X Files: Fact-Checking Michigan State Trooper Who Trashed CPL Holders

x-files mulder scully
“Mulder, take a look at this huge load of bovine excrement. That can’t be naturally occurring.”

The Michigan State Police took to X/Twitter to tell the the story of someone who misused a pistol during a road rage incident. Yesterday at about 1:30 PM, some state troopers responded to the scene of an accident on I-94 in Detroit. While they were blocking a lane or doing whatever they were doing to help, someone pulled up and told them that a man had just pointed a gun at them.

According to the complainant, the guy with the pistol couldn’t keep his cool during the traffic backup caused by the crash, and during a subsequent bout of road rage, the man pulled his pistol and brandished it.

Troopers then sent a description of the vehicle by radio and other troopers were able to catch up to the alleged road rager. During the traffic stop, the man was searched and found to have a handgun and a concealed pistol license (CPL). He was arrested and taken to jail.

If this is true as reported, there’s probably no defense for what the guy did. We have to keep the principle of “innocent until proven guilty” in mind here, as we’re only getting one side of the story, so more details could come once the guy lawyers up and gives a statement (you should never talk to police without a lawyer, BTW).

Assuming this was a case of brandishing to intimidate during road rage, however, that’s behavior that all gun owners will rightly condemn. There’s no excuse for that nonsense, legally or morally.

But rather than simply relating the facts of what happened, the MSP’s Lieutenant Michael Shaw — a “Master Public Information Officer” — decided to use the opportunity to suck up to the governor by adding this commentary . . .

He said,

Here is another example of a CPL holder not being able to handle their emotions because traffic was slowed due to a crash. This suspect lost their cool, grabbed an accessible hand gun and put others at risk. We are lucky he didn’t pull the trigger.

As you can see in the screenshot above (which I grabbed in case the MSP wises up and deletes the tweet) Lt. Shaw is about to get fact checked. As a Community Notes reviewer, I can see proposed notes that are still being voted on, and I was happy to find that there was a high-quality note there that did exactly what I planned to do with this article . . .

Exactly. The implication that comes from calling this “another example” makes it sound as if this a common problem. Lt. Shaw is tarring CPL holders in Michigan as menaces to society, implying that permit/license holders are a bunch of hot-headed rage monkeys who can’t control themselves.

There’s just one problem with that. Like most other states, Michigan collects data on crimes committed by licensed concealed carriers, and the data simply don’t support Shaw’s assertion. Crimes committed by permit holders are much more rare than those committed by the general population.

If you’re on X/Twitter, I’d definitely recommend signing up for Community Notes. After rating enough notes, you can write proposed notes yourself for others to vote on. Fact checking, especially bogus statements like this from irresponsible government officials, is important and we should take the opportunity to debunk anti-gun nonsense whenever and wherever possible.

I’d also add that making false statements for the purpose of denying people their civil rights is unbecoming to anyone who wears a badge. Like all state troopers, the lieutenant took this oath . . .

“I am a Michigan State Trooper, entrusted to keep sacred the traditions of my department. I will always serve honestly and faithfully, surrendering my life for others if necessary. When I am called upon to act, I will not shy from conflict or deviate from my call to duty, serving anyone who may be in peril or distress. I will obey the laws of Michigan, the United States of America and the directives of my department. I will not consider race, color, or creed when enforcing the law. I will perform my duties with excellence, integrity and courtesy, and conduct myself in a manner that honors those who served before me. I am a Michigan State Trooper.” (emphasis added)

When a police officer behaves like Lt. Shaw did, he brings shame on everyone who wears the uniform. He erodes public trust not only in his own agency, but in law enforcement officers everywhere.

The people of Michigan deserve better than to be “served” by oath breakers like this.

3 Responses

  1. Particularly galling since LE has a higher convicted crime rate than those who hold firearm carry permits…

    1. Yep, typically CC crime rates lower than LE. That officer/official should be removed from that position and demoted to janitor.

      1. JC he should never have a taxpayer funded job again. He should try finding a job it the public sector. Might be hard to do with the felony oath breaking conviction he deserves.

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