We have certain rights in this country, and two white gun-rights advocates seem to take pleasure in testing the boundaries of how far these rights can go in our society.
They tested the right to open carry along a public sidewalk outside the Patrick V. McNamara Federal Building in downtown Detroit. But that result didn't get much action. In this video uploaded in September of 2016, after some stressful moments, a Department of Homeland Security officer tells them, "You're perfectly fine. You're in a public space. I just want to say have a nice day, OK?"
When they walked into the Dearborn Police Station yesterday (Sunday, Feb. 5), one of them partially concealing his face, they encountered quite a different reaction. According to Dearborn Police, the person concealing his face was carrying a loaded AP-14 rifle and a loaded Glock 19 handgun.
Watch the video below (video contains profanity):
John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports the two were James Baker, 25, of Leonard, and Brandon Vreeland, 40, of Jackson.
Vreeland tells the Freep that they "audit police."
"... to see how well they honor the Constitution and people's rights ... We showcase police abuse and abuse of police power in the totalitarian police state that we live in."
The two were stopped earlier in the day by Dearborn police after they received a report of "two suspicious men in a vehicle wearing tactical vests and masks."
You can watch the interaction from the subjects' perspective here.
The Dearborn Police Department released a statement on their Facebook page today. It details their interaction with the two men, and – no surprise – condemns the men's actions:
Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad stated “I find this behavior totally unacceptable and irresponsible. This is not a 2nd Amendment issue for me. We had members of the public in our lobby that fled in fear for their safety as these men entered our building. I want to express my appreciation for the many calls of support we’ve received from the community including a call from the president of Michigan Open Carry, Inc. who made it clear that he and his organization stand with law enforcement and unequivocally condemn the actions that took place in our lobby this past Sunday.”
The Detroit Free Press detailed the charges the two men face:
Baker is charged with breaching the peace, failure to cooperate with police and masking his identity by obscuring his face when he walked into the station. He has not been arraigned on the charges, which are misdemeanors.
Vreeland is charged with breaching the peace, obstructing police and failure to cooperate. Both men are free on $1,500 bond while they await arraignment on the charges.