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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Crime Series #4: Citizen’s arrests are tricky and hinge on reasonable force

  •  The level of crime matters, but on a felony level citizens have the right to arrest suspects and usurpers for violating the law.

Citizen’s arrests harken back for many to a time when the country was less civilized, less populated and less politically divided.

There were movies about the Old West and television shows like Gunsmoke and Mayberry R.F.D. where citizens could be deputized in minutes or would come to the aid of someone being victimized in a crime seemingly without a second thought.

It is still legal to make a citizen’s arrest in Minnesota, but a big cultural change is the possible ramifications for citizens if they use any force beyond what is considered “reasonable” and that determination may come down to a judge or a county attorney and not be consistent from county to county.

In this state, an “arrest” means taking a person into custody so that the person may be held to answer for a public offense, which may be done through either restraint or simple submission by the arrested.

For more details on this story, please see the April 3 edition of the Citizen.

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