Lawsuit Filed After Open Carry Incident

Posted at 1:03 PM, Jan 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-11 13:05:24-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Johann Deffert is saying in his lawsuit that police had no right to stop him under Michigan’s open carry laws. Deffert’s suing for $600,000, alleging he was physically assaulted by police.

“Get on the ground. On the ground,” an officer can be heard saying on the newly relseased dash cam video of the March 2013 incident.

Johann Deffert was walking to his Grand Rapids home last March when police stopped him after receiving reports a man was walking down the street armed with a gun and talking to himself.

When police approached him, they asked why he has a gun.

“Lawful possession of a fire arm is not against the law,” Deffert is heard on the video saying to the officer.

Police conducted a background check which came up clean.

His lawyer, who’s on the board for an open carry advocacy group, said the cops were in the wrong.

“The officers acted improperly that my client Mr. Deffert was not engaged in any unlawful activity. There was no reason for him to be detained, much less having loaded guns pointed at him,” said Deffert’s attorney Steven Dulan.

“Last one we had was right down here like three blocks down on Michigan and that guy was on his way to kill his girlfriend that worked down there. If we wouldn’t have stopped him, she’d be dead,” an officer is heard telling Deffert.

Bobby Wilmoth from Centershot Gun Range in Dorr watched video of the confrontation for the first time. He said that it seemed Deffert was minding his own business when he was stopped.

“The fact that he said he wasn’t doing anything unlawful, and the officer saying yes you are until I prove otherwise, that goes against our state constitutional right open carry a fire arm in public,” said Wilmoth.

Wilmoth also said it’s the responsibility for any gun owner to comply with law enforcement completely if their open carry is questioned.

Michigan law states any legal gun owner can openly carry their weapon with restrictions at places like churches and daycare centers.

According to MLive, Grand Rapid’s City Attorney Catherine Mish said that police responded reasonably in this situation.

Deffert was eventually detained and released.