VERIFY: When can you use force to protect yourself?

KREM 2's Amanda Roley verifies what you can do to protect your property and your family

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash --- VERIFY: You can use deadly force only if you think you or someone else is in immediate danger, but force is still not recommended.

We spoke to two local law enforcement agencies. Both said a person has the right to protect themselves and their family. It is not black and white, every situation is different, said Officer John O’Brian from SPD. He said the rule of thumb is the method or amount of force used to defend yourself must be reasonable. Both SPD and the Spokane County Sheriff's Office agreed deadly force can only be used if you believe you or others are in immediate danger.

In regard to defending your property, O’Brian said it is not recommended to use force because it is a property crime and does not inherently mean there is a threat of harm to the owner.

If you catch someone breaking into your car even beating him up would not be a good idea because you could face assault charges. So both agencies encourage people to report property crimes to 911 instead of confronting them yourselves.

SOURCES

Spokane Police Department, Officer John O'Brian

Spokane County Sheriff's Office, Deputy Mark Gregory

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