Friday, February 29, 2008

Pro Libertate: Restoring the Right to Resist (UPDATED)

William Grigg on reintroducing Americans to a long forgotten right (here's why):

We’ve reached a point at which police can often kill innocent citizens with impunity – yet the slightest physical contact from a citizen can be prosecuted as “battery on an officer,” and a citizen wielding a flyswatter – yes, a flyswatter -- during a police raid can be accused of planning a “felonious assault” on a policeman.

That’s not to say, of course, that such outrages were rare ten, or even twenty, years
ago. But now they are more plentiful – and, thanks in no small part to the growing influence of cyber-samizdat, such as YouTube, much more visible. Acts of corrupt police abuse that once could be dismissed as figments of a troubled imagination, or the invention of vindictive criminals, are now routinely exposed to worldwide public scrutiny, and the fuel of growing public outrage.
The police have a hard job, no doubt. But putting cops in the position of having to enforce BS laws (like arresting unlicensed manicurists or fighting the drug war or whatever else the nanny state can come up with) and the movement of law enforcement towards paramilitary tactics can only lead to more absurd situations like sending a SWAT team to punch a hole into the door of a house and enter it with guns drawn because a parent decided his child didn't need to go to the hospital after an accidental fall.

The solution from Mr. Griggs:

I have a suggestion: We should work to re-instate statutory protection of the right to resist unlawful arrest in the 38 states that presently do not recognize that ancient and indispensable Common Law right.

Unless a police officer is dutifully enforcing a legitimate warrant, or has unassailable probable cause to believe that an individual has committed a felony, he has no business attempting to arrest anybody. That was the understanding that prevailed in the Anglo-Saxon world, in one form or another, from 1215 until the mid-1960s to mid-1970s, at least here in the United States.

Read the rest here.

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