MANCHESTER--Two Connecticut men who keep making headlines with their efforts to promote open carry gun laws are featured in another viral video, which shows police confront the two men carrying weapons after someone called 911 .
Michael Picard told FOX 61 that Dontrell Brown befriended him after he saw an interview FOX 61 did with Picard back in January. We also interviewed Brown in January for a separate incident. Now, the two men are working together to get their point across.
Police say they technically did nothing wrong because Connecticut is an open carry state, but they have a problem with the way the men are exercising their rights.
“Arrested at gunpoint for exercising too much freedom,” is the name of a recent video clip put together by Picard.
Manchester Police Chief Marc Montminy said it’s clearly staged.
“They were here because we were holding a DWI check point on that date,” Montminy said.
Picard, of East Hartford, claims it was not staged, but you can see he recorded the incident with his cellphone and admits he requested dashcam video and the 911 call. The incident happened on May 27 outside a Manchester McDonald's. Picard had his gun with him and Dontrell Brown had two.
“Several officers responded at a high rate of speed to protect the public,” said Montminy.
“They drew their weapons, forced us to the ground, handcuffed us. As the caller said, we were just friends hanging out and talking," said Picard.
Montminy said, “They behaved correctly, did what they had to do to protect the public. When officers realized they weren't there to shoot anybody, there was no drive-by taking place, they released the individuals.”
Police are concerned situations like this can put others in danger. “We ended up wasting a considerable amount of police resources on this incident which turned out not to be a crime,” said Montminy.
FOX 61 asked Picard if there was any point he felt it could get out of hand. He answered, “Of course, I do, but that's not going to stop me from exercising my rights,” said Picard.
Chief Montminy says in Connecticut you can legally walk around holding your gun as long as you're not pointing it, and police can't ask for your permit. Montminy says there was a proposal that came up which would have required gun owners to show their gun permit to police if questioned, but it failed and lawmakers never voted on it.