A Warren man who is an advocate for firearm “open carry” practices is suing the city and its police department, claiming officers violated his Second Amendment right to bear arms.
Jeffery Haman, 54, seeks a $100,000 judgment and $500,000 in punitive or exemplary damages, as part of the lawsuit he filed recently in U.S. District Court.
With a semi-automatic pistol holstered at his waist, Haman, a former firearms dealer, was walking home from a local drug store at 12 Mile and Hoover roads in August 2009 when a patrolman quickly drove up to him.
“At the first instant where I could see through the open passenger window, he had a gun pointed at me,” he said. “Then he came to a stop. As soon as I saw the gun, I put my hands up.”
Haman was ordered to lie on his stomach, with his hands outstretched. The officer handcuffed him and three additional officers in two patrol cars arrived.
“I asked him what his reason was for stopping me. He said, ‘You’re walking down the street with a gun.’ I said, ‘That’s perfectly legal, I’m open carrying.’”
Police took the .45 caliber handgun and his ammunition, and asked if he had documentation for the weapon. Haman said he showed a purchase receipt and a concealed-weapon permit although it’s not required for open carry.
In a police video of the incident, an officer is heard telling Haman: “You should at least call us and tell us what you’re doing. Walking around like this is just going to get you hurt somehow.
“You’re just asking for trouble, brother.”