Citizens’ Arrests are certainly still rare, even among proactive groups like the Guardian Angels. Whenever something becomes particularly rare, it’s even more important to make sure we know how to do it properly if and when we need that skill.
Take a random skill category:
- We’re all pretty good at tying our shoes, since we do it all the time.
- However, I think most people would draw a blank pretty quickly if asked to show ten different knots.
- handcuffing basics
- contact & cover
- legal aspects of self defense
- legal aspects of a “citizen’s arrest”
- team take-downs
- subject safety
- and a whole lot of little details
So, what IS an arrest? Here are some specific sections of Penal Code that should help. There’s no need to commit them to memory (though it certainly wouldn’t hurt), but familiarizing yourself with these ideas will most definitely be helpfulRead More
We all want to make a difference in our neighborhoods, and the Guardian Angels get VERY involved and proactively patrol the streets and neighborhoods, deterring crime, and even stopping crimes in progress. But, what are the crimes we encounter? Specifically, if we stop somebody (and especially if we arrest them!) we MUST have a VERY clear understanding of what we’re allowed to do. Otherwise, we’re possibly committing a crime ourselves - the exact opposite of our goal! Let’s get some clear definitions in our heads.Read More
Even in high-crime areas, serious crime isn’t a frequent enough event to make wandering around at random looking for it – whether on foot or in a patrol car – a high-payoff strategy. That fact bedevils both police patrol and neighborhood watch: wherever you are, mostly nothing’s happening right now.
But that doesn’t mean that someone isn’t present when the crime happens. The problem is that the person present mostly doesn’t have any good way to intervene. There are more than 200 million adults in the U.S., and fewer than a million cops. Do the arithmetic; the chances of having a civilian witness are way better than the chances of having a police officer – or even someone from the local neighborhood watch or Guardian Angels group – present.Read More
We can talk about force as a matter of physics (F=MA) and we can talk, in interpersonal relationships, about coercion and manipulation and when and where in that fuzzy land of definitions ‘force’ or even violence, begins.
For the purpose of this discussion, I’m going to use a simple definition: When you make someone do something they do not want to do or make them stop doing what they do want to do, you are using force. By that definition, shooting someone to stop a rape in progress and the look your mother gave you when she saw you reaching for the cookie jar are both examples of force.Read More