“You cannot use deadly force to protect your property” – The Police

Published On November 4, 2011 | By Ademo Freeman | Articles

The police in Milton, KS arrested a homeowner after he shot two (of four) people attempting to rob him. An officer in the video below – still researching for names – states, “You cannot use deadly force to protect your property, or if someone’s running away from you not being a threat.” Ugh, where to start with that statement. Does this officer realize that officers around the world are using tasers, pepper spray, rubber bullets and flash bangs who are “not being a threat” to anyone. Or that officers are justified by their peers if the kill someone holding what they think to be a weapon but turns out to be nothing lethal at all – like a water nozzle.

These officers, by enforcing such laws, have made it safer for criminals in Kansas to rob you. All a criminal has to do is break into your house and if you’re home, or if you wake up, run away. It doesn’t matter that you were trying to steal from, or maybe rape, that person. The person actually harmed, the victim, can do nothing to hold you accountable, or to protect themselves, but to call the police – according to the ‘law.’

Good call, Milton police. You’ve just made the community less safe. By charging this homeowner you’ve sent a message to other people that if they defend their property, they’ll be charged with a crime. You’ve also let all the criminals know that as well, again, good call.

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About The Author

Ademo Freeman is an advocate for a voluntary society, one where people are free to live their lives so long as they don't initiate force on others. Ademo has also been involved with other projects such as the MotorhomeDiaries.com, FreeKeene.com and LibertyOnTour.com You can get more content created by Ademo at his Facebook page and YouTube channel. Enjoy Ademo's post/work? Want to show him your gratitude, simply click here. Thanks in advance for your support, it's greatly appreciated.
  • http://Enteryourwebsite... M.W.

    The Jury will not convict. Let’s hope not, anyway.

  • Max

    Fortunately in Texas it is legal to use deadly force to protect your home. Perhaps because someone breaking in represents a threat to life as well. A few years ago it was extended to your vehicle.

    I believe it has also be used successfully in court as defense to shoot someone out of fear for your life if you have a gun and they do not, but you tell them to stop and they continue to come at you – the presumption being they could wrestle the gun from you and use it against you.

    A plus for living in Texas.

  • Catmandu

    This happened in Franklinville, NJ…one of the most repressive departments in South Jersey… but they didn’t charge the homeowner at all. We were surprised but also delighted. NJ gun policy sucks. Anyway, and now I’m speaking from experience, if you get into a similar experience do not speak or give a statement. I was acquitted in my case and a big part was that I didn’t give them anything to twist or lie about.

  • Pro Bono

    Ademo, I know you don’t like hearing from me but I’ll say my piece anyway. After all, its a free country, right? First of all, I totally agree that the police use unnecessary force and brutality against innocent people all the time which I think we should all work to stop. But, your explanation of the common law is not correct. If someone, breaks into your house and you have a reasonable fear that either you or someone else will be harmed, you are legally allowed to use reasonable force to protect PEOPLE from that harm. So, it is not accurate to say that you can do nothing but call the police and wait for them to come.

    However, it is true that you can’t use DEADLY force against someone to protect your property. I would suggest though that instead of just being inflammatory about this, that you and your readers discuss the various situations under which you think people should use deadly harm because that is how the common law developed. If a kid comes on your farm and steals an apple, do you have the right to shoot him. How about a drunk neighbor who ends of on your property by mistake late at night and is rummaging around in the dark? Do you have a right to use deadly force? How about the old woman from down the street who has Alzeheimer’s and comes in your house because she’s wandered off and makes herself at home. Should you use any amount of force to make her leave? Or let’s even take a real burglar who has broken in and stolen $500 worth of jewelry and is running away when you discover him. Should death be the penality for stealing $500? How about the shoplifter in a store who steals a candybar or even someone who steals a steak. Should the shopkeeper pull out a gun and shoot them? How about someone who pulls into your driveway to turn around and accidentally damages your child’s bicylce? Should you get out a sledge hammer and pound on his hood? The basic idea of this law is not that people shouldn’t be held accountable for their wrongs. It is that the punishment should fit the crime and the punishment should be decided by reasonable people who have time to calmly assess the situation. The problem with law is that a law must be flexible enough to take into consideration extenuating circumstances and also must be clear enough and concise enough to apply to thousands or millions of situations which all differ from each other in the details. Under a law that you would propose, if someone hits your car on the road, should you take out a tire iron and damage her/her car right then and there? How bout if you see someone driving drunk, should you shoot that person. The harm they may cause could be may more times more serious than the thief who stole your jewelry.

  • Mr. Bawkbagawk

    how do you shoot someone in the face while they are running away?

  • PSOSGT

    Uggggg where do we go from here… Let’s use some common sense and OH… how about looking up some case law ans figure out what’s going on here. Cops can only use deadly force when they, or someone else is threatened by deadly force, or when the suspect poses a greater risk to society if he escapes. Same goes for everyone else, except regular citizens can shoot someone breaking into their house(not after while they are running away). The guy is running away, so he no longer poses a direct threat at the guy.

    Tazers and everything else are less than lethal tools legally approved in the apprehension of suspects. Do people die once in a while involving these? Yep!! And people have died after fist fights and being tackled by the police as well. Should cops not use any force and just say “stop” and if the bad guy doesn’t.. well that’s OK cause he’s not that bad of a bad guy since he’s only raped 1 women, or robbed 1 guy, or shot at 2 people…………..

  • PSOSGT

    Also.. I think it would be nice if people were required to post actualy links.. or is this just an editorial site where we simply have to go on the posters understanding of the opinion they post.

  • J

    Lets hope at the least one juror goes the route of jury nullification

  • Frank

    @POSSGT: Cops can only use deadly force when they, or someone else is threatened by deadly force, or when the suspect poses a greater risk to society if he escapes.

    Unless you happen to be a Chicago cop who shoots a handcuffed suspect who is face down on the grass in the back 3 times

    Or an Arizona cop who invades the wrong home and kills a veteran. Over 65 bullet holes in his body.

    How many more articles are there out there??? TRUST ME, COPS ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND…

  • Frank

    POSSGT: YOU WANT LINKS. HERE YOU GO…

    Spokane WA cop found guilty of needlessly beating mentally ill man to death then lying to cover it up [0] bit.ly/u6zJ3V

    Boulder CO cop arrested on allegations he was selling military assault rifle silencers he stole from Nat Guard [0] bit.ly/v6Qtr0

    Pomona CA police are being sued by the family of a man who was apparently unarmed when he was fatally shot be police 4 months after he filed an excessive force complaint involving an incident partially caught on video where he was allegedly tasered and punched while cuffed. [3] bit.ly/vZhUse

    East Washington PA chief allegedly bragged he was a killer & “best cop money could buy” to agent posing as dealer [0] bit.ly/tMUDaI

    Philadelphia PA cop is under investigation after being accused of intentionally using his police cruiser as a weapon by pinning a man against a wall during a chase, leaving him seriously injured. [1] bit.ly/sapihi

    Omaha NE police sergeant was convicted on a terrorist threat charge in a split jury decision that exonerated him on gun charge, both involving a road rage incident. [0] bit.ly/uOoAh3

    Palm Springs FL & Palm Beach County FL sued by a homeless man who lost an eye and a chunk of his ear when SWAT officers shot him in the head with rubber bullet rounds. Police responded to a call from an assistance agency he called because they thought he was illegally staying in the brush by a church but he apparently had permission to be there. [3] bit.ly/sgRNy4

    I REPEAT: COPS ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND!!!!

  • JetClarke

    This will be tossed out. If you wake up to several strangers ransacking your house at 2 am, you should really assume that they mean you physical harm. I know I wouldn’t expect them to peacefully rob you and leave when they outnumber you. I would expect them to actually escalate in that case, and would defend myself appropriately. And if they were found wounded ‘in the house’ as is stated in the video, they obviously were not ‘running away’. I though this was the whole point of US ‘Castle’ law?

  • PaganRocker

    PSOSGT
    Dude, first off, learn to type.
    And what protocol allows cops to do and what they actually do are two different things. Not saying all cops break protocol, or that it’s not sometimes a good thing, but just saying. What about the ones who taser handcuffed women? Were they in ‘immediate danger for their lives’? Huh? Ohhh, right, I forgot that everything they do is right.
    Is that like the ONLY thing you picked up outta this article? If you’re gonna bash on
    Ademo, then why read the thing? Look at the video. Pretty damn big thing in the middle of the top portion of your screen. Click it. It plays. Oh, see there; He has a damn link.

  • Max

    A case in Texas where man shot two burglars running away with property, in the back. They robbed his neighbor, not him. I understand the neighbor asked him to “keep an eye on his house”, extending Texas right to protect property to the neighbor.

    He was not arrested at the scene, even though a detective saw the shooting, and later at trial the jury declined to prosecute him.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Horn_shooting_controversy

    Castle Doctrine, which allows deadly force to protect the home in some states:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Doctrine
    http://www.johntfloyd.com/comments/february08/27a.htm

    Texas obviously feels strongly about the right to defend property.

    BUT WAIT!! IT GETS BETTER! Texas penal code actually defines conditions under which it is legal to use force to resist search or arrest!!!!

    Sec. 9.31. SELF-DEFENSE. (a) Except as provided in Subsection (b), a person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force. The actor’s belief that the force was immediately necessary as described by this subsection is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:
    (1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the force was used:
    (A) unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor’s occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;
    (B) unlawfully and with force removed, or was attempting to remove unlawfully and with force, the actor from the actor’s habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; or
    (C) was committing or attempting to commit aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery;
    (2) did not provoke the person against whom the force was used; and
    (3) was not otherwise engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic at the time the force was used.
    (b) The use of force against another is not justified:
    (1) in response to verbal provocation alone;
    (2) to resist an arrest or search that the actor knows is being made by a peace officer, or by a person acting in a peace officer’s presence and at his direction, even though the arrest or search is unlawful, unless the resistance is justified under Subsection (c);
    (3) if the actor consented to the exact force used or attempted by the other;
    (4) if the actor provoked the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force, unless:
    (A) the actor abandons the encounter, or clearly communicates to the other his intent to do so reasonably believing he cannot safely abandon the encounter; and
    (B) the other nevertheless continues or attempts to use unlawful force against the actor; or
    (5) if the actor sought an explanation from or discussion with the other person concerning the actor’s differences with the other person while the actor was:
    (A) carrying a weapon in violation of Section 46.02; or
    (B) possessing or transporting a weapon in violation of Section 46.05.

    (c) The use of force to resist an arrest or search is justified:
    (1) if, before the actor offers any resistance, the peace officer (or person acting at his direction) uses or attempts to use greater force than necessary to make the arrest or search; and
    (2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the peace officer’s (or other person’s) use or attempted use of greater force than necessary.

    (d) The use of deadly force is not justified under this subchapter except as provided in Sections 9.32, 9.33, and 9.34.
    (e) A person who has a right to be present at the location where the force is used, who has not provoked the person against whom the force is used, and who is not engaged in criminal activity at the time the force is used is not required to retreat before using force as described by this section.
    (f) For purposes of Subsection (a), in determining whether an actor described by Subsection (e) reasonably believed that the use of force was necessary, a finder of fact may not consider whether the actor failed to retreat.

  • dougo

    These idiots basically left his front door open cause everybody knows he is not home.now. the question is who will be the first through the door?the run of the mill criminal cop?,or the run of the mill criminal?

  • Catmandu

    “You don’t have to wait for someone to kill you to defend yourself”-Henry Rothblatt…F. Lee Bailey’s former partner. Also remember, “When seconds count, the police are just minutes away.” Stop perpetuating this myth that the police are responsible for protecting you. YOU are responsible for protecting you. The police and officious bureaucrat attorneys are responsible for the HERO COMPLEX where they have to be the only ones to rush in and save you.

  • PSOSGT

    @ Frank. Don’t know the Chicago story so I can’t comment there. IN AZ they were confronted with a man holding a rifle who pointed it at them. Not sure what world you live in, but when someone is pointing a rifle at you, that’s a deadly force situation. The cloudy and crappy part of the story is that it seems that the devil dog wasn’t a big dope dealer.

    And Thank’s for all those articles.. Most seem to show that when cops use too much or deadly force when it’s not warranted, they are charged. So thank’s for doing the research to prove my point.

    Here are some vids of cops that “aren’t your friends.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHEr4RIQS1w

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9OFukG3W_c

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c19e64EU9hA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbh9kCxTEjk

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPDOtEtu6Mw

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3ZQezKQX6I

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_xYKJANGKA&feature=BFa&list=PL35FC40BDFB9844D6&lf=results_main

    Here’s a story about a cop killed trying to lay out stop sticks to catch 2 bank robber’s who were shooting at everyone…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWPG6AtzytA

    Here’s a cop killed by a gunman. On his off-days he spent much of his time with his family, and underprivalage kids..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwuwYUmpSxs

    Here’s a cop who ran into a housefire to save a 23 month old.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApfSWFm04gM

    I could go on all day. Maybe you should change the words you use in google cause there are millions of good cop stories out there as well.

  • PSOSGT

    And as far as this guy goes… if this was in Michigan, we wouldn’t have done a damn thing to him if the shooting was inside the home.

  • certain

    Hey PSO, 10 million good deeds are wiped out by one single beating, arrest, and prosecution done to an innocent person, and covered up by the cops co-workers.

  • PSOSGT

    Certain. You couldn’t be anymore correct than that!!! Although I don’t see much of a cover-up. Cops/prosecutors seem pretty straight forward in this case.

    That same sentence is true IMO for all law enforcement. Bottom line is that there isn’t a single website out there that is 100% “pro-cop”. You’ve got plenty like copblock who are anti-cop. And all the cop sites STILL post and talk about bad cops. Cop news. People say that they are pro-cop n such.. which they are to a point, but why do they post bad cop stories, maybe it’s because they want the WHOLE picture out there. Verses this site who wont even come close to posting a somewhat good-cop story, even if it SHOWS police accountability.

  • tim

    1000 dollar bail cheep if a trial with jury not guity I would never shoot a person running away. A lot of roberies in are eventaly a victom will get hurt. A person should have the right to defend there home with force There will be less crime.

  • JL Turner

    The cop needs to put down the donut and pick up the Kansas Statues Annotated

    Chapter 21: Crimes And Punishments
    PART I.–GENERAL PROVISIONS
    Article 32: Principles Of Criminal Liability
    Statute 21-3211: Use of force in defense of a person; no duty to retreat. (a) A person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent it appears to such person and such person reasonably believes that such force is necessary to defend such person or a third person against such other’s imminent use of unlawful force.
    (b) A person is justified in the use of deadly force under circumstances described in subsection (a) if such person reasonably believes deadly force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to such person or a third person.

    (c) Nothing in this section shall require a person to retreat if such person is using force to protect such person or a third person.

    History: L. 1969, ch. 180, § 21-3211; L. 2006, ch. 194, § 3; May 25.

    Chapter 21: Crimes And Punishments
    PART I.–GENERAL PROVISIONS
    Article 32: Principles Of Criminal Liability
    Statute 21-3212: Use of force in defense of dwelling; no duty to retreat. (a) A person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent that it appears to such person and such person reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent or terminate such other’s unlawful entry into or attack upon such person’s dwelling or occupied vehicle.
    (b) A person is justified in the use of deadly force to prevent or terminate unlawful entry into or attack upon any dwelling or occupied vehicle if such person reasonably believes deadly force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to such person or another.

    (c) Nothing in this section shall require a person to retreat if such person is using force to protect such person’s dwelling or occupied vehicle.

    Chapter 21: Crimes And Punishments
    PART I.–GENERAL PROVISIONS
    Article 32: Principles Of Criminal Liability
    Statute 21-3213: Use of force in defense of property other than a dwelling. A person who is lawfully in possession of property other than a dwelling is justified in the threat or use of force against another for the purpose of preventing or terminating an unlawful interference with such property. Only such degree of force or threat thereof as a reasonable man would deem necessary to prevent or terminate the interference may intentionally be used.
    History: L. 1969, ch. 180, § 21-3213; July 1, 1970.

  • PSOSGT

    JL Turner. Is that Kansas law?? From what the police are saying, it’s not.

  • Kevin

    Hey people, police officers do not make the laws. Police officers also do not indict people. It is their duty to uphold laws, even laws they don’t agree with. The prosecutor can choose not to proceed with the case or a grand jury can fail to indict – but it is the police officers job to arrest and let the legal system sort it out. In Ohio, you may not use deadly force to protect property. However, you are not required to retreat in your home or automobile(castle doctrine) although you still cannot shoot someone who is not presenting deadly force.

    This situation sounds like the police officers did what they had to do. Hopefully the prosecutor or grand jury let the homeowner off, because in my opinion 4 guys that don’t run away when you say you are armed are presenting deadly force.

    Imagine this scenario. You are arguing with your neighbor over something silly like a dog barking. The neighbor invites you over for coffee so you can work it out. What if the neighbor shoots you and says you broke in? Do you want the cops to show up and say, ‘Oh, you were protecting your property from your neighbor, it is OK’, or do you want them to arrest your neighbor and let the judicial system sort it out?

  • Walt

    To Pro Bono,
    Please, moar.

  • RPA

    This gentleman should move to Oklahoma; our “Make My Day” law is the best I’m aware of in the nation. Of course you can’t shoot someone who is running away, but you sure can shoot someone to protect your personal property and that is as it should be. Personally, I believe that if the person running away has my property with them while they’re running, then they aren’t just trying to escape, which might or might not be okay, but they are continuing the commission of a crime that causes undue harm to myself and I should be allowed to at least take out a leg to stop them and retrieve my property. I’m sick and tired of the thiefs and anyone who commits robbery (which by definition means that they are taking your property DIRECTLY away from you, in your presence, deserves a bit of lead. I hate to end someone’s life over a mistake and personally prefer to cause painful and lasting damage that will remind the person of their transgressions, however I can hardly fault someone who is in fear for defending themselves.

  • JL Turner

    PSOSGT says:
    November 5, 2011 at 11:17 pm
    JL Turner. Is that Kansas law?? From what the police are saying, it’s not.

    Yes the K.S.A.

  • Malloy

    I would assumed based on the comments made no one actually understands how to read the statutes. Deadly force under the KSA is only to be used when there is a reasonable fear of imminent death or serious injury. That little (b) means it is a seperate sub section of 21-5223. Sub section (a) refers to less than lethal force to prevent an unlawful entry into a dwelling. While there is no duty to retreat, the standard for deadly force still applies. If someone turns to run they can not be killed unless there is reason to believe they still pose an imminent threat I.e. retreating to obtain a weapon or attack a third party. If you want to make a real differnce stop grasping at straws and get a real understanding of how the world works. Until then children, let the adults handle the grown up situations such as this.

  • Hazy

    4 home invaders means you cannot hope for a good situation. They broke in so you finish it by shooting them. DA should not even prosecute this case.

  • JL Turner

    Malloy says:
    November 9, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    “I would assumed based on the comments made no one actually understands how to read the statutes. Deadly force under the KSA is only to be used when there is a reasonable fear of imminent death or serious injury. That little (b) means it is a seperate sub section of 21-5223. Sub section (a) refers to less than lethal force to prevent an unlawful entry into a dwelling. While there is no duty to retreat, the standard for deadly force still applies. If someone turns to run they can not be killed unless there is reason to believe they still pose an imminent threat I.e. retreating to obtain a weapon or attack a third party. If you want to make a real differnce stop grasping at straws and get a real understanding of how the world works. Until then children, let the adults handle the grown up situations such as this.”

    And who is going to be awaken in the night by door opening
    and not have fear ?

    We do pro se say you can not read our legalese in the normal way,
    oh nay nay nay, hence our sheep skins on the wall do say, and help protect our cast system way.

  • Sovereign Man

    Someone breaks into my home, I am firing as many rounds as possible center mass, reloading, and ready to do it again if needed. I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6. My life and my family are worth no less.

  • http://www.larkenrose.com Larken Rose

    I have to chime in on one thing. When someone says, “Cops can only use deadly force when…” What do they mean, “can”? If they mean that the official “government” scribbles pretend to authorize it, fine. But what the “rules” say, and what cops constantly get away with, don’t match at all. To say someone “can” do something means only that he is ABLE to do it. Every reader of CopBlock knows that most cops CAN do anything they damn well please, including assault and murder. And most of the time, nothing happens to them, unless someone catches it on tape–in which case, they usually get a paid vacation, while the other fascists do a cover-up, and call it an “investigation.” So let’s not pretend that the “official” scribbles being cited have anything to do with what happens in reality. In reality, most of the time, cops can do anything they damn well please, and get away with it.

  • ScreamingSeagull

    @FRANK. And others who agree. If you say cops are not your friend you’d be correct. There not employed to make friends there employed to “serve and protect” its shameful to label ALL cops bad. Yes there are some bad cops out there with no legal excuse to defend their actions and should be punished appropriately.

    You can label cops “not your friend” but you would have to do the same for the following careers as they too have bad people:

    - Doctor
    - Soldier
    - Firefighter/EMT
    - Et cetera

  • http://copblock.org Truckmaster

    I was born and raised in Leavenworth, Ks and wanted to move back home. But after reading this I think I will stay in Texas where I can protect myself. He should sue the police dept for not providing proper protection. Isn’t that what they get paid to do? Protect and serve.