Explorations in Policing, Faith and Life (With a hint of humor, product reviews, news and whatever catches my attention)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Real Serious Ramifications for Law Enforcement

This ruling was just brought to my attention.  If this is carried through to other rulings or is supported by the US Supreme court-an officers job just got much more dangerous and extremely complicated.

 Three things to note about this.  First every case that shocks the very foundations of law enforcement started with some ridiculous incident but then is applied to all situations that are not crazy or stupid.  The elements of the case while important should not be the focus what the new standard for the affirmative defense given to the charges  of Resisting an Officer/Obstructing an Officer etc.  Second the biggest concern for law enforcement is the statement of  a right to self defense if unlawful imminent use of force is about to be brought to bare.  So the officer comes to a burglary to residence in progress and confronts the burglar.  It is standard practice to have your weapon drawn till you can determine if the burglar is armed or not.  So as I am reaching for my firearm, the burglar sees this, pulls his firearm and shoots me, because he knew as a reasonable person it would not take deadly force to affect his arrest.  So now he has a new defense that was never available to anyone before.  Third, the most training I have ever received and will be continuing to receive is on Use of Force.  It is a extremely complicated concept that has to be applied in seconds in a dynamic situation.  What is reasonable use of force for the average man or woman without any training?  You can attack me because I did not give you the verbal order a forth time?  I need to order you to put down your weapon before I can draw mine?  Read the summary below and if you want a deeper treatment follow the link.  This is a very troubling development.  We ask enough from our officers but it seems that mind reading will now be taught in the police academy.

State v.Oliphant and the affect on Oregon law enforcement.

The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office (Portland Metro) recently sent out a memo regarding a resisting case (State v. Oliphant) and the affect on Oregon law enforcement. In essence the ruling says:

"An arrestee may defend himself against a police officer's use or imminent use of force if the arrestee believes, as much as a reasonable person in his position would believe, that the officer's use or imminent use of force
exceeds the force reasonably necessary to make the arrest.  Oregon effectively is now the only state that gives a suspect charged with Resisting Arrest (ORS 162.315) an affirmative defense that they were
defending themselves against what they reasonably believed was an actual or imminent unlawful use of force by a Police Officer.  Accompanying charges including Assault on a Public Safety Officer will likely be
dismissed if the argument stands."

The full case can be viewed at the below link: 



Slamdunk said...

Very interesting case. Nice catch and post.

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