A court case was decided this month by an appellate court in New Jersey which affirmed that citizens are allowed to defend themselves against police brutality.
The court’s decision involves the case of Darnell Reed, 33, who was beaten to a bloody pulp by officers during an arrest in 2013 in which he faced multiple charges. A jury found him not guilty on seven of the eight charges, with the only guilty charge being that of “resisting arrest.”
However, the appellate court ruled last week that Reed was denied a fair trial in that instance, as the jury had not been instructed to consider whether or not Reed had that right to defend himself against police brutality.On April 1, 2013, Reed was targeted by two police officers who claim they saw him holding a brick of heroin. The officers claimed that Reed ran from them and then resisted when they attempted to bring him in.
However, as the court noted, “It is likely that the jury found aspects of the testimony of the State’s witnesses to be less than credible. Given these circumstances, the evidence of guilt can hardly be characterized as overwhelming.”