2006 Ohio Revised Code - 2917.05. Justifiable use of force to suppress riot.
§ 2917.05. Justifiable use of force to suppress riot.
A law enforcement officer or fireman, engaged in suppressing riot or in protecting persons or property during riot:
(A) Is justified in using force, other than deadly force, when and to the extent he has probable cause to believe such force is necessary to disperse or apprehend rioters;
(B) Is justified in using force, including deadly force, when and to the extent he has probable cause to believe such force is necessary to disperse or apprehend rioters whose conduct is creating a substantial risk of serious physical harm to persons.
HISTORY: 134 v H 511. Eff 1-1-74.
Not analogous to former RC § 2917.05 (RS § 6899a; 95 v 300; GC § 12826; Bureau of Code Revision, 10-1-53), repealed 134 v H 511, § 2, eff 1-1-74.
Analogous to former RC § 2923.55 (132 v H 996), repealed 134 v H 511, § 2, eff 1-1-74.
19xx Committee Report or Comment.
1974 Committee Comment to H 511
This section provides specific criteria for the use of force in controlling mob disorders. In general, the section affirms rules long established in Ohio law.
The section codifies the rules analyzed below with respect to the use of force by law enforcement officers in a riot situation, with one major exception. Under the former law, deadly force was permitted in any riot to the extent it appeared reasonably necessary to disperse or apprehend rioters. Under this section, deadly force can only be used when there is probable cause to believe the rioters are creating a substantial risk of serious harm to persons. This does not affect the right of self-defense, however, and an officer engaged in riot control is still entitled to repel deadly force with deadly force if necessary, even though when viewed as a whole the riot is not otherwise threatening serious personal injury.
The rule as to the use of force in law enforcement is that deadly force is never justified to prevent a misdemeanor or apprehend an offender, except when suppressing riot. See, former section 2923.55 and the section which it replaced, former section 3761.15 of the Revised Code. See, also, State v. Sells, 30 OLA 355 (1939); State v. Yingling, 36 OLA 436, 44 NE2d 361 (App. 1942); Graham v. State, 98 OS 77, 120 NE 232 (1918). Deadly force may be used to prevent a felony or to apprehend the felon. Clark v. Carney, 71 OApp 14, 25 OO 347, 36 OLA 68, 42 NE2d 938 (1942). In any case, only so much force may be used as is necessary under the circumstances. State v. Yingling, supra; Marts v. State, 26 OS 162 (1875). The rule does not require that, in retrospect, the amount of force used must actually have been necessary; rather it is sufficient if the person using force had reasonable cause to believe and did believe in good faith that the force used was necessary. Marts v. State, supra. In determining the amount of force necessary, a law enforcement officer, ". . . is not required to determine at his peril the precise amount of force necessary in each instance and to use that much and no more, and he may be guided by the reasonable appearances and the nature of the case in determining the amount of force to be used." State v. Yingling, 36 OLA 436, 443, 44 NE2d 361 (App. 1942)
The foregoing rules are not in lieu of but in addition to the right of self-defense, which is the same for law enforcement officers as for any other person. If an officer reasonably believes that an amount of force, including deadly force, is necessary to save himself or another from serious injury or death from a murderous attack, he may use such force without regard to whether the incident out of which it arises is a misdemeanor or felony. Graham v. State, supra; Greger v. State, 27 OApp 272, 161 NE 37 (1927); State v. Peacock, 40 OS 333 (1883); State v. Sells, supra.
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