Big Brother Is Watching
There has been an interesting development in the case of two individuals who were arrested for open carry in the anteroom of the Dearborn, Michigan Police Department Headquarters. Two men from central Michigan were arrested for entering the anteroom of the Dearborn Police Department Headquarters building while carrying, and filming themselves while doing so. They were reportedly using open carry to protest what they believed was a bogus traffic stop which they were subjected to earlier in Dearborn.
James Baker and Brandon Vreeland have been abandoned by Michigan’s open carry movement, probably due to the allegation that they were using open carry to protest something entirely unrelated to Second Amendment rights, but it does not appear that their actions actually violated any Michigan law. At least one of the two was wearing ‘body armor’, which added to the provocative nature of their actions. Carry in police stations is actually not prohibited by Michigan law, and it is a violation of Michigan law to prohibit firearms in a police station outside of secured areas.
Fun side note: When I was a kid in the 1960’s, I used to shoot small bore rifle matches in the basement shooting range of this very building, which was even then the DPD police station. How times have changed!
Now we have a remarkable discovery from Nicholas Somberg (P80416), the defense attorney for Brandon Vreeland of Jackson: The Dearborn Police secretly monitored the two ‘Second Amendment activists’ and essentially ambushed both men as they were filming themselves walking into the Dearborn Police headquarters.
Here is the interesting development, as reported by the Detroit Free Press:
Lawyer: Dearborn cops use fake Facebook profile to track gun advocates
Robert Allen , Detroit Free Press 11:42 a.m. ET March 17, 2017
A lawyer says Dearborn police, using Facebook profile name “Olivia,” secretly monitored a network of Second Amendment activists and ambushed two men who filmed themselves walking into police headquarters last month.
Nicholas Somberg, who represents 40-year-old Brandon Vreeland of Jackson, said the Feb. 5 incident was a “political witch hunt” as his client and James Baker, 24, of Leonard, Mich., were arrested. In a YouTube video, Baker can be seen in a black ski mask with a short-barreled rifle slung over his chest and a semi-automatic pistol strapped to his hip; Vreeland had on body armor but left his gun in the car, instead bringing along cameras to videotape the encounter that was about to take place.
“After the discovery, it is very clear that Dearborn (police) knew that they were coming, knew who they were, and planned the ambush,” Somberg said. “It’s not that they were reacting to a situation they thought was going to be violent. They actually knew it was not violent, knew who they were, and just wanted to teach these guys a lesson.”
Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad didn’t immediately respond Friday to a Free Press request for comment.
In the February video, police officers with guns drawn were waiting, and a tense standoff occurred as the two men initially refused to comply with orders to drop to the ground as they argued they had a right to carry weapons.
“Put it on the ground or you are dead,” one of the officers screams in the video that was live-streamed on the Internet via cell phones by Baker and Vreeland as the confrontation unfolded. “I will shoot you. I will put a round in you. What the hell is the matter with you?”
Somberg said the two men did nothing illegal. On Thursday, he posted a photo of a page from the criminal case’s discovery on Facebook with the words, “If you ever wondered if the police monitor what you post on Facebook, the answer is YES. Dearborn PD goes by the name ‘Olivia’.”
He told the Free Press that the documents show that police, logged on as Facebook user “Olivia,” lurked on publicly posted conversations. He said it didn’t appear that the user had interacted with his client…..
Attorney Somberg is building an entrapment case on behalf of Vreeland, with First and Second Amendment kickers. We should all have such an energetic and competent lawyer when we get into a jam. It is important to note here that the reported actions of Vreeland and Baker did not violate Michigan law; the only possible valid legal charges against them would have to be based on intent.
The novelty of this case is the use of a police department’s social media monitoring department against gun owners engaged in presumably legal activities. It is quite likely that the traffic stop which precipitated this incident was indeed bogus, and contrived through social media monitoring.
Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad is profoundly anti gun. He has also faced a lot of scrutiny for the ‘shoot first’ culture of his department, and is facing a number of lawsuits for police shootings of Detroiters (black Detroit city residents who have strayed into Dearborn). He also has a lot of social turmoil going on within his department. He doesn’t seem to be well respected by the officers of his department, either
You have to conclude that Chief Haddad personally set this up this incident for its propaganda value.
NYPD has over 100 officers staffing their ‘Operation Crew Cut’ social media department ostensibly spying on terrorists, but actually keeping gang bangers off balance. Now it appears that Dearborn PD also has a social media section. Note here that Dearbornistan has a very large Arab/Muslim population, so the DPD social media department is probably also funded by the Feds (DHS). Chicago PD does not have much of a social media effort, probably due to an absence of DHS funding, and a scorching gang related crime rate as a result.
Gun owners should be aware that big brother is watching them on social media, at least in DHS funded Michigan cities.