Mimesis Law
23 March 2017

Christian Dorscht: Off-Duty Officers and Arrests in a Crowd

February 24, 2017 (Fault Lines) – On Tuesday, February 21st, an unidentified off-duty Los Angeles Police officer attempted to detain a 13-year-old Latino, Christian Dorscht,[1] for allegedly threatening to shoot the officer in response to something the officer said to a teenaged girl. It went downhill from there. A scuffle broke out, and a single gunshot was fired. Although no one was injured, local civil rights activists are now calling for the officer’s head on a platter. Protests have occurred and the officer’s house was reported to have been vandalized.[2]

There are going to be people who don’t like this, but the officer took action, in my opinion, that stopped the situation from getting worse. Let’s look at the situation by examining the video.

The video starts with the officer holding onto Christian, and they are struggling back and forth. You can see a girl pulling on Christian’s backpack in an effort to free him from the officer. At about 0:30 you see another teenager in a white shirt and with a red backpack approach—remember this guy, you’ll see him later—and try to corner the officer. Along with him, there is an African-American in a dark hoodie and khaki pants, and another kid wearing jeans and a dark backpack.

At 1:20, the officer tells Christian that Christian should not have threatened to shoot him (which Christian denied, saying that he said he would “sue” the officer). Although I’m not a California lawyer, I believe that California is like most states where a peace officer can arrest for any offense that is committed in his presence, even if he is off-duty.

Threatening to shoot someone in California can fall under misdemeanor Criminal Threat[3] and would be an arrestable offense. It doesn’t matter at this point whether Christian said shoot or sue. That is a question of fact; what matters is that probable cause exists for the officer to take Christian into custody.

As this is going on, other young men are circling the officer as the officer tries to back away while still maintaining control of Christian. At 2:00, the black kid has taken off his hoodie and backpack and places them on the ground before approaching the officer and interfering with his detention of Christian by putting his hands on the officer. The officer orders him to back off, but he refuses to do so. Earlier I said to remember the guy in the white shirt: at 2:10, he comes charging in as if to tackle the officer and knocks him through a line of hedges.

At this point, you have a full out assault on the officer. The officer is trying to maintain control of Christian, but two others have assaulted him, and more are about to join in. The black kid takes a swing at the officer at 2:20, and yet another kid, this one in a maroon hoodie, jumps over the hedge and immediately reaches into his back pocket at 2:23. The officer is then facing Christian, three others across the hedge (two of whom have already assaulted him) and one other who is potentially reaching for a knife or other weapon.

I would have drawn my gun too, if I were in that situation. A gang of teenagers can beat a single opponent down to the ground. If they do that to an officer, they can get his gun and kill the officer. Hell, they don’t even have to get to the gun, they can just beat him to death. The officer fires one shot into the dirt under the hedges, and the young thugs who were attacking him backed off.

I’m okay with that, although I’m generally against warning shots. Only an idiot would claim that the kids were innocent and weren’t about to attack the officer. There could be an argument made that the shot wasn’t appropriate, but from my viewing of the video, it is undisputable that those kids were going to try to beat down the officer. Once down, the officer would have been at their mercy.

Under those circumstances, policy or not, the shot into the ground was reasonable. Once the shot was fired, all of the assailants and all of the bystanders beat feet to get away, and the officer was able to maintain control until the Anaheim Police got there.

But this isn’t a typical police shooting. First, the officer is not part of the Anaheim PD, so an outside agency is conducting the criminal investigation while LAPD looks at possible policy issues. Next, it is in Orange County, not Los Angeles County, so it will be an outside prosecutor as well.

Now, of course, the boy’s mother is all bent out of shape, and understandably so. I would be too if my child was involved in something like this. She said:

I just want to say how disgusted I am by that individual for the negligence he committed with my son.

My son is alive today, but if he would have not fought for his life along with those other children, he would be in a morgue right now. You almost killed my child. Stop shooting our kids. This is my son. He is 13 years old. He was not armed. He was, he pulled out, he reached for his weapon, he intended to use it. (emphasis added)

The statement on fighting for his life is crap and is where I part company with the mother. It bears no resemblance to the truth. It is what has recently been identified as “alt-facts.” The only reason that the officer put a round into the dirt is exactly because your son, along with 4 or 5 others, fought the officer.

I think that the officer should be absolved of any charges, whether criminal or internal, and put back to work.

[1] The boy’s mother has publicly identified her son by name in regards to this incident, and his name has been widely reported in the media. My normal policy is to not identify juveniles.

[2] Another report states that it was not the officer’s house.

[3] Cal. Pen. Code § 422.

34 Comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

*

*

Comments for Fault Lines posts are closed here. You can leave comments for this post at the new site, faultlines.us

  • shg
    24 February 2017 at 9:47 am - Reply

    If the interaction began with the off-duty officer’s highly dubious assertion that he misheard “sue” for “shoot,” a claim that belies the obvious fact that the child in his custody had no gun and thus couldn’t shoot regardless and posed no threat whatsoever, your analysis would make better sense.

    However, the interaction began with kids walking across his (or someone else’s, since it’s unclear) lawn. That’s not a crime, and the adult’s physical seizure of a child for walking on a lawn reversed the analysis in its initiation. The off-duty cop assaulted a child, and everything that happened after that stems from the cop’s improper, possibly criminal, initiation of action.

    His refusal to release this heinous lawn-walker doesn’t morph into a right to use deadly force against those attempting to free the victim from the cop’s illegal grasp. If the cop didn’t want to be put in a defensive position by an antagonized crowd, he shouldn’t have put his hands on the child. The the cop is the initiator of wrongful conduct, he can’t hide behind his shield when people defend the innocent against his aggression.

    • Greg Prickett
      24 February 2017 at 10:20 am - Reply

      Sorry Scott, but you’re wrong. The officer didn’t put his hands on the kid for walking across his yard, he did so because he made a threat against the officer. The law states:

      Any person who willfully threatens to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury to another person, with the specific intent that the statement, made verbally, in writing, or by means of an electronic communication device, is to be taken as a threat, even if there is no intent of actually carrying it out, which, on its face and under the circumstances in which it is made, is so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to convey to the person threatened, a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution of the threat, and thereby causes that person reasonably to be in sustained fear for his or her own safety or for his or her immediate family’s safety, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison.

      There is no requirement under California law that the kid have the means to carry out the threat, just that the kid meant for the comment to be taken as a threat at the time. Threatening to shoot someone meets the elements of the offense. The kid initiated the criminal activity by his threat to the officer and the officer was within his rights and authority to make an arrest for that offense. As you should be aware, the use of force to affect an arrest is not assault, not improper, and certainly not criminal.

      • shg
        24 February 2017 at 10:35 am - Reply

        I’m not sure that’s factually accurate. The vid begins with hands on the kid. There are multiple factual gaps here:

        1. that the excuse for any physical assault exists
        2. that his claim of having heard anything amounting to a threat happened
        3. that his claim of having heard anything amount to a threat met the elements of the offense. Note:

        which, on its face and under the circumstances in which it is made, is so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to convey to the person threatened, a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution of the threat, and thereby causes that person reasonably to be in sustained fear for his or her own safety or for his or her immediate family’s safety,

        Even if the cop conceivably misheard, it still woefully fails to meet the elements.

        4. Cops can commit crimes against non-cops, as you know. After he fired his weapon, had one of the people watching fired a weapon and killed the cop, he would have had far more credible legal justification for doing so. That, at least, gave rise to a reasonable belief that the cop created a threat of deadly harm to the child and would have more than justified the use of deadly force against the cop. Cops ain’t special when they commit crimes and wrongfully use deadly force. Had he killed the kid, would the kid be less dead because he was a cop?

        The cop was the aggressor. The cop lacked justification. He discharged a weapon (use of deadly force) to prevent people from lawfully defending against the possible commission of a crime against a child by the cop (did they even know he was a cop?). Absent giving the cop far more benefit of the doubt than the facts support, he’s the bad guy here.

        • Greg Prickett
          24 February 2017 at 2:20 pm - Reply

          Responding to your comments:

          1. The kid acknowledges that the officer identified himself as a police officer, stating at the beginning that his dad was a police officer. California, like most states, allows officers to use reasonable force to make an arrest, and prohibits the use of force to resist an arrest.

          2. They dispute what was said, whether the kid said “shoot” or “sue.” Like any cop will tell you, tell it to the judge. Arguing about it on the street won’t make the cop decide not to make the arrest.

          3. I’ll have to pull case law, but in California, if I understand it correctly, you don’t have to have have an immediate ability to carry out the threat. A conviction was had on one case where the threat was made to kill the complainant, and the suspect remained seated on the porch, unarmed, and made no move to get a weapon or otherwise act on the threat immediately. The court said that the key was that the suspect intended that the complaint take the statement as a threat.

          4. Well duh. Of course cops can commit crimes, and when they do, they should be held accountable for those crimes. The rest of the comments are hypos that have nothing to do with the facts at hand. You know, had the kid pulled a knife, the cop would have been justified in shooting him. But that didn’t happen, did it?

          The cop was justified.

  • Rick
    24 February 2017 at 10:38 am - Reply

    Greg,

    You keep referring to “the officer” but did the kids know he was an officer? Unless he had showed a badge wasn’t he, to them, just an old fart trying to push them around? Would his actions been okay if he wasn’t a cop?

    shg

    How would it be obvious to anyone that the kid didn’t have a gun?

    I’ve watched the video several times since yesterday and thought the shot was accidental.

    • Greg Prickett
      24 February 2017 at 2:21 pm - Reply

      Rick, the kid and the officer discussed it back and forth in the video, with the kid at one point making a half-hearted comment that he was not an officer.

  • Dwight Mann f/k/a “DM”
    24 February 2017 at 12:45 pm - Reply

    I’ve watched the relevant portion of the video three times. The first time I watched it I thought the discharge appeared to be unintentional/accidental and that opinion has been buttressed with each subsequent view. It seems that a lot of people are assuming this was an intentional use of a warning shot versus an accidental or negligent discharge.

  • Keith
    24 February 2017 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    The article you linked to says “It was unclear if the officer identified himself as a policeman, but at least one of the teenagers in a video seems to indicate that he had.”

    I can’t help notice that when uniformed officers show up on the scene (3:42) in the video, this officer can be seen with his arms in the air. They don’t appear to be taking his word for it. Why should anyone else?

    By all accounts he appears to be the aggressor in this situation, the living embodiment of the “get off my lawn” mentality imposing might on a bunch of kids walking.

    I fail to see how this does anything but highlight the fact that a cop is being judged by a separate set of standards for the same conduct others don’t get this benefit of the doubt on.

    • Dwight Mann f/k/a “DM”
      24 February 2017 at 1:53 pm - Reply

      “I fail to see how this does anything but highlight the fact that a cop is being judged by a separate set of standards for the same conduct others don’t get this benefit of the doubt on.”

      A favorite refrain of some “cop-watchers” is that badges don’t grant extra rights. Anybody even mildly familiar with the issue is perfectly aware that badges (police powers) do, in fact, grant extra rights. Police officers are often judged by a different (separate) set of standards than civilians because the laws of most (all?) jurisdictions grant them “extra” rights that necessitate their actions be judged differently than civilians. You may not like it, but feigning ignorance of the foregoing fact is disingenuous.

    • Greg Prickett
      24 February 2017 at 2:24 pm - Reply

      The officer putting his hands up is standard. I’ve proned out and cuffed an officer in street clothes before. Uncuffed him and let him go after I identified him – he knew that all I could see was a man with a gun and I was going to play it safe. Officers know this and that’s why he put his hands up.

  • Glenn
    24 February 2017 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    While I largely agree with your analysis, you do leave out a couple of points. First, it appears that the officer never identifies himself and it is unclear whether he ever informed the 13 year old, or the others that he was arresting the 13 year old. At one point in the video the 13 year old says something to the effect of “I could understand if you were a cop, but you aren’t one” so it seems the officer may NOT have identified himself.

    While it likely doesn’t make any legal difference, the fact that the other people did NOT know this was a police officer helps explain their actions. If my child was being abducted by some strange man, I hope his friends would step up and try to help him as the other children who “assaulted and battered” the off-duty officer did.

    Also, while you may believe that the officer’s actions helped prevent an escalation in violence, Anaheim Municipal Code makes it illegal to discharge a weapon in the city:

    Bookmark6.32.060 DISCHARGING FIREARMS OR FIREWORKS — RESTRICTED.
    It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to fire or discharge any pistol, gun or other description of firearms or fireworks of any kind in the City of Anaheim; provided, that nothing herein contained shall prohibit:
    (1) Any peace officer from the necessary use of such firearms in the discharge of his official duties.

    I’m not sure this officer was discharging his official duties and I don’t think that the discharge of his pistol would fall within policy and therefore should not be considered a “necessary use of such firearm.”

    Putting all that aside, this officer was a complete bonehead. From misinterpreting “I’ll sue you” as “I’ll shoot you” to deciding to detain the kid. He is a PIG. Not all police are, but in this instance he proved himself to be one. Even if he actually misheard the kid (which I doubt) I’m not sure the other elements of the crime where met. The officer certainly did NOT appear to actually be in sustained fear for his life or safety from the kid.

    I also don’t like the fact that the two juveniles were arrested but the officer was not. There was adequate evidence to arrest the officer for illegally discharging a weapon.

  • Keith
    24 February 2017 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    Well, sure that’s one way to look at it.

    Alternatively, the uniformed officers were interfering in what you deem a lawful arrest because when all you see is “a man with a gun”, playing it “safe” seems like the prudent call.

    The common sense you attribute to the officers here could also absolve a passerby seeing a random guy grab a kid, pull out a firearm and drawing upon him.

    After all, they saw a guy with a gun, too and played it safe.

    Except of course, the unbeknownst fact that he might be a cop seems to change all that, albeit after the fact.

  • Bah
    24 February 2017 at 4:30 pm - Reply

    Everyone keeps referring to the “child” or “boy” as if he is a toddler. Although 13, he is almost as tall as the officer, and offers serious physical resistance to the officer.

  • Spectator
    24 February 2017 at 11:14 pm - Reply

    The officer’s conduct was legitimate within the laws that will judge this incident, even though perhaps his response was a little above the situation itself…

    -[Anaheim Code 6.32.060-discharging firearms] leaves unimpeded “Any peace officer from the necessary use of such firearms in the discharge [read performance] of his official duties.” An off-duty officer is still a sworn member of the public corps and his oath is not turned off just because he’s not on-call. That he discharged his weapon for what he perceived as a threat seems full of risk yet justified

    -[CA Penal code 837] allows any public citizen to detain anyone for a misdemeanor that took place ‘in presence’. From another video that shows earlier moments of this scuffle, the officer empowered himself to grab the offender after a perceived a verbal threat. The person protests “You know my dad is a cop!” where the officer replied “I don’t care if your Dad is a cop. I’ll explain it to him face to face. If your Dad is a cop then let him come here.”- announcing his intent to detain him legally.

    -[CA Penal code 422] The offender is not heard stating the threat in either videos I’ve seen. However the offender subliminally conceded his intent when he argued several times with the officer that he said “sue” and not “shoot”. Even if the officer misheard, the apprehension was placed upon the officer and it is then for the courts to decide what was the original intent and verbiage used. The fact the teenagers surrounding the offender were also threatening the officer before he starts dragging the offender around does not help the offender’s case:
    In the video I saw the teenager in a white shirt with a red backpack -the one that pushed the officer into the hedge- told him earlier “I’m not fucking scared either, [so] if you are going to say you’re going to do it then man-up and fucking do it”. Also, as the offender started getting dragged around in the yard someone in Spanish spoke up to say “Kick [the officer] in the nuts!”

    -[CA Jury Instructions CALCRIM #505] The officer had no choice at a certain point. He was already smacked a couple times by the following teenagers and then pushed into the hedge. The moment the teenager with the wine-colored hoodie jumped the hedge with his hand behind him, the officer is there justified to stand his ground in defense:
    “A defendant is not required to retreat. He or she is entitled to stand his or her ground and defend himself or herself and, if reasonably necessary, to pursue an assailant until the danger of (death/great bodily injury/) has passed. This is so even if safety could have been achieved by retreating.”

    This was all a sad event and more so reading of the parent and protest reactions. Common sense to learn how the law affects us all daily and how to discern potential hazards was amiss. But at least real life will hopefully teach the young person better for his future.

    • shg
      25 February 2017 at 10:48 am - Reply

      It’s valuable for people, particularly lawyers, to understand how the world looks through the distorted lens of someone who demonstrates no grasp of law, but will fabricate any fantasy possible to justify police impropriety. That said, this is special:

      However the offender subliminally conceded his intent when he argued several times with the officer that he said “sue” and not “shoot”.

      Subliminally conceded? Beyond parody.

  • Ahaz
    25 February 2017 at 12:18 am - Reply

    This is the problem with off-duty and plain clothes officers. Why would anyone take the word of anyone grabbing them, assualting the, without proper identification. Telling me you’re an officer is not enough if I am being assaulted. You had better displayed a badge before assaulting me or I’m fighting like hell to defend myself. Just as cops say ‘I don’t know who has as weapon” neither do I. Secondarily, even if you gave the cop the benefit of doubt, he failed to maintain contro of his weapon and it fired recklessly. If he properly identified himeself as a officer, I seriously doubt if anyone would have approached him like those young adults did. It’s readily apparent that this officer is a danger to the community and should be fired immediately. We don’t need cowboys with badges on the street.

    • Greg Prickett
      25 February 2017 at 12:48 am - Reply

      Comments like this are the reason that we can’t have nice things, like police departments without unions.

      • 0dder
        25 February 2017 at 12:52 pm - Reply

        Comments like this are the reason we *currently* don’t have nice things, because people are ready to leap to the defense of someone who has a badge, even though he’s a bully who is unable to control misfiring his weapon.

        • Greg Prickett
          26 February 2017 at 1:00 am - Reply

          Thank you for your input, incorrect as it is.

          • 0ddere
            27 February 2017 at 12:22 pm -

            Thank you for the reply, as pointless and vacuous as it is. Kinda like the whole article, though. At least you’re consistent!

  • phv3773
    25 February 2017 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    Summary: An off-duty officer is so full of himself that he felt the need to arrest a kid for giving him lip, and persisted while the situation degenerated to the point where he felt the need to pull a gun. But that’s OK because cops are special.

  • Brad
    26 February 2017 at 6:50 am - Reply

    There are fact issues here with respect to the issue of probable cause.

    Judges don’t like to get into the issue of whether an LEO is straight up lying.

    I think that is why Mr. Prickett discounts the possibility that the offduty policeman is straight up lying. I could imagine a court also discounting this possibility, but it would not make it right.

    I don’t like what happened here, so I remembered this old injustice, of the policeman who hunted down and killed the ding dong ditcher, for perspective:

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:kHSieW5jRwkJ:www.theagitator.com/2010/04/20/ding-dong-ditcher-killed-by-cop/+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    • Greg Prickett
      26 February 2017 at 2:45 pm - Reply

      Quite inventive and original.

      First, I didn’t say anything about whether the off duty officer was credible or not, because that’s not my place to evaluate credibility. The standard for an arrest is whether the officer can articulate sufficient facts to lead a reasonable person to conclude that a crime may have been committed and the person arrested had committed that crime. Unless there is a reason to question the credibility of the officer at this stage, if the officer articulates specific facts, those facts are taken at face value.

      Second, we don’t know what statement was made by the officer in regards to PC, all we know is what he said to the kid during the video.

      Finally, if you’re going to link to the shooting of Tyler Spann by Deputy Carlos Verdoni, why not post the rest of the story. You know, where a separate witness called into 911 and said that Spann attacked Verdoni, and later told investigators that the two “embraced in a physical altercation, falling to the ground from the grass onto the road” which supported Verdoni’s statement. Spann had a BAC of .216 and Spann reportedly told Verdoni “Fuck you, you’re going to have to kill me.”

      You fail to mention that Spann’s friends began following Verdoni around, harassing him, shouting obscenities, and posting on social media.

      If you’re going to post information about an officer involved shooting, you need to post ALL of the information, not just the part that makes the officer look bad.

      • Brad
        27 February 2017 at 9:27 am - Reply

        The off duty officer should not be taken at face value. That was the point of my post. Although courts and IAD’s may do this, I am aware of no binding precedent that comes out and says that this is the correct approach.

        Neither should Verdoni have been taken at face value back in 2010. Neither should Verdoni’s unnamed witness. Especially when the other witness (that is, the other ding dong ditcher who was named) said that it did not happen how Verdoni said it did. These are exactly the type of credibility questions that should be settled by trials, even though they are often not for nefarious reasons.

        • Greg Prickett
          27 February 2017 at 12:28 pm - Reply

          I’m sorry, but you don’t understand the court system. Initial pleadings are always taken at face value. They allege a crime or a tort, etc., and the other party is brought into court. On the criminal charges, that normally comes with an arrest and bond, but that’s also why there is an arraignment right off of the bat. If the charges don’t meet standard, they are dismissed at that point.

          You don’t hold court on the street. You hold it in a courtroom.

          PC, by taking the officer (or anyone else for that matter) at his word, is how you get there.

          On Verdoni, you’re just wrong. The other ding dong ditcher didn’t see the confrontation, he beat feet and left Spann behind. The witness was a disinterested third party who told 911 that Spann attacked Verdoni. You don’t take someone to criminal trial if you can’t prove your case.

          • Brad
            27 February 2017 at 3:15 pm -

            The other witness is what lawyers call an “ear witness.” that is, what he heard and didn’t hear was inconsistent with what Verdoni said. No all witnesses are eye witnesses.

            Also, there is no basis in the record for characterizing the alleged eye witness as “disinterested.” Part of the reason that you have a trial is so that this individual is disinterested, competent, etc. Unfortunately that didn’t happen in Verdoni’s case.

          • Greg Prickett
            27 February 2017 at 6:43 pm -

            The witness I was speaking about was looking out his bedroom window and testified that he saw them. That’s not an “ear” witness.

            Look, I’m sorry that Spann died. But when you’re an athlete in good shape, jump a police officer, knock him to the ground and pin him there, tell the officer that he is going to have to kill him, and then reach for the officer’s gun, you’re going to get shot. I get that you don’t like it, but unless you have some real evidence on that case, it’s just your opinion.

            Furthermore, it has absolutely nothing to do with this post, other than identify a bias on your part. You don’t like what happened there, so you apply it to every case in the US, including this on the opposite side of the country. But that still doesn’t matter, because the initial statement is still going to be taken at face value.

  • Glenn
    27 February 2017 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    But why were the officer’s statements taken at face value to support an arrest of the juveniles, but (apparently, because I don’t know for sure) other peoples statements weren’t taken at face value to arrest the officer.

    Off duty Officer says, “I heard teen threaten to shoot me. Therefore I had PC to make an arrest, therefore I did.” Supports PC and the arrest of the juveniles.

    However, kids’ stories are basically “Officer yelled at a girl, and called her a cunt and to get off his lawn. I said don’t be a jerk and if you come at me I will sue you. I did nothing wrong and the officer assaulted and falsely arrested me.” Why can’t we take that at face value and that it establishes PC for an arrest?

    • Greg Prickett
      28 February 2017 at 8:53 pm - Reply

      PC for what crime? False arrest isn’t a crime, it’s a tort. Assault won’t fly as a crime, officers are legally authorized to use force to make an arrest.

      So you have to have a crime. What crime do you want to charge?

      • Glenn
        1 March 2017 at 1:10 pm - Reply

        officers are legally authorized to use force to make an arrest, when they have legal justification to believe a crime has occurred. Officers commit assault and battery when they make an arrest w/o legal justification.

        The only evidence we have of the kid saying “I will shoot you” is the officer’s statement.
        The officer’s story is pretty sketchy. From the contemporaneous video it seems pretty clear the kid said sue. In the middle of the argument he was saying I didn’t say shoot I said sue.

        There is probable cause to arrest the officer for assualt and battery if the witnesses told arriving police “the officer called a girl a cunt for walking on his property, this kid said why be disrespectful, the officer went up to the kid and the kid said don’t touch me or I will sue, and the officer grabbed the kid. There was no legal justification to grab/arrest the kid.” From what I have read it seems that something like that state of affairs got relayed to the police.

        So despite the fact that the officer’s version of events is pretty crazy, there apparently isn’t probably cause to believe that the officer committed a battery by grabbing the kid. why, because we believe the Officer when he says the kid says “I will shoot you” but we don’t believe the kids when they say the officer had no legitimate reason to arrest, assault and batter him.

        Basically the only reason there isn’t probably cause to arrest the police officer is because we don’t give the kid the same “belief” that we give the officer.

        Now I understand that if every time an arrestee stated “the officer tackled me for no reason” and assaulted and battered me the officer was arrested, this would have a significant impact on police procedures. But when you have multiple witnesses who seem to corroborate the story why doesn’t the police officer get arrested.

        • Greg Prickett
          1 March 2017 at 1:29 pm - Reply

          You also had at least one witness who supported the officer’s version of events.

          You have a video that shows the officer being attacked by multiple assailants.

          But don’t arrest the kid who was resisting, or the kid that took a swing at the officer, or the one that tried to tackle him?

          That’s not realistic.

          You are so biased against the police that it doesn’t matter what the officer did, you would find fault with it. Are you aware that in most states, the fact that the underlying arrest is tossed out does not justify resisting the officer by force, and if you do resist, the officer is legally justified in using force to overcome that resistance?

          Finally, you need to get away from the “legal justification” phrase. At the arrest, legal justification means probable cause. The officer had that. That’s why the officer wasn’t arrested at the scene.

          • Glenn
            1 March 2017 at 3:56 pm -

            I never said don’t arrest the kid that took a swing at the officer or the one that tried to tackle him. So why are you claiming that I argued for that.

            Also, as to resisting arrest, you have to be told you are under arrest in order to “resist” it. If an unknown person comes up to you, does not announce he is a police officer and tries to grab you and you resist being tackled etc. that does not meet the definition of resisting arrest. The elements of the crime require that you intentionally resist or obstructed an officer in the the performance of his/her duties AND that the defendant knew that the officer was performing a lawful duty. The video is very unclear as to whether or when the off-duty officer advised the kid that he was a police officer and was arresting the kid. Absent evidence of such knowledge there is no “resisting” charge to be made.

            And I have agreed that to the extent the off duty officer articulated to the arriving Anaheim police that the kid had said “I’ll shoot you.” that the Anaheim police had PC to arrest him. However, IF (and again we don’t have the complete record but it seems likely) several other witnesses contradicted the officer and said, NO, the kid never said shoot he said sue, the officer is full of BS, then the Anaheim police would have had PC to arrest the officer as well.

            In addition, there is no dispute that the officer fired his weapon. Whether it was accidental or an intentional warning shot it is clear he did NOT fire it in immediate self defense. It arguably did prevent further violence but I’m not convinced that immunizes him. It is illegal to discharge a firearm in Anaheim but there is an exception for police officers if it was a “necessary use of such firearms in the discharge of his official duties.” I don’t believe that firing it was necessary. Most of the kids were already backing away after he pulled out the weapon and nobody attempted to attack him after he pulled it out. Discharging it was NOT necessary. I think there was probably PC to arrest him for violation of that as well.

            Yes, I am aware that even if the underlying arrest is tossed out, that doesn’t necessarily justify resisting an arrest. Usually you are allowed only to resist unreasonable force but not the arrest itself. What does that have to do with any of my arguments? Again, the officer is only permitted to use force and to arrest a suspect if he has PC to do so.

            I honestly don’t think the kid said Shoot. It is possible the officer innocently missheard Shoot. However, I tend to think the officer was pissed off at the kids walking across his lawn (calling one of them a cunt?), didn’t like it when somebody stood up to him, and decided he would fabricate a reason to arrest the kid.

            I do commend the cop for using a very minimum of force in holding onto the kid, at least up until he pulled out the gun and fired it.

          • Greg Prickett
            1 March 2017 at 4:55 pm -

            Also, as to resisting arrest, you have to be told you are under arrest in order to “resist” it.

            No, and that’s not close to being the law on resisting. California PC 148 is like most.

            The complainant was a cop performing or attempting to perform his duties (i.e., to make an arrest), the defendant intentionally resisted, obstructed or delayed the performance of these duties and he knew that the cop was performing his duty.

            It’s clear from the video that the kid knew that the guy was a cop.

          • Glenn
            1 March 2017 at 5:26 pm -

            I was being imprecise, No, you don’t have to be told you are being arrested. However you must know that your actions are impeding an officer in the performance of his/her duties. Basically, you have to know it is an officer and that s/he is attempting to arrest you. This officer was NOT in uniform. So how was the kid to know he was an officer, UNLESS HE TOLD HIM. Why be so pedantic about that?

            At various points in time the kid says your not a cop etc. If anything, it appears the kid believes the person is NOT an officer. I’m not sure the officer identified himself as a police officer. I didn’t hear him do it during the course of the video and most of the people watching didn’t seem to know he was a police officer so there is certainly some room to doubt whether he communicated that he was a police officer and was arresting the kid.

            I didn’t see or hear so if you could point me to why you think it is clear that the kid knew the person was a cop?