Washington, Indiana: Illegal Arrest

A person who would prefer to remain anonymous submitted the following.

December 7, 2012

I heard a heated exchange between police and what I thought was my new neighbor. I walked outside carrying my video recorder, audio recorder, and I was open carrying. I do have a valid CCW. I began recording and the officers immediately began shining there flashlights at my camera to obstruct my view (even though it’s perfectly legal to film). Then Sgt. Greg Sketch P#7, and Ptl. Daniel Wilkins P#18 approached me on my property – they claim I was on the sidewalk, not that it matters. The Sgt. immediately ordered me to stop filming; I refused. They then noticed the firearm. The Sgt. Started yelling, “keep your hands where I can see them.” I said I would keep them both right on the camera in plain sight. That’s when he yanked the camera out of my hands and threw it on the sidewalk. I told them that I didn’t consent to any searches or seizures.

That is when Sgt. told Ptl. to take my firearm. The Sgt. then spun me around and demanded to see my CCW. I told him I didn’t need one to open carry in Indiana. He then placed me in handcuffs and demanded my ID. I asked what crime I was suspected of committing. He said, “you’ve got a gun,” to which I responded, “That’s not a crime.” He demanded my ID again. At this point, I decided to remain silent. He said “Oh, you don’t want to cooperate? You’re under arrest.” Sgt. then told Ptl. to take me in and book me. Once I was approached, the whole interaction only lasted maybe 2 minutes.

On the way to the jail I explained I.C. 34-28-5-3 and 34-28-5-3.5, then asked what crime I was suspected of committing. Ptl. said, “That’s a good question.” During the booking process, Ptl. learned about the audio recorder. The jailers sealed it in my personal property bag. I expressed my wishes that no one get in that bag. They told me that it would be illegal to open the bag after it was sealed. I asked to speak to the P.D. shift supervisor. They called him and said he’d be right in – then in walked Sgt. Dietsch. He was the shift super. I asked him again about Indiana codes among other things. After a long conversation, he said he was sticking me with charges. He then talked the jail commander into letting him open my property bag and take my audio recorder as evidence.

I wasn’t allowed to make a call for over 10 hours. My wife paid the $200 ransom the next morning. I went to the P.D. when I got out to retrieve my property. I was told that all my recording devices and firearms were logged in as evidence, and I would not be getting any of it back. What kind of evidence is my firearm? How does that help him prove “Refusal To Identify”? I cant afford legal council. What can I do about this? Please help!



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