By now most of you have seen the video of Deputy Andy Cox threatening to murder lawfully licensed concealed carrier Joel Smith. In the video Mr Smith is allegedly stopped for an expired tag and when he tried to retrieve documentation from his vehicle Deputy Cox becomes enraged over Mr Smith not informing him he has carrying a handgun.
It’s important to keep in mind that in Florida, a person carrying a firearm is NOT required by law to volunteer such information to an officer unless the officer specifically asks if you are armed.
Deputy Cox proceeded to draw his service weapon point it at Mr Smith and scream at him “I’ll shoot you in the ****ing back!”. He proceeded to order my Mr Smith to lay on the Florida roadway where he handcuffed Mr Smith and continued to berate him, even though Mr Smith was 100% compliant with every instruction the deputy gave.
Mr Smith was charged with “Open Carry of a Firearm” even though only the tip of his holster was visible for a brief second as he bent over. The crime is (was) a misdemeanor when it is committed by a person with a License to Carry a Concealed Weapon. The States Attorney declined to prosecute after viewing the dash cam video and the charge was dropped.
To date no disciplinary actions have been taken against Deputy Cox over this incident.
Florida Carry is joining the suit and has this to say on their website-
Florida Carry consulting attorney J. Patrick Buckley III who is representing Mr. Smith in the case had this to say:
“Improper law enforcement training coupled with an emotional overreaction is detrimental to the civil rights of Floridians. When a Constitutional officer then delays the resulting internal investigation to permit the untrained officer to walk away without so much as a slap on the wrist, it illustrates a systematic absence of accountability in those we trust to protect us.”
Joining Mr. Smith as plaintiff, Florida Carry is representing its membership and millions of Florida gun owners in the lawsuit. Named as defendants are Deputy Andy Cox, Sergeant Dave Fields, Sheriff Jeffrey Dawsy, and Citrus County. The plaintiffs are represented by the Law Offices of J. Patrick Buckley III, located in Fort Myers, FL.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on this case as it progresses and it’s important to note that the law in Florida has since changed and the “brief exposure” of a firearm “in a nonthreatening manner” by a CWL holder is no longer a crime.
You can see the video of the incident below and reaction from the Florida Sportsman Association-