Concealed Carry Arrest

A video has been seen more than 38,000 times in January. It shows Joel Smith of Citrus County getting stopped by Deputy Alan Cox.

17 seconds after getting out of the car, he is asked for his registration and insurance.

As he turns, something is slightly visible in his back pocket.

"Why do you carry a gun for?" asked Deputy Cox.

Ten seconds later, he is being held at gun point.

"Put your hands right up or I'll shoot you in the blanking back," said Cox.

Smith is legally licensed to carry a concealed weapon.

"Get down on the blanking ground now," screamed Cox.

Smith was arrested anyway charged with carrying a prohibited weapon openly.

The Unified Sportsmen of Florida call it an overreaction.

"A law enforcement officer losing it and abusing a law abiding citizen who had done nothing wrong and was doing anything he could to cooperate," said Marion Hammer.

When the case got to the courthouse, the state attorney declined to prosecute saying there was little chance a jury would convict.

Florida law was changed in 2011 to say the brief viewing of a gun in a non-threatening manner is not a crime. Unified Sportsmen say Smith’s case and another are proof Florida needs to do more.

"They're arguing that the accidental exposure was not brief," said Hammer.

Deputy Alan Cox has now been put on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.

The investigation was ordered after the video went viral. The charges against Smith were dropped 17 days after the arrest. Smith’s attorney for the arrest called Smith’s cell phone and found the number had been changed. A listed land line is also no longer in service.


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