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Barrister
Barrister, Criminal Defense Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23853
Experience:  14 years practicing criminal defense.
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Recently I was arrested for an outstanding traffic violation.

Customer Question

Recently I was arrested for an outstanding traffic violation. I was in the county jail for a visitiation of a friend when upon checking my ID they discovered I had a warrent for my arrest in an adjoining county. A county deputy entered the waiting room walked up to me and demanded I move into an inner office, I replied, "No, not until you tell me why" He responded by grabbing my arm spinning me around and began to handcuff me. I tried to explain that my right shoulder was completely reconstructed and would not move in the direction he was pulling it. I leaned forward to keep the shoulder from literally braking out of the socket. He then told me if I continued to lean forward he would show me just how rough he could get. I once again tried to tell him the shoulder was reconstructed and would not move behind my back as he was trying to move it. I also informed him I had Multiple Sclrosis and had difficulty walking. He finsihed cuffing me and pushed me through an adjoining door and down a very steep set of steps. I stumbled on the steps but leaning against the wall was able to balance myself. He once agian pushed me and told me to hurry up. I ask him why he thought I was a threat to him considereing I am 55 years old, had no record of arrest and I sufferred from MS. I ask him if he needed me to explain what limitations MS put upon my body. He said he was aware of MS and that he would like to start over since I was evidently not trying to resist him he would ease up on me. Upon reaching the bottom of the stairs he released the handcuffs. The extreme danger to me was over but his action of non communications and unwillingness to listen to me did indeed put me in extreme danger especially when he forced me to descend the stairs. I later learned that there was an elevator that he never utilized. What if any recourse do I have in this situation?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 4 years ago.

Hello,

 

Although his actions may have been rough, he interpreted you initial reaction as a resisting and a refusal to comply. They are trained and instructed to immediately contain and control someone if they refuse to follow instructions because they routinely encounter violent behavior from people either being taken into custody or already in custody. If they let someone get out of control then both parties can potentially be injured. He likely was unsure if you were telling the truth initially and then later reconsidered.

.

If you suffered an injury, you could file a complaint and try to sue for damages, but I do not think you would be successful based on your comments. While I do not condone his actions, I do understand them and why he acted the way he did.

.

.

thanks

Matt

 

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Although, you evidently feel I have no legal recourse I was very disappointed that you did not point out I might want to consider other alturnatives such as articles to letters to the editior in the local paper, making an appointment with the county executivities, picket, anything that would make it clear that actions that endanger citizens with disabilities would not be accepted. The fact that the law enforcement officers are trained to react with force they should also be trained to be aware of how to interpert when and what type of force is acceptable.

I hope you consider alturnatives to simply laying down and letting the officers over-react to those they arrest and that they identify that they are arresting someone. I was being handcuffed before he told me I was underarrest, I was told to do something and I feel I had every right to question why, I will always retain that right even if the law arbetraily takes it from me.

Expert:  Barrister replied 4 years ago.

I apologize for not pointing out your public options, but we attorneys normally only deal with a persons legal options and what laws apply to them. With that said, I realize that you have limited interaction with the jail personnel, which is a good thing, but I have worked around them for 10 years and can cite numerous instances where they have been assaulted by individuals because they did not react to a perceived threat quck enough.

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If you were detained and neither you nor he suffered an injury, then he did his job correctly. Jailers and deputies are considered law enforcement officers in Missouri and can detain someone by placing them in handcuffs for their safety prior to arrest.

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As I stated, I am not defending their treatment of you, I just understand their reaction having been around them as long as I have been and having represented defendants when I was a public defender who had assaulted law enforcement officers.

.

Would your opinion be the same if you read a story in the local paper where an officer was punched in the face suffering a permanent eye injury by a 55 year old with MS while attempting an arrest? In the normal arrest situation, the potential threat comes from the person being arrested, not the law enforcement officer.

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Don't get me wrong, I am a defense attorney so I am normally on the side critical of law enforcement. I just understand where they are coming from.

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.

thanks

Matt

 

 

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Being the man that was abused I dont have any sympathy for the law or their supposed need to not communicate effectively. He could have told me I was under arrest before demanding I do anything. I will NEVER accept someone giving me commands without them first establishing they have a right.

Considering I was there voluntary and I was sitting down and I had NO priors, I do beleive he acted without justification and definitely over reacted to someone that said no, not until you tell me why.

If we have gotten to a point where we allow our police, our supposed public servants, to demand that we blindly follow their orders without them justifying then we have allowed ourselves to become a police state. For you to empathize with them and not see the merit of my point of view gives me pause to wonder if perhaps you have been involved in far too many incidences to be effective for your clients and perhaps you need to join the Distiric Attorney"s team.

If the basic rights of the citizen can be striped by an over zelous "peace" officer without any support from the defense attornies then to whom do we trun for justice?

Expert:  Barrister replied 4 years ago.

At the point where the determination was made to arrest you, he had no idea how you would react. Fear and anger are probably the most powerful emotions and can trigger adrenaline rushes that give a mother the power to lift a car off her child. So it is entirely conceivable that the deputy felt that there was a very real threat to his safety when you refused to comply with his command.

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They have a very difficult job in tempering their use of force versus ensuring that they arrive safely home every night to their families. But in the end, they are human and can make mistakes. Maybe this was excessive force, maybe it wasn't.

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I see that we have a difference of opinion on their tactics and methods, but that is what makes an interesting conversation.

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Thank you for a lively debate.

 

I will opt out so maybe another Expert can chime in with their opinion of your scenario.

 

Matt

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

To say we have a difference of opnion is to say the ocean is a good swimming pool. I find it so very sad that you can accept that our public servants believe they must first demand without explaination. Until I was attacked by the county servant I would have upheld their right to justifiable force now I am running for sherrif with a program that they must identify first and arrest later. I do believe I have a strong possibility of winning the election and will undoubtedly either fire or have resign the majority of the force considering I believe them to be incompentent to help a rural area such as mine that has fewer shootings in a year than many cities have in an hour.

We are a quite peaceable county and need a police force that is far more interested in helping than in hurting. We need to have uniforms on those that understand that the damage they inflict is usually far greater than any danger they encounter. I abhor violence and certainly don't think those who are suppose to be helping others be the greatest resource for violence.

What I fiind so upsetting and so very sad is that you, a suppose defender of the poeple, be so sympathic to the pathetic actions of poor decisions of those paid to serve not harm the public. If a county officer is unable to identify potential threats any better than the "threat" I posed then they do not need to work in our county. They need to find employment in your area of the country where voilence is expected from the police no matter how minor the threat.

I hope to make the national news with my campaign and certainly hope to make those that encourage police to violence instead of restraint to think about what is more important, the public viewing them as a help or to view them as a source to avoid at all costs because they only bring with them violence and destruction.

What a shame that now for the remainder of my life I will not trust police that do not have a leader that works for the people and respects our rights above the need to always think the use of force acceptable.

I encourage you to consider the pain and suffering for those that are brutilized by our police and less about the harm some of our police officers endure in their all too often abuse of power.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
The answer gave me no alturnative or means of action to an injustice. The attorney was far to right-winged with his attitude to unnecessary force and that we the public were to accept thier actions as acceptable no matter how unjustified. I believe he is to bias to give imparticial advice or to be of use to those wanting a way to help themselves address a wrong.

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