Deputy Andy Cox is facing a federal lawsuit after he harassed and detained a legal concealed carry permit owner for “displaying” his gun.
In July of 2009, Citrus County resident Joel Smith and his wife were detained at a traffic stop for non-criminal traffic code violation. During the stop, Mr. Smith exited his vehicle to speak with Citrus County deputy Andy Cox, who asked Mr. Smith for proof of insurance for the vehicle. Mr. Smith turned with his back toward the officer and leaned into the vehicle to retrieve the document at which time his lawfully carried and holstered firearm peeked out from under his shirt.
Florida Carry consulting attorney J. Patrick Buckley III who is also representing Mr. Smith in the case summed up the case:
“Improper law enforcement training coupled with an emotional overreaction is detrimental to the civil rights of Floridians. When a Constitutional officer then delays the resulting internal investigation to permit the untrained officer to walk away without so much as a slap on the wrist, it illustrates a systematic absence of accountability in those we trust to protect us.”
Joining Mr. Smith as plaintiff, Florida Carry is representing its membership and millions of Florida gun owners in the lawsuit. Named as defendants are Deputy Andy Cox, Sergeant Dave Fields, Sheriff Jeffrey Dawsy, and Citrus County. The plaintiffs are represented by the Law Offices of J. Patrick Buckley III, located in Fort Myers, FL.