“The gun has been taken because when you go through the process of arrest, we have the right to take your gun and secure it and you have to fight to get it back.” The first part, sure. The second part, WTF? If you’re not charged with a crime, as is the case here, your weapon belongs to the cops until you “fight” to get your lawful property returned? Did I wake up in Communist Russia this morning? The quote comes from Philadelphia Police spokesfolk Sgt. Ray Evers [via philly.com] re: the re-arrest of John Solomon. You may remember Mr. Solomon from this post: “Officers’ safety comes first, and not infringing on people’s rights comes second“. Same again, only the Philly po-po are out of friggin’ control. Literally. To wit . . .
On two afternoons in a row last week, Solomon, 24, was arrested after hanging out at a North Philadelphia bus stop, and each time, the cops confiscated from him a legally owned gun and a separate license to carry a gun, the licensed security guard said yesterday.
“They locked me up for loitering at a bus stop,” said Solomon, who has a special concealed-carry permit for security-training officers and one of the controversial gun permits issued by Florida. “And they took my guns away.”
Police think that Solomon was being insolent and used poor judgment, including by showing up armed at the same bus stop at which he was arrested the previous day.
“If he’s that defiant, should this guy have a gun?” said Sgt. Ray Evers, a police spokesman. “The most uncommon human trait is common sense. He’s not using good, adult judgment.”
The spinmeister cop’s chutzpah here is almost unfathomable. Solomon shouldn’t have a gun because he doesn’t kow-tow to the cops, who imprisoned him for seven hours and confiscated his legally owned property? Three times? He can’t move about the United State freely? Deep breath. Background.
The first day, cops charged Solomon with a summary citation for failure to disperse when he refused to leave the bus stop at Broad Street and Olney Avenue, a “known drug corner,” after being asked to do so four times by police, Evers said.
Solomon said that it’s the same bus stop he waits at every day and that he allowed four buses to pass by him because it was about 3 p.m. and he didn’t feel like riding a bus full of kids leaving school.
He agrees that he refused to leave when asked repeatedly by two beat cops.
“I was mad. I told them you can’t lock me up for waiting for a bus,” he said. “I’m allowed to miss a bus or two.”
Again, I’d like to know: where are the ACLU in all this? The NRA? Yes, Solomon exploited a loophole in Philadelphia licensing procedures to get a permit from Florida, so that he could carry in Pennsylvania. So what? He’s legal and that’s all that matters. Isn’t it?
The day after his first arrest last week, Solomon returned to the same bus stop and began taking pictures of others who were standing around, as he was instructed to do by an attorney he consulted, he said.
“A bunch of other people was loitering, but they [police] didn’t say nothing to them,” Solomon said.
He said that the same two beat cops approached him and that one of them erased the pictures from his cell phone. He said that one of the cops pocketed his Florida gun permit and that they took another handgun away from him.
“If I’m up there taking pictures, what is wrong with that?” he said. “What was the reason for you taking me in for investigation?”
He was again taken into custody and held for six hours. He said he received a property receipt for his gun, but not his permit. He was not charged with a crime, according to online court records.
Evers said that Solomon has been “evasive and uncooperative” and that police had every right to take his guns and permits.
“The gun has been taken because when you go through the process of arrest, we have the right to take your gun and secure it and you have to fight to get it back,” he said. “If the cops tell you to move four times and you don’t move, what do you expect?”