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Are the police generally authorized to open fire on a mob trying to lynch a suspect?

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  • Are the police generally authorized to open fire on a mob trying to lynch a suspect?

    Could something like the following incident - which appears to have occurred without a single shot being fired into the mob - have taken place in the US without some number of the lynch mob being shot?
    A senior police officer Mohammed Azhar Gujar said that in the incident on Tuesday in the Ahmedpur East area of Punjab’s Bahawalpur district, attackers stormed a police station where the man was being interrogated.

    He said the victim seemed to be mentally unstable. He was arrested after residents said he threw pages of the Quran into the street.

    While the man was being questioned, some people started making announcements over mosque loudspeakers, urging residents to go to the police station and punish him.

    Within hours, thousands gathered outside and demanded the man be handed over to them. Gujar said police tried to protect him, but the mob turned violent.

    They burned several police vehicles and wounded seven officers before grabbing the man and dragging him into the street, where he was beaten to death and his body set on fire.

  • #2
    I'm going to skip the "in-depth" reply and give you the short answer. While anything can happen, I don't believe I'd hold my breath waiting for that to happen here.

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    • #3
      Lynching is a felony, it merely means taking a suspect from the police by force...you want to kill him, or you want to free him, it's lynching. If a cop is assaulted while you're doing it, stand 'effen' by and reap the bloody harvest from the seeds you've sewn. But that's here in the U.S.

      Chances are these Punjabi Indian cops were not armed and, as a result, they got hurt and their prisoner was killed.

      Just remember, Islam is the religion of PEACE!
      Last edited by Kieth M.; 07-05-2012, 07:34 PM.
      "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

      Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

      Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

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      • #4
        Yes...cops here in the states would pull out the M249's and spray the crowd with warm fuzzes. Just like in the movies!
        This is for all you parents that like to put your kids names on the back of your mini-vans.

        STOP IT! There are predators that will use that information against them!

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        • #5
          So you have cops interviewing a suspect, and bystanders start enticing violence towards suspect. The bystanders either get told to take a walk, go in cuffs right then and there, or suspect gets hustled away from the scene. If citizens gathered outside of our county jail as they did in the story, they would get re-educated quickly.

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          • #6
            http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/...43_636x418.jpg

            Dude, this is what happens when one leopard attacks the police in that corner of the world. I think it unlikely that they could handle a lynch mob.

            To answer your question though, at my precinct, we have a lot of shotguns, and a lot of shells, and each one holds 9 little projectiles. The crowd would rather swiftly be dispersed.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mithridates View Post
              Could something like the following incident - which appears to have occurred without a single shot being fired into the mob - have taken place in the US without some number of the lynch mob being shot?

              OP: If I recall correctly, an incident like this took place in Detroit sometime in the mid 1970s...



              Last edited by Street_Cop50; 07-06-2012, 03:42 AM.
              Look sharp, act sharp, be sharp.

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              • #8
                Here in the US the police are authorized to use reasonable force to protect themselves and anyone else who may be facing imminent harm.
                Originally posted by SSD
                It has long been the tradition on this forum and as well as professionally not to second guess or Monday morning QB the officer's who were actually on-scene and had to make the decision. That being said, I don't think that your discussion will go very far on this board.
                Originally posted by Iowa #1603
                And now you are arguing about not arguing..................

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                • #9
                  It all boils down to one question:

                  Is it reasonable?

                  That's the test the courts will use later. If the use of deadly force was reasonably applied to prevent a forcible felony, then yes. Firing into mobs is, of course, generally unlawful barring very extreme circumstances.
                  I miss you, Dave.
                  http://www.odmp.org/officer/20669-of...david-s.-moore

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                  • #10
                    The John Carpenter Original was based in Los Angeles and involved the California Highway Patrol and LAPD.

                    One of the last Lynchings/hangings in California occurred in San Jose in 1933. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooke_Hart (best source I could find).
                    semper destravit

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kieth M. View Post
                      Lynching is a felony, it merely means taking a suspect from the police by force...you want to kill him, or you want to free him, it's lynching. If a cop is assaulted while you're doing it, stand 'effen' by and reap the bloody harvest from the seeds you've sewn. But that's here in the U.S.

                      Chances are these Punjabi Indian cops were not armed and, as a result, they got hurt and their prisoner was killed.

                      Just remember, Islam is the religion of PEACE!
                      I agree Keith, however for our non-CA people here, 'lynching' is in the CA penal code as helping an escape from the police, but I know in other states it is different.

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                      • #12
                        Excellent question Mithridates

                        To answer your question: “ Are the police generally authorized to open fire on a mob trying to lynch a suspect?” I concur with Sgt Jon’s post “Here in the US the police are authorized to use reasonable force to protect themselves and anyone else who may be facing imminent harm.”

                        Speaking from my own observations and experience (California) “lynching” to free someone just taken into police custody is more prevalent as attested by Officers making arrest in unfriendly/hostile environments.

                        Besides gang infested and racially agitated riot prone venues, social and family gatherings can also turn ugly fast. Any LEO working the streets should be mindful of unforeseen critical circumstances that may necessitate one to think outside the box will no doubt be Monday morning administratively quarterbacked and crucified by the media. Officers must know and abide by their departments use of force policies.

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                        • #13
                          With that particular crowd?

                          Start hurling strips of bacon out the window at them. They'll disperse like roaches.....
                          sigpic
                          Our houses are protected by the good Lord and a gun.
                          And you might meet 'em both if you show up here not welcome son.

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                          • #14
                            LOL, great example of thinking outside the box......

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