Federal Suit Filed Over Deputy Tirade & Illegal Arrest Of Gun Owner ~ Viral Video

Florida Carry
Florida Carry

Florida – -(Ammoland.com)- Today Florida Carry has filed a federal complaint alleging deprivation of civil rights under color of law with the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida over an incident which was captured on dashcam video, which subsequently went viral on the internet.

In July of 2009, Citrus County resident Joel Smith and his wife were detained at a traffic stop for non-criminal traffic code violation.

During the stop, Mr. Smith exited his vehicle to speak with Citrus County deputy Andy Cox, who asked Mr. Smith for proof of insurance for the vehicle.

Mr. Smith turned with his back toward the officer and leaned into the vehicle to retrieve the document at which time his lawfully carried and holstered firearm peeked out from under his shirt.

Upon seeing the tip of Smith’s holster, Deputy Cox immediately launched into an unwarranted verbal assault on Mr. Smith, first asking why he was carrying a firearm. Within seconds, the officer drew his own firearm and pointed it at the befuddled Mr. Smith, threatening to shoot him “in the (expletive deleted) back” if he didn’t immediately put his hands on the vehicle.

Mr. Smith offered no resistance, complying fully with the officer’s orders, and informing the officer that he was a lawfully licensed concealed carrier. Ignoring Mr. Smith’s statement, Deputy Cox continued shouting at Mr. Smith, ordering him face down on the ground and cuffing him. Mr. Smith was arrested and charged with open carry of a firearm, a misdemeanor violation of Florida Statutes, however charges were later dropped. A complaint was filed with the Citrus County Sheriff’s Department against Deputy Cox, however due to a technicality, the complaint was dismissed and no disciplinary action against the deputy was taken.

Florida Carry consulting attorney J. Patrick Buckley III who is also representing Mr. Smith in the case summed up the case:

“Improper law enforcement training coupled with an emotional overreaction is detrimental to the civil rights of Floridians. When a Constitutional officer then delays the resulting internal investigation to permit the untrained officer to walk away without so much as a slap on the wrist, it illustrates a systematic absence of accountability in those we trust to protect us.”

Joining Mr. Smith as plaintiff, Florida Carry is representing its membership and millions of Florida gun owners in the lawsuit. Named as defendants are Deputy Andy Cox, Sergeant Dave Fields, Sheriff Jeffrey Dawsy, and Citrus County. The plaintiffs are represented by the Law Offices of J. Patrick Buckley III, located in Fort Myers, FL.

The dashcam video can be viewed on YouTube:

The case docket is available by clicking HERE


About Us:
Florida Carry, Inc. is a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots organization dedicated to advancing the fundamental rights of all Floridians to keep and bear arms for self-defense as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I Section 8 of the Florida Constitution. Florida Carry stands only to represent our supporters, members, and the over 7-million gun owners of Florida. We are not beholden to any national organization’s agenda that may compromise that mission.

Florida Carry works tirelessly toward striking down ill-conceived gun control laws that have been proven to provide safe havens to criminals and be deadly to law-abiding citizens.

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Randy Cupples

I got a ticket for having my high beams on at night. State Trooper said I ignored his lights blinking at me to dim mine. This was around 2am in the morning. Told her I had a gun in the car where my insurance papers were kept. She had a hissy fit! Told me I could not keep the gun in the glove box, ASKED ME TO REMOVE THE PISTOL and give it to her…she then unloaded it and put in in my trunk with the mag on one side and the pistol on the other side. HER BACK-UP AGREED… Read more »


I would like to see the unedited video. Did the rest of you people fail to notice this video was edited in several places? Also, the area of the stop is meth central…makes me wonder…


The sheep in Florida are obviously OK with shelling out settlements. If they ever grow tired of doing so, this is how you handle it: Only elect non-badge lickers to city and county office, non-badge-lickers who will make it very plain that any settlement due to police misconduct will come directly out of the police payroll budget.


All you good samaritans that want to voluntarily inform the officer you are carrying. What do you voluntarily tell the officer when he places you in cuffs,because just beyond the tree line where you were stopped is a school zone. Enjoy your stay at club FED,idiot.


I always carry without a “permit”. If asked if I have a gun I have no intention of saying that I do.It is no ones business but my own.

Mark Are

Florida carry needs to work to make Florida a Constitutional Carry state as Vermont and a few other states have become. To have to grovel before someone and “apply” for a “permit” to exercise an UNalienable right of self protection and pay a extortion fee to exercise that right is totally unacceptable. NO VICTIM no CRIME should be the motto.


Unfortunately, there have been cases where people HAVE informed the officers and the result has been the same – a whacked-out storm trooper shouting curses and orders and generally abusing the individual. In cases like this, the cop needs to be put on UNPAID administrative leave until AFTER all investigations and lawsuits are resolved. Too often, cops view PAID leave as a “free vacation” they get to take whenever they abuse their authority. I’ve personally had the experience of advising a cop about a gun I had in the car. When I went to look for my license, she admonished,… Read more »


BigR,in Texas you no longer have to give LE your CHL during a traffic stop,just DL.


For Gordon: You did read the last line of my post, didn’t you? Just to refresh your memory: “I was going to add that “You’re not doing anything wrong, right, so what is there to fear”, but….this account from my state of FL kinda takes the bloom off of that rose!


Once again the taxpayers will be on the hook for the bad actions of one government employee. Deputy Droopalong will go about his business, the guy who was wronged will get a payday and Joe Citizen will foot the entire bill. Funny how so many in government talk about personal responsibility unless, of course, you work in government. Orwellian, ain’t it?


Good on you guys……….way out of line. Go get him. As an ex-Deputy I can say that some guys with guns and badges have the “way wrong” attitude!!


In Texas, when we are stopped, we are supposed to give the officer both our drivers license and our chl to him. Once I was in a fender bender, and I handed both to the police officer, he just asked me where was my gun, and I told him, I was wearing it in my holster. He remarked, that’s where it’s supposed to be, and handed the chl back to me.


@whaddacrock….you did hear the “officer” yelling “I don’t care if he does have a CCW!” didn’t you?


I read a very good article by a long-tine retired police officer on this matter. The problem is that some states require you to inform the officer in such a case that you have a firearm, other states do not. His take, and I concur, why not just always inform the officer? Don’t make an issue of it, simply hand him your CCW license with your drivers license and let him know you’re armed without the possibly dangerous comment “I have a gun!”. I was going to add that “You’re not doing anything wrong, right, so what is there to… Read more »

Henry Baker

This pig should be whipped to death in the public square.


On Alaska state troopers, the cops get very, very mad if the person does not tell the cop if he has a gun on him. I was talking with 2 COCHISE county cops a few years ago. I asked if I had to tell a cop , if I had a gun on me. Both cops said I SHOULD TELL. BUT NOT REQUIRED TO.