City and Borough of Juneau
155 S. Seward Street
Juneau, Alaska 99801
tel. 907-586-5240
fax 907-586-5385
http://www.juneau.org

If you can read this, your browser is not style sheet compliant. If you are using an ADA browser, continue on for information and menu links.For more information regarding the City and Borough Juneau's new website design, click [here].

How Do I...

Appeal a Citation Get My Impounded Vehicle File an Online Police Report Apply for Employment Request A Police Report Compliments/Complaints Contact Us

JPD Menu

People of Interest

Felony Theft - ShopliftingEntire List

Juneau Police Department

Questions Posted to "Ask a Dispatcher"


Q. A few days ago, I witnessed a scuffle between a security guard and a pair of young males. Aside of helplessly watching the officer get beat, what does the law allow us to do?


Dear Juneau Resident,

I understand your angst in not wanting to just stand by while someone is assaulted. Protecting others is an impulse near and dear to our hearts here at JPD. Citizens, like police officers, are allowed under the law to use physical force to protect themselves and others. The levels of force allowed have to be only enough to defeat the force being illegally used, which can become a matter for the courts as could the whole ‘defense of others’ issue. Keep in mind that citizens have an obligation to retreat as soon as the danger has passed in almost all cases. If you find yourself chasing someone, that is bad. Stop and go back to help the person who was assaulted. Make sure you mentally note as much detail as possible about the suspects so you can tell the police.

There is some legal as well as personal risk to getting involved physically in the situation. Thank goodness many people have made the decision to get involved, disarming gunmen in schools, assisting elderly people being robbed, and throwing their own bodies over someone dragged from a vehicle by a mob. There is even increasing talk of charging people who stand around and watch a teenager being kicked to death. The truth is Good Samaritans may be sued by the parents of kids who have been afoul of the law many times and have lawyers on speed dial. The decision you are looking to make is personal and may be challenged down the road. Sometimes doing the right thing is not the easy thing.




Share

CBJ Image