Friday, March 1, 2013

In the name of "Officer Safety"

A 70 year old man died this morning.  John Schaefer, an instructor at the Austin Rifle Club, called the Austin Police Department to report that he had been attacked in his back yard by a dog that did not belong to him.

Police arrived at the scene, and saw that Schaefer had a weapon on his person.  The officer demanded that Schaefer relinquish the weapon, and Schaefer refused.  The officer lunged at the weapon, attempting to disarm Schaefer.  Schaefer drew his weapon, and the Austin PD officer did the same. 

John Schaefer was well within the law by keeping a handgun holstered in his waistband when the officers arrived.  He was on his own private property.  The officers were there because Mr. Schaefer called them to report a stray dog that had attacked him. 

In the State of Texas, a private citizen has the right to possess and carry upon his person a loaded firearm when on his own private property, so long as he is not "brandishing" said firearm.  Merely keeping it within his waistband does no such thing. 

As such, the police officer(s) involved have no legal right to demand that he disarm himself, as he was not suspected of having committed a crime.  Lest we forget, this incident happened upon Mr. Schaefer's property. 

Often, we hear of officers disarming law-abiding citizens who happen to be armed, for reasons of "officer safety".  Thing is, if a citizen CHOOSES to disarm himself, that's his business.  If not, tough shit on the part of the officer.  A police officer DOES NOT have the right to forcibly disarm a citizen that is not suspected of a crime, period.

Mr. John Schaefer was murdered this morning by Austin Police Department Officer Jonathan Whitted for refusing to relinquish his lawfully-owned and lawfully-carried firearm upon his own property, and this fact has been admitted to by Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo.

Read more in the Austin-American Statesman

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