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UPDATE: Green Bay Police react to planned open carry demonstration

by
Open carry supporters (Photo from: FOX 11).
Open carry supporters (Photo from: FOX 11).

GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - An open carry advocate is planning to bring some gun-toting friends to downtown Green Bay this weekend in response to a police incident last weekend.

Charles Branstrom says he'll be with a small group at bar close early Sunday morning on Washington Street openly carrying firearms.

“Everybody I know has a cool head, I don’t see a problem with it,” Branstrom told FOX 11. “I guess it’s up to Green Bay police if it’s going to turn bad or not.”

Branstrom says it's designed to show opposition to how Green Bay Police Officer Derek Wicklund acted in a now viral cell phone video.

FOX 11 asked Branstrom why he is holding the event, and what his gun-rights message has to do with the video.

“We’re doing this just to show that we’re not going to stand by and let police brutality happen,” said Branstrom. “It seems to be a growing trend.”

Branstrom says police acted inappropriately toward him last year while he was legally carrying a gun.

Green Bay Police Department Lt. Chad Ramos is reacting to the plans from Branstrom and his group.

"Unfortunately maybe Charles and some of these other advocates are looking for a reaction out of police," said Lt. Ramos. "We just want to make sure we are ethically and morally doing what's correct and right on the street and not to be driven by emotion."

Ramos says their concern isn't open carry; it's holding this event where people are drinking and possibly emotional about the issue.

"I hope that those individuals understand going into this, while they may have some supporters, with the emotionally charged incidents that just happened, there's certainly going to be some intoxicated people down there that may not agree," Ramos said.

Police won't comment on what, if any, action they plan to take. However, Ramos says the words of Branstrom could be taken a certain way.

"An inference can be taken from their comments that if they see something they deem inappropriate, being there exercising their 2nd Amendment right, they're not going to stand by and let it happen," Ramos said. "You're suggesting that your action may include that firearm. Now I hope a cooler head would prevail."

 

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