DEARBORN (WWJ) – Two masked men filmed themselves marching into the Dearborn Police Department armed with guns to, as they said, file a complaint about the way they were treated during an earlier stop.
As the pair walk in brandishing what appear to be semi-automatic weapons around their necks, with their faces covered, two police officers start yelling at them to put down their weapons.
The cops tell them to put down the guns, warning that otherwise “you’re dead.” “I will put a round in you, sir,” cops tell the masked men.
“What the hell’s the matter with you?” the cops ask the 24 and 40-year-old men.
The men protest several times that what they’re doing is legal.
It was widely considered to be an open carry stunt, meant to show the rights of gun owners to carry licensed weapons.
Eventually, the men put down their weapons and comply with police orders to put their hands above their heads. They were arrested. Both men posted $1,500 bond and were released pending future court appearances.
Dearborn police said the incident began in the early afternoon on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017, when they were called to the shopping district in the area of Ford and Southfield to investigate a report of two suspicious men in a vehicle wearing tactical vests and masks.
The subjects, later identified as a 24-year-old Leonard man and 40-year-old Jackson man, left the area before police arrived.
A short time later a Dearborn police sergeant on patrol observed the subjects’ occupied vehicle in a park approximately 3 miles away. The sergeant conducted a traffic stop to investigate further. The occupants of the vehicle were dressed in heavy tactical vests and the passenger, who refused to speak to the sergeant, was wearing a balaclava mask over his face. After conducting a brief preliminary investigation and not observing any firearms in the passenger compartment, the sergeant released the subjects.
And then they showed up at the station.
Lt. Gary Mann said the pair wanted to claimed they wanted to file a complaint about the traffic stop they believed to be illegal.
“If you need to make a complained about a police officer, or something in law enforcement, there’s certainly a better way to do it that would not create such fear amongst law enforcement officers and the public,” Mann told WWJ’s Zahra Huber. “It was pretty clear that their intent was to alarm everybody more than to make an officer complaint.”
Mann believes the men were also trying to make a statement about the right to carry. He added that further charges against the pair may be coming.
Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad had no tolerance for the stunt, saying it was “unacceptable and irresponsible.”
“This is not a 2nd Amendment issue for me,” he added, in a statement. “We had members of the public in our lobby that fled in fear for their safety as these men entered our building. I want to express my appreciation for the many calls of support we’ve received from the community including a call from the president of Michigan Open Carry, Inc. who made it clear that he and his organization stand with law enforcement and unequivocally condemn the actions that took place in our lobby this past Sunday.”
Officers seized the loaded AP-14 firearm, rifle magazine containing (47) 7.62 rounds, a loaded Glock 19 handgun with (4) additional magazines containing 66 rounds, body armor and ballistic vests, mask, gun belt and several pieces of camera equipment. Also recovered was an AR-15 rifle along with a AK-47 style rifle.
The video was first posted on community news forum reddit, where comments largely depicted the gun carriers as dumb and using an ill-conceived way to prove a point.
“If they walked into a business or any other building I was in I’d assume they were in there to kill people,” one man wrote on reddit. “I could not blame a concealed carrier for putting a few rounds in them immediately.”