drive into a rioting crowd

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by buster40c, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. buster40c

    buster40c Well-Known Member

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    This info came from Texas Law Shield and I thought it was good info to pass on.
    by Michael Wisdom, Senior Contributing Editor, Texas & U.S. Law Shield

    We’ve all seen the news reports of the mob scenes and riots across the country following recent police shootings and now the election. We feel that it is important that you understand your rights should you find yourself unintentionally caught up in such a situation where an angry mob blocks the roadway.

    As a real-life example, we received a call to the emergency hotline from a member who was traveling and found himself and his family confronted by angry rioters in a major city out west. With the threatening mob descending upon his vehicle, the member turned around to make a hasty exit. However, as he was trying to get his family out of harm’s way, one screaming rioter charged toward the member’s car and was struck, landing on the hood before rolling off. Fortunately, the member and his family safely escaped the melee.

    To figure out if the member’s act of running into a rioter was legal, we turned to Texas & U.S. Law Shield Independent Program Attorney Michele Byington with the question: Are you justified in hitting or “running over” someone in this scenario?

    “The answer? It depends!” Byington said. “Don’t you hate that answer?”

    Let’s look at whether an act of running down a rioter would be lawful as a justified act of self-defense.

    To begin the analysis, she said we treat this situation just as we would any other use of deadly force in self-defense. Let’s start with some general concepts, and then analyze how the specifics of the law will apply in these scenarios. The concepts to focus on are imminence, reasonableness, and not being the aggressor.

    Imminence. Prosecutors love to attack the imminence prong. Does a group of people blocking a roadway pose an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to you inside of the vehicle? Blocking a roadway, normally, cannot cause death or serious bodily injury to those inside the vehicle, much less pose an imminent or immediate threat. As a result, using a vehicle to “run them down,” or even to physically push them aside, is unlikely to be justified. However, if there is additional threatening conduct such as the protestors attempting to enter the vehicle, or say, charging toward you with a baseball bat, that is a completely different scenario. If you are placed in reasonable fear of imminent deadly force, you would be legally entitled to use deadly force in self-defense, including the use of your vehicle to neutralize the unlawful deadly force threat.

    Reasonableness. What would be required to generate a reasonable fear of imminent death or serious bodily injury? The key here is that it doesn’t matter what your personal beliefs are if a jury would not believe that your fear was reasonable under the circumstances. There are extremes where your conduct will almost always be viewed as reasonable, such as attempts to set your car on fire or flip it over. On the other hand, under many circumstances, it will be extremely difficult to convince a jury that you acted reasonably if you use deadly force against protestors. One example would be injuring or attempting to injure a group of peaceful protestors who are merely blocking a roadway. If the protestors attempt, or reasonably appear to attempt, to forcibly enter blockaded vehicles, you will gain a presumption of reasonableness under the laws of many, but not all, states. You will also have a much better argument that you had reasonable grounds to fear an imminent attack with deadly force. Such conduct could include the smashing of windows or attempts to open doors. Also, you do not necessarily need to wait until the protestors have turned violent against your vehicle if you see it happening to someone else. Remember, you must have a reasonable belief from what you are seeing and hearing around you and not merely speculating about what might occur.”

    Byington also noted, “Keep in mind, here in Texas, you may also use deadly force to protect a third party as long as you would be justified in using deadly force to protect yourself in that same situation.

    If you intend to use your vehicle against a rioter, it will almost always constitute the use of deadly force – that is, force capable of causing death or serious bodily injury. Deadly force can be used in self-defense to the extent the force with which you are threatened also constitutes deadly force. In other words, deadly force can be met with deadly force, she said. If you are faced with anything less than deadly force, you will face an uphill battle in arguing that your actions were reasonable. To make matters worse, if you respond to a threat that is non-deadly in nature with unlawful deadly force, it would allow the other person to lawfully respond in kind with deadly force against you.

    Not the Aggressor. Is the person seeking justification for the use of deadly force in self-defense a victim, or is he the aggressor? State laws may vary, but generally, the defense of justification is not available to the individual who starts the fight and does not stop to convey to the other person their intention to stop the aggression.

    So, how might this apply in a protest or riot situation? Byington noted, “Say you are stuck for an hour in the middle of a protest and decide to ‘nudge’ one of these folks with your vehicle so that you can get out of the traffic snarl. If the otherwise peaceful protestor then becomes violent, and you use deadly force to protect yourself, a prosecutor, judge, or jury could easily argue that you were the initial aggressor. You may lose a number of legal protections, and on top of that, appear like the aggressor during the investigation or trial.

    Suppose you yell out “Sorry! Didn’t mean to bump you, it won’t happen again!” If the other person continues the assault after having been informed of your intention to stop, at that point you may regain the right of self-defense, although the protestor will almost certainly argue that he/she could not hear you due to the noise of the protest.

    A Few Practical Tips:

    So, what should you do if you come across such a mob?

    STOP. Don’t go any farther. Do whatever is necessary to change direction and get out of the area. If you are alert, hopefully you will see these masses of people far enough in advance so that you can completely avoid the situation, long before being surrounded.

    Remember, you can’t legally run people over just because they are in the road. You may think the safest action to take in a situation like this is to keep moving, which may result in hitting people with your car to get them out of the way. That isn’t legal! It could easily be considered an aggravated assault, or worse! Even if people are illegally blocking the road, you will go to jail. It is that simple. Avoidance is key.

    However, once the rioters attack you or attempt to enter the vehicle, the game changes, and your legal justification kicks in. With your vehicle surrounded so that you can’t escape and attackers trying to burn your car, flip it over, or attempt to drag you out of it, it is reasonable to assume that you will suffer imminent serious bodily injury or death. It is at this point you may use deadly force. In this moment of adrenaline and pure fear, you must keep your common sense. Do not get out and try to shoot your way out of the mob! You will quickly be overtaken and perhaps have your gun stripped from you. Instead, use your vehicle to get out of that situation by driving away from the surrounding rioters.

    An additional point to remember is, should your vehicle come under attack, roll your windows down about half an inch. Experts say it is harder to break a window that is partly down than one that is fully closed. Turn off your ventilation system so you do not draw in any outside air in the event there is tear gas or smoke present. Further, if surrounded and moving slowly, you may want to take off your seat belt to allow a quick exit from the vehicle should it be overturned or set on fire.

    “Once again, it is evident that your best course of action is to avoid these, often, pre-planned demonstrations altogether and drive away quickly should you come upon one,” she said.

    The law is different in every state. For example, Texas has the “Castle Doctrine,” which gives a person the presumption of reasonableness if he or she uses deadly force against a person attempting to enter or entering their vehicle. Byington said, “It is a HUGE legal tool. Unfortunately, other states may not expand their Castle Doctrine to the vehicle [New Jersey]. With that in mind, I hope everyone can stay safe – and also stay legal! – if you find yourself in any protest or riot situation.”
     
  2. VThillman

    VThillman Active Member

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    To hell with legal, the escape was necessary.
     

  3. SavageGuy

    SavageGuy Active Member

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    Huh. Never really thought about that before. Thanks for posting, Buster
     
  4. buster40c

    buster40c Well-Known Member

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    There is no doubt the other rioters headed towards the guys car when the one moron went over the hood. Yep get the hell out of there and report it before one of the rioters does. You know what their story to the cops would be.
     
  5. MagBlackhawk

    MagBlackhawk Patriot

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    Suppose you find yourself in the middle of a riot and are attacked by a thug at the side of your car.
    Say he has a club and is trying to knock out the side window.

    When you gas it to get away from HIM you hit another thug that is in front of the car.
    It could be argued that the guy you hit posed no threat to anyone and was only walking by on his way to grandma's house to deliver her medicine.
    ALL of the thugs will get together to tell the same lie! .... Kinda like the "Hands Up Don't Shoot" lie.

    Hmmmm.........




    :GadsdenFlag:
     
  6. phideaux

    phideaux Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I'm bettin , when they see gunfire coming from inside the car ....they scatter .

    I thought I was gonna die...




    Jim
     
  7. buster40c

    buster40c Well-Known Member

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    Yep if a thug hits my car window with a heavy object.............boom boom. I would hope someone was with me to put their fingers in my ears.
     
  8. MagBlackhawk

    MagBlackhawk Patriot

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    OHHH NOOOO! ........ Not Fingers in the Ears AGAIN!!! :eek: :shocked: :eek:




    :GadsdenFlag:
     
  9. phideaux

    phideaux Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    You really need these man....

    fingers.jpg


    Jim
     
  10. phideaux

    phideaux Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    You might find a pair , if you look in the right places...

    protesters.jpg


    Jim
     
  11. buster40c

    buster40c Well-Known Member

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    ^^^Oh geeze! Someone had a bad day.