A few weeks ago we wrote to you about Shaun Kranish and his efforts to start another gun rights organization in Illinois, ICARRY.ORG. We welcome youth and vigor to the movement. Well now Shaun has his first taste of the war as he has been arrested at Rock Valley College in Rockford, Illinois for carrying an empty fanny pack. Shaun tells his story below, but essentially Shaun disagrees with the College's policy on self-defense. Therefore, Shaun wanted to speak to the President of the school, but was referred to the campus public safety office (aka d'uh cops.)
What happened next is best said in Shaun's own words which are below. But the result of his two hour meeting with them was to be arrested for disorderly conduct by officer Edward Crumb (what a perfect name for a small-time "want to be a real cop.") It should be noted that Officer Crumb was allegedly acting under the direction of Chief Joe Drought.
Now Shaun can't even return to campus without being arrested for trespass and taken to county jail. I think you will be at first amused, and then appalled, by the charges which I now give you verbatim from the Criminal Complaint filed in the Circuit Court of the 17th Judicial Circuit, County of Winnebago, Case Number 05-315.
DISORDERLY CONDUCT: in that Shawn [SIC] Kranish knowingly did an act in such an unreasonable manner as to alarm or disturb Janna L. Shwaiko and provoke a breach of peace to wit Shawn [SIC] Kranish walked into the Presidents [SIC] office and requested from Shwaiko a meeting with the President. Kranish was wearing a blue jacket with the words "I Carry" on the front of the jacket and he was also wearing a black nylon pouch or handgun holster [Can't officer Crumb tell the difference?]. Shwaiko believed Kranish to be carrying a gun and it alarmed her in violation of 720 ILCS 5/25-1(a) of the Illinois Compiled Statutes.
Officer Edward Crumb, #167
(NOTE: Shaun's I CARRY windbreaker and holster were seized as evidence.)
This is absurd on its face. If one is walking down the street and sees someone who looks like they might be a gang banger and have a gun, may one then call the police, have them searched, and when it is discovered they do NOT have a gun the "gang banger" is then arrested for disorderly conduct? All because one was alarmed? At Concealed Carry, Inc. we say "give us break!" and dare we even say "get real."
It is clear to us at Concealed Carry, Inc. that Mr. Kranish is not being prosecuted not for disorderly conduct, but for the crime of not having a liberal anti-gun mindset that believes only "highly trained professionals" should have access to weapons designed for self-defense. The actions of Chief Joe Drought, who allegedly directed Officer Crumb to arrest Mr. Kranish, have a chilling effect on free speech on campus and are intolerable in this day of tolerance and diversity.
Therefore Concealed Carry, Inc. is pledging to support Mr. Kranish in refuting these ridiculous charges and further investigating if a false arrest has occurred. Our policy at Concealed Carry, Inc. is to recommend that the arresting officer not be able assert he was acting "under of color of law" and we will recommend the officer be held personally liable as the taxpayers should not have to pay for this tom foolery.
TEXT OF MR. KRANISH'S EMAIL TO CONCEALED CARRY, INC.
It's been a few weeks since we've talked, but I wanted to check in with you. A couple people also suggested I tell you what happened to me today while I was at my college.
I've been wearing my legal carrying case to school for the past 2 weeks. There is a school policy against guns (no surprise there), so I have NEVER had a gone on campus, not even in my car. I have been wearing the case/holster (enclosed drop-leg holster type) as a statement to my beliefs. In the past two weeks, ever since I started, I have received not a single complaint. I have never been approached by any of my teachers, I have never been asked not to wear it, no one has every expressed concern about it. On the other hand, it has had a desired effect on a few people, and they have come up to me and started a conversation with me because of it. I always love telling people how I feel about the issues and giving them as much information as possible. My statement is a very harmless and positive one.
For the past week I've also been wearing my "ICarry.org" jacket. It is a blue "raid jacket" with yellow print. This jacket has nothing but letters on it. A number of people have come up to me because of it as well, and I've had some great conversations because of that. Just Monday night I spoke with a fellow classmate of mine outside in the cold for a half an hour (at night) after class. We discussed civil rights and all of the many terrible things happening in this country. This is the reason I have been wearing my attire the past few weeks, to make a statement. I never meant to scare anyone, intimidate anyone, or "alarm" anyone. The outfit passed the test with hundreds if not thousands of people the past two weeks, but that wasn't enough to guarantee I wouldn't be harassed.
Today after my morning class, I headed up to the Administrative offices on campus. I had been wanting to discuss school policy pertaining to firearms and defenselessness for a while, and it was a convenient time for me. I decided not to put it off any longer, so I went in and inquired about setting up a meeting with the president of the school. I was asked what it was about, and said it was regarding school policy. I was then asked if I had taken the issue up with anyone else, and I said no. It was recommended to me that before meeting with the president I should take the issue up with whatever department the issue may pertain to. I decided I could speak to the DPS (Department of Public Safety). I thanked the woman in the administrative office and went on my way.
I entered the public safety building, which is specifically the police department on campus. I asked the women there about speaking with someone, and she called someone on dispatch. I thanked her, and she asked me to take a seat in the waiting room. A few minutes later the "chief" entered one door and we began talking. Another police officer entered the opposite door, in such a way that I was standing between the two. They asked me to put my hands up, and the second one began fumbling with my carrying-case. I instructed him to undo the clip (the fastening device that keeps the case closed) and then to lift up the outermost cover flap. He could then see that there was no weapon inside. They asked me if I had any weapons on me, and I did not, and they frisked me to make sure.
We then talked for 10-15 minutes perhaps out in the lobby. I told them that I had come to speak with someone about school policy and told them about my beliefs, the organization I started, and all of that. They claimed (many times) to agree with my beliefs, but that didn't matter. I was then asked to step into a waiting room and I agreed. We spoke some more, and the chief handed me off to one of the other officers for the remainder of the day. About an hour and a half approaching 2 hours went by, and I had been asked to fill out a written statement. I respectfully declined this, but answered the officer's questions anyhow. It was now nearly time for my next class, and I informed the officer that I must be going and could not be late. I was told I wouldn't be going anywhere.
I then was asked to initial a paper detailing my rights. You have the right to remain silent.etc. I was now getting upset, as I was about to be late for my class. I was asked if they could search my vehicle, and although I normally wouldn't comply with such a request, I offered them a deal. I said you can search my vehicle, as long as you don't make me late to my class. I had stressed many times now that I must go to my class. They declined this offer and went away for another 10 minutes or so and spent time on the phone talking to a number of people (as they had been the entire time). I was then officially arrested and charged with "DISORDERLY CONDUCT" for the attire that I wore. The excuse they used was that I had "alarmed" the woman in the administrative building. I don't know whether or not this was true, as she didn't seem alarmed or ask me anything at the time. I only know that she called them up after I had been there and perhaps reported that my case seemed suspicious.
I had never been arrested in my life until today, and it's very disappointing that that has now changed. I repeat that I was in violation of no law, no school policy, and had never so much as been asked not to wear what I wore. I was arrested in order to "teach me a lesson". I don't believe lessons should have to involve criminal charges unless those charges have grounds. This is an issue of harassment and unwarranted, false arrest.
I was told I must speak to school officials before I can be allowed to return to class. I missed one class (and an exam I that class) already. I was thankfully able to get in contact with the person I must talk to, and I will be seeing them tomorrow morning, in time before my next classes. Hopefully I will be allowed to return to class. I was told that without permission to return to campus, I would face being arrested with trespassing and be sent to the county jail.
That's the most accurate and lengthy account I've written yet. If you feel it's newsworthy and want to use it please feel free. I've contacted Walter Maksym and after a very nice conversation I will be using him for counsel most likely in a civil suit. I believe I have a very strong case and that people must be held responsible for wrongful arrest and the damages caused. Talk to ya later.