National Guard veteran placed in police cruiser for doing nothing illegal
August 1, 2013
A Vermont man is upset after he was handcuffed and detained in a police squad car for doing little more than walking down the street with a handgun clipped to his belt, harassment many see as a stark infringement of the man’s personal rights and Vermont’s open carry laws.
26-year-old Joshua Severance, a National Guard veteran, says he was stopped by police Monday and questioned as he walked down the street to his father’s apartment. Severance says his pistol was made all the more visible as his shirt was off due to hot weather.
“There was a cruiser sitting there parked, and it saw me. I had my firearm on my side, had my shirt off because I was hot, minding my own business just walking along, cops saw me,” Severance told WCAX.com.
“I can see pulling somebody over and asking them to look at the firearm or check the serial number to see if it comes back stolen,” Severance related, adding, “but putting somebody in handcuffs and throwing them in a cruiser and treating them like a criminal from square one– I don’t agree with.”
After police ran a background check and confirmed that Severance was in legal possession of his firearm, they explained their treatment of him as a vigilant response to recent shootings that have taken place in the neighborhood.
They also argued that the detainment was justified as it is uncommon to see armed citizens wandering about.
“In this particular neighborhood it is not commonplace to have people walking down the street with firearms, either rifles, shotguns or handguns. It was suspicious; it was out of the ordinary,” Rutland City Police Sgt. John Sly told the local CBS affiliate.
“Sgt. Sly says Severance was not breaking a law, and in Vermont gun owners can legally carry a firearm, concealed or not,” reported WCAX’s Ali Freeman.
Police also disturbingly stated that these types of stops were not at all “out of the ordinary and are routinely conducted.” According to WCAX, Severance was set to meet with the Rutland City Police Chief Wednesday to discuss the legality, or illegality, of the stop.
Infowars reached out to Severance for comment and will update this article with his response.
As Infowars has highlighted in the past, these types of stops violate the spirit of the Second Amendment, especially in states where it is legal to carry firearms openly.
In the video below, an open carry citizen schools police in Portland, Maine after they stopped him without suspicion of criminal activity. Police are seen nervously putting gloves on right before the law-savvy citizen cites the exact laws which officers are in the process of violating.