VIDEO: Michigan Cops Harass Citizen Legally Carrying a Gun

-By Warner Todd Huston

A Michigan man legally carrying a pistol openly in a holster was illegally stopped and harassed by Grand Rapids police in March of 2013 in an incident that sparked a federal lawsuit. Now the full video of the encounter has been released to the public.

Last March, Grand Rapids citizen Johann Deffert was peacefully walking on the sidewalk in his own neighborhood when police illegally detained him, cuffed him, threw him on the ground and then into a squad car, a federal lawsuit alleges.

In Michigan it is fully legal to open carry a pistol with the proper license.

Deffert is suing for $600,000 alleging he was physically assaulted by cops.

The video is revealing showing that police did not give him even a second’s benefit of the doubt and immediately treated him as a “nut” as one of the cops called him. This name calling is clearly heard on the video.

It is also clear that Deffert was doing nothing illegal. He was not waving his gun, he was not attacking anyone, nor acting strangely–though police claimed he was “talking to himself” at one point in the video, but that is a charge unproven by the video.

Deffert and his attorney say that he was mistreated by cops.

“The officers acted improperly that my client Mr. Deffert was not engaged in any unlawful activity. There was no reason for him to be detained, much less having loaded guns pointed at him,” Deffert’s attorney Steven Dulan said.

The police officer clearly treated Deffert as being guilty until proven innocent and even said as much on the video. The officer is heard telling Deffert that he can treat him however he wants to treat him until he, the officer, is satisfied that Deffert is innocent of any wrong doing.

“The fact that he said he wasn’t doing anything unlawful, and the officer saying yes you are until I prove otherwise, that goes against our state constitutional right open carry a fire arm in public,” said Bobby Wilmoth from Centershot Gun Range in Dorr, Michigan.

The harassment was apparently sparked by a citizen who called 911 because he didn’t know that open carry was legal in Michigan.

Police need to have open carry and concealed carry laws drilled into their thick skulls as these incidents are happening in every single state in the union. In every case police are treating law abiding citizens as criminals despite both the U.S. Constitution and local laws.

Sadly, no police officer in the nation seems to be properly informed about the very laws they are claiming to “enforce.”
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
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Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s,, and, as well as,,,,, among many, many others. Huston has also appeared on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN, and many local TV shows as well as numerous talk radio shows throughout the country.

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