Florida Carry sues police over gun owner's arrest

A man claims his arrest unnecessary because he had a license to carry - and the officer is arguing his gun was in plain sight for an extended period

By PolicOne Staff

CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. — Florida Carry filed a federal complaint Friday against the Citrus County police stemming from an incident in 2009 in which a gun owner was arrested for a non-criminal traffic code violation after exposing a gun in his back pocket.

Citrus County deputy Andy Cox pulled over Joel Smith and his wife, ordering Smith to the ground after spotting the firearm tucked into the back of his pants, according to the Herald-Tribune.

Smith complied with the officer’s orders, and informed him that he was a lawfully-licensed concealed carrier, according to the report.

Smith was arrested and charged with open carry of a firearm, but the charge was later dropped.

A complaint was filed with the Citrus County Sheriff's Department against Cox. However, due to a technicality, the complaint was dismissed and no disciplinary action against the deputy was taken.

"Improper law enforcement training coupled with an emotional overreaction is detrimental to the civil rights of Floridians,” wrote attorney J. Patrick Buckley III, who  represents both Smith and Florida Carry. “When a Constitutional officer then delays the resulting internal investigation to permit the untrained officer to walk away without so much as a slap on the wrist, it illustrates a systematic absence of accountability in those we trust to protect us."

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