Someone called police after Roy Moore’s rally in Fairhope Monday, complaining about the now nationally seen moment when Moore pulled out a pistol. He did so to show that he was not soft on the 2nd amendment.
According to a report from Fairhope police, the person complaining wasn’t at the rally and only saw it on television. Police found no laws were broken.
Here’s the full report:
On 09/26/2017, at approximately 10 p.m., the Fairhope Police Department received a complaint alleging possession of a firearm at a political rally. However, the complainant did not actually witness the event, he simply saw it on television.
Section 15-10-3, Code of Alabama, “Arrest without a Warrant,” allows officers to make an arrest for a misdemeanor, but only if the misdemeanor occurs in the officer’s presence. Section 15-10-7, “Arrests by Private Citizens,” allows citizens to make an arrest (commonly referred to as a citizen’s arrest), but again a misdemeanor must be committed in the citizen’s presence. Seeing something on television does not meet the definition of a misdemeanor committed in his presence.
We also have to understand the language in the specific code the citizen was alleging had been violated. Section 13A-11-59, Code of Alabama, “Possession of firearms by persons participating in, attending, etc., demonstrations at public places,” makes it a misdemeanor offense to possess a firearm at a demonstration held in a public place. The rally was a ticketed event held on private property, and as such, did not meet the definition of a public place.
The officer who spoke with the complainant determined that there was no probable cause to believe that a violation had occurred since the event was not in a public place. Additionally, since the complainant did not witness the event, that complainant does not meet the requirements for a citizen’s arrest, even if a crime had occurred.
There is nothing to indicate that a crime occurred.