Recently, a state appellate court issued an opinion in a Michigan resisting arrest case in which the defendant claimed his conviction could not stand because he was lawfully resisting a police officer’s illegal seizure. Ultimately, the court agreed with the defendant, and reversed his conviction.
The Facts of the Case
According to the court’s opinion, police officers received a phone call reporting a man with a gun in a trailer park. Upon the officers’ arrival, the trailer park manager explained several people were in one of the trailers who did not live in the park. One of the men, the manager explained, appeared to be drunk and was waving a handgun around.
Police officers went to the trailer and knocked on the door. A woman answered. Officers told her to have everyone exit the trailer. The defendant exited, and an officer immediately grabbed him, telling him to “come this way.” The defendant complied, but was visibly intoxicated. The officers began asking the defendant questions, which eventually centered around whether he had a gun. The defendant explained he was licensed to carry a gun, and his gun was in his car. He denied brandishing the weapon. The officers asked three times where specifically the gun was; each time, the defendant inquired if they had a warrant. The third time the defendant asked whether the officers had a warrant, one of the officers grabbed the defendant and pushed him up against the car. The defendant resisted, leading to a resisting arrest charge.