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Philly Police and a voice recorder... Thoughts?


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  • Philly Police and a voice recorder... Thoughts?


    "On a mild February afternoon, Fiorino, 25, decided to walk to an AutoZone on Frankford Avenue in Northeast Philly with the .40-caliber Glock he legally owns holstered in plain view on his left hip. His stroll ended when someone called out from behind: "Yo, Junior, what are you doing?"

    Fiorino wheeled and saw Sgt. Michael Dougherty aiming a handgun at him.

    What happened next would be hard to believe, except that Fiorino audio-recorded all of it: a tense, profanity-laced, 40-minute encounter with cops who told him that what he was doing - openly carrying a gun on the city's streets - was against the law.

    "Do you know you can't openly carry here in Philadelphia?" Dougherty asked, according to the YouTube clip."Yes, you can, if you have a license to carry firearms," Fiorino said. "It's Directive 137. It's your own internal directive."

    The cops, department officials later admitted, were wrong. They didn't know that a person who has a license to carry a firearm can openly carry it in the city.

    But the story doesn't end there. How could it?

    After Fiorino posted his recordings on YouTube, they went viral. Members of pro-firearms forums on the Web took a particular interest in the incident.

    The Police Department heard about the YouTube clips. A new investigation was launched, and last month the District Attorney's Office decided to charge Fiorino with reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct because, a spokeswoman said, he refused to cooperate with police.

    Fiorino said he plans to sue the city whenever his criminal case is resolved.

    Police spokesman Lt. Ray Evers said the department believes that Fiorino wanted to get into a confrontation with cops, that he wanted to see them lose their cool so he later could file a lawsuit.

    Or, as one cop was overheard saying on the YouTube recording: "He set us the f--- up, that's what the f--- he did."

    Terrified to be powerless
    Fiorino, an IT worker who lives in Montgomery County, grew up in Feltonville.

    A handful of his friends fell victim to random crimes over the years - a mugging here, a beatdown there, the kind of stuff that happens all the time in a big city.

    It was enough to make him think about being able to protect himself if he ever ran into trouble. "It would be terrifying to me to be powerless," he said.

    So, about a year ago, Fiorino said, he got a firearms license and began openly carrying his .40-caliber Glock.

    "I did research for quite a few years leading up to making a decision to carry," he said. "I was ready to take on the responsibility."

    His gun went with him everywhere - to the store, you name it.

    After he began carrying, Fiorino said, he was stopped a handful of times by cops in Montgomery County and other parts of the state. The encounters were civil and quick, he said, and usually ended when an officer checked out his firearms license.

    He also had encounters with Philadelphia cops last year near the Philadelphia Museum of Art and on South Street.

    "Both times they told me what I was doing was illegal," he said. "They patted me down and said, 'We don't care what you consent to.'

    "The second time, they did an official confiscation, and it took me five months to get back my gun."

    It could be argued that Fiorino should have stopped openly carrying his gun because it invited police scrutiny. But that argument couldn't be more wrong, said John Pierce, co-founder of OpenCarry.org.

    Pierce, of Minnesota, said his website offers information on gun rights "from a legal perspective, a public-policy perspective, not from a 'my cold, dead fingers' viewpoint."

    "According to the Pennsylvania and U.S. constitutions, open carry is Mark's right," he said.

    "To say he has to give up that right in order to stop being persecuted by the state, well, that doesn't sound like the America we want to live in."

    Pennsylvania allows citizens to openly carry firearms across the state, but with a simple caveat: A person who carries a weapon openly in Philadelphia also must be in possession of a firearms license.

    Fiorino said he was following the law on Feb. 13, when he decided to take a walk to AutoZone while he was in the Northeast, visiting his mom.

    It was a nice day, warm enough for him to head out without a jacket, leaving his holstered Glock fully exposed.

    Fiorino's firearms license was in his shirt pocket, he said, along with his driver's license.

    Oh, and a digital recorder.

    'Get down on your knees'

    Fiorino was on Frankford near Placid Street when Sgt. Dougherty spotted him from his police cruiser, stopped and called out to him.

    An unnerving back-and-forth started to unfold like a bizarre routine. Dougherty would bark an order, and Fiorino would make an alternative suggestion.

    Fiorino offered to show Dougherty his driver's and firearms licenses. The cop told him to get on his knees.

    "Excuse me?" Fiorino said.

    "Get down on your knees. Just obey what I'm saying," Dougherty said.

    "Sir," Fiorino replied, "I'm more than happy to stand here -"

    "If you make a move, I'm going to f------ shoot you," Dougherty snapped. "I'm telling you right now, you make a move, and you're going down!"

    "Is this necessary?" Fiorino said.

    It went on like that for a little while, until other officers responded to Dougherty's calls for backup.

    Fiorino was forced to the ground and shouted at as he tried to explain that he had a firearms license and was legally allowed to openly carry his weapon.

    "You f------ come here looking for f------ problems? Where do you live?" yelled one officer.

    "I'm sorry, gentlemen," Fiorino said. "If I'm under arrest, I have nothing left to say."

    "F------ a------, shut the f--- up!" the cop hollered.

    The cops discovered his recorder as they searched his pockets, and unleashed another string of expletives.

    Fiorino said he sat handcuffed in a police wagon while the officers made numerous phone calls to supervisors, trying to find out if they could lock him up.

    When they learned that they were in the wrong, they let him go.

    That might have been the end of the thing, too, if it hadn't been for the recordings.

    'He did it intentionally'

    The weeks passed, but Fiorino couldn't stop thinking about what had happened to him on Frankford Avenue.

    "They treated me like a criminal," he said.

    "The organization that's supposed to be the embodiment of the law didn't even know some of the most important laws at the street level."

    He decided to put the recordings on YouTube.

    "I wanted people to know this is an example of what can happen if you exercise your rights and freedom in Philadelphia," he said.

    Fiorino said he didn't lay a trap for the cops. He regularly carries a recorder with him in case he ever has to use his gun and then offer proof of what transpired, he said.

    "I'm not trying to set anyone up," he said.

    "It was a setup. He's done this kind of thing before," said Evers, the police spokesman, referring to Fiorino's encounters with authorities. "He did it intentionally, and he audiotaped it."

    Evers said the department decided to take a second look at the case after learning about the recordings.

    Any number of things could have gone wrong during Fiorino's confrontation with Dougherty, Evers said.

    For one thing, Evers said, Fiorino could have been shot. Cops who raced to the scene could have gotten into a car accident or injured pedestrians.

    Ultimately, the D.A.'s Office decided to charge Fiorino with reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct. He's scheduled for trial in July.

    Fiorino's attorney, Joseph Valvo, said the move to file criminal charges against Fiorino was retaliation for his posting the recordings on YouTube.

    "They're embarrassed and using creative theories to come up with charges," he said.

    Up to speed

    If there is a positive to Fiorino's saga, it is this: The Police Department is trying to make sure none of its officers are ever again caught not knowing basic gun laws.

    "Our officers weren't up to speed [because] we never really addressed it," said Lt. Francis Healy, the department's lawyer.

    "In the last several weeks, we've done a lot of training and put out a lot of information about what is allowed and what's not allowed. Right now, our officers are better-versed on the subject matter."

    Healy said he emphasized the importance of officers being polite and professional if they have to stop a person who is legally carrying a firearm.

    "You can use caution, but you don't need to curse them up and down and put a gun in their face," he said.

    At City Hall on Saturday, about 30 gun owners staged a protest of Fiorino's recent arrest.

    The protesters and cops got along fine.

    "These aren't bad people," Healy said."
    one point twenty one jiggowatts....ONE POINT TWENTY ONE JIGGOWATTS!!!

  • #2


    • #3
      props to Ross for uploading the audio...
      one point twenty one jiggowatts....ONE POINT TWENTY ONE JIGGOWATTS!!!


      • #4
        That guy is a ****** who should of been locked up. Thankfully the DA is charging him..
        I don't answer recruitment messages....


        • #5
          Originally posted by Exodus259
          Why should he have been locked up . . .? I'm lost here. If Philly is open-carry allowed, then how is what they did legal in the first place? They didn't give him the chance to show a license or an ID. They came up with guns drawn ordering him to the ground. Is that what a CCW check is always like??
          There is a difference between open carry in rural PA and in the city.
          1. this autozone is in between 3 schools.
          2. Its in a craphole part of the Northeast (I grew up 3 blocks from where this happened)
          3. You go in with a gun showing and most people will think you will rob the place. SOB is lucky it was a chain store and not a mom and pop shop were he could of been shot
          4. Our DA charged him with misdeamenors so his LTCF (there is no such beast as a CCW in PA) will be revoked.
          I don't answer recruitment messages....


          • #6
            I was blown away by the fact that the police were unaware of the Open Carry law out there. But at the same time, It does not seem as though the guy was following police orders. That is where I have a problem with the whole situation. If the guy had just followed Police orders the whole thing would have been a non situation. If you get pulled over by a cop, and they tell you to get out of the vehicle; you don't go, well I have a license and I am licensed to drive. So No....
            one point twenty one jiggowatts....ONE POINT TWENTY ONE JIGGOWATTS!!!


            • #7
              Originally posted by MtGWOOD06 View Post
              I was blown away by the fact that the police were unaware of the Open Carry law out there. But at the same time, It does not seem as though the guy was following police orders. That is where I have a problem with the whole situation. If the guy had just followed Police orders the whole thing would have been a non situation. If you get pulled over by a cop, and they tell you to get out of the vehicle; you don't go, well I have a license and I am licensed to drive. So No....
              This ahole did it to get a reaction. He is now going to lose License To Carry Firearm (LCTF) based upon being a dbag. The DA is charging him and going for his LCTF and I hope he is found guilty.
              I don't answer recruitment messages....


              • #8
                Originally posted by Exodus259
                OK, again with my comment. The guy was never given the chance to not be a dbag. The Sgt just came up, gun drawn demanding the guy to the ground. When the guy offered and explained the situation, no one wanted to hear anything and acted like the guy was a fleeing felon. If a cop on a traffic stop ran up to my window pointing weapons in my face, you damn well better have an explanation for it.

                Where at in Philly was this? He never says in the audio, just "its legal here in Philly". I'm assuming it is legal in the rural parts, but not the city itself? Or if it is legal, can he not have it around schools?

                The whole thing sounds like it comes off horribly online and to people who don't live there or are familiar with the laws there, but to anyone who is from there, they know exactly what he did wrong.

                Its in an area called the Northeast. But the area this shop is in is less than 2 miles from one of the roughest projects in the city.

                Open carry is legal in Pa with an LCTF HOWEVER it is not accepted in the city with the crime rate. He can not carry in the schools or on school property. Because of the area and the fact that when 911 was called, it was reported as "Person with a gun".. You may not realize this but P/O Gary Skerski (who was a mentor and one of my former police explorer advisors) was killed on a robbery/person with a gun call. The Sgt. who rolled up to the scene took no chances. There is a big difference where if you see someone with a holestered firearm, its generally a P/O. This dabg failed to follow orders of the officer. Had he followed orders, would he have been in this situation, doubtful.

                The ADA who reviewed the evidence charged this dbag with several misdeamenors. It will more than likely revoke his LCTF if he is found guilty.
                I don't answer recruitment messages....


                • #9
                  Where did you see that it was called in? I must have missed that
                  one point twenty one jiggowatts....ONE POINT TWENTY ONE JIGGOWATTS!!!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MtGWOOD06 View Post
                    Where did you see that it was called in? I must have missed that
                    I know several of the cops who responded to the job. It was a 911 call. Like I said I hope he loses his permit to carry.
                    I don't answer recruitment messages....


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Exodus259
                      When the guy offered and explained the situation, no one wanted to hear anything....
                      You will learn very quickly that you don't openly debate someone with a gun. He complies with your orders. He should have put his face on the pavement, once the situation was handled, explained his side of things if he wished and moved on. As was stated, he was trying to cause a problem, you dont walk into a large city with an exposed weapon and expect the police to wave as they pass.


                      • #12
                        My dad is a police officer in one of the townships that borders the city. Apparently this guy is more or less trying to get a rise of the cops whereever he goes. He's just looking for his 15 minutes of fame and some money.


                        • #13
                          +1 To Berry, good post
                          one point twenty one jiggowatts....ONE POINT TWENTY ONE JIGGOWATTS!!!


                          • #14
                            This guy has a history with doing stupid crap. Here are just a few of his own admissions...

                            HTML Code:
                            This evening I took my girlfriend to the airport, Philadelphia International, specifically. I was dressed in business casual attire and carrying openly, as always. I had my voice recorder, driver's license, and LTCF in my breast pocket, as described in other threads.
                            After checking my ladyfriend in for her flight, we had to go give her luggage to the security bag handler. As we turned to walk away, he said,
                            "Hey, what kind of case is that?" He was referring to my holster. "Does it lock that in there or something?"
                            "Yes, it's a Blackhawk Serpa. It has a button in the trigger guard area you have to push to get it out."
                            "Oh, so it doesn't come out when you're running or anything?"
                            I did a quick scan to make sure no one was watching me too intently, and quickly yanked on the handle a few times, with my hips bladed towards him, both so he could see it and so he didn't think I were getting in a drawing position. All it did was tug my belt up an inch or so. He watched, and grinned when he saw how secure the pistol was.
                            "That's cool, man."
                            That's all. In 15 minutes there, I didn't notice anyone aside from him even notice I was carrying.
                            (putting your girlfriend on a plane sucks )

                            Because grabbing your gun in an airport is a responsible thing to do .....

                            I was out and about this morning and stopped at a local grocery store to pick up a few odds and ends, and while checking the carton of eggs for any that might be cracked, a man walks around behind me and reaches for some eggs as well, simultaneously saying,

                            "You should cover that up."
                            "Excuse me?"
                            "You should conceal that thing."

                            Someone telling me what to do with something that's none of their business irritates me greatly. If someone has a concern and voices it, that's one thing, but who the hell are you to tell me what I should and should not do?

                            "Why?" I asked.
                            "Do you have a license for it?"
                            "Would I need one to carry like this?"
                            "No, I don't, and you really should get your facts straight if you're going to try to tell people what to do."
                            "I'm a cop, man."

                            I scoffed.

                            "Then you REALLY need to go learn the law."

                            Like I said, I don't have a problem with someone asking a question, but this guy was kind of a jerk right off the bat. Add to that the fact that he says he's a LEO and he's trying to spread misinformation, and I didn't have the patience to give him any more of my time. I closed the lid for my eggs and walked towards the checkout.

                            While waiting in the line for the self-checkout aisle, Mr. Knowitall strolls down with his cart. I gave him a half-assed smile as I moved out of his way a bit, and she scoffed, shaking his head with a condescending smile on his face.

                            After checking out and leaving, I sat in the car for a moment. It occurred to me thttp://forum.pafoa.org/newthread.php?do=newthread&f=144hat I was doing myself and all OCers a disservice by being so dismissive and not at least making an attempt to correct his erroneous information. I decided to make amends for being so rude, since one good turn does not make another, and to try and educate him a little bit since he claims to be a cop.

                            I already had my dashcam rolling, as I always do whenever my car is in gear, but for ease of capture, I figured I would also turn on my voice recorder, just to cover my ***. That's why I have it, after all.

                            I put on my hazard flashers and parked outside of the entrance to the store so I could catch his attention when he left.

                            This is the unedited recording. You may want to turn your audio down because it seems a bit loud to me.


                            What I was trying to explain towards the end, before he kept interrupting me over and over, is that I choose to open carry because I'm more comfortable that way, and concealment while wearing nice clothes is not always as easy as just having the right holster. But he decided he was the bigger man and walked away.

                            Lets get into an argument , the stalk the guy when he comes out of the store .....

                            Originally Posted by Steve_NEPhila View Post
                            If you are doped up on pain meds this morning, why the **** are you OC'ing in public???

                            http://forum.pafoa.org/open-carry-14...ice-ocing.html (Hassled by Lansdale Police for OCing)

                            I look forward to your explanation.
                            As I said in the other thread:

                            I was exaggerating, Steve. I chose the wrong phrasing for that post and am not "doped the **** up" - the dose of medication is suitable enough to reduce my pain without affecting my mental or physical capacities, despite that post. As I said, I was exaggerating on that point.

                            Good job on pointing that out, though - thanks for reminding me to not exaggerate about things like that since they can turn around and bite me later.

                            Bragging about how doped the F up you were while ocing , then retracting it when called out , then saying how he was exaggerating, goes to show he likes to LIE

                            I wanted to portray only the information that the police were given, so as to convey an accurate idea of what the LEOs had to work with.

                            Last evening, while watching the Flyers game and having a few beers, I realized I had yet to burn some music CDs and put in my recently acquired car's CD changer. I burnt a few discs and went out to the car. To make sure the player worked (with used cars, you never know til you check), I turned the stereo on and turned the volume up a bit. I had the doors closed and the windows up, but apparently, that didn't matter.

                            A neighbor decided it'd be a good idea to come and give me **** about the fact that my radio was too loud for that time of night. Now, I was only out there for maybe three minutes, and I was just wrapping up anyway, so I turned off the stereo and locked up the car. Bear in mind, I was still OC at the time. This person, who's identity I will figure out when I get a copy of the police report, started getting extremely rude and belligerent. He started threatening me, mostly with body language, but what he was saying didn't make a whole lot of sense, because I am pretty sure he was wasted. It was only the second period anyway so it wasn't that late, only like 8 or so.

                            Anyway, he starts pushing me against the side of the car. I told him that if he wants to get physical, I will defend myself, so he pushes me again. I push him back and tell him to step the hell off. He puts his arm across my chest and pins me against the car.

                            At this point, I am starting to feel like this guy is probably capable of escalating this violence much more, so I put my strong hand on my weapon. Now, this was not in an attempt to draw - I was making sure that, because this guy seems unstable, he's not going to have any chance of getting my weapon away from me. I put plenty of pressure on it and locked my arm in place - and I was right. He reached for it and started trying to pry my hand off of the weapon.

                            I told him he seriously needed to think about what he was doing, and I said it loudly. Next thing I know, his girlfriend (I'm assuming) comes out into the street and screams, "Leave him alone, he's got a ****ing gun!!!"

                            I thought, "Great, a girl screaming in the street of a relatively quiet town about a man with a gun. Fan-****ing-tastic."

                            After a few more threatening remarks, he finally steps off and storms back into his apartment. Because I knew I had enough to drink that night to be inebriated, I made sure to keep my comments limited and un-antagonistic. He disappeared and I went back into my apartment.

                            Several minutes later, I was getting back into the Flyers game when I hear what I realized was a police officer right outside my front porch saying, "I have a visual on the subject!" Then there's a knock on my door. Great. I get up and I make sure to carefuly put my left hand (my strong side) on the doorjam as I open the door.

                            One LEO shoves the door open violently as another grabs me by the arm and YANKS me out into the hallway between the apartment units, slams me against the wall, and two other officers restrain my arms. They strip the gun off of me and the extra mags of ammo (just in case I decided to throw bullets at them by hand, I guess) and shove me back into my apartment, telling me to sit on my couch.

                            On an unrelated note, while they were talking with me, one officer did a walk through of my apartment - and he got a real good look at all the bondage furniture I have in the spare bedroom. That thought occurred to me earlier today, and I burst into laughter.

                            They ask me a bunch of questions, I explain to them what happened, and they say, "We got a phone call from a girl saying there was someone outside screaming at her boyfriend and waving a gun around. All I have to ask you is, did you ever pull your gun out?"

                            "Absolutely not." (Which is the truth.)

                            "Okay, well that's not what she said. In the future, I suggest you don't carry your gun when you've been drinking." Which has nothing to do with the problem here.

                            Another officer comes back into the apartment

                            Now, as I said, I was more than a few beers in, so I had no intention of pursuing this any further until I was more sober. However, I do plan on filing for a copy of the police report on Monday.

                            What would you guys say is an appropriate course of action for me? I'm considering pressing charges against the assailant. I don't think the police did anything particularly illegal, although I do feel as though the force they used was a bit unneccessary. "Sir, keep your hands where I can see them and step out of your apartment" wouldn't have been so hard.


                            Drinking, sitting behind the wheel in the lot, blasting the radio , getting into an altercation

                            These are just a few ....


                            • #15
                              He also got hit with Creating A Catasphere.
                              I don't answer recruitment messages....


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