An unlawful attempt to disable an officer is properly deemed a dea-dly force @ttack
On April 4, 2022, Patrick Lyoya was shot and k*lled by a Grand Rapids police officer after vi0lently fighting lawful arrest following an attempt to flee a traffic stop, and after refusing to give up control of the Taser Lyoya had sei-zed from the officer during their struggle.
Essentially the entirety of the physical confrontation between Lyoya and the officer was captured on video, in various forms—the officer’s body camera until that was disabled in the struggle, the officer’s dash camera video from his patrol vehicle, and a bystander’s smartphone video. These videos were yesterday released by the Grand Rapids Police Department, along with extensive commentary, during an hour-long press conference.
Based on those facts alone, this is patently a lawful use of dea-dly defensive force by the officer involved, who seems to remain unnamed at this point—appropriately so, as there appears zero evidence that the officer has done anything unlawful.
Naturally enough, however, the ra-cial grievance industrial complex has sei-zed upon this event as another purported example of “a raci-st police officer shooting dead an una-rmed vic-tim.” I note in passing that professional rac-ial grifter Benjamin Crump is among the leaders of this narrative—which really should be the tell that the narrative is as far from the truth as one might possibly imagine.
Anyone following this event will hear lots of weeping and moaning about how this shooting was all over a mere traffic stop, a minor vehicle vio-lation—the car’s license plates did not match the vehicle—and that Lyoya could simply have been sent a ticket in the mail.
I suppose we could imagine living in a world where police don’t make traffic stops, but that is not the world in which either Lyoya or the officer involved were living on April 4, 2022. Accordingly, all such talk is nothing but childish wish casting.
In fact, we live in a world where traffic officers are permitted—indeed, expected—to stop vehicles engaged in traffic vio-lations.
Where those officers are permitted to ask the driver of the vehicle for a driver’s license.
Where that driver is lawfully detained during this process, and is not free to merely flee the scene.
Where such flight is lawfully preventable by the officer, including using reasonable force to the extent necessary to compel compliance. Indeed, such flight allows an inference by the officer of a cr-ime being in play that is far more serious than a mere traffic vio-lation.
Where non-dea-dly force in the form of a Taser is permitted when a sus-pect being subject to a lawful arrest is vio-lently resisting that arrest.
Where a sus-pect who sei-zes control of that officer’s Taser, and is now ar-med and capable of disabling that officer and sei-zing the officer’s p*stol, presents as an imminent dea-dly force thre*t to that officer.
And where an officer presented with such an imminent dea-dly force thre*t, after repeatedly ordering the sus-pect to give up control of the Taser without compliance, can use dea-dly defensive force upon that sus-pect.
Nothing that appears in the videos of this en-counter between Lyoya and the involved Grand Rapids PD officer comes even close to unlawful use of force by that officer.
It is worth noting that the defensive use of a Taser for lawful purposes is properly understood as the use of mere non-dea-dly force; in contrast, the offensive use of a Taser to advance a cri-minal purpose, as was being done here by Lyoya, is properly understood as an imminent thre*t of dea-dly force—meaning, force readily capable of causing either death or serious bodily injury, such as dis-ablement.
That same analysis applies to the 2020 shooting of Rayshard Brooks in Georgia after Brooks sei-zed the Taser of the officer against whom Brooks was viol-ently resisting lawful arrest.
The only person in this confrontation who could have assured that Patrick Lyoya was not fa-tally and lawfully shot dead by law enforcement on April 4, 2022, was the man who made that shooting both necessary and justified: Patrick Lyoya.
OK, folks, that’s all I have for you on this topic.
Until next time:
You carry a g*n so you’re hard to k*ll.
Know the law so you’re hard to con-vict.
Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC