Open carry advocate, ‘cop watcher’ speaks out about arrest

This past Saturday, three “cop watchers” were arrested while video recording Arlington police who were conducing a traffic stop, local media reports.

The three cop watchers identified as Kory Watkins, Janie Lucero, and Joseph Tye now face criminal charges for interfering with public duties.

In addition to being a cop watcher, Watkins and his wife Lucero are proud open-carry advocates who’ve been targeted by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America for lawfully carrying long arms into supermarkets.

Watkins spoke at length to CW 33 about the arrest Saturday night, maintaining that he did nothing wrong.

“I was following the orders of the police officer that was telling me to move backwards and at that time, that`s when the police officer from behind me, came in with his car and almost hit me and my wife. And shortly after that I was arrested,” said Watkins.

Watkins contends that it was his temper that caused the officer to put the three in cuffs, but emphasized that he never broke the law.

“Being upset isn`t illegal. I didn`t hurt anybody,” Watkins continued. “There was a car coming at my wife. Any normal husband would get angry at that. Even if somebody is yelling at an police officer — doesn`t matter if they’re yelling rainbows and butterflies or if they’re yelling f-bombs and s-bombs. That’s not illegal.”

However, police officials believe that Watkins, his wife and friend went too far with their surveillance and inhibited the officers at the scene.

“Out of approximately 20 people out there recording the officers three were arrested because they did interfere,” Jeffrey Houston, Sergeant of the Media Office for the Arlington Police Department, said. “‘The issue is these people were interfering with the call and not allowing the officers to do their job.”

Officials said that they have no problem when the public records police officers at work, but the public needs to respect their commands.

“If an officer says, ‘Can you step back a little bit?’ then you probably need to step back at that point,” Sgt Houston explains. “As a whole, we go out of our way not to take enforcement action on these groups; but when it becomes interference with the officers, they can`t do their job. We had to take action.”

Meanwhile, at least one gun-control group believes Watkins behavior is indicative of a larger trend within the gun community.

Following their arrest, Moms Demand Action began disseminating this flier.  (Photo: Kory Watkins)

Following their arrest, Moms Demand Action began disseminating this flier. (Photo: Kory Watkins)

“Kory Watkins and the various other members of Open Carry Texas are a textbook example of the consequences of the insurrectionist ideology that has been promoted by the NRA and other gun lobby groups for decades,” said Ladd Everitt from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence in an email obtained by GunsAmerica.

“This is a group that has been actively seeking physical confrontations with law enforcement officers since the very beginning,” Everitt continued. “That none of these confrontations have resulted in violence is a testament to the professionalism and restraint of our men and women in blue, and it belies OCT’s ridiculous claims of ‘tyranny’ and ‘oppression.'”

“What is perhaps most disturbing, however, is that OCT’s activity has been given the overt blessing of Texas legislators like Craig Estes. If violence does eventually result from their activities, the blood will be on their hands,” concluded Everitt.

But Watkins believes that video recording the police is the best way to keep law enforcement honest and to “make sure there is a fine line of transparency for everybody to see.”

He added, “Just in case something happens on the police stop. We could be able to help the police department if need be. We could help the person who is getting pulled over or we could help ourselves.”

GunsAmerica also reached out to Watkins for comment. We’re awaiting his response.

{ 25 comments… add one }
  • Joseph Garrigan November 28, 2016, 12:59 pm

    Some of the paranoid crap I just read in the comments section is truely why we as Americans get a bad reputation .Second the video and several commentors bring it up but interfering with police duties is illegal for one . Doing so to include yelling at a cop proves your an idiot . Doing so while armed openly where you are literally trying to force a confrontation makes you an a**hole who is doing nothing to further the cause.

  • Roger Bullard June 8, 2015, 2:13 pm

    Everyone appears to be missing the point!!! Carrying a firearm in the first place, is a statement of leave me alone! Not in a mean way but in reference to those who wish to do harm to us or others. People will get use to seeing and enter acting with those who open carry over time. Give it that time.
    As for wanting to save lives , perhaps outlawing cell phones, honeybees, fireants, politicians, hammers , rocks ( Cain and Abel thing) knives, etc. etc. etc. you get the point.
    As to the police problems (which are many) they are being feed a large helping of us verses them orders. Sad for both sides and it is sides! They are being militarized not for our protection but for the sole reason of controlling we the people when the time comes to force us into some form of camp or prison! No society ever has escaped this reality, none!!!
    Point being, as long as a right can be hindered by a persons point of view or fear of what ifs, or you attach qualifierers to it ( permits fees etc. ) than that right is doomed!!!!!! A right has none of those!!!!! We have already lost the war! We will continue to win battles, but because we accept these limitations on are rights, we have lost, not perhaps in our lifetime but our children or grandchildren will have to endure our petty enfighting as they are herded off into camps and death chambers or the likes because that guy wanted to carry a rifle openly instead of a pistol, or concealed.
    You all should be ashamed of your self. A right is a right is a right!!!! Not to be bartered away!
    As a side note, the liberals convinced us it is our right to kill our not yet born children as free speech!!!!!!!!
    GOD DAMN AMERICA What have we done???
    It is time we get on our knees at night and ask for foregiveness and pick up our guns and fight for our souls and those of are aborted children, and those yet to be aborted. Clean up the cities of gangs and drugs. Seal the borders and eject the illegals. Vote in average people to high office. No more career politicians. Or just put me on every ballot in every state for President and I will do your heavy lifting and return us to a more peaceful lawful society, of the people, by the people, for the people. Then we may truthfully be able to ask GOD to BLESS the USA!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Richard Holmes September 19, 2014, 7:09 pm

    I have a CCW and regularly carry concealed. If I see that guy and his wife walking around carrying those weapons, I will definitely avoid them. He seems to be looking for trouble.

    • Frank Staples August 19, 2016, 5:28 pm

      I agree with you…guys and girls I am as rabid a gun owner as you’ll ever meet but by carrying longarms around you are simply hurting our cause. Leave the stinkin’ rifles at home, people! It is quite common to see people around here carrying pistols and rarely does anyone ever give them a second glance. But if I see someone with a rifle in a store then I’m going to keep an eye on them as I would consider them to be troublemakers.

  • Russ September 16, 2014, 2:34 am

    Sometimes I think these guys who confront and show off are “plants” to cause problems.
    The people I know that like and carry firearms have respect for others and mind their own business. They are polite and always willing to help out.
    Some places in this country are very pussafied and are far removed from the glory days of open carry.
    I live in one of those places, California.
    It’s going to take a long time educating the public about firearms and how they are the reason we have liberty and freedom in this country. The socialist have brainwashed a large portion of my State

    I’m going to relate my pet snake to open carry.
    I don’t take my Python outside and walk down the street with it.
    I could, there’s no law against it.
    But I don’t because some people are scared to death of it.
    It causes much attention towards me and others are very distracted and give me looks, good and bad.
    At the very least they crowd around me asking all kinds of crazy questions.

    When I CC, most people could care less about me and hardly even give me eye contact.
    So I like it that way and don’t really want to impose my preferences on others in the first place.

    I kind of live life like the TV show “Rifleman” You guys watch that? Don’t laugh, but I wish it were like that now.
    Unlike Lars, if I saw someone carrying a rifle or any other firearm for that matter, it wouldn’t scare me or make me pull my weapon. I would be just as diligent as I always am in public.
    Eyes and ears open, pretty much ready for anything.
    Having respect for others and minding my own business.

  • Glen September 15, 2014, 11:06 pm

    The problem with the open carry issue is how does anyone surmise who is sane and wants to open carry, and those with mental issues who want to shoot up a school or mall. At what point does the general public become concerned with an individual open carrying walking inside a mall or a major retail store? At what point does the general public become concerned with an individual walking next to a school with an open carry firearm?

    I believe banning weapons, especially assault weapons is just a cowardly politician trying to make a point, because that politician does not have the guts to ban handguns, which kills more individuals in one year than assault weapons in five!

    In California, the silly simple minded politicans have banned the .50BMG, which has not killed a single soul. I believe a law abiding citizen should have the right to own any gun, and feel it is within our Constitutional Right to do so.

    I do believe in extensive background check, I do believe in firearm training, but more so, the issues on mental health needs to be addressed in this country. Many would rather blame the gun, instead of the nut behind it that shoots up a school. Gun control is the answer from individuals who ignorant in gun ownership and responsibility. It is my belief that any parent with a child who has a mental issue and uses a gun in a violent act should be held responsible, any parent who let’s a child access to a firearm where someone is killed or injured should be responsible, any individual who has anger management issues should not be allowed to possess a firearm, any felon should not be able to possess a firearm, any individual with violent misdemeanor conviction should not be allowed to possess a firearm. What we are lacking in this country is social responsibility, and fundamental morality.

    But with these points opens up much more debate, as to who has the right to request an evaluation as to whether someone has mental issues, and many more. There unfortunately is no quick answer, but in the hands of politicians it just gets worse! I do not believe in open carry, simply because there are too many idiots out there that will make open carry a safety issue. I do not believe in banning any firearm, I do believe in conceal carry with permit.

    So, some would say what is the difference between open carry where a gun is plainly visible, and conceal carry. The answer is simple, which gives greater public fear. With concealment, a law abiding citizen still has the right to carry, but without causing a fear response to the general public. Most people wanting to open carry in my opinion are trying make a point and advertise that that individual is carrying a firearm, rather than having the gun for a useful purpose.

    I look forward to the many replies against my views now, lol

  • BRASS September 15, 2014, 9:25 pm

    If all they want to do is make a record of the incident(s), buy a long range lens and a parabolic microphone and stay back out of the way. They can get close up videos and catch every sound cleanly and accurately with a little time and money invested. There is no need to get right up in the cops faces.
    Standing up for ones rights and needless confrontation are two different things. One is good, the other is not.

  • Michael Murphy September 15, 2014, 5:58 pm

    Info Warriors I bet ! Mr. Alex Jones Was right all a Long after all these years !
    ]
    MRAPS and Swat Military gear and The US Army Training Our National Guards to take Us Down ( A Hint was Given by Holder in Ferguson Mo . Under Martial Law !

    Now Really,Obama Opened the gates|- | at the Borders and now an ISIS flag, A warning 9/11 Sign on the TX borders Prayer Rugs and Ouaran’s Purposely Scattered along the TX and AZ Borders and Known by the FBI
    were the Muslim Training Camps are on US Soil ! The Honduras Flue in the Midwest !

    I hope they Sue. Enough ! WE The People are your benefactors , And Shall not be Treadled Upon!

  • Lars September 15, 2014, 5:53 pm

    I believe in the 2nd Amendment. If I saw anyone with a long gun in a grocery store, or on a public sidewalk I’d pull my cc weapon and prepare for a shoot-out. With all the public killing going on wouldn’t you be paranoid of a person holding a rifle?? If your really standing up for your 2nd amendment rights brandish your rifle at a public school.
    Next, since your so concerned about the 2nd amendment do you let the TSA at airports search you and your belongings totally violating your 4th amendment rights ?? I’m amazed that open carry 2nd amendment supporters just ignore the millions of people getting there 4th amendment rights trounced, and they do nothing. A amendment is a amendment.

    • Michael Murphy September 15, 2014, 6:55 pm

      Dear Moderator Please do not delete this Comment ! Dear Lars Where do You Live ?

      I live in NV were No Cowards Live !and I carry a Rock River Pistol Rifle in.223 .Why do I need a permit to hide it ? Ask Dave Champion of The Dave Champion/tv Show.com No Known statistics Prove that a Open Carry brings on a Conflict . I carry Open Pistol or revolver or both in Las Vegas All the time and Hide it appreciatory by the private Guards and they do not bother me, in the Clubs and I do not drink or do drugs OK !

      I have never heard any one yet in AZ get into a Conflict,There is Still An Option CHL AZ for 38 State But NV shut down the reciprocity with AZ ? why The Dem ,NV ATTY General is On her way out ! because of State law Constitutional carry A Violation of AZ Right to carry CCW with no permit. Legally ! NV can not legally stop you from Hiding your Gun In NV Under Our NV Constitution ! The NRA needs to Stop the Push !

      So The Fine Patriots Open carry( No License or a CHL needed read our NV Constitution ) in NV from AZ to make a Point ! In NV Dave Champion and Ex Cop and US ARMY Ranger and Fire Arms Instructor, what he would think about what you said . If the Rifle is hanging off your back shouldered, barrel down, who cares ! only Liberals care and they have no power but Whine.

      if it is At the ready hanging Down off a Neck Shoulder Ops Sling well I would wacth him too..other then that you are in Violation of Brandishing your weapon in NV ,if he is not making the attack against You or any one else in Public. You are Starting a no Nonsense threat.

      You must recognize the threat If you were Pointing first with no proof of any NV or Fed gun Laws Violated.but start the conflict and panic your self. Lars you are 100 % In the Wrong !

  • Kenneth Barber September 15, 2014, 4:24 pm

    We need an article V convention of states. http://www.conventionofstates.com

    • Michael Murphy September 15, 2014, 6:25 pm

      Hell No !.. Mark Levine want’s a Separate 10 Bill of rights separated ? To hell with Him !

      We had one and it was a failure . The 17 Amendment gave More Power in the Senate to tell the States to basically to F off and die ! ( why do we tolerate Harry Reid And The Black box Illegal Voting gave it to him and Obama( 2 times ) In NV when the Numbers said Different, for Romney and in the last U.S Senate race against Ingals .Dose the year 1913 sound familiar ! The Fed Reserve that led to Control over our Gold ,Silver “Legal Coin and Tender.” and the Worthless Paper Dollar today Thank You FDR and Nixon. of all People and I am a Republican. ! And now our U.S.Reserve dollar (Audit the Fed ) Reserve Vote Happens this week around the world is Under attack because of our Worthless leaders in D.C ! To let the People vote for US Senators became a Farce. Answer of my Proof. Why do you send me News Letters to Support you in KY while I live in NV. Or bring delegates from NY to Con the Democrat Party and Nevadans ,paid for by Bloomberg and Anti Pro Gun Control Commies to change our Back round Check Laws ? and it brought in the Progressive Movement Warned by the Founding Fathers.
      Wow .. They saw the PC in there Vision of Wise Laws .because they Believed in Divine Intervention !

  • Chuck Troupe September 15, 2014, 4:13 pm

    I live in Arizona where concealed and open carry is legal with no permit required. Everyday I see people in super markets, movie theaters, public parks … and just walking down the street with their sidearms in plain sight and safely holstered. We all see it … the police see it … and everything is common place and cool (we have no way of knowing who is and who is not carrying concealed. I am a 72 year old, retired private citizen, of at least average intelligence who has never suffered any kind of brain damage, so like the majority of my fellow citizens we have no sudden and irrational panic attacks while living, moving and having our being among our fellow well-armed citizens. However, I can totally understand how most people would be highly concerned should a couple of people walk into the local WalMart store looking like Bonnie and Clyde.

    And if Bonnie and Clyde should get “upset” when confronted by our local police, well, my sympathies are with the police.

    Going about armed (in public) for the purpose of self defense is not usually done with a rifle. If you decide to do this, then please, don’t play stupid … expect to be questioned by the police. The first question will probably be something like … “Excuse me sir, but what exactly do you think you’re doing with that rifle?” And be advised, the question might be a little bit more intense if you happen to be carrying your long gun at port arms.

  • David Bernard September 15, 2014, 1:56 pm

    Mark, GT, Michael, Bob; I tip my hat to you guys. As a taxpayer, I want the law enforcement community to be able to function without harassment from people. I don’t want to pay more taxes to defer the additional cost of dealing with people that want to Monday morning quarterback police actions. Our current Mayor is wanting our police force to wear video cameras on their persons to counter the burning desire of people to insert themselves in police business. It is costly and its nuts. As a gun owner, I support our police and I will let the system deal with the few bad apples percentage wise that occasionally show up in police ranks. That same percentage shows up in all professions and organizations.

    • Michael Murphy September 15, 2014, 6:06 pm

      You Sir, Live in Fear of Your Serpents ,Opp’s Servants ! Are You Truly going to have our backs if we have to fight them Trying to Confiscate Our Fire Arms under a Pandemic Attack ?

  • senior citizen September 15, 2014, 1:15 pm

    There is always someone or a group that will not leave well enough alone, we used to have an legal open carry law in Calif. before a group started abusing it. Now the Anti-Gun Democrats voted to outlaw the open carry law. I am a NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, Outside the Home Instructor, Inside the Home Instructor and Chief Range Safety Officer along with a California CCW (like gold) license, and “FIRMLY BELIEVE IN THE SECOND AMENDMENT”. Be discrete and don’t bring unnecessary attention to the existing laws. Seems to me this person is looking for a few minutes of ” “FAME” at our expense.

    • DaveGinOly September 15, 2014, 2:49 pm

      You had an open carry law in California, and people “abused it”? How so? By doing what the law said they could do?
      Now you’re probably going to tell me that they went about in obvious groups, some armed with highly visible long guns. In the former situation, did they not retain their right to peaceably assemble when they elected to also do what the law allowed? In the latter, how is this different from what the law allowed? Did they attract the attention of the police? Obviously, because Joe Public has been conditioned by the MSM to fear firearms and their owners, doing what the law permitted will alarm him, and he will call the police. Now we’re back to where I started – if they were doing what the law permitted, was it their fault that alarmed Joe Public, and, if it did, should they have stopped doing what the law permitted because of the alarm their actions caused? So what good was the “permission” if you think people should not have exercised it for fear of the alarm it would cause?

  • bob h September 15, 2014, 10:59 am

    The video shows at least a dozen cops on the scene and the voice over says there were 20 “CopWatchers” recording police activity so this was obviously not a routine traffic stop. Watkins says he got arrested because he lost his temper and then rationalizes his behavior by claiming: A) there was a car coming at his wife and any normal husband would get upset over that and; B) it is perfectly legal to scream at police even if the screaming includes f-bombs.
    About A- The video doesn’t show that police car posing any danger to him or his wife. It simply ‘invaded his personal space’. Wander around a parking lot at night often enough and sooner or later a car is going to ‘invade your space’. The car’s driver may even honk his horn at you. Respond to that by screaming and cursing at the driver and you’re going to eventually find yourself in trouble. That’s simple common sense.
    About B- Whether screaming curses is legal or illegal depends on the situation. Do it in the privacy of your home and while you’ll be acting like an asshole you won’t be breaking any law. Do it in public where it can be interpreted as exacerbating a situation or as a threat to anyone and you’ll be acting like an asshole AND possibly breaking the law.
    Idiots like Watkins make all gun owners look bad.

  • Michael Lockhart September 15, 2014, 9:57 am

    I fail to see what open carry really accomplishes other than making yourself a target if bad guys with guns start something, but is there any consensus among gun owners, especially concealed carry advocates, as to whether the open carry groups or some of their more out front members are helping the pro gun control side or the pro 2nd amendment side.

    We are only one liberal Supreme Court appointee away from 2nd amendment restrictions and my opinion is that the the more news stories there are involving open carry the more likely those restrictions will come.

  • Mark September 15, 2014, 7:42 am

    This man has gotten more and more brazen in his actions lately and he finally crossed the line and was arrested. imo he has been looking for a physical confrontation with the police and when he finally gets what he’s been looking for he cries about it.
    I support open/concealed carry without a permit. I believe the 2nd Amendment is our carry permit.
    I support his open carry campaign, but I do believe he should try and not cause so much alarm doing it because it hurts our cause when he scares people. There is a fine line and just because it’s legal or right doesn’t mean it’s always the right thing to do it in the manner that he does it.
    He has lost a lot of support from me because of his position about interfering/confronting the police. I know a lot of officers and they are just like everyone else, they want to go home at night, hug their family, enjoy life, and imo should not have to put up with someone interfering with their job. I don’t care if he videos the police, but he should do so in a manner that doesn’t interfere with them.

    • GT September 15, 2014, 10:34 am

      Very well put Mark. I was trying to figure out how to put my feelings in a comment but you have just about said it all. These folks, and folks like them, need to get the cob out of their arse and get a life. Like you said, they’re just hurting the rest of us. My feelings are, these guys are extremists, they ain’t trying to solve a problem, they’re just acting out some sort of fantasy to bring attention to themselves. Besides, why do they need to carry a long gun into a supermarket when a legal CHL is much better? And if they want to film the cops why do they even need to be up close and personal. I have a point and shoot camera with 30 power lense capability that will film an altercation from a block away.

      • DaveGinOly September 15, 2014, 1:04 pm

        So a Muslim who wages “jihad” and cuts off people’s heads is not an “extremist,” he’s just a Muslim doing what his religion tells him to do – wage war against, and bring death to, unbelievers. But when an American citizen does what his Constitution says he has a right to do, he’s an “extremist”?

        • Richard Holmes September 19, 2014, 7:04 pm

          I cannot recall hearing anyone excuse terrorists who behead innocent people. Can you document this?

  • Al Barrs September 15, 2014, 7:31 am

    When one puts this and similar growing numbers of arrest incidents together with the recent topic of militarizing law enforcement one can see and understand why it is a bad idea to allow local law enforcement elements to be armed with military assault weapons, equipment and training.

    What these militant police officers did was in fact violate these 3 citizens’ constitutional rights, and it is the police who should be arrested and tried for violating their privacy. Police have no constitutional right to privacy when on duty…off duty yes… This is approaching domestic violence against U.S. citizens by the very law enforcement officers we pay to protect we U.S. citizens…

    This truly turns the world upside down…

  • Roger Tranfaglia September 12, 2014, 9:33 pm

    Watch MDA start accusing innocent people,who don’t even own guns,of “criminal” behavior.
    Perverted Justice(.com) has been doing it for YEARS now……..

    Roger V. Tranfaglia

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