Police could use facial recognition technology to give out fines to some of the protestors in Erie, Pennsylvania who decided to openly carry their firearms at a city park, despite the local laws that disallow any citizen from openly carrying.
The report by WSEE-TV said that although there were 20 people openly carrying firearms in the crowd of 80-100, only a few of them were personally handed citations by police, who stood around the crowd during the rally.
Check out the news video of the gun rights rally:
Those were were given citations could spend up to 90 days in jail if they don’t pay the $100-$300 fine.
Police were also seen walking around the rally and writing down license plate numbers so they could use the information along with video of supporters at the event to identify and write out citations for those who were not identified.
Here is a video that one of the protestors took of the interaction of police with supporters of the rally as one of the men asks if the police have reasonable suspicion to run the license plates.
According to the Blaze the interaction went a little like this:
“Without any reasonable suspicion you can run license plates?” one observer asked an officer. “Is that your statement?”
When the officer didn’t reply, the observer asked, “You understand the [state] Supreme Court also just recently said that your silence can be used against you.”
One off-camera voice can be heard saying, “Just following orders,” to which one cameraman replied, “Yeah, it didn’t work at Nuremburg, either.”
Other voices say, “This is what a police state looks like” and “Do they have ‘SS’ on them?”
To clarify things, in Pa we have state preemption of all firearms laws, meaning no jurisdiction may create laws that regulate firearms, or the carrying of them. Erie, Pa, basically created a law that said you are not allowed to carry in city parks, which is against preemption. The local courts said Erie could do whatever they want, and it is at the supreme court of Pa right now.
The police that were there recorded people, and also took pictures of every license plate of parked cars around the park, supposedly so they can issue citations.
The irony of this, is that the park is named after Oliver Hazard Perry, who was the commanding officer during the Battle of Lake Erie, a turning point during the War of 1812. What makes this hilarious is that Perry used private citizens as the “marines” on his ship, and to man the forts, as congress was hesitant to send more troops to Erie. If it wasn’t for over 2,000 privately armed Pennsylvanians, Erie would have fallen, and the outcome of the war would not have been what it was.