The protests that have gripped our nation for weeks now are part of American discourse, even if you don’t necessarily agree with the message. People are free to protest as the right is protected by the First Amendment, no matter what some people might like to think.
However, when protests turn to riots in other places, police officers can get a little jumpy.
Well, an attorney argues that those jumpy police officers mistreated an armed citizen just because he had a firearm on him.
An attorney says the Chattanooga Police arrest of a man at a protest in downtown Chattanooga Monday night raises many legal questions.
McCracken Poston, the Catoosa County-based lawyer who is now the attorney for Trevan Young, says Chattanooga Police misrepresented Young and his intent when reporting about his arrest. He says Young is a veteran who had a legal right to carry the firearm police found disassembled in his backpack, and that he is being unfairly targeted for exercising his Second Amendment rights.
“His home was raided. They still have his car, and it’s just not making any sense” said Poston during an interview with NewsChannel 9 on Monday.
Chattanooga Police say they got a tip that a man was going to bring firearms to the protest, and say they arrested Young because he matched the description given in the tip.
CPD says one of their officers approached Young and asked to speak with him, but he refused and kept walking. The affidavit says the officer again called for Young to stop and come talk with him, but Young refused, and the officer then approached and grabbed Young’s right hand to gain control of him.
Young resisted the officer’s efforts, which led to a confrontation in which Young was arrested.
The problem? Poston says the weapon was disassembled in Young’s backpack and that Young had been protesting for about two hours–peacefully protesting–when officers approached him.
Then, it seems the police also confiscated his car where another firearm was legally locked up, then raided his house.
Officials claim they were looking for “gang paraphernalia” or evidence of involvement in terrorist plots, which is…odd. After all, people in gangs are usually not also involved in terrorist activities and vice versa. Folks usually pick one criminal organization and stick with it. In other words, the raid appears to have been a fishing expedition because Young dared exercise his Second Amendment rights.
“Then why did he have a gun in a backpack?” some might ask. The answer is impossible to know without speaking with Young, but he may have had the weapon available in case of violence directed at the protestors or any number of other things.
The truth is, it didn’t matter. Unless he was breaking the law by having that firearm there–and I can’t find a single law he broke by having a disassembled rifle in a backpack–there was no reason to even approach him, much less arrest him for not wishing to speak with police.