Citizens Arrest

Discussion in 'Law & Justice' started by Mushroom, Sep 15, 2015.

  1. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    This is something that came up at work once again the other day, and I wanted to throw something out in here.

    Now as a side note, all legal references I am going to make are in accordance to California Penal Code. There may be some differences between what I am going to say and where others in here may actually live. But by and large, almost all states and municipalities have criminal codes that follow the same restrictions and wordings.

    California Penal Code 837.
    A private person may arrest another:
    1. For a public offense committed or attempted in his presence.
    2. When the person arrested has committed a felony, although not
    in his presence.
    3. When a felony has been in fact committed, and he has reasonable
    cause for believing the person arrested to have committed it.

    One thing I run into at least once a week is somebody who claims that I have absolutely no right to arrest or detain them. The thing is, everybody has the right to arrest and detain individuals who break the law, it is known as the "Citizen's Arrest". And by and large, it is no different then the rights and powers of any Law Enforcement officer, other then in the circumstances in which they can imploy them.

    To make an arrest, legally you only need 1 of 2 things. Either eyewitness the act of a misdemeanor taking place and the individual involved, or know that a felony has taken place and that the individual you want to arrest is likely the one who comitted the crime. That is it.

    In other words, if you see somebody breaking out car windows with a metal pipe, you can place them under arrest for vandalism. If you see somebody near a broken window with a metal pipe, you can not place them under arrest. You did not see the actual crime, which is a misdemeanor.

    Not to go to the other case. If you walk around a corner and see a bloody individual laying on the ground and somebody standing above them with a bloody metal pipe, you can arrest them. The crime here is a felony, and there is reasonable belief that that person with the pipe did indeed commit the crime.

    And such an arrest is no different then that of LEO in reality. Fight the arrest, and you can be charged with resisting arrest. Attack the arresting individual and you will be charged with felonious assault in the attempt of resisting arrest.

    Now comes the part most people do not understand. The use of force.

    In attempting to perform a citizen's arrest, you are authorized to use the amount of force needed to detain the subject. You can hold their arm and have them sit down, have 2 guys pin them to the ground, handcuff them, or anything else. However, it must be in balance with the amount of force they resist with.

    If the individual complies and you body slam them, then you are excessive.

    If the individual resists and tries to pull out a weapon of some kind, body slamming them is perfectly fine.

    Myself, I have arrested hundreds of individuals. And at least once a week I have one of them (or another) scream out that I am not allowed to arrest them, or that I am not allowed to touch them. Sorry, that is wrong. And my biggest nightmare is that somebody else will jump in and think they know the laws better then I do.

    [video=youtube;62_XyWiMyt4]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62_XyWiMyt4[/video]

    Notice towards the end, you had 2 people being handcuffed by the police, neither one of them was the security officers. One for Commercial Burglary (in California this is when a shoplifter uses force, a felony), and the other more then likely for assault and interfering with an arrest (and maybe conspiracy if he was involved in the theft).

    Out of my hundreds of arrests, I have had to handcuff probably 2 dozen individuals. I have taken them to the ground, thrown them into walls, and the like. And the response from the cops-DA when they want to press charges against me has always been "Well, you should not have tried to fight him." Not one single charge of excessive force ever against me.

    Now here is one other thing to remember, you can not do what this moron tried to do:

    [video=youtube;FwL5tupXXSA]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwL5tupXXSA[/video]

    The problem here is that in order to perform an arrest, the crime has to be a misdeomeanor or felony, not an infraction. Seat belt violations, jaywalking, failure to stop for a stop sign, not using turn signals, those are all infractions. Try to perform an arrest on people who do things like this will get the arresting individual themselves arrested for false arrest.
     
  2. Anders Hoveland

    Anders Hoveland Banned

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    It may also be legally permissible to arrest a law enforcement officer—and even use deadly force to do so—in some extreme cases. Of course this is almost always a terrible idea.

    Just because something may be theoretically legally permissible does not mean you cannot be arrested, prosecuted, found guilty, and receive a long prison sentence for it. Remember, law enforcement are the ones who almost always get the benefit of the doubt. There have been a few instances in cities such as Detroit where actual police officers (in uniform) carried out a robbery. This type of situation does not leave a lone victim with a lot of good options.
     
  3. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    Sure, if they commit a serious felony and are an imminant threat to another. And how often does that happen?

    "Theoretically"? And why are you bringing in cops, when I did not talk about cops themselves?

    And why are you saying they are "victim"s? Obviously you feel everybody arrested is a "victim", and not what the majority of them are, criminals.

    As I said, I have arrested hundreds of people, not a single charge against me for excessive force, unlawful detainment, or false arrest.

    Take your anti-authority nonsense elsewhere, it is not applicable here.
     
  4. Anders Hoveland

    Anders Hoveland Banned

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    I cannot say I have ever heard of a situation where the victims were able to, and did in fact use justifiable force against someone in uniform. But it is the principle of the thing.

    I would imagine we never get to hear about these rare situations because most of the time the victim is afraid (rightfully so) and flees the scene, and it gets recorded in the statistics as just another cop homicide. If we are talking about Mexico, there have been several instances where undercover law enforcement had to use deadly force against corrupt police.


    We both know there are people out there who believe that only police should ever be able to make arrests and use force (or even possess the means of force ). They would call all those who disagree with them "anti-authority". So to some extent it's a matter of degree.
     
  5. Anders Hoveland

    Anders Hoveland Banned

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    Also to mention, if you do ever find yourself in a situation where you are going to arrest someone, it is best if there is a witness besides yourself (ideally two or more other people) who can verify that your actions were justified. Especially if it is not on your property or in your place of business. It should also be pointed out that there are considerable physical and legal risks to the citizen making the arrest, so it should only be done if the situation absolutely calls for it. The factors to weigh are seriousness of the crime, probability that the suspect actually committed or is committing a crime, and considering the potential results if the suspect chooses to resist or tries to flee. Furthermore the good standing and reputation of the one making the arrest, as well as any witnesses who may be present, is very important. If you have multiple felony convictions on your record, making a citizen arrest may not be such a good idea. What if something goes wrong and the individual being arrested gets severely injured or dies? Training is something else to mention. In general, police go through a lot of training covering how to make an arrest while trying to minimize risk to all involved (at least supposedly :wink:). That is not to say that a private citizen could not receive this same sort of training, but it would probably be a retired former police officer who would be in the best position to make a citizen arrest.
     
  6. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    Not required. You just have to justify that a crime was commited.

    The idea that you need witnesses is simply retarded.
     
  7. Diuretic

    Diuretic Well-Known Member

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    Don't mess with someone who is armed and is well versed in the art of using force.
     
  8. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    Well, I am not armed in my line of work.

    But with my military background, I am well versed in the use of force. Thankfully, it almost never comes to that. Simply an agressive stance and verbally talking somebody to come inside resolves 95% of such cases.
     
  9. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    That is an attack, and is unquestionably illegal, and should be treated as such.

    Not sure why you are trying to drag this from Citizen's Arrest to vigilantism, but it is not appropriate.
     

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