Radley Balko, senior editor at Reason
, has an update on Dymond Milburn, the 12-year-old girl who was grabbed out of her front yard by three undercover police who accused her of being a prostitute and then beaten so badly she had to go to the hospital to get her head injuries treated.
Balko has learned that the lawsuit is real, not a hoax as some have suggested. Here's a copy (pdf) of the complaint. And here's a record of the filing in federal court.
In the Houston Press the attorney for the officers Milburn is suing gave a statement:
"The father basically attacked police officers as they were trying to take the daughter into custody after she ran off."
"The city has investigated the matter and found that the conduct of the police officers was appropriate under the circumstances. It's unfortunate that sometimes police officers have to use force against people who are using force against them. And the evidence will show that both these folks [meaning 12-year-old Dymond and her father] violated the law and forcefully resisted arrest."
Says Balko: "As far as I can tell, Texas does appear to allow for a citizen to resist an unlawful arrest if the arrest meets certain conditions:"
Texas Penal Code Chapter 9, Subchapter C, Section 9.31, Subsection C:
(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.
Even setting aside the severe beating Milburn's lawsuit says she received at the hands of the police (which is presumably backed by records from the hospital she was admitted to later that night), you're left with several plain-clothes police officers jumping out of an unmarked van, calling a 12-year-old girl a prostitute, then attempting to snatch her from her own front yard. I would think that those actions alone would satisfy the "greater force than necessary" portion of the statute.
Dymond Milburn Update
Help wanted: Operations Manager (personable, resourceful, and demonstrates outstanding attention to detail); Civil Liberties Legislative Counsel (advocacy, public speaking, blogging and other social media, media appearances and legislative and regulatory matters related to a variety of high technology public interest legal issues); 2017-19 Frank Stanton Fellowship (recent law school graduates or law students who will […]
China’s nightmarish “citizen scores” system uses your online activity, purchases, messages, and social graph to rate your creditworthiness and entitlement to services. One way your score can be plunged into negative territory is for a judge to declare you to be a bad person (mostly this happens to people said to have refused to pay […]
The current pre-clearance rules for Canadians being processed through US immigration at Canadian airports limit the powers of US immigration officials, preventing them from strip-searching Canadians (they can ask Canadian border guards to do it, but if the Canadian guards refuse, they’re out of luck) and giving Canadians the ability to turn around and leave […]
Bamboo has lots of uses beyond just being panda food. Things like bikes, roads, scaffolding, and musical instruments are made from the fast-growing grass. But unless you are participating in a tropical-themed LARP, you probably wouldn’t want a shirt made from bamboo stalks. So why do bamboo bed sheets make any sense? Because yarn extracted from […]
If you want to work in tech, but don’t have any desire to code web apps to help businesses sell things to other business, you might want to consider a career in cybersecurity. Judging from the apparent complete infiltration of Russian hackers in American cyberspace, it seems fair to speculate that there’s a major shortage of […]
All moms are different. But all moms like getting flowers on Mother’s Day, and that’s a fact (not, however a fact we can document in any fashion.) Instead of getting chewed out for forgetting to call her on the second Sunday of May, you can take care of it ahead of time with Teleflora’s flower […]