No Such Thing as "Necessary" Force if the Arrest is Unnecessary

by Will

Liberty Minute August 14 2014

?We?ve heard a lot in the last number of weeks about what ? police officers shouldn?t do,? complained Patrick Lynch of the Patrolmen?s Benevolent Association, New York?s largest police union. ?No one?s telling us what ? we should do, when [a person] says, `I?m not going. I?m not being placed under arrest.??

?What is it we should do?? continued Lynch, his voice colored by theatrical incredulity. ?Walk away??

Well, why not? If the would-be arrestee isn?t involved in an actual crime ? that is, an act of aggression against another person ? a police officer shouldn?t consider an arrest to be necessary. The incident that inspired Lynch?s statement, the killing of Eric Garner, didn?t involve an actual crime. Garner, who had just broken up a fight, was suspected of selling untaxed cigarettes.

Lynch insists that ?The charge of resisting arrest ? exists to encourage those being arrested to comply with the lawful orders of police officers so that those officers do not have to use necessary force to make that arrest.?

The problem is that an unnecessary arrest ? like that of Eric Garner ? is an abduction, not a public safety measure. And in that case, the supposedly necessary force led to an act of criminal homicide.

Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. 

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