Despite the powerlessness felt by those that are brutalized by police, a recent ruling by a court found that citizens do have the right to defend themselves.
The case involved Darnell Reed, who had been beaten by an officer during his 2013 arrest. While he had faced multiple charges, the court found that he was only guilty of 1 of 8 charges, which was resisting the arrest of the initial charges.
However, another court panel discovered that Reed had not been given a fair trial because the judge had not advised the jury of the police brutality endured by Reed. Their decision found that the evidence had “supported a finding that the officers used unnecessary and excessive force” and that the jury should have been told what had actually happened.
The decision made by the appellate court rested on decades of court precedence according to a report made by a local newspaper. This would include a 1970 state supreme court case that had granted citizens the right to defend themselves.
“If in effectuating the arrest or the temporary detention the officers employs excessive and unnecessary force, the citizen may respond or counter with the use of reasonable force to protect himself, and if in doing so the officer is injured no criminal offense has been committed,” the court said in State v. Mulvihill.
According to the court records, which are linked at the beginning of the article, the two officers involved in this particular case were Louis Weber and Manuel Souto. Furthermore, the documents cited that the officers were in normal clothes and in an unmarked car when the approached Reed.
The cops then struck him in the ribs and threw him onto the ground. By the time they were done, his face was left bloodied and swollen and his blood covered the ground. Sadly, his hair, which was done in dreadlocks was “forcibly ripped from his scalp.”
Unfortunately, while this particular ruling does not set a precedent, it still holds value. Furthermore, it has received an outpouring of support from citizens throughout the nation, who seem to agree: it is time that something was done regarding the brutality that officers are enacting against citizens.