Calif. Cop Takes Heat for Anti-Open Carry Gun Comments on Facebook

Mark Berman (Opposing Views)

A California police officer could be in trouble for comments he made in a Facebook forum about shooting people who openly carry guns.

East Palo Alto detective Rod Tuason apparently made the remarks in response to a friend’s status update, which joked that gun advocates who carry unloaded weapons in plain view as a political statement should start doing so in places such as Oakland, Richmond and East Palo Alto “and not limit themselves to hoity toity cities.”

Tuason replied, referring to a man who walked into a store with a gun on his hip:

“Haha, we had one guy last week try to do it! He got proned out and reminded where he was at and that turds will jack him for his gun in a heartbeat!”

“Proned out” means to be laid out on the ground by police.

After several more comments in the thread, Tuason joked that officers should shoot the advocates, who have made recent headlines throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for sipping coffee at cafes and performing other everyday acts with visible weapons.

“Sounds like you had someone practicing their 2nd amendment rights last night! Should’ve pulled the AR out and prone them all out! And if one of them makes a furtive movement … 2 weeks off!!!”

Gun-rights activists saw Tuason’s comments, and were not amused. Blogger and lawyer Kevin Thomason posted a screen grab of the thread, and wrote:

“East Palo Alto, CA Detective Roderick Tuason didn’t realize that actual PRO-GUN people also read Facebook. Amazingly, he posted the following comment about law abiding gun owners on a friend’s page. Basically, he’s saying ‘prone them out’ (on the ground), and if anyone moves, kill them.”

So far Tuason has not been disciplined. But East Palo Alto police Capt. Carl Estelle said the department’s professional standards division is looking into the Facebook remarks to see if they violate any rules or policies.

“We have to be careful because they’re on his own personal private Web page,” Estelle said. “We have to be careful not to violate his First Amendment rights.”

California Penal Code bars carrying concealed weapons without a county-issued license, but says it isn’t a crime to openly display a firearm in a belt holster. However, it remains illegal for the gun to be loaded in most cases.

Posted by on Feb 11 2010. Filed under Good Cop / Bad Cop. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

3 Comments for “Calif. Cop Takes Heat for Anti-Open Carry Gun Comments on Facebook”

  1. theolesarge

    Comments like this from the detective in a private informal setting like a back yard bar-b-que might be innocent enough. Det Tuason is a sworn officer…with serious duties in the city. Either he believes that he should be supporting State law or he does not. The Chief needs to determine if there is a culture amoung his dectives or more broadly in the department that supports aggressive activities like this against law abiding citizen. After the investigation is complete the Chief needs to have a department meeting….to clear the air about fundamental ethics of police officers regarding the law in general…and fire arms laws in the specific. If law enforcement sees a problem with the state law, they should make their voices heard in the appropriate forums. Otherwise they need to revise their thinking….so that this attituce does not “act out” in the real world with dire consequences for all concerned.

  2. Splendid topic, but today I couldn’t agree with it.

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