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#408333 - 09/20/07 08:51 PM Coal Creek employee has run in with the law
14 Point

Registered: 10/31/01
Posts: 9374
Loc: Oak Ridge

This is not me.

I had been shopping for groceries at the Walker Springs Wal-Mart with my girlfriend, Samantha Williams. I was dressed neatly enough in clean blue Levis and a grey T-shirt, tucked in. My carry firearm, a Colt Concealed Carry Officers Model, was holstered and safed on my right hip in a Brommeland IWB holster. As it was warm that night, I left my jacket in the car, and neglected to un-tuck my shirt over the firearm. We proceeded to shop for groceries for the next 20 minutes. At no time did anyone I encountered in the store raise alarm or cause panic over the sight of my carry firearm. After paying for our groceries, we exited the store and passed Officer Greene in the foyer, who was engaged in conversation with a Wal-Mart Employee. He was located against the wall, to my right. My hands were both on the cart at the time I passed him, my girlfriend was holding my left arm. After I had passed him, I heard Officer Greene exclaim “hey!” and I half-turned to respond to him. He came towards me quickly, and said “You got any ID on you, buddy?” I responded “Yes, I have my carry permit” thinking that he likely wanted to make sure I was licensed to carry a firearm. Both my hands were still on the cart at this time.

He then said “Let me see”, and I then reached for my front pants pocket, when I keep my wallet. At this time, Officer Greene took my wrist in his hand, twisted it back and away, and placed his other hand in my back, forcing me forward into the concrete wall just outside the outer door of the store. This movement caused me to lose my grip on my full cart of groceries, and it began to roll out into the parking lot. As the officer was pushing me forward, I held out my left hand to keep from hitting the wall with full force. When I moved my left hand to protect my face and chest from hitting the wall, Officer Greene shouted “Put ‘em up, keep those hands up there” and pulled my other hand over my head as he pushed my body into the wall. He then kicked and pushed at my ankles with his boots to cause me to stand spread-eagle against the wall. I attempted to inform him that I did have a TN Handgun Carry Permit, and that my mode of carry was legal, to which he yelled “It’s a concealed carry permit, don’t you know what concealed means?” I responded, still calmly, that in TN, “The state code doesn’t specify concealed carry; it’s simply a handgun carry permit.” This statement seemed to make Officer Greene even angrier, and he shouted “Do you think you know more about the law than me? I’ve been a police officer here for 7 years!” I replied “In this case, since we teach the Handgun Carry Permit Course where I work, I’m sure I know this law.” Officer Greene yelled again “I don’t care what you teach, you can’t go around carrying a gun where people can see it. Where do you work?” I informed him that I worked at Coal Creek Armory.

Officer Greene took my wallet, my car keys, both of my pocketknives, and kept his hand on my carry firearm as he called in my driver license to dispatch. In between speaking into his radio, he continued to berate me for carrying my firearm, and emphasized several time that I was incorrect about open carry. I attempted to inform him otherwise, still polite and calm, as I knew I had violated no law. Officer Greene informed me that “My probably cause is that you’re carrying a gun out here, inciting a panic, and that’s all it takes for you to sleep in jail tonight.” I stated, again, that my carry permit was valid, and TN State law permitted handgun carry open or concealed, and that I usually carry concealed. He said that my permit had “better say just that, handgun carry,” but even if it did, he’d just “find some other reason to take me in, disorderly conduct, or inciting a panic. I’ll make some reason.” I was shocked to hear him openly state that he would manufacture probable cause to falsely arrest me, in the hearing of my girlfriend, standing no less than 5 feet away, the Wal-Mart employee he had been speaking with, and the small crowd of bystanders watching.

Officer Greene attempted to draw my firearm to remove it from my holster, but I informed him there were belt snaps on it, and he could just undo them. He did so, and removed firearm and holster from my belt, and then asked me “Is this loaded, one in the chamber? Do you think you can just walk around like that with a loaded gun out in the open?” I confirmed that my defensive firearm was, in fact, loaded and chambered, with the safety on. He asked me “Now, am I gonna find anything else on you? You got anything else I need to know about?” I looked down and saw that he had not removed my Surefire flashlight from my front left pocket, and could feel the tiny CRKT pocketknife in my 5.11 boots pocket. He has missed them while frisking me, and I informed him of their location. He removed them , and then berated me for carrying more than one knife, asking me “what’s your problem, why are you carrying so many knives?” I told him that customers often prefer to buy the knife a salesperson uses, and so I carried one for opening boxes, and two “just in case” to show customers. He registered strong disbelief.

He continued “When I carry off duty, how do you think I carry my gun? It’s concealed, has to be concealed by law. You think the law’s any different for you and me? I’ve been a police officer here in Knoxville for seven years, and I’ve never seen anyone with a permit open carrying.”

I informed him that concealed carry off duty was a KPD regulation(I know a bit about KPD carry regulations, having dated the sister of a KPD officer for 2 years, and have a few more as customers and personal friends), but that a TN Handgun Carry Permit allowed for open or concealed carry. I stated that I had just left work, picked up my girlfriend, and went straight to Wal-Mart, and was carrying just as I had all day at work.

Officer Greene then told me to have a seat, stood in front of me on the bench, and continued to berate me for carrying a firearm. He handed me my wallet, told me to get my permit out from under my driver license. I did so, and handed it to him. He looked at it, and I stated “Handgun carry permit, doesn’t specify concealed.” He stated that that was “no excuse” for walking around with a gun out in the open, and said that I was lucky he was so gentle, because some of his fellow officers would have had me “proned-out on the ground” as soon as I walked past them with a firearm on my hip. “Is that how you think I should deal with you?” I said “However you think it should be handled” and remained quiet, as I did not wish to enter into an argument. I asked him to hand my girlfriend the keys to my car, so that she could put away our groceries, which he did.

At this point his backup arrived in a cruiser, and he told me to stay put, and asked the Red-shirted Loss Prevention Wal-Mart employee to watch me, and then went to speak to the other officer. I looked over at my girlfriend who was understandably upset, and tried to console her. When the officer returned with his partner, he handed me back my work keys, knives and light, and told me to “put them away” and then handed me back my holstered firearm, and said “take it, and conceal it. Do it.” I retrieved my items, put them away, and asked if I was free to leave. He nodded, and I retrieved my girlfriend, and walked to my car.

Someone is going to get his pants sued off him.
I would rather be near the birds than waste my whole life trying to fly.

#408690 - 09/20/07 11:20 PM Re: Coal Creek employee has run in with the law [Re: Teufelhunden]
16 Point

Registered: 02/09/02
Posts: 17786
Loc: Knoxville

Sounds like one oversite lead to another.
Have a Great Day and God Bless

God Answers Prayers Yes No or Not Yet

#408709 - 09/20/07 11:42 PM Re: Coal Creek employee has run in with the law [Re: Tiny]
10 Point

Registered: 07/05/05
Posts: 4027
Loc: Humphreys,Co

If I knew of a good lawyer for ya I'd send ya to him,I hope you follow through and fry his b##t. It's stuff like this that they get away with and makes them think they are beyond touching and then they get the Bubba additude. I wish we could just keep our great officers and bean pole the rest. Keep us up to date.
A government big enough to give you everything you want,is big enough to take away everything you have.Thomas Jefferson

God Bless Our Folks Over Seas and Vet's Everywhere

My Heros my 3 Sons

#408719 - 09/21/07 12:09 AM Re: Coal Creek employee has run in with the law [Re: Tikkabuck]
14 Point

Registered: 10/31/01
Posts: 9374
Loc: Oak Ridge

Tikka, this did not happen to me. ;\)
I would rather be near the birds than waste my whole life trying to fly.

#408897 - 09/21/07 08:00 AM Re: Coal Creek employee has run in with the law [Re: Teufelhunden]
12 Point

Registered: 09/30/05
Posts: 6877
Loc: Knoxville, TN

I go into Coal Creek all the time. I wonder who the employee is??? I'll go in there today and find out.
Winchester Model 70 Stainless Left Hand .270 Win.
McMillan Edge
Talley Lightweights
Zeiss Victory Varipoint #60 Illuminated

#408899 - 09/21/07 08:01 AM Re: Coal Creek employee has run in with the law [Re: Teufelhunden]
Cull Buck Hunter
8 Point

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1933
Loc: Cleveland,TN

Sounds like a real peckerhead, but you get some intelligent well versed cops and some ignorant punks that get to carry a badge, that jerk needs to be wrote up by his boss for disrespectful behavior and failure to understand basic law. He did the right thing by staying calm and respectful, YOU will lose everytime even if you are right in that kind of situation. I would contact his superiors and force the issue, you can't let things like that go.
Buy US made products, your job may be next!

#408975 - 09/21/07 08:50 AM Re: Coal Creek employee has run in with the law [Re: Cull Buck Hunter]
10 Point

Registered: 01/19/05
Posts: 3398
Loc: Knoxville

You were in the right about the manner of carry but keep in mind that they ceratinly can charge you with inciting a panic or several other BS crap.... The problem is not that he was carrying open but where he was carrying it open.... IF some person in there would of freaked out and called the cops he would of been in trouble and there would of been nothing he could of done aobut it...... Also keep in mind if someone would of seen this and freakout and ran through the store yelling "He has a Gun" and people paniced and ran.... and someone got hurt or worse killed in the panic by being trampled he could be charged with Man slaughter...... It is always better to carry concealed.......

Now I do believe the cop should of just told him to pull out his shirt and conceal it and not do it again and then explained why and what the concequences could be if someone paniced and not been a total jerk (but this is very common on almost every cop in Knox) (I sometime wonder if they teach a class on how to be a **** at the academy)
If Thompson Center is America's Master Gunmaker... We are in alot of trouble

#409116 - 09/21/07 10:28 AM Re: Coal Creek employee has run in with the law [Re: Sako]
8 Point

Registered: 11/09/04
Posts: 1156
Loc: Westmoreland

Dang Wilson.
"The ability to go long periods without food and water, to control emotions and to kill 'calmly and deliberately' without remorse are the main qualifications of a good sniper."

#409177 - 09/21/07 11:17 AM Re: Coal Creek employee has run in with the law [Re: comprifleshooter]

Registered: 12/05/03
Posts: 27878
Loc: TN

Typical big Ego many cops have!
#410850 - 09/23/07 07:46 AM Re: Coal Creek employee has run in with the law [Re: Winchester]
8 Point

Registered: 09/06/03
Posts: 1453
Loc: LaVergne, TN

Gun owner receives apology from police chief

Chief's letter, more training follow officer's confusion, threat of arrest
By Matt Lakin (Contact)
Saturday, September 22, 2007

Trevor Putnam, who was stopped while he legally carried his gun inside a Wal-Mart by an officer who was mistaken about the state’s gun permit laws, received an apology from Police Chief Sterling P. Owen IV.

Trevor Putnam knew the gun laws. The officer who stopped him didn’t.

“When I told him that I hadn’t done anything, he said he’d find a reason to put me in jail,” said Putnam, 24, who works with guns every day as vice president of Coal Creek Armory in West Knoxville.

“It’s not that I have a problem with police officers. I deal with police officers nationwide from Arizona to Maine every day. But I lost my confidence in a legal right that I knew I had.”

Knoxville police officers will get a refresher course on the state’s gun permit laws after an officer who didn’t know the law stopped, frisked and threatened to arrest Putnam for legally carrying a gun inside a Wal-Mart this summer.

Officer Glenn Todd Greene’s actions June 21 at the store on Walbrook Drive in West Knoxville earned him a written reprimand and remedial training for rudeness and not knowing the law, Internal Affairs records show. He’s worked for the Knoxville Police Department for about seven years.

Putnam got a written apology from Police Chief Sterling P. Owen IV.

“The officer was wrong I want to personally apologize to you for any embarrassment or inconvenience you may have suffered as a result of this incident,” the chief wrote.

“The Knoxville Police Department takes pride in the training offered to its officers, and the training provided far exceeds state requirements. Unfortunately, officers aren’t perfect, and sometimes mistakes are made. As you can see from the remedial measures taken, we want to learn from our mistakes so they won’t be repeated in the future.”

The trouble started when Putnam and his girlfriend, Samantha Williams, stopped at the store to buy groceries around 10 p.m. Putnam, who holds a gun permit, carried his Colt handgun inside with him, holstered on his right hip.

“It’s like a seat belt or a fire extinguisher,” he said. “It goes everywhere with me. It was warm that night, so I left my jacket in the car.”

State law allows gun permit holders to carry their guns openly or concealed. Putnam said he usually tucks his shirt over the gun but forgot to that night.

As they walked out, Greene, who’d gone to the store to investigate a shoplifting call, told Putnam to stop. Greene asked for Putnam’s identification, grabbed his arm when he reached for his wallet and then asked why he carried a gun in public, records show.

Putnam ended up against a concrete wall being frisked as Greene took his gun.

“It’s called a concealed carry permit. State law says you carry it concealed, not in plain view (with the) hammer back,” Greene said. “I’ve been doing this for 12 years. I can put you in jail for something. It’s called inducing a panic.”

Greene ultimately let Putnam go after talking with another officer but told him to pull his shirt over the gun. He told Internal Affairs investigators he thought Tennessee and Ohio, where he previously served as a police officer, prohibited open carrying. Neither state does.

“There’s an issue there where there could be panic,” he said in a recorded statement. “I’m thinking the law is a concealed law. I’m not going to deal with a guy that has a loaded gun until I secure a weapon.”

Greene said he asked other officers about the law and that they didn’t know, either.

Investigators reviewed video from Greene’s in-car camera and found him in violation of KPD policy. They sustained part of Putnam’s complaint but ruled Greene hadn’t used excessive force in putting him against the wall.

Putnam questions that decision.

“On the one hand, I’m glad they didn’t ignore it,” he said. “On the other, I don’t feel it was a wholly appropriate response to everything the officer threatened to do.”

The department trains all recruits on the state’s gun permit laws, said KPD Lt. Jeff Stiles, who oversees training for the department. All officers will get another dose of training during the next annual session, he said.

“We don’t get that many questions about it over here,” Stiles said. “But we cover that aspect. We go straight to the experts to teach the law. We don’t guess, and we don’t speculate.”

Matt Lakin may be reached at 865-342-6306.

© 2007, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
I have never broken a game least as far as I know

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