2006 Code of Virginia § 18.2-411 - Dispersal of unlawful or riotous assemblies; duties of officers

18.2-411. Dispersal of unlawful or riotous assemblies; duties of officers.

When any number of persons, whether armed or not, are unlawfully or riotouslyassembled, the sheriff of the county and his deputies, the police officialsof the county, city or town, and any assigned militia, or any of them, shallgo among the persons assembled or as near to them as safety will permit andcommand them in the name of the Commonwealth immediately to disperse. If uponsuch command the persons unlawfully assembled do not disperse immediately,such sheriff, officer or militia may use such force as is reasonablynecessary to disperse them and to arrest those who fail or refuse todisperse. To accomplish this end, the sheriff or other law-enforcementofficer may request and use the assistance and services of private citizens.Every endeavor shall be used, both by such sheriff or other officers and bythe officer commanding any other force, which can be made consistently withthe preservation of life, to induce or force those unlawfully assembled todisperse before an attack is made upon those unlawfully assembled by whichtheir lives may be endangered.

(Code 1950, 18.1-254.8, 18.1-254.9; 1968, c. 460; 1975, cc. 14, 15.)

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