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Fleeing Felon Rule

The Cops Killed Another Person!

Deadly Force Was NOT Warranted!

It seems to be an almost daily headline. Sometimes the victims are fleeing and the police shoot them in the back. The public seems especially outraged that the cops would shoot somebody in the back.

For example, Rayshard Brooks, was shot in the back and killed by Atlanta police in a Wendy's parking lot. A Wendy's employee reported to the police that Brooks had fallen asleep in the drive through lane. When officers arrived, Brooks was polite and cooperative for 40 minutes as they questioned him and conducted sobriety tests. However, when officers tried to arrest Brooks, he suddenly erupted, hit the cop, grabbed the cop's taser, fired the taser at the cop and took off running. When he got about 18 feet away, Brooks half turned and fired the taser a 2nd time, at which time the officer shot Brooks twice in the back, killing him.

Many people were outraged and promoted the idea that this was a case of racism and police brutality. For example, at his funeral, the Rev. Dr. Raphael G. Warnock, the senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church, who was later elected to the U.S. Senate, said:

“He wasn’t just running from the police. He was running from a system that makes slaves out of people. This is much bigger than the police. This is about a whole system that cries out for renewal and reform.”

Based on the Public Outrage Promoted

by Warnock and Others, the Police Officer


Fired and Charged With Homicide.

After Cooler Heads Prevailed,

the Officer was Reinstated and

the Homicide Charges Were Dropped.

Why? Because of the Fleeing Felon Rule. Under that rule, cops have the right to use deadly force, and no sane person would want it otherwise.

We inherited the Fleeing Felon Rule as part of our Common Law. The Fleeing Felon Rule says that a police officer can use force, even deadly force, to stop a fleeing felon. That means that if the officer tells you to stop, and you don't stop, they can shoot you dead. They can even shoot you in the back.

There are a few caveats. The office must suspect you of having committed a felony. A felony is any crime for which you could potentially be sentenced to more than 1 year incarceration. So this rule does not apply to suspected litterbugs. Or jaywalkers. They must order you to stop or attempt to arrest you, and you must resist or flee.

Once you meet these criteria, under the Fleeing Felon Rule, you are fair game. They can taser you, or tackle you or shoot you. The cop's choice.

Now there was one modification to the Fleeing Felon Rule that occurred back in 1985. That was the Tennessee v. Garner case. In this case, a somewhat small, unarmed teenage burglar was fleeing the scene of the crime, and he was shot dead in the back as he climbed a fence. Perfectly appropriate under the Fleeing Felon Rule. He met all the criteria because burglary is a felony, he was warned and he continued fleeing.

However the Supreme Court determined it was unconstitutional because this lightweight, unarmed teenager did not pose a threat to anybody. They ruled that a fleeing suspect does not warrant deadly force, unless the suspect poses a significant risk to the officer or others. Some people claim this case repealed the Fleeing Felon Rule. But that is not true. It only modified the Fleeing Felon Rule to require the element of threatened or imminent violence.

This decision was heralded by most as an improvement. When the Fleeing Felon Rule first came into existence, most felonies were also capital crimes, IE crimes for which the criminal could be executed, such as murder, piracy or treason. However, by 1985, many non violent crimes, including white collar crimes like embezzlement were classified as felonies. So it made sense to limit the Fleeing Felon Rule to those suspects that posed a danger of violence to police or others.

So did Brooks, discussed above, qualify for deadly force under the modified Fleeing Felon Rule?

Well, Let's look at what Brooks did.

  1. He hit the officer which is a violent felony.

  2. He took the taser from the officer which I think is also a felony.

  3. He attempted to taser the cop which is another violent felony.

  4. He ran which is eluding an officer which could be a misdemeanor or felony, but in this circumstance, I think it would be a felony.

  5. Finally, he made the 2nd attempt to tase the officer, which is another violent felony.

That is at least 3 violent felonies committed by Brooks, according to the public record, and verified by the widely watched video. So, yes, Brooks met all the criteria for the officer to use deadly force, even under the modified Fleeing Felon Rule. And that is why the officer got his job back, and the charges against the officer were dropped.

What about a burglar, who carries a gun? Burglary is kind of a stealth crime and not necessarily violent. But if an escaping burglar, fleeing arrest, is carrying a gun, they may carjack the next car they see, to further their escape. They may shoot the driver, who might be you, to commandeer your car. They may even turn around and shoot at the officer. They may miss the officer and the stray bullet might kill your mother, or your spouse or child. Thus, even a burglar, carrying a gun in the commission of nonviolent burglary would meet all of the criteria for the use of deadly force by the officer, if the burglar doesn't obey the police command to stop. This would apply to the commission of most crimes, if the criminal is armed.

This hairbrush was mistaken for a gun by police officers.

What if the criminal does not have a gun, but the police think they have a gun?

See the rub? In the heat of the moment, you don't know what correct, or incorrect, information the officer has. The fleeing person may not have even committed a crime, let alone a felony. It may be a case of mistaken identity.

The Fleeing Felon Rule, even as modified under Tennessee v. Garner, is designed to protect the public, not make it easier for dangerous criminals to escape.

The bottom line is this: When an officer says STOP, you MUST STOP!

If you ignore that command you are putting your own life on the line. And no sane person would want it any other way.

Now Help Get the Word Out!

The Public Needs to Quit Being Surprised

When Fleeing Felons Get Shot!

Parents: Don't mourn the loss of your children, after the fact. Don't sue the government after your child is dead. Make sure your children understand the potential price for ignoring a police officer's command to STOP.

Take care and BE HEALTHY!

CW Jasper

December 2022

© 2022· Content is Property Created by CW Jasper

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Gerald Hacker
Gerald Hacker
Dec 19, 2022

What people fail to realize is the police are professionals who will perform their duties in accordance to the law. There are exceptions though, as there are bad apples in every profession but overall, police should and deserve respect.

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