It’s no secret that I generally have a low opinion of “look at me” long gun open carry. It is typically done with the expressed intention of “education,” but in practice, typically tends to be counterproductive grandstanding which has led (time and again) to restrictions and laws being passed banning open carry from places it was once legal.
That out of the way, the two disparate ways officers treated similarly-equipped open carriers in the video below is stunning to behold.
The white open carrier shown first is merely talked to by the responding officer who does not seem overly concerned as the officer stops to check on them and see what is going on.
The black open carrier, carrying a slung AR-15 by his side and with his hands occupied by what appears to be a smart phone, is immediately ordered to the ground at gunpoint, and the deputy holds him in his sights until backup arrives and seaches, but does not cuff the open carrier. It’s worth noting, perhaps, that the responding officers do not feel compelled to point their weapon at the the open carrier at any time.
“Willy Upchuck” is the pseudonym of person who posted the video, and taglines his channel “Cops vs. People,” giving us an idea of his views on law enforcement.
“Willy” clearly wants to assert that we’re witnessing racism… but the video doesn’t support that assertion at all.
While the rifles were both AR-15s slung in a similar manner (both down at the hip, where it could be brought into action), “Willy” wants us to overlooking the indisputable fact that we’re dealing with different responding officers, in different locations, with different law enforcement agencies, which may have different protocols and familiarity in handling “man with a gun” calls, at different times, in different circumstances.
The white open carrier, “MarkedGaurdian,” has been trolling his local law enforcement agencies in Oregon for years. His video clip is pulled from an August 2012 stop by an Albany, Oregon officer, who was likely well aware of what long gun open carry advocates had been doing in the area, and who may have even recognized “MarkedGaurdian” on sight.
The black open carrier—whom I totally agree was treated poorly by the responding officer—was in a different (unknown) time and place, dealing with a completely different police force, who may not deal with long gun open carry much, if at all. It could be that this responding agency would treat white open carriers just as poorly. In this second incident we could be dealing with one very bad deputy, who violated his own department’s protocols (and frankly, as he pointed a firearm at a man who wasn’t clearly wasn’t being a threat, he probably did). We don’t know if the deputy was disciplined or even terminated.
“Willy Upchuck” doesn’t apparently want us to know enough about either incident to determine for ourselves what we’re really witnessing, and that says a bit more about him than I think he wants us to know.
Are we witnessing a good cop dealing with the white open carrier, and what appears to be a poorly-trained and over-excited deputy dealing the black open carrier? I think so.
But we simply don’t have like situations here, with different times, places, agencies, etc.
We don’t have and clear evidence of racism, as much as he’d like to assert that this is what we’re seeing.
Update: the second open carrier has been identified as Gabriel Nobles. Here’s his entire video in two parts, Part I and Part II.