Your Right of Defense Against Unlawful Arrest
"Citizens may resist unlawful arrest to the point of taking an
arresting officer's life if necessary." Plummer v. State, 136 Ind.
306. This premise was upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States in the
case: John Bad Elk v. U.S., 177 U.S. 529. The Court stated: "Where
the officer is killed in the course of the disorder which naturally accompanies
an attempted arrest that is resisted, the law looks with very different eyes
upon the transaction, when the officer had the right to make the arrest, from
what it does if the officer had no right. What may be murder in the first case
might be nothing more than manslaughter in the other, or the facts might show
that no offense had been committed."
"An arrest made with a defective warrant, or one issued without
affidavit, or one that fails to allege a crime is within jurisdiction, and one
who is being arrested, may resist arrest and break away. lf the arresting
officer is killed by one who is so resisting, the killing will be no more than
an involuntary manslaughter." Housh v. People, 75 111. 491;
reaffirmed and quoted in State v. Leach, 7 Conn. 452; State v. Gleason, 32 Kan.
245; Ballard v. State, 43 Ohio 349; State v Rousseau, 241 P. 2d 447; State v.
Spaulding, 34 Minn. 3621.
"When a person, being without fault, is in a place where he has a right
to be, is violently assaulted, he may, without retreating, repel by force, and
if, in the reasonable exercise of his right of self defense, his assailant is
killed, he is justiciable." Runyan v. State, 57 Ind. 80; Miller v.
State, 74 Ind. 1. "These principles apply as well to an officer attempting
to make an arrest, who abuses his authority and transcends the bounds thereof by
the use of unnecessary force and violence, as they do to a private individual
who unlawfully uses such force and violence." Jones v. State, 26
Tex. App. I; Beaverts v. State, 4 Tex. App. 1 75; Skidmore v. State, 43 Tex. 93,
Citizen Dei Gratia Sovereign
Citizen Resource Center