AUSTIN, Texas--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The Texas Municipal Police Association (TMPA) responds to groups who misuse quotes from court opinions on their websites. TMPA fully supports the Constitution and believes that the 2nd Amendment is critical to keeping our nation free. TMPA also wholly supports the 1st Amendment and believes it is the duty of law enforcement officers to preserve these, and all, rights and freedoms of Americans. However, TMPA does not agree with the tactics of groups who post excerpts of court decisions without context to influence the thoughts and actions of others.
“The message these groups are sending is irresponsible and dangerous. This type of rhetoric puts law enforcement officers and Texas citizens in danger and TMPA will not remain silent when our members are threatened”
For example, TMPA does not condone the actions of a group who supports open carry in Texas not because of their mission, but because of the inappropriate use of excerpts from court opinions on their website. In one instance, the group quotes Plummer v. State, “Citizens may resist unlawful arrest to the point of taking an arresting officer’s life if necessary” (Plummer v. State, 136 Ind. 306).
This particular court opinion was rendered in 1893 and the group does not offer any explanation of the unusual circumstances involved in the case. They also do not quote Evans v. State (App. 6 Dist. 1994) 876 S.W. 2d 459 which states, “Legality of arrest is not relevant to offense of aggravated assault of peace officer or defensive issue of self-defense.” In fact, “if you resist what you believe is an illegal arrest, you have just made that arrest legal,” explained Kevin Lawrence, TMPA Executive Director.
The quote on the group’s website in regards to Plummer v. State is one that is commonly misquoted by fringe groups, however the quote is fabricated. The full quote used on the group’s website does not actually appear in the court opinion (Plummer v. State, 136 Ind. 306).
Using quotes such as this, in this manner, is only going to incite violence. If a person is arrested and they believe their arrest was illegal, we urge them to seek recourse through the courts, not through violence. “The message these groups are sending is irresponsible and dangerous. This type of rhetoric puts law enforcement officers and Texas citizens in danger and TMPA will not remain silent when our members are threatened,” stated Lawrence.
Anyone who has questions about what a law actually means should contact their local district or county attorney’s office. You need to ask questions about opinions that are listed on the websites of groups who are trying to push specific agendas. Find out the real story behind an opinion; don’t just accept it as fact. And please, do not put yourselves and those around you in danger by inciting violence.
Established in 1950, the Texas Municipal Police Association (TMPA) is the voice of Texas law enforcement. Trusted, loyal and honest, TMPA is proud to represent more than 19,000 law enforcement officers across Texas. Focused on protecting those who serve, TMPA is committed to providing unmatched legal protection, dependable member support, affordable training and effective lobbying at state and local levels.