Video: Great police response to 'open carry' activist
Officer Matthew Lyons of the Oceanside (Calif.) Police Department is being rightly hailed for his tactically sound — and unflappable — response to a legally-armed citizen
In California, where I live and work, there has been an increasing movement among a segment of legally-armed citizens to carry unloaded sidearms in plain view. This trend is happening elsewhere too, but there seems to just be more “activity” around the movement here in the Golden State — perhaps because it seems so much more difficult to get a CCW here than in most other states.
In my humble estimation, the video of Officer Matthew Lyons of the Oceanside (Calif.) Police Department could be a training video for any agency that has to deal with “open carry citizens.” In fact, the video of video below in which Officer Lyons encounters one of those individuals stands in stark contrast to another we posted to PoliceOne last week.
There has been quite a lot of traffic to the video of Canton (Ohio) Patrolman Daniel Harless — not just here on PoliceOne, but all over the Internet — and his less-than-stellar response to a legally-armed citizen in his sector. I’m told that Harless has been — or soon will be — relieved of his badge. Well, regardless of the outcome of that particular case, there are myriad examples out there of officers encountering an open-carry citizen, and I point to this one with Officer Lyons as a compelling example of “doing it the right way.”
Support From All Over the Internet
I couldn’t agree more. Officer Lyons attends to his own safety first and foremost, securing the individual’s weapon and making sure it’s unloaded and cleared. He engages the subject in a very smooth verbal exchange in which “Jeremy” refuses to give his last name — a legally sound position to take in California, at least for the time being until new legislation on that is passed. He communicates with his arriving backup that the situation is in hand. He even finds a way to create a connection with the subject (they are both Marines).
A Real Officer Safety Issue
It’s impossible to say whether or not this was “Jeremy’s” intent, but it’s plainly evident that Officer Lyons refused to fall into any such trap. In fact, he seemed to be ready for his YouTube moment. At one point he even says, “Well, it should look good on YouTube,” and as the contact ends, Lyons concludes, “Jeremy, thanks for your cooperation, and remember: My name is Officer Lyons with the Oceanside Police Department. My badge number is 1093. God bless America.”
The Legally-Armed Citizen
It just so happens that for the past month or so, I’ve had plans to attend an eight-hour class on this very subject, and had plans to write about it sometime shortly thereafter. That class, being taught by my friend (and PoliceOne Contributor) Ken Hardesty and the team at LMS Defense will encompass all levels of appropriate force by the legally-armed citizen, such as the Reasonable Person standard, interacting with arriving law enforcement, Castle law, potential ramifications of deadly force application, and current California case law. Legally Armed Citizen takes place entirely in the classroom, combining a mixture of lecture, video and group discussion.
I don’t know whether or not there’s still room for more attendees, but if you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area and have a free Saturday coming up, here’s where you can sign up to attend. Watch this space in a week or two for my column about the class and what we discuss in it.
Meanwhile, add your comments below about what you think of how Officer Lyons dealt with the situation.
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