Posted by Richard on January 17, 2014
The Filippidis family — John, wife Kally, and their three kids — was driving back home to Florida after attending a family wedding in New Jersey. John has a Florida concealed carry permit, but left his .380 Kel-Tec at home because he knew they’d be traveling through gun-hostile states. They had just entered Maryland when a Maryland Transportation Authority Police car started following them, then drove alongside, then pulled in front, and finally dropped back behind them. This went on for ten minutes before the cop finally turned on the lights and sirens and pulled them over. Was John speeding? He says not.
“You know you have a police car behind you, you don’t speed, right?” Kally adds.
Was it a busted tail light? Or maybe the car fit the description of someone the cops were looking for? Apparently not. The officer asked for license and registration, and then returned to his car. Then it got bizarre. And outrageous.
Ten minutes later he’s back, and he wants John out of the Expedition. Retreating to the space between the SUV and the unmarked car, the officer orders John to hook his thumbs behind his back and spread his feet. “You own a gun,” the officer says. “Where is it?”
“At home in my safe,” John answers.
“Don’t move,” says the officer.
Now he’s at the passenger’s window. “Your husband owns a gun,” he says. “Where is it?”
First Kally says, “I don’t know.” Retelling it later she says, “And that’s all I should have said.” Instead, attempting to be helpful, she added, “Maybe in the glove [box]. Maybe in the console. I’m scared of it. I don’t want to have anything to do with it. I might shoot right through my foot.”
That’s a top contender for dumbest thing anyone said all year.
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.
An hour and a half or two hours later, with no weapon found, the Filippidises were sent on their way with a warning — for what is not reported.
What kind of bogus probable cause is “Kally’s failure to corroborate John’s account”? Is it now Maryland policy to stop cars from states that have “shall issue” concealed carry (unlike Maryland) to determine whether an occupant could potentially be violating Maryland’s draconian gun laws? Talk about profiling.
More importantly, how does the Maryland Transportation Authority have access to a list of Florida concealed carry permit holders??
(HT: Personal Liberty Digest)