If you have read my many articles you are aware that I never suggest to anyone to break the laws of any state or country for that matter. But you are also aware of the fact that I strongly advise citizens to exercise their constitutional rights and more importantly your GOD given rights against self - incrimination! ( A disclaimer: all in this article are inocent until proven guilty!)
Mr. Robert M. Stroka, a 62 year old retired man from Niles, Illinios, was arrested for a misdemeanor charge of possessing a gun and "ammunition" without a valid firearm ownership permit. Okay, fair enough, he admitted he's guilty. Now keep in mind that Mr. Stroka also retired from the City of Niles and was working part time as a community service officer for the city. Okay, no problem, he's not seeking special treatment either!
Here's the part of the story that irritates me and others to no end. Mr. Stroka had called the Niles Police Department to "remove" two people who was smoking "crack" in his home. That's right, crack! It's his home and he wanted them to leave. They wouldn't leave! What they were doing was clearly illegal and he wanted no part of it!
When the police officers arrived, for some reason ( we also did this quite commonly when I was a cop, I call it "a trick") they ask Mr. Stroka could they search his home. He "gave" them permission. That's when they found the gun and "ammunition".
Now do you see why I advise ( and so will most defense attorneys) every citizen NOT to ever "give" the police or anyone permission to search your residence or vehicle for that matter! You are in fact incriminating yourself if they find anything illegal, no matter how small the crime. If they have no search warrant, say NO when they asked you, period! And another thing, make certain that they "only" search what the judge has spelled out in the warrant. If it says search the garage, make sure they only search the garage! And please don't fall for the mind trick, "if you got nothing to hide why not let us search"? Oh please! Listen, one more time, "YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GIVE ANYONE "PERMISSION" TO SEARCH YOUR HOME OR VEHICLE".
Noticed how he went from being a victim to the perpetrator (place yourself in his position mentally). And what's worse, the officers, through their descretion, could have just warned him to go get a permit the next day. Apparently the gun wasn't stolen (no charge reported) and unloaded so there was no need to arrest him, unless you just wanted another arrest placed on your job review! Their job should have been to simply asked the two people to leave and if anyone was arrested it should have been the "crack smokers". Mr. Stroka should have loaded that gun and ran... oh I'm sorry, let's get back to the subject.
And for those of you that might say " Robert, what he did was a crime", please keep in mind, when police officers are trained in the academy, they take courses in discretionary evaluations (I did as well). The main determination in evaluating your decision is "common sense" and the "urgency of the situation". This man wasn't a threat in the slightest. And to go from victim to suspect is very disturbing, not to mention that he now has a police record after 62 years of obeying the laws, obeying the very laws mandated by the city he served with for years. This was overkill in my opinion!
It's not finish yet! Mr. Stroka still has to go to the Skokie Division of the Cook County Court to await his sentence! I really hope the DA that's assigned to this case drop the charge. I for one and a few of my friends will write the DA's office Monday and beg him to drop the charge, followed by a few telephone calls.
You know another reason why this upsets me soo much and happened to be one of the longest articles I've written about a "seemingly small" subject? This could have been my father, or your grand father!
Anyway, I respect your opinions if you disagree but I just feel that this is a simple "waste" of tax dollars. Oh, by the way, the "Big Ammunition" charge...they found three bullets lying nearby!