Friday, March 19, 2010
Fairbanks Militia Leader Schaeffer Cox Arrested Again, This Time For Allegedly Failing To Tell A Cop He Had A Concealed Weapon
One has to wonder if the Fairbanks cops have gotten unofficial marching orders to single out militia leader Schaeffer Cox for petty harassment because of the recent dispute he had with his wife, which became a criminal matter. Cox, who's also the leader of the Second Amendment Task Force, was arrested by Fairbanks police on Wednesday March 17th, 2010 on a rather nitnoid charge - failing to notify an officer he was carrying a concealed pistol. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner has the full story. No new entry has been posted under Cox' name in the Alaska Court System database yet.
Cox was contacted by officers while monitoring the scene of a police search at an Eighth Avenue house at about 8 P.M. Cox is also part of a “Liberty Bell” network that sends out mass notifications when someone believes their rights are being violated. The owner of the home had contacted him to complain that police were making an unauthorized search of her property. Cox was the first person to arrive at the home after the owner complained that police were searching her home without permission.
Cox said there are about 7,000 people in the area who are part of the Liberty Bell network, which was formed to monitor possible constitutional abuses by authorities. Cox said that police interest in conducting a warrant-less search at the home diminished after a few people arrived to make sure the residence was being searched properly. Police say they responded to the home after receiving a 911 hang-up call at 7 P.M. Yamamoto said a walk-through of a home is allowed under such circumstances to make sure that no one has been harmed. [Ed. Note: In Alaska, this is true. When my own phone malfunctioned and triggered a "hang-up call" to APD headquarters, officers responded and walked through to ensure no one is harmed. It's actually a smart law, in case a perp overpowers a citizen trying to make a 911 call, causing the call to be disconnected.]
While Cox was standing outside the home taking notes, police say he failed to tell them he was carrying a concealed .38-caliber pistol. He was arrested on a charge of fifth-degree weapons misconduct, a misdemeanor.
Cox said he questions the constitutionality of the notification requirement but that he complied with it. He said after Sgt. Gary Yamamoto contacted him and seized a small folding knife — its clip was visible in his pants pocket — he raised his arms and said that he was carrying a pistol. He said the notification occurred “within a matter of seconds” of contact between the two men. But Sgt. Yamamoto has a slightly different story. Yamamoto said he had already taken the knife from Cox and noted that Cox was wearing a bulletproof vest. When Cox headed toward the house that had two police officers inside, Yamamoto said he decided to check to see if Cox had a firearm. Cox notified police he was carrying a weapon at the same time the concealed pistol was discovered during a search, Yamamoto said. The two men had talked earlier, he said, and the presence of the weapon never came up.
Update March 20th: Cox posted $500 bail on Wednesday March 18th on the weapons misconduct charge, but Magistrate Alicemary Rasley set as a condition of his release that he is not to possess any firearm while the case is pending. His next hearing is scheduled for May 10th, and Cox’s attorney, Robert John, said that a trial is likely to go forward the following week. Rasley denied an additional request by prosecutor Scott Mattern that Cox not be allowed at any crime scene unless he is a victim or witness.
So it all revolves around a definition of "notification". These charges are bullshit and need to be dropped. Perhaps Schaeffer Cox needs to start carrying a camera phone around and film his encounters with cops for his own protection.
Despite his previous dustup with the criminal justice system, Schaeffer Cox continues his militia organizing undeterred. On March 11th, he attended a gathering of the Second Amendment/Constitutional Task Force in Kenai. During the meeting attended by an estimated 150 people, Cox gave a rousing speech in which he said “I know how all of you feel. I know why you’re here. You feel like there’s something horrible going on and you can’t quite put your finger on what it is, but you know it’s there, you feel helpless to stop it and you feel frustrated because the only thing that you can do is beg a tyrant to be a better kind of tyrant”.