police brutality

Newark, NJ — A court case was decided this month by an appellate court in New Jersey which affirmed that citizens are allowed to defend themselves against police brutality.

The court’s decision involves the case of Darnell Reed, 33, who was beaten to a bloody pulp by officers during an arrest in 2013 in which he faced multiple charges. A jury found him not guilty on seven of the eight charges, with the only guilty charge being that of “resisting arrest.”

However, the appellate court ruled last week that Reed was denied a fair trial in that instance, as the jury had not been instructed to consider whether or not Reed had that right to defend himself against police brutality.

On April 1, 2013, Reed was targeted by two police officers who claim they saw him holding a brick of heroin. The officers claimed that Reed ran from them and then resisted when they attempted to bring him in.

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However, as the court noted, “It is likely that the jury found aspects of the testimony of the State’s witnesses to be less than credible. Given these circumstances, the evidence of guilt can hardly be characterized as overwhelming.”

The two officers were identified in court records as Louis Weber and Manuel Souto. They were dressed in plainclothes and were in an unmarked car when they attempted to apprehend Reed.

As NJ 1015 reports, the cops repeatedly struck Reed’s ribs and threw him to the ground. His face was left bloodied and swollen and his blood covered the ground. The appellate decision says more than 10 of his dreadlocks “were forcibly ripped from his scalp.” Reed had to be hospitalized and still suffers from pain in his rib cage.

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To come to their decision, the court referenced the long-standing precedent set in State v. Mulvihill, which notes:

“If in effectuating the arrest or the temporary detention the officers employs excessive and unnecessary force, the citizen may respond or counter with the use of reasonable force to protect himself, and if in doing so the officer is injured no criminal offense has been committed.”

As the court noted, a citizen “loses his privilege of self-defense if he knows that if he submits to the officer, the officer’s excessive use of force will cease.”

However, the court explained, that self-defense instruction to the jury is required even if the defense attorney does not require it.

Viewed most favorably to the defendant, the evidence supported a finding that the officers used unnecessary and excessive force against defendant, thereby providing a rational basis for a self-defense charge. Therefore, the trial court should have given the jury a self-defense charge as part of its resisting arrest instructions. Kelly, supra, 97 N.J. at 200; State v. Simms, 369 N.J. Super. 466, 472-73 (App. Div. 2004). The failure to instruct the jury that legitimate self-defense is a justification for resisting arrest where the facts reasonably could support that defense constitutes plain error. Simms, supra, 369 N.J. Super. at 473.

Because the officers were found to have used excessive force and severely injured Reed, the court noted that Reed would have been justified in defending himself against his abuse.

Therefore, the defendant was entitled to a self-defense charge and its omission from the jury instructions was plain error.

While this case is not held as a precedent, the court’s opinion is not without merit. Self-defense is a natural right; when laws are in place that protect incompetent police by removing one’s ability to protect one’s self, simply because the aggressor has a badge and a uniform, this is a human rights violation.

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This ruling is also supported by an Indiana law which allows for citizens to shoot at police officers who unlawfully enter their homes.

In that case, Indiana took action to “recognize the unique character of a citizen’s home and to ensure that a citizen feels secure in his or her own home against unlawful intrusion by another individual or a public servant.”

While some people may fear-monger over rulings and laws like this one, they are missing the point entirely. The point is not to create an environment in which people fight back against police. The point is to create an environment in which police don’t act in ways that make innocent citizens have to fight back.

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Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project. Follow @MattAgorist on Twitter, Steemit, and now on Facebook.
  • TruthHurts

    Yeah, I’m sure this won’t cause any problems

    • Damiana

      It’s actually gonna solve a few, I think!

    • Steve in Iowa

      The last paragraph was directed towards you.

      • TruthHurts

        I suggest a reading comprehension course, that way you won’t show your stupidity next time.

  • Amor Terra

    Well past time.

  • Gordon Klock

    Overdue, wish this & the Indiana home defense laws were nationwide…

  • imtoomuch

    Good luck defending yourself in the anti-gun state of NJ. Thanks Christie.

  • C*HarrisTHEboss

    “Does the government fear us? Or do we fear the government? When the people fear the government, tyranny has found victory. The federal government is our servant, not our master!” – some old smart guy that nobody pays attention to anymore

    • TOPDOG1

      YEA ! Go tell them that, smart guy..

  • Kayron Weaver

    You’ll be dead if you try any self defense, the dead can’t talk on their beha
    lf

    • April Crief

      You’ll be dead if you don’t defend yourself, so why not go out taking one of these clowns with you. I’m here for This! Lets “SELF DEFEND” ourselves on every stop people! I feel some serious pay back boiling over, especially for black and brown people and their families in this God awful country;).

      • lawmanjed

        Whoa hey, it is NOT a “God awful” country. Pretty much all governments suck, and always have. Did you know that 11 of the original 13 colonies supported the end of slavery in America at the Continental Congress on July 4th 1776? It was in the original Declaration of Independence to end slavery, written by Thomas Jefferson, a slave-owner who renounced slavery and freed his slaves. South Carolina refused to sign the Declaration, which had to be unanimous, and North Carolina went along with however S. Carolina voted. Georgia originally went along with Carolina, but wound up voting for independence despite the end-slavery wording. South Carolina held out. There were heated arguments to end the brutal, hypocritical, un-Christian practice. It was a major topic of discussion that almost kept the nation from being born. Most wanted it ended. Big-industry won out and the end-slavery wording was removed from the Declaration. Otherwise slavery might have been ended at the founding of this nation.
        As for police brutality and violence, no doubt black Americans have taken a large brunt of it. That said, there is no shortage of white or other ethnicities who are victimized every day by the corrupt system. The mainstream media only makes a big-deal out of police killings when they kill blacks, to fulfill their NWO divide & conquer agenda, then make white people think it’s only happening to blacks. Stop by this website once a week and you’ll see the police-state does not discriminate, it violates everybody it can.
        As Jefferson said, “The price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance”. This government is on a tyrannical totalitarian path, but many Americans are waking up to the wrongs our government has been doing to us, and are attempting to reverse it. Things aren’t set in stone. There is no “state”, as in “static” as in “status quo”. Things are constantly changing. Help us change things for the better by being the change you want to see. Stand up for you personal liberty and the personal liberty of others.

        • Ronnie Wrenchbiscuit

          Thomas Jefferson was a slaveowner and a pedophile. I’m really sick of you apologists making excuses for these freaks of nature. Guess what lawmanjed? Every wealthy white Euro-American didn’t own slaves. Owning slaves was not a mandatory prerequisite for becoming an American. It was a choice made by lazy,greedy, criminals.

          Based on your logic, anyone who kidnaps and enslaves someone for a certain period of time, even for 20 years, is OK as long as they eventually let them go! That is not only absurd, but racist as well. And then you have the nerve to quote this miscreant as if he were a great man. You may as well quote John Wayne Gacy. And Sally Hemings was Jefferson’s slave long enough to father 6 children by the rapist bastard who started raping her between the ages of 12 and 14. I suppose if a President kidnapped, enslaved, and raped your mother, sister, or daughter, and then eventually let her go you would be proud of that, and even brag to your friends about it.

          And your assertion about 11 of the 13 colonies being against slavery in 1776 is nothing but a limp dick. The fact that it took them nearly 100 years to abolish that peculiar institution indicates that no one was in too big of a hurry to end the nightmare of human bondage. Of course, how could they focus on freeing the slaves when the majority were busy stealing the land from the natives and killing as many as they could in order to make way for white settlement?

          Finally, you deliver in your commentary the excuse that ” …pretty much all governments suck…”. Your logic here is since they all suck we may as well glorify the one that seems to suck the least, at least for the white majority.I say how about we don’t glorify any government that has committed crimes against humanity. And if that means all governments then I can live with that. I really don’t need a flag to wave in order to feel like a whole person. I don’t require a “national identity” to feel like I have a place in this world.

          • Skip Robinson

            I think you will find if you research this more thoroughly the lame stream media was at it again in their recent accounts of his life. There initial accounts of the DNA evidence showing Thomas Jefferson as the father of any of Hemming’s children have all be retracted. You have to read page 26 for the retraction in the far left bottom. Lol.

            In the book The Jefferson Lies by David Barton he outlines that the DNA evidence unequivocally showed that Sally’s 1st son Tom was not TJ’s son. He also provides the evidence that the initial fraudulent claims during the time of Jefferson were made by a person who was found to be a sophist by the name of James Callender. Most researchers believe it was Thomas Jefferson’s younger brother Randolph who “used to come out among the black people, play the fiddle and dance half the night….” according to oral traditions of the black families noted in Memoirs of a Monticello Slave and the DNA evidence does support this.

            Your lack of factual support and anger makes you quite suspect of being a sophist yourself but I was also under the erroneous notions as you until I read the book noted above. But I did not ever believe he was a rapists as you. I have have read much of Jefferson and by Jefferson including all of his 100’s of letters between Abigail and John Adams and himself. I have found no malice, hypocrisy or racism in anything or from anyone about him except by sophists or the ill informed.

        • Skip Robinson

          The nation state legalizes force, coercion and taxation via political means enabling the wealthy to usurp the rights and property of the poor and middle class. It allows the government, who is controlled by a ruling oligarchy, to take property from those who it rightfully belongs to and give it to those it doesn’t. Sadly no society has ever been able to stop this action over the long term, as long as taxation is legalized and only one society that I am ware of, the Celtics of Ireland, did this and it was only from 600 AD to 1600 AD. Would you except 1,000 years of peace and prosperity because that is what happened?

          From Murray Rothbard’s book, “For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto“; “The most remarkable historical example of a society of libertarian law and courts, however, has been neglected by historians until very recently. And this was also a society where not only the courts and the law were largely libertarian, but where they operated within a purely state-less and libertarian society. This was ancient Ireland—an Ireland which persisted in this libertarian path for roughly a thousand years until its brutal conquest by England in the seventeenth century. And, in contrast to many similarly functioning primitive tribes (such as the Ibos in West Africa, and many European tribes), preconquest Ireland was not in any sense a “primitive” society: it was a highly complex society that was, for centuries, the most advanced, most scholarly, and most civilized in all of Western Europe. For a thousand years, then, ancient Celtic Ireland had no State or anything like it. As the leading authority on ancient Irish law has written: “There was no legislature, no bailiffs, no police, no public enforcement of justice. . . . There was no trace of State-administered justice.”

        • porkchop6209

          Thank you, sir! You expounded upon a point I’ve tried to bring up many times, especially recently. I get the most dumbfounded blank stares, then arguments that I’m crazy and don’t know what I’m talking about! Don’t we wished we knew the exactness of what really, really occurred in the Founder’s debates and arguments? Same for the War of Northern Aggression!
          As to your latter points, been victim to it myself. Still physically threatened and intimidated by him to this day. His screw ups, his mistakes. They know no bounds to protect their own.

      • Aaron Litke

        go somewhere else if you hate it so much

    • DJ Blue Ballz

      Nowadays you’d be dead doing nothing either so you may as well stop being a pussy and fight back

  • Rogue cops cost us money

    Remember Kelly Thomas look what happened to him.

  • alaskanexile

    Interesting. Hi, another jarhead cryptoligic linguist checking in. A direct correlation of this would be that a third party could also defend a citizen who is subject to unreasonable force.

    • Wish like hell I could get someone to defend me. Just a 41 yo single white female, mother of two, had every aspect of my life exterminated and character assassinated after 23 years in the same town with not even the first unpleasant encounter with law enforcement. They even arranged sexual expiration of my 14 year old daughter. No help from anywhere!! WTF? Ive lived in honor of sacrifices made by service members, Marines being my favorite BTW… Most honorable. A Few Good Men sold me on that theory.
      What happened to America? Why won’t anyone anywhere help me?

      • G’ma G

        Because in the know who are good hearted people are still too few and far between.

      • chellethesouthernbelle

        what is sexual expiration?

        • wendylee

          I suspect autocorrect attack. I’ve had that happen to me. She wrote exploitation.

  • palvadore

    I think someone is trying to get people killed. Go ahead and try to resist and then let us know how it works out for you.

    From the case:
    “Resisting a false arrest with violence, when no violence is being used against you is illegal!”

    Better be sure before you go froggy.

    • lawmanjed

      The point is, if they are beating you into a pulp and you resist in pure basic self-defense, you have a hope and a prayer of claiming self-defense to beat that charge, that is if you survive the onslaught.

  • Thomas Walston

    okay well since this topic has to do with guns and police i live in Indiana okay we dont have an open carry of a firearm unless you have a license to conceal, my quistion is i read where on may 9th the supreme court ruled that detaining someone for the sole fact of packing a firearm just to ask if they have a license is a violation of the 4th amendment unless they have probable cause that a crime is being committed. does that mean that it will be easier for ppl to open carry without a license?

  • aaronC

    So they have to initiate force for you to be able to protect yourself? Easy for them to say that after you are getting your butt kicked. What about the illegal and warrant less searches they conduct to fish for crimes? There are laws that protect us from the police but they are disobeyed by the enforcers and the courts that are supposed to protect us from their oppression. People are scared of the police and the government, until this is reversed this type of tyranny will continue.

  • TOPDOG1

    The judges are like bleating sheep while the wolves of law enforcement howl with laughter,They have always said we have the right to defend ourselves but this has never stopped the police from killing us. Judges are little more than toilet paper used by prosecutors. Until the prosecutors are held responsible for safeguarding our Civil Liberties and for prosecuting law enforcement, things will only get worse. If they were, and should be held responsible it would remove the need for us to be forced to defend ourselves.

  • sovreigncitizen

    Self defense after the fact is ok in my book as the courts continually fail to punish these thugs.