Remember the YouTube video (well, audio really) of a guy open carrying in Philadelphia? RF wrote about it. The one where what sounds like half a precinct held the guy at gunpoint, telling him he didn’t have the right to open carry in Philly? Yeah, that one. All the cool kids saw (heard) it. It turns out that the brave (reckless?) open-carrier was right. He did, in fact, have the right to open carry as a licensed gun owner. But that was by no means the end of the story…
During the confrontation, Mark Fiorino clearly told the cops that, “It’s Directive 137. It’s your own internal directive.” He’d obviously done his homework. Apparently that directive hadn’t made it down to the cops on the beat.
After cuffing him and checking with HQ, the little matter of the legality of open carry in The City of Brotherly Love was determined and Fiorino was released. With profuse apologies and begging of forgiveness, no doubt.
But what really got the Philly PD hot and bothered was when Fiorino posted the audio on YouTube. So they launched a new investigation into the incident, decided he provoked the whole megillah on purpose and the DA charged him with reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct for refusing to cooperate with police.
Philly PD spokesman LT. Ray Evers said they believe Fiorino intended to provoke the confrontation, to make the cops lose their cool as lawsuit bait. Fiorino has, in fact, said he intends to sue the city once the criminal charges are resolved.
Lt. Francis Healy, the department’s attorney admitted that their officers didn’t know the law. Seems they’d never addressed it. “Right now, our officers are better-versed on the subject matter.” Good to know.
It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that, if not planning a confrontation, Fiorino was, at a minimum, more than ready for one. You can forgive the cops’ suspicions.
Moral of the story: Proving a cop is wrong is one thing. Embarrass a cop in front of the world, though, and you’re in for a world of hurt. And expense.