Mr. Hwang had police officers draw firearms on him before arresting him because he was peacefully minding his own business. As it turns out Mr. Hwang is a lawyer, which means this case is likely to get very interesting:
Sung-Ho Hwang (pictured at left), a 46-year-old lawyer and president-elect of the New Haven County Bar Association, was arrested Tuesday night at an evening showing of the latest Batman movie at the Criterion. Three patrons saw him carry a gun into the theater and— on the heels of a mass shooting at an Aurora, Colo. screening of the same movie last month—called the cops. They swept into the theater and charged Hwang with breach of peace and interfering after he allegedly refused to obey orders to show his hands.
Arresting a lawyer that wasn’t doing anything illegal is a good way to find yourself at the business end of a rather nasty lawsuit. The article does state that Mr. Hwang was arrested for refusing to obey the police officers’ orders but those orders, which were for everybody in the theater to raise their hands and submit to a pat down, weren’t lawful and thus shouldn’t have been obeyed. It would be like your neighbor coming to your home and demanding you give him $50.00 for no reason at all. In such a situation you should rightly ignore your neighbor’s demands.
Adding a little spice to the story it appears as through the mayor of New Haven, Connecticut is a little despot:
At a 4 p.m. press conference Wednesday, Mayor John DeStefano and Police Chief Dean Esserman stood behind the cops and condemned Hwang’s behavior. DeStefano said people shouldn’t carry guns into dark movie theaters.
“Just because something is legal, doesn’t make it right,” DeStefano said.
Emphasis mine. Whether something is right or not has no relevance to this case, the only thing that matters is whether or not Mr. Hwang’s actions in the theater were legal. Since he possessed a valid carry permit it was legal for him to carry his firearm into that theater and therefore he shouldn’t have been arrested by the police. In fact I question the legality of sending police officers into a theater and having them demand every patron stand up, raise their hands, walk out of the theater in a single file line, and submit to a warrantless search of their persons. If anybody should be considered criminals in this case it’s the New Haven police officers.