Two rulings were handed down last week by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals which, according to DA Schuyler Marvin, ‘have the effect of changing state law’.
The law reads that a police officer cannot stop anyone nor make an arrest outside of their jurisdiction except in felony cases, and then it would be a ‘citizens arrest’.
In the two cases, both for misdemeanor DWI, an out of jurisdiction police officer initiated the stop and then waited for the appropriate agency to make the arrest.
In the first case a Greenwood police officer saw a car driving erratically and called a State Trooper on a cell phone. The trooper asked the officer to ‘light them up’ but not to get out of the car. The trooper was on the scene within a minute and made the arrest.
In the second case, a Bossier City Police officer saw a car weaving and initiated a stop near Kingston Road north of the city. A deputy sheriff arrived and made the arrest.
The court said that "It would be difficult for an officer to explain to the family of a motorist killed by a swerve that an out-of-jurisdiction police officer in a police vehicle was powerless to pull him over, even for a quick check.”
Attorney Whit Graves, who represented the first defendant, said "They are authorizing police officers to have misdemeanor arrest powers that the Legislature has refused to give them.” He plans to appeal the ruling.
DA Marvin pointed out that this does not give ordinary citizens the right to stop or arrest anyone other than for a felony, and he discourages it in most cases.
You can read the rulings of the appeal court here:
State vs Stapa
State vs Williams