Two California men were arrested on “California-only” felony charges for violating laws that amount to “armed black people scare me.”
Two men were charged on Thursday for allegedly walking around an Inglewood neighborhood with assault rifles while dressed in camouflage and body armor, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.
Edmon Adonis Washington, 35, and Brook Thomas Lindsey, 30, each face one felony count of possession of an assault weapon, a Hi-Point semi-automatic assault rifle.
Lindsey was also charged with one felony count of unlawful assault weapon-.50 BMG rifle activity, a Hi-Point semi-automatic assault rifle.
On Aug. 16, Washington and Lindsey allegedly began walking around an area near 104th Street and Crenshaw Boulevard with semi-automatic assault rifles.
Video from the scene showed the men walking around in camouflage, carrying the rifles and talking about racism.
Police arrived at the scene and monitored the men as they walked around the neighborhood.
“Right now we are giving a peaceful demonstration. Nobody’s being shot. Nobody’s being brutalized. We’re out here just exposing racism, white supremacy,” one of the men told KTLA during his walk.
Both men were later arrested in San Fernando Valley.
I could care less about the racial politics of Mr. Lindsey and Mr. Washington; I care about their actions and intentions as citizens of the United States.
I cannot find any account that suggests either man was threatening other members of society, or using their firearms recklessly or in an unsafe manner. They appear to have possibly violated the Mulford Act, which was passed in the 1960s and signed by Governor Ronald Reagan in response to the Black Panthers going on similar walks.
They were engaging in what appears to be an open carry protest that the responding Inglewood officers did not view as a threat, as they merely stood by and monitored the situation as the men carried out their open carry walk.
It wasn’t until later that officers in San Fernando Valley arrested them on “assault weapon” charges.
Folks, the Hi-Point 995 carbine may be a lot of things, but an “assault weapon” it most certainly is not, not by any sane definition anyway. The Hi-Point is a very inexpensive pistol-caliber platform that has been given a stock, a longer barrel, and a simple forend.
What’s more, the Hi-Point 995 is currently sold in the state quite legally, with a “California-compliant” version existing on the market from the beginning.
Even more interesting, Hi-Point does not now, and has not ever made a .50 BMG variant. As all Hi-Point handguns and carbines are built from a basic pistol design that loads the magazine through the grip, it would be mechanically impossible to make a grip big enough to accommodate a .50 BMG round, as the length of the cartridge case is 5.45 inches long!
Lindsey’s additional .50 BMG charge is clearly falsified, and it appears that the “assault weapon” charges are highly suspect as well, unless they managed to get their hands on normal versions of the carbines that lack a bullet button.
Where California police have an actual right to charge them is under laws that have made it virtually impossible to legally open carry in California.
Lindsey and Washington have likely run afoul of misdemeanor laws governing long-gun open carry in California, but charging them with these felonies appears to amount to gross over-charging, and an abuse of the human right to bear arms.
I hope California gun rights supporters step up and provide legal assistance for these men, who appear to have been carrying out an open carry walk that would have been considered an expression of their rights as American citizens in any actually free state.