Gun Rights

Cops Freak Out over Man's Unloaded, Disassembled, Handgun, Assault Him, Lawsuit Claims

Alabama man is also suing Utah cops for violating his Second Amendment rights



It appears hoplophobia is alive and well even among that class of people, cops, that hoplophobes, or those with an irrational fear of guns, would like to limit gun ownership to.

60-year-old Harold Torbett, of Alabama, is suing police in Ogden City, Utah, over an incident that happened in February. According to Torbett, he stopped at the Ogden Police Department during a cross-country trip from Alabama to Seattle, seeking medical assistance, as The Standard-Examiner reports.

Torbett said he had a complication of his diabetes that caused stomach pain and mental confusion. At the department, Torbett said he unloaded and disassembled his handgun, leaving it in the chair next to him while waiting for cops.

The lawsuit claims cops got rough with Torbett when they saw his handgun and that one officer threw him the ground, breaking his hip. That officer, according to the lawsuit, had asked Torbett, "Do I look like I take people to the hospital?" when Torbett explained he was seeking medical attention, and attacked him when he tried to leave the station.

The lawsuit also argues police violated Torbett's Second Amendment rights as well as the state constitutional right to open carry.

Police argued Torbett was being noncompliant and accused him of throwing soda water on cops, and said after the incident that they had decided he posed a danger to himself or others due to his behavior. "He fights with them, and they're doing everything they can t control him," a police spokesperson said in February. Police say they aren't commenting on the case anymore because of the litigation.

Police said in February the incident was being investigated and that the county attorney's office would determine possible charges against Torbett for disorderly conduct and resisting officers, as well as weapons charges because he did not have a concealed carry-permit. The county attorney told The Standard-Examiner he had no record of charges ever being filed with his office.

There is security footage of the incident, but it's described as grainy and blurry, with the police chief saying they've installed a new camera in the lobby since then. Among the lawsuit's demands is that police in Ogden begin to wear body cameras. Police have been testing three different types for the last two years, and the police chief said they wanted to "make the right decision."