By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — Two men were arrested Sunday when they walked into the Dearborn police station carrying weapons and wearing body armor.
James Baker, 24, from Leonard, is known as an open-carry advocate on social media and recored the confrontation with Dearborn police.
Brando Vreeland, 40, from Jackson, joined Baker at the station as shown during a livestream broadcast through Facebook.
Both men entered the station to file a complain about a traffic stop earlier that same day.
The initial traffic stop occurred that afternoon when officers responded to Ford Road and Southfield to investigate a report of two suspicious men wearing tactical vests and masks.
Baker and Leonard left the scene before police arrived, but an officer on patrol shortly after observed the men parked sitting in the vehicle about three miles away.
According to police, the two men refused to speak with the sergeant. A preliminary investigation was conducted and after no firearms were found in the passenger compartment, Baker and Leonard were released.
About an hour later, both men arrived at the Dearborn police station with the firearms, tactical vests, masks, camera and tripod.
“We’re going to file a complaint because we were illegally pulled over,” Backer can be heard saying during the video. “We felt a little afraid we were pulled over so we figured we better protect ourselves.”
Dearborn police officers quickly reacted saying, “Put it on the ground or you are dead. I will shoot you. I will put a round in you. What the hell is the matter with you?”
Baker stated that his right to bear arms is legal before the video feed disappears, but the audio continues and there were no shots fired during the confrontation.
The two men were taken into custody without incident and posted the $1,500 bond to be released pending future court appearances.
Baker is expected to face charges of breaching the peace, failure to cooperate with police and concealing his identity by wearing a mask.
Vreeland also faces breaching the peace, obstructing police and failure to cooperate with police charges.
Neither man had been arraigned in court as of publication.
In total, police confiscated a loaded AP-14 firearm, loaded Glock 19 handgun, AR-15 rifle, AK-47-style rifle and two magazines containing over 70 rounds.
Body armor, ballistic vests, masks, guns belt and multiple pieces of camera equipment were also seized from the men.
“I find this behavior totally unacceptable and irresponsible,” Police Chief Ronald Haddad said. “This is not a Second Amendment issue for me. We had members of the public in our lobby that fled in fear for their safety as these men entered our building.
“I want to express my appreciation for the many calls of support we’ve received from the community including a call from the president of Michigan Open Carry Inc. who made it clear that he and his organization stand with law enforcement and unequivocally condemn the actions that took place in our lobby this past Sunday.”
The video from the traffic stop can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=frwLksC00PA and the police station lobby incident can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=cr6zQLvPMpw.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at email@example.com.)