North Carolina statutes shed light on use of force laws

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Submitted: Thu, 10/31/2013 - 3:38am
Updated: Thu, 10/31/2013 - 6:27pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New information released by Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous has many debating whether the shooting that killed two of three alleged robbers at a Wilmington Pizza Hut was excessive force or justifiable homicide..

Chief Ralph Evangelous says details in this case have been slow to emerge due to ongoing internal investigations and an investigation by the SBI.

Investigators say it began as an armed robbery, but quickly became much more.

“As officers arrived and saw an armed robbery in progress they saw guns being used during this robbery,” said Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous.

A Wilmington police officer who was keeping an eye on the area called it in and waited for the suspects, Jalani Smith, Tevin Robinson, and Ronald Roland to leave the Pizza Hut. Soon after, it turned deadly.

“Officers challenged suspects and gave them several commands to surrender,” said Evangelous. “The suspects refused to comply with the officers and ran towards the officers. The suspects were then fired upon by our officers. We have now learned that the suspects didn’t fire on the officers. Two weapons were seized by the suspects at the incident.”

On our website many viewers have praised the six Wilmington Police officers involved, while others questioned whether the shooting that killed Robinson and Roland was justified.

We turned to North Carolina State law for answers. According to N.C. GEN.STAT.§ 15A-401(d)(2)(1978) A law-enforcement officer is justified in using deadly physical force upon another person only when it is or appears to be reasonably necessary thereby:
a. To defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of deadly physical force;
b. To effect an arrest or to prevent the escape from custody of a person who he reasonably believes is attempting to escape by means of a deadly weapon, or who by his conduct or any other means indicates that he presents an imminent threat of death or serious physical injury to others unless apprehended without delay; or
c. To prevent the escape of a person from custody imposed upon him as a result of conviction for a felony.

Nothing in this subdivision constitutes justification for willful, malicious or criminally negligent conduct by any person which injures or endangers any person or property, nor shall it be construed to excuse or justify the use of unreasonable or excessive force.

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34 Comments on "North Carolina statutes shed light on use of force laws"

2015 years 8 months ago

I see . . . when YOU post, it’s erudite. But when someone ELSE posts, it’s BLATHERING. Frankly, we’re all a little tired of (and usually get quite a laugh out of) your posts. Your opinion, in ours, is not that significant.

2015 years 8 months ago

when I post, and it has been on a far less frequent basis, there is always a point made. You may not agree with it; that right of dissenting opinion is one which I and many others have defended through service to our Country.

The post I responded to had no discernible point. I read it 3 times and could not determine what the author’s intended point was.

Grammatically, ‘ours’ is not the proper term to use in your last sentence.

Amazing how a person of 1 becomes we or ours when they are failing to make an intelligent conversation or rebuttal.

It is more than a bit tiring when 1 has to resort to personal disparages when they are unable to make an intelligent rebuttal statement.

And that is something I am not forced to turn to.

2015 years 8 months ago

has the same goal everyday: To go home same at the end of their shift. And if it takes shooting 3 ARMED SUSPECTS who have refused to stop and drop their weapons, than better, than so be it.

John Waite
2015 years 8 months ago

If this were an isolated incident, things would be a bit different. A few years back, WPD shot and killed a young boy holding a video game controller. A few weeks ago, Charlotte PD MURDERED an INNOCENT man who was the victim of a terrible car accident, seeking them out for help. Not local, but Treyvon Martin, anyone? Police are simply too quick to discharge their firearms these days. These men are paid, trained and coached extensively on how to handle these situations. When 2 men are murdered without discharging their own weapons, I find fault with that. What happened to a trial? Are the mandates of the Geneva convention, the rules of engagement for our troops, too stringent for our own local law enforcement. Can anyone here tell me that our own people do not deserve the same rights we extend to the rest of the world? Or are Americans simply too scared to take issue with the Police shooting first and asking questions later, making them paid executioners? I certainly am. How about we start greeting our officers as “Murder” from now on? I for one will not stand idly by while we become a police state.

2015 years 8 months ago

Off topic I know; but lol I thought this was directed at me at first. Odd to to see two posts using the word “erudite” within a day but glad to see vocabulary is still relevant :)