“We were handing out constitutions in honor of freedom day and I was approached by two officers who asked for my ID and asked if I had a firearm, and of course I told them no,” said DJ Parten, a member of students for concealed carry and a military service-member.
Those two USAPD officers told Parten that someone had used the LiveSafe app to report them, saying they suspected him of having a gun.
“There are some people who disagree with what you’re doing, they see a holster and they call in,” one officer told Parten.
Parten said the situation quickly escalated, and he began filming the incident.
“They asked if they could pat me down and then they threatened to give me a citation for whatever they could come up with and eventually followed up with that threat.”
Parten was given a citation for violating the student code of conduct and told he had to meet with the dean of students.
Parten shared the cell phone video he took of the incident online and several conservative blogs picked the story up, putting pressure on the university to address the issue. A day later, the citation was rescinded.
On April 13, 2016, at 11:41 a.M., the University of South Alabama Police Department received an anonymous report that a person in the student center may have been carrying an “unconcealed gun.”
USAPD officers arrived at the location and, following an on-site interview with a student wearing an empty gun holster, issued a campus judicial citation to the student. Upon further investigation, it was determined that the citation should not have been issued, and it was rescinded,” a statement from university spokesman Bob Lowry said.
Officer Steve Turppa was subsequently suspended for five days without pay and the police department apologized to Parten, a gesture he said was adequate resolution.
But Parten said he will not be dissuaded from promoting second amendment rights, and has received a lot of praise from others on campus.
“Just because someone decides to get an education shouldn’t mean their right to self-defense ends,” said Parten.