GCO Member Sues Paulding County Deputies

GCO member Luke Woodard has filed a federal lawsuit against two Paulding County sheriff’s deputies that arrested him for carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct while he was openly carrying at a convenience store.  Remarkably, Woodard was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon when a “man with a gun” call was placed to 911 from witnesses who saw his sidearm from across the street. The deputies were unable to articulate any conduct in their report that was disorderly.  The Paulding County District Attorney dismissed the charges without presenting them to a grand jury or filing an accusation.  A copy of the complaint may be viewed here.

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9 Responses to “GCO Member Sues Paulding County Deputies”

  1. devo1123 Says:

    Good luck Mr. Woodard, shouldn’t need much with the sledge hammer and eh… all the facts stacked with you. Is this just a “make your own laws up” year or what?

  2. rustygray Says:

    Good Luck indeed.

    I think some of these officers have been brainwashed to only go after soft, or safe targets. They see a law abiding citizen as non threatening and there fore will pursue them for any small infraction.
    This is preposterous that once the mans credentials were verified that he was not let go immediately with an apology and a hearty pat on the back for trying to help his fellow citizens. Why can’t these bumbling keystone kops get it through their egos that we are here to assist them. The enemy is the dirt bag that sneaks the gun in wearing a mask, not the guy in decent clean clothes, simply expressing his constitutional right to self protection.
    I have not been harrassed yet. YET. I recenlty purchased a Serpa Level II for open carry. I was carrying concealed IWB in holsters of my own design, but I believe we should all carry openly. Carry your pistol in a secure holster, carry a decent light, and at least 1 extra mag ( I prefer 2). If you want to carry concealed then still carry the same gear. There are a number of solutions to assist.

    We cannot be afraid of the cops. We should not be afraid of the cops. We are doing nothing wrong and breaking no laws. No GC member has to my knowledge ever committed a crime with a firearm. We should get the FOP on our side. Join your local auxiallary, police or sherrif.

    The time is upon us that we will face the most ardent of opponents in the president elect. If one of us is arrested then all of us should send a letter to the offending agency. I am behind Mr Woodard 100%

  3. smokie joe Says:

    Good luck Mr. Woodard..! These officers ought to be arrested for harrasnent. This is no different than pulling you over for a traffic violation and checking your DL , Insurance Card, and Registration, if all in order, proceed with business at hand and let you go on your merry way..
    I am now getting scared..! I have to carry a weapon to protect from the bad guys and now the so-called good guys will take my carry weapon.
    So who do I have to look out for, The Good guy or the Bad Guy..?? YIKES…!!

  4. donhamrick Says:

    The cure:


  5. capt26thga Says:

    As a former police officer I can understand both sides of this. Police develope an “us vs them” attitude. You find yourself in a job where your only “friends” are other cops. Compound this with the attitudes of elected officials , many police chiefs and sheriffs that only the government should have firearms it is no wonder that the rank and file cops are at the very least confused. When I first got into law enforcement a member of the public could “ride” with a deputy or PO if so allowed by the boss. It was common place here in Fl. Then the lawyers (&%*&#$#@*%$#@#)got involved and within a shortime that practice was ended. Needless to say I am no fan of lawyers. Divided camps tend to breed tension, fear, negativity etc. I think you get the idea. People dont as a rule get involved with their local govt, police, fire etc. We need to get back in those patrol cars and ride around with deputies. It was interesting and fun. We used to have a very large auxillary unit. Cops dont know it all, they cant and the split decision they make on the street can be studied by lawyers for months and years. Its very stressful. When it comes to guns most cops (ones that I knew) were basically afraid of them. There again (You vs Them)…

  6. hotdog Says:

    I’m in the same county here as Mr. Woodward, and carry in my vehicle. Haven’t ever carried it on me while walking around town or anything. But after reading the Complaint and Answer; it really looks like he’ll win on the grounds of violations of his Constitutional rights?… I’m no lawyer of course, but have been studying American Government, and Law Enforcement in pursuit of my BA, which I’m almost done with.

    Anyway, I have been stopped by Douglasville police very recently, and had what I believe is termed a “Terry Stop” performed? I have my GFL of course and had the serial # run on a Colt pistol I carry in my car. I had the serial number run years ago before I started carrying it to be extra careful. It was a Thursday at night (sometime between 3-4 am.) I was driving my friends back home coming from a friend’s house we had been at.

    I check my head lights often enough to know that it was working at least a week before they stopped me. But I think the head light went out that night? There was me, and 2 of my friends. They asked for all of our IDs. And as I had to get out to get to my wallet, I informed the first officer who was standing by my door that I had my carrying permit and a pistol in the door. So I opened it and he took it and took the clip out. I heard him checking all of out IDs, and even running the serial # on my pistol. He then came back and asked if I minded if he searched me truck?

    I asked him if he had a search warrant? He told me nervous looking “I can get one.” So he walked away for a few minutes and came back and told me he had the right to search my persons. So I complied with him and he searched me (frisked all of us), and searched me the “most.” It seemed odd that he barely patted my 2 friends at all?

    Anyway, he kept asking all dumb questions like where was I coming from? Where was I going? Why did I need a pistol? And he asked me more then once if he could search my truck? I replied the same answers every time. No, not unless you have a search warrant? and I’m coming from a friend’s house and taking my friends home! That darn simple! He doesn’t really have the right to ask me all kind of questions beyond my name?! But I know if I even act like I even thinking about getting an attitude, he would become would get one too. By the time I was pat down, there was 3, 4, 5, and maybe 6 police cars in the empty gas station! I was about blinded with all of the blue lights flashing!

    I explained that I have taken American Government, and Law Enforcement and told him that I had a right to be protected in my house, business, vehicle. (Actual language is something like …person, papers, and personal affects…)?

    But he got the point that I wasn’t a push over and ignorant! I think it really surprised him that I told a cop “No.” I was a bit nervous a course and was a little bit shaky like I was up in front of an old college class publicly speaking. He asked me why I was nervous? It couldn’t be because there’s 4-6 cop cars with dudes standing around and cycling me and my friends. My gun was taken, I was pulled out of my car, and searched on the side of the road for no reason other then the cop hoping to start something with a truck full of white guys… In the end, I was given a warning. And he tried to tell me where to put my gun “in my truck,” of course!

    I am hoping after MR. Woodward wins a monitory settlement against Pauling county sheriffs and an apology, the department will realize that these bullish, over aggressive, under educated in the law officers are costing them money. And they’ll hire somebody to come into the department and help retrain all of the deputy sheriffs in gun laws? That’s my hopes at least that something positive to come out of all of this? Hopefully, at least if they’re not sure about an arrest, they could call in a sergeant for example to confirm the arrest before taking him down to the station to be booked? Somebody trained in the law could of kelp all of this from happening! I hope it doesn’t happen to me since I live here?

    Sorry for going so long!

  7. Gflret Says:

    As a retired PO, I view the above Paulding county incident as nothing more than bullying by a pair of arrogant deputies. These ‘cops’ by their attaching the unfounded “resisting charge,” are displaying their hostile disregard for the law by removing the rights of a civilian who is legally allowed to carry and on demand, produced the paperwork for same.

    These PO’s need to get over it and accept that Americans have a constitutional right to defend themselves. Until enough of these ignoramuses are sued and removed from their jobs, will there be an abiding of the law by those who are sworn to uphold it. In the NE, it was easy to make a gun arrest as that portion of the country is anti-gun and has (at least 15 years ago) a ‘No-Firearm policy.’ Almost anyone other than law enforcement was an easy grab for CPW 4th deg. (Criminal Possession of Weapon).

    To address the above car stop incident by “hotdog:” The PO did NOT have a right to search your car based on the info you gave here. I am surprised that the “PBA meeting” of cops who arrived on that car stop (these things happen on a boring evening in a boring suburb) were not shoed away by their squad sergeant when they found you had shown the proper ID and permit AND did NOT commit any infraction/crime. Absent any comment from the cops present on behalf of your behavior, I would contact a civil rights attorney to see if you could pursue a case for illegal search and possible harassment (they saw the permit but still detained you-you had a functioning headlight).

    It is a sad state of affairs when one passes a background check, receives his/her permit but then has to worry that the police of all people, are out to get him/her.

    Educating the public by notifying them they have the right to carry (in GA) and that there are those among them who are doing so legally, will do more to help a skittish public who is already shy from past local legislation that made it a crime to defend oneself with DPF. Placing a nervous college student in a PD with a busy PO is more of a distraction than an education in today’s dangerous and litigious environment.

    Good Luck

  8. krcool32 Says:

    As a current Georgia police officer and Georgia Carry member… After reading the complaint, answer, and summary… It is my opinion that the deputy was in the wrong. I think that a lack of training plays a big role into this. (and violating Mr. Woodard’s civil rights for putting a frivolous DC charge on him).

    I have to say, being a law enforcement officer in this day and age is complicated… very complicated most of the time… and incidents like this give all police officers a black eye.

  9. Cop vs open carrying citizen! - Page 15 - XDTalk Forums - Your HS2000/SA-XD Information Source! Says:

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