BIRMINGHAM (WWJ) - A young Troy man who carried a loaded M1 military rifle through downtown Birmingham had been acquitted of all charges.
The 18-year-old Sean Combs, a high school student at the time, was approached by police as he walked along Old Woodward Avenue, on the evening of April 13, with the weapon strapped to his back.
Birmingham police said Combs refused to cooperate when officers requested his ID, even though he told them he was 18. Police testified that Combs was being loud and boisterous which drew a crowd of teens.
A 7-person jury on Thursday found him not guilty of brandishing a firearm and disturbing the peace. A 48th District Court judge tossed out a resisting charge the day before.
Speaking to reporters, Combs said he was relieved.
But would he do it again?
“I dunno. I have to think about that,” said Combs.”But now I have the right to, for sure, if I ever want to again.”
Comb’s mother, Pam Mytnik, praised the jury.
“They went by the laws. They did what they needed to do and I’m very grateful to them for doing it,” she said.
The case drew the attention of gun advocates who said Combs acted responsibly and within the law. Combs’ attorney said the verdict is a victory for Michigan’s open carry law.
Juror Ed Kickham said the evidence did not show that Combs had violated the law. He said some jurors are concerned about the law itself.
“Perhaps the open carry law, with its limitation on being allowed only to people over the age of 18, that there ought to be a right for the police to stop and question and find out if you’re, if you’re old enough to carry the weapon,” Kickham said.
The City Attorney said Combs was showing off and wanted to shock people.