City victorious in gun lawsuit (video)

City victorious in gun lawsuit (video)

John Miner, left, and Dmitri Lyssikatos hold an armed yard cleanup to draw attention to residents’ rights to carry arms on their properties.
Miner pledges to hold ‘armed yard cleanups’

PAWTUCKET – A Cole Street resident who lost his lawsuit against the city last week over an unlawful arrest says he plans to continue his fight to maintain gun rights for average citizens.

John Miner, of Cole Street, says the city won “the first round” when a jury ruled against him and decided not to award him any money on Nov. 14, but said the fight “has only just begun.”

Miner had sought $2.2 million from the city, but expected that a jury would award him much less. He ended up getting nothing after previously rejecting a settlement offer of $25,000.

City officials didn’t comment on the win last week.

Miner and landlord Dmitri Lyssikatos say they plan to hold periodic “armed yard cleanups” to promote the rights of citizens to be openly armed on their property. Miner was originally arrested during a confrontation over a city-ordered cleanup at the property.

Miner is circulating the amateur video of the arrest to show that police were at fault in the case. Watch it below.



Though many might say Miner lost his civil suit against the Pawtucket Police Department, Miner and Lyssikatos believe the court decision “was a decisive win” for those who choose to exercise their rights to bear arms in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island law is clear that a homeowner or tenant has a right to carry a gun in and around their property and at their place of business, they said in a joint statement.

“This is not a gray area; it is a very clear statute written in plain English,” it states.

The law backs up the Second Amendment, U.S. Constitution and Rhode Island Constitution in giving residents the right to not only defend themselves against intruders but to freely carry a gun around if he so desires, said the two.

“One of the positive aspects of this case that came to light during the trial is that our local law enforcement are now becoming aware of their duty to protect and defend the right of the people in this state to not only own a firearm for defensive purposes, but also to exercise that right without being assaulted by police,” they said. “There is no law against defending yourself or your property, in fact it is the most basic law of nature.”

Miner and Lyssikatos say they hope the case will make local police departments take a closer look at policies and procedures when it comes to home invasion and trespass.

“There certainly seems to be a great need for training and correction in these areas to make sure that officers in the line of duty do not infringe upon the right of the people to openly carry firearms in their homes or on their property without the fear of being killed on sight or arrested without probable cause,” they said.

Miner claimed that police arrested and detained him in December of 2013 after seeing him carrying a gun in his holster even though he was allowed to carry the weapon on the property he was renting.

Police claimed that two city contractors on the site said that Miner issued a threat, but the contractors later said in sworn statements that there were no threats made. McConnell said in court filings that he was not aware before this case of the law that allows Rhode Islanders to carry guns in their homes even if they don’t have a license or permit to carry. Miner had only a blue card, a certification card needed to buy a gun.

According to District Court Judge John McConnell, the city was “clearly wrong on the law,” which he called a “major problem” for the defense.

Marc DeSisto, attorney for the officers, said last year that the incident involving Miner was a reasonable “Terry stop,” or detention of a person based on reasonable suspicion of involvement with a criminal activity.

Miner was at home when two city contractors came onto the property to address issues with overgrowth and rubbish. Miner’s landlord, Dmitri Lyssikatos, claimed he wasn’t notified that anyone would be coming.

Lyssikatos and Miner are both members of Community Response Rhode Island, a group with a goal of keeping police accountable for their actions.

Miner called Lyssikatos when he saw the contractors. Lyssikatos then showed up with another man, Travis Shackelford, who filmed the incident in question.

Lyssikatos argued with the contractors, according to court transcripts, and Miner came out of his home to watch.

Police officers Jared Boudreault and Norman Valad handled the situation. At some point Valade yelled that Miner had a gun and then drew his own weapon. Miner then allowed the officers to disarm him, search him, handcuff him and place him in a cruiser.

Miner was driven to police headquarters where he was processed and held in a cell for more than four hours. After questioning Miner, reading him his Miranda rights, and getting the witness statements from the contractors, police released him without charges.

Miner’s lawsuit alleged that officers arrested him without probable cause and falsely imprisoned him, violating his rights.

Comments

That city is a Hot Mess!

Look up Preemption: Localities are specifically prohibited from passing any law,rule, ordinance etc etc that concerns carrying firearms. Period. Doesn't matter if they ban CC or OC, they are not allowed to ban either one. If they pass such a law, they are in for a field day of lawsuits.

Law Enforcement should know the laws that they are enforcing. Ignorance is no excuse.