'It Should Look Good on YouTube': The Anti-Harless


Here is a video that the Canton, Ohio, police department might use to train its officers in handling legally armed citizens. Like Canton's Daniel Harless, Matthew J. Lyons, an Oceanside, California, police officer, is a former Marine, but the similarity seems to end there. Judging from this video, in fact, Lyons is the Anti-Harless.

Lyons approaches a man who is openly carrying an unloaded handgun in a holster, which is permitted by California law. Lyons checks to make sure the weapon is unloaded, then returns it to the owner, acknowledging his right to carry it. He is polite and professional (cordial, in fact) throughout the three-minute encounter, even when the man says he has no ID and declines to give his last name. Nor does Lyons lose his cool when he notices that the man, who identifies himself only as Jeremy, is recording the encounter. "Well, it should look good on YouTube," Lyons says. "I'm the first one to be an advocate for that." It's not clear whether Lyons means the right to bear arms or the right to record police encounters, but either way he makes no attempt to interfere. He adds, "Make sure you get a good picture of me so you know exactly what I look like, because you've got a statement to make here. I'm all for that." At the end he shakes the guy's hand, saying, "Jeremy, thanks for your cooperation, and remember: My name is Officer Lyons with the Oceanside Police Department. My badge number is 1093. God bless America."


Lyons is the author of a book about the Oceanside Police Department.

[Thanks to Adam Kokesh for the tip.]