Use-of-force ruling is likely to get a lot of cops injured E-mail
Written by Dennis Slocumb   

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office in the Portland, Oregon area recently sent out a memo regarding a resisting case (State v. Oliphant) and its decision’s effect on Oregon law enforcement. In essence, the ruling says: an arrestee may defend himself against a police officer’s use or  imminent use of force if the arrestee believes, as much as a reasonable person in his position would believe, that the officer’s use or imminent use of force exceeds the force reasonably necessary to make the arrest.

Oregon effectively is now the only state that gives a suspect charged with Resisting Arrest (ORS 162.315) an affirmative defense that they were defending themselves against what they reasonably believed was an actual or imminent unlawful use of force by a police officer.

Accompanying charges including Assault on a Public Safety Officer will likely be dismissed if the argument stands.

The full case can be viewed at: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/S056404.htm.

Dennis Slocumb is the vice president of legislative affairs for the International Union of Police Associations.


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