Wisconsin Carry Files Second Lawsuit In ‘Madison 5’ Culvers Incident
Wisconsin –-(Ammoland.com)- To Recap: On Saturday, September 18, 2010, five (5) members of WCI met for dinner at a Culvers Restaurant in Madison, Wisconsin.
Each of these individuals was openly carrying a handgun when they arrived at the restaurant, entered the restaurant and ordered and ate their meals.
At or about the time that the WCI members finished their meal and left the restaurant, a woman in her car observed them openly carrying handguns and called 911 to report it to the City of Madison Police Department.
The 911 caller informed the dispatcher that she didn’t know if it was an emergency, the men were doing nothing wrong and appeared totally relaxed, weren’t threatening anyone and the restaurant was full of people but they each had sidearms and she didn’t know if that was legal.
Upon being informed by the 911 dispatcher that open-carry is legal the woman stated “then there is no problem and its not an emergency”. The dispatcher then suggests that if the woman is concerned or disturbed then it becomes a problem and the woman says “no they weren’t threatening anybody or acting threatening”. When the dispatcher informs the caller they are sending officers she says “well I feel bad then because they weren’t doing anything wrong”
Listen to the 911 call here: www.wisconsincarry.org/video/Madison5-911.wav
As these WCI members left the restaurant, they were accosted by eight(8) City of Madison police officers, who demanded that they produce identification, and threatened that if they did not do so, they would be arrested. From the time that these WCI members arrived at the restaurant up to and including the time that the police officers confronted them and demanded that they produce identification or face arrest, none of the WCI members violated any law, nor were they involved in any violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud or otherwise disorderly conduct, nor did they through their conduct cause or provoke any disturbance.
Wisconsin law does not allow officers to arrest for merely refusing to provide ID. 2 days later, Madison Police admitted the error in arresting and charging our members with obstruction, rescinded those tickets and instead, despite there being no disturbance, and no laws broken, issued disorderly conduct charges to all 5 of our members.
Wisconsin Carry filed our first federal lawsuit against the Madison Police Department 10 days after the original incident to challenge the Madison Police Departments unconstitutional policy of arresting law-abiding open-carriers if a call/complaint comes in. That lawsuit remains in front of the Federal Court in Madison.
This second lawsuit is being filed as the disorderly conduct charges against the Madison 5 were dropped this past spring. In this lawsuit WCI seeks damages on behalf of the Madison 5 for the unlawful detainment/arrest of our members including legal costs associated with preparing for the defense of the unlawfully issued disorderly conduct citations.
A copy of this lawsuit can be viewed here:
Wisconsin Carry, a 100% volunteer non-profit corporation, will continue to use the federal court system to seek remedy for and deter instances where the rights of law-abiding Wisconsin residents who carry in the manner of their choosing, open or concealed (as of Nov. 1st when the new concealed carry law goes into effect)are violated.
Carry On,Nik Clark Chairman – Wisconsin Carry, Inc.
P.O. Box 270403
Milwaukee, WI 53227
Wisconsin Carry, Inc. is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the preservation and reclamation of the rights of law-abiding Wisconsin residents to carry in the manner of their choosing. We believe that “open carry” and “concealed carry” are choices to be made by law-abiding citizens based on their situation and preference. Wisconsin Carry, like many gun-rights organizations in Wisconsin, is investing a great deal of resources to get Wisconsin law changed to allow concealed carry this next legislative session by proposing Constitutional Carry. Wisconsin Carry, Inc. will continue to use legal recourse to deter unlawful treatment of law-abiding Wisconsin residents who currently exercise their right to open carry, and soon will exercise their right to concealed carry in Wisconsin. Visit: www.wisconsincarry.org
@Lt.Dan – Regarding your comment, “Remember, open carry is available to all dirtbags too, provided they don’t have a disqualifying conviction prohibiting firearm possession.” According to a 2006 report of a five-year study done by the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division called, “Violent Encounters – A Study of Felonious Assaults on Our Nation’s Law Enforcement Officers”, criminals who carry firearms neither openly carry nor carry in holsters as a rule. Of all the criminals who participated in the study, only one admitted to carrying in a holster, but only when robbing a bank. None of the participants openly carried… Read more »
1. These officers obviously were not well trained in search/seizure laws. The US Supremes ruled in the 80’s (maybe early 90s) that you can’t arrest citizens just for not producing an ID. Between the 8 officers one of them should have been awake during class to remember this vital info. Actually its an everyday occurrence you run into people who aren’t REQUIRED to show an ID so application of this SCOTUS ruling is routine. Failure to train/maintain knowledge & vital skills is a Dept’s responsibility. If 8 officers don’t know what the law is, I am pretty sure the problem… Read more »
Some folks will shrug and say "Just let it go." Got news for ya, with a federal suit, the law will know what the law is! Maybe next time they'll read up on it before wantonly arresting innocent folks.
Sounds like the dispatcher has the smarts to be on the street and the cops are smart enough to be behind a counter saying 'do you want fries with that?'.
You don't have to be smart to run radar, you just have to be a cop.