While gun ownership and carrying pistols for protection in public may seem to be a growing movement in the public realm, many police officers still choose to ignore the law. Yet another case of a legally-armed black man being falsely charged with Carrying a Concealed Weapon has surfaced in Detroit. CCW is a 5-year felony in Michigan, and many DPD officers have no issue with maliciously locking up law-abiding citizens under that charge. This is an epidemic that the command structure has no apparent desire to stop.
Beginning in 2014, the public began to be familiar with cases of Detroit Officers arresting and framing legally-armed black men. Historically, it probably had always been easier for Detroit Police to simply assume that any armed black man is likely a dangerous criminal, but this logic is both racist and opposite a free society. The newest wave of gun rights activism that the United States has seen since the Sandy Hook Massacre at the end of 2012 ensured that victims of this police corruption, such as Jeronie Stanford, would have their stories for harassment told.
Stanford was arrested for CCW in July 2014, while open carrying a pistol in plain view. He was told by arresting officer “Juice” Holloway that, “You have to have a [CPL] (Michigan Concealed Pistol License)” to carry a firearm. This is completely false, of course, since carrying a firearm on foot, in public, in plain view is a constitutional right in the state of Michigan. Furthermore, Officer Holloway’s own written report of the arrest, amazingly, admits that Stanford’s weapon was in full view. After Stanford spent three days in jail, he was released without receiving his pistol back. A year and a half later, he still has a pending CCW charge; this means that, while he is a free man, he will not pass a background check for a new pistol. As well, he remains unemployed, since the background check indicates he is still being charged. Even though he calls Detroit Police regularly, they refuse to charge him with CCW or return his property.
Stanford’s brother, Elijah Woody, was famously arrested for CCW only two months later in September 2014 for the same circumstance. The saving grace for Woody’s arrest was the 13-second cell phone video he captured at that time, which completely destroyed the false tale that the three arresting officers (including Officer Holloway) told to Woody’s jury in January of this year. The jury deliberated Woody’s not guilty for only five minutes once they had the video in front of them; the fact that Woody was open carrying and the officers lied was even clear to the presiding judge.
Anthony Murray was arrested in September 2014 as well, under precisely the same conditions. Murray’s trial for CCW was an open-and-shut case; FBI agents allegedly barged in the courtroom and arrested the arresting officer for perjury as he lied on the witness stand.
The latest CCW victim is “George Smith”, as he is publicly known at the moment. Only certain information is available at the time, except that Smith was on his own property while open carrying. This creates a double impossibly of CCW; Michigan law allows one to carry a concealed weapon on one’s own property. While other victims certainly exist and are created all the time, this example of complete gross incompetence by DPD to arrest any armed black man is absolutely unacceptable.
The underdog activists in this epidemic is LibertyIsForEveryone.com, an online network of freedom fighters. They have staged over a dozen events in Detroit, putting public pressure on Detroit Police Chief James Craig (who is endorsed by the NRA as a supposedly “Pro-gun” police chief). The police in Detroit have often responded with intimidation at gunpoint, but upset protesters have not abated. If Chief Craig is supposedly the pro-freedom, pro-gun politician that he claims to be, why does he allow citizens of his city to be illegally hassled and maliciously prosecuted by his own subordinates? Call him and ask: (313) 596-2200. Public outcry is the only way to make Chief James Craig live up to his flimsy “pro-gun” reputation.