This was received via the Cop Block submissions page.
Officer Involved: Part-time officer Erin Leigh
Department Involved: New Holstein (WI) Police Department
Phone Number: (920) 898-4241
Libertyisforeveryone gives us another gem highlighting an officer that doesn’t know the laws pertaining to open carry. They were open carrying in New Holstein, WI when Officer Leigh pulls up and gets out of the car asking for ID. Both armed gentlemen refuse to provide ID. One of the gentlemen asks if they are being detained. She replies that they are not, so they begin to walk away.
She asks if they are going to go back to their vehicle and leave the city. They reply that they are not. Her attitude then takes a negative turn when she says, “I can cite you right now. I can detain you.” She brings up some city ordinance about firearms. They immediately inform her that state law over rules city ordinance. They then educate her on the state law, she’s not having any of that.
She then tells them that she is asking them to leave the city because they are allegedly making the residents uncomfortable with their presence. They tell her that it’s not their problem. She tells them it’s her problem because the residents are complaining and therefore it’s their problem. They begin to walk away from her again, since she has already said that they are not detained.
She raises her voice and says, “I am talking to you. You do not walk away from me.” They remind her that she has already said that they were not being detained. They go back and forth for a while over leaving the city. Then in true “Cop Logic” form, she tells them, “I can detain you now for not talking to me.” This is followed by another round of her telling them that she is asking them to leave the city before they just walk away from her and leave her looking stupid.
Whether you agree with open carry or not, it’s legal for them to do. Yet these officers still do everything they can to violate their rights. I’m not going to argue that some open carriers do go out there just to get a rise out of the police. I can tell you with all certainty that this is not what these guys are doing. They do this for educational purposes. They carry outreach literature to pass out to citizens to educate them on their rights to open carry.
In many of their videos, you can see them interacting with the public when they are out and about on these walks. Some people start out a little confrontational in the beginning, but these guys remain calm and explain what they are doing. In many instances, these people change their tune after being presented the facts about open carry and their rights.
Officer Leigh demonstrates a total disregard for rights and how officers have a tantrum when things do not go their way. More people are standing up to their unlawful actions and they don’t like it much. These officers need to get with the program and start honoring their oaths.
If you feel that this officer was out of line, feel free to contact the New Holstein Police Department at the number at the top of the story and let them know how you feel.