David's life was turned upside down when he became a pawn in the political battle over Gun Control here in California. Although all charges were dismissed by the DA, five days of incarceration almost cost him his life. He is a CEO of his own company and has no prior arrest record. However, he is very well known in the Gun community as an advocate for training and gun safety. We have started this fund to help defray his legal costs and to help support his family as this has taken a major financial toll on his business & family. Thank you for helping us bless them.
Here is David's story:
The ordeal I was forced to endure should not happen to any citizen. Please help me raise the visibility of my ordeal to create public pressure for change in our jail system, Thank you for all of your support so far! This can happen to any of us so timing is imperative!
I have a lot of documentation showing how I was targeted including, a 2nd Amendment Lobbyist that will testify to the fact that she was told by a Lobbyist from Lee Baca’s camp that if they don’t get AB 144 (makes open carry illegal in California) passed that they would find someone who had a gun in their trunk and ammo elsewhere and call it a loaded weapon. This is what they originally wrote as the charge on my police report. Of course the police report is a bit suspicious as the original charge was whited out and the new charge of concealed weapon was written in. There are so many discrepancies on the police report it’s laughable.
It has been legal in California to open carry since 1967. However a new law, AB144 would take effect on January 1st 2012 and make it illegal to open carry. I was arrested 5 months before AB144 came into effect.
My high profile in the Gun Community as an advocate for gun safety and training was used to single me out to send a message to others in the Gun Community. I had been stopped in the past and officers would ask to see my gun, they would inspect it to make sure it was unloaded and they would send me on my way. I have copies of incident reports.
On Aug. 3, 2011, five months before AB144 was in effect, I was shopping with my 10 year old son. On the way home, while waiting at a stop light, a LA County Sheriff pulled alongside our car. As I glanced over, I saw the Deputy jump sort of startled, as if he recognized me. He immediately turned on his lights and pulled behind us, to stop us. I removed my gun from my holster and laid it on the transmission hump. Two deputies approached my vehicle. One on my son’s side and the other approached my window.
One officer asked me “What was that ‘thing’ on my back license plate?” I asked “The back-up camera?” He then said “You know your windows are tinted right?” At that point I stopped him and told him “Before you go any further I need to tell you that I am a 2nd amendment open carry guy and I have my gun right here.” He said “YOU HAVE A GUN?” I repeated myself and as he seemed to be feigning surprise he told me to get out of the car.
THIS TIME WAS DIFFERENT
I could tell this traffic stop was different. He asked if I'd ever been arrested and I said no, I don’t even have a parking ticket. Then he told me to put my hands behind my back which I did. He then proceeded to search me. The deputy then took me to his car and put me in the back seat.
At this point, the other deputy had my son exit the vehicle so he sat on the grass next to the car. However, he was watching everything the deputies were doing. The Deputy got into my car and searched. He took my gun and magazine and put them on the top of my car. He talked to someone on his radio and then took the gun and magazine then threw my unloaded clip into the backseat of my car.
They made arrangements to have my son taken home and said they were going to take me to the sheriff’s station and “sort through this.” Later, I would find out that I was being charged with a Felony, carrying a concealed weapon. A deputy came to the car and asked me to take off anything valuable and he will give it to my son, including my belt and holster as “You won’t be needing those where you are going.” I got the distinct impression they had stopped me up for the express reason of taking me to jail.
After my son was taken away, the male deputy came to the car and asked me to get out of the car and he put handcuffs on me. I said, “You’re arresting me?” He said “Yes.” I said, “What for?” The deputy would not answer. He did not read me my Miranda rights nor tell me what he was arresting me for.
I FELT A SEIZURE COMING ON
I was taken to SCV jail and they couldn’t book me there. As I was sitting in the holding cell in cuffs, with my left arm stained entirely across my back I started to have pain and burning in my chest. Knowing that I had had minor heart surgery a couple years earlier and a brain cyst that caused mini seizures and such, I told the deputy that I was having pain in my chest and possibly a seizure coming on. He said “Yea, what the f*&k, sure you are, liar.”
I said “think what you want, but I need to go to the hospital I feel a seizure coming on”. I asked for the cuffs to be taken off since I was secure in the holding cell but to no avail. I was finally driven to Henry Mayo Hospital and they told me that they have no problem taking me there cause it’s overtime pay for them and this will be far worse on me for “pulling medical shit.” I told them, I was serious and that I have 1200 pages of medical records to prove it. The deputy said, “Yea, right!”
They checked me over at the Emergency Room. I was handcuffed to the bed and had to listen to the deputies harass me about the overtime. A deputy even asked me “Have we treated you respectfully?” in a mocking tone. The harassment and disrespect I was forced to endure the whole time I was in their custody was a real eye opener.
After four hours, I was released from the hospital; they then took me downtown and booked me into Los Angeles Twin Towers Jail. Upon booking they took away my hearing aids which made it so I couldn’t hear anything as I have a 49% hearing loss. The letters B-I-A-S were written on strips of medical tape and put on my back.
I had the usual chest x-ray, and answered questions about my medical history and was finally able to call my wife. I still had no idea why I was arrested, as I had been stopped before without a problem. They found an abnormality on my chest x-ray. I told them I have Interstitial Lung Disease and they could call my Doctor to verify. They didn’t. They insisted I had TB so they sent me to the medical wing in solitary and forced me wear a mask.
They would not give me my heart medicine, or anxiety medicine, or my hearing aids. I was starting to get a headache and the tinnitus back in my ears from not having my hearing aids. I was told I could NOT take my prescribed medicine. In fact the very strong medications they gave me to ‘treat’ the TB, was contra indicative of my regular medications. Things have of course been very strange since then. My family and I have had many issues from the time of the arrest and have many backlashes from the intensity of the time there especially since I was in there without cause. More of this will come out shortly, since I can't talk too much of it yet.
I was arraigned two days after being arrested, and was finally read my charges of 12025(a)(1) concealed weapon and charged with a Felony. This charge is usually charged as a misdemeanor but they seem to be on a mission to make an example out of me.
The judge let me out on my own recognizance so I got back on the bus and was dropped back off at Twin Towers Jail. I was told that it would be a few more hours and then I could leave. At this point I was in a cell that was filling up rapidly, as I was being smashed up against the jail doors.
THIS IS AFTER A JUDGE TOLD ME I COULD GO HOME
I was starting to have pains in my chest again and was getting dizzy and passed out. As I came to, I remember wondering why my back was cold, and then I realized I was lying on the wet floor of the jail. An inmate was standing over me asking me what was wrong. He yelled to the guard. The deputy opened the cell door and I crawled out.
I NEED A DOCTOR
I told the Deputy that I need to see a doctor and he said whatever; follow the green line. I was still dizzy and couldn't walk at that point; I said I can't possibly walk that far. He said what? You want me to carry you? That was when it got bad. One deputy started to assist me and was nudged away by another deputy. I was unable to walk without leaning on the wall. I followed the green line. It took me quite a while to get to the end of the line where a couple other deputies asked me what I was doing there.
I said I needed a doctor and they said; follow the yellow line...each time I reached the end of one line they told me to follow another line. Exhausted, after hours of walking in circles a Deputy opened a door, as I walked through he said "there's your f"ing Doctor" and slammed the door on me. I fell into an empty freezing cold cell that was flooded with urine, water and feces from an overflowed toilet. I had crawled and walked for hours on end I was kept there for several hours. Once I was in the hospital cell I realized I had been going through this for almost 8 hours.
Finally, I was put back into the medical wing and waited. At about midnight they told me I couldn’t leave because they think I have TB and that the LA County has placed a medical hold on me and they couldn’t release me until my TB test came back clear. At that point it I thought that I might not make it out of the jail alive.
HELP FROM MY WIFE
I was finally able to talk to my wife and she said she could fax the jail the VA CT report that showed the Interstitial Lung Disease. So she did and the jail Doctor said they couldn’t release me that it was LA County that had the hold on me and there was nothing that could be done until Monday. My wife immediately called and emailed everyone including Buck McKeon, LA County Health; Center of Infectious Disease; the Mayor of LA, Mark Ridley Thomas; TB Control office, the director of Communicable Disease Control and others asking for help to get me released.
RELEASED AFTER 5.5 DAYS
With my Wife’s help I was finally released Monday night at 7:37pm. I was arrested Wednesday so I was in jail 5 1/2days.
WHAT I NEED
What I would need is HUGE public attention on this gross negligence. Of course our goal is to have changes in policies, training and awareness put in place so that this will not ever happen to another person! I did not break the law in anyway; all charges were dropped in July 2012. I believe I was targeted to be made an example of for those in the Gun community.
No citizen should be treated as I was regardless of their associations. Politicians should not be using citizens to make political points and the jail systems should not be used to punish law abiding citizens.
We would greatly appreciate your support in making this as pubic as possible. We have found an attorney to take the case! Please SHARE this story as often as you can so we can stop this march towards GUN CONTROL and the assault on our 2nd Amendments rights!