Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

BPD Makes Arrest for Failure to Consent to Unlawful Search

Who knows this guy?

Ron Funches

If you have never heard of this guy, he goes by the name of Ron Funches. He's a comedian; a self-described "300 pound black man that giggles like an asian schoolgirl," and he's hilarious!!! Check him out, you won't be disapppointed.

What if I told you this guy was packing heat?  After you watched his stand-up routine, you probably wouldn't feel very intimidated about that fact.  I mean, he may very well be licensed to do so, and if he is, he'd be well within his second amendemt rights to bear arms that Donald Trump and the NRA keep talking about.

Now, with that in mind, read the following narrative from the Boston Police Department:

  • About 2:44 AM on Saturday, July 2, 2016, officers from District B-2 (Roxbury) responded to a call for a large man carrying a gun in the area of Copeland and Warren Streets. On arrival, officers observed a large black male, heavy build, weighing approximately 300 lbs, wearing a blue baseball cap, white t-shirt, blue jeans and white sneakers. Upon seeing the individual, officers approached and informed him that they had received a report of a man with a gun. Officers further informed the individual that he matched the description of the individual they were looking for. When officers asked the suspect if they could frisk him, the suspect objected and turned away from the officers. At this point, officers observed a large bulge on the suspect’s right side. When officers attempted to frisk the suspect, a physical altercation ensued. After a lengthy struggle, officers were able to subdue the suspect and gain possession of the firearm.

Nevermind the deeply vague description which this guy "matched."  Ask yourself where the police stepped over the line in this case.  This guy was minding his own business, and for all anyone knew he had not committed any crime whatsover.  Carrying a firearm is not a crime, carrying a firearm without a license to do so is. Guess what else is illegal without a license?  Driving a car, but the police don't get to pull you over without any cause whatsoever; ask if they can "frisk" you; and then attmpt to do so over your objection when you don't consent.  That is exactly what they did in this case. The fact that he didn't have a license for the gun is irrelevant because they only found that out later, and the fact that he didn't consent to the search does not mean they were allowed to assume he was committing a crime at the time.

When this guy refused to submit to a "consensual" search, the police should have let him go on his way, since he had bothered exactly zero people, and as far as they knew, had committed exactly zero crimes.