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Old February 27, 2009, 01:01 PM   #1
OuTcAsT
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Civil Rights as pertains to Arrest

We recently discussed rights as they pertain to arrest, here is another example from my neck of the woods, will be interesting to see how this plays out:

Men Face Charges After Police Raid Wrong House

Feb 26, 2009 10:05 PM CST www.newschannel5.com
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - A father and son are furious after surviving a terrifying experience. They face criminal charges after police responded to their home by mistake.
Murfreesboro officers responded to a 911 emergency call and somehow ended up at the wrong apartment.
Roger and Justin Chilton woke to a pounding on their door at 3 a.m. Sunday. Justin - a decorated military policeman who had just returned from Iraq - answered the door holding his gun.
The officers then arrested Justin and his father.
"They held us at gunpoint, slammed us to the ground, stomped my hands and butted me in the back of the head with a shotgun," said Justin.
The officers charged the Chilton's with resisting arrest and aggravated assault for the incident.
Police did not drop the charges even after learning they responded to the wrong house.
Murfreesboro police chief Glenn Chrisman has opened an internal investigation.

NOTE: This thread in NOT for LE bashing, if you have nothing to say other than that, please don't post.

I cannot fathom how these men can be charged with these crimes when they have done nothing wrong, how can this be? Any of you LE or Barristers?
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Last edited by OuTcAsT; February 27, 2009 at 06:50 PM. Reason: spellin'
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Old February 27, 2009, 01:22 PM   #2
Bartholomew Roberts
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My guess would be that even if they did nothing wrong, they still had no right to resist arrest (though I am not familiar with TN law and could be wrong on that point). So those charges would still be valid.

I imagine the proescuting attorney is refusing to take them off the table because he realizes they will be facing a civil suit soon and doesn't want to give away the only leverage he has.
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Old February 27, 2009, 01:29 PM   #3
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Not enough information to give an educated comment, sorry

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Old February 27, 2009, 01:54 PM   #4
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I imagine the proescuting attorney is refusing to take them off the table because he realizes they will be facing a civil suit soon and doesn't want to give away the only leverage he has.
Yes, or effectively provide support to the suit by withdrawing charges.

Quote:
My guess would be that even if they did nothing wrong, they still had no right to resist arrest (though I am not familiar with TN law and could be wrong on that point). So those charges would still be valid.
This isn't my area of expertise, but I understand that in some states one is not entitled to resist even an illegal arrest.
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Old February 27, 2009, 01:55 PM   #5
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More facts are certainly needed, but it also depends upon your state's laws. In Louisiana, a citizen does have the right to resist an unlawful arrest (i.e., an arrest without merit due to no evidence, warrant, or criminal conduct observed by the arrested party), but you had better be correct, well-connected and be arrested by officer(s) that don't, uh, embellish.

For example, a case I investigated years ago involved a man involved peripherally in a vicious barfight resulting in numerous injuries requiring a trip to the hospital by some of the participants. Officers responded, took control of the situation and ordered this particular man outside after some interviews. As the man was moving outside, another officer decided that this man had not moved quickly enough, and promptly attempted to arrest him for failing to obey a lawful order and remaining while forbidden, etc. Well, when the officer placed his hands on the man rudely to cuff him, the man immediately knocked the officer out. Much chaos ensued for a very brief moment and the man was cuffed and stuffed with felony assault of a police officer added to new charges of resisting arrest and other fun things.

Ultimately, it was determined that the officer was making an unlawful arrest as the man was doing as told while the officer was simply being a bully and had unnecessarily assaulted the man. Since it was deemed the officer started the whole unfortunate series of events by his illegal conduct all other charges were tossed. The man decided not to press charges against the officer after a small sum was paid.

So, there you go, it depends. In most states where I have observed the laws, most citizens do not have the right to resist an unlawful arrest or provide any resistance to an officer on the scene to include hard looks and risque language (i.e., disrespecting and provocation)-- good training for subjects thereby making no arrest unlawful in point of fact if not in theory.

Personally, it's always best to be very nice and pleasant while being arrested even if angry about the error and go after them in court for their criminal actions (If someone puts their hands on you without a lawful reason or permission it is a crime. Do it under the authority of government and it's even more of a crime as more laws have been broken.) like they would go after you had you been an actual criminal.

Last edited by Semi-jacketed; February 27, 2009 at 02:06 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old February 27, 2009, 02:11 PM   #6
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UPDATE: Another take on the story

This is from the local newspaper account:

Officers conducting welfare check on man, 20; multiple charges filed

BY MARK BELL • MBELL@DNJ.COM • FEBRUARY 24, 2009
A Murfreesboro man is charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer after he pulled a gun on two officers conducting a welfare check at his home early Sunday, according to police.
Justin T. Chilton, 20, also faces charges of possession of a firearm under 21, possession of a firearm while under the influence, and underage consumption after the incident at his Campus Crossings South apartment on South Rutherford Boulevard.


MPD Officer Matthew Garrett and Officer Brad Premo were called to the apartment just after 3 a.m. after a 911 call from inside. When they arrived, Garrett knocked on the door and identified himself.
"A gentleman (later identified as Chilton) responded by telling both officers, 'I advise you two to move away from my door,'" Garrett reported. "We responded by identifying ourselves as police officers telling him we needed to talk to him. He told us to back away from the door."
Moments into giving Chilton further instructions, Chilton swung the door open "screaming and pointed a handgun at myself and (Premo). Chilton then slammed the door."
The officers took cover and secured the door, according to the report. After repeatedly asking Chilton to drop the weapon and exit, Chilton, as well as his father, Roger, exited.
"(Premo) secured both subjects while I secured the weapon," Garrett reported. "Justin Chilton had the obvious odor of an intoxicant about his person and admitted to have been drinking."
After checking Chilton's driver's license, he was arrested and taken to jail.
Chilton, who was booked in on $25,000 bond, will appear in court April 29.

I Believe this account was BEFORE the TV coverage cited previously. Will update as details come out.
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Old February 27, 2009, 02:23 PM   #7
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Well I guess that answers the question

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Old February 27, 2009, 02:27 PM   #8
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First order of business for their lawyer, besides arranging bail, is to subpenoa the 911 tapes of this call from inside.

I'd like to know the "triggering event" for the incident.

anyone else feel that the police version of events doesn't quite "gel" for them? If they're charging him with underage drinking, why not charge the father for letting him drink in the apartment?
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Old February 27, 2009, 02:59 PM   #9
OuTcAsT
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Quote:
I'd like to know the "triggering event" for the incident.
That is the tricky part Bill, what the newspaper does not say is the fact that this:

Quote:
MPD Officer Matthew Garrett and Officer Brad Premo were called to the apartment just after 3 a.m. after a 911 call from inside
And this:

Quote:
after the incident at his Campus Crossings South apartment on South Rutherford Boulevard.
Was due to the fact that the call came from the Campus Crossings North complex. The TV station brought out this fact on air, but it is not in the printed version I provided.

The LEOs were clearly at the wrong address.

WA: The newspaper account came out before the TV account, the fact that they were at the wrong address did not surface till later. Under that premise, still a "Good Bust"?
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Old February 27, 2009, 03:07 PM   #10
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WA: The newspaper account came out before the TV account, the fact that they were at the wrong address did not surface till later. Under that premise, still a "Good Bust"?
Yep.

Think about it. Critically. Free T Shirt if you can argue it is.

Mind you my words "good bust" reflect the facts as shown, not facts that may come out

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Old February 27, 2009, 03:15 PM   #11
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WA: The newspaper account came out before the TV account, the fact that they were at the wrong address did not surface till later. Under that premise, still a "Good Bust"?
While obviously it's likely vary from state to state, generally pointing a firearm (or brandishing one in general) at somebody who is not currently on your property or posing a threat to you is going to get you into legal trouble. Doubly so for a police officer who has identified himself as such.

The fact that the police had the wrong address to begin with doesn't absolve him of the other crimes he allegedly committed upon their arrival (or other crimes he was currently engaging in, namely the underage firearm possession and underage alcohol consumption).

The two in parenthesis may not be laws you agree with, but they're laws the police are well within their duties to enforce.


EDIT: Put it this way, if I were the one wearing the badge I'd have apologized for disturbing him at that hour then arrested him for how he handled it. And I'm generally pretty critical of many law enforcement policies and actions. But this is not a botched SWAT raid on the wrong address, these cops knocked on his door and he allegedly threatened them with a firearm. Taking these things at face value, this is as good a bust as any, and better than most.
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Old February 27, 2009, 03:22 PM   #12
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Justin T. Chilton, 20, also faces charges of possession of a firearm under 21
Well considering Tennessee Code Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13 only prohibits possession of a handgun by those under the age of 18, I am wondering where they came up with this charge? It isn't a federal charge since there is no Federal ban on possession by of a handgun by someone under 21yrs.

Sounds like that news story is wrong on a number of details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WildAlaska
Mind you my words "good bust" reflect the facts as shown, not facts that may come out
Sooooo.... the initial post doesn't have enough information to make an educated comment; but the subsequent news story which has several glaring errors in it on its face, is enough information to make an educated comment that it was a "good bust" based on the facts shown?
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Old February 27, 2009, 03:53 PM   #13
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I'd say more facts need to be presented to truly determine whether it was a good arrest, but it sounds like at some point during the police visit the law was broken. Assuming that any of these accusations are true, the fact that the police were at the wrong house is irrelevant. Yet the police having the wrong house seemed to be a primary concern to the OP.
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Old February 27, 2009, 04:01 PM   #14
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If the man did in fact point a gun at a police officer it is a good bust. The police or anyone else knocking on your door is not justification to point a gun at anyone.

The law was broken while the police were there so they made an arrest.
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Old February 27, 2009, 04:02 PM   #15
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JuanC, good to see you and your posts are spot on.
PM me to where I send the T-Shirt

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Old February 27, 2009, 04:07 PM   #16
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I don't really care for the term "raid" as used in the initial posts article.

Had the police executed a no knock warrant at 3 AM that would be a raid. And doing so at the wrong address could create all kinds of problems. But this does not appear to be a "raid".
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Old February 27, 2009, 04:21 PM   #17
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If the media reports above are true, the officers knocked on the wrong door (Big deal), and asked a guy to step out who then became belligerent while waving a weapon around? Yeah, he screwed up. I don't see where anything the police did was improper as released. Even if he would've I.D.'d himself and they realized it was the wrong address his behavior warranted the bracelets.

People forget about the being nice part. Saves a bunch of grief even, no especially, if you end up drawing the attention of the D.A.'s Office.
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Old February 27, 2009, 05:30 PM   #18
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Think about it. Critically
Fair enough. The facts as presented are, if I read correctly:

1. The police received a 911 call from a residence and responded to investigate.

2. They arrived at the correct apartment number, just the wrong building. At this point nobody inside that apartment had (as far as the responding LEOs knew) done anything illegal.

3. The officers knocked on the door, and the occupant apparently answered thru the door.
Quote:
When they arrived, Garrett knocked on the door and identified himself.
The "Thru the door" part comes from this:

Quote:
"A gentleman (later identified as Chilton) responded by telling both officers, 'I advise you two to move away from my door,'" Garrett reported
This would seem to indicate that he did not open the door at this time.

So, thus far critical thinking dictates a question; if you are inside your residence, and someone knocks on the door claiming to be the police, are you required by law to open the door?

And would any reasonable person go to the door at 0300 with a firearm in hand to see what the problem was?

Facts also presented that the occupant had no reason to believe that he needed the police, and asked them (rudely mind you) to leave his property.

Are the police required to do so? as no crime has yet been committed, nor a warrant yet exists.


Quote:
Chilton swung the door open "screaming and pointed a handgun at myself and (Premo). Chilton then slammed the door
Is this brandishing ? in your own home?

And as has been pointed out:

Quote:
Well considering Tennessee Code Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13 only prohibits possession of a handgun by those under the age of 18, I am wondering where they came up with this charge? It isn't a federal charge since there is no Federal ban on possession by of a handgun by someone under 21yrs
So was this the point a crime took place?

I know there is law that allows police to use "Plain sight" IE: the alcohol charge, But if I read all this correctly, then an officer could knock on any random door, ask you to submit to an examination with no reason, and if he does find something during this fishing trip, you can be charged?

Or if you refuse you are resisting?

I am evidently ignorant of these laws so please elaborate, I find this very educational.
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Old February 27, 2009, 05:50 PM   #19
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I am evidently ignorant of these laws so please elaborate, I find this very educational.
OK...IMHO you are doing well, but you are making a critical mistake in analysis at this stage of the game...

Thats is...you are focusing on each individual element of the incident instead of the totality of the circumstances....

Any individual element of any factual scenario can be attacked, twisted, digested, run up the flagpole and chopped down, but does that change the big picture?

here, you have a scenario where the following is purportedly uncontested: the police, in the course of their official duties and in the course of an investigation, went to the wrong residence where they knocked at the door. They were confronted with an armed intoxcicated man who pointed a gun at them. They arrested him.

Here is a premise: As a matter of common sense rules of life, one does not have the right to point a handgun at a police officer while intoxicated

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Old February 27, 2009, 06:45 PM   #20
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OK...IMHO you are doing well
Thank You,

Quote:
you are making a critical mistake in analysis at this stage of the game...

Thats is...you are focusing on each individual element of the incident instead of the totality of the circumstances....
OK, then at this stage of the game I will concede that the totality of the circumstances would lead one to conclude that the arrest of the son for the assult and resisting arrest may stand for the moment, I am having a hard time with the inclusion of the father at this point but, I will also concede his arrest proper. I do however reserve the right to redirect once more facts are available. You will see updates as I can get them.



Quote:
againwearenttalkingguiltorinnocenceherejustthearrest
Gotitthefastballisinthefinalpitch.
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Old February 27, 2009, 07:01 PM   #21
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IMHO,the point the law was broken was when Justin pointed gun at LEO`S. Might I add he`s lucky to be alive. LEO`S made a mistake on address, did Justin have to open door,don`t think so. Also if Justin thought cops were phony(it happens) a 911 call to dispatcher by Justin would have straightened call location mistake out. You simply can`t open your door and point a gun at person(LEO or not) standing on the other side of it simply cause you don`t want them standing there. Wrong address yes! Good 'Bust' yes.
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Old February 28, 2009, 10:43 AM   #22
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Update 2-28-09

Here is a bit more on the story, from the Murfreesboro Post. Emphasis Mine.

Father, Iraqi war vet file complaint with MPD
By: Lisa Marchesoni

Posted: Friday, February 27, 2009 5:20 pm


Murfreesboro Police are investigating a call where an Iraqi war veteran was charged with pulling a firearm on two officers apparently answering a 911 call at the wrong address.
Officers Matt Garrett and Brad Premo responded to the 911 call about 3:30 a.m. Sunday at Campus Crossing South to do a welfare check. They reported they knocked on the door and identified themselves as police officers.

Garrett reported Justin T. Chilton, 20, of 2707 S. Rutherford Blvd. told the officers to back away from the door, screamed and pointed a handgun at them. Garrett charged him with two counts of aggravated assault on police officers, possession of a firearm under age 21, possession of a firearm under the influence and underage consumption of alcohol.

Premo charged his father, Roger Chilton, 51, of Meadow Court with public intoxication and resisting arrest.

Attorney Jack Mitchell, who represents the father and son on the criminal charges, said dispatchers sent the officers to Campus Crossing North.

“They went to (Campus Crossing) South by mistake,” Mitchell said.

Justin Chilton served in Iraq and returned home one month ago, the attorney said.

“Based on what I have been told, he acted as any homeowner would do but was probably more level-headed because of his training,” Mitchell said.

The father and son filed a complaint with Murfreesboro Police.

Police Chief Glenn Chrisman said Internal Affairs is reviewing all information including arrest reports, tapes and the conversation about the call for service.

“The officers that were involved are on duty and were not put on administrative leave,” Chrisman said.

Internal Affairs talked to the Chiltons and are following up on the investigation.

“Based on what we know now, they did go to the wrong address,” Chrisman said, adding Internal Affairs will look at what the officers were confronted with as part of the probe.


More as it becomes available.
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Old February 28, 2009, 03:03 PM   #23
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Hmmm! If father was in the house and didn`t come out till he was told to do so by LEO, why did he get charged with public intox.? As far as charges on son:IMO this is a classic thats never made since to me. We can take our 18yr. olds into the military, train them with some of the most sophisticated killing weapons and technique`s used for killing,turn em loose overseas to fight and get their butts shot at, but come back home and can`t own(posses) till 21yrs. old. Before someone jumps in and says "this thread right here is why 21 or under can`t posses firearm". Please don`t. In many cases I`d rather be around some of the young GI`S that`s just had weapon`s training then some older guys I`ve been shooting/hunting around. To date(with info given) I still feel Justin should have been arrested for pointing gun at LEO. Of course unless there`s a whole lot more to this story thats not being told and those intimate details are the reason`s for these specific charges. I.E. Father willingly coming out of the house during confrontation son was having with LEO over pulling guns and gets involved. As far as Jack Mitchell`s (attorney) statement of Chilton acting as any normal homeowner would??? Note to self: Never ever knock on Jack Mitchell`s door unless invited. Do not get his address by mistake.

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Old February 28, 2009, 04:56 PM   #24
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Y'all can argue right or wrong about the events, that is what the post was intended for.... however my curiosity lies in what happened involving the 911 call at the RIGHT address??

As a sidenote.... and I am not defending the yute, if two men show up at my door in the middle of the night claiming to be police officers and I didn't call them, I am not coming out and they are not coming in till I am 100% sure they are indeed cops... Who knows how tempers may play a role in that situation? Could be good or bad from either side.
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Old February 28, 2009, 06:40 PM   #25
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Quote:
can`t own(posses) till 21yrs. old
In Tennessee you may own a gun of any type at 18, just cannot get a CCW permit for carry off your property. as pointed out earler by :

Quote:
Bartholomew Roberts
Quote:
Well considering Tennessee Code Title 39, Chapter 17, Part 13 only prohibits possession of a handgun by those under the age of 18, I am wondering where they came up with this charge? It isn't a federal charge since there is no Federal ban on possession by of a handgun by someone under 21yrs
I think the only charge they might make stick as far as "Underage" would be the alcohol, and they probably won't get that unless they did a blood or other test. Personal experience says that unless the officer saw him with the bottle this charge will get dismissed.

Quote:
Hmmm! If father was in the house and didn`t come out till he was told to do so by LEO, why did he get charged with public intox.?
good question, waiting for more info on this myself.
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