DEARBORN, Mich. (WXYZ) - Two open carry activists who walked into the Dearborn Police Department armed with guns, body armor and video cameras last month were due in court Friday morning for a probable cause hearing.
Surveillance video captured the men walking into the building last month, while police are seen and heard telling them to put down their weapons.
"Dude, put that on the ground. Put it on the ground... Or you are dead," an officer, with guns drawn is heard screaming.
It’s one of two incidents involving open carry activists in February that caught the department’s attention and has them currently working with state legislators to review Michigan’s open carry laws.
Brandon Vreeland, 40, and James Baker, 24, were charged with carrying a concealed weapon, resisting arrest and disturbing the peace. Baker was also charged with brandishing a weapon.
The two men are currently out on bond. After today's probable cause hearing, the men will have a preliminary exam on March 17.
According to Nicholas Somberg, the attorney representing Vreeland, the surveillance video doesn’t show any illegal activity by either man.
“It doesn’t show my client breaking any law, certainly not felony firearm laws -- certainly not felony resisting arrest,” said Somberg.
The Dearborn Police Department declined comment about Somber’s statements that the video proves his client’s innocence; Chief Ronald Haddad said that they’ll do their speaking in court.
He did, however, speak about the incident shortly after it occurred in February stating that the men didn’t have the right to do what they did, and questioned how the public is supposed to handle these situations.
“What would someone at a restaurant do if those people that invaded the police station on that Sunday came in there while you were having dinner with your family?” Chief Haddad asked.
“The ultimate objective is public safety for everyone, including police officers.”
Public reaction to the initial video of the incident has been mixed.
Watch the video above. (It does contain graphic language)
Somberg told 7 Action News that he isn't fighting public opinion, adding that the law is clear, and that in his opinion neither of the men involved in the February incident inside the Dearborn Police Department broke laws.
“Most police know the law and this doesn’t happen,” said Somberg. “Mr. Vreeland has been arrested for this before, but he was let go. The charges were dropped. They didn’t do anything wrong. I get it. I get it completely. I mean, Second Amendment supporters have even spoken out against this. I get the emotional argument to it, but lets get these charges dropped and then we can talk from there.”
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