Letter: LPD officer’s actions appropriate

After reading various accounts and comments about the recent arrest at the St. Gerard Festival, The FOP, Lima Lodge 21, would like to add a few comments. The ORC291.33 (A) states: “No person, recklessly, or by force shall resist, or interfere with the lawful arrest of the person or another.” When refusing to provide identification to an officer who intends to issue a minor misdemeanor citation for the offense of disorderly conduct, then fleeing when informed that because you refuse to provide identification you are being arrested, you are resisting arrest. Courts have ruled that no one has the right to resist arrest even if they believe the arrest is unlawful. The logic behind this is based on the knowledge that when people resist arrest, they or the arresting officer or both can be injured. The courts will determine if the arrest was lawful. When pursuing a suspect on foot, you grab any body part or article of clothing that is available. Usually that ends the pursuit. When it doesn’t, you go to the next lowest level of force that will end the pursuit. Had Sgt. Hart tackled the individual, one or both could have been injured. The taser is non-lethal and designed to end a situation quickly. Had Sgt. Hart physically tackled or used his baton on the individual, there would have been even more outrage. It is simple, don’t resist, you won’t get hurt. In speaking with different officers at the Lima Police Department, they also are anxiously awaiting the body cameras. They are looking forward to having the video evidence of their interaction with the public. Michael Watkins, president, FOP, Lima Lodge 21

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