Jackson: Gun owner unarmed, unwelcome in Maryland — Tampa Tribune

The officer came back to John. “You’re a liar. You’re lying to me. Your family says you have it. Where is the gun? Tell me where it is and we can resolve this right now.”

Of course, John couldn’t show him what didn’t exist, but Kally’s failure to corroborate John’s account, the officer would tell them later, was the probable cause that allowed him to summon backup — three marked cars joined the lineup along the I-95 shoulder — and empty the Expedition of riders, luggage, Christmas gifts, laundry bags; to pat down Kally and Yianni; to explore the engine compartment and probe inside door panels; and to separate and isolate the Filippidises in the back seats of the patrol cars.

Ninety minutes later, or maybe it was two hours — “It felt like forever,” Kally says — no weapon found and their possessions repacked, the episode ended … with the officer writing out a warning.

via Jackson: Gun owner unarmed, unwelcome in Maryland.

Every now and then, you hear of a traffic stop gone wrong that makes your blood boil. The story of John Filippidis is just such a case. I really want to side with the cops but, from the way this story is told, this started out as profiling (a late model SUV with Florida plates on I95 with five occupants driving the speed limit through Maryland…Must be a car full of drug mules, let’s follow them until they do something to justify pulling them over) and then it turned into full on hoplophobia by an overzealous cop. At least that’s the narrative here. I’d really be interested in seeing dash or body cam footage if it exists. It would go a long way toward settling the question of what happened. The officer may indeed have had PC for the search but, soft skills go a long way in maintain public trust with police officers versus perpetuation of the “us versus them” mentality on both sides. I know cops that I’d glady step in to help if I saw them in need. But there are some I’d also gleefully watch burn on the side of the road. I’ll reserve judgement in this case until all the facts are in.


10 thoughts on “Jackson: Gun owner unarmed, unwelcome in Maryland — Tampa Tribune

  1. Poor taste! “I know cops that I’d glady step in to help if I saw them in need. But there are some I’d also gleefully watch burn on the side of the road. “

    • Merely my opinion and I recognize not all will agree with it. As I see it, if you violate the public trust under color of authority granted by the badge and abuse your fellow citizens, you are no more deserving of my sympathy than an ax-murderer who molests children. It’s the dog that bites the hand that feeds him…You put him down, immediately.

      As I said, I know plenty of cops who do the job to the best of their ability. They are not perfect. They make mistakes as we all do. Still, I’d gladly stop up to help them in a time of need. There are those however, who have repeatedly violated the public trust, abused their authority, and acted with wanton disregard for the law or the people they serve…They are a danger their fellow officers and society in general and should be dealt with the same way we deal with the worst offenders. Whats really sad is other officers know who these guys are and refuse to speak up about it until it gets someone killed.

      • Well said, I appreciate that there are still a few men left with enough testicular fortitude to speak their mind. And do so rationally and without being politically correct or apologetic.

  2. Glad to find one person who’s reserving judgement. I have only been able to find the same report, at site after site. Would like to hear more. My son is a registered gun owner with multiple weapons who recently graduated from the Naval Academy. He drove through Maryland for years in a car with NY plates and never once had this happen…nor did his friends at the Academy with gun permits and out of state plates from other parts of the country. He was pulled over for speeding and not questioned about his weapons. My gut tells me there very well may be more to the story.

  3. Welcome to the North East…definitely still see a great cultural divide between the North and The South. There was a time when it was strange to see this type of event happen in America. It is becoming to common place, and worse yet, accepted. The powers that be are our public servants and should not be excercising Gestapo type protocol while dealing with the public… as it will be exploited and create more distain towards a “perceived” tyrannical & authoritarian type power structure. The problem is, some of these government officials fit the textbook definition of tyranny.

    • It certainly appears they were accessing a federal database for licensed CCW holders. That was clearly the purpose of his stop. Being on the CCW database does not give probable cause to stop a vehicle, period. That was the only thing they were interested in. Major FAIL for Maryland civil rights.

      • I could be wrong but, to me at least, it’s not clear that was the original reason for the traffic stop but, it seemed to me the traffic stop went started going down hill after the officer went back to his patrol car with the driver’s license. What I’m getting at is, I don’t think the CHL/CCW was the reason for the initial traffic stop. I think the officer profiled the vehicle as being likely to be involved in illegal activities and waited for the smallest traffic infraction as PC to pull him over. Ask any cop and they’ll tell you that if you follow someone long enough, eventually they’ll do something that gives the officer PC to pull them over.

        It’s all in how the officer articulates it in his report. PC for the traffic stop could be failure to signal a lane change or failure to maintain lanes and unfortunately, the officer’s word alone is good enough to most courts on things like this. But those issues are less likely to raise a stink than the officer saying, “Well, they just looked suspicious.” And God help the officer if he said Suspect X looked suspicious because it was a car full of “your favorite ethnic/racial group here” with out of state plates. Having said this, I do think that could be part of what happened here IF the driver and his family are telling the truth. Again, right now, it’s just speculation.

        We haven’t seen, and don’t know if, dash cam footage, is available but, as mentioned before, it would go a long way toward filling in the gaps. I do however, still think it’s odd that the officer went from friendly traffic stop to “you’re a liar” and felony search practices on the wife’s statement alone. She was nervous. Cops should expect people to be nervous and give goofy answers during a traffic stop. For most normal people, the ONLY time they will ever talk with a cop is during a traffic stop. Outside of that, they will only talk to cops because they are a victim, witness, or suspect. And it’s not that cops don’t have lives outside their profession but, it is exceedingly rare. The only way to be less popular than a cop at a party is to be a catholic priest or a child molester…No pun intended.


          • Absolutely correct. But, if we take the driver at his word and think about Florida law regarding the issuance of a concealed carry license, it is unlikely that the driver would have a criminal record significant enough to warrant an alarmed response from any reasonable officer.

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