Thursday, October 23, 2008

Code Pink Attempts to Assault Karl Rove

Wednesday, the anti-war group, Code Pink, took their protest activities to a new low. While Karl Rove was attending a mortgage banker's group meeting in San Francisco, a Code Pinker decided to handcuff Karl for treason in the middle of that meeting (See Video). Even in left-wing San Francisco, her actions were nothing short of assault and, fortunately, she was arrested and taken off the stage before she could do anything. She claimed to be making a citizen's arrest.

The laws concerning citizen's arrest vary minutely from state to state. The underlining theme is that a citizen's arrest can be made only if a felony is in the process of being observed. The arrest is for detainment for questioning by an authorized law enforcement person or agency and cannot be done with injurious force.

In this case, the Code Pink person, Janine Boneparte, was committing an assault and, potentially, a battery on Mr. Rove. Being at that meeting was hardly committing "treason." She had no legal standing to make a citizen's arrest. Her actions were based on her own personal interpretation of the law and on some assumption that a felony was committed in the past. I hardly think she was in the room when, supposedly, Mr. Rove committed her assumed crime of treason. Even if she had, her only window of opportunity in making a citizen's arrest was at that time.

Trying to put handcuffs on someone with whom you simply disagree with and who has done nothing to physically harm you is assault and/or battery. Throwing a pie, or feces, urine, blood or anything else at someone is also assault and battery. Over the last eight years, we have seen, time after time, cases of this as the left has tried to silence or harass persons on the right. Until the law and law enforcement takes these actions more seriously, it won't be long before something happens that is a lot more serious than an pie being thrown. All too often, these offenders are simply detained; then, released (See Full Story). This is sending the wrong signal and setting the stage for more serious harm in the future. You want an example of a hate crime. This is it!


Rob said...

The arrest is for detainment for questioning by an authorized law enforcement person or agency and cannot be done with injurious force.

In Michigan, where I grew up, a citizen could lawfully shoot a fleeing felon in the back, yet a police officer could not. I know of no state that limits you to non injurious force to apprehend a felon. Maybe you can name some, but I can't. For example the fellow in Texas who shot and killed two fleeing felons in the back, not convicted. Granted he was charged though. On this point, I think you are mistaken.

Cranky George said...

While there are probably cases where citizens have used excessive or even deadly force to detain a person committing a felony, I believe, in general, that is not specifically allowed under the Citizen's Arrest Laws. From the "LegalMatch" site(, I quote this: "A citizen may not use deadly or excessive force when detaining a criminal. Furthermore, law enforcement must agree with the citizen that a crime has occurred prior to the filing of any charges against the alleged criminal."

It is simply logical that we can't have a vigilante society with guns blazing. Anyone making citizen's arrest takes the risk that they could be prosecuted for their actions if bodily injury or a false arrest occurs. In many states, you can't even shoot a home invader without being subject to prosecution unless they have adopted the "castle law" to protect the homeowner. I don't know about the specific cases you referenced; but, I am aware of homeowners who have been charged when using guns or even baseball bats to defend themselves against robbers in their own homes. Most recently, there was a case of a man shooting two burglars of a neighbor's home when a grand jury let them off ( However, it should be pointed out that this person, while eventually let free, was in jeopardy until that grand jury ruled. I think that the laws across the country clearly prohibit "injurious force" but the question always comes down to whether or not law enforcement or a jury follows the letter of that law; based on circumstance. I only know that, in general, deadly or excessive force is prohibited. This is rightly so in order that we don't have people "whacking" each other over an assumption that a crime was being committed. Even police are subject to legal scrutiny when using force on a criminal. Most police are given administrative leave if involved in a shooting while internal affairs conducts an investigation to insure the force was warranted. The hurdle for a citizen is even higher.

Rob said...

I was thinking more along the lines of violent felonies where someones life is at risk. I should have specified that.