City cop draws gun on shoe store owner, pats him down


Noah McLemore, 38, runs a shoe store on Highway 58 in Chattanooga. He was subject to an arbitrary body search, interrogation, arrest and search of his shop by Chattanooga police. (Photo David Tulis)

Police activity to seize innocent people apart from a judicial order or the actual witnessing of a crime is within the scope of the kidnapping statute in the Bible. In that authority, kidnapping is, like murder or rape, an offense deserving of capital punishment.

By David Tulis / 92.7 NoogaRadio

A Facebook video seen 9 million times tells about Akil Carter, 18, in a Lexus with his white grandmother and her white female friend in a Wisconsin town. Officers in that arrest tell a tale that someone, an alleged black passer-by in a car, had tipped them that the black man was robbing the two white women.

After his car halts, Mr. Carter is forced to walk backward, drop under gun muzzles to his knees, is accused, questioned and caged before police admit it “was a really big misunderstanding” and thus a false arrest. Even after the “mistake” is discovered, for six minutes cops interrogate Mr. Carter under cuffs, demanding name, address and DOB.

A milder copy of the Akil Carter case is the Aug. 3 arrest of Noah McLemore, 38, of Chattanooga, an entrepreneur with a new shoe and clothing store on Highway 58. (video below). The principle of executive power apart from judicial authority in the Carter case applies to the harm to Mr. McLemore, who is taken from his store, arrested, detained, interrogated and searched apart from any lawful authority or sworn statement by a witness to a crime.

A capital offense under rules of divine equity

In the law of God, kidnapping is a capital offense. “He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death.” Exodus 21:16.

Chattanooga police have a rich history of abusive treatment of innocent people, especially those with black or brown skin. In November, city government and one of its cops, David Campbell, face civil trial by Hanson Melvin, who was falsely arrested, kidnapped, indicted by felony perjury statements and bullied after his return to his house by a multi-officer conspiracy, according to his affidavit and court filing.

Officer Campbell was fired for violating departmental rules. Conveniently, Neal Pinkston, elected district attorney of Hamilton County, ignored the perjury, oppression and kidnapping elements of the case.

These are cases of abuse from Mayor Andy Berke’s executive department that will continue in Chattanooga indefinitely.

The only way these acts of violence by armed city employees will stop is if Christians, who number in the tens of thousands in this jurisdiction, will declare the evangelical purposes of God’s law and seek to restore justice in the city. The gospel is the law of liberty, and forbids oppression and misuse of any lawful authority.

Noah McLemore describes how he was accosted by officers in three cruisers, interrogated and patted down while he was taking a break in the front entrance of his store on Highway 58 in Chattanooga. (Photo David Tulis)

However, at least one or two Christians in Chattanooga reject the gospel as a standard for righteous conduct of courts and government, so their lack of involvement will limit the success long-term of a push toward lawful and freedom-protecting civil government.

Causeless seizure of harmless citizen

A city cop tries to secures the public interest by intruding upon the rights of a business owner without a judicial warrant, probable cause or having eyewitnessed any crime. (Photo Facebook)

Mr. McLemore is wise enough to make a Facebook Live record of his encounter with a female officer. She comes up the front of the store with her gun drawn, he says, as he is standing in the front door smoking a cigarette Aug. 3 in broad daylight.

She demands authority for a pat-down search, orders him to spread eagle his feet on the sidewalk and put his hands on his window pane of his store. She pats him down, giving no statement as to why and asks him if he has anything that could hurt her on his person. (It’s an apparent Terry patdown outside the scope of that court standard.)

Mr. McLemore protests repeatedly that he has his ID and his business license in his store, but she refuses to allow him to get these documents.

Police public information officer Rob Simmons has been asked for comment about the video, but Mr. Simmons and his department rarely respond to press queries.

City rejects conversation as a police tool

The officer on camera lies about Mr. McLemore’s reactions to her surprise appearance.

McLemore: “My business license is displayed on the wall, ma’am, where it’s supposed to be.”

Officer: “I saw that. I did not know that to begin with. When I’m asking you for — when I ask you for your ID you were being very hostile toward me about giving me any information about why I was talking to you and everything else.”

The city employee’s approach is militant and summary, as if the citizen is mere chattel and required to prove his innocence.

If Chief David Roddy cares about Chattanooga’s prosperity, he will be training his officers to try an alternative approach to “investigating” a suspicious person. The cop would simply have walked up to him and started a conversation. “So, how’s business going? I see you’re new to this shop, which has been empty for awhile. Have you found customers yet? A lot of vehicle traffic, you can tell, but I know signage might be expensive. Have you sold shoes before? Are these good brands with a good markup? Any suggestions for shoes for my son? Etc etc.”

She would simply have had a conversation with Mr. McLemore and determined that he is a harmless and innocent person doing business, an entrepreneur in the Chattanooga local economy and free market. She would have departed without every having had to assert her authority.

But no. She creeps up the side of her building with her automatic pistol drawn, Mr. McLemore says, expecting to be attacked.

Where is the authority?

At the end of the video, she alleges that there had been a call by a stranger, without a warrant, without any kind of judicial appeal or authority, who said that there were people in the building who don’t belong there. And so the officer who does not identify herself deals with an innocent citizen as a criminal suspect, on an anonymous tip without substantiation, and without any criminal or judicial warrant or authority.

Searches are premised on warrants or clear representation of a lethal or criminal threat. Not otherwise.

Arrest apart from lawful warrant or judicial authority is a kidnapping. “Under the biblical law, the two cops would be taken to court for kidnapping, and would be handed the death penalty,” says Bo Marinov of Reconstructionist Radio podcast network, “unless the boy agrees to a more favorable resolution, like a monetary payment. And if he agreed to payment, the cops would have to pay it out of their own pockets, even if that means they will have to be left homeless and destitute.

“Thus we are to remove wickedness from our society. Under the current laws, the cops will get no punishment and the boy will still be vulnerable to future harassment, and maybe even murdered by a cop someday, because of thugs in uniform ‘felt in danger.’”

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