Michigan's Resisting Arrest Law Doesn't Apply to Reserve Officers

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently held that the Michigan resisting and obstructing statute does not apply to reserve police officers. The statute at issue in this case was MCL 750.81d which makes it a felony to "assaults, batters, wounds, resists, obstructs, opposes, or endangers a person who the individual knows or has reason to know is performing his or her duties." The term "person" is defined in the statute to include police officers, conservation officers, sheriffs, firefighters and other officials but the language of the statute does not expressly include "reserve police officers." Because "reserve police" officers are not included in the definition the Court of Appeals held the MCL 750.81d did not apply to a case where the defendant allegedly failed to obey the "lawful order" of a reserve police officer.

While I like this result because the defendant won, I think the decision is absurd. While absurd it is consistent with the nonsensical strict interpretation philosophy that most conservative justices in this country adhere to. This philosophy ignores logic and common sense at all costs. I'm sure the Michigan Supreme Court will over turn this one. If not the legislature will act promptly to protect their relationship with law enforcement ordinations lobbies.


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