A few weeks back, we highlighted the courteous and professional conduct of officer Matt Lyons. Well, for each yin there’s a yang. For every good there’s a bad. For every Jedi there’s…some guy wearing black on the dark side. Now, via snowflakesinhell.com, comes this surefire first ballot hall-of-famer from Canton, Ohio. Granted, the Lyons and Canton situations occurred under drastically different circumstances. This sorry display happened at night in an evidently questionable part of town. Still, it’s hard to decide what’s most disturbing about the dashcam video . . .

Is it the generally abusive demeanor? The illegal search of the car? The lack of Miranda rights given to the driver? Maybe it’s the promise of future harassment. Oooh. Oooh. I know. It’s probably the regret the officer expresses that he didn’t “execute” the driver by emptying his Glock into him. Canton PD  Chief Dean McKimm has relieved the offending cop of his duties pending action by internal affairs. Meanwhile, the driver is no doubt looking for a good civil rights attorney. Here’s wishing him good luck.

59 Responses to Canton, OH Cop Daniel Harless Abuses CCW License Holder

  1. “I should’ve taken two steps back, pulled my glock 40, and put ten rounds in your ass and just let you drop.”

    My initial repsonse was not appropriate for TTAG.

  2. This guy is wound way too tight to be a cop. Of course, now that his misbehavior is all over the internet, he will likely find himself out of that line of work.

    • I don’t know why someone hasn’t seen and addressed this officers stress levels. I suspect this isn’t isolated to a single officer. Last time I saw something like this IA was removing a lot of LEO and many others were in sticky positions.

      • Yes, and there appears to be some history between the cop and the prostitute. It’s possible he had a bad experience with her before – and I mean that in the best possible way.
        Whatever the case, it looks like an altogether bad scene. To borrow a phrase from the real estate agent’s handbook: Avoidance, avoidance, avoidance.

  3. Well, I can’t say much about the perp being in a bad part of town, at a late hour, on a notorious street. It could all just be circumstance.

    But the officers behavior and attitude, is caught on tape and now open for anyone to speculate on.

    Unfortunately, a cop with a pissy demeanor, who fails to follow proper protocol and secure the driver, read miranda rights, and completely tramples on the civil liberties of everyone they pulled over….meh…..not so uncommon.

    Just like any other job, there are good cops, people who realize they are suppossed to be good stewarts of the law and our civil liberties……..and then there is Officer McDungMunch who abuses his authority, and COMPLETELY has a lack of respect for the people he is supposed to be serving.

    In this case, the violation of this suspects 2nd Ammendment rights is just as sympton of a much larger problem.

  4. He’s a model officer — for the Third Reich. I’m sure that the Canton PD will give him a commendation and send the CCW holder to prison or at least revoke his license, becaue that’s what fascists do.

    Seig heil, Canton. You rule!

    • At least the police chief is reacting more or less appropriately. Contrast that with the reaction of Philadelphia PD to Mark Fiorino’s audio recording. They continue to insist that it’s appropriate to detain and disarm people for open carrying.

      I’d like to see this officer fired instantly as much as the next person. But there’s a union and civil service protections in place. At least the chief got him off the streets while the process goes forward.

  5. The police officer’s behavior indicates he is incapable of handling the job and must be terminated immediately. If he thinks that he has a legal right to “execute” someone upon the mere sight of a handgun, he has clearly lost his marbles.

    • I think the CCW permit holder may have a decent case for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

  6. Wow… it’s incredible that this kind of behavior is allowed to continue. Seriously, one single minute of rationality on the part of the first officer would have been enough to defuse the whole stupid mess. This moron should be fired immediately and never, ever hired in any sort of LE/Security field again. What a complete disgrace to our nation’s police forces.

  7. I no longer consider the “there are good cops and bad cops” line to be any kind of a defense. Police are trusted with an extraordinary amount of power in our society. A bad waiter can potentially ruin my lunch, not cause me to lose my life’s savings fighting a false arrest. A bad cab driver can make me late, he can’t take away my freedom. And a bad shopkeeper can piss off… not kill me.

    The price they pay for abusing their authority should be commensurate with how vast that authority is, and I don’t think there are nearly enough cops in jail for the shennanigans all too many of them routinely engage in.

  8. The driver already has a good attorney. And the local prosecutor has “graciously” agreed to drop the charges in exchange for the driver granting the city complete immunity.

    So far, it looks like it’s going to court, and the Ohioans for CCW link Derek gave is to help pay the legal costs *AND* fund the campaign to end the must-notify law.

  9. Yeah, this video has the message board of my local gun carry organization abuzz. One would hope this cop’s career in law enforcement is done.
    At some level I want to tell myself this guy is an anomaly in the police force, but…

    • The Canton PD FB page has a message from the chief that the officers have been relieved of all duties and are pending an investigation from IA. I also think the charges against the driver have been dropped but don’t quote me on that. OFCC is going to be using this as ammo to try and get rid of the “notification” requirement. OFCC runs a forum and all of it’s being discussed here – http://ohioccwforums.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=54153

      Also, OFCC’s official page. – http://www.ohioccw.org/

  10. This is such a stark contrast to my most recent experience with a LEO. After conducting some official business, we started chatting about lawful concealed carry and proper safety. He commended me for teaching firearms safety and responsible shooting to my son. He concluded that the community was safer and he was safer when there were responsible gun owners who defended both their home and carried concealed to defend themselves and their families.

    So, yeah – there are good cops and bad cops is not an excuse – but don’t forget there are good cops who really do want the best for the people & communities they serve and protect. I know that the whole serve and protect thing is legally gone now – but many LEOs still live it every day.

  11. Wow. What a shocking display of arrogance and abuse. That man has no business being a police officer.

    Generally, I’m a firm supporter of rank and file cops. And I suspect — I hope — that this cop’s behavior and attitude are truly anomalous. That said, I fear that the basic police culture that helped shape this officer’s lousy attitude is one that is common and that treats fellow citizens with a level of suspicion that — while perhaps intended purely to keep officers safe — leads almost inevitably to the sort of abuse on display here.

    I want our police officers to go home at the end of their shifts. But that goal cannot be used to justify wanton disregard for our liberty. Policing will always be more dangerous in a free society–but that’s the risk that officers must to be willing to take. They deserve our gratitude when they do.

    • Arrogance and abuse, sure. But I would say also cowardice and hoplophobia. As I was watching, the thing that hit me wat that the patrolman was scared to death of the gun. As far as I could tell, the driver did absolutely nothing to make the officer that afraid. He was completely passive and compliant the whole time.

  12. This guy is a bad apple that gives all the other cops a black eye. I’m always supporting the cops and I’ll continue to do so, but this incompetent moron should be fired and his partner suspended. He should also face some sort of charges because we all heard him threaten this man. I know that cops have a tough job and I’m on their side 99.9999 percent of the time, but there’s always a fool like this moron that screws things up.

    • If you’re on their side 99.9999blah blah percent of the time, you have a very poor knowledge of LE. The line between those who are in jail and those who put them there–and that includes lawyers and judges, but most certainly doesn’t exclude LE–is a very thin line.

      Remember when Clinton passed a law barring domestic violence offenders from possessing guns? Remember what the big problem with that was, the thing that the National Association of Police Organizations objected to? Beth Weaver, a NAPO spokesman: “What we are concerned about is that law enforcement officers are the only group of workers in the country who stand to lose their jobs because of this new regulation.” Really? You’re convicted of wife-beating but it’s still alright to be out there carrying a gun and pointing it at other people?

  13. I wasn’t able to finish the video.

    I’m with everyone else. This guy needs to find another line of work.

  14. Avoid Stupid Places where Stupid People Do Stupid Things

    That being said, a good cop should expect everyone to be armed anyways. Especially when you believe that you have come across a crime in progress. This cop is clearly incompetent and wound up way too tight.

  15. just remember for every bad cop out there on a power trip there is a good cop riding shotgun backing him up.

  16. What floors me is the fact that this officer MUST have known that he was being taped and recored via the dash cam. What he didn’t know, I guess, is that the tape would go viral.

    Question is, how and who leaked it? See, I don’t think this kind of thing is uncommon. What is uncommon is that that dash cams get leaked.

    • The driver’s lawyer got a copy through a Freedom of Information request. Lawyer has been somewhat active on the Ohioans for Concealed Carry forums prior to this incident, and is working with them on it. If I remember correctly, he has represented at least one other OFCC member in a somewhat similar case.

  17. I also like that he claims that his partner would cover for him if he decided to execute him for being “stupid”…

  18. Do the big cities just not do as good a job of weeding out the problem officers? None of the deputies I worked with ever talked to someone like that, even after some pretty intense fights and chases. And if the Sheriff ever heard them using language like that with a member of the public, they’d be in some trouble. It’s horrible to see crap like this because all the guys and gals I had the privilege to work with were some of the best and a-holes like this guy just ruin the good image they work so hard to uphold.

  19. It’s like the PD just grabbed a couple school yard bullies and gave them badges and guns. No training at all. EVERY SINGLE ASPECT of that stop was performed improperly. I’d be interested in a step by step breakdown of the video by a properly trained officer. Simply unbelievable. Reminds me of Superbad.

    • +1 really want to see this deconstructed as a training video of what not to do aka how to turn a traffic stop into the end of a career

      • Me, too. I’m not in law enforcement or the legal profession so although I can see numerous problems with this incident it would be very helpful to have someone well-versed in the legal details point out and comment on the issues of what happened. A video fisking, as it were.

  20. I sense an impending run on voice recorders at Amazon.

    I have a nephew who just graduated from a state police academy a few months back. I’ve done everything I know to instill in him that upholding the US Constitution is his WHOLE duty; not his only duty, but his whole duty in that everything he does on the street MUST meet the constitutional standard; otherwise, he should surrender his badge. Lord, I pray he understands my point, and I think he does. I’m very proud of his character and commitment to the public. He is a moral young man and his compass points due north.

    It’s an utter tragedy that the honorable officers in this town and elsewhere will pay a steep, steep price for this individual’s sub-human behavior.

  21. BTW, where are the police chief’s and mayor’s apologies for this? This incident doesn’t just stop with the officers involved. This is demonstrative of a total lack of leadership in this PD. Are the chief and mayor in “CYA hiding” until this blows over, further demonstrating their lack of leadership? Will the chief have the guts to make this a “don’t do” training video for all future academy classes?

    The chief can be heard saying, “The buck stops here?? Hell, no, the buck never got here.”

  22. All I can say is wow, Just wow.

    all circumstantial aside (location persons in company etc)

    This is the biggest fear of so many legal and law abiding concealed carry persons.

    I hope no one EVER has to go thru that kind of treatment.

  23. This officer was about one temper tantrum from killing someone. He needs at least a suspended sentence, to keep him out of any job with any authority over anyone, ever again. He also needs to be held accountable in civil court. His partner did him no favors by not taking him aside and calming him down. He also failed to protect the citizen. I doubt I am the only one who thinks that if a dash cam hadn’t been in place that this thing may have gone South, real fast. I know this is not how all officers act, but I had a remarkably similar incident with an officer once, I was so pissed after he threatened to shoot me that I didn’t know whether to sue him or hunt him down. He resigned his position a few days later.

  24. Good point, Cujo, and one that struck me as former patrol supervisor. The other police officer should have called him over to the side and given him a quick reality check. It is what the second officer on the scene does.

    Hey man, what is your PC? Did you follow our search procedure? Did you notice anything in plain view? Alright, I can’t see that you have anything and if I would try to smooth this over now. Why don’t you go sit in the patrol and pretend to write something will I start some damage control. Listen folks, I am sorry about this and we want to get you good people on your way. Mike may have over-reacted and I am sorry for the way he was talking. Y’all, have a good night.

    Officer Dumbass is ending his career in law enforcement. The second officer is doing the real damage. He is allowing it to happen. What faith the people of Canton may have had in the police to address this issue would have started with him checking his buddy. Had he stepped up and done his duty, this would have been a non-issue. A cop makes a bad stop but his buddy makes an on-the-spot correction and no one’s rights are violated.

  25. I have a similar story. I was driving back from the shooting range in Dillon, Colorado (high up in the rockies) and was pulled over for speeding. I have a valid Georgia CCW from when I was a Georgia resident, but Colorado does not recognize non resident CCW permits. However, Colorado does allow for carry in the car, concealed or open, loaded or not. I had my handgun holstered between my seat and my center console. When the cop came to my window, he explained that he clocked me going 11 over and showed me the radar. My response was (as my hands were firmly clinched on the steering wheel…they never left it): “officer, I have a loaded handgun just to my right that I wanted to make you aware of.” He immediately drew his handgun and put it right in my face. He told me to get out of my car, but I was buckled in and the buckle was next to my gun so I replied that I wasn’t going to put my hand anywhere near my gun, that he can feel free to open my door and unbuckle it himself. He then told me to grab the gun, keeping it holstered and hand it to him. I gave it to him and he called for back up. More Dillon, CO cops showed up, including the duty officer (?). They all discussed it and finally he (original officer) came back over, ticketed me, cleared my pistol and handed it back to me. Then he started to lecture me about how to carry my handgun, that it must be concealed, that it can not be loaded, etc. I countered, citing C.R.S. statutes and the duty officer (?) agreed, saying what good was an unloaded gun for self defense purposes. He asked me if I had a CCW permit, and I replied that I still had a valid Georgia CCW. His response was I can carry it however I like in my car since I have a CCW. I asked him if he checked my Driver’s License. He looked perplexed and asked me why. I told him that in big letters across the top of it, it says Colorado, thereby making me a legal resident of Colorado, not Georgia. He asked me what that matters and I told him that Colorado doesn’t recognize non-resident CCW permits. He looked perplexed again and said he had no idea that was the case.

    The point is, dumb cop cleared leather and put his gun to my face for doing absolutely nothing wrong and moreover, doing more than I am legally required to do in this state by telling him about my pistol. I did it out of politeness and respect. He had an Australian accent and I told the duty officer (?) that maybe he (no offense to immigrants) better hire people that actually know our laws. I was pissed. Nothing like having a gun right to your head.

    • I have to say, in all of my interactions with police, it’s been that at least 2/3 of the time the cop is a jerk. I’ve yet to come across someone THAT bad, but I have been in situations where I was randomly stopped and searched because they were looking for someone where if another officer hadn’t stepped in, I probably would have been assaulted by Officer Jackass just looking to arrest SOMEONE (like they care who).

      I have even seen the better cops watch videos online of non-violent people being assaulted by the police and laugh at the victim screaming in pain. As such I’ve learned to never trust a cop, under any circumstances. Hell, I’d trust a terrorist organization before I’d trust a LEO.

      The only way I’d start trusting LEO’s is if they disbanded all unions, officers who broke the law or assaulted a non-violent person lost their ability to perform any type of LEO work AND did jail time, a college education is required (only because it helps weed out the losers who just want to push someone around, not because it’s inherently necessary), and they did routine mental screenings for all officers with the results made publicly available.

  26. Well that was appalling… what I didn’t see any of you mentioning was what the hell was this guy engaged in that prompted the PD to pull over and begin rifling through his PRIVATE PROPERTY?? Not to mention the ludicrous assertation that he was somehow guilty because of who was around him at the time… Ever heard of Freedom of Association?? Is it illegal to strike up a conversation with a person who may have a criminal past? Is it illegal to give them a ride? I don’t understand…

    What may have saved the driver from a case of police brutality was his extreme passivity… Maybe it was out of fear. I don’t know.

  27. The primary officer needs to be in another line of work. I feel sorry for his partner. The poor driver should get a settlement and an apology from the police chief and mayor. I’m SSOOOOOoooooo glad I don’t live in Ohio.

    • This happens in jurisdictions across America, both on the micro and macro scale. I grew up in Georgia and we used to have a saying: Come to Georgia on vacation, leave on probation. Now I live in Colorado and it’s just as bad, if not worse. I never had a gun put to my head in Atlanta, but I sure have in the Rocky Mountains. Ironic. America the Police State.

  28. This man is a disgrace to police officers everywhere. He is both hard-nosed and incompetent. A deadly combination that, in this situation, could have placed himself and his partner at grave risk. He’s not just wound tight; he’s a hotdog.

    Not a Dirty Harry; just a dirty dog.

    Put his a** in jail.
    Charge his a** with felonious aggravated assault–threatening to execute someone(!), nevermind the hypothetical “What I should have done.”
    Fire his a** from the CPD.

    And while you’re at it, wash his foul mouth out with soap.

    End of discussion.

  29. This cop should be FIRED. Gone! “…I’m so close to cavin’ in your god-damned head…” What an incredibly incompetent police officer. He sounds like he’s been injecting too many steroids.

  30. Of course those of us who have worked the street know deep down in our gut why this officer lost it… this is a classic example of a unsafe car stop, the kind that gets officers shot and killed. When the driver was finally pulled from the car and told the officer that he was carrying…. the officer blew it because now he realizes just how close he has come to possibly being shot. He’s not mad at the driver… he’s mad at himself and is taking it out on the driver. He’s so upset at the potential consequences of his lack of officer safety that he goes completely over the top. This officer needs remedial training in officer safety issues, in particular, proper car stop procedures. An anger management class would also be appropriate. I’m not cutting him slack… I’m just saying it is what it is and that’s why he lost it big time. Just my opinion.

    • “just how close he perceives he has come to possibly being shot”

      fixed.

      Someone who would shoot him would not have been trying to fulfill his “legal” requirement of announcing he was carrying. This was just a guy attacking someone who he knew wouldn’t fight back.

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