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Police mythology

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DaveNF2G

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This came from another thread:

Another bit of trivia... there is only one person who can arrest the sheriff, that is the county coroner. This goes back to the days when the sheriff collected the taxes for the king. The king appointed the coroner to oversee the sheriff and make sure he wasn't pocketing any of the kings money. So if a sheriff shoots someone in cold blood in the street, any law enforcement officer can stop and detain him, but the coroner must come in and sign the ticket to have him arresed.
There is no information available in Lexis-Nexis or various other legal sources to support this outdated if somewhat logical-sounding claim.

If anyone commits a felony, regardless of their official position, they may be arrested upon probable cause, with or without an arrest warrant (depending on whether or not they are at home when found and in which state they reside), by any police officer.

If they are observed during the commission of a felony, a private citizen might have the power to arrest them, depending on the laws of the state where the felony occurs.

A private citizen might have the authority to use deadly force to terminate a felony in progress if the laws of the state where the felony occurs do not prohibit it.

There are no current legal restrictions in the United States about who may arrest a sheriff or any other law enforcement officer. (In fact, under New York law at least, sheriffs are not "police officers" and sheriff departments are not "police departments.")
 

car2back

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I was always told it's a state law in Arkansas. A coroner is a county elected offical. that's why any county warrant from Arkansas reeds "To any police officer, sheriff, deputy, constable..... or Coroner."
 
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Mozilla

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Coroners

It varies by State, I'm sure there are some unique statutes and laws out there.
One very overlooked fact is that while anyone can make an arrest, the bottom line is will be the District / State Attorney, County solicitor etc., etc., who actually has the overall say in the end. In many areas that office is also the one that may conduct investigations on officers and agencies. Also many States have in their varying State enforcement groups commisions and branches that oversee or conduct investigations of local agencies and officers. Along with the attorney generals office they also usually are the ones to condcut investigations in city, county and other officials and their offices.
The coroners also have some interesting tools. This has been used twice in Palm Beach County in several years.
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9B06E5D71F3FF93AA15754C0A9659C8B63

http://www.courttv.com/trials/cogoni/042105_ctv.html

In the Delray incident, the State Attorney rejected the Judges findings and turned it over to the Grand Jury which cleared the officer.
( It should be mentioned that the subject took off in car into the campus, with teenagers and children around, and thru a breezeway and down a hallway. As usual the press left out some of the most important parts. )
 
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USAPatriot

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Legal theory is one thing. Reality is another. Just try and arrest a police officer and see. Or a diplomat. Or any of your other government officials. -Rod-
 

Mozilla

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USAPatriot said:
Legal theory is one thing. Reality is another. Just try and arrest a police officer and see. Or a diplomat. Or any of your other government officials. -Rod-
Did you have a point or some insight .... because I have been involved in a whole bunch of those( Which doesn't make me proud or happy because of the situation, but then again..they screwed up)
You apparently don't know what reality is. Just because your an officer or government official doesn't mean you won't get arrested. A diplomat is a whole nother ball game !!!
But other than having to do it carefully there is no invisible shield or special underwear that they put on that protects them...
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/localnews/content/news/special_reports/liberti/

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/pbcwest/content/local_news/epaper/2006/08/01/c1b_dowdell_0801.html

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/pbccentral/content/local_news/epaper/2006/08/18/m1b_slsavage_0818.html?cxtype=rss&cxsvc=7&cxcat=17

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/southflorida/sfl-815creekcop,0,3524444.story

This even the tip of the iceberg... there are 12-15 officers arrested in one county alone over the past 2 years for everything from having participated in child sex activity, robbery, theft, etc etc. The politicians are doing much better including several in the next 3-4 monthes.
Now if your point was watch out when you make an arrest then you do have a point... this went real bad...
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-06-22-prison-screening_x.htm

So if you doubt it is done or can be done.. including to you .. come on down.. get a job , screw up.. we'll be happy to oblige you.. On the other hand we'd prefer if you came down and just helped out... ;]

Oh, one other thing... we had several officers eat their guns unfortunatley because people tried to be nice in how they did the arrests. Not a great situation either way... but it does happen. For the most part these individuals represent a small segment of another wise great group of people.
I won't even address the diplomat issue...
 

DaveNF2G

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phil_smith said:
OK, so a sheriff who was observed engaging in "questionable" conduct by his deputies told them that only the coroner could arrest him. What does that prove, exactly? Am I supposed to believe that whatever this guy says is gospel truth?

Show me the Colorado statute that backs him up.

(I'm not saying there isn't one, just that his statement is inadequate to prove anything.)
 

DaveNF2G

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phil_smith said:
I was always told it's a state law in Arkansas. A coroner is a county elected offical. that's why any county warrant from Arkansas reeds "To any police officer, sheriff, deputy, constable..... or Coroner."
Coroners are generally law enforcement officials wherever they exist. That, however, does not prove that a coroner is the only such official who can arrest a sheriff. It only shows that they can arrest (somebody) based on a valid warrant.
 

skipshark773

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16-2.5-104 CRS (Colorado Revised Statues) defines a County Coroner as a peace officer when engaged in the performance of his or her duties. As such the County Coroner may issue subpoenas (30-10-608) and warrants (30-10-614). He or she may also appoint a deputy coroner (30-10-602). If the county does not have a Sheriff, or the Sheriff has been confined to jail, the Coroner is duly bound to act as Sheriff of the county and assume all duties of that office untill a Sheriff is appointed, elected, or qualified (30-10-604).

30-10-605 lists the County Coroner's authorities when the County Sheriff is a party to a case or disqualified:

(1) Every coroner shall serve and execute process of every kind and perform all other duties of the sheriff when the sheriff is a party to the case, or where affidavit is made and filed as provided in this section, and in all such cases he shall exercise the powers and proceed in the same manner as prescribed for the sheriff in the performance of similar duties.

(2) Whenever any party, his agent, or attorney makes and files with the clerk of the proper court an affidavit stating that he believes that the sheriff of such county by reason of either partiality, prejudice, consanguinity, or interest, will not faithfully perform his duties in any suit commenced or about to be commenced in such court, the clerk shall direct the original process in such suit to the coroner, who shall execute the process in like manner as the sheriff might or should have done.

As far as I can tell, nowhere in the CRS does it explicitly state that only the Coroner can arrest a County Sheriff, it merely states the the Coroner has the authority to take over the office of the County Sheriff when he is disqualified or a party in a case.

[edit]: Upon closer inspection it appears as though the County Coroner would be the only county officer who has the necesscary authority to serve a warrant upon the County Sheriff if he is disqualified from service.
 
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