Cleveland Refuses to Return Armed Self-Defender’s Firearm

On March 24, 2015, Brian Bridges shot and killed a man in self defense in Cleveland, Ohio. He had a concealed carry permit and was never charged with a crime. Police confiscated Bridges’ gun as evidence for a future trial. But as  clevescene.com reports,

That trial wasn’t to be— the defendant pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in October 2015. But now, in 2017, Bridges still hasn’t gotten his handgun and other items back, the complaint alleges.

The CPD, however, wouldn’t release Bridges’ pistol. And now he’s suing to get it back. From courthousenews.com:

Bridges claims Cleveland police unlawfully seized his property, “including a Glock 21 semiautomatic handgun, ammunition, holsters and a redcherry piccolo,” to be used as evidence in Akins-Daniels’ case.

Despite the fact that the criminal proceedings against Akins-Daniels are over, police have not returned Bridges’ guns, he says.

Bridges noted in his complaint that he is a professional security guard and has a license to carry a concealed handgun.

He sued for replevin and violation of the Second and Fourth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Bridges seeks $20,000 in compensatory damages and $50,000 in punitive damages. He also wants an injunction to stop the city from “enforcing any policy and/or actions that infringe upon a lawful gun owner’s right to keep and bear arms.”

This isn’t the first time Cleveland has been sued for keeping a firearm without justification — in effect, legalized theft.

In February of 2013, the CPD searched the car of Derrick J. Washington, a witness who reported a shooting. The police wrongly stated that there was a warrant for Washington’s arrest. He showed them his concealed carry permit and told them his gun was in a locked container in his car.

They found the pistol in the locked box and confiscated it along with Washington’s concealed carry permit. Then they arrested him.

Washington spent three nights in jail before they admitted their error. Washington repeatedly asked for his pistol back. The city refused. Washington sued in federal court.

The city eventually settled, returning his pistol in November of 2013. He also received $1,000 for his trouble, $5,500 in attorney fees, and $250 in court costs.

In the current case, Brian Bridges’ attorney, Michael J. Connick, is suing in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, which is where Derrick J. Washington started his lawsuit. At least Bridges wasn’t arrested and forced to spend three days in jail.

I suspect Bridges’ lawsuit will have the same result, but courts can be chancy. The city may not decide to settle (it’s only taxpayer money, after all). We’ll be watching.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

comments

  1. avatar FedUp says:

    They don’t call Cleveland “The Mistake on the Lake” for nothing.

    1. avatar No one of consequence says:

      Nothing an urban renewal project can’t fix. Something in the half-megaton range ought to do it.

    2. avatar Sam says:

      I lived there for 19 months against my will. If an earthquake hit and it floated to the Canadian side of the Lake, I wouldn’t shed a tear.

      1. avatar Button Gwinnet says:

        Why you hate Canada, bro?

  2. avatar paul raynolds says:

    I guess I’m wondering why he pled to involuntary manslaughter?

    1. avatar TFred says:

      Come on…. you can figure it out. It wasn’t Mr. Bridges who pleaded guilty.

      It’s rather obvious that something like this happened, but here’s the quote from the linked article:

      “On March 24, 2015, Bridges returned to his home on Walden Avenue near E. 169th Street around 5:30 p.m. There, he confronted two men burglarizing the property. Bridges, a licensed concealed-carry permit holder, shot one of the burglars— Joseph W. Eason— in the confrontation. The second man— Anthony. A. Akins-Daniels— ran from the scene, but was later apprehended by police. He was later hit with charges related to the death of his accomplice. “

      1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

        Here’s the original story:

        http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2015/03/cleveland_man_fatally_shoots_i.html

        (For a little dose of irony, read the comments.)

      2. avatar Robb says:

        The editors have gotten sloppy here lately.

        Cmon guys; be a little clearer in your writing.

        1. avatar Biff Baxter says:

          It’s the website for the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
          Writing/Composing skills not required.

      3. avatar Tal says:

        I too found it confusing at first.

        But thank God you’re here.

    2. avatar deepdive68 says:

      Me too. Obviously more to that part of the story than explained.

    3. avatar Hannibal says:

      Confused me for a second too. My high-school English teacher would have made the folks at TTAG cry.

      1. avatar Ed says:

        For real. Someone needs to start proof reading around here…..

        1. avatar Lotek says:

          I don’t mind the clunky/confusing sentence structure it’s the use of pleaded instead of pled that’s driving me crazy. Also it’s “Scooby do where are you” not “Scooby do where are you AT” rant over

        2. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          Two women are seated next to each other on a plane. One of them’s from Georgia, the other Connecticut. The Georgian says, “Hi. Where you from?” The woman from Connecticut says, “I’m from a place where we know not to end a sentence with a preposition.” The Georgian says, “Oh, beg my pardon. Where you from…bitch?”

          The rule that you can’t end a sentence with a preposition is wrong. I’ve read that it comes from John Dryden’s 1672 work “Defense of an Epilogue.” He argues that he is a better playwright than Shakespeare and others because they ended sentences with prepositions. Here is a ridiculously expensive book that covers the history of the rule: https://www.amazon.com/Grammar-Rhetoric-Usage-English-Preposition/dp/1107000793.

        3. avatar Lotek says:

          I don’t mind “where are you from” it’s short sweet and to the point. At is unnecessary.

        4. avatar Lotek says:

          Bless your heart. Where in tx are you. McDade here. Typing on phone, grilling lamb and watching grand kids in pool. As I get older I find myself channeling my aunt with an English degree from Rice. ?

        5. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          I’m in Southeast Texas.

        6. avatar Lotek says:

          WTF are you doing this far down the timeline

        7. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          I’m not sure I understand your comment about the timeline.

          If your referring to the 1672 thing, that is where the rule is first recorded. A lot of people think the rule has something to do with importing grammar rules from Latin and French to English for no apparent reason.

          If your referring to why am I posting where I posted, I’m responding to your comment. There is a comment that I want to respond to when I read it. I click the reply button. I type my response. I click “Post Comment.”

        8. avatar Lotek says:

          Thank you for the link. Going to check it out

        9. avatar Sam I Am says:

          All this annoying crape’ about prepositions is something up with which I will not put !

        10. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          Thanks, Sam! I was hoping someone would interject with some (apocryphal) Winston Churchill logic.

        11. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Hi Chip.

          Maybe I worked too hard at it. Seems many did not see it as humor. Perhaps I should leave humor to Johnny Carson.

        12. avatar Lotek says:

          Ha ha Don’t over think it . I’m 2 days late. and yet you responded within minutes.

        13. avatar Lotek says:

          Sorry I’m having fun. I am 2 days late in my response. That’s what I mean by timeline. Reverting to old phone phreaking.

        14. avatar Lotek says:

          Look Sam there are 11? Prepositions all of wich ( witch ) ( man I’m drunk) are where they should be. This thread is two days old, why are we even having this conversation

        15. avatar Sam I Am says:

          I do not actually care where one places prepositions. Just noting, without a dangling preposition, that the entire conversation is annoying because there are language snobs.

        16. avatar Lotek says:

          Happy Mothras day

        17. avatar Lotek says:

          OK I’ll play along. Ain’t has always been a word. Super Man does good, you are doing well. Where do you reside Sam?

        18. avatar Sam I Am says:

          ” Lotek commented on Cleveland Refuses to Return Armed Self-Defender’s Firearm.

          in response to Ed:

          For real. Someone needs to start proof reading around here…..

          OK I’ll play along. Ain’t has always been a word. Super Man does good, you are doing well. Where do you reside Sam?”

          These sorts of submissions always confuse me. The reply is addressed to “Ed”, but my name is called. Never sure how to unravel this.

          But as to location, “theater of the mind”?

          Due to my pointed and hostile postings about law enforcement and justice in the community (DAs who announced they would bankrupt legal gun owners who use a firearm in self-defense, and such), I try not to be too specific about locations. But is is in flyover land.

        19. avatar Lotek says:

          Oh and what is a ” boat load ” that’s not a unit measurement. A butt is a cask equal to the volume of two hogs heads,or 126 US gallons.

        20. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          “Ha ha Don’t over think it . I’m 2 days late. and yet you responded within minutes.”

          I had a busy week, so I didn’t spend much time on TTAG. I didn’t have much downtime at the office or I wasn’t in it.

        21. avatar Lotek says:

          I hope your weekend is relaxing. I was two days late posting. Thought no one would respond. Have always enjoyd your posts. Gung Ho

  3. avatar TFred says:

    These abuses will NEVER stop, until they attach PERSONAL liability to them. See Florida’s preemption statutes.

    1. avatar Kyle says:

      absolutely correct. When there is criminal responsibility attached for violation of civil rights, this will stop. Almost immediately.

      1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        Civil liability would be more effective. Who’s going to prosecute the government officials for breaking the law? I doubt anyone will. Who’s going to sue the hell out of them when there is a payday at the end of the day? Just about anyone.

        1. avatar NineShooter says:

          “Civil liability would be more effective. Who’s going to prosecute the government officials for breaking the law? I doubt anyone will. Who’s going to sue the hell out of them when there is a payday at the end of the day? Just about anyone.”

          Well said, and quoted in case anyone missed it.

  4. avatar Silentbrick says:

    Charge the officials with armed robbery, call the state police to report the crime. I’ve heard this works in Louisana when local cops try to confiscate guns from armed citizens with permits.

  5. avatar FedUp says:

    In other news:
    Shot armed robber, wasn’t charged, lives in fear of retribution:
    http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2012/04/man_who_shot_teen_five_years_a.html

    Convicted murderer breaks into your home and attacks your friend. Shoot him in Cleveland and go to prison:
    http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2011/09/appeals_court_overturns_murder_1.html

  6. avatar Hannibal says:

    “and a redcherry piccolo…”

    um, is this some sort of slang I’m not aware of?

    …and if not, why on earth would they hold on to that?

    1. avatar KENT B says:

      A redcherry piccolo is a small tomato, right?

    2. avatar pete says:

      They’re unjustly depriving him of his redcherry piccolo… whatever the heck it is. Musical instrument? Marital aid? Confection?

    3. avatar Texheim says:

      Thank god I wasn’t the only one to say WTF is that?

  7. avatar pete says:

    Effing Cleveland and Columbus don’t seem to know what state they’re in, rather seem to think they’re cities in New Jersey.

    1. avatar anonymoose says:

      Oh, it’s the same with the cities of Shaker Heights, Toledo, Dayton, Cincinnati, Cleveland Heights, and at least one other city. They all have/had stupid little antigun ordinances and policies that tried to restrict concealed carry, open carry, and/or magazine capacity, and they all get shot down by state preemption. There is still not a single FFL in the City of Cleveland, but I met some doofus last spring who was campaigning with that P.G. Sittenfeld guy and trying to get people to sign a petition to do away with preemption so they could have UBCs in the city. I ended up following these two morons around and explained to people in the crowd that “Jamal, who is already a felon, is certainly going to fill out an ATF Form 4473 so he can buy a stolen Glock from Karim, who is also already felon, on the street corner.”

  8. avatar Howard T Duhk says:

    CLEVELAND: The racial makeup of the city was 53.3% African American, 37.3% White, Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.0% of the population.

  9. avatar cmac890 says:

    This is exactly why I dont carry a Cabot. Not because I cant afford it, but because I cant afford it twice lol.

  10. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

    Replevin. Nice. There’s a link to a description of the cause of action. Short definition: give me back my stolen property and all the money your theft cost me.

  11. avatar Sam I Am says:

    As noted before, my little burg refuses to obtain an FFL (their own, or contracted). Thus the authorities lack legal grounds to transfer a confiscated weapon back to the owner, or forward to any other owner; guns destroyed by crushing. Completely legal theft.

  12. Public officials need to face personal liability in cases where they intentionally break the law or violate people’s civil rights. As a citizen I want people who are mistreated to be compensated. As a tax payer I’m tired of these people being compensated with public funds. Who ever made the decision to steal this mans gun should be convicted of felony theft and should be personally liable for any cost associated with getting his property returned.

  13. avatar Ken says:

    I live in a Cleveland suburb and have followed Cleveland’s awful history of violating state preemption laws and civil rights. I agree completely that it won’t stop until elected officials (looking at you Mayor Jackson) are held criminally and/or personally liable for their actions.

    Perhaps the way to bring this kind of stupidity to an end is to bring charges under federal law of deprivation of rights under color of law.

    https://www.justice.gov/crt/deprivation-rights-under-color-law

    Section 242 of Title 18 makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.
    For the purpose of Section 242, acts under “color of law” include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the their lawful authority, but also acts done beyond the bounds of that official’s lawful authority, if the acts are done while the official is purporting to or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. Persons acting under color of law within the meaning of this statute include police officers, prisons guards and other law enforcement officials, as well as judges, care providers in public health facilities, and others who are acting as public officials. It is not necessary that the crime be motivated by animus toward the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin of the victim.

    The offense is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term, or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any.

  14. avatar Chris Morton says:

    Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson must love losing gun rights related lawsuits. After all, he does it so often…

    1. avatar Ken says:

      Probably doesn’t bother him that much since he only squanders tax payer money every time he loses.

  15. avatar Racer88 says:

    Wow. Nobody has yet commented, “And, that’s why you have more than one gun.”

    There ya go. 😉

  16. avatar IdahoPete says:

    Here is a recent Supreme Court decision (7-1) that may stop this whole asset forfeiture seizure crap – “Nelson vs Colorado” https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/16pdf/15-1256_5i36.pdf

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