In theory, a resisting arrest charge allows the state to further punish suspects who endanger the safety of police officers as they're being apprehended; in practice, it gives tautological justification to cops who enjoy roughing people up. Why did you use force against that suspect, officer? Because she was resisting arrest. How do I know you're telling the truth? Because I charged her with it, sir.
Consider a few recent would-be felons:
Chaumtoli Huq, former general counsel to NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, who was charged with resisting arrest for waiting for her family outside the Times Square Ruby Tuesday's.
Jahmil-El Cuffee, who was charged with resisting arrest after he found himself on the receiving end of a head-stomp from a barbarous cop because he was allegedly rolling a joint. ("Stop resisting!" cops screamed at him as he lay helpless, pinned under a pile of officers.)
Denise Stewart, who was charged with resisting arrest after a gang of New York's Finest threw her half-naked from her own apartment into the lobby of her building. (They had the wrong apartment, it turned out.)
Santiago Hernandez, who was charged with resisting arrest after a group of cops beat the shit out of him following a stop-and-frisk. "One kicks me, he steps back. Another one comes to punch me and he steps back...They were taking turns on me like a gang," Hernandez told reporters.
Eric Garner, who no doubt would have been charged with resisting had the chokehold from Daniel Pantaleo not ended his life first.
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