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  • Helping cops in need.

    Here's a quickie.

    Is there a law on helping an officer who is need of dire assistance? By dire, I mean something that could be life-threatening. I've always wondered this.

    For example, if I'm driving down the road and look over and see a cop getting the crap beat out of him/her by some perp, then I'm going to stop my car and run over there and help the cop. But in doing so, do I face a charge for something crazy like "interfering with a police investigation?"

    I would do it for anyone really, as a lot of people would. Some people would argue that you shouldn't get involved and possibly put your own life in danger, especially if there are weapons involved. But cop or not, in a matter of human decency, I couldn't stand by and just let someone get mauled.

  • #2
    In a situation like that, help is always appreciated.
    "Abandon your animosities and make your sons Americans." - Robert E. Lee, 1865

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    • #3
      I would assist the officer without hesitation. I may get hurt or get my butt kicked. But no way am I gonna watch and hope the officer pulls out of it by himself/herself. I'll worry about the possible charges after the officer is safe and has regained control.
      Sworn on September 22, 2010

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      • #4
        Originally posted by az4code23 View Post
        In a situation like that, help is always appreciated.

        Good to hear.

        I saw a video one time (if I can find it I'll post it), where a cop was strugling with a man over a gun I believe. A civilian came out of no where and put the bad guy in a stranglehold to help the cop. Next thing you see is another cop come out of nowhere, grab the civilian and throw him to the ground.

        I'm think to myself, wow... nice way to say thank you. Although I guess I can understand in the confusion your primary concern is helping the fellow officer, but still. It was very clear that the civilian was there to help.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by StylesBeyond View Post
          Good to hear.

          I saw a video one time (if I can find it I'll post it), where a cop was strugling with a man over a gun I believe. A civilian came out of no where and put the bad guy in a stranglehold to help the cop. Next thing you see is another cop come out of nowhere, grab the civilian and throw him to the ground.

          I'm think to myself, wow... nice way to say thank you. Although I guess I can understand in the confusion your primary concern is helping the fellow officer, but still. It was very clear that the civilian was there to help.
          I'm not an officer, but it is my guess the responding LEO had no idea the "good" civilian was there to help. Thus getting pounded. Just my guess.
          Sworn on September 22, 2010

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          • #6
            Help is good. Make sure the LEO knows whos side you're on.
            RIP Sgt. Joe Bergeron, We will surely miss you.

            - EOW 5/1/2010 -

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            • #7
              I think the safest thing to do is be a good witness, no matter what I am going home alive tonight.

              Bill
              Just pay your dues, and be quiet :-)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by AlmostaLEO View Post
                I would assist the officer without hesitation. I may get hurt or get my butt kicked. But no way am I gonna watch and hope the officer pulls out of it by himself/herself. I'll worry about the possible charges after the officer is safe and has regained control.
                Agreed........
                'Evil always wins when Good does nothing'-Anonymous

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                • #9
                  I don't know about a specific law for helping LEOs, but most states have a law relating to "defense of others." These laws generally say that if you are defending another person you "step into their shoes" and get the same rights as them. So the same rules would apply as apply in self defense. If the officer was justified in using force to defend himself, then you would be justified in using the same force to defend him. The amount of force would be justified by the circumstances, probably all the way up to deadly force if necessary.

                  Hands down, no question I would help an officer in trouble.
                  "No one can make you feel like a turd without your permission." - Eleanor Roosevelt.

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                  • #10
                    In Texas, I would think that this statute would protect you in almost any circumstances where you tried to help defend an officer.

                    V.T.C.A., Penal Code § 9.33
                    A person is justified in using force or deadly force against another to protect a third person if:
                    (1) under the circumstances as the actor reasonably believes them to be, the actor would be justified under Section 9.31 or 9.32 in using force or deadly force to protect himself against the unlawful force or unlawful deadly force he reasonably believes to be threatening the third person he seeks to protect; and

                    (2) the actor reasonably believes that his intervention is immediately necessary to protect the third person.
                    "No one can make you feel like a turd without your permission." - Eleanor Roosevelt.

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                    • #11
                      I worked a very small station where I would be the only law enforcement in town (or on the island actually). I had several locals help me out and always appreciated it.

                      From the Ca Penal Code. If instructed to help by an officer you are required to assist.

                      150. Every able-bodied person above 18 years of age who neglects or
                      refuses to join the posse comitatus or power of the county, by
                      neglecting or refusing to aid and assist in taking or arresting any
                      person against whom there may be issued any process, or by neglecting
                      to aid and assist in retaking any person who, after being arrested
                      or confined, may have escaped from arrest or imprisonment, or by
                      neglecting or refusing to aid and assist in preventing any breach of
                      the peace, or the commission of any criminal offense, being thereto
                      lawfully required by any uniformed peace officer, or by any peace
                      officer described in Section 830.1, subdivision (a), (b), (c), (d),
                      (e), or (f) of Section 830.2, or subdivision (a) of Section 830.33,
                      who identifies himself or herself with a badge or identification card
                      issued by the officer's employing agency, or by any judge, is
                      punishable by a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50) nor more
                      than one thousand dollars ($1,000).

                      But along with that comes the benies.........


                      From 830.6
                      (c) Whenever any person is summoned to the aid of any uniformed
                      peace officer, the summoned person is vested with the powers of a
                      peace officer that are expressly delegated to him or her by the
                      summoning officer or that are otherwise reasonably necessary to
                      properly assist the officer.

                      and from 12031, carrying a loaded firearm in public.

                      (b) Subdivision (a) shall not apply to any of the following:
                      (1) Peace officers listed in Section 830.1 or 830.2, or
                      subdivision (a) of Section 830.33, whether active or honorably
                      retired, other duly appointed peace officers, honorably retired peace
                      officers listed in subdivision (c) of Section 830.5, other honorably
                      retired peace officers who during the course and scope of their
                      employment as peace officers were authorized to, and did, carry
                      firearms, full-time paid peace officers of other states and the
                      federal government who are carrying out official duties while in
                      California, or any person summoned by any of those officers to assist
                      in making arrests or preserving the peace while the person is
                      actually engaged in assisting that officer
                      . Any peace officer
                      described in this paragraph who has been honorably retired shall be
                      issued an identification certificate by the law enforcement agency
                      from which the officer has retired. The issuing agency may charge a
                      fee necessary to cover any reasonable expenses incurred by the agency
                      in issuing certificates pursuant to this paragraph and paragraph
                      Today's Quote:

                      "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
                      Albert Einstein

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Outshined
                        That wouldn't be a problem here, because the only backup I get are civilians. Responding cops are miles away.
                        X2 Plus I always know the guy/gal backing me up...small towns are great.

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                        • #13
                          If I were getting worked over i would certainly hope a citizen would help me out! I've been in some sticky sitautions but usually since I know the people I'm dealing with pretty well they respect me. why i always talk respectfully to them, never know when it may save my life.

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                          • #14
                            No hesitation, regardless of the legal ramifications, get dirty...

                            Comment

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