In quite an amazing announcement, a legal expert has come forward to announce that the officer responsible for taking the life of Mike Brown, may be off the hook. According to a Missouri law statute, officers are authorized to shoot and kill a fleeing robbery suspect.
News of the statute comes about from Professor John F. Banzhaf III, Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University Law School, who explained that self defense isn’t Darren Wilson’s only defense. Although the main stream media would like for the public to believe this, Banzhaf explains the officer faces the likely reality of never being charged with a crime.
Although self-defense is commonly claimed, and is a nice and neat narrative as it gives the reasoning of the preservation of life, at this point there are two narratives on the issue – one in which Brown was shot in the back (which the autopsy has since disproved) and one where Brown was charging the officer. Now if he was charging the officer, it would account for self-defense, but as many are so adamant on declaring that Brown was shot in the back, it appears as though he’s innocent of criminal activity nonetheless.
(See also: Ferguson Rioters Hurl Rocks At MSNBC Crew)
According to eurweb:
Section 563.046 authorizes a law enforcement officer to use “deadly force” “when he reasonably believes that such use of deadly force is immediately necessary to effect the arrest and also reasonably believes that the person to be arrested . . . has committed or attempted to commit a felony.
Basically, even if Wilson could not prove self-defense, let’s just say for argument’s sake that he shot Brown in the back, he could argue that the deceased had just committed a felony and that he would not have been able to, “effect the arrest,” without shooting the suspect. The release of the convenience store footage in which brown “strong-armed” the owner and made off with the goods, only further goes to prove Wilson’s case.
Despite the Ferguson Police Chief declaring that the robbery and Brown’s death were two separate matters, the statute may prove that notion to be false. However, other reports (that have also been proven false) have gone to say that, at the time, Wilson did not know, nor did he stop Brown because, of the robbery – so he wouldn’t have been trying to stop a criminal who had just committed a felony, right?
According to the officer’s account of the matter, Brown had struck him in the face. Assaulting a police officer is a big no-no, and also a felony, in which the officer’s actions would yet again fall under.
The statute however, as pointed out by Banzhaf, seems to be in contradiction with a, “decision by the U.S. Supreme Court which limited the circumstances under which an officer may use deadly force to stop a fleeing suspect.”
Although this is the case, Wilson could have been operating under a pretense in which what he was doing was completely legal – and it very well may have been. It seems that the legalities on the matter will have to be hammered out in court, although at this point, Wilson has so many defenses it seems that he’s virtually off the hook.
What do you guys think though – could this statute be Wilson’s saving grace or does Brown’s charging leave it a self-defense case?