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February 2, 2012
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Is self-defense against police officers legal?

:iconplutonia-v41:
Plutonia-V41 Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Everyone has seen lots of police brutality videos on the internet as portable recording devices have become more portable. During the last year, having seen time and time again the police in the US attacking and harrassing the protesters to break them and stop them from protesting it occurred to me...

If police officers try to tackle down an innocent citizen, and there are witnesses around that know the person is innocent, do they have the right to rescue the person from being assaulted? I mean, non-cop citizens don't have the right to attack someone, so others have the right to stop them from attacking someone. Cops are citizens too, and they need to obey the same laws. Is it legal to fight against an officer if it is to protect someone or yourself from harm when facing an armed hostile opponent? And if it isn't, is it also illegal to protect others or yourself when the assailant is not a police officer? Surely there can't be an exception in the case of law enforcement?

Or does the law work backwards? Does protecting yourself from an unlawful arrest attempt constitute as a suitable crime to retroactively validate the use of force by the police? :D

"What are you in for?" -"resisting arrest." "Arrest for what?" "-resisting arrest." :lol:
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Devious Comments

:iconmeanus:
meanus Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012
once this real cocky cop arrested me and took me to jail. It was really scary. Several years later i saw him at my wife's class reunion. He kept staring at me like he sorta remembered me and was wondering if he should arrest me for something.
Problem was when he nailed me I was skinny and had long hair. Now Im fat and bald and wear glasses. It was pretty funny watching him fret over whether I was some gangster of somebody and he couldn't quite recall despite his keen detective memory.
That was a fun night
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:icongrimdrifter:
grimdrifter Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Morally yes... practically no. While I would praise the morality of any citizen willing to put themselves between an armed brute and a defenseless individual, it would be social, if not physical suicide. There is one thing the state does not tolerate, it is a challenge to their authority, no matter how noble, how just, how cleanly executed. As laws become more unjust and power is abused more and more, sadly, this will become ever more true.
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:iconebolabearvomit:
EbolaBearVomit Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012
In cities like Philadelphia where it's "shoot first, worry later" with the police I would not be all that willing to fight 'back'.

Your best bet is to fight back in court. Sue everyone and everything. There will never be a shortage of lawyers willing to take up that task.
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:icondefense2:
defense2 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2012
this.
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:iconsherberttcat:
SherbertTCat Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Considering that 90% the cop's actions are justified?
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:iconzer05um:
Zer05um Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012  Professional General Artist
In countries other than the US I'd agree. The US police, from an outsider's viewpoint seem on a par with the Chinese security services.
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:iconsherberttcat:
SherbertTCat Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Don't believe everything you see on TV.
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:iconzer05um:
Zer05um Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2012  Professional General Artist
Not being there it's hard to find other examples. The only US cop I know (retired) moved to this country, cheated on his wife, beat his daughter up and the got arrested for impersonating a police officer and for dealing narcotics. He had a medal for good service. I know that a sample size of 1 is meaningless, but it doesn't paint a good image.
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:iconcreamstar:
Creamstar Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012
Source?
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:iconsherberttcat:
SherbertTCat Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
What do you mean "source"? Aside from the occasional news story where a cop took things too far, when someone is getting arrested, they cops are in the right, when they have to exert a little extra force when taking someone down.
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:iconcreamstar:
Creamstar Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012
You gave a number as 90% so I assumed you had a basis for that. Although cops are indeed most likely correct in their arrests, any real evidence for it like that would be resourceful.
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:iconsherberttcat:
SherbertTCat Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It was an estimation. So fucking sue me.
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:iconagburanar:
Agburanar Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2012
Yeah, don't act surprised when you're rhetorically drubbed for throwing out completely arbitrary numbers in a serious discussion. You're not even addressing the topic. Nobody is saying that all police are bad, and I think everyone in this thread would probably acknowledge that they are necessary to enforce laws in society. Excessive use of force by police - even if limited to a very small minority of cops - is a problem that needs to be addressed, especially when there are indications that crimes are going unpunished.

[link]
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:iconcreamstar:
Creamstar Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012
That's a difficult concept to allow though. That presents increasing harm to the police if they are trying to suppress somebody who is indeed acting unlawfully but claims otherwise. They might be unaware that they're indeed breaking the law or just want an excuse to avoid arrest. The police are given the protection to easier stop those that are breaking the law. Some self-defense should be permissible for obvious situations, but that's not usually the case.
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:iconr-a-z-z:
R-a-z-z Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012
No it isn't. The police can break the law and beat you into a bloody pulp and earn themselves a promotion afterwards.
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:iconnovuso:
Novuso Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012
Or how about this one: (True story btw) Woman calls 911, cops rapes her, then SHE gets arrested for assaulting an officer. [link] A young woman in Milwaukee called the cops when someone threw a brick through her window. One of the cops who came to help raped her.


Maybe it is time to rethink those laws so people can legally fight back against out of control cops.
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:icondefense2:
defense2 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2012
The case of the woman raped by cops, of which I am sure happens in rare occasions... you can actually defend yourself against. The point at which you were complying with the police to be arrested is your compliance to law enforcement. The point it turned to rape however the police no longer are protected by the law, you can actually shoot them... good luck proving that you were being raped, and if actually were being raped... I do hope you win.
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:iconnovuso:
Novuso Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2012
Well there was DNA evidence all over the woman. Pretty easy to prove rape when you are covered in semen.
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:icondefense2:
defense2 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2012
We would have to know why the evidence wasn't collected correctly when she reported the rape. Sadly I fear a cover up, which should have leaded to the arrest of those who covered it up. (yes, I have no problem hanging bad cop.)
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:iconzer05um:
Zer05um Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012  Professional General Artist
Sounds like the America I know....
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:iconebolabearvomit:
EbolaBearVomit Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012
:iconthisplz:
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:iconrestinmotion:
RestInMotion Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2012
In the north maybe. But certainly not in the south.
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:iconebolabearvomit:
EbolaBearVomit Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012
:iconbullshitplz:
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:iconrestinmotion:
RestInMotion Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012
No shit, it's called a joke.
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:iconrekalnus:
Rekalnus Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
It should be. But only in cases of real endangerment.
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:iconplutonia-v41:
Plutonia-V41 Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Think about it... how exactly would it make the country a less safe place if it was legal to protect yourself against police brutality?

Because as I have said before on this thread, no law should exist only for the sake of punishment. It needs to benefit the society. How does the inability for an innocent man to protect himself help society? How does him being accused of resisting arrest make the world a better place? There needs to be some reason for it that protects and serves.
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:icondefense2:
defense2 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2012
There is a benefit, a big benefit to giving the police authority over you, right or wrong. That benefit is the ability to keep out of control crowds of people form getting out of hand and disrupting society at large. It is teaching the young that you must obey those in authority over you and use the system to change that which you feel is wrong in society.

Failing to accept that you have less power then the police, is the failing of good upbringing. Don't like a law, shouting at the police and refusing to obey them is the wrong way to handle it... kinda like disobeying your parents when you were a kid... you will not win, the parent (Any parent worth their salt) would drag you to your room and ground you... and should you leave that room until the grounding is over, put you over the knee and paddle your ass.

for adults, that paddling, that grounding is being arrested, (typically you will be released.) and when you continue to be mouthy... a good paddling with criminal charges.

When you get violent or physically resist the police (right or wrong) you need a good paddling... like any time you violently or physically refuse to obey your parents when you were a child... you were taught who held the control, who was in authority over you.

The mob of people are no different then a child, they demand everything and riot when told no. Order must be restored and thus why we give the police authority to arrest anyone for any reason, the courts decide if the police were right or not.



Because you are taking the authority of the police away from them, you are now degrading their authority over you. You as a citizen of your society; your nation, near absolute authority over you, in exchange you gain protections from the criminals... (in theory at least.)

You must remain obedient to the police and if you do... chances are high that you are not going to be touched by the police. It is only when you get mouthy with the police, that they take you in for questioning... a kind of unofficial punishment for being mouthy... then when you try to resist... they get you for resisting arrest, the real crime that they wanted you to commit.

Again, it is the arrogant child being stupid and thinking that they know better, that they can talk their way out of it. You do not get mouthy, if the police tell you that they are taking you into custody... then you shut up, you obey and you get a lawyer and sue for wrongful arrest. That is how you defend yourself from wrongful arrest.


<b>
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:iconalphamale1980:
alphamale1980 Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012
The benefits of giving someone authority "right or wrong" are always outweighed by the obvious negatives.
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:icondefense2:
defense2 Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012
Not always, there are many who shouldn't be given authority, sadly we wont spend the money on the psycological evaluations of those who shouldn't be police officers and the authority to those departments to say... "Um, Im sorry, but you failed our psycival and are unfit for police work."

We have too many worker rights in this area, that prevent the department from proactively denying the perspective officer employment if he/she can pass a written or spoken test... even then, because of "Equality" Police departments are must have a % of races, otherwise someone someplace is being racist.... so a group of (insert racial group) who can't pass the same test that (insert the majority group) had to, can get the job anyway.
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:iconalphamale1980:
alphamale1980 Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2012
Wow, way to not at all respond to my statement. I said giving anyone authority RIGHT OR WRONG is never a good idea. I don't care how qualified someone is.. if they are WRONG then they should have no authority.
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:icondefense2:
defense2 Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2012
and dude, you fail at understanding that the police are not wrong when they detain by force those who refuse to comply... even if complying means you can't protest.
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:iconalphamale1980:
alphamale1980 Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2012
When the police detain someone unjustly... they are wrong. no matter the method of detention.
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(1 Reply)
:iconkiwi-punch:
Kiwi-Punch Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2012  Student Digital Artist
What about police brutality? No one's brought that up yet, aside from the rape! If a cop is beating me for no reason, there's no way I'm going to put up with that! That cop WILL be punched in the face. The police need to learn that brutality should only be reserved for VIOLENT criminals; not people who are just minding their own business. Remember the Rodney King case? Oh yeah, I went there. A black man gets beaten by officers, yet doesn't fight back and he sues the police on charges of police brutality and no one does anything about it, thus causing a well-justified riot.
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:icondefense2:
defense2 Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2012
What about police brutality? No one's brought that up yet, aside from the rape! If a cop is beating me for no reason, there's no way I'm going to put up with that!That cop WILL be punched in the face.

LOL... your funny. You attack the police... and like a hornets nest, they descend upon you and beat you worst.
You can't win in the physical battle against them, if your life is in danger... well you must make the choice... but as with all choices there will be a result and you are unlikely to win any claim of self defense.


The police need to learn that brutality should only be reserved for VIOLENT criminals; not people who are just minding their own business.

You do get to teach them a lesson, it is called taking them to court for police brutality. If you win... you are unlikely to have to work ever again in your life as you are now a millionaire and the officers involved are suspended or out of a job. Likely the latter.


Remember the Rodney King case? Oh yeah, I went there. A black man gets beaten by officers, yet doesn't fight back and he sues the police on charges of police brutality and no one does anything about it, thus causing a well-justified riot.

Actually read up on it, he was far from innocent. First he lead the the police on a high speed chase, while having other people in his car.

Then he refused to comply with the police orders to get out of the car.

Then he kept moving his hands in a manner that one does to pull a weapon.

Oh yes and then when he was on the ground... he kept figiting while the cops tried to cuff him.

Then after the cops were forced to beat him into compliance... and at the hospital... his blood alcohol level was just at the legal limit... some time well after the initial stop. This meant using science and math... he was well over the legal limit when the cops first tried to pull him over.


So yep, he was far from innocent and did in fact bring his suffering upon himself.
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:iconrekalnus:
Rekalnus Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes indeed. And as always, I'll once again preach the idea of regular drug testing for the officers, emphasis on steroid detection plus making sure that none of the harder street stuff gets into them. Dianabol and gunpowder are a very poor mix, or PCP and taser.
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:iconunvalanced:
Unvalanced Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Yes and no.

Resisting arrest - even unlawful arrest - is illegal in almost all situations. You are not permitted to defend yourself against arrest.

You -are- permitted to defend yourself against -battery-, BUT it's a tough sell in the courtroom, and ill-advised even with video evidence.
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:iconkiwi-punch:
Kiwi-Punch Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I think it should be legal. If an officer is approaching me with his nightstick in a threatening manner, I'm going to kick his ass.
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:iconsherberttcat:
SherbertTCat Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Good luck with that. :lmao:
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:iconkiwi-punch:
Kiwi-Punch Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Thanks. ;p
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:iconplutonia-v41:
Plutonia-V41 Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
But... you live in a country where cops have guns and they can use them. Aren't you afraid of being killed? At least in my country a police officer can't open fire before the criminal has shot them dead. And even in that case only as a last resort and the cop would probably go to jail for it.
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:iconkiwi-punch:
Kiwi-Punch Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2012  Student Digital Artist
They can't shoot me if I knock them out, now can they? :D
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:iconsherberttcat:
SherbertTCat Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Which is why cops travel in pairs. The second you laid a hand on his partner, the other cop would either tazer or shoot you faster than you could say "desu".
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:iconkiwi-punch:
Kiwi-Punch Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Why would I say "desu"?
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:iconrekalnus:
Rekalnus Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
And then you find that he/she was coming for someone behind you, before you took them down. And now the real perp is going to clean your clock and then let the cop's partner have at you. ;-)
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:iconkiwi-punch:
Kiwi-Punch Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I said, "At me", didn't I? I didn't mention anything about anyone else being in the area.
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:iconrekalnus:
Rekalnus Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Everyone looks menacing in the dark ! ;-)
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:iconkiwi-punch:
Kiwi-Punch Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2012  Student Digital Artist
In the dark, yes. IN broad daylight, no.
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:iconragerancher:
Ragerancher Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2012
Nope there is nothing you can do at the time of arrest. The police are allowed to use what they consider necessary force to bring about the arrest. If you comply then they cannot justify using force and you can sue. If you resist, they will just keep ramping up how much force they use ending with tasering or potentially shooting. The police will claim they were justified in using that force because they had no way of knowing if you were innocent or not (and if they did, you can take them to court later for assault).
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:iconzer05um:
Zer05um Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012  Professional General Artist
This is true, but it is VERY hard to challenge the police in court, the system is weighted in their favour.
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:iconragerancher:
Ragerancher Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012
Of course but that's the best chance you have.
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