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Out of the corner of his eye, he saw an officer ready to tackle him, so he dropped to his knees and crossed his ankles to demonstrate complete defenselessness.

“They immediately zip-tied me tighter than I would have been allowed to zip-tie an Iraqi,” Sgt. Corrigan said, pulling up his dress shirt cuff to show his wrist. “We had to check to fit two fingers between the tie and the Iraqi’s wrist so we weren’t cutting off circulation. They tied mine so tight that they hurt.”

Richard Gardiner, Sgt. Corrigan’s attorney, still questions whether this initial arrest was legal, since at this point the only thing the police had was the word of a VA operator saying he claimed to be a gun owner. They had no warrant. Police spokesman Gwendolyn Crump would not comment on the case.

On Wednesday, the next part in the series will explain how the police SWAT team searched the veteran’s home without a warrant - all because he was exercising a right that is supposed to be protected under the Constitution.

(This is a four-part series. Click here to read part 2.)

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times. Her series on the District’s gun laws won the 2012 Clark Mollenhoff Award for Investigative Reporting from the Institute on Political Journalism.