Over the past three years, reported Vin Suprynowicz in the January 10 Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas contractor Charlie Mitchener has endured several burglaries. Following the most recent break-in on January 3, Mitchener suffered an additional violation at the hands of the police officer who arrived to “help” him.
Complying with a request from Officer J. Rogers (badge number 13525), Mitchener provided personal identification and a copy of his firearms permit.
Mitchener has concealed-carry permits from Nevada, Florida, and Utah; he has received extensive formal training and regularly visits the firing range. He is well-known to the Las Vegans Metropolitan Police force.
Despite — or perhaps because — of this, Officer Rogers ordered Mitchener to surrender his Glock 19 and submit to being handcuffed — in order to make sure “that we [are] all safe.” This happened before the female officer determined if the area was secure — which means that the burglar could still have been on-site.
As Mitchener pointed out to Suprynowicz, leaving him handcuffed and helpless may have made Officer Rogers feel safer, but it put his own life in jeopardy. If the burglar had still been around, the tax-feeder may have been able to fend for herself, but the productive citizen would have been a helpless target.
What would have happened if Mitchener had refused to submit to the officer’s demands?
The tragic possible outcomes in that case include the death of an overreaching state agent as a result of a legitimate act of self-defense by a scrupulously law-abiding citizen, or the arrest and prosecution of that same citizen on spurious charges intended to punish him for refusing to behave like a helot.
“Vin, I hope I did not see the future this morning,” Mitchener commented to Suprynowicz. Regrettably, what Mitchener experienced is representative of the present; the future promises to be much worse.
For the police, “officer safety” is always the first consideration. Mitchener’s experience is particularly significant in that it demonstrates how police are taught to regard armed citizens as potential enemies.