officers arrive and the first officer in the video starts asking for identification without even addressing why he needs it, even from a girl without a gun! You’ll notice he also does not consider a passport or a weapons permit identification.
He then seems to have a problem with the group videoing him and asks them why they are doing so. Apparently, he thinks he has a right to violate the Fourth Amendment of these girls, but takes issue with their First Amendment, as well as their Second Amendment rights.
The officer is not paying very close attention to IDs either. He looks them over and then asks the girls how old they are.
The officer then asks them to step outside, and once he steps outside discovers a young man walking up to see the girls and asks for his ID! Why does the officer need to see ID? No crime has been committed. In fact, the young man asks him explicitly, “Am I being suspected of something?”
The officer responds like Barney Fife, “I don’t know, I just get a call, and that’s the reason I’m here.”
So he admits he doesn’t know if anyone is suspected of anything. This officer needs to understand the Fourth Amendment because he is violating it all over the place. Here, let me help:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The officer, by demanding their identification is violating their rights. Additionally, he has admitted that he doesn’t even have probable cause to ask them for their identification.
The young man asks again, “Did I break the law?”
The officer, visibly frustrated, demands the ID, which the young man provides.
Upon providing the identification, the young man asks the officer, “Has the law been broken?”
“I don’t know yet,” the officer bellows. “That’s what I’m trying to determine.”
Then others arrived that have been traveling with the group and he wants to see their identification! Seriously, what is this Nazi, Germany?
He then asks about the young man filming him. The young man says that he has a First Amendment Right to do so, to which the officer seeks to demean him by asking him, “Is this what you normally do travel from town to town filming everybody?”
I guess the question would have been best asked in response to the officer, “Is this what you do, demanding IDs from people who haven’t broken the law without any probably cause nor citing a reason for demanding identification?”
Then the officer told the young man that a business has the right to refuse them and ask them to leave, which the young man understood and complied with, but apparently, the young girls were never asked to do so.
There was also a follow up video as well, in which Marshfield Police Chief Doug Fannan, who at least carried himself in a more cordial manner than the previous one, attempted to talk about being pro-gun. However, the glaring problem that most people should see what he says is that if someone feels uncomfortable that you are exercising your right to carry your firearm, then you are creating a disturbance of the peace! I’m not kidding. Listen to him say it below.
Additionally, why do law enforcement officers not tell those that feel uncomfortable that they do not have the right to infringe on others’ rights because of that? Why do they not educate those who do not understand the law? Could it be because they don’t really understand it themselves? Could it be that they don’t actually believe in the rights of the people? I’ll let you be the judge.
Eventually, the group is released after a discussion of various ordinances.
Tim Brown is the Editor of Freedom Outpost and a regular contributor to The D.C. Clothesline.