Colorado’s new “Extreme Risk Protection Order” law, also known as a “Red Flag” law, went into effect on January 1. So, as predicted, the abuse of the Red Flag law in Colorado should be starting in… 3… 2… 1…
Yep, sure enough, as I’ve been predicting for years about Red Flag laws, the abuse of law abiding gun owners under this law (which is the entire purpose of Red Flag laws) started before the ink had even dried on the statute. What is significant about this Colorado case is that it’s even nuttier than anything I predicted about Red Flag laws.
Two Colorado State University police responded to calls about a man with a knife making threats in Fort Collins back in 2017. They found 19-year-old Jeremy Holmes carrying an 11-inch hunting knife when they responded to the scene. Both officers had body cams on at the time, so the entire exchange was captured on video. Jeremy Holmes kept telling the officers to kill him. Police Corporal Phil Morris tells Holmes on the body cam footage to put the knife down 36 times.
Morris finally decided to holster his weapon and taser Jeremy Holmes, in hopes of incapacitating him. When Morris started to put his sidearm away, Holmes charged him. Morris redrew his sidearm, and both officers shot and killed Jeremy Holmes. It was a clear-cut and tragic case of suicide by cop. A disturbed young man attacked the officers with a large knife, and it cost him his life.
Almost three years later, Jeremy Holmes’ mother has now filed an “Extreme Risk Protection Order” against officer Phil Morris. Yes, really.
Corporal Morris has never threatened Susan Holmes. He’s never even spoken to the woman. He doesn’t know her. But because Corporal Morris shot and killed her son in the line of duty, the vengeful mother is now looking to punish Morris using Colorado’s new Red Flag law.
And the courts are taking it seriously, despite the fact that the law states that you must be a family member or household member who lives with the subject of the Red Flag law to file a petition against them.
It’s being called a “critical test” of the bounds of the Red Flag law. It sounds like a joke, but Corporal Phil Morris could end up being stripped of his Second Amendment right to carry a firearm… for using his gun on duty in a justifiable shooting of a mentally ill attacker.
In her petition to have officer Morris red-flagged, Susan Holmes claimed that she has a “child in common” with Phil Morris (meaning her deceased son, in a twisted interpretation of the law). Susan Holmes checked the box on the petition that states that Corporal Morris “poses a credible threat of or the unlawful reckless use of a firearm.” In her written explanation next to that box, she explains, “Phil Morris used his firearm to recklessly and violently threaten and kill 19-year-old Jeremy Holmes.”
The irony is that officer Phil Morris showed far more restraint in dealing with the obviously mentally ill Jeremy Holmes than most officers would have.
When the District Attorney reviewed the evidence in the case, he praised Morris for going above and beyond in attempting to defuse the situation and save Holmes’ life. He told Holmes to put the knife down 36 times. As he holstered his weapon, Morris stepped away from the cover of his patrol vehicle and was backing away from Jeremy Holmes. Many cops would have shot Jeremy Holmes after two or three warnings if he hadn’t put the knife down, and it still would have been deemed a “justified” shooting.
Phil Morris sounds like exactly the type of cop you would want on your local police force. He didn’t panic and start blazing away at Jeremy Holmes as soon as he felt threatened. He stayed calm and level-headed and tried to talk Jeremy Holmes into putting the knife down. Morris was even putting his firearm away to try to taser Holmes to defuse the situation – and to save Holmes’ life. He only shot the young man when he was left with no other choice.
Now the courts in Colorado will decide whether officer Phil Morris will lose his right to carry a firearm, based on a bogus Red Flag protection order that contains clearly false, perjured statements in it from a person he doesn’t even know.
And that’s the whole point of Red Flag laws, ladies and gentlemen. If a cop can have his gun rights stripped away in a clear case of a justified shooting, what chance do ordinary citizens have against these laws?