The Campaign For DA

8.22.2012

Shoutout To The Cop



You guys want to know something crazy? You can carry a semi-automatic rifle around on the street with you in Texas. Yep, right down a sidewalk. I was talking to an assistant DA in Wise County about this just the other day. Most people don't know that (and I think I'm glad most people don't know this.)

This guy in the video with the gun has taken a crash course in criminal law because he is firing out all sorts of buzzwards: "encounter", "detention", "Terry v. Ohio", and "article 1, section 9" (the last one which is the Texas constitution's equivalent of the Fourth Amendment.")  He's looking for a fight - or, more accurately, a cop screwup, but he knows his rights.

But the cop did a fantastic job here. The rules are this: If he has a reasonable suspicion that some type of criminal activity is ongoing, the cop can "detain" him to further investigate.  The cop's basis was that the weapon the guy on the street had might be fully automatic.  Once he determined it was a semi-automatic, he did the only thing he could do: Hand the rifle back to the kid.

I'm sure being recorded may have greatly influenced how the officer handle the guy on the street, but it was textbook.  And I didn't think such a thing ever happened.