Police defused a standoff with a man carrying a long gun and calling for a revolution in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Several passers-by called 911 when they saw Joseph Houseman, 63, stumbling around with his rifle.
When police arrived they tried to start a conversation with Houseman to calm him down. "[The officer] asked the guy if he could talk to him and the guy went into an (expletive)-laden tirade, 'the revolution's coming, I don't have to talk to you, etcetera, etcetera,'" said Lt. Stacey Geik, one of the officers negotiating with Houseman.
During the encounter below, you can hear Geik and a SWAT team officer trying to persuade Houseman to surrender his rifle. Houseman repeatedly said his rights were being taken away.
Houseman eventually set down the rifle, at which point police confiscated it, telling Houseman he could reclaim it the next day.
Houseman claimed he was openly carrying his gun legally, but he's wrong about that given how he acted, according to MLive. Open carry is legal in Michigan - but "brandishing" a gun is illegal.
Interestingly Officer Geik is himself an open carry advocate, and one of the tactics he used to persuade Houseman to surrender the weapon was to appeal to the NRA. Geik also referred to open-carrying himself:
Geik: If I was going to open carry, which I have done before, there is no way in heck I would have come to a laundromat full of people trying to dry their clothes with an Auto Zone, carwash and 10 cop cars.
Police commented that they were scared that if he didn't put down the weapon, they would have to arrest him - and if they arrested him they were afraid they'd end up with a Supreme Court battle on their hands. In other words, these officers were afraid to arrest a man who behaved erratically and brandished a long gun for fear that their careers would be ruined. Here's the transcript from MLive:
Officer 1: He wouldn't take a PBT, and we took it (the rifle) away for a CCW violation because he was being irrational and having violent mood swings. I thought he was going to start walking, so now, he's put the cards on the table, he's called our bluff, what do we do? (He mentions a meeting that was happening at KDPS when he received the call.)
Officer 2: I didn't like that, I was thanking God when he stopped. That crossed my mind too, at one point it looked like he was going to start walking across the sidewalk, I was like, s---, we kind of have to go hands on now and stop him.
Officer 1: That's where I was going. It was alright, we're going to arrest him, interfering, and we'll go to the U.S. Supreme on this baby.